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real life love Ideas for every

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Trends for 2013 • Beauty Tips • Unique Venues • Photography Love Weddings ND Cover2.indd 1

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Welcome Getting hitched is finally back in fashion! After a forty-year slump we’ve fallen in love with weddings again and couples from all over the UK are heading to North Devon for a day of bucolic bliss. Advertising Manager: Dale Sawyer Editor: Eleanor Joslin Project Coordinator: Fiona Clarke Design: Cornwall & Devon Creative Hub ee


real life love Ideas for every

style and budget


well groomed from 007 to

ssociation wit

Inside Love Weddings 2013 we’ve got top trends from gent’s tailors and bridal boutiques, expert beauty tips and invaluable advice from couples who have already walked down the aisle. I’ve been all over North Devon chatting to newlyweds who have incredibly inspiring stories to share with you. You’ll soon find out how a couple got hitched in Croyde for just £2,500; how another Mr and Mrs made their day a musical extravaganza; and a groom from Barnstaple reveals his secrets to a stress-free wedding. Luckily, we live in an area that’s brimming with possibilities and ideas and quirk so it’s easy to have the wedding of your dreams here.

country gents

That Rock a in

It’s easy to see why our beautiful county is the wedding capital of England. Populating our marital metropolis is a host of talented photographers, florists, jewellers and beauticians all doing their best to make your big day truly special.


Have fun planning it!


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On the Cover

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Table Decorations: Dream Makers, 07779 149656 Location: The Pier House,

Eleanor Joslin, editor

01237 477777 Hair and Make-up: Colorseum, 01237 471583 Photography: Indigo Perspective Photography, 01237 439089 Dress: Always & Forever 01237 479176

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Contents The trend


Last year’s spring/summer bridal trends showcased a rainbow of colours deviating from the norm of virginal white and elegant ivory. The catwalk paraded bolder choices, from delicate pastels to mournfully sexy Gothic brides. This paved the way for Oscar de la Renta’s crimson crushed velvet creation for spring 2013, and for ruby reds, burgundy and vermillion to splash a whole lot of passion into bridal fashion.


Why wear it


Wearing a colourful wedding dress isn’t about confidence, it’s about looking good. White and ivory doesn’t suit everyone and can drain pale complexions and highlight blotchy skin. Not only

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Knee-length dresses are sweeping the floor

6 Lovely in Lace 7 Fairytale Frocks 8 Cool in Colour 9 Short and Sweet 10 Vintage Glamour 12-14 Well Groomed Men 16 Shoes 18 Hair 19 Accessories


20 Beautiful Brides 22 Last Minute Lithe

Real life love

25-27 The Fairytale Wedding 30 A Day to Remember 32-33 Gossip from the Groom 34-35 Married on a Shoestring 53-55 The Quirky Couple



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38-39 Home or Away? 41 Beauty and the Beach


28-29 Wedding Planner 44-45 Treats for the Table 47 Too Good to Eat 48 Pick of the Bunch 51 Let Me Entertain You 56-57 Arrive in Style 59 A Model Bride 60-63 Photographers’ Gallery

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Bridal trends

Lacy Kate

Lace has always been a staple in bridal fashion, effortlessly creating ultra feminine, virginal and romantic dresses. There’s no denying that Kate Middleton thrust lace well and truly into the limelight in 2011 but it is now showing up in less traditional ways. “Lace is very popular because of the royal wedding and we are finding that most of our dresses have lace on them somewhere,” says Heidi Poole from The Little Dress Shop in Northam.

How to wear it

Like the Fairytale Princess look, opposite, focus on elegance with full length hemlines, long trains and covered arms. Modest necklines of the 1940s are also becoming fashionable and little sleeves, collars and cardigans in lace look light and delicate. The sexy side of lace is strutting its stuff on the catwalk with open portrait backs and deep V-necklines. Sheer lace on a gowns cap sleeves and floor length skirts layered with soft chiffon, organza and tulle evokes vintage and romance.

floor length skirts layered with soft chiffon, organza and tulle evokes vintage and romance Look out for

Beaded lace was especially popular last year and is everywhere in 2013 – from veil trims to full skirts. Embellished with beads, crystals and sequins, these lace adornments create a slightly antique look – like a collector’s item to be cherished for many years to come. Images: Indigo Perspective Photography, The Wedding Collection

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Fairytale Frocks Many little girls dream of looking like a fairytale princess when they marry their Prince Charming. And for today’s 21st century princesses there are many more styles than a puff-ball meringue to choose from. “An important trend for 2013 is utterly feminine, light as air organza gowns with cascading tiers, illusion necklines, bows and beading,” says Katrina Simpson from The Wedding Collection in Barnstaple. “If your dream is to have a fairytale wedding gown then this style is for you.”

Fairy Godmother

Vera Wang’s acclaimed White collection is clean, elegant and beautiful and captures the essence of the perfect princess. Take inspiration from the Fairy Godmother of couture by looking for a strapless dress with a sweetheart neckline, simple and figurehugging bodice and full bodied organza skirt with ruffles at the base. This will recreate the look for less by forming an elegant and contemporary silhouette.

A Royal Princess

The Duchess of Cambridge inspired a huge trend for sleeves and demure necklines when she married Prince William. This year fairytale gowns continue to favour timeless elegance with less flesh and more class on show. Nonetheless, Kate’s dress wasn’t frumpy, with a plunging neckline and cinched waistline emphasising her femininity and her toned figure.

Images: The Wedding Collection

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Bridal trends

look cool in

The trend Last year’s spring/summer bridal trends showcased a rainbow of colours deviating from the norm of virginal white and elegant ivory. The catwalk paraded bolder choices, from delicate pastels to mournfully sexy Gothic brides. This paved the way for Oscar de la Renta’s crimson crushed velvet creations for spring 2013, and for ruby reds, burgundy and vermillion to splash a whole lot of passion into bridal fashion.

