A Beautiful Wedding in Clovelly

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Karen and James (720)_pe just married Back in the day, my dad took a photo of my sister and myself on the steep, cobbled slope in Clovelly, North Devon. In the picture, one of us, I seem to remember, was sat on a donkey (no doubt yours truly) and t’other, was standing beside. I must have been about 8 or 9 at the time. I have no idea where that picture is now, but it’s an image that springs to mind, whenever I think of Clovelly http://www.clovelly.co.uk/

I’d never have imagined then that one day I would be walking along that very same, steep hill – which still looks pretty much the same as it did all those years ago – photographing a beautiful wedding!

When our sons were much younger, we took them to Clovelly for a day out whilst holidaying in Devon. Another very memorable day … especially the boat ride we took out to sea on one of the fishing boats from Clovelly harbour. The boys and Lee thought it was great fun and extremely exciting. Me? Well, naturally I was scared out of my wits being in that little boat on the very choppy water … and obviously my family found this highly amusing!!   I have to say, I was very relieved to get back onto dry land!

So of course it was fantastic to be asked to photograph a wedding in such a picturesque location, with such fond memories attached to it.

You may recall my previous post when we met with Karen and James, the bride and groom to be, for our pre-wedding get together https://romseyfotografix.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/a-trip-down-memory-lane-2/

The weekend of the wedding, at the beginning of this month, came round before we knew it. Lee and I travelled down to Devon on the Friday and we all met at the church – the historical All Saints, http://www.clovelly.co.uk/village/places-of-worship – that evening for the rehearsal. We always try and get to the wedding rehearsal if possible, as it’s a great opportunity to introduce ourselves to the clergy and ask where we are allowed to stand during the ceremony etc. The vicar in this case was very obliging indeed, very friendly with a wonderful sense of humour, which made for a relaxed time for all concerned. We took some test shots as the rehearsal got underway, which was of great benefit in preparation for the ceremony itself.

So the big day dawned. The weather forecast had promised torrential rain (great!). Luckily, although it was quite nippy with a gusty wind, and the odd spot of rain here and there, the threatened downpour never materialised – phew! It would have made life a little more tricky had the heavens opened, although we did have our big brollies with us, for the bride and groom, just in case 🙂

Our first stop of the morning was to the bridal suite to take some early getting ready shots of Karen and her Matron of Honour. All seemed nice and calm, although I expect there were a few butterflies!

BlogBoard-2 copyThe bridal room at the Red Lion in Clovelly harbour is quite exquisite and beautifully decorated.  It’s a super light, airy and spacious room, with fantastic views out to sea. A superb backdrop for the dress, shoes and flower shots!

BlogBoard-4 copyJames and his Bestman had stayed overnight at the New Inn, halfway up the cobbled street. They wandered down to the harbour area mid-morning, so we could get some shots of them against the brilliant views whilst the tide was out (making sure they were well out of sight of the bridal suite of course!).

Most of the wedding guests were staying in the Red Lion, where the reception was later to take place. The Clovelly Landrovers were on hand to transport everyone in stages to All Saints Church, back at the top of the hill.

James and his groomsmen were the first to head up to the church, and Lee and I followed shortly after in the next Landrover with the first group of wedding guests, so we could take the groom and party pictures at the church, as well as some informal pictures of the guests as they arrived.

The rings!

The rings!

Once these shots were in the bag, we hitched a ride in the Landrover going back down the hill, so we could take some more photos in the bridal suite. By this time, Karen was almost ready. We were able to get some gorgeous shots of her looking out to sea as well as those with her mum and dad and Matron of Honour.

Blog15 copyWe then jumped in a Landrover back to the church to await Karen’s arrival with her dad.

arrival-1 copyAfter the ceremony, we walked round to the gardens at the back of the church, with such incredible views – a fantastic backdrop indeed for the new “Mr and Mrs” to have their special shots taken with their family and friends.

BlogBoard-7 newlywedsAs the guests then made their way back down to the Red Lion in the Landrovers, I walked with the newlyweds to photograph them as they ambled happily together down the famous Clovelly cobbled street.

(Big thanks to the Bestman for carrying the brollies – which fortunately weren’t needed!)

pic one copy

The bride looking very stylish with the brollies!

The bride looking very stylish with the brollies!

It was a marvellous atmosphere, with the friendly locals shouting out their good wishes as we wandered along.

