Rebecca and Richard’s Lundy Island Wedding
Rebecca and Richard’s Lundy Island wedding was a weekend filled with friends, family and fun. We asked Rebecca to tell us all about the wedding, weekend and their inspiration behind the island celebration.
The inspiration behind our wedding was all things that we love: Lego, bridges, and maps all tied together with a grey and yellow colour scheme. I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and so including aspects was a no brainer! My challenge was to incorporate HP subtly so that the die-hard fans would have an ‘ah-ha!’ moment, but to the causal onlooker, the detail would just look in keeping. Our first holiday together was on Lundy Island. We went in winter and so the only way to get there is via helicopter: The instant we landed, we knew it was a magical place. Lundy sits in the Bristol Channel between Devon and Wales, very fitting as I grew up in Devon, and Richard in Wales! We wanted our wedding to feel more like a weekend away with friends than a formal affair, so much so that we called the wedding ceremony ‘the legal bit’ on our invites. Don’t get me wrong, marriage is a serious commitment, but we already felt married so this was really just a formality. We planned our whole wedding around Lundy Island: from the date to the ceremony venue, the reception decor to my dress (gotta get in and out of a helicopter with ease!) Logistically, this meant we needed to be super organised because all our decor, alcohol, favours, and photo-booth props for our November wedding needed to go over on the last ferry, which was in September. The only venue on Lundy with a marriage license is the Church but neither of us are religious, so we needed to get married on the main land beforehand. The helicopter only flies to and from Lundy on a Friday and Monday, and at set times. Because we didn’t want to interrupt other people’s holidays, we planned our schedule around the regular flying schedule.
What we wore
I couldn’t believe my luck when I met Catherine. We talked about our wedding inspiration, colour scheme, what type of clothes I normally wear, the look I was going for, etc. She was so thorough before she even took out a sketch pad. I brought along some images of dresses that I liked and she took each of the elements and combined them into my perfect dress. My must-have was a backless number with sleeves, and she certainly delivered. It was her idea to add the beaded embellishments to the deep v-cut back to bring the dress to life and what a difference it made! To complement, I wore a pair of yellow suede heels, a simple silver bracelet, and small hair clip with feathers, so as not to detract from my dress. My bouquet was informal and simple with white roses, yellow craspedia and grey thistles, topped off with a hidden snitch. Richard has always wanted a tailor-made suit and this was the ideal opportunity. To complement, he had custom designed and embroidered converse for both him and his two best men. His yellow and grey Hufflepuff socks also made an appearance!
The wedding ceremony
We chose Hartland Abbey to get married in because it was the closest licensed venue to the helipad. An immovable 11am chopper dictated a 10am ceremony, which meant a 6:30am dissention of seven (yes seven) hair and make-up people at the cottage where us girls (one bride, two bridesmaids, two mums, and a sister-in-law) were staying. It was pastry-fuelled organised chaos! Credit to the ladies at Bideford-based Colorseum: they turned us round and we left for the Abbey on time, in fact we were there 10 minutes early! My ‘something old’ was a beautiful 100-year-old-plus silver bracelet that my mum gave me on my 18th birthday, she had received it from her great Aunt on her 18th birthday, as had she. My ‘something new’ was my wedding dress designed by Catherine at Blades Bridal. My ‘something borrowed and something blue’ was a brick from Richard’s Lego Tower Bridge model (I returned it to him during my vows!) And, the often forgotten ‘six pence in my shoe’, from my husband to be. My Dad (aka Big Nige, Shovel Hands, and Captain Morgan) and I had a quiet moment together whilst everyone got settled. We’re both quiet, introverted people. He squeezed my hand just before the door was opened to the ceremony room and that was all I needed to feel utterly calm inside even though I was shaking like a leaf! We walked in to one of my bridesmaids, a very talented pianist, playing Glasgow Love Theme from the film Love Actually. The Victorian Drawing Room, with its dark oak-panelled walls and crackling log fire, was the perfect setting to tie the knot. Our guests were seated in an arc rather than rows to give a more intimate feel to the ceremony, with us standing in front of them in the beautiful bay window to say our vows. Richard and I wrote our own vows, something many of our friends and family didn’t expect as we’re not outwardly affectionate or soppy. We got a few tears from our guests as we read them!
