Carlyon Bay Hotel Rebecca and Steve
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- Photographer: Sofie Michelle Photography
Carlyon Bay Hotel
Rebecca and Steve wanted somewhere very local, partly because they are lucky enough to live in the perfect wedding location beautiful Cornwall, but mostly because Rebecca’s dad was recently diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer and they had no idea if he'd be well enough to travel any distance.
“As we both work full time, we wanted somewhere that would handle as much of the organisation as possible.”
Originally they had dismissed even considering the Carlyon Bay Hotel assuming it would be out of their price range.
“Thankfully my mum and dad decided to look into their offers, as my mum had recently attended events hosted there for the WI and loved it. That was when they found their winter wedding package, which included everything we were looking for and at a very reasonable price.”
Rebecca and Steve contacted the hotel, who very quickly arranged a tour for them
“We knew straight away it was the perfect venue. They also had availability for our desired date, which sealed the deal!”
Sofie Michelle Photography
Having used to work as a freelance photographer Rebecca, knew it would be hard to pick a wedding photographer. Deciding early on that they wanted someone local, this helped narrow down their search considerably.
“We spent hours looking through portfolios and even with the local criteria were still overwhelmed with choices. When I found Sofie's portfolio I immediately fell in love with her style, her photos are different and fun, not over-processed and not overly contrived which is exactly what we wanted. I put her at the top of my shortlist and was very relieved to hear she was also the top of Steve's shortlist.”
They got in touch enquiring about their date and Sofie was available.
“She offered to meet with us before booking. We'd already decided we wanted to go ahead and book her, but the opportunity to meet before was so reassuring to us - and a great excuse to have coffee and cake! It also helped to put a face to the name before the big day which took a lot of the awkwardness out, especially when they're someone taking your picture all day!”
Being massive geeks, Rebecca and Steve decided to incorporate their favourite things including dinosaurs, the video game series Dragon Age, Marvel and Dungeons & Dragons (D&D)!
“All the things that had special meaning to us in our relationship, having bonded over our love for all of them very early on.”
The colour scheme was a subtle nod to Captain Marvel (navy, burgundy and gold), Rebecca’s favourite Marvel superhero! Their 'exit' music after the ceremony was the Avengers theme. The wedding stationery, table plan and table names were all Dragon Age inspired with each table named after one of the factions.
“I designed all the wedding stationery, including our invitations, RSVP cards, order of service, table names and name cards, spending hours making vectors and getting them professionally printed. For the table plan, I handmade a giant map of the in-game world and finished it with red wax seals, stamped with a dragon design.”
Rebecca spent months hand sewing hundreds of satin flowers, in various sizes and colours of satin ribbon, combining them with artificial leaves for the buttonholes and a few artificial flowers to bulk out the handmade flowers in the bouquets. For the table decorations, she attached the handmade flowers to geometric tea-light holders ( geometric as a subtle nod to the various sided dice used in D&D! ) Our guestbook also had a D20 design.
“We both love dinosaurs, and Steve early on found a burgundy and gold dinosaur tie, pocket square and cufflink set for himself and all the groomsmen. We both wore dinosaur socks and I found a pair of dinosaur earrings. For our cake toppers, we picked out a dinosaur each from a local toy store which I spray painted gold and made a veil for mine and top hat and tie for his (using the same fabric his tie was made from). We also gave out tiny gold dinosaurs in our wedding favours.”
The wedding favours had pin badges from Prostate Cancer UK as a surprise for Rebecca’s dad, and their small way of saying thank you to the charity for the incredible work they do in supporting men and their families through this terrible disease.
“It was most important to support Prostate Cancer UK and the work they do. Their research into treatments is a big part of why my dad is still with us today, which I'll forever be grateful for.”
A big shout out…
“I think we were very lucky as all of our suppliers were absolutely incredible, but just picking out a few...
Sofie did an exceptional job as our photographer, nothing seemed to phase her and she helped both of us relax in front of the camera and get photographs we will forever cherish. The pictures came out even better than I hoped and she captured everything we wanted, including some extra moments we were oblivious to on the day - including my dad doing a cheeky wink as he's walking me down the aisle! She is such good fun too and had a wicked sense of humour! Cannot recommend her enough!
the Carlyon Bay Hotel team were fantastic
Our wedding planner, Marta, and the whole of the Carlyon Bay Hotel team were fantastic and made the day so special for us. As part of our package, we had a room booked for two nights in the hotel. We got back to the room very late after the reception and I was dreading the chaos we had left it in after all of the bridal party had got ready there in the morning (and then used it is a dumping ground for the rest of the day!). I nearly cried when we opened the door to find it had all been cleaned, tidied, all of our cards and gifts neatly arranged and the bedding turned down ready for us. We were so very grateful! The food was absolutely divine too, definitely the best meal we've ever eaten and judging by the empty plates all around the room our guests agreed!