Why wear it Wearing a colourful wedding dress isn’t about confidence, it’s about looking good. White and ivory doesn’t suit everyone and can drain pale complexions and highlight blotchy skin. Not only can colour be flattering to your natural skin tone but it can boost your confidence too.

ruby red ds, burgundy and vermillion n splash a whole lott of passion How to wear it Johanne Legge from West Country Wedding Boutique in Barnstaple has noticed an increase in demand for red and burgundy dresses. “They shout romance,” she says. “Once you’ve tried a stunning red dress you’ll feel really special and truly scrumptious. “I think older brides in North Devon don’t want to wear white so much anymore. Bright colours are great if you’re getting married a second time round or renewing your vows as the day doesn’t have to be so traditional.”

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Images: West Country Wedding Boutique The Little Dress Shop


Sweet Short

Knee-length dresses are sweeping the floor While flashing your thigh is certainly a no-no on your big day, knee-length gowns are proving to be very popular this season, explains Bethany Armitage, fashion editor at Axonn Media. For me, this is a practical choice as well as a fashion statement - nothing restricts your ability to throw shapes on the dance floor quite like a three-foot train!

Tea dresses

This vintage look features a hemline anywhere from knee length to mid calf and tends to boast oversized buttons and cute capped sleeves. It looks stunning as part of an English country garden theme, accessorised with traditional bouquets of daisies, anemones and peonies

Beach boho

Choosing a shorter dress for a coastal wedding in North Devon is a logical decision, giving you more movement during your photo shoot on sandy beaches and dunes. To complement your laidback location a loosefitting design is a must, using floaty organza or luxurious silk tulle material. Length is less of an issue here, so don’t worry if your skirt doesn’t quite hit the knee.


Mullets continue to be a huge trend this year and is the ultimate two-in-one dress. You’ve got all the elegance of a longer, sophisticated gown at the back while the front is shorter, showing off your pins as you make your grand entrance. Want to read more from Bethany? Go to page 18 for her top tips on bridal hair.

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Bridal trends

Vintage Glamour The trend

Vintage is well established in bridal wear but this year it returns to the 1920s, favouring looser gowns and simple cuts embellished with lace and beading and accompanied with jewelled accessories. Far from looking old-fashioned, vintage circa 1920 evokes classic elegance, effortless femininity and the allure of affluence.

How to wear it

One-shoulder or strapless wedding gowns with layers of tulle, rich crystal decorations and ornate jewelled belts recreate the look with an art deco twist. Due to the simple lines and loose flowing fabrics, vintage dresses can be teamed with stunning lace beaded veils, jewelled headpieces, fans and even delicate lace gloves. This look is perfect for weddings in North Devon, especially with a romantic stately home or coastal venue as a backdrop.

vintage circa 1920 evokes classic elegance, effortless femininity and the allure of affluence Real life love

When Annie Delaney spotted a full length oysterpink dress on the high street she fell in love with it straight away. “I was so happy with it, it was perfect,” she says. “It was very simple but I bought matching pearls and wore red lipstick for a touch of post-war Hollywood Glamour. “The vintage shrug went really well with it too and kept me warm for a November wedding on Saunton Sands beach.”

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Images: Christian Michael, The Wedding Collection

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Men’s fashion




He’s probably left most of the organising, planning and general stressing to you but most grooms will know how they want to be suited and booted for their big day. Take a look at these popular styles for 2013: Silver Fox

Sophisticated and smooth, grey is the new black and is perfectly matched with pink, purple or pale blue accessories. Pink is hot for 2013, being the metrosexual colour of the modern century, oozing confidence, vitality and happiness – the perfect façade for nerve-racking nuptials!

Last year saw the return of the country gent, leaping from his steed, strutting across the manor lawn and sweeping his bride off of her feet. The nation’s continued obsession with all things rural, rustic and retro come together in the Country Gent look, with layers of rich browns and tactile textures. Dress in herringbone tweed, crumpled cotton shirts and soft leather accessories for a day of bucolic bliss in Devon’s rolling hills.

Samuel Daw & Co

The Country Gent

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Men’s fashion

Casual Tailoring

Gent’s outfitters and tailor Samuel Daw & Co is predicting a big year for the lounge suit. “This is a more relaxed look for a wedding and has become really popular,” says Lesley Gollop, who runs the hire department in Cross Street, Barnstaple. “It’s not dressed down but it is an easier and less formal look and you can team it with bright ties and socks.”

License to Thrill

Not only is James Bond supremely Cool Britannia but he’s a style icon that men want to be and women want to be with. • Steal the scene by opting for a fitted threepiece from your local tailor • Save some moneypennies with a light grey pinstriped two-piece and matching grey tie to emanate a more casual ‘day’ Bond • Make her sky fall with a classic Bond suit, dressed in a black tuxedo, bow tie and white pocket handkerchief

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HappyFeet Show me a girl that doesn’t love shoes, asks LW editor Eleanor Joslin. For me, the shoes are the most exciting piece of the bridal jigsaw and these are just a few styles that stand out from the crowd Colour clash

With brides being braver in their colour choices and opting for schemes that are more personal rather than traditional, choose shoes that you like and will wear again. If they look good who cares if they match?

Feel-good flats

This is the year of the boho bride. Understated, vintage glamour and comfort are stealing the limelight from towering heels, a fact that your feet will love. Choose from an array of fashionable bridal ballet slippers, lacy pumps and diamante-drenched sandals.


