Love Is In The Air.


I feel so incredibly privileged to be sharing this morning’s wedding with you lovely lot. For today’s bride has been a prominent and much loved member of the RMW community for some time now, offering up her creative thoughts and sharing her golden nuggets of advice in the comments section with both the RMW team and you gorgeous folks too.

So when we heard that Sama, of Utterly Wow fame, wanted to share her big day on our still-kind-of-polka-dotted pages we all squealed a collective ‘ahhhhhhh’ (yes even Adam!) and fought over who would blog it.

This wedding has style in abundance; from the festoon lighting, the rustic venue to the colourful and fun stationery and the mismatched maids to.. wait for it folks…’The Great Wedding Bake-off’; I defy you not to relish in every detail. I particularly love Sama’s off-white peeptoes and her beautiful Claire Pettibone dress which has a story that proves to me at least that if something is meant to be then it will happen.

And there’s sentimentality by the bucketload too; I’ll let Sama tell you about her beautiful floral crown herself. I promise that you’ll love it.

Without further ado then lovelies, I give you Sama….

Chantilly Wedding Dress Claire Pettibone


Sama The Bride:Ahhh, the dress.

My beaded beauty was Chantilly by Claire Pettibone. The dress hunt was never going to be entirely conventional for me as I work at Blackburn Bridal Couture in Blackheath, London, meaning I didn’t have to ‘do the rounds’, so to speak. I’d always thought Chantilly was beautiful but we sold our sample shortly before I got engaged, so it wasn’t even an option when the dress search began. Instead I’d fallen in love with Luna by Jenny Packham, a blush pink sparkly number that I still like to stroke regularly in the shop. However my Mum wasn’t convinced, hoping, as most Mums do, that I’d choose something a bit more bridal, so despite my best intentions to ignore her I held off from ordering.

Crown And Glory Bespoke Headpiece Weddings

When we got Chantilly back in at the boutique, I tried it on more on a whim than anything else; it was considerably out of my price range and I’d been ruling out bias-cut dresses on the grounds that my stomach wasn’t flat enough. However, it felt amazing on and I pretty much knew instantly that it was the dress I wanted to wear the day I married Paul. Those beads can hide a multitude of sins!

Kate Ruth Romey Wedding Stationery Astilbe Wedding Pew End Chairback Rustic Haybale Wedding

Crowning Glory

Being a self-proclaimed ‘boho bride’, I knew I was going to wear a flower garland from day one. I’d originally envisioned fresh flowers, but when my Mum produced the wax flower garland she wore on her wedding day, the sentiment of wearing ‘something old’ was too hard to resist. In its original state it was a very thin, delicate crown of ivory flowers, so I enlisted the super-talented and super-lovely Sophie of Crown & Glory to give it a new lease of life. The end result was the most beautiful thing I could have ever imagined, and something I may even be able to pass on myself one day.

Mismatched Coral Maids Bridesmaid Dresses

Other than that, the only jewellery I wore were rings left to me by my grandmothers, and a pale pink diamantine bracelet by Les Nereides which was a pre-wedding gift to myself.

Sexy Peeptoes

My shoes were the Emilia peep-toe sandals by Juicy Couture, believe it or not, who I’ve only ever associated with velour tracksuits but who I now know make beautiful footwear! They were a bit of a last-minute purchase after the first pair (£15 nude t-bars from eBay that I painstakingly glittered up the heels of) crippled me at my first dress fitting. I love the Juicy Coutures now though; comfortable and versatile and just a little bit sexy.

And who doesn’t love a sexy shoe?

Dominique Bader Wedding Photography Kent

Va Va Voom

I’ve always loved doing make-up so decided to do it myself on the day. Being able to spend a ridiculous amount of money at the Bobbi Brown counter was a particular highlight of the wedding planning. I also decided to get eyelash extensions a couple of days before which wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences, but do look fab in the pictures.

The Great Barn Wedding Venue Kent Dry Hire Festoon Lighting

My hair, on the other hand, is the bane of my life. It’s a decent length but it’s very thin, meaning the luscious, boho locks I envisaged were an impossible dream. Step in the magnificent Cassandra Rizzuto who told me to stop being a negative Norman and used a mixture of clip-in and glued-in hair pieces for Cheryl Cole-style volume. I literally wish I could have hair like that every day. Sigh.

Cass also styled my bridesmaids to perfection with a mixture of tousled, braided up-dos and was a general dream to have with us in the morning. Calm, fun and ridiculously talented; hire her and your hair dreams will come true. Fact.

