It began with a passion for sailing, a wedding theme stemming from a trip to the Galapagos islands and their dog Benjy playing a big part of the day too. This wedding oozes personality and Tess tells their story in her own words.
The Bride & Groom: Tess and Richard
Wedding Date: 14th September 2012
Venue: St Andrew’s Church in Weymouth, Dorset followed by a wedding breakfast at Castle Cove Sailing Club in Portland Harbour
HOW DID YOU MEET?We met whilst sailing. We were going across the Solent from Gosport to Cowes in a 68’ yacht! I first met Richard when he was skippering a 68’ Clipper yacht during a Regatta for the weekend. The morning after entailed us returning the boat from the Medina River in the Isle of Wight, across the Solent and back to Gosport. After a VERY alcohol fuelled night, there were lots of sore pounding heads, and this coupled with a force 7 wind, was making a lot of the crew quite ill. Having just met the skipper, I was trying very hard not to be sick despite being very green! I just about made it back in one piece! It obviously worked as we then exchanged contact details! I met up with him two weeks later.
THE PROPOSALOn a dark, wild & woolly night at Ringstead Beach, Dorset in February. He got down on one knee, popped the question and handed me a ring. It was so dark that I couldn’t see what it was. It was way too big and turned out to be a plumbing brass olive bit and which come in standard sizes. The 15mm wouldn’t have fitted so I got the other size – 22mm! We did of course go and get a real ring! We had talked about it previously and had recently been on a nine week trip where we visited some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. I thought he might ask at one of these sunny and warm locations rather than a dark and cold English winter’s night! In hindsight, it was nice that he did propose on a local beach down the road where we often go walking along or sailing past! We often laugh about that night!
THE WEDDING THEMEThe colour turquoise was derived from the colour of the Blue Footed Booby’s feet that we encountered whilst travelling in the Galapagos Islands in 2011. Their beautiful turquoise blue feet and captivating love dance enchanted us. As we are both keen sailors, our wedding theme was the beach and the table names were various islands that we visited in the Galapagos Islands.
DID YOU HAVE ANY CHILDREN INCLUDED IN THE BRIDAL PARTY?I had two ‘grown up’ bridesmaids wearing turquoise dresses- my best friend from school Debbie and my old next door neighbour Su. I also had my two nieces as flower girls, Amelie and Jemma wearing ivory and turquoise dresses and my two nephews as page boys, Ben and Luca
THE WEDDING DRESS?As a Bride Over 40 I wanted something simple and practical but elegant. I’m not into lace, sequins or general bling and just wanted a relatively plain dress. First off I went to a shop with my mum where all the dresses were everything I didn’t want and was feeling disappointed. I then went to Butterfly Brides and narrowed it down to two. Both with a corset style back. My mum took pictures so I could compare at home. Once I saw the pictures my decision was easy – “Clara” by Mori Lee. I re-designed the strap into a halter neck as it suited my shape better and wore the halter strap in church and then removed it for the reception. I wore a simple pearl necklace and bracelet. My shoes were some comfy cream & gold wedges that I already owned – these gave me the height with comfort, and this also meant I could dance! I wore turquoise and ivory flowers in my hair.
HAIR & MAKE-UPMy friend Helen who is a hairdresser came across from Hampshire to do my hair on the day as well as all the other important females! (six in total). She put half of it up using flowers clips and then curled the remainder. As I have naturally wavy hair – this was quite simple.
DO YOU HAVE ANY MAKE-UP TIPS FOR OTHER BRIDES?If you don’t wear make up – don’t feel pressurised into wearing loads on your day. Just wear what you feel comfortable with. Waterproof mascara is a good plan though!
THE CEREMONYMy Dad walked me down the aisle and we had a religious ceremony with one bible reading ( Mark 10. V6-9) and a poem ‘Come and live with me and be my love’ by Christopher Sousa, to carry on the sailing theme.
WHAT WAS YOUR BEST MEMORY?The surprise on our guest’s faces when our dog was the ring bearer. Benjy, our Labrador / Lurcher cross came running up the aisle with our rings attached to his collar.
COME LIVE WITH ME AND BE MY LOVE
Come live with me and be my love,
We’ll lay and watch the skies above.
I’ll take you out upon the sea,
And show you what it means to me.
The wind will be calm yet lightly blowing,
The cabin’s warm with oil’s glowing.
Just think of us upon this ocean,
Sipping tea as a soothing potion.
I’ll climb up high into the rig above,
To share the starry night with you, my love.
The sails will be full with autumn’s breeze,
Our bow dipping gracefully into the glowing seas.