Yes, trainers really are an option! Designers have started to take us seriously when we complain about our blisters after (and during) a night out and there are now trainers designed purposefully for brides – perfect for a session on the dance floor. Converse trainers are a contemporary and cool alternative for page boys to wear. They can tie into the wedding’s colour scheme and the kids can be comfortable and enjoy themselves.

Wedding wellies

Go from one extreme to the other by swapping your killer heels for ivory wedding wellies. Not only is the Wellington boot now fashionable but it’s arguably the best footwear for a soggy wedding in North Devon. Tracey Richmond wore wellies during her photo shoot with husband Chris on Saunton Sands beach last August. “We had the wettest summer ever but I wasn’t going to let that ruin our wedding. It made sense to wear wellies and have fun with the puddles and soggy sand, which would have ruined my shoes.”

Images: Melandrew Photographic, Michael Wells Photography

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Face it

hair is important

Choosing the right hairstyle for your big day should be one of your top priorities, advises fashion expert Bethany Armitage. A big mistake many brides make is to pick an intricate do which looks impressive but completely ignores their face shape. Not only this, you have to factor in your veil as some styles can get in the way. It really is a science!

y Image: Indigo Perspective Photograph

Round face

A sleek up-do is the perfect choice if you have a round face, especially if it contains plenty of volume on top and less on the sides. Ask your hairdresser to try a quiff or ‘60s beehive during a consultation before the big day.

Heart-shaped face

Side partings can reduce the emphasis on your chin and help to highlight your cheekbones. A loose herringbone plait down one side or a low chignon bun are fashionable and make a statement.

Square face

Square-shaped faces are softened by waves and layers so a loose up-do with wavy tendrils on either side is a suitable style. Alternatively, why not wear your hair down and use heated rollers for a relaxed curl all over?

Oval face

This is probably the easiest face shape to style as it suits plenty of different looks. Just make sure you draw attention to your favourite facial features rather than hiding them under heavy bangs.

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Match A Perfect

A dress is nothing without the accessories. The finishing touches can create elegance, define the period, emphasise the details and protect you from the elements. Jewellery

With so much choice, jewellery can be a minefield. Vintage and tradition are the accessories of choice for this season, assures Katrina Simpson from The Wedding Collection in Barnstaple. Keep it simple with elegant droplet earrings, necklaces with pretty pearls and rhinestone clusters and crystal brooches.

Covering Up

North Devon can be blustery, especially along the coast, but 2013 has it all wrapped it. Cute cardigans, boleros and shawls will keep the chill off your arms – cover up in delicate lace, organza, tulle or chiffon in the spring and summer, and faux fur, satin or velvet in the winter.

Hair Pieces

Sidepieces worn at a jaunty angle continue to be very fashionable this year. A delicate comb with tulle, silk and Swarovski crystals creates a stunning, eye-catching sidepiece and will complement a lace dress perfectly.


“Long veils are also making a comeback, some of which are trimmed with lace to complement the wedding gown,” reveals Katrina. If you have a tulle skirt there’s a danger your veil could look dirty so a raw-edged veil (one with no trim) will suit a tulle dress the best. A bird cage veil brings to mind Ladies Day at Ascot and has become a hugely fashionable bridal accessory, framing the face and making a confident statement. A bird cage veil recreates quite a glamorous 1940s and 1950s look and supports the vintage trend really well.

Images: Melandrew Photographic, The Wedding Collection

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Style arriving in

Beautiful brides

Groom-to-be Matt Piper has jumped straight into the driving seat organising his summer wedding. But that’s the only seat he’s taken, laughs the selfemployed painter and decorator from Westward Ho!

your wedding at Woolacombe but don’t go for the freebie without thinking if it will match the day.

I still haven’t decided but with such a golden opportunity it’s going to be hard to resist making a statement. I think a Ford Capri from The Professionals or Starsky and Hutch’s Gran Torino would sweep Lea off her feet and make our day as iconic as these TV greats. Truth is, I don’t have a huge amount of Health and beauty expert Olivia Allwood-Mollon responsibility so I want to impress Lea, and I also Lea is organising most of our wedding. I’m not being want to race around the North Devon countryside in rounds up the best bridal beauty treatments lazy but she has a much better idea of how she a really cool car. wants the day to look, whereas I’d be happy with any colour Woman theme. So if my only jobs are sorting Wonder Bat Those lashes the suits and transport I want to make sure they’re Your skin is probably already hyper-sensitised Semi-permanent eyelash extensions are a amazing. I don’t want to ruin months of Lea’s hard by emotions and stress - this is not the time to godsend. Not only do they give you long Bambi work by picking her up in a mate’s car. Unless of experiment with a new ‘wonder cream’. Stick to lashes but, unlike mascara, they won’t run if you course they’ve got an Aston Martin DB5! basic maintenance with a nourishing cleanser, get tearful. Waterproof mascara is an option but Friends have offered to drive us in their moisturiser andgenerously eye-cream. Drinking antioxidant it can flake during the day. Opt for a ‘natural’ set Rolls orTea campervans but this is the one day, really White can also make a difference. of lashes applied two to three weeks in advance. the only day, in my whole life when I can ask for This provides time for your beauty therapist to the coolest car to take us to our reception. This is remove or add lashes in order to create the Time Tan the onetoday when I can hire a vintage Triumph perfect finish for you. Iforyou’re pale (and it’s not or interesting) a subtle a horse and carriage a big tractor or even spray tan five– days before can be ahelicopter the sky’s the your limit, wedding quite literally! less is More a fabulous perk-me-up and increase radiance. This allows time for your beauty therapist to add more Neutral lip, cheek and eye colours are timeless coats in gradual increments if you want a deeper and always look expensive. With foundation and colour over the coming days. To avoid tell-tale stains cover-up, less is more. Although it’s tempting to on ankles, elbows or hands, apply lotion or Vaseline cake it on it is all too easy to end up hiding rather to these areas before your treatment. If you do end than emphasising your beauty. It’s a good idea up with darker blotches dab these areas with cotton to book a practice consultation with your makeup wool soaked in lemon juice or an astringent toner. artist beforehand to get it just right.