Dominique Bader Wedding Photography Kent Sama Utterly Wow

Green Fingered Goddesses

Gayle of Bloomin’gayles made the bouquets and buttonholes, whilst we DIY-ed the table flowers (ordered on the internet by me and beautifully arranged the day before by my Aunt Leslie).

The Great Barn Wedding Venue Kent Countryside Dry Hire Blank Canvas

Our wedding was a very joyful affair… as you can see by my gurning face in most of the pictures. Paul and I grinned at each other all through the ceremony, and although I wobbled during my speech when talking about my Gran, the only tears that fell were in the morning when my Mum presented me with my bouquet. I wanted lavish, vibrant, blousy blooms and it was exactly that- but so much better. Gayle is a green-fingered goddess and a delight to work with too. Thoroughly recommended!!

Vintage Wedding Theme Rustic Mismatched Bridesmaids Coral Bloomin’gayles Wedding Florist Chantilly Claire Pettibone Wedding Dress

A Little Bit Sharp, A Little Bit Sexy

I’m not a massive fan of the matchy matchy look, so wanted my bridesmaids (my oldest, oldest friends from school) in different dresses but the same colour palette. Oh, and I wanted them to look FIT which I think they totally achieved 🙂 The dresses were a range of purchases from French Connection, Oasis and ASOS, and they managed to bring coordinating pashminas on the day too- which was a blessing as despite the glorious sunshine it was a little nippy. Paul’s best man, Alex, wore a grey three-piece suit to match his, and along with Paul’s two brothers, they all wore burgundy ties from Moss.

Claire Pettibone Wedding Dress Bridal Gown Chantilly Bloomin’gayles Florist

Paul is a teacher so I’m used to seeing him in a suit. Having said that, it wasn’t a tails kind of day so we were after something a little bit sharp, a little bit sexy, and in my head, a little bit Tom Ford. In the end it was a charcoal grey Cerruti three-piece from Moss that had me swooning- which he accessorised with a Ted Baker pocket square and colourful buttonhole courtesy of Bloomin’gayles.

DIY Wedding Dessert Table Cake Competition Bakeoff

He looked stonkingly handsome.

Worth Every Penny

I began stalking Dominique Bader having seen her work on these very pages actually! Well, they were blue and polka dot back then, but you know what I mean. Dominique is a phenomenal photographer; her work is natural, timeless, real, crystal-clear and ridiculously romantic. We are so utterly thrilled with our photos, and as Paul said emphatically after we’d watched our slideshow for the first time- WORTH EVERY PENNY. And coming from the man who had initially become hysterical at the cost of wedding photography, this is high praise indeed.

Bloomin’gayles Wedding Florist Peony Peach Coral Roses Ranunculus Wedding Bouquet

The Great Wedding Bake Off

The Great Wedding Bake Off came about largely in a bid to reduce costs! My Mum was originally going to make a cake which we’d serve as dessert with cream and berries, but she had so many other jobs to do in the lead up we decided to open it up to our guests instead. Despite protests from Paul that “no-one would bother”, our cake table was heaving and the efforts people went to were just brilliant! It’s one of my few regrets that I didn’t get to fully appreciate the vast array of offerings at the time…

Kate Ruth Romey Wedding Stationery Rustic Menu Placename Rustic Centrepiece Log Coral Pink Peach

Meant To Be

I first discovered Kate Ruth Romey when I saw some amazing rustic invitations on another blog that were on pieces of hand-carved wood. When I went on her website I realised she was based in Blackheath where I work, so I felt it was ‘meant to be’.

Kate Ruth Romey Wedding Stationery

I had a clear idea of what I wanted to say, but Kate designed me a really fun, modern, colourful invitation suite which really caught people’s attention. And I’d definitely recommend making your RSVP as interactive as possible. Bar one person I had all my RSVPs back by the deadline. Kate is super-talented and very patient; I’m very glad I found her!

Floor Flooders

I’m lucky to know lots of talented, musical types so we took full advantage of this during the day. A few years ago I’d sung at my friends’, Alice and Jeff’s, wedding, so they repayed the favour at mine, singing ‘You and I’ by Ingrid Michaelson during the signing of the register. Then my very cool Canadian cousin, River, entertained the crowds afterwards out in the orchard.

In the evening we had a freakin’ amazing band called Flood The Floor, who I’d booked purely because a) they were fit and b) they did a very funky version of Boom! Shake The Room. We started dancing during their sound check and literally didn’t stop all night.

