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Real Brides - Annie & Paddy's Cliff Top Wedding

Beautiful bride Annie approached us looking for a bespoke hat to complement her 1950s-inspired wedding dress (expertly crafted by her mum)! We settled on a stunning and unusual style, based upon our 'Madame Butterfly' design. This light and airy 'brush stroke' shape is created from layers of fine tulle, combined with eye catching silk flowers and foliage to tie in with her yellow colour scheme. Her beautiful vintage hair style on the day worked effortlessly with this side slanting hat.

Annie kindly shares with us pictures and details from their big day on the Cornish cliffs, showing how she rocked her vintage-inspired hat all day and all night!

We love the fun and relaxed feel of the couple's family friendly wedding, and we think you’ll be just as inspired as we were!

What made you choose your venue?

We always wanted to split our day in two with a 10.45am legal, intimate ceremony in the morning followed by a  fun, informal service with all 120 guests in the afternoon with two friends acting as MCs. It was actually a really nice way to do it – it elongated the day and meant all the ‘getting married’ emotions and nerves were shared with just close family and friends. The added bonus was that it left a couple of hours in the middle of the day for Paddy and I to go off alone to enjoy driving the car, and have a picnic on the cliffs while doing some amazing location photos (taken by our close friends Andy and Rach), without feeling guilty that we were spending too much time away from our guests and the celebrations.

It did mean we had to find 2 venues but Merchants Manor in Falmouth did a great job for the morning ceremony. They have a lovely room which is registered for ceremonies and the staff were slick and professional. We then needed a big venue that would be able to host a relaxed ‘festival vibe’ celebration for up to 160 guests. We were keen for a late night closing policy and we didn’t want too many formalities; we hated the idea of a 3 hour sit down meal with endless speeches and tiny plates of food. The eco park has a beautiful campsite with 2 shepherds huts, so we decided to book this all privately for the wedding weekend meaning free accommodation for those who wanted to bring tents or a camper. Loads of people camped and we all ended up singing around the fire pit until the early hours.

We needed a venue who would allow us a lot of flexibility as we had plans to build our own bale tossing competition rig, set up an open mic stage outside and have a face painter for the kids. The venue has a beautiful covered courtyard and indoor barn where the band played. Their events lawn with the geo-dome and their open-air amphitheatre was perfect for these activities and our second ceremony.  They only do vegetarian food and are really socially and sustainably minded so it felt like a really good place to support.

What was the inspiration behind your styling, decorations and outfits?

I wanted a dress which I could move in and that was simple yet elegant. I sort of had Audrey Hepburn 1950s vogue in my head! I am very lucky to have a talented mum who could make my dress so we found a pattern and mum adapted it. We also took inspiration from the designer Suzannah who does 1950s inspired outfits – mum discovered her after seeing Darcey Bussell wear one of her dresses on strictly! We had a fun time on Berwick Street in London choosing the silk fabric and it obviously meant it was an extra special process – memories with my mum and a garment which I will always treasure!

We went yellow with the theme and made our bunting and the flower girl’s dresses from fabric we had got while on holiday in Ghana. We hung old bike wheels (we are big cycle tourers) from the ceiling adorned with greenery and fairly lights. The year before we had made a huge vat of sloe gin which ended up being our wedding favours.   

What were the most important aspects for you to get right?

Making the day accessible and relaxing for everyone, including those with small kids. Booking a good band. Having enough time together on the day.

What made you choose me to make your headpiece and how did it make you feel wearing it on the day?

I always had in mind that I might get a hat made, something which would set off the dress, be a real statement, and fit with the 1950s styling. Then I found Holly’s site and couldn’t believe I had found the perfect milliner only 30 minutes drive from me! It was amazing to wear a hat I had actually commissioned in Cornwall. It meant my whole outfit was one of a kind and had been made completely from scratch for me. Every guest thought the hat was spectacular and I felt very special wearing it. I worked out later that I had it on for about 19 hours in total!

What were your favourite moments of your wedding?

Marrying my best friend and realising that we have the most amazing group of friends and family to support us on the journey. Watching everyone sketch us after the ceremony while we sat listening to friends singing and playing. Performing my favourite Ella Fitzgerald number accompanied by my dad on the open mic. Watching my side of the family win all the games during the Sheen V Cronin Olympics!

Anything else you’d like to add or any pearls of wisdom for future couples:

Organise a post-wedding bash somewhere – it was great to see everyone again the next day in a more relaxed environment. Don’t feel like you have to follow convention or other people’s expectations. Utilise the talents of your friends and family – it makes the day extra special and much more fun to plan!


Venues: Mount Pleasant Eco Park and Merchants Manor

Morning and Location shot Photographers: Rachel Jones and Andrew Bailey Photography

Afternoon photographer: Nia Sandy

Dress Designer and Car Provider: Lindsay and Richard Sheen!

Groom’s Outfit: Moss Brothers

Floris: Angela at Vintage and Bloom, Falmouth

Hair: Charlene’s Bridal Hair

Makeup: Emma Collyer

Band: ‘ The Art of Electro Swing’ – plus many, many friends and family!   

Hat: Holly Young Millinery