a Ford Capri from The Professionals or Starsky and Hutch’s Gran Torino

My advice to fellow grooms in North Devon is to look at your budget and look at your options. North Devon has so much to offer in the way of scenery: beaches and cliffs, hills and woods, churches and stately homes. I want us to look glamourous in our pictures. A practical people carrier would just look ugly by the church gates! A horse and carriage might be a bit silly trundling down a country lane to a marquee reception on a farm. Your friend’s campervan might be perfect for

Images: Michael Wells Photography

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Please contact our advertising team on 01271 343064

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Last Minute


There’s a month to go until the big day and you suddenly realise that somewhere amongst planning the service, caterers, guest list and dress you forgot to tone up! Never fear, assures Olivia. Toning Up

Bingo-wings and tummies can be visible problem areas when wearing a wedding dress. Really, your best option is to enlist the help of a personal trainer who can provide expert advice and intensive sessions according to your fitness levels and body size. If there just isn’t time on your hectic wedding schedule, bicep curls can be done with everything from shopping bags to cans of beans. Even wielding a hairdryer above your head can help tone upper arms. Tummy toning is best achieved by cardio but this isn’t a quick fix. With a month to go embark on a daily regime of abdominal crunches and make sure you suck your stomach in and breathe out as you sit up, not the other way round.

Lose the Carbs

Stress is great for weight loss but research has found cutting back on carbohydrates helps drop more immediate weight than cutting back on fat.

Cut it Out

Water retention really shows on the stomach and face with salt and alcohol being the biggest culprits. Drinking lots of pure filtered water and diuretic herbal teas such as nettle and dandelion, and adding Epsom Salts to your bathwater are great last-minute ways to flush your body of excess fluids. These can make a huge difference even a day or two before your wedding.

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Fairytale WEDDING Lisa& Brett the

Saturday June 23 2012 St Andrew’s Church, Yarnscombe

High School Sweethearts

Brett Huxtable, 28, is a self-employed builder and football referee and his wife Lisa, 24, is a beauty therapist in Great Torrington. Brett was Lisa’s school crush and despite dating after she had left Great Torrington Community School they didn’t stay in touch when Brett went to university. “Three years later we were in the pub on

Boxing Day and he tripped me up,” continues Lisa. “I asked him what the hell did he do that for, and he said he wanted to pick me up for the rest of my life.”

The Venue

Their ceremony at St Andrew’s Church in Yarnscombe was followed by a marquee reception at Lisa’s parent’s house near Alverdiscott. “It was lovely to have the wedding at home,” she adds. Love Weddings 25

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The Weather

“It absolutely chucked it down!” laughs Lisa. “We had to replace the marquee flooring the day before, which was a blessing in disguise really because the mud would have seeped through on the actual day.”

The Theme

Electric blue gave a pop of colour to the marquee’s neutral decor and featured in the bridesmaids’ dresses, the cravats, table runners, cake and stationary.

Arriving in Style

A fairytale horse and carriage delivered Lisa and her father to the church. Meanwhile, Brett was in his friend’s BMW and got stuck behind sheep on a narrow country road. “This could only happen in North Devon,” he laughs.

Fairytale Frock

“My dress was from Ronald Joyce, a designer I knew I would get married in. Because I’m a bigger girl I had my arms covered up with a lace bolero.” 26 Love Weddings

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Real weddings

The First Dance

“Lisa wanted Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing, which the band didn’t cover so we agreed to have Chasing Cars instead,” says Brett. “Lisa didn’t know but the band learnt her song which really surprised her.”

The Manly Touch

Instead of an organist they had The Champions League theme tune playing at the church. “I wanted to put my own stamp on the wedding but it’s also a really nice piece of music,” explains Brett.

The Food

They opted for locally sourced and seasonal food with a choice of starters and puddings, and a selection of cold meats and salads for the main course.

Fanciful Favours

“Our chocolate cake was handmade in Torquay and they made matching praline chocolates.”

Cheesy Speeches

The couple arranged for cheese boards and tea and coffee to be brought to every table to make the speeches more relaxed and interesting.

Centre of Attention

“Some of our centre pieces were big martini glasses. These would be too overpowering on every table so we also had vintage birdcages with flowers.”

Cutting the Cake... or Not

“If we had any regrets it’s not cutting the cake!” exclaims Brett. “We simply forgot about it until the evening but by then everyone was full from the buffet. I think the dog had more than we did!”

Picture Perfect

“Our guests had their picture taken as they arrived at the reception,” says Lisa. “They were printed off and put in the guest book so everyone could write a message next to themselves. This was a great way to remember everyone there.” Images: Jayne Poole Photography

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Wedding planner

Wedding Planner

Firstly.... • • • • • • •

Decide on a budget Choose a venue Book the service or registrar Go dress shopping Decide on your guest list Choose a best man and bridesmaids Order invitations and stationery

Nine months to go • • • • • •

Book your wedding transport Book the photographer Book your entertainment Choose florists and caterers Order your dress and shoes Book your cake

Six months to go • • • • • • •

Choose your wedding rings Book your honeymoon Book your first night hotel Arrange entertainment for children Decide on favours and decorations Book a consultation with hairdresser and make-up artist Organise groom’s and ushers’ outfits

