Wedding at Ash Barton Estate, Devon
Sunsets and Sea Shanties
Ellie and Jake’s laid-back celebration at Ash Barton Estate Army officers Ellie and Jake formed an instant connection when their paths crossed. Though Jake was based in Scotland and Ellie in Germany at the time, “through a mutual passion for surfing we found time where we could spend our weekends in the place we both love most: north Devon”, says Ellie.
After spending two months apart, the couple headed to Braunton to enjoy some quality time together where Jake had planned to propose at Saunton Sands. “Unfortunately, it was tricky to find a quiet spot for the big question so he aborted Plan A, and after a very romantic dinner later that evening, we returned to an empty beach and Jake got down on one knee,” recalls Ellie. “However, the ring had come loose in the box and promptly fell out as he opened it – cue a frantic minute searching in the dark to find it as the tide came in! We sealed the moment with a quick dip in the sea.”
Ash Barton Estate provided the backdrop for their “relaxed beach vibe” wedding, which allowed travelling guests on-site accommodation for Ellie and Jake’s three-day celebration.
Guests were encouraged to adopt a comfy dress code: flip-flops, board shorts and colourful shirts in order to “enjoy a hassle-free weekend, exploring the place we love and spending time with friends”, explains Ellie.
A highly personal ceremony was performed by Jake’s school friend, Luke, in the Old Chapel before drinks, canapés and shanty singing on the lawn in the sunshine.
“Early in our relationship we discovered an unusual shared passion for sea shanty bands,” reveals Ellie. “We had to incorporate this into the wedding and were lucky to find the fantastic Anchors Aweigh, a local band who agreed to sing during the lawn reception in exchange for a donation to the Devon Air Ambulance Trust. An absolute highlight of the wedding for both us and many of our guests: they were talented, engaging and real party-starters.”
The wedding breakfast took place in the barn: a feast of Argentinian asado that guests helped to prepare and serve, comprising lemon chicken, rump tri-tip, sirloin beef, potatoes and fresh summer salads.
“One member from each table collected the food straight from the grill and carved it for the other guests, which was a great conversation piece!” says Ellie.
As day made way for night, Ellie and Jake took some timeout to reflect on the day’s events. “Our photographer stole us away as the sun was setting for some pictures in the wild flower garden,” she says. “Walking back up to the main house and seeing all our guests on the lawn having so much fun was the best moment of the day.”
So what is her advice for other couples? “Book the big-ticket items early. It takes a lot of the stress out of planning and allows you to look forward to the day in the final weeks,” she says. “We used predominantly small local businesses to provide most elements of the day; the personal touch you get from dealing with individuals made planning a lot easier.”
Photography Freeformimages Photography freeformimages.co.uk
Venue Ash Barton Estate ashbarton.com
Catering Sizzle Grills sizzlegrills.co.uk
Dress Rebecca Ingram maggiesottero.com/rebecca-ingram
Hair Pinned to Perfection pinnedtoperfection.co.uk/wedding-hair
Make-up Made up by Melissa madeupbymelissa.wixsite.com/melissa91
Flowers Teasels Florists flowerdeliverynorthdevon.co.uk
Stationery Cute Maps cutemaps.co.uk
Entertainment Anchors Aweigh anchorsaweighdevon.com
Halfway to New York h2nyband.com
Copyright Wed magazine 2019