And as we dig into my coffers’ deep,
You shall behold the things that make women weep.
Bottles of wine from the finest vineyards,
And wool from only the most renowned spinners.
These things and more can be fully your own,
But mostly the beauty that the sea has shown.
The most graceful porpoises will be swimming by,
As the sea birds sing with their siren-like cry.
Precious few have answered our ocean’s calling,
Shouting out with eyes bright and bawling.
So take this proposal and fly like the dove,
To come with me and be my love.
by Christopher Sousa
WEDDING DAY TRANSPORTMy brother drove us to the church and from the church to the quayside in Weymouth Harbour in his (well) polished BMW. We then travelled by boat from Weymouth Harbour around into Portland Harbour to arrive at the sailing club. The boat even had ribbons on it!
THE FLOWERSI really wanted silk flowers so we could keep the flowers afterwards. My original florist let me down and so I looked into making them myself. I was asking for some advice from my sister in law (who used to own her own flower shop) about how to create a bouquet and she offered to do them for me. I sent some pictures to her and she did an amazing job. They were Gerbera’s and as you can’t get turquoise Gerberas, she bought out the colour using ribbon, voile and even fake snails! They are displayed in our lounge now. She also made the button holes and corsages.
THE CAKERichard’s friend Sue from Tiers of Delight in Kent made our cake. We sent her eggs laid by our chickens in the post and she then put them into the cake. She made an amazing pair of Blue Footed Booby’s to put on top of the cake. It was a well traveled cake delivered from Kent! It was perfect and it tasted divine too!
THE WEDDING BREAKFASTWe had 70 guests for the wedding breakfast and Helen, who is sailing secretary at the sailing club was in charge of our catering. (Rollys Cake Company). We had arrival drinks of Pimms on the deck overlooking Portland Harbour. We had a selection of pates for starters. Main course was chicken in a herb crust Wild Mushroom parcel served with new potatoes and mixed leaf salad and New York cheesecakes with redcurrant & raspberry compotes for dessert. In the evening we held a BBQ for 120 people. Our dog Benjy also delivered Dad’s speech at the Reception.
ENTERTAINMENTDuring the wedding breakfast, I had made up a compilation of songs from Dermot O’Leary’s Radio 2’s Live Lounge songs which played in the back ground from my ipod. In the evening we had a DJ, Luke Berry from Lux Disco.
THE FIRST DANCEWe danced to ”Make you feel my love” by Adele. It is a stunning song with beautiful words.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU OFFER OTHER BEAUTILICIOUS 40 BRIDES?For the Bride: It’s not about having the most expensive reception venue, designer dress and high-priced stationery. Your budget can easily get swept away on and swallowed up in no time. I believe your wedding is about making your day personal to you; including what is special and memorable to you and your fiancée. For the Groom: Just be warned, that the consequence of one small question of ‘Will you marry me?’ will end up dominating & taking over your life for some time before the big day. It is all worth it though! Top budgeting tip: Make your own things like stationery and decorations. We made everything ourselves. Our invites, order of services and menu cards were made using pictures of pebbles we took in New Zealand. Guest’s name tags were grey pebbles collected from a beach in Devon and then labelled using silver 3D paint. The candle table decorations were made from driftwood that we collected from various beach locations around the UK and then drilled out to hold t-lights. The turquoise runners were voile purchased from eBay and my mum sewed them and also made table clothes out of linen sheets. It is more personal and your guests do really appreciate the time taken.
Top planning Tip: Use a countdown planner. We downloaded ours from the internet so we knew when certain things had to be done by. We only had six months of planning so had a very tight schedule. Also, don’t try and get married in a sailing club in Weymouth when the 2012 Sailing Olympics are on. It was very difficult to come up with a date!Choose a photographer you can trust and get on with and who listens to what style you would like the photos to be. We chose Linus Moran who also did a photofilm On the big day, don’t forget to… Enjoy the day and time with your family and friends. You spend a lot of time preparing for it, so make sure you relax and enjoy it. Things may not go entirely to plan, but actually, those moments make it more memorable and make you smile all the more afterwards!
PHOTOGRAPHER – LINUS MORAN – DORSET WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
VENUE – CASTLE COVE SAILING CLUB
BRIDAL BOUTIQUE – BUTTERFLY BRIDES
DRESS DESIGNER – MORI LEE
CAKE – TIERS OF DELIGHT
CATERING – ROLLYS CAKE COMPANY
GROOMS ATTIRE – MOSS BROS (Dorchester)
ENTERTAINMENT – LUX DISCO
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(Janet – Creative Director at Beautilicious40 Bride)