Wedding at Porth-en Alls, Cornwall
"James really pulled out the stops to sweep me off my feet," says Katie of the series of show-stopping dates - including champagne overlooking London's city heights and dinner at The Ritz in Paris - which saw romance blossom between the pair.
James popped the question in similarly swoonsome style as the sun set on Christmas Eve on Katie's favourite beach in Playa Negra, Costa Rica. Thus, the bar was set tantalisingly high for their wedding, which Katie dreamed would be an equally beautiful outdoor affair.
"We spent months hunting for the perfect venue as I really wanted to get married outside," says Katie. "I was thrilled to discover Prussia Cove as the gorgeous walled garden provides the perfect space for guests to sit, and meant my dream vision of being wed under a floral arch could become a reality!"
Exclusively hiring all the cottages along the coast for an entire week for family and friends to enjoy an adventure holiday, the pair kept the venue a secret right up until a few days before the wedding. "We organised various activities throughout that time including a welcome drinks party, a catered Sunday roast and a show at the Minack Theatre," reveals Katie.
With no strict theme, the pair simply picked things they liked "and what felt true to our tastes, personalities and our life" while focusing on local suppliers, seasonality and sustainability. "I think a wedding should be a reflection of your true selves rather than a day spent playing make-believe or dressing up," she says.
Having spent the run-up to the wedding collecting pieces from antique fairs and car boot sales, Katie and James decorated the venue with a selection of vintage crockery, fabrics, vases, vintage tablecloths and watering cans as well as hand-painted signs, ink-stamped wooden crockery, recycled paper napkins and hand-stitched bunting. The couple even planted wild flowers around the walled garden and marquee, which echoed the floral arrangements of wild flowers and dahlias.
Katie's bespoke dress was crafted from French lace and embellished with leaves and floral detail to echo the couple's love of the outdoors; what's more, the design allowed the lace sleeves to be switched to capped sleeves for the evening. "Having something made which was personal to me was one of my favourite parts of planning the wedding, as the weeks went by and I saw my dream dress slowly come to life," she comments.
The sweetly personal ceremony, which began with the couple's dogs walking down the aisle, featured a personalised vocal performance of 'Better Together', poetry readings and a traditional hand binding ceremony. Guests then basked in the sunshine and played garden games such as a coconut shy, vintage strongman and ball-in-hole.
A relaxed picnic spoiled guests to Cornish lamb on a spit, seasonal salads and rhubarb desserts. James's mum made the wedding cake: a glorious pink velvet ombre creation with cream cheese frosting.
Creating an enchanting evening ambience, guests snuggled under blankets amidst candlelight and mini bonfires to watch the sun slip behind the Atlantic. Katie and James's fun first dance routine to 'Sweet Disposition' by The Temper Trap set the tone for the party, which saw a fancy dress photo booth, seasonal cocktails and local band The Gumbo Flyers ensure their wedding day drew to a spectacular close.
Photography Kirstin Prisk www.kirstinprisk.co.uk
Venue Porth-en Alls, Prussia Cove www.prussiacove.co.uk
Catering Pencoose Pantry www.pencoosepantry.co.uk
Dress Charlotte Wilden www.wildenbridelondon.com
Bridesmaid dresses ASOS www.asos.com
Groom's outfit Paul Smith www.paulsmith.co.uk
Flowers Flowers by Clowance www.flowersbyclowance.co.uk
Entertainment Death by Skiffle www.facebook.com/pages/Death-by-Skiffle/113232048759774
The Gumbo Flyers www.gumboflyers.com
All items bought, made and collected are now available from Fox Vintage www.foxvintage.com
Copyright Wed magazine 2014
See the full real weddings archive