Eeeee! I remember when I first saw Olivia and Oli’s wedding, I couldn’t believe that it took place on UK soil, it all looked so dreamy. When Rebecca visited The Gallivant a few weeks ago, we saw first hand just how gorgeous the venue and surrounding landscape is as a wedding venue. Olivia loved the rustic beach vibes The Gallivant offered and added to that with pretty nautical details. If you are looking for a laid back beach wedding in the UK, then this inspiration is for you.
imagery by David Long Photography
Kaz Fernando Makeup. Lovely Kaz is a good friend of mine, who I have worked with over the years, so it was very special to have her there on the morning of my own big day. She did hair and make up for me, my Sister and my Mum and did such a fabulous job, as ever! I must have driven her mad with changing my mind and sending her various photo ideas for my hair and she totally delivered. I loved what she did with my hair and it absolutely fit my pictures!
The perfume: Stella McCartney. This is my favourite, everyday perfume so didn’t want to wear anything else as I felt I wanted to smell just like me and not something unfamiliar to Oli.
Tantrums & Tiaras. My dress was made to measure by the lovely and talented Elaine at Tantrums & Tiaras in Putney, London. I had a vision in mind for my dress but after one visit to Elaine I ended up with something totally different and couldn’t have been happier with the end result. Elaine asked me to describe the style of wedding and she then suggested I try on a template of the dress, which I wasn’t sure about at all, until I put it on. I spun around in it and didn’t want to take it off. The organza was amazing in the wind on the beach and photographed beautifully. My shoes were simple court shoes made by pink, which I also got at Tantrums & Tiaras, although I actually spent the whole reception bare foot on the beach.
Bride’s hair accessories/veil: Tantrums & Tiaras. Scott, Elaine’s Son, hand made a beautiful wire vine to go through my hair with subtle jewels to create a simple, boho feel. This worked so well to finish off the look and was so easy to wear. I had a full length veil, but as I was about to leave for the ceremony I changed my mind as it was such a hot day, I felt happier without it.
The Gallivant, Camber Sands. I had seen the Gallivant on a wedding blog a few years before we got engaged and stored it in my mind. It also happened to be in the area Oli grew up in. We saw one other venue first, but as soon as we walked into the Gallivant we knew it was the right place for the big day! We had a wonderful lunch there and went across the road to the beautiful beach and we were totally sold! It has the laid back, beach vibe that we were after and it couldn’t have been more perfect. The staff, particularly Mark and Diana, were amazing from start to finish and did everything they could to make sure the day was all that we’d imagined and more.
The venue’s effortless ‘rustic beach look’ really set the scene for the day. We continued the nautical theme with the decorations, with shells and starfish on the tables and blue and pink wooden buoys on the bar. We had some giant round balloons around the room in white, blue and pink. The table names were our favourite holidays we’ve shared together…Kalkan, SanFransisco, Kerala and Marrakech, with my own framed photos from each destination.
Following the seaside theme, we had pink and white striped rock sticks, with a photo of us on the wrapping and date of the day, which was from TheRockworks.com.
Café Des Fleurs, Rye. The Gallivant recommended Café des fleurs to us, who are down the road from the venue in Rye and do a lot of weddings at The Gallivant. We loved the idea of using a local supplier, who knows the venue well as they will know what works best in the space. We met with Lucy who instantly got the tone we wanted to create. It was a rustic look with delicate white flowers and greenery, in a variety of jam jars. We wanted them to be simple and natural, to reflect the laid back atmosphere of the day. We had gypsophila for the usher’s button holes and bridesmaid’s bouquets. Oliver’s button hole was a simple white lisianthus and my bouquet was lily of the valley, which was beautiful.
Adams of Rye was recommended to us by The Gallivant, who are based in Rye. They have an amazing shop in Rye, with cards and gifts in the front and out the back is a fascinating, traditional letterpress print shop. Once we agreed on a design, they made our invites, order of service, menus and table plan for us. Ian Foster was a great and couldn’t have been more helpful.
