For many things in life, simple is very often better. That’s exactly the approach that today’s couple, Chloé and Dan, took for their seaside wedding which we are featuring today.
I defy you not to fall in love with their pared-back, relaxed day which interlaced trailing green foliage with pure white botanicals and elements of the sea.
Photography Grace Elizabeth Photo & Film
Chloé, who is studying ceramics at the Royal College of Art married Dan, a civil servant and Infantry Officer in the Army Reserves, on 21 August on the Isle of Wight. Their Church of England ceremony was led by Chloé’s dad in the beautiful Bonchurch Parish Church with a country house reception afterwards at Lisle Combe, St Lawrence, overlooking the bay in which Dan proposed.
The day was planned to be relaxed and intimate, with the couple’s Christian faith at its heart. Add in botanical styling and seaside influences…
“Dan and I met about eight years ago when my family moved to the Isle of Wight. We dated for six years (five of them long distance) and we were engaged for eight months. We chose Lisle Combe as it sits above the beach that Dan proposed to me on, Battery Bay, and it is also a place that Dan and I spent a lot of time at; sunrise swims, fires and afternoons reading at the bay. I also wanted a place that had a bit of the island’s wildness and this old country house of the poet Alfred Noyes had a lot of character and large botanical gardens.”
The morning of the wedding saw the bride and bridesmaids gathering foliage and spending time on the overcast beach. I love these photographs captured by the super-talented Grace Elizabeth Photo & Film and her husband Mitch. The team also captured the day on film.
“Grace and Mitch were absolutely wonderful and we were blown away by their photos and film. They captured the essence of the day and its joy perfectly. It was so special to have them there with us – they made the day so smooth and perfect! I love their style and portrayal of our day.”
“We are so pleased we have a film from Grace and Mitch. It captures the whole day from the breathless morning swim, to the evening walk on the beach. The film is so beautiful and we will always treasure it.”
Kat from Hair Organic and Amber, owner of Chi-Chi Hair & Beauty made the girls look so beautiful, keeping the overall look pared-back and simple. Chloé’s long hair looks polished yet beachy in long waves that frame her face.
Chloé’s choice of perfume was Ghost Sweetheart.
“I’ve worn it since we began dating so I wanted Dan to recognise my scent as I met him at the aisle.”
Chloé wore a pure white, flowing gown from Willowby by Watters. Its strappy bodice and open day sets the perfect relaxed, beachy vibe with a timelessness and classic beauty coming from its full and flowing skirt. After falling in love with the gown online at BHLDN, she tried it on for herself at Southampton boutique Ava Louise Bridal Wear.
“I fell in love with the dresses on BHLDN and especially the Rosalind Gown but it wasn’t feasible for me to have them shipped to the island without trying it on. I looked for a UK supplier close by and found Ava Louise. I wanted a soft falling skirt and fairly simple backless dress as I have a fairly small frame.”
The Ava Louise team sourced the perfect veil, which looks incredible as it floats behind her in the sea breeze. I love the lightness of the short tier, which she wore over her face on the way to the ceremony, paired with the drama of the longer tiers.
The bridesmaids matched the bride’s pure white gown in A-line midi dresses from Ted Baker. They were the perfect canvas for their hand-tied bunches of fresh foliage, eucalyptus, fennel and sweet peas, collected by the bride on the morning of the wedding.
“I did my own flowers with a team of family and friends. I wanted to use the plants from my mum’s garden.”
The bride and her father travelled to the church in a Land Rover Defender, before entering together to ‘Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence’.
“My sister and mother play the piano and I wanted something personal and that moved me. I loved listening to them play this song and wanted it to walk down to the aisle.”
As vicar, Chloé’s dad continued on to conduct the service which meant everything to the couple. Their rings were by local designer Sophie Honeybourne of Honeybourne Jewellery.
“We are both Christians so the ceremony was really special for us and I wanted to create an intimate setting at the old church with family and friends with lots of candles and trailing plants.We wanted to use traditional vows as they are important to our faith.”
“Sophie designed my engagement and both our wedding rings. Sophie is local to me and I love her styles; together we could create a ring that was unique to me. My wedding ring was a small leaf blowing the white sapphire across the white gold band.”
