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  • Phoebe@ElisabethShell

A Dreamy Cornish Clifftop Wedding in a Castle by the Sea

I had always wanted to get married in a castle by the sea, and Dan’s only stipulation was said castle must be in Cornwall and be close enough to the beach for him to have a swim!

Polhawn Fort was perfect – we married in the summer house and partied in the fort! We completely won the weather lottery - not a cloud in the bright blue sky on the warmest day in June.

I wore a beautiful blush, dreamy silk and tulle dress called Freya by Catherine Deane. It had delicate opal beading like spider webs over the corset and made me feel like a fairy princess. There’s a fantastic boutique in Crediton called The Ivory Secret where I found my dress at their trunk show.

My flower crown was made by an amazingly creative cool cat! Holly Young let me come and pick all my silk flowers and together we designed a fabulous, huge crown to wear that I can keep forever.

My make up was done by the wonderful Amy Elizabeth. She was such a lovely, calming influence in the morning and made me feel and my sister completely beautiful. My hair was styled by Kyrelle at Devon Wedding Hair – she’s so great at what she does and such a lush person to hang out with. My maid of honour wore Coast, and I let my bridesmaids pick their own dresses in our chosen palette – all were bought from ASOS.

My bouquet was made from paper – made by an insanely talented woman called Rebecca Ephgrave at PaperBouquets. It was decorated with all my favourite kitsch things – unicorns, pineapples, flamingos and ice cream! So much fun! I couldn’t believe how she translated what was in my head into real life! I'm an avid reader so I had flowers made from fairy tales and Dan's a musician so I had sheet music flowers too.

Our flowers were done by the Fort’s very own Ruth who took my brief and completely nailed everything we were after. The summer house looked spectacular and was such a gorgeous space to get married in. Our flowers were a brightly coloured mish-mash of wild flowers with gorgeous billowy peonies and sunflowers – my favourite.

During our ceremony and reception we had the very lovely 4tissimo string quartet play our music; I walked down the aisle to Sam Cooke's 'You Send Me', and our ceremony ended with our confetti run to Led Zeppelin's 'A Whole Lotta Love!'

When it came to the décor, we wanted the venue to be bright, colourful and joyous, filled with all things we love! We had pineapples with little flamingos poking out of them surrounded by candles sat on records for our centrepieces – fun, fabulous and a little bonkers! Our table plan was a line of spinning records. We drank Orangina for weeks to collect the bottles for our table flowers! We had surfboard signs and guitars dotted around all hand customised to create a completely unique look.

We didn’t have one wedding cake… we had about 60 mini cakes! (Not to be confused with cupcakes… these were actual mini cakes!) We genuinely couldn’t decide what flavour to have from the superb Jen at Edible Essence. Her cakes are to die for. So we went for them all! It looked gorgeous on the day and the whole experience with her is amazing!

We both LOVE food. The caterer was always going to be the next biggest expense after the venue and we really wanted to blow people away. Look no further than Richard McGeown. He’s not only one of the nicest chefs out there, but also one of the best – he absolutely astounded our guests with the delicious food he cooked for us. We had gorgeous canapés out on the lawn with bubbles, and then an incredible two course wedding breakfast. He also provided our evening food; when in Cornwall? A pasty or two of course!

We ate our wedding cake for dessert, and served ice cream from an ice cream tricycle on the lawn after the Wedding Breakfast... mmmm!

Christian Michael was our photographer – and I couldn’t recommend him highly enough. His images are perfect - he's a documentary style photographer - he just snaps away and really captures the feelings of the day. It's so funny how I have a cheshire cat grin in them all! And he is just the nicest chap to hang out with :)

We partied all day! In the evening we had an incredible band that we found after crawling down a rabbit hole at a festival! We didn’t even know whether or not we could book them (and had been quite merry at the time and so forgotten their name!) but with some sleuthing we found them again, and asked if they might possibly be up for it… and they said yes! They were so lovely, so professional and every single person kept saying how amazing they were. Not a traditional wedding band, just proper awesome music to get those feet dancing! They’re called Ivy Drip & the Lidettes and they made our evening!

Favourite part of the day

Apart from staring into each other’s eyes promising to love each other forever (it really does take your breath away), it has to be the flash mob of ‘Can’t take my eyes off you’ which my family had prepared as a surprise. It was one of the best moments of my life; we’d planned the day down to a tee and the one thing we didn’t just made me the happiest ever watching everyone sing and join in – there was a fortress of kazoo’s! We now have a theme song!

From one bride to another…

Don’t stress! It’ll all come together in the end. The people you employ to do their jobs do just that – their jobs. And they nail it. Let them shine and don’t fret. You should let yourself plan up to a point, then press play – enjoy it for everything it is, and whatever happens, laugh!

We had our perfect, fairytale wedding. I don’t think we’ve stopped smiling and laughing about it since… Thank you everyone who made it, quite simply, the best day of our lives!


Planner & Stylist Elisabeth Shell Events

Decor & Prop Hire Elisabeth Shell Events

Venue and Flowers Polhawn Fort

Dress Designer Catherine Deane

Bridal Boutique The Ivory Secret

Flower Crown Holly Young

Bridesmaids Coast and ASOS

Stationery Papier

Catering Richard McGeown

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