Nicky and Gary travelled down to Cornwall with all of their family and friends to get married by the sea. And boy, did they pick two epic venues! I was over the moon to be hired as their wedding photographer in Cornwall.

The ceremony was held at the St Ives Harbour Hotel, which has incredible views over St Ives Bay and as far as Godrevy Lighthouse. Nicky and her family stayed here the night before the wedding, so the girls were all settled in and super relaxed by the time my day officially started – capturing Nicky’s preparations before the ceremony. There was a real buzz in the air for this wedding, and although it was quite windy outside, the sun shone down and blue skies appeared right on cue.

After a really lovely ceremony, buses picked up the guests and we all headed over to Beacon Crag, a small bed and breakfast with 5 acres of land. This location overlooks the sea on the South coast near Porthleven, and Nicky and Gary hired a marquee for their reception to make the most of the incredible views right across from east to west.

This was a first visit for me to Beacon Crag and I really hope to work here again soon. I’m constantly reminding myself how lucky I am to work in these amazing venues every week, and this one was right up there with the best! The wind was pretty epic on the clifftop, but that just added to the drama and fun of the day. Very atmospheric. Drinks, canapés and music were all in full flow once the guests arrived. This was then followed by the speeches and wedding breakfast in the marquee.

There were so many lovely moments and stories to capture. The speeches stood out for me in particular – packed full of emotion. The reactions of the guests during and after the speeches said it all. It was so clear there was a lot of love for the happy couple.

Nicky and Gary, I would just like to take the opportunity to thank you both for having me as your St Ives Harbour Hotel Wedding Photographer. I wish you both all the best for your future lives together.


Check out Nicky & Gary's wedding slideshow here

St Ives Harbour Hotel - Wedding Photography by Stewart Girvan Photography


Nicky & Gary

Here is their story……


Tell me a little bit about yourselves, for example, where did you meet?

Funnily enough, Gary and I met online, after we’d given up hope of meeting ‘the one’ in a more traditional way! We first met at Kings Cross St Pancras station, in London, and had tapas in a nearby restaurant. After a few months of dating, I decided that Gary wasn’t the one for me and we went our separate ways. After about 6 months, I realised I’d made a terrible mistake – and luckily Gary gave me a second chance!

Can you tell me about the proposal?

Gary proposed to me in a beautiful spot in Cadgwith, Cornwall. Above the tiny fishing village, there’s a little part of the cliff that projects into the sea, locally known as the ‘Todden’. It’s always been a favourite place of mine, and Gary had decided to propose there after seeing a photo of my Grandparents standing together there. It was a very windy day and the wild waves provided the perfect back drop to a romantic proposal.

Can you tell me about your venues and why you chose them?

We were keen to have our wedding away from home, as we liked the idea of family and friends being together for a few days. We quickly decided on Cornwall as we both loved the holidays we’d had their together and were keen to share it with everyone. We spoke about what we wanted and it was clear early on that a view of the sea was a must. This limited the number of options but focused our search. Nicky found Beacon Crag and we instantly loved it but the problem was that it didn’t have a licence for the ceremony. Luckily we found the St Ives Harbour hotel which was a bit more formal but allowed us to have the ceremony with a view of the sea too.

Were you going for a certain style or theme for your wedding?

Gary admitted early on that he had no idea where to start with a ‘theme’ for our wedding so I was given free reign! With the beautiful setting at Beacon Crag, I wanted to go for a subtle, natural theme that complemented the rugged sea view. We went for a peach and mint colour scheme with simple flowers, bunting and hanging paper lanterns for a summery feel. For the table centre pieces, my brother in law made chunky wood slices and I topped them with hand decorated jam jars and white and peach flowers. We had a ‘naked’ wedding cake that a friend made for us and table runners made by my mum. We loved the fact that the Venue had enough space for people to spread out and relax in different spots on the hay bales that we set up.

What is your most memorable moment from the day?

There were so many great moments it’s difficult to choose, but I would say there were two which stand out. Firstly, we awoke to grey skies and torrential rain and a less then optimistic forecast for the day. By 9am the clouds had departed and we had the most glorious sunshine. Looking out over St Ives Bay knowing that something special was about to happen in such a beautiful location was a really amazing feeling. In terms of the day itself, the speeches were a real highlight because the day up until that point was a whirlwind. The speeches were a chance to laugh, reflect and soak the occasion in and the love and affection we felt from our friends and family was a great moment.

Why did you choose Stewart Girvan Photography?

Stewart was one of the first photographers that we came across online and we loved his natural, in-the-moment photographs. We both agreed we wanted a photographer who would capture the emotion of the day, rather than lots of staged shots. It was evident from Stewart’s website that he had a talent for capturing those special moments. When we met Stewart, he made us feel very comfortable and we instantly warmed to him.

How did you feel about having your photos taken and were you pleased with the final images?

We honestly couldn’t have been happier with the photos! They were even more special that we imagined and we’ve had so many compliments from family and friends. The photos captured the love, laughter, and the few moments of sadness, when remembering loved ones, that Stewart so sensitively captured. Stewart was a pleasure to have at our wedding, he was warm and friendly, and so unobtrusive. We were even told he was helping the catering staff at one point!

Can you tell me about any other suppliers that contributed and played an important part to your wedding? For example, florist, makeup artist, transport, entertainment.

Absolute Canvas, the marquee company we used, were absolutely fantastic, as were our catering company, White Radish.

  • Absolute Canvas- The Marquee and Bar
  • White Radish

Do you have any advice for future couples planning their wedding?

We planned our wedding in 8 months, which although people had implied would be a challenge, it felt like plenty of time, and it allowed us to be focused and make decisions without too much deliberating! We were quite hands-on with everything and seeing everything come together on the day was a wonderful feeling. We were also lucky enough to have lots of help from friends and family. On the day, we just enjoyed ourselves really, timings were a bit out, but it didn’t faze us as we were having such a lovely time! We would definitely recommend trying to create a relaxed, informal feeling and just going with the flow!