Three months to go • • • • • • •

Send out the invitations Buy your wedding lingerie Discuss service and banns with minister Discuss ceremony with officiant Select hymns, readings and order of service Ensure your passports are valid Discuss menu with caterers

Now you’re engaged, ensure your big day is perfectly planned with the help of our countdown

Two months to go • • • • • •

Compile a list of acceptances/refusals Choose presents for attendants, mothers etc Arrange hen and stag nights Order bouquets and buttonholes Re-confirm bookings Hair and make-up trial

One month to go • •

Chase late invitations Check transport arrangements

Notify banks and anyone else official if you’re changing name Finalise arrangements with your photographer, discussing any special shots you want

Two weeks to go • • • • •

Break in your wedding shoes at home Pick up wedding rings Update the caterer on head count Order currency for your honeymoon Organise a rehearsal for ceremony

6 1


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2 One week to go • • • • • • • •

Ensure that everyone knows their duties Confirm all reception arrangements Confirm flowers Confirm transport and pick up times Arrange cake delivery to venue Finalise seating plans Write place names Check men’s outfits

The day before • • •


Decorate the venue Have a manicure Organise a romantic note to be delivered to your future husband

On the day •

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• • •

Have bouquets and button holes collected or delivered in the morning Check that your best man has the rings Arrange for your wedding dress to be packed and taken home Relax and enjoy it!

Images: Mike Southon, Julie Wicks, MK Collins Photography

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Personal bride

Remember Make it your day to

Caitlin Murphy and David Powell, both teachers in Bristol, wanted their wedding to be memorable for the right reasons. With the help of family, friends and a scattering of personal touches their wedding in Instow on July 27 2012 became the special and informal affair they wanted.

Why Instow?

“We wanted the day to be informal, relaxed and say something about the area we love. We decided to get married in North Devon because it is a special place for us and our family.”

Lesson in Love

Caitlin teaches English and her love for literature became a decorative theme. She made cones from pages of her favourite book, Pride and Prejudice, and filled these with dried rose petals to use as confetti.

Charity Begins At Home

She bought old books from charity shops and wrapped them with lace ribbons, tying her love for literature and her lace wedding dress into the decor. “This made it personal and informal,” says Caitlin.

Material Girl

“I wanted a lace dress because of the romance and tradition attached to it. It is so pretty and tactile and because there’s a lot of lace in the bridal shops you can choose your own style too.”

Tea for Two

The couple bought tea cups and filled them with candle wax to decorate tables. “These are now all over the house,” says David. “It’s nice to have these keepsakes.”

Make a Memento

Bunting decorated their stately home reception and gave the venue the pretty yet relaxed feel they wanted. Buy material from a fabric shop and make your own, like Caitlin, and give away lengths to friends who want a memento.

Suits You, Sir

“I bought the men’s suits because I really cared about this,” says David. “I had a waistcoat which, when worn without the jacket, made the photos look relaxed and natural.” Turn to page 59 for more pictures of Catlin and David’s wedding

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Gossip from the

Groom You’d be forgiven for thinking that many weddings wouldn’t happen if it was left to the groom to arrange.

Self-employed builder Richard Sanders, 32, is here to set the record straight. He married Megan, 23, who works for Barnstaple town council and the pathology unit at North Devon District Hospital, at Barnstaple’s Rugby Club in May last year. Working together is key, he says, and remembering that your wedding is just one day while your marriage is for life.

Working together

You get married because you want to spend the rest of your life together, so we wanted to plan our wedding together too. To be honest we really didn’t argue. If you do then maybe you shouldn’t be getting married. You have to be on the same page and support each other or arguments will arise and cause trouble. I do think the wedding day is more important to women but I still wanted to be involved. We discussed everything together. It was important to me to have it how Megan wanted it, although I would have said if I didn’t like something. To be honest, we were on the same page so that never really happened.

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In the driving seat

We split the ‘tasks’ between us. Megan concentrated on decorations while I was in charge of practical things like the drinks, food and transport. I refused to tell Megan anything about the car so it was a massive surprise when a 1930’s Rolls Royce picked her up from her mum’s. I thought if she’s organising a lot then it’s nice for her to have a few surprises – it’s her day after all. So many people offered their cars to me but I knew the vintage Rolls would be ideal. It was a personal thing, as we both really like old cars so I knew she would love it when she saw it.

Food for thought

We came to a happy compromise when Megan said she wanted a sit down meal and I wanted a hog roast. We had both! To be honest, there’s a massive cost involved with everything wedding related so I thought a hog roast would be cost-effective, especially since I know a lot of farmers around here, and you’re pretty much guaranteed that everyone will like it.

It’s a man’s world

You might think a rugby club is a man’s venue but this wasn’t a selfish decision. We looked at a lot of venues in North Devon and both agreed that our regular haunt seemed like the best choice. We had about 250 guests at the evening reception so it was a big night and I didn’t want Megan to be stressed about catering for all these people and making sure everyone was happy. The club know us so we could trust them to focus on details and make the day special.

The recipe for success?

You never hear a bridegroom say he’s been planning his wedding since he was little! But it’s not exactly fair to leave everything up to her. Discuss everything with each other and you’ll both be happy.

Images: Julie Wicks

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Budget bride

Budget bride and groom Charlene and Chris Marston, from Cannock in Staffordshire, got married in North Devon for just £2,500, in June last year. So, how did they have the wedding of their dreams without it costing the earth?

The Reason

“We didn’t want to spend thousands of pounds - we wanted an informal wedding in a place we love,” explains builder Chris. “This left us with money for a five-week honeymoon driving Route 66 in a convertible Mustang!”


“They were easy to make, with a photo of Putsborough beach, and it didn’t cost much to get them printed.”

