Beside the seaside: the wedding of Lucie and Dan Cockerton in Bournemouth
25 Jul 2016
Festival and vintage-inspired elements offered perfectly personal finishing touches to this seaside wedding, which was all about 'love, fun and celebrations'
How did you meet?
We met at Glastonbury Festival. I went with my best friend friend, Anna, and after a long walk with all our festival and camping equipment (a lot!) we found a great spot to set up base. We had just sat back and opened a bottle of prosecco to toast our achievement, when we heard: "There’s a nice looking area here"! Four tired boys appeared and asked if they could set their tents up in the small area we were saving as our ‘back garden’. We watched in amusement as they determindely squeezed all their tents in. Looking tired after an equally long morning with still another trip back to their cars to pick up the rest of their stuff, we offered them a beer each, straight out of our ice cold cooler box, and an instant friendship was born. We all spent the rest of the festival together. The rest is history!
Tell us about the proposal.
At home one morning in bed I was fast alseep and he woke me up telling me how much he loved me. I opened one eye to tell him the same, when I see a sparkly ring and suddenly he was down on one knee at the side of the bed. I've never jumped up and out of bed so quickly!
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
We wanted to have a relaxed informal feel to the day and more about love, fun and celebrations than the more formal traditions. Our theme, I guess, could be described as a little bit of vintage/Edwardian (in keeping with the hotel) and with a little bit of Glastonbury, as that is where we met. The venue was by the sea and my favourite colour is very pale Tiffany blue, so it was perfect as a colour theme for a seaside location. This was complemented with pale pastel pink in our flowers.
When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?
I was like a rabbit in headlights! I really didn’t have a vision of what I wanted or liked. I had the added complication of timeframes as we were planning everything in only a couple of months - as we were moving abroad three months after the wedding. So I focused my attention on dresses that were available off the peg. On my first day shopping with my mum, we had talked about different styles so we had a bit of a plan going into the bridal shops and I remember saying that I thought I wanted something simple, fitted and not too much detail (completely the opposite to what I ended up choosing).
The day I found my dress I started looking though the dresses that were available off the peg when the owner of the shop suggested I look at her other gowns. I didn’t even want to look for fear of disappointment that I would fall in love with one and it wouldn’t be possible to order in time for our day. Then she explained they could do an express service on any of her dresses and that anything was possible. I think a dress had already caught my mum's eye earlier in the shop as she headed straight for one and said: "Try this". It was a beautiful Benjamin Roberts design and everything I was looking for. A fitted drop waist bodice (I knew Dan would like something fitted) sweetheart neckline with subtle pearl/white floral beaded detail, which twinkled in the light as I twirled, and a full tulle ballgown skirt which felt really soft, elegant and romantic. The ultimate fairytale dress and I felt absolutely amazing, but still me. I was in disbelief that I had found the dress and that they could make and order it in time. I surprised myself in my choice of dress, as it was completely the opposite to what I had in mind but then I thought... you only have one day to where a dress like this!
My dress was completed with a finger tip length veil, which was complemented by my Jenny Packham hairband which was my 'something borrowed' from a friend.
Where did you find your suits?
Dan’s suit was from Reiss and he chose a bright blue fitted one with a waistcoat and looked amazingly handsome. He loved their customer service and the time they spent with him choosing the right suit and doing alterations to making him feel amazing for the day. In keeping with the laid back feel, I didn't want everything being uniform, so we asked the ushers and best men to wear their own suits for the day and for them to feel comfortable.
Tell us about your floral arrangements.
I chose our local high street florist, Hayley, at the Little Flower Shop to make all our floral arrangements. We had previous connections with Hayley from sadder occasions, but her care, compassion and attention to detail in what she created was amazing. Our wedding did not dissapoint and her passion and love of what she does really shone through. She really listened to what I liked and nothing was out of reach or too much trouble.
My bouquet was made of roses in cream, pastel pinks and gypsophila and the bridesmaid bouquets were simple cream roses in hand posies. I had my heart set on birdcages as our centrepieces, which would hold a cream church candle decorated with flowers. I found the birdcages online and Hayley decorated them beatifully with cream, pink roses and gypsophila to match my bouquet and trailed ivy around the outside. They were absolutely beautiful and complemented our vision perfectly - she really hit the note. My mum, nan, mother-in-law and other guests took them home and they lasted for days after.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.
We wanted to make the day personal to us and we made most of the decorations ourselves and felt a real sense of achievement. We also wanted people to feel part of the day itself from being a guest, but also contributing in different ways.
Wooden ladder decoration: I loved this idea from my search on the internet. We had builders doing some repair work at our flat in the lead up to the wedding. I managed to persuade them to lend us their, dirty, rusty wooden ladder that I sanded down and painted white. When they saw it, they laughed and said that once I gave it back they would be the prettiest builders around. I decorated the ladder with small floral wooden LOVE letters and flower arrangments on alternate steps.
