Wedding at Polhawn Fort, Cornwall
Down by The Sea
Stacie and Chris’ sea-gazing celebrations at Polhawn Fort
“Since before I was born, my family have had boats on a marina in Poole Harbour,” says Stacie. “After spending a day on my father’s boat one weekend, we were having a family barbecue on the beach in Studland Bay and Chris asked to take me out in the dinghy. We made our way to Old Harry Rocks, a place where we played as children and where my grandma’s ashes are scattered, and before I knew it he was down on one knee.”
Stacie’s heart was initially set on a venue in Poole, but her plans rapidly changed when she came across Polhawn Fort. “We were completely blown away,” she explains. “We booked it there and then. We loved that it was self-catering so we were free to create a bespoke wedding.”
It was inevitable that the couple’s love of the sea would play a role in the look and feel of their day. The tables were named after boats owned by various family members and Chris handmade the table plan using driftwood and an oar from one of Stacie’s granddad’s old rowing boats.
“One of our close friends also used chalk pen on the sail of a 4ft boat as a welcome sign and our son’s boat was used as the beer boat on the beach,” says Stacie.
The pared-back colour scheme of greys, greens and whites was beautifully carried by the blooms, which featured eucalyptus in Stacie’s bouquet, foliage in the buttonholes and gypsophila in the bridesmaids’ bouquets.
Stacie’s dress was also altered to make it more personalised and symbolic, with Eleanor from The Ivory Secret adding pearl-buttoned sleeves and attaching Stacie’s grandmother’s pearl necklace to the back.
Making the most of the venue’s spectacular sea vistas, guests were first greeted with pre-ceremony Pimm’s on the rooftop terrace, before Stacie walked down the aisle to ‘Home’ by Gabrielle Aplin “as it’s the song that was playing in the car when we brought our son home from hospital”. After the ceremony, guests enjoyed snack boxes before heading down to the private beach for photos and drinks from the ‘beer boat’.
Sliders, fries, homemade slaw and corn on the cob were served in rustic takeaway boxes for the wedding breakfast, and – after being treated to an impromptu ‘Sister Act’ flash mob by the bridesmaids during the speeches – guests supped on champagne on the lawn while soaking up the sun and playing ‘Football Jenga’.
The evening comprised a personal playlist of guests’ song requests, along with a self-service mac ’n’ cheese station.
“Don’t be afraid to call in favours from family and friends,” assures Stacie, who recommends some strategic pre-planning for the day before. “I made a list and assigned everyone a job before we got to the venue. Everything was set up so fast we were all sat having a fish and chip supper by 7pm and the evening was really calm and relaxed.”
Photography Clare Kinchin Photography clarekinchinphotography.co.uk
Venue Polhawn Fort polhawnfort.com
Catering La Cantina Street Kitchen lacantinasouthwest.com
Dress Catherine Deane from The Ivory Secret theivorysecret.co.uk
Suit Ted Baker tedbaker.com
Hair Alison Channing
Make-up Sara Johnson
Flowers Amanda Winsor winsorflowerstudio.co.uk
Copyright Wed magazine 2018