When we started thinking about our wedding we had three objectives; to get married near the sea if possible, to have everyone we loved there, and to not break the bank.
Jay proposed to me at the top of a beautiful cliff in Cornwall when I was 20 weeks pregnant with our son Noah. Initially we thought we wanted to also get married there but after an overnight trip to look at a venue we realised it was simply too far way from home.
I then started my search for a seaside venue that was close by. Despite working in Whitstable for eight years – I had never heard of the East Quay Venue. When someone suggested it on Twitter I booked a trip straight away.
We didn’t need to see anywhere else. It was everything we wanted for a laid back, beautiful wedding – rustic, unique and perfect for Whitstable’s famous beach sunsets.
The day was more than we could have ever wished for. It was a beautifully warm August day and all our guests commented that they felt like they were on holiday. The sea and the beach were simply stunning and we got the sunset photos we’d long dreamed of.
Our theme was relaxed rustic and vintage with a music twist to reflect us meeting in radio and both loving music.
'Our theme was relaxed rustic and vintage with a music twist to reflect us meeting in radio and both loving music'
We kept the flower scheme simple with gypsophila in jam jars, up the stars, in the ceremony mezzanine room and in my bouquet.
Our guests sat down to an amazing barbecued wedding breakfast, which kept the vibe informal, just as we wanted. For pudding ice creams were served in the evening sunshine on the beach. Our stunning vintage naked cake was cut much later in the evening after far too many proseccos!
Walking up the aisle to see my husband-to-be at the other end holding our son, with our dog sitting by them will be imprinted on my memory for the rest of my life. By the end of the day my face hurt from smiling and laughing and my feet hurt from dancing.
It truly was the best day of our lives and if I could do it again I would – in a heartbeat.
Our romance and marriage is all thanks to Twitter. We were both working as radio presenters and Jay tweeted me unexpectedly one morning. After chatting on text and the phone for a couple of weeks we met for a date in London and the rest as they say is history! We moved into together after three months and it was the best decision we ever made.
When I went to buy my dress I tried on one in every style and shape to see what suited me. I’d only had Noah six months before so I had to be quite forgiving with myself! I knew I’d found ‘the one’ when my best woman Alex cried! I went for a beautiful corded lace fishtail dress with cross over detail at the front by Ellis Bridal.
I wanted to look romantic but not over the top and the dress was perfect.
When I came to have my fittings I had to spend £400 for alterations because I’d dropped two dress sizes but it meant my dress fitted perfectly. I got my diamanté trim fingertip length veil from Etsy for about £70.
My favourite piece of my whole look was though was my hair and my diamanté headpiece from a company called Lottie-Da Designs that I also found on Etsy.
So many people complimented me on it and I still absolutely adore it. My simple stud earrings were from Accesorize and my bracelet was ‘something blue’ from Joma Jewellery.
We did a lot of the venue décor details ourselves. My mum and I collected loads of different shaped jam jars and decorated them with lace and hessian. My mum sprayed stones silver and wrote on them for place names as well as writing a number of blackboards for us. Our table planner was made up of vinyls with our favourite songs on them. We also had retro radios and microphones scattered on the tables. The rest of our décor was provided by Big Love Hire in Whitstable, who work with Jane at Graham Greener the florist.
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NO BRIDAL PARTY – JUST ONE BEST WOMAN
After much soul searching I opted for just one best woman, rather than a bridal party. I have two groups of friends who are very busy with children and careers and basically I didn’t want to put stress on anyone! We also didn’t want to follow the formal wedding ‘rules’. So I asked one of my best friends Alex to be my ‘best woman’ and it was perfect. Jay opted to not have a groom’s party.
OUR DOG ISLA
Our wedding wouldn’t have been complete without our beloved old labrador Isla. She wore her best pink collar and had a spritz of doggy perfume and enjoyed every bit of attention. She then walked home with us through Whitstable town centre at the end of the night!
OUR OWN CAR
Not wanting to over spend with unnecessary details – we opted to use our own BMW as my wedding car. I ordered some ribbons online and Jay’s brother Will was my driver. Jay walked from the Hotel Continental with our dog to the venue!
NOAH WAS PART OF OUR VOWS
Our 18-month-old Noah was always going to be a massive part of our day and as I walked up the aisle he was being held by Jay. He also passed Jay the rings, which was such a beautiful moment. We quite literally got married as a family.
A FAMILY AFFAIR
Our wedding was truly a family affair with my brother Liam singing for us while we had canapés, Pimm’s and photos on the beach. He flew in from his singing job in Mallorca the night before.
Jay surprised me with a second wedding ring during the speeches! I’d already had one made to fit around my engagement ring and knew I wanted a second in a few years time – but I got it on the day!
THE LUCK OF THE IRISH
I am half Irish so wanted the wedding to reflect that. As well as inviting our guests to take part in a celtic stone toss into the sea, we also had a group of my former dancing friends do some Irish dancing in the evening. Everyone loved it and they finished with a group ceili for everyone to take part in.
We had about 75 guests in the day with an additional 25 or so in the evening, which was a perfect number. Among the guests were both our radio co-hosts past and present, including Joel from Jay’s radio and TV days as ‘JK and Joel’.
As with everything else when planning the wedding we knew we wanted the readings to be relaxed and unusual. We went for the children’s book Guess How Much I Love You because we read it to our son Noah when we brought him home from hospital when he was born and think it’s beautiful. We also had ‘I Want To Grow Old With You’ from the Wedding Singer. In the film it’s a song but we both love it and thought it worked well as a light hearted reading.
Pictures by James Heming Photography from Chestfield, near Whitstable.
More details at jamesheming.com or call 01227 668888
Suppliers and contacts
Cake: Sally4Cakes, Whitstable - www.sally4cakes.co.uk
Decor: Big Love Hire, Whitstable
Dress: Hayley Elizabeth Bridal Boutique, Orpington – www.hayleyelizabeth.co.uk
Flowers: Jane and Graham Greener, Whitstable – www.grahamgreener.com
Groom and Noah’s outfits: Next
Ice cream: Lickett & Smyle, Whitstable
Hair and make up: Kirsty McCall hair and make up artist
Rings: Designed by us through Alba Rose, Bluewater – www.albarose.com