Good morning everyone! I hope you all survived the artic temperatures and snow this weekend as the country pretty much came to a gigantic halt – aren’t snow days fun? Hopefully you were lucky enough to have a couple of unexpected days off work and put them to good use; perhaps you got ahead with your wedding planning? Back to reality today, and to celebrate, we have this gorgeous Devonshire Farm wedding set in one of my most favourite places in the world – Croyde! Just like the bride, I was lucky enough to grow up close by to this adorable beach village and I actually got engaged on the Croyde cliffs overlooking the sea. Helen knew she wanted a relaxed, outdoor wedding where she grew up, and with such beautiful beaches nearby, family and friends-run venue Combas Farm became the perfect setting. Handmade and chilled, not too fussy, romantic or cliché with an elegant autumnal feel pretty much describes the theme of this wedding. But the big showstopper of Helen and Mark’s celebration are the domes; hand built and lovingly made timber framed domes from Baya allowed the couple to tailor specifically to their needs with designs unlike any other. They are so cool and make such an unusual and dramatic alternative to traditional marquees!
Captured by the wonderfully talented photographer Emma Vincent, here’s Helen to tell you all about her dome wedding….
We hate hearts, lace or pink. We wanted to include some autumnal colours and some unusual flowers. We didn’t want anything that would date too quickly and love earthy colours such as green and copper.
Ferry Crossing Proposal
We’d spent 8 months cycling from Panama to Canada. It had been an incredible yet difficult trip, a real test of our relationship. By the end we were a really strong team. As we were crossing our final border on the ferry from the United States to Canada Mark proposed. We were even lucky to see Orcas.
Bespoke Locally-Made Dress
I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a dress and wanted something fairly simple. I took inspiration from some Pinterest photos and designers and asked local dress maker Laura Davey to make it. She was fantastic! She said she’d never made such a simple dress.
I matched my ASOS shoes with the gold sequin theme of the party dome. My make-up was done by the very talented Anna R-J. I’m not a girlie girl, so she made me comfortable with the process and was able to give me a beautiful look without much direction. I couldn’t recommend her enough. I had some flowers from the florist for my hair. I was a bit disappointed with the result and wish I’d spent time making a half flower crown and getting my hair right.
A Farm Venue
We had our wedding at Combas Farm in Devon and used Baya to hire their fantastic domes. We’d seen the domes advertised and didn’t want to use a traditional marquee. The domes were beautiful enough that we didn’t need to spend a fortune decorating them. The farm is run by family friends who are always warm and accommodating. We had camping as part of the venue hire.
Two Wedding Domes
It was all very handmade! We had 2 very different styles in each dome. Mark’s mum Jackie made miles of amazing bunting in autumnal tones which we used in the dome where we had our meal. We matched these with green, clear and brown bottles with sprays of flowers. We had a rustic feel with cut wood on the table, rough wood table names and rosemary and feathers for place setting decorations.
In the second dome (which we used as a dancing/drinking area) we went for a more glitzy theme. We had fabric garlands with a mixture of materials including gold sequins and big gold balloons saying “Party time” We made 3 matching fabric garland hanging decorations and gold bunting to top it all off! Hopefully it all worked together.
We got married a few days before at the registry office but held a non legal ceremony in the dome. Our best friend Chloe “married us” and completed a hand-fasting ceremony in the dome. We wanted to be outside but the weather didn’t permit! I walked down the aisle with my dad to Aphex Twin, Avril 14th. (A lot more chilled out than his other stuff!). Mark’s sister read a beautiful poem she’d written about us that made everyone cry.
Quirky Flowers and Dark Chocolate Fig Cake
We used Roots which is my favourite florist in Bristol! They are really quirky and you never really know what you’re going to get. I sent a few pictures of what I liked, the colour scheme and a list of flowers for reference. I was really surprised by the selection on the day as they were so unusual! They were beautiful, autumnal and matched the theme so well. They even put blackberries in my bouquet which I assumed was in case I needed a snack. Roots are an amazing choice to go for if you want classic elegance and want to have something completely unique.
Our friend Bo made the cake. It was incredible! It was dark chocolate and fig with a mascarpone icing. It tasted as beautiful as it looked.
My friend had found Emma Vincent on Facebook and she was looking for a couple to photograph as part of her portfolio. She gave us an amazing deal and of course we jumped on it. It was really late notice but she was amazing; coming up early in the morning to photograph us getting ready and there late into the evening. We’re really uncomfortable being photographed but she put us both at ease and managed to get our sprawling family organised for some shots. She really captured the special moments and we were really happy with the results.
Dancing and Hangover Kits
We had a brilliant band called the Stomping Boondocks who did a traditional Ceilidh which had everyone dancing for hours then moved on to a band set. Everyone loved them and I’ve had several requests for details after the event.
We wanted our wedding favours to be practical, so provided all the guests with “Hangover kits” which included paracetamol and earplugs for the evening’s sleep.
BBQ and ‘BYO’ dessert!
We used a local caterer who has several restaurants in Bristol. Biblos are a great middle eastern food company. Our main criteria was LOTS OF FOOD without it mainly being beige. They did an brilliant spread for a really reasonable price which included a mezze and a BBQ. Everyone commented on how incredible the food was and I think they turned a few veggies. They gave a great variety of sides like orange and fennel salad and Caribbean slaw. We asked the guest to bring a dessert which was brilliant! Everyone loved it and we had a huge variety for the pudding buffet.
We had “Praise You” by Fat Boy Slim. We love the lyrics and we have found memories dancing to the song with our friends at previous events. We didn’t want anything too serious either and knew it would get everyone up dancing!
As soon as the chorus kicked in for our first dance everyone rushed the dancefloor, danced like crazy people and got us crowd surfing! It was raucous and amazing.
Don’t worry too much about the finer details.. People don’t care about favours for example. They just want to eat nice food, drink wine and have fun. Make sure you get a great band to get everyone dancing.