A best woman
Steve's best woman, Katie, is also a makeup artist, Katie Johnson MUA and she offered to do mine and the bridesmaid's hair and makeup as a wedding gift! I felt a little guilty taking Steve's best woman away from him for most of the morning, but not so guilty I'd turn down such a generous offer! She was so wonderful, nothing seemed to phase her and we had such a fun time getting ready. A combination of stress, sleep deprivation and severe anaemia meant I looked anything but my best that morning but she worked her magic, transforming me from swamp witch to beautiful bride!
Rebecca’s dress was one of the first things she bought for the wedding. Having just got back home from her maid of honour's wedding with one of her bridesmaids who was staying with her, she saw on Facebook that Coastal Bridal had an appointment-free the next day and she snapped it up!
“Coastal Bridal is a small local business who have a fabulous selection of dresses and use local models with a range of body types to show the styles giving you a much better idea of how a dress will look - no matter what size or shape you are.
I went to the appointment feeling very anxious and completely clueless about what I wanted, although two of my bridesmaids were able to join me which helped a lot. My only requirement was no train - I couldn't bear the thought of having to fuss with it all day or needing a team of dress holders just to go to the loo! I had originally intended just to try some dresses on and see what styles I liked to get some inspiration, not make any firm decisions, but that all went out of the window pretty quickly.
Hailey and Edwina were amazing!
They tapped into what I liked and what styles would suit me so quickly. Edwina picked out a dress for me and even though it was only the fourth I'd tried on, all of us knew it was the one. It was so flattering, surprisingly comfortable and the fabric was so soft and pretty - I couldn't stop smiling wearing it! When they told me the price I knew I had bagged myself a very good deal!”
“I haven't been able to wear heels for years due to joint instability, so I knew from the start I needed a reliable and supportive shoe.”
Rebecca had decided very early on that she wanted to wear Dr Martens on the day.
“I’ve always loved them and knew a pair would see me comfortably through a whole day of walking and dancing. Not a conventional bridal shoe, but then I've never been one to be conventional! I was extremely fortunate to snag a pair of gold glittery DMs in their sale, which I wore around our flat for weeks before the wedding to break them in. They came with gold ribbon laces, which gave them that extra pizzazz!”
Sticking with the dinosaur theme, she also wore dinosaur socks and earrings, although sadly the socks were a little too short to be fully appreciated. Rebecca and her bridal party wore gold wraps during the day, and then for the early evening, she also had a hooded bridal cape in white satin.
“I had originally intended to wear my cape all day, but for mid-November, it was surprisingly warm and sunny so the wrap, bought as a back-up in case the cape didn't arrive in time, turned out to be a much better option for the day. The cape made for a fun evening surprise, and kept me nice and warm once the sun had gone down.”
Rebecca’s Favourite part of the day
It's hard to pick just one moment! My most important and favourite part of the day was getting to marry the love of my life, the rest of it was just an added bonus. We were tempted in the months leading up to elope as we were both ready to be married but I'm glad we waited to share the day with our loved ones. It made it so much more special, especially given the distances so many of our loved ones travelled to be there. We had family and friends from New Zealand, Japan, Iceland, Germany and the Isle of Man so seeing them was a special occasion in itself! Having my dad walk me down the aisle was an emotional experience, one I will forever cherish. I cried a lot of happy tears, most of them through my vows!
Steve’s favourite part
"Not being nervous at all, as I was overwhelmed with happiness to be marrying Rebecca."
Four Top tips and advice for other couples
Number one It's your day, not anyone else's and if anyone has a problem with that then they can simply not come! That is easier said than done, but you can never please all the people all the time so don't waste time trying - least of all on your wedding day! The most important thing is you two as a couple are happy and the day is what you both want it to be no matter how unconventional or weird - its the one day you can get away with it!
Number two Find time on the big day to get away from it all, even just for half an hour. It's a long, emotional and exhausting day so take some time out to spend a quiet moment together to just take it all in. It's also a great opportunity to drink water! We both felt so much better for taking a break, I don't think we'd have made it through the whole day without it.
Number three When it comes to planning, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Find a system that works for you to keep track of everything, and if you have a wedding planner - use them and their expertise! We also used the Bridebook app which was really helpful for reminding us what we needed to do and when, as well as helping us keep track of the guest list and RSVPs. Your bridesmaids and groomsmen are there to support you too, they like having jobs to do. Don't underestimate the value (especially in the run-up to the wedding) of having people you can rely on to run errands on your behalf like delivering decorations to the venue or boxing your wedding favours so you can focus on doing the things you absolutely have to do - like dress fittings and writing your speech. The day creeps up on you much quicker than you realise! Don't forget to thank them as well, a small and personal token of thanks - even just a handwritten card - goes a long way.
Number four My final piece of advice is that as important as your wedding day is, it is just one day. You have the rest of your lives together! Of course, it is a very special day, but some things will go wrong as even the best-laid plans won't always work out. You'll inevitably wish you did this or that differently - but that's okay, that's life. If you can find and marry someone as weird as you, who sees the funny side and loves you exactly as you are, you can't go far wrong - it's certainly worked for us!
- Photographer: Sofie Michelle Photography