No beach? It was no problem for this coast-loving couple. Tara and David brought the sea, sand and sun to the Midlands for their wedding day with a seaside theme…

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How they met

Tara and David met when they moved in together during their final year at university. “We’d arranged to share a house through friends of friends, but had never actually met before,” Tara explains. “We hit it off really well, and had our first kiss while watching Cars after a night out at the student union.”

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The proposal

Surfer David took Tara to one of his bride’s favourite haunts to pop the question. “We were travelling around Devon and Cornwall in our VW campervan, and stopped off in Padstow – my favourite place, ever since I was a child,” Tara remembers. “We had a lovely meal at Rick Stein’s restaurant, then Dave took me to the harbour, where he got down on one knee and listed all the reasons why he wanted to marry me. I said yes, and we drank a bottle of champagne on the harbour wall.”

The bride’s outfit

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After several stressful dress-shopping experiences, Tara had narrowed her choices down to a shortlist of six. “But then I went to one last shop, and completely changed my mind!” she laughs. The perfect gown turned out to be a beautiful fishtail style from Pronovias with a lace overlay, which Tara customised with buttons added to the back and a crystal appliqué at the waist. “It felt elegant, floaty, romantic – everything I had dreamed my wedding dress would be like since I was a little girl,” Tara smiles.

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The groom’s outfit

David turned heads in a navy blue morning suit from Slater’s, worn with a striking yellow cravat for a pop of colour. “Dave knew exactly what he wanted, and looked so handsome and smart,” Tara recalls.

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The bridesmaids

Tara was attended by a close friend from university, and another friend from school, along with a gaggle of little flowergirls and page boys. “I could easily have chosen more bridesmaids, but I was mindful of keeping costs down,” she explains. The girls looked sensationally summery in their lemon yellow dresses from Lamport Wedding Outlet.

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The ceremony

Tara travelled to the couple’s civil ceremony in a deconsecrated church in her dad’s vintage car, while David drove the groomsmen in his yellow camper van. “I had my pre-wedding meeting with the registrar in the camper while the guests waited in the church!” laughs Tara. “It really helped me relax.”

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The flowers

Tara’s next door neighbour, a florist, put together the bouquets and buttonholes, but Tara and her mum arranged the flowers for the venue, ordering from a wholesaler who delivered them the day before the wedding. “I love colour and variety, so I chose lots of different colours and sizes of beautiful blooms,” Tara explains.

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The reception

The reception was held in a marquee at Launde Abbey, a multi-faith centre usually used for silent retreats. “Dave and I love the beach and would have liked to get married by the sea, but we didn’t want to make our guests travel hundreds of miles,” Tara explains. “Instead, we had a rustic, seaside theme wedding, with tables named after our favourite bays.”

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The details

Tara and David brought the beach theme to life with flower-filled jam jars, abstract bunting, and bunting made from photos of friends and family pegged onto yellow baker’s twine. “We also had a starlit dance floor with a disco ball in the marquee, which was hidden behind a reveal curtain for maximum impact,” Tara adds.

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The cake

The couple chose a single- tier wedding cake, made by a family friend, surrounded by carrot cake and red velvet cupcakes in decorative cases. As a quirky but cute twist, Tara decorated the top tier of the cake with a Sylvanian Families wedding scene.

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The honeymoon

Tara and David went off the beaten track with an incredible backpacking honeymoon in Indonesia. During their amazing trip they saw orangutans in the wild, went surfing (of course!) and snorkelling and enjoyed traditional Balinese massages. Bliss!

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