Wooden LOVE letters and D & L letters: We loved the idea of these large wooden LOVE letter lights bringing some festival glamour to our venue, but we found it quite difficult to find a local hire without breaking the bank. Dan’s friend is a carpenter and he agreed to make them for us. They were absolutely amazing, a whopping 5ft high and really transformed and personalised our venue. We also found large wooden picture frame blocks with LED lights inside one, which lit up to read: 'All you need is love', 'Love is all you need', 'Live like heaven is on earth', 'Love like you have never been hurt', and 'Laugh like no one is listening', which were placed around the venue.
Candlelights - I managed to find little glass jars for tea lights online on Preloved and I bought ribbon from eBay to decorate, which went on our tables and all around the venue, again to bring in the festival feel. Each one had a paper heart with different 'love' sayings on it.
Aisle decorations: We lined the aisle with vintage, old sweet jars which I found on the Preloved website. I bought hessian burlap ribbon with lace to go around the centre, and Tiffany blue and cream ribbon from eBay to tie around each jar. I then filled them with gypsophila and roses (bought from Lidl). My mum and I put together arrangements the day before the wedding.
The table plan was also inspired from vintage/festival ideas and was made from vintage paper I found in a charity bin and a simple wooden picture frame. Each piece of card was backed on to hessian ribbon and then clipped onto hessian string with wooden heart shaped pegs which I found on eBay. Our table names were named after each area at Glastonbury.
Wedding favours: We had paper bird cages for wedding favours filled with sugared almonds - a little traditional touch from my mum, who patiently put together all 100! Along with miniature bottles of vodka, rum and Jagermeister which was Dan's idea to kick start the evening of dancing and to toast with at the speeches.
My cousin is extremely talented and he sang an acoustic version of John Legend's 'All of Me' on his guitar whilst we signed the register. Dan’s close friend, Jimmy, agreed to do a one hour set during the evening reception where he played his guitar and sang and had all our friends and family up dancing. It was fantastic and meant a lot that both of them agreed to be such big parts of our day.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
I remember feeling completely overwhelmed and happy to see so many of our friends and family coming together to be with us on our day. I chose 'A Thousand Years' by Christina Perri to walk down the aisle to as it's such a stunning, romantic song with beautiful meaning. I remember singing the words as I walked and felt unbelivably happy, excited and the luckiest girl to be marrying my best friend and soulmate (sounds cheesy, but true!).
What was your most memorable moment?
I have two! The journey in the wedding car from our house with my dad was an incredibly special moment where time just stopped. To have that moment with just the two of us, where he told me how proud he was and how much he loved me, was one I will never forget and brings a tear to my eye as I remember it. With all the craziness of the day, it was nice to have these moments together and is a precious memory I feel luck to have and will cherish.
My second is seeing Dan at the end of the aisle, as I turned and walked down I will never forget the look he gave me. Neither him nor my dad could get their words out to each other at the end of the aisle, as emotion got the better of them both. They just gave each other a big man hug; a very touching moment... so really, that's three!
What was the most important investment for you?
Originally we planned to have small ceremony with just a handful of close friends and family. When we both talked about our friends we realised how important it was for all of them to be there with us. This was even more important as we were planning to move abroad a few months after the wedding, so we wanted to have all of our friends and family with us for a celebration of our wedding and leaving party all in one go. That was the most important factor for us. We were lucky the Miramar Hotel were able to accommodate everything we wanted within our budget. We also continued the celebrations at a bar within walking distance from the hotel, where we partied until the early hours with all of our friends and family.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
Ellie Goulding, 'How Long Will I Love You'. We watched her at Glastonbury the year after we met.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
One of my dear friends, Bev, sadly couldn’t make our big day. Her contribution and present to us was making a wonderful Jamaican rum fruit cake, iced with white icing and decorated with pink ribbon, lace and flowers. Three tiers of deliciousness. We were really touched that she did this for us and again gave even more meaning to our wedding to have these thoughtful personal touches.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
The only thing I wish I had was a photo with just me and my mum. You forget that you have photos with your dad, family group and friends but one with me and my mum would have been one that I didn't think about before.
Was there anything you wish you’d known before?
I really can't think of anything. The one piece of advice Dan was given by his friend, which sounds silly but is so true, is make sure you actually spend time together on your wedding day. It sounds crazy, but there are so many people you want to see and who want to chat to you that it's easy to get caught up and not spend time with each other.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
Las Vegas! Simply amazing.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Enjoy every minute. Make lists, go with your heart and anything is possible, even on a tight time-scale and budget you can have everything you dreamed of, with a little bit of imagination and home DIY skills.
Get their look:
Photography: WistfulTwo Photography, www.wistfultwophotography.com
Venue: Miramar Hotel, http://miramar-bournemouth.com/
Wedding Decor: Preloved, www.preloved.co.uk and The range www.therange.co.uk
Dress: Perfection Bromley, www.perfectionbromley.com
Cars: Superwed Bridal Cars, www.superwed.co.uk
Flowers: The Little Flower Shop
Stationery: Optimal Print, www.optimalprint.co.uk