The Dress

Assistant headteacher Charlene knew the style she wanted and when she saw a dress online she snapped it up for a fraction of the price.


Flower girls probably couldn’t get much cuter – unless they’re carrying silk bouquets and beribboned wands made by the bride.

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Real weddings


“Our family and friends had driven down so we called someone up and pretty much hitched a lift,” laughs Chris.


Luckily for this couple their friends are photographers so they paid mate’s rates (free) and received professional albums which are vital for remembering your wedding day.


The couple supplied their own glasses and alcohol to give their guests a champagne reception after making their vows in Barnstaple.

The Food

Their reception, at a pub in Croyde (free to hire), supplied a delicious hog roast which can feed the five thousand with never-ending cuts. This is cheaper than a three course dinner and provided the informal feel the Marston’s wanted.


Invite Mr Kipling to your wedding with eight tiers of homemade French Fancies. The Marston’s topped theirs with little figurines.

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Location Location Location

Where you get married is one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make. It will influence what you wear, the theme, transport and more importantly your photos. In North Devon you really are spoilt for choice. You could tie the knot at a country manor, by the beach or a hidden cave, along windswept cliffs, in a church, a tipi or a marquee at home.

Home or Away?inning

If you have a large enough lawn or a paddock, a marquee is a very flexible, accommodating and an informal option. One thing to consider, however, is the effort it takes to put up a marquee and decorate it. “You have to remember that you’re the one setting it up with everything that goes in it,” says Maria Harvey, who had a marquee reception at home near Ilfracombe last September. “You need to have your family and friends around to help. “You also need good weather. People think it’s a failsafe option but a downpour can soak through your floor lining and create a mud bath!”

If you’d rather have a hassle-free and waterproof wedding you don’t have to look too far. A church wedding is relatively easy to organise because the infrastructure is already in place: the seating, priest, piano and parking have a big tick in the checkbox. The fee is usually a donation to the church so there are no surprising ‘extras’ either. Churches can be quirky too. There’s a growing trend to convert decommissioned churches into homes – or even an events venue. Such refurbished and modernised churches offer a little more comfort and style while retaining their traditional charm with stained glass windows, pews and pulpits.

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Beauty and the


If you want no stress and every detail to be taken care of a stately home, hotel or beachside bistro will cater to your every need. In April North Devon Journal reporter Nicole TraversWakeford is marrying Luke Stokes at The Pier House in Westward Ho!. She says reputation, location and photography are the key to choosing your venue. “The sun terrace at The Pier House has stunning views of the sea and will make a really nice backdrop for photos, which is such an important thing,” she explains. “And Westward Ho! is such a good location for guests who need somewhere to stay the night.” The Pier House’s history is steeped in romance too, with Leslie Braddick buying the building in 1959 so that his wife, who was blind, could socialise with their friends in familiar surroundings. Now in the hands of the fifth generation, Robert Braddick has transformed The Elizabethan into The Pier House, a comfortable and contemporary venue for dining, parties and weddings. “We have quite a unique location here so I want to make the most of it. We have just completed our second sun terrace and we now have more indoor seating too.

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“You name it, we can do it. We also have a marriage licence so if you want a small wedding for 50 people, have 200 for a sit-down meal, or 750 people dancing the night away, we can do it.

watch your first sunset as a married couple with a glass of wine and the sound of waves crashing “We have been very successful with weddings and people can stay on site too in our caravans and chalets, or at The Waterfront Inn nearby. “Couples come here for the location and the views. The photos you can take here are fantastic and so romantic, when you watch your first sunset as a married couple, with a glass of wine and the sound of waves crashing.”

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Table decorations

table treats for the

Table decoration really is much more of an art form than most people realise. “Table displays shouldn’t be regimented,” says Julie Martin from Dream Makers. “To create ‘wow-factor’ I would have a mixture of displays, some with stunning centre pieces and others more low-line with the colour theme tying them together.” Julie has lived in North Devon for 20 years running various businesses in the tourist industry. After decorating wedding tables for family and friends she realised she had a natural flair with a keen eye for detail, colour and texture.

Less is more with colour so accessorise the table with just a few vibrant items

really special I work with brides and grooms on a personal level to see how I can make their dreams come true on the day.”

Dream Makers’ trends for 2013

Vintage is still very popular. People love retro cream teas for the wedding buffet and these displays are so romantic. I use roses, little bottles and glass candle holders, pinks and creams, pastels and iridescent shades to create this look. You can also never go wrong with white. White is stunning, mixed with lots of green foliage, decorated with mother-of-the-bride hats and candelabras.

“Over the past 15 years I’ve worked with a whole variety of entertainers and hosts to make weddings and charity events stand out,” she explains. “Whether you want me to do a single table display or coordinate the whole event, Dream Makers provides elegant, A-list style. To make weddings

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Table decorations

On the cover

Purple and burnt orange is a fantastic combination. Less is more with colour so accessorise the table with just a few vibrant items – like alternating napkins or chair covers. I would cover the chairs with a colourful organza sash on top and a silk sash underneath with a single flower tucked in between. This looks really stunning. To discuss table displays and wedding planning call Julie on 07779 149656 Images: Mike Southon, Indigo Perspective Photography

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too good to

Never has a cake cost so much money or looked so decadent.

A traditional tiered wedding cake takes days to make, weighs more than your dog, and calories? You’d be serving sliced banana instead if you knew. Wedding cakes are truly works of art and it is worth requesting a professional to create your mouth-watering masterpiece. Sugar roses, shells and scrollwork adornment remain popular for this year.

