Wedding at The Headland Hotel, Cornwall
After a 12-year engagement, Leah and Dan knew there was only one place to seal the deal: the picture-perfect cliffs of sunny Newquay Having met as teenagers, getting married was always a future prospect for Leah and Dan, but it wasn’t until after buying a house and having their son, George, that the pair finally decided to put a date in the diary. “Whenever weddings and marriage got mentioned, The Headland Hotel in Newquay came up in the conversation,” says Leah. “One day while on holiday, we dared each other to go in and enquire what dates they had available and ended up taking the plunge for Sunday 29th May!”
Living in Yorkshire, the couple were worried the distance would prove difficult and expensive for their guests, so they decided to “just have a quiet wedding and pop to the beach after”, Leah explains. “However, everyone invited to the wedding responded with a yes – so a quiet wedding turned into a whole week of celebration: a wedding and honeymoon spent with family and friends!”
Aiming to keep things “simple and fuss-free”, Leah and Dan wanted a wedding that reflected the love for their favourite holiday destination, and set about bringing Fistral Beach into the venue via the decorative details.
Shells were scattered across the tabletops alongside pebble place settings, glass lanterns, jars, tea light holders and candles that Leah customised with twine and shells. “With the help of Dan's joinery skills, we made a seaside table planner with beach huts named after the beaches of Newquay. I also had a custom-made wooden bellyboard as an alternative to a guest book.”
Even the groom’s outfit reflected the relaxed beachside vibe, with Dan teaming a pair of smart navy shorts with a blue shirt, casual suit jacket and brown leather flip-flops. “I was never going to get Dan to wear a suit!” confesses Leah.
Stepping away from tradition in a number of other ways, Leah and Dan opted for a post-ceremony afternoon tea comprising a selection of finger sandwiches, cakes and a Cornish cream tea. “We couldn't ask everyone to Cornwall and not have a jam and clotted cream scone!” laughs Leah.
Acoustic duo, The Smugjars, provided the evening entertainment as guests tucked into a barbecue and danced the night away; the perfect end to Leah and Dan’s laid-back beach party.
“I think the main thing that we think about is how much George and the other children enjoyed themselves at the beach,” reveals Leah when asked about the pair’s personal highlights. “Also having the photos around the harbour – both myself and Dan don't like having our photograph taken, but it was so much fun!”
She also reiterates how important it is to go with your gut and defy expectation. “We held off for years because we worried too much about other people being able to travel. But if people want to be there, they will be.”
“You make your own traditions and you don't have to follow a typical wedding day,” she continues. “I was so determined not to have the set packages that so many hotels offer, and I did worry about the cost of a bespoke wedding, but don't be put off. Make enquiries and don't be afraid to ask the venue for something different.”
“I wanted my guests to experience a little bit of Cornwall… and that's exactly what they got.”
Photography Khalile Siddiqui weddingphotographyincornwall.co.uk
Venue The Headland Hotel headlandhotel.co.uk
Dress Heidi Hudson from Wed2b wed2b.co.uk
Groom’s outfit shorts Weird Fish weirdfish.co.uk shirt Animal animal.co.uk
Cake Sweet Thought Cakes sweetthoughtcakes.com
Flowers Kelly Ann's Flowers kellyannsflowers.co.uk
Make-up Tamsyn Siddiqui cornwallweddingmake-up.co.uk
Hair and make-up Newquay Hair & Makeup by Amanda Jane newquayhairandmakeup.co.uk
Entertainment Smugjars smugjars.co.uk
Copyright Wed magazine 2017