Their readings were ‘1 John 4:11-17a’, ‘Love’ by George Herbert and ‘Ephesians 5: 21-22’. And after, the newly-wed couple and their guests emerged in to the fresh air to start celebrating. A couple of moments of time alone was one of their favourite parts of the day.
“Saying our vows to one another and the moment when we arrived at the venue before the guests. We sat on the grass over-looking the sea drinking elderflower and Prosecco in the sun together – just utter happiness at being together.”
Dan opted for a classic look, choosing a navy suit and tweed waistcoat from Charles Tyrwhitt. He accessorised with a deep red tie and fresh white buttonhole. His best man wore a similar outfit, whilst the groomsmen stood out in smart Moss Bros suits.
Lisle Combe is such a stately house and its grey stone looks magnificent set against the rolling, green lawns. The couple worked with its owner Ruth Noyes to plan and style their day. The reception was held in a rustic marquee in its grounds.
“We didn’t really have a theme, I just wanted it to be relaxed, botanical with elements of the sea tied in. Neutral colours with lots of plants.”
“Over the years, Ruth Noyes has been collecting large planks of driftwood from Battery Bay. My sister’s husband sanded the planks down and we used them as the large platters down each table. We also hired a few fig trees and ferns for the marquee. Dan’s mum and her sister created huge wreaths to trail down the marquee poles.”
The feast-style wedding breakfast was provided by Bridget Wells. I love the simplicity and elegance of the stacked wedding cake.
“Bridget was a chef at the Royal Hotel and the Botanical Garden and I worked for her for a brief time. I had tasted Bridget’s food across the island and wanted her to create some of her unique dishes for a sharing platter at the meal. We had a rolling starter and mains with changing dishes for sharing together.”
“My mum made a traditional fruit cake and my younger sister decorated it with eucalyptus and figs.”
The bride designed and made the botanical stationery herself, and a ceramicist friend created the unique favours.
“My friend Ellen Woods created beautiful ceramic tiles for each guest to take home.”
Dan and Chloé chose a song special to them, Cara Dillon’s ‘Bright Morning Star’, for their first dance.
“Dan and I were dating long distance, often with three months between seeing one another. One evening Dan drove up to see me as a surprise with tickets to see Cara Dillon. This song was the last song she played that evening and one that we’ve listened to over the years.”
Having recently been a bridesmaid at a Scottish wedding, I know first-hand how fun and energetic a ceilidh can be. This band was made up of Chloé’s friends from university – such a lovely touch to end the day.
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“Enjoy every moment of the preparation. It hopefully only happens once in your life and it’s such a special time of families and friends coming together.”
“Things will go wrong but accept them, be flexible and remember at the end of the day you are marrying your loved one.”
Lovelies, have you been inspired by the pure botanical styling of this day? You can see similar vibes in these Love My Dress weddings.
Please join me in sending Chloé and Dan so many congratulations on their marriage, and thanks to both them and Grace Elizabeth Photo for sharing their wonderful photographs here today.
Credits & Thanks
- Photographer - Grace Elizabeth Photo & Film
- Film - Grace Elizabeth Photo & Film
- Planner/Stylist - Ruth Noyes at Lisle Combe
- Venue - Bonchurch Parish Church + Lisle Combe, St Lawrence, Isle of Wight
- Wedding Dress - Willowby by Watters via Ava Louise Bridal Wear, Southampton
- Veil - Ava Louise Bridal Wear
- Shoes - Clarks
- Accessories - Liberty in Love
- Perfume - Ghost Sweetheart
- Groom - Charles Tyrwhitt
- Bridesmaids - Ted Baker, Office shoes + John Lewis earrings
- Florist - The bridal party
- Cake - The bride's mum + sister
- Transport - Land Rover Defender
- Entertainment - Friends of the bride
- Rings - Honeybourne Jewellery
- Catering - Bridget Wells
- Stationery - The bride
- Hair Stylist - Kat at Hair Organic
- Makeup Artist - Amber at Chi-Chi Hair & Beauty
- Favours - Ellen Woods Ceramics