Intimate DIY Rainy Beach Wedding at Tunnels Beaches, Ilfracombe | John + Amy | Grace Elizabeth | Alternative Wedding Photographer, Colchester, Essex
Oh where do you start with a wedding like this one? A beautiful couple (actually, let me correct myself *a beautiful family!), beautiful location and beautifully thought-out, DIY wedding day. I couldn’t ask for any more.
I first met John and Amy earlier this year at a little coffee shop local to us. Amy was heavily pregnant at the time, but she was super eager to get all of her wedding plans finalised and sorted out. A few weeks later, the next time I met them they had an extra little family member: baby Cooper. We chilled out for Cooper’s newborn photos in June at Mersea Beach, somewhere they love to go all of the time as a family. Therefore, it was only natural that their DIY, intimate relaxed wedding day just had to be held at Tunnels Beaches in Ilfracombe, North Devon.
Many of you will know, Devon holds a special place in my heart. I spent many of my teenage years living there (as a ‘grockle’ so to speak!), fell in love with a bearded guy from that very coast, and now go back as often as I can… but I had never photographed at Tunnels Beaches before!
Sadly, it did rain all day (yes, no exaggeration!), but it didn’t let us dampen our spirits! The family had driven all the way from Suffolk for their wedding day, including Amy’s 92 year old grandmother (who was not only the sweetest lady but had some cracking dance moves!) and John’s grandfather (who was equally gentle and I know how much the wedding meant to him!) - so, in the words of Queen ‘the show must go on!’
Amy started the day quietly getting ready with baby Cooper and her mum in one of the little suites the venue has, and then John arrived with the boys, raring to go. He made the call to have the ceremony outside despite the weather, because, in his words ‘we came all this way to get married outside because we love this venue, so we will get married outside!’ I am so glad he did, because it was just PERFECT.
Despite being told not to get photos of him crying, unfortunately this wasn’t to be, and I did watch a rather emotional John see his bride for the first time. One of my very favourite photos is of John crying and Hudson, their son, looking up to him with so much love and happiness in his eyes. Documenting this kind of emotion really is what my job is all about!
After a short but emotional ceremony, came a long receiving line full of hugs and kisses, and then it was time for food and speeches. I have never almost laughed out loud so much with the speeches, which included Amy’s fathers’ speech with some hilarious homemade jackets (apparently John is a ‘DIY kind of guy’), followed by John’s super emotional speech, and Hudson’s both hilarious and tear-jerker of a speech. He might be half my age, but he had me in both stitches and tears as he read his speech from none other than a capri-sun box (‘You would not believe how many we had to drink for this to be possible!’ Amy’s brother told me.)
The rest of the day speaks for itself: some serious dance moves, some lovely outdoor photos of the two of them together, some photos with stolen beach chairs (if you mention something to me as a joke, you can be assured I’ll take you up on the offer, hence the rollercoaster beach chair photo with the bridal party!), and just lots of love and laughs.
Thank you so much for having me be your wedding photographer, John and Amy, I wish you all the love in the world!
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