Wedding at Castle Hotel Woolacombe, Devon
Love Through the Ages
Katie and John's ancestral homage at Castle Hotel Woolacombe
...while breathtaking blooms and a beautiful blue gown echoed the relaxed seaside mood From their first encounter in a local pub to a low-key proposal at home where John enlisted Katie's children to help him pop the question, Katie and John's romance paved the way for an extraordinary wedding day as well as a new business venture.
"The whole of the wedding was inspired by my grandparents' hotel," explains Katie. "Sadly, we lost my granddad, and my grandma is currently in a home, but they own the most magical property on the Woolacombe coast. They ran it as a hotel for 30 years but for the past eight of them, it has been somewhat neglected. As a family we decided we wanted to bring it back to life, and it would be like my grandparents were there to share our special day."
Deciding the whole wedding would be inspired by the coast, the combination of Katie's creative side and her parents' lifetime of experience in hospitality meant they did not require a wedding planner!
Florist Katie set about designing the day in earnest, with the blooms key to achieving their desired look, while also infusing new life into the venue. "Two days before the wedding, it was all hands on deck to get the flowers just right. I wanted a wild and natural theme with blue delphiniums and king proteas," she says.
Despite the attention to detail, the day took a casual and laid-back vibe, with a dress code to suit. "It was frocks and flip-flops for the ladies and dickie bows and chinos for the gents. We had around 100 guests and wanted to keep it very informal and intimate," says Katie, who wore a gorgeous Chantel Lauren dress with a blue silk skirt to perfectly reflect the relaxed coastal vibe.
Surrounded by loved ones, but missing her father who passed away 18 months before the wedding, Katie's favourite moment was a poignant merging of past and present when her eldest son, Harry, walked her down the aisle. "My dad was looking down on me - I know that for sure," she reflects.
Guests then enjoyed canapes, live music, a free bar and sunshine, before a feast of Scotch eggs, homemade pie and mash, and a trio of puddings were served - with fish and chips keeping revellers' hunger at bay during the evening.
Rolling Keys provided the perfect party soundtrack, keeping the dance floor filled all night. "I had only seen them online but knew as soon as I heard Sarah's unique voice that was who I wanted! They were simply incredible and kept the party alive until 2am," says Katie, who reveals that a very exciting venture came from their big day.
"Following our wedding, we have decided to open the castle as a wedding venue, as we were told by so many people that it was the best venue they had ever been to!" says Katie. And her advice? "Don't stress out - just enjoy every moment! I would love to relive the whole day again."
Photography Clare Kinchin Photography clarekinchinphotography.co.uk
Venue Castle Hotel Woolacombe facebook.com/castlehotelwoolacombe
Dress Chantel Lauren from Rock the Frock rockthefrockbridal.co.uk
Bridesmaids' dresses TH&TH thandth.com
Hair Colourful Consultant colourfulconsultant.com Rebecca T Hairdressing facebook.com/RebeccaTHairdressing
Flowers Cooke & Thomas cookeandthomas.co.uk
Catering Sausage & Pear sausageandpear.co.uk
Entertainment Rolling Keys rollingkeysmusic.com
Copyright Wed magazine 2019