Me & My Wedding: A Sunny Day In Salcombe
Me & My Wedding: A Sunny Day In Salcombe

Me & My Wedding: A Sunny Day In Salcombe

From the proposal to the cake, the flowers to the dress, we love hearing what goes into making someone's big day their own. If you're after some inspiration, look no further – we’re shining a spotlight on some of the most stylish weddings out there. For interior designer Joey and husband Matt, celebrating in this pretty coastal town was full of emotion and meaning…

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The Engagement

Matt and I never had a proper conversation about marriage in the run up to our engagement, but I think we both knew we wanted to get married. We’d been together about five years and living together for two before he popped the question in October 2020. We went on a walking holiday to the Lake District – which holds a lot of meaning for both of us – and decided to climb Helvellyn. The weather closed in somewhat, so the hike was fairly treacherous, but we made it to the summit. That’s where Matt asked me to be his wife.

The Ring

There’s a jeweller in Thame called Biagio and both of our families have bought a lot of pieces there in the past. Before the proposal, Matt reached out to Biagio and asked if they would make my engagement ring. He knew I’d want to be involved, however – I love creative things like that – so he proposed with a borrowed ring and we later went to pick the diamond and design the setting together. I knew I wanted a gold band with an oval diamond and pavé diamonds scattered down the side of it. Our wedding bands came from the same place.

The Planning

Before I was an interior designer, I was an event planner and even planned a couple of weddings. It meant I knew which things needed locking in straight away and which ones could be left until later. Because the pandemic was raging, we picked a date in 2022 – we weren’t sure it would happen in 2021, plus there was a huge bottleneck in availability. In the end, I loved having a long engagement. It gave us plenty of time to think everything through.

The Venue

We always knew we would get married in Salcombe. We’ve spent many happy family holidays down there and now my dad lives there full time, so it really feels like home. We decided to hold the ceremony at the local church – there’s only one, Holy Trinity, in Salcombe – and chose Cliff House for our reception. It does offer packages, but we decided to go down the dry hire route, bringing in everything ourselves, from the caterer to the chairs to the cutlery.

The Décor 

We brought our tables, chairs – we hired a lot from Virginia’s Vintage Hire – and other bits and pieces down from London in our own van. The table linens came from Jones and Just 4 Linen, and I must have ordered a million fabric samples to make sure everything worked with the room. I then hired a stylist – Annie Fern – to set it all up on the day. She was amazing.

The Flowers

We used The Good Florist – Roberta Emmott was amazing. She’s a Devon local and I was pretty picky but her modern and free style was exactly what I was looking for. I think we’re pretty spoiled in London with the quality of suppliers, but she just proves you can get exactly the same results by using someone local. She’d also done a wedding in Salcombe before, which helped, and she grew all of our flowers from seed, either herself or by using local growers. All the colours were reflective of the estuary, which was our main inspiration. 

The Dress

I’d always wanted a Halfpenny London dress – I never went anywhere else – and I’d seen someone else wearing the same headdress from Jess Collett on Instagram years earlier. It’s actually incredibly lightweight – it’s made of leather, not metal. I’m a big fan of dressing up and, most of all, I wanted my wedding look to reflect my personality properly. My veil also came from Halfpenny, and I had a second dress from Rixo for the evening, which I wore with white Nike Air Max after taking off my Aquazzura shoes. Matt wore a morning suit, as did his groomsmen, and his waistcoat had mother-of-pearl buttons on to reflect the seaside setting.

Hair & Make-Up

Laura Le Page did my make-up. I wanted my usual look, only done in a more refined and professional way. I actually struggled to find a hairstylist until a couple of months before the wedding, but we ended up going to Amanda Marsden in Kingsbridge for a trial, then on the day itself they brought eight stylists to do everyone’s hair. They were such a slick team.

The Bridesmaids

I wanted all my bridesmaids to be happy with their dress, and it was also important it was something they could wear again. Two of them came from Self-Portrait, one came from Sandro and my sister’s came from Reformation. I took each one of them out shopping to find them, which felt like a nice way of including them in the planning process.

The Ceremony

We had a religious ceremony because Matt is half-Irish and his family take religion quite seriously. My family is also quite traditional, and because so many of our friends had had church weddings, it felt right for us too. I love the structure, the hymns – plus, our vicar is a real character and a real part of the community.

The Photographer

Benjamin Wheeler was almost the first person I booked. I’d worked with him in the past and loved his style – it’s the perfect blend between natural and editorial. A lot of people often mention our boat shot, which happened after the ceremony. That boat – Sally – is very important to our family, and it’s a bit of a tradition in Salcombe to go out on the water. It was a bit of an expedition – we had to hire a support RIB for Ben to ride in to get the shot!

The Food 

Both Matt and I are really into food. We hoped our wedding meal would be memorable and not the typical menu you often get lumbered with. Local caterers either didn’t have availability or just weren’t what we were looking for, so we reached out to a local chef called Jamie Rogers who owns Twenty Seven. We’d been to his supper clubs before and it was some of the best food I’d ever had. He only does a couple of weddings each year – just be warned that you won’t get the same level of attention with a restaurant as with an event caterer, so I had to manage that team quite closely. He designed a delicious menu for us: smoked burrata with pickled peach and candied pecans to start; beef wellington for the main; then a baked white chocolate, passionfruit and Salcombe Dairy ice cream for dessert.

The Drink

We had an open bar and opted to pay corkage. We bought our own wine and champagne from Majestic. We served the champagne on arrival, and hired a vintage trough full of chilled rosé and beer if people wanted alternatives. There was also a manned bar for the day. My dad and stepmother are big wine buffs, so they looked after that. I wasn’t too fussed about the specific brands or vintages – I’m not sure any guest leaves a wedding saying how good the champagne was.

The Entertainment

We didn’t hire a band – we just set up some speakers on the balcony and made sure we had great playlists ready to go. Later on, our friends DJ’d for us, which was really fun. We hired a lot of the accessories from a local Navy supplier to turn the venue into more of a fun dancefloor. We also hired a lot more lighting and disco balls. The venue had to be cleared at midnight, but we’d rented an Airbnb nearby for an after party. Matt and I didn’t go (we wanted to be fresh for our Sunday party) but our friends kept things going until 5am.

The Day Before & After

The night before the wedding we had our rehearsal, then we went to a local pub to toast the start of the weekend. I admit, though, I was in bed by 9pm! On the Sunday, we hired a boathouse on the other side of the estuary called Port Waterhouse. They have a resident food truck and they took care of all the wine, but we brought over a lot of our flowers and décor from the day before. It was just a great party – our friends DJ’d again and all our guests caught the ferry to get over there.

Advice For Other Couples

Don’t be scared of planning everything yourself. It’s not only professional wedding planners who can call up suppliers and ask questions. A good example is my headdress – it wasn't clear whether Jess lent her pieces out, but when I picked up the phone and asked, she told me she did. It wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been bold enough to ask in the first place. I didn’t have any trade accounts or special connections – I just put the research in and cold called everyone. I also brought in a wedding co-ordinator to ensure things ran smoothly on the day. It made the world of difference – I’d really recommend setting aside a bit of budget for this.

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