Lee in the meantime drove our car, which was parked at the church, back to the Red Lion and then walked up from the bottom of the hill to meet us half way – he had the tougher job – definitely much easier walking down the hill than up!

BlogBoard-cobbles copyAll the guests were safely back at the hotel enjoying their welcome drinks by the time we arrived, and it was almost time for the wedding breakfast and then the cake cutting. Those little rubber ducks you can see around the cake were given to the children – an unusual touch which of course went down very well with the little ‘uns 🙂

cake copyWe did some more shots on the stoney seafront and in the harbour of Karen and James later in the evening – yet more amazing photo opportunities!

evening9 copyThe party got underway and everyone let their hair down and had great fun – the hilarious “photobooth style” props went down very well with the kiddies – and the adults too as the evening got into full swing!!

You’ll see I’ve added a canvas effect to some of the shots for this post – which I reckon is rather apt; the village of Clovelly is like stepping into a picture-perfect world – even on a cloudy day!

Thanks so much, Karen and James, for giving us the opportunity to photograph your wonderful day, in such a fabulous location, which we know holds a special place in your hearts. And no doubt, even more so now 🙂

If anyone reading this fancies tying the knot in Clovelly here’s some more info http://www.clovelly.co.uk/weddings

A trip down Memory Lane

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Think of an extremely steep, olde worlde cobbled street, donkey rides, and the best views of the sea you could ever wish for … and where might you be?

Yep, you’ve guessed – it’s Clovelly in North Devon of course – which is where we’ve been this weekend 🙂 We’ve been lucky enough to be asked to photograph a wedding there in a couple of months time, which is brilliant, so we took a little visit to meet up and look around with the lovely bride and groom-to-be, Karen and James!!

As wedding venues in the UK go, this would have to be up there as one of the most perfect settings.

DSC_3349     DSC_3360 It was a fabulous treat for us to have this opportunity and it also brought back some great childhood memories of the place.   Not a lot has changed about Clovelly since those good old days.  It’s still as charming as ever, and just like stepping back in time.

We stayed in the nearby Hoops Inn http://www.hoopsinn.co.uk/ which, by the way, we can highly recommend – the food is out of this world and our room was very comfy.  The Inn has a very warm atmosphere and the folk there are very friendly and welcoming!

We arrived late Saturday afternoon and managed to get drenched in a downpour as we took an impromptu fleeting visit to nearby Bude to meet a friend, so it was a great relief to wake up to the sun streaming in (1st March and spring is in the air!). After a delicious full English breakfast, we headed off to meet Karen and James at the historic All Saints church (built in 1200), where they will be tying the knot.

The church is set back from the road, a short walk away from the entrance to the famous cobbled street of Clovelly. The walk up to the church door is via a pathway arched by trees, quite beautiful, especially with the sun seeping through the branches.


The church is built in typical Norman style; very quaint and obviously steeped in history. Great for sure but the hidden gem lay in the adjacent gardens – superb greenery with incredible views of the sea in the distance – talk about take your breath away!  Such a stunning backdrop for the wedding guest shots after the ceremony.

DSC_3305That in itself is a photographer’s dream, but then of course you have the more familiar part of Clovelly, which I’m sure many of you will know and love – personally I have very fond memories of it from childhood holidays – the steep hill, the donkeys (which aren’t about this time of year) and those famous cobbles.

Anyway, we headed off down the stoney path, soaking in the stunning views of the sea and scenery as we went, and naturally taking some shots of the happy couple and the views along the way. How amazing is this place!


DSC_3347The picturesque harbour, with its fishing boats and cottages, is a fantastic sight as you reach the bottom of the hill.

DSC_3354 DSC_3352The reception is being held in the Red Lion, with its superb views across the harbour and out to sea.

DSC_3356DSC_3360After a good lunch and lots of chatting in the Red Lion, Lee and I said our goodbyes to make our way back to the car, which of course was parked back at the top of the hill.

Climbing back up the steep hill was my biggest challenge of the weekend; I really should get to the gym more (well get to the gym full stop really 😉 ) Fortunately we made to back to the top just BEFORE the heavens opened. We’d certainly timed our visit right, having had the best of the weather on the way down when we needed it most!


So, all in all, an amazing weekend – can’t wait to photograph the “big day” itself!!!

Karen and James, we thank you 🙂