wedding couple sharing a kiss on the sandy cove balcony

Natalie & Jay’s Happily Ever After at The Sandy Cove Hotel

Natalie and Jay approached me back in 2020 to help plan their wedding day in Devon at The Sandy Cove Hotel on 21 May 2022. They had booked their venue and photographer Marc Collins Photography, but they soon realised that they were going to need a lot more support with getting organised.

Jay is a performer in a Rock Band that travels the world. He would be away at weeks at a time, and with four children between them, they knew it would be difficult to spend enough time on planning their wedding.

Natalie knew she definitely wanted the support of a wedding planner. So she got in touch with Kept Weddings to discuss her concerns and how I could help them create the day of their dreams.

Wedding couple sharing a kiss on the Sandy Cove balcony
MK Collins Photography

Wedding Consultation

Upon booking we already set another date and time to meet and discuss their vision for their wedding day. They wanted a romantic aesthetic with soft dusky pinks and dark green accents. Budget was firmly set so I was able to plan their budget to fit their desires and requirements.

They wanted to add a DJ, videographer, florist, decor and fireworks, along with a hair stylist and make up artist to get Natalie wedding day ready! The stationery was designed by one of her talented bridesmaids and the cake was especially made by her mother.


Once we discussed their full brief, I encouraged the couple to add images to a moodboard of the type of visuals they like. We then worked together to bring the look together.

Wedding couple during the ceremony at the sandy cove hotel
MK Collins Photography

The mood board set the precedence with all the suppliers I proposed to the couple. I suggested a small selection of carefully picked suppliers to meet their brief and awaited their feedback. For any supplier they wanted to proceed with, I would take the time to confirm the details, review the booking terms and conditions and check the payment information so the couple would know clearly what they were agreeing too.


Throughout the planning process we would meet up monthly to discuss the wedding planning progress. During this time it became clear to me that Natalie had a love for sunflowers. Sunflowers are of course bright yellow in colour and aesthetically would not fit their colour scheme. That said, it meant a lot to her to try and include sunflowers into her wedding day.

wedding couple saying i do at the sandy cove hotel
MK Collins Photography

I searched high and low for white or pink sunflowers, however it became pretty clear this is not something easy to obtain. The sunflowers I did find were faux, white and single stems, but I couldn’t do much with it on my own. I found a faux flower designer who was able to design the Sunflower was some green foliage and make them into wedding chair ties.

white sunflower wedding chair ties

A hurdle we did encounter during the planning process was the Councils decision to revoke the venue’s ability to let off fireworks. It was quite disappointing for the couple who booked the venue knowing this was an option. But they understood it was completely out of the venues hands. We looked at other options to create a similar impact to their wedding day but they decided to save the money instead.

On the Day Coordination

The Sandy Cove had strict get in times on the day of the wedding. This meant that on their own, they wouldn’t have had the chance to set up, while also having time to get ready. As the wedding planner, this was something I would take off their hands so they could relax the morning of their wedding.

bride getting flower girl ready
MK Collins Photography

Before heading to the venue I went to the bridal party’s getting ready accommodation (which was off-site) to see how they were getting on. The weather wasn’t great I had to say. With it being a seaside venue, this was a little concerning for Natalie but she understood it was completely outside of our control and was in good spirits.

When I arrived at the venue, it was like I had drove to a different country, the sun was shinning and it felt a lot warmer. Fantastic news for the outdoor ceremony .

I got straight to setting up the decor and the Mother of the Bride delivered and set up the cake. The team at Sandy Cove were great. They set up and laid the tables and assisted with putting out the stationery. They worked incredibly hard to ensure everything was done in time.

wedding cake and seating plan
MK Collins Photography

The ceremony came around pretty quick and when Natalie stepped out the car, she was beaming with excitement that the weather was so much better than where she came from.

ceremony at the sandy cove hotel for wedding couple
MK Collins Photography

It wasn’t long before the couple said ‘I do’, and the reception was in full swing. Drinks, garden games, pictures and great company set the atmosphere for the day. Throughout, I was the point of contact with all suppliers, showing them where to set up and answer any questions they had. I also helped to direct guests and coordinate the confetti toss, wedding breakfast, first dance, cake cutting and father and daughter dance.

wedding couple cutting the wedding cake
MK Collins Photography

It was such a magical day. I thoroughly enjoyed planning Natalie and Jay’s wedding. It feels strange not speaking to people you spend so much time with in the months following. I wish them both the very best and a life filled with so much happiness together.

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