Love the laid back coolness of this seaside inspired wedding at the Royal Pavilion on Southend Pier, Southend-On-Sea. Heidi and Ian had a fun Pirate theme incorporating loads of brilliant ideas! Including whimsical bucket and spades, ‘Just Married’ rock and personal sea creatures for the guests’ favours, a seagull guarding the cakes, Pirate centre pieces, and their very own wedding train which transported the guests to the end of the pier! (Think this is the first time I’ve seen a real life wedding train!) And what’s more, before boarding the train, each guest was handed an ice cream by Southend’s finest ice cream people – Rossi, what an absolute treat! Check out these brilliant photos of the day where everyone looks so happy and relaxed, and read on for more details from the bride herself…
Names – Heidi Kendrick & Ian Livermore
Wedding Date – 31st May 2014
The Vision for The Day – To celebrate our wedding day at the seaside with our family and mates. This morphed into a wedding day at the seaside with a soupcon of piratehood.
The Planning Process – We wanted the Best Party Ever. This involved adding elements of every idea we ever had about what a Best Party would involve…as we are quite old, there were lots of them!
We had plenty of time to sort out who would be in charge of what, which gave me complete control of the playlists and Ian the opportunity to go all Pirate on the table decorations. Some of our first “non-negotiables” were that we didn’t want a day-into-night wedding (we did the whole thing from 12 noon til 5, which gave everyone their evening back…we went to see a band in the evening along with some of the guests who were staying over), and that we didn’t want an official photographer.
Budget & Venue – £10,000 all in (came in under budget!). Venue was the very beautiful Royal Pavilion, Southend Pier, Southend-on-Sea, Essex. We had our own wedding train to take everyone down to the end of the pier, and Southend’s finest ice cream, Rossi’s, handed out to guests as they boarded the train. The table decorations evolved organically after a visit to Hobbycraft, whose pirate ship centrepieces Ian had to have.
The Dress and Accessories – Dress: Phase Eight. Shoes: Irregular Choice. Necklace and earrings from Pilgrim, bracelet was my “something borrowed” from my happily married mate Angela.
Grooms & Bridesmaids attire – the rapidly shrinking Ian (who lost 3 stone from first fitting to wedding day) wore a very handsome grey suit with an embroidered waistcoat which arrived after breakfast on the morning of the wedding, along with a variety of hats. His daughter Lauren was the stunning bridesmaid in a Monsoon dress.
The Readings – “The Two of Us” by the Mr T Experience (it’s a song, but worked better as a reading), read by Jen with confidence and spirit on her first major event in maternity gear.
Music and First Dance – Ian’s a ska fan and I love indie music, so we did our own playlists on an Ipod, which worked beautifully. We had “How High” by the Charlatans going up the aisle, and although we didn’t have a lot of room for dancing, had a bit of a sway to “This Head I Hold” by Electric Guest. Epic.
The Food – As the pier is not the best place for fire in general, we had a local caterer, Affinity, who is used to working at the end of the pier. We had posh canapes during cocktail hour, and went back to tradition for the main meal with a variety of small bowl meals, which included sausage and mash. The food was delicious, and the small bowl option meant that everyone could try everything instead of having to choose.
The Flowers – We got the flowers from Southend Council’s nursery which were beyond gorgeous.
The Cake – We had a variety of little sweet things from M&S, including macaroons, mini cupcakes and brownie triangles. Not a single bite left at the end!
Your Photographer – As we both had a horror of spending half the day posing and still looking like freaks, one of Ian’s mates did the honours and got some fabulous pictures of everyone being random…which of course was what we wanted.
The Details and Décor – A combination of seaside and pirateness – bunting, sea shells, a white and blue colour scheme, and a seagull guarding the cake stand, with a few heart shaped balloons thrown in. All the guests got a bucket and spade set, “just married” rock, Love Hearts, and their own sea creature. Our master stroke was having Mr Pinchy the lobster hold our wedding rings til they were needed.
The Honeymoon – As we have both just started up new businesses, we are looking forward to spending Christmas in Fuerteventura. If our honeymoon-ness has worn off by then, we can at least be arguing in the sun!
Memorable Moments – The noise level was truly remarkable with plenty of laughter – we especially loved getting our two lots of friends and family together and seeing them get along so well.
Advice for other couples – Chill and share! We had a mega time bouncing ideas off each other, and loved that our guests knew who had put what ideas into the mix. Bring your personalities into it. When you’re in the planning stages, think about what worked and what didn’t in other weddings you’ve been to. Ask your married friends what the best bits of their big day were. When you’re setting up your budget, sort out what your priorities are and spend up there, cutting back a bit elsewhere. Wedding websites and Amazon will be your best friends when it comes to looking for those little special touches. And please remember that everyone’s there to share your joy, not to find fault. And if you do have potential guests like that, do you really want them there? It’s your day. Own it. Wish you a wonderful wedding!
Thanks so much for all of this great information on your day Heidi, plus this excellent advice – ‘chill and share’ seems like perfect advice to me! We love the idea of the ‘small bowls’ for the meal, the reading sounds epic and the Charlatan’s song is one of my faves! Good luck to both of you and have an amazing honeymoon in the sun!