The bridesmaid dresses were by Dessy in a Windsor blue colour, to match the nautical theme of the day. When they had shoes on, the girls wore their own silver heels. Their earrings were a thank you gift from me, which were dangly chunky silver square stones, from one of my favourite shops, Kate Spade.
Reiss. Oli had an air force blue suit from Reiss, which was then tailored to fit him perfectly, to go with oxblood leather belt and shoes. As a gift from me on the morning of the big day, I gave Oli a hanky with the message ‘I thought you might need this today 20/06/14’ sewn on it, which he kept in his pocked. I also gave him some silver cufflinks from Links of London, with his initials engraved on the inside, which he wore with his TM Lewin shirt.
David Long Photography. David was recommended to us by The Gallivant and we loved the look of his work immediately. Being a wedding photographer myself, this is an area where I am rather picky! I had decided to not have a photographer I knew as it felt like choosing between friends. David was the only photographer we met and we loved how he captures a wedding day like a beautiful story. David is such a lovely guy and we knew it was just as important we had a photographer with whom we would enjoy sharing our day. After our engagement shoot, we knew we had made the right decision as Oli, who usually hates being in front of the camera and me, who is usually behind the camera, felt totally at ease being captured by David and we loved the photos! David and his gorgeous wife, Claire, were amazing on the big day and went above and beyond to capture the essence of it. We were totally over the moon when we received our sneak peek the night before we left for our honeymoon and couldn’t believe how magical the day looked.
The Gallivant provide all the catering in-house, which was one of the big selling points for us! They have a great policy of only using local produce. We are big foodies, so this was a very important element of the day. The nibbles for the reception on the beach were so delicious and different to the usual wedding nibbles, including wild boar rolls and chicken lollipops, which went down nicely with Pimms in the sunshine. The starters and mains were all served on sharing boards and placed in the centre of the tables, to complement the laid back, informal atmosphere of the day.
That is such a hard question as there are so many but two spring to mind – When I walked into the ceremony, with my Mum by my side, to see our nearest and dearest together in one room. The second is one I often think about when I look back on the day, which was when Oli and I were having our photos taken down on the deserted beach. It was an amazing moment when we were stood together in the sunshine and looked up at the sand dunes to see our friends and family and could hear the sound of the steel drums and couldn’t quite believe we’d pulled it off! The day really did exceed all our dreams!
Our beautiful cupcakes were made by a close friend, who was also a guest on the day. Clarice (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an incredibly talented and meticulous cake maker. We had cupcakes in 3 flavours – chocolate, vanilla and lemon, with incredible detailed icing in the shape of shells and starfish. She also made a small cake for the top for the cutting of the cake tradition, with ‘Oli & Oli’ written out in icing, which added a real wow factor! They were simply beautiful and a real talking point of the day! You can find more details on her facebook page ‘A sweet affair’.
During the ceremony we had a good friend, Tim Cresswell, sing an acoustic scar version of Madness ‘It must be love’ while we signed the register, which was a wonderful moment. At the drinks reception, across the road on the beach, we wanted to bring the Caribbean to Camber, so we had a brilliant steel drummer who brought the atmosphere to life while the sun shone and guests mingled, drinking Pimms and eating canapés. In the evening, we had another friend who took charge of the DJ-ing. Jeremy Stubbings (Jeremy_stubbings@hotmail.com), an awesome DJ, started off the night with our first dance, John Mayer ‘Something like Olivia’. Jeremy really knows how to read a crowd and bring the dance floor to life!
Carlisle Bay in Antigua. We stayed in Camber Sands with family and friends in a beautiful rental house for a few nights before and after the wedding. We were incredibly lucky with the weather and had such a magical time celebrating with everyone. Then headed to Antigua for 10 nights of paradise! We were so well looked after and dream about going back to stay at Carlisle Bay again one day.