With our ceremony over by 10:30am, we recessed to the light and airy Billiard Room where we cut our wedding cake and handed out the mini Lego cupcakes to our guests. Who doesn’t want to eat cake at 10:30am?! Each guest also received a breakfast snack box to keep them going until lunch – I can’t stand being hungry so we wanted to make sure our guests were well fed from the start! Our helicopter (the very one used by Anneka Rice!) was scheduled to pick up the bridal party and our photographer from Hartland Abbey at 11am, with the rest of the guests making their way to the helipad for 11:30. There was a slight hiccup which meant our flight was delayed but this gave us the opportunity to take some beautiful pictures at the abbey, which we would have otherwise missed out on.
The Lundy Experience
Albert took us off around the island to take some couple shots. My one demand was photos at the top of Old Light, the 96ft-tall light house on the island and damn it, I climbed all 147 spiral steps in my dress! Having arrived at the top and handed my craspedia-filled bouquet to Richard whilst I caught my breath, he promptly dropped it – all the way down! Our guests arrived over the next couple of hours, and were greeted with an afternoon cream tea spread, where those that didn’t know each other already were forced to mingle! Copious amounts of Brightwell sparkling wine helped the conversation flow! After a quick freshen up, everyone headed to Marisco’s Tavern for the wedding breakfast, which was a feast: spiced parsnip soup followed by Lundy Lamb shanks, rounded off with rhubarb crumble. The staff at the tavern were what made the weekend feel special. We could not have had such a smooth-running weekend without them, and our special thanks go to Island Manager Derek and head chef John who welcomed all of us with open arms: From suggesting a hearty menu to laying the tables with our DIY projects. We had buckets of yellow, white, and grey Lego; jars full of paper flowers; menu-printed napkin-wraps; and bags of sherbet lemons as favours to lay out. We sipped the evening away on wine from our local vineyard and apple nectar from my hometown’s cidery.
Our first dance
Completely awkward by the way, was to Melancholy Hill by Gorillaz, an odd choice but the words and meaning are so beautiful. The whole party danced to our iPod playlist solidly from 8pm to 2am, when the island’s generator was turned off. Being a rowdy bunch of 90s teenagers, we reminisced with some classic chart topping numbers from Reef, Spice Girls, Offspring, S Club 7, Craig David, Bon Jovi and Meat Loaf – you get the idea! The evening was rounded off with the entire island’s staff joining the party when the happy hardcore hour kicked in! I’m proud to say I was the last person on the dance floor!
Because we were on the island for the whole weekend, we’d planned some activities to keep our guests entertained. Everyone was sorted into one of the four Hogwarts houses by picking a handmade badge out of a Sorting Hat. Each team (hip flasks at the ready!) was then sent out to find the hidden Letterboxes: a kind of treasure trail which is spread over the whole island. It got seriously competitive pretty quickly. Not even a hail storm straight off the Atlantic dampened the spirits! In fact, when all the letter boxes couldn’t be found in one day, the super dedicated amongst us went out to find the missing ones on Sunday, whilst the rest of us relaxed. We hosted a candle lit pub quiz in the evening with lots of questions about us, as well as a Harry Potter charades round – the father of the groom’s was particularly memorable!
We woke up to a fog-bound island on Monday which meant that the helicopter couldn’t fly. We were fortunate that MS Oldenberg was passing Lundy to go to dry dock that day, and so she took a detour to collect us.
The fabulous suppliers
Ceremony venue Hartland Abbey
Weekend reception Lundy Island
Photographer Albert Palmer
Cake Rosanne Hollowell
Groom’s suit Cad and the Dandy
Dress Catherine Blades Couture
Hair clips Beth Morgan
Hair and Makeup Colorseum
Flowers Blooms of Bideford
Invitation Michael Burbridge
Wine Brightwell Vineyard
Cider Lyme Bay Cider
Thank you to Rebecca and Richard for sharing their amazing wedding with us.