Cute cupcakes

If you fancy something different, there are two delicious trends deviating from the traditional tiered wedding cake. Cupcakes have shot to fame and are now firm favourites on the wedding cake circuit. Cupcake artists can weave your colour theme into the butter icing, and sugar flowers, snowflakes and buttons, for example, can decorate the top. Annie and Chris Delaney chose to have cupcakes at their seaside wedding in Saunton last November. “Our cupcake maker wanted something personal as a topping,” says Annie. “I was a bit stuck for ideas and then we saw the chillies we grow in our garden. They were bright and fun which the kids loved.”

Say cheeeese!

The cheese wedding ‘cake’ has become a popular and quirky alternative to cake. Stacking three or four wheels of cheese wrapped in wax jackets, nettles or garlic leaves will present the cheese course in a really colourful and visual way. Ask your local delicatessen which cheeses will look and taste good together, and decorate with grapes, olives, nuts or monogrammed letters. Any leftovers will keep for weeks afterwards! Images: Jamie Bott, Michael Wells Photography, Melandrew Photographic

Images: The Wedding Collection

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Pick of the

Beauty therapist Lauren Stoddart, from Great Torrington, has a passion for flowers and has helped many friends through the thorny maze of arrangements, colours and suitable seasonal plants. Here she shares her top five favourite bouquets:


I really like the composite bouquet but it’s not cheap. Instead of using whole flowers just the petals are used to replicate a flower. These are popular and you certainly need to ask a florist to make it.

Kissing Ball

The florist starts with a small ball of oasis and builds a sphere of flowers from this, with a ribbon handle. Unlike the teardrop, a kissing ball can be prepared in advance so it’s quite a practical option. I have seen an open kissing ball where bridesmaids can pick flowers out of the arrangement and scatter them when they walk up the aisle. This is really cool and it must be really intricate for the florist to make.


Posies are quite simple and are good if you’re on a budget. They use one or two types of flower bunched together, to look like a broccoli. These are typically made for flower girls although the posy can look messy if the stems are fiddled with.


I haven’t seen many of these used because you hold the arrangement across your body like a baby and this can be awkward on your wedding day.


These bouquets are beautiful and really popular. They require long stemmed flowers arranged in a symmetrical shape with the flower heads cascading down in a teardrop shape.

Images: Melandrew Photographic, Indigo Perspective Photography, MK Collins Photography

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Wedding Specialist Ceremony Songs Acoustic Music for Ceremony & Wedding Breakfast

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entertain you let me

Bands are the cool wedding accessory and North Devon is a veritable jukebox of talent, from funk to acoustic, creative covers to talented songwriters. Self-confessed music buffs Jen and Adam Dowrick (LW’s quirky couple who you’ll see overleaf) had a turntable of cellists, guitarists, worships bands, singers, pop, soul and motown throughout their wedding in April last year. “We had so many different types of music playing because we wanted everyone to be upbeat and happy and dance,” explains Jen. “Devon is a hotbed of talented musicians so we packed our day with local bands and the dance floor was full all night.” If you want variety but aren’t as clued up as the Dowrick’s, it’s a good idea to enlist the help of an events planner who will have a contacts book bursting at the seams.

Why swing is winning

“When Robbie Williams released his album Swing When You’re Winning in 2001 he made swing popular again and brought all the classics back into vogue,” explains Zac, from Collumpton. “I am a swing singer and sing Rat Pack, Sinatra, Bublé, Dean Martin, to name just a few. I always find Dean Martin’s song That’s Amore is a very popular choice at weddings as well as Michael Bublé, so there’s a real mixture of old and new and something for everyone.” For more information email

Julie Martin from Dream Makers has worked with Zac Bauman for 15 years, teaming up to produce events and charity functions that really stand out from the crowd.

he made swing popular again and brought all the classics back into vogue “Zac is an excellent entertainer and a fantastic swing singer,” says Julie. “I have worked with him on a number of weddings that I’ve organised and he can really put on a show.”

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Quirky couple the


Jen Adam

Easter Saturday April 7 2012 St Peter’s Church, West Buckland

The Proposal

Jen and Adam Dowrick met through friends in North Devon and now live in Exeter. After six and a half years together Adam proposed in 2011: “I took Jen to Budleigh Salterton beach and baked a cake with “will you marry me?” on it. But I had a slip of the tongue and asked her if she’d be my husband!”

Fashionable Frocks

“After trying on 40 full length dresses I tried a tealength 1950s dress and I loved it. I didn’t want a veil so I found a hat maker in Collumpton who made a purple feather fascinator. Some people didn’t like it but I love it because I’m not very traditional.”

Bright Bridesmaids

“Jen did something really cool with the bridesmaids – they wore purple dresses but chose different colour shoes and pashminas,” says Adam. “Their dresses were from the high street and we got them in the sale which worked out well.”

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The Hair

“It’s stressful doing your own hair,” warns Jen. “I had my own hairdresser and just my normal bob but she made it look the best I’ve ever seen it.’’

The Theme

“We wanted two things,” says Jen. “Lots of guests and good music because we’re both music buffs.”

The Song List

• A cellist and guitarist greeted guests at the church • Jen walked down the aisle to Eight Days A Week by The Beatles. “We wanted something fun, people dancing instead of crying” • A Worship Band played during the ceremony • They left the church to All I Want Is You by Barry Louis Polisar. “We wanted people to be as happy as we were so we had something upbeat,” adds Jen • A guitarist from Exeter played as people arrived at their reception in Umberleigh • Friends made an ‘Adam and Jen’ jingle for their arrival • Their first dance was to Stevie Wonder’s For Once In My Life • “We had a soul-jazz band and people danced all night to motown, it was amazing,” remembers Adam

The Groom

“I wanted grey and Jen wanted tails so we went for both, and colourful cravats, socks and ties. Although Jen’s dad is a Stoke fan and her brother’s a Liverpool fan so they didn’t want to wear blue!”

