From Ocean to Beach to Party
Planning a beach wedding in Scotland at the tail end of summer is certainly not for the faint of heart, but Poppy and Steve’s big day at Harvest Moon in Tyningham was a gamble that most certainly paid off! There can’t be many grooms that can claim to have spent their wedding morning getting ready in a Safari Tent after a cheeky swim in the freezing sea! These guys did it their way, and it was an absolute beaut! Their guests wrapped in blankets were treated to an emotional humanist ceremony on the beach, which included the family dog Pippa as a flower girl… of course. Then it was a short walk over the sand dunes to the marquee for a good old knees up. The fact that Poppy and Steve’s biggest decision during the planning was how much booze they should order to ensure they didn’t run out gives you a good idea of how awesome the party was. I’m still finding glitter in my camera bags over 6 months later!!!
So here it is, Poppy and Steve’s big day, a little of what I saw:
Bride & Groom Q&A
How did you meet?
In a really scummy nightclub in Clapham on a drunken night out-what are the chances?!
Tell me a bit about yourselves
When not working as a Vet (Poppy) and a Program Manager (Steve) we spend our time wrangling our naughty dog Pippa (who was a flower girl at the wedding) and even naughtier cat Mr Tibbs. We’re also turning a VW transporter van into a camper, training for triathlons and always saving for the next ski trip.
How did the proposal go down?
Soooo romantic! At the end of a 5 month trip travelling the world we were star gazing in the snow in Lake Tekapo in New Zealand, a dark sky reserve known for its unbelievable stars. Steve asked me what had been the best bit of the trip for me. After patiently waiting for me to ramble on about the entire trip for far too long I finally asked him the same and he replied that it was knowing for sure that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. I looked down from the stars to find him on one knee in the snow with a ring!
He’d put a lot of planning into it as he got my sister to bring the ring out with her when she’d visited us several months earlier and then he had to keep it hidden from me until he proposed. He even managed to find a window of time when I wasn’t around (there weren’t many of those as we were sharing a camper van!) to Skype my parents first and ask for their blessing too.
I sent Amy to various places that meant something to us, the first place we met (school), the place where we had our first kiss (my old house) etc. Each place started with a cryptic clue, which she had to solve and each place she arrived at, Amy was greeted by one of our friends or family. She was handed a single red rose, a puzzle piece and her next clue. Once arriving at her penultimate destination, she was told to change into something fancy and arrange all the puzzle pieces she had collected on her way to complete the picture. All pieced together, these made a Christmas tree – the final destination of the hunt and where I was meeting her. By this point I knew she’d know exactly what I was planning, and all would become crystal clear. As every year since we’ve been together, we go to a nearby village and sing Christmas carols on the green. It was here that I’d be waiting, with a bouquet of roses and of course a special question.
How did you choose Harvest Moon as your wedding venue?
We had a wish list of things we wanted from a venue:
To be able to have the ceremony and reception at the same place, to have some accommodation onsite for guests, no corkage, freedom to choose our own suppliers, for it to be pretty informal & for it to be somewhere beautiful.
When we saw Harvest Moon online it seemed to good to be true-it ticked all of our boxes, was within our budget and had the most beautiful beach that you could get married on!
It was only the second venue that we went to see and we both agreed as soon as we’d seen it that it was ‘the one’!
Vibe & Style
We wanted everyone to have a lot of fun & just have an epic party. Lots of good food, good booze and good music were top of our list. We didn’t really have a theme but went for a relaxed rustic-y style.
We chose pretty simple table decorations – hessian table runners with flowers and candles in jam jars on log slices (nothing very original I’m afraid but we thought it looked lovely). My Mum did all the flowers for us (she was an absolute superstar) which I bought from New Covent Garden flower markets a couple of days before the wedding – spray roses, blue thistles and gypsophila – I wanted it to look pretty and quite informal.
What was you best decision during the wedding planning?
We can’t really pick a best one – we were so happy with all our choices! Probably more luck than judgement but we were definitely very lucky!
What was the hardest decision?
How much booze to buy! We decided to provide all our own alcohol as nothing gets a party going like a free bar but it was so hard to know how much people would drink and we were miles from anywhere so there was nowhere to get more from if we ran out!
As it turned out we had plenty – we’ll be drinking wedding wine for months and although we ran out of jaeger I think that was probably best!
What were your favourite memories of the day?
The ceremony was amazing. We had a humanist ceremony and it was so personal and so meaningful, and saying our vows to each other on this huge, beautiful beach in front of all the people we loved – it really was so perfect.
After that everything went so fast, it all turned into a bit of a blur but running away with Roo to go and do some couple photos – clambering over the dunes and paddling in the sea as the sun went down was a lovely break from all the madness and to let it all sink in.
Doing some crazy dancing and covering everyone in glitter were also highlights.
What advice would you have for any couples planning their wedding?
Do as much as you can in advance, there is always so much more to be done than you expect and everything takes longer than you think it will.
Set yourself deadlines to have things done by. Accept all offers of help and don’t be afraid to conscript help if necessary!
Don’t get too caught up in trying to be different from everyone else or in trying to please everyone. Just go with what you like – it’s your wedding after all.
Supplier shout outs:
Caterer: Jo Lawrence of Jo’s Kitchen. Made us the most delicious Middle Eastern inspired feast, everyone said it was the best wedding food they’d ever eaten! Jo was full of ideas and suggestions but flexible with the budget and took everything in her stride the entire time!
Hair & Make-up: Monica and Sharon of the Made Up team were so friendly and relaxed but also incredibly talented & professional, they did such an amazing job, everyone just looked gorgeous!! https://www.themadeupteam.com
Band: Our live band Circus were amazing and kept the dance floor filled all night, even our caterer asked who they were as she was so impressed.
Dress: Jane Bourvis handmakes the most beautiful dresses from vintage lace and used the lace skirt from my mother’s dress to make mine. She is incredibly talented and if you love vintage lace she’s your lady