Wedding at Watergate Bay Hotel, Cornwall
Melissa and Ben’s small seaside wedding was awash with bright shades, striking stationery and a few fun surprises! Melissa and Ben met at the age of 16 at sixth-form college where, after months of waving at each other in the corridor every day, the pair finally plucked up the courage to talk to each other and love blossomed.
“We were walking around the Serpentine in Hyde Park just before Christmas,” says Melissa of her surprise festive proposal. “We snuggled up on a bench by the boathouse and watched the ducks land on the water. After a short time, Ben decided it was an opportune moment to tie his shoe and the rest is a bit of a blur!”
Their venue choice was an easy decision for the couple. “Watergate Bay Hotel is our favourite place in the whole wide world,” says Melissa. The location has a personal family connection that has continued for generations. “Ben’s dad visited when he was a child. He took his wife, they took their children, Ben took me and we’ll take our children,” she explains.
Settling on an intimate beachside celebration meant that Melissa and Ben could focus on achieving their vision without having to agonise over their budget. “Do it for yourself not for everyone else,” she urges. “We had to let down a lot of relatives to have the intimate wedding we wanted. Everyone totally understood and as a result of it being smaller we didn’t compromise on a single element of our day. It was beyond our wildest dreams and we loved each and every memory we made.”
A colour pop scheme of coral and blue woven into a contemporary rustic theme with touches of coastal charm was achieved with the help of Elle Winsor Grime of Inspire Hire, which allowed Melissa and Ben to relax and enjoy the build-up to the event. Echoing the bright colours of the flowers, Lynda Loves’ stationery proved to be one of the couple’s favourite features, particularly the weekend itineraries, which were placed at each guest’s bed with a ‘unicorn poo kiss’ from The Meringue Girls. “She helped inject the magic and excitement into it all,” comments Melissa.
Their day was packed with magical moments, from the morning ceremony and photos on the beach to feasting on Cornish pork and apple terrine, beef sirloin and steamed jam pudding and dancing to the modern jazzy sounds of That Swing Thing.
The pair also had some surprises in store for their guests, one of which was the big dress reveal. “As there were only 19 of us, I wanted to keep the dress a secret,” says Melissa. “Nobody saw it until the big day – it felt exciting to surprise them!”
Their secret fireworks display was meant to generate a similar wow-worthy response, but the weather had other ideas. “The evening brought with it a ridiculous storm with howling wind and rain. The fireworks could still go ahead but it meant they would need to be watched from behind the glass doors on the balcony instead,” says Melissa. “As the time drew closer, we had our guests line up against the glass for a photo and had them countdown to the ‘cheese’ moment – but instead the fireworks began. Not quite to plan but it all worked out anyway!”
Photography Paul Keppel paulkeppel.co.uk
Venue Watergate Bay Hotel watergatebay.co.uk
Wedding planner/stylist and flowers Inspire Hire inspire-hire.co.uk
Dress Always & Forever alwaysandforeverbridal.co.uk
Bridesmaid dresses David’s Bridal davidsbridal.com
Make-up Tamsyn Siddiqui cornwallweddingmake-up.co.uk
Hair Gold Bird Hair Design facebook.com/goldbirdhairdesign
Stationery Lynda Loves lyndaloves.com
Cake Cupcakemama cupcakemama.co.uk
Groom's outfit FCUK frenchconnection.com
Entertainment That Swing Thing
Copyright Wed magazine 2017