Retro Wheels

A vintage Triumph drove the newlyweds to their reception and their bridesmaids went in a campervan. “On the way we had some photos taken on Umberleigh bridge and outside the antique shop, chilling on some armchairs outside.”

The Great Escape

“When everyone arrived for the evening we were overwhelmed so we escaped to a field. It seems antisocial but we hadn’t seen each other all day!”

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Party Shoes

“I knew people would wear ridiculous heels so we had a basket of flip flops that people could dance in,” recalls Jen. “They all went!”

The Cake

“The cake was amazeballs,” laughs Adam. “My auntie is a baker and made a Victoria sponge cake with sugar roses, strawberries and different flavoured jam fillings.”

The Guest Book

“Our friend painted a stencil of a tree onto canvas and our guests dipped their fingers into ink and put their finger print on the branches,” says the groom. “This is now on our wall at home and it’s really cool.” Images: Matt Spracklen Photography

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Style arriving in

Groom-to-be Matt Piper has jumped straight into the driving seat organising his summer wedding. But that’s the only seat he’s taken, laughs the selfemployed painter and decorator from Westward Ho! Lea is organising most of our wedding. I’m not being lazy but she has a much better idea of how she wants the day to look, whereas I’d be happy with any colour theme. So if my only jobs are sorting the suits and transport I want to make sure they’re amazing. I don’t want to ruin months of Lea’s hard work by picking her up in a mate’s car. Unless of course they’ve got an Aston Martin DB5!

A horse and carriage might be a bit silly trundling down a country lane to a marquee reception on a farm. Your friend’s campervan might be perfect for your wedding at Woolacombe but don’t go for the freebie without thinking if it will match the day. I still haven’t decided but with such a golden opportunity it’s going to be hard to resist making a statement. I think a Ford Capri from The Professionals or Starsky and Hutch’s Gran Torino would sweep Lea off her feet and make our day as iconic as these TV greats. Truth is, I don’t have a huge amount of responsibility so I want to impress Lea, and I also want to race around the North Devon countryside in a really cool car.

Friends have generously offered to drive us in their Rolls or campervans but this is the one day, really the only day, in my whole life when I can ask for the coolest car to take us to our reception. This is the one day when I can hire a vintage Triumph or a horse and carriage or a big tractor or even a helicopter – the sky’s the limit, quite literally! My advice to fellow grooms in North Devon is to look at your budget and look at your options. North Devon has so much to offer in the way of scenery: beaches and cliffs, hills and woods, churches and stately homes. I want us to look glamorous in our pictures. A practical people carrier would just look ugly by the church gates! Image: Flip Flop Photography, Melandrew Photographic, MK Collins Photography, Matt Spracklen Photography

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Bride a model

Pre-Wedding Photo Shoot

Many brides and grooms praise the services of their photographer above anything else. Fast becoming the pre-wedding necessity is a photo shoot to ‘get to know’ your photographer. The pros of this are obvious: you feel at ease in front of the camera and there are no stiff poses or fake smiles in sight.

Priceless Pictures

For those of you wondering if a pre-wedding photo shoot is worth the extra money, remember that you’ll treasure these photos forever. Caitlin and David, LW’s featured bride and groom from page 30, knew that investing in a pre-wedding photo shoot

would make their pictures look more natural on the big day. David says: “We hadn’t had photos taken professionally before and you do get nervous. We went to Crow Point for a practice run to get used to the camera and to taking direction. I’m really pleased with our wedding photos now because we look really natural.” Michael Wells, their photographer, says: “I find brides are better than grooms with photos so a pre-wedding shoot is a great icebreaker for guys as I make the day fun, they can relax and they’ll know what to expect, which really does show through in the real wedding pictures.”

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Image: Indigo Perspective Photography

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MK Collins Photography

Melandrew Photographic

MK Collins Photography

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Melandrew Photographic

MK Collins Photography

Julie Wicks

Image: Julie Wicks

Melandrew Photographic

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Advertising feature

slim and gorgeous on look

your wedding day

Slimming World consultants across North Devon are calling all brides-to-be to tell them about their fantastic eating plan to help them look and feel fabulous on their big day.

It turns the traditional diet on its head as you will never be hungry or feel deprived, and that in itself is something unusual for a diet. “We pride ourselves on our plan that is able to satisfy your appetite with so many delicious foods and without any obsessive counting, weighing or measuring,” says Gaynor Howe, consultant for Barnstaple. “It is a dream come true, whether you’re slimming for a wedding, want to drop a few pounds for a holiday or are making changes to improve your health. “All of us, as consultants, are so proud of every member but we’re especially proud to be helping brides to slide into their perfect wedding dress. I remember when Lisa Norris came to the Grosvenor Church group last year and told me she wanted to lose weight for her big day. She only had a few months to lose it but with the help she received in the group, and her determination to

look great on her big day, she looked absolutely amazing after losing 1st 6.5lb and 4 inches from her waist in only three months. “Some people feel that they don’t have enough to lose by attending our groups, and this is something I can relate to,” adds Gaynor. “I weighed 11st 5.5lb when I first joined Slimming World and I was worried that people would judge me, but that was so far from the truth. “This is why I love Slimming World as the eating plans we have fit in perfectly for everyday life, and this really can be the last time you ever go on a diet.” Carla who is a consultant at Braunton and Ilfracombe is also on a mission to lose weight as she’s going to be a bride very soon. “I imagine myself on my wedding day and with the help of Slimming World I know I can lose four stone and I will feel amazing.”

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Love Weddings in North Devon  

Your complete guide to getting married in North Devon