Josh + Callie by Marta Ilardo Photography

We wanted to take everyone we love to a place that felt like they were on holiday, overlooking the beautiful ocean, as that’s how we got engaged and felt our happiest together.

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…
We both live in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex in the UK with our cat Freddie. We are 31 and are both December babies. Callie is a Ballroom dance teacher and Josh is an Account Manager at Indeed. We love fashion, and music and are big foodies. We have very similar interests and have a lot in common – it’s strange really! We both grew up in Chelmsford, Essex about 2 minutes away from each other but didn’t meet until we were 14.

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?
We met in High School – I (Callie) remember seeing Josh in a school theatre show and thought he looked really cool but this was about age 13 so I didn’t think much more of it! We finally met about a year later when we were put in the same Food Tech class. Josh thought it was odd that I was a vegetarian and used to sneak meat gravy granules in my savoury creations!! We became good friends until the age of 18 when we saw a different side to each other at a friend’s party and the rest is history!

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?
After a fun summer dating, we went to separate universities after a very emotional farewell – assuming we’d drift apart. We soon realised we could be together despite living in separate cities – Josh in London and Callie in Canterbury. After we made the decision to be “official”, we knew it would last and it made weekends when we saw each other even more special and exciting. It also meant we could actually focus on our studies during the week! Our biggest test was in 2012 when Callie worked in Paris and Josh got whisked off to a French modelling gig whilst visiting, where we were separated for a few months with very little contact. After the best reunion, we knew we soon had to move in together and lived in London after university.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…
— Yes – after 10 years together, Josh finally proposed! We had been best friends for a long time and were very happy with the life we’d created together so we were in no rush to make any changes but it was such a nice surprise when Josh proposed to me on our holiday in Cornwall. He had arranged to visit the Minack Theatre (knowing I love anything to do with singing & dancing) followed by a walk to the most southern part of the UK, Logan Rock. We found a quiet spot to sit and overlook the blue sea where I turned to Josh and there he was on one knee. I cried my eyes out before finally saying yes! We got married in our 13th year together – pretty much exactly 13 years after our first kiss.

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…
We wanted a day that felt relaxed but still had the wow factor. We wanted to take everyone we love to a place that felt like they were on holiday, overlooking the beautiful ocean, as that’s how we got engaged and felt our happiest together. We explored some places in France and then we couldn’t believe it when we visited Tunnels Beaches in Devon. It was just perfect. It created exactly the atmosphere we wanted and it was in the UK so much easier for our friends and family to get to! Style-wise, we love anything that looks chic and timeless so this influenced all the styling and clothing. Callie, being a lover of the arts, really wanted to add her own touch to the wedding so she made the ribbons and table linen and dried flowers for the tables and petals for confetti.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?
2 things! Number 1 – our outfits, they had to be perfect in order for us to feel great on the day. We’re so glad we wore exactly what we wanted and made no compromises. The fabric, colour and cut was so important to us and it all worked out beautifully. The photos look amazing and we’ll treasure them forever, so it was worth it!

Number 2 – The entertainment – and this really paid off! We actually didn’t need to spend a huge amount in the end but we had 3 lots of entertainment throughout the day and some fabulous playlists in between acts. Everyone loved the music from the ceremony choices – right to the last song of the night. The entertainment/music choices really set the mood for the day and created an incredible atmosphere. We didn’t appreciate just how important this would be before the wedding but are so glad we put a lot of time and effort into planning every detail beforehand. The Ibiza party vibes of the saxophonist during our reception really started the day off with a bang and our guests were on a high the whole day after that. A lot of people said it was the first wedding where they’d partied before the party even began! We had a conga line going at only a couple of hours into the day!

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?

Callie — tried on SO many different styles and none of them felt right. I knew I wanted something with a vintage style but that still felt like it was from this decade. When I found the Iris dress I knew it was just perfect; perfect for the venue, our style as a couple and perfect for me. It is a straight fit down to the ankle (60’s style) with a square neck. I fell in love with all the details; the mesh back, the buttons all the way down the back of the dress, the split to the knee at the back and the pearls on the spaghetti straps. I wanted to create some added drama (you only get married once!) so I was blown away when I found out it could come with an overskirt with a bow at the back. I felt like a princess in the day and then whipped it off just before our first dance! I wore my late Nan’s ivory jacket outside in the evening which went perfectly with the colour and style of the dress. I felt honoured to show off her clothes as she really did have style!

Josh, being a fashion lover, wanted to also keep his wedding outfit a secret so I had no idea what he was going to wear! I knew he would look amazing and he did. He also went for the classic chic look with a 60s style cropped trouser and a 1940s style Paraboot. He’d spent months creating and growing the perfect hair style with his hairdresser at Chopp in Leigh-on-Sea.

LOCATION, CATERING & BEVERAGES Tunnels Beaches, @tunnelsbeaches / PHOTOGRAPHER Marta Ilardo Photography, @martailardo_photos / SAXOPHONIST Daniel Costin, @danielcostinonsax / GUITARISTS Dew Barf / BAND Archives Band, @archivescoversband / STYLING Callie styled herself / PLANNER Ourselves / FLORA Sweet Williams Flowers, @sweetwilliamsflowers / STATIONERY Papier / TABLE NUMBERS ON VASES Bear & Rose / CALLIE’S DRESS Iris dress with overskirt by Rara Avis, @raraavis_group from Crazy in Love Bridal, @crazyinlovebridal / JOSH’S JACKET & SHIRT Anthony Formal Wear, @anthony_formalwear / TROUSERS Reiss, @reiss / RINGS Madison Jewellers, @madisonjewellers / CALLIE’S SHOES Rainbow Club, @rainbowclubuk / JOSH’S SHOES Paraboot, @paraboot_official / SUNGLASSES Ray-Ban, @rayban / GOLD EARRINGS Made to order from Niche Jewellery / NECKLACE Vintage gold St Christopher necklace / VINTAGE VEIL From a charity shop / VINTAGE JACKET Vintage St Michael ivory jacket which was Callie’s late Nan’s jacket / MAKEUP @cloemariebeauty / HAIR Callie did her hair herself with the help of bridesmaid Kelly / FRAGRANCE English Pear & Freesia paired with Wood Sage & Sea salt from Jo Malone, @jomalonelondon; Tom Ford, @tomford / GROOMSMEN’S TUXES Anthony Formal Wear, @anthony_formalwear / SHOES Converse, @converse / BRIDESMAID DRESSES Motel Rocks, @motelrocks / FLOWER GIRL DRESS Next, @nextofficial / PAGE BOY OUTFIT Kidz Exclusive, @kidzexclusive

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