The Beauty of the Ocean

Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny and this is the case with Camilla and Chris. I might be biased because I live in Cornwall but it’s the most magnificent place in the world and Prussia Cove at the very distant end of the country, over looking the mighty Atlantic Ocean is a dreamy fairy tale place. Like the famous quote ‘there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away’, it is a paradise setting for a stunning wedding.

Finding the perfect dress for Camilla was difficult as she found every dress she tried on could be her perfect dress as in her own words she is indecisive but she fell in love with the designers Laure de Sagazan, Rime Arokady and Temperley. With the help from Rebecca, Camilla tried on a dress that was completely different; this dress was the WOW dress. Combining two designers Camilla created something very unique, with an effortlessly elegant Stephanie Allin Margot gown and a bohemian chic Attar top by Laure de Sagazan this perfectly suited the relaxed, coastal and romantic setting of their wedding. Camilla’s waxed Flower crown is the type of accessory I could wear everyday if I could. Camilla & Chris’ Wedding is perfect in my books.

I hope you love the beautiful photographs by Andy Green at Harrera Images as much as I do.

Tell us a little about yourself?

My Name is Camilla Banks and I’m 32 years old. From London originally, I lived and worked there for 10 years as a Television Producer / Director travelling all over the world with my work, until 2012 when my now husband, Chris and I, up sticks and moved to Mousehole in Cornwall, where I am now run my own Interior Design business and a small successful chain of Luxury Holiday Rentals.

How did you meet your Groom?

Chris and I met on a job, he also works in Television as a Director of Photography (Cameraman) filming in the Jordanian desert. We hit it off immediately, and started dating in secret so as not to interfere with our work! We got engaged in January 2013, on my 30th birthday on a frozen glacial lake in Iceland, however our plans to get married were put slightly on hold when Chris was diagnosed with a very serious neck cancer later that summer. After a horrendous year of treatment and recovery, he was given the all clear and our plans to get married felt all the more important to us.

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How did you come across The Mews?

I was the bride that didn’t like wedding dresses, whilst I love getting dressed up and playing with clothes, I hated the idea of dressing up as ‘a bride’ for the day and losing my sense of style and personality. I came across The Mews by accident when I was scouting pinterest for dresses. I stumbled across a Laure de Sagazan dress that I fell in love with which led me to The Mews. I was over the moon when I found The Mews and in fact I didn’t visit any other wedding dress shops during my search as I knew their collection embodied exactly what I was looking for… so I visited both the Clifton and Notting Hill branches, finally settling on a dress from the Clifton shop.

What styles were you channelling whilst dress shopping?

I was actually fairly open minded when it came to the perfect dress, I guess my only directives were that I wanted something relaxed, with a vintage touch, but really something which just complemented my usual style.

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Tell us about finding your perfect Wedding dress?

Finding the perfect dress was actually really difficult for me, as I am VERY indecisive on the best of days, and basically every single dress I tried on was ‘the perfect dress’… which I know is a fairly good problem to have, but it still made choosing ‘the one’ really tough. My first appointment was with Rebecca at the Clifton store, she told me to take a look around the store and select a number of dresses I wanted to try… so I basically selected the entire Laure de Sagazan collection, with a few Rime Arodaky and Temperley pieces thrown in for good measure (but all of a very similar look). Seeing that I hadn’t been very adventurous in my selection, Rebecca encouraged me to pick something completely different… which I did very reluctantly, a Stephanie Allin piece… and that was the wow dress and the one I ultimately chose, so I have Rebecca to thank for that.

I chose the Stephanie Allin dress after much indecision, but my heart was still with the Laure de Sagazan dresses, which I felt had so much more personality to them, so on a fitting with Rebecca I asked if I could try the Attar top on over the dress, and my problems were solved, I had the best of both worlds.

For me it wasn’t just about the right dress though, it was the whole look. About 6 months before the wedding i’d seen an image of a bride with a vintage wax flower crown, and I decided that would complete my look, it took me months and months to find one that was just right, and It just completed the look perfectly!

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I would also love to mention how wonderful Rebecca and the girls at The Mews were, they just made the whole experience amazing!! I trusted their opinions, and I felt like they actually cared about helping me find the perfect look for my day. I honestly couldn’t recommend them highly enough.

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Where did your wedding day take place? Was there any themes or inspiration behind your day?

Our wedding was in Cornwall close to where we live at a place called Porth-en-Alls, Prussia Cove. It is the most incredible venue, in fact as soon as we were engaged we knew that was where we wanted to get married if we could as it embodied everything we love about Cornwall. Set in it’s own private cove overlooking the sea, it’s a beautiful old rambling house, pretty much untouched, with heaps of character and eccentricity. We had a Humanist ceremony outside in the walled garden, and then a marquee right on the cliff top for reception. We managed the whole day outside, without a spot of rain, and it was Glastonbury weekend!

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What did he wear?

Chris wore a bespoke blue wool suit by Saville Row tailors Cad and the Dandy.

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What was your favourite detail of the day?

It’s really hard to say, both myself and Chris are really visual people so a lot of thought went into each and every detail of the wedding.

Bridal Party – we wanted a relaxed look for our bridal party and they all looked so wonderful together. My bridesmaids wore Preen dresses, and my flower girls wore Zara. Chris’s Best man and groomsmen were in country casual jackets with chinos and brogues – all in keeping with the venue and complementing one another with out being too regimented in their look.

Flowers – the flowers had to be one of my favourite details. Susanne from The Blue Carrot was incredible. We didn’t have a specific colour regime, we wanted the flowers to represent the wild flowers that grew naturally in our part of the world. Our bouquets were insanely beautiful and the tables were adorned with various jars and pots, no two arrangements the same.

Important details to us were the elements we crafted ourselves. Chris made a willow arch for us to get married under, and I spent weeks sewing and crafting along with my family members to make bunting, napkins, etc, etc!

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What advise would you give out to a bride to be about finding the perfect dress?

I would do your research first, there are so many bridal shops out there, each catering to different brides. Had I just walked in to a regular shop I would have hated everything and been completely disheartened, but by doing a little bit of research beforehand, I found The Mews which was perfectly suited to me. I would also say be open minded, trust the experts and try different shapes and styles as I guarantee most brides don’t end up wearing a style of dress they thought they would like to wear.

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Words of wedded wisdom?

The week we got married was honestly the most fun I’ve ever had, you can’t under estimate how much fun it is having all the people you love in one room together, all wishing you happy thoughts, it’s overwhelming.

Be organised, get the important elements booked, and then relax, trust in the suppliers you have employed and enjoy the planning process, what a shame if your memories were of what a stress it all was in the lead up!

The best piece of advice my sister in law gave me, was don’t panic spend in the last few weeks leading up to the big day, extra decorations etc… you don’t need them!

The honest truth, is not a lot changes after you’re married (I’m probably not supposed to say that!!) but it’s a wonderful opportunity to wake up the next day and be the best version of yourself and honour your commitment to your partner and be kind to one another.

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