A Beach Wedding in Devon
Kirsty and Richard set out to get married in Ibiza. Unfortunately global events conspired to make that logistically difficult. Luckily they managed to find a suitable alternative for their wedding day – Tunnels Beaches in Ilfracombe, North Devon. I’ve written about Tunnels before. Working as a wedding photographer in Devon it is one of my favourite wedding venues, if you’ve been there and absolutely perfect if you are planning a beach wedding in Devon.
Having established that their wedding was going to stay firmly on British soil. Kirsty and Richard set to planning a wedding day that would have all the feel of a Mediterranean wedding. I started the day with bridal prep in ‘Woodlands’ – one of the luxuriously appointed properties at this North Devon wedding venue. Both sides of the wedding party were getting ready in different parts of the building do I was able to easily move between photographing both the bridal prep and the groom prep. They had friends and family staying with them and there was a lovely feel to the start of the day.
A Devon Beach Wedding Ceremony
The sun beginning to burn through and the day was beginning to warm up. One thing about weddings in Devon is that you can never quite guarantee that the weather is going to play ball. But the forecast was suggesting that the bride and groom may be in luck. I took a wander down to the beach below the wedding venue to take some opening shots. Kirsty and Richard had decided to have their wedding ceremony on the patio above the beach. For some reason it always reminds me of being on some sort of lost forgotten island. The views out across the sea are magnificent.
As the time for the wedding ceremony drew near, Richard and the groomsmen gathered at the alter. The bride and groom had sneakily conducted the ‘legal’ wedding before the wedding day. This meant they were free for a friend to ‘marry’ them on the day. If you an do this, it’s a nice way of making sure that the wedding ceremony is bespoke to you and becoming more and more popular for weddings in Devon. With everything ready and set, it was time for Kirsty’s entrance. She looked absolutely marvellous. As Kirsty walked down the aisle, a slight breeze caught her veil. For a moment it hung in the air before detaching. It could have been a calamitous moment but was greeted with smiles and a cheer from the wedding guests.
A Beach Wedding in Devon - Drinks above the Ocean
Luckily the rest of the wedding ceremony went without a hitch. I loved the inclusion of a box where they deposited letters and a bottle of wine (with both the box to be opened, wine to be uncorked and the letters to be read in 30 years time). What an absolutely lovely idea. Maybe it’s something you could include in your wedding in Devon? A blizzard of confetti and we were all set for drinks and canapés. To give the party a real Ibiza feel, the DJ started straight after the wedding ceremony. He was joined by a wedding saxophonist, to lift the tunes to another level. We used the time to also nip down to the beach below and get some groups photos. All very informal and it also gave me the opportunity for group photos and photos with Kirsty and Richard on the beach.
If I can, I like to try and get a couple of short wedding photography sessions in with the bride and groom. The light will always change through the day and you can never rely on weather. But the main thing is that by doing it this way, the bride and groom shoot does not impact on the timeline of the day. One thing about this Devon wedding venue is that it has so many options for wonderful photos. Two beaches that seem to go on forever. It is what makes it one of the most popular locations for a beach wedding in Devon.
Weddings in Devon - Speeches and a Spectacular Sunset
The guests were gathering upstairs for the wedding breakfast and speeches. Every couple that I work with has a back story as to how they got to their wedding day. There are often laughter and tears in that story (sometimes both at the same time. I’ll not give the details of the story I heard on that day, but I found it really moving. We don’t get enough time on this planet with those that we love. Use every second wisely.
With the wedding breakfast finished, the evening party was due to start. Before this began, Kirsty and Richard and I had agreed to go for a wonder down onto the beach and the tidal pool. If you have been to Tunnels Beaches then you will know where I am talking about. One of the things that makes this place so very special for beach weddings in Devon. It was low tide and I had nipped out just before to have an explore. In the craggy foreshore I had managed to find a new location that I had not photographed before. This is where we set off too. I am so glad we did. The wedding photos that I shot there were just what I was looking for. The sun also then decided to give us a golden glow as it started to set and we used it for some more bride and groom photos on the tidal pool. A quick sparkler shot in one of the tunnels and we were all set for the party.
First Dance, the end of the Devon Beach Wedding day
As we walked back up I could here the Wedding DJ and saxophonist playing. We were straight into the first dance. A setting sun and a packed dance floor. This Devon wedding was really in Balearic territory now. I spun round with the dancers getting my last few shots of the day. What a wedding day it was. I always love how every wedding is different. The question here is did Kirsty and Richard manage to achieve an Ibiza wedding in Devon? The answer is yes. Yes they did and then some. Why bother with the hassle of getting married in the mediterranean, just get married on a beach in Devon. It’s the same, but better.