Rustic Paper Lantern Festoon Lighting Barn Wedding DIY Tableplan

We didn’t have a first dance at Paul’s request but I didn’t mind at all. I knew we’d have a drunken ‘last dance’ instead and asked the band to learn ‘Love Is In The Air’ which is the
end song from the greatest film of all time, Strictly Ballroom. As I’d hoped, Paul and I ended up in the middle of the dancefloor surrounded by everyone and it was perfect. And being lifted up by friends to the sound of ‘Sama’s in the air’ was a pretty epic way to end the evening, I must say.

Dominique Bader Reportage Wedding Photography

The Great Barn

The venue hunt was probably the hardest part of all as I had such specific criteria. I wanted a dry hire venue in Kent that was rustic, had character and didn’t charge corkage. The Great Barn was the perfect blank canvas venue- they literally give you the keys for up to a week and you can do what you like as long as you leave it how you found it!

London Wedding Photographer Reportage Dominique Bader

Paul had very little input in the styling or planning other than to say he wanted a relaxed, fun day. As I was in the process of setting up as a wedding planner when we got engaged, I was already a blog addict and had fantasies of creating a colourful, eclectic, bohemian-inspired day with just a touch of sparkle.

Festoon lighting was an absolute priority, as were the paper lanterns which we arranged in a cluster over the dance floor. I love the natural linen tablecloths as seen on the American blogs, but they are SO expensive to hire so my clever Mum decided to make them herself- as she did the table runners which were a mixture of gold sequins, black and white stripes and burnt orange shot silk.

Flowers were arranged in a variety of pimped-up jam jars, and these very cool brown beer bottles which we collected from a local restaurant in Blackheath. I think they did pretty well out of us over the last year…

Chantilly Wedding Dress Claire Pettibone Moss Groom's Suit Peony Rose Large Wedding Bouquet Pink Coral Blush Peach

Bring Me S’More

We didn’t do favours- we had a free bar instead which, in my mind, is way more preferable!

We borrowed a dodgy khaki-green bar which was a prop from the local Am Dram society, and my clever, artistic Aunt Leslie (she of flower arranging fame) turned it in to a wood-effect, steel-topped beast which blended in with the barn seamlessly. And we hand-painted all the signs, drinks menus and table numbers which were littered about the place. Out in the orchard we had ribbons hanging from the trees, and in the evening a firepit was lit and s’mores were toasted (a North American tradition brought over by my Canadian relatives).

Van Dough Wedding Catering Pizza Van

And I can’t not mention Van Dough, the wood-fired pizza van that turned up in the evening to provide the evening food. Absolutely delicious pizza and genuinely lovely owners.

Trust Your Gut

Our wedding was quite simply the best day we have ever had and people didn’t stop laughing or smiling all day. Weather-wise, May was appalling- it rained solidly the two days before the wedding and was so cold we had to order a last-minute heater. Yet on the day itself I woke up to sunshine and it was just glorious- a wedding gift from my Grandmothers, I like to think.

We were both so relaxed on the day and this was down to two things: 1- My amazing friends and family who got stuck in and helped set up (and take down), and 2- my friend Laura who I met on the UKAWP wedding planning course a couple of years ago, and who coordinated for me on the day. In the run-up to the wedding everyone was worried that I wouldn’t be able to relinquish control but I knew I was in safe hands with Laura running the show!

Mismatched Bridesmaids Coral Peach Pink Blush

I can’t stress enough how important it is to hire an on-the-day coordinator if you are using a blank canvas, dry hire venue. The barn got turned from ceremony space to reception space seamlessly, the candles were constantly lit, the wine was constantly topped up, and any problems or questions people went to her, not me. Not to mention the million other things she was doing throughout the day.

But other than that, trust your instincts, choose good suppliers, kiss your husband LOTS, hug LOTS, laugh LOTS, and don’t spill pizza down your dress. Just sayin’.

Dominique Bader Wedding Photography

Click here & view all images from this wedding

Venue – Great Barn Weddings
Dress – Chantilly by Claire Pettibone
Boutique – Blackburn Bridal
Hair – Love Your Hair
Flower Garland – Crown And Glory
Groom – Moss
Florist Bloomin’gayles
Band – Flood The Floor
Catering – Tatlers Catering
Photography – Dominique Bader Photography
Pizza Van – Van Dough
Stationery – Kate Ruth Romey
Planning/Design – Utterly Wow
On The Day Co-ordination – Your Wedding Your Way
Furniture Hire – Academy Furniture Hire

Oh boy! Immense, right? Shall I leave you for a wee moment to pick your jaws up off the floor?

And can we just take a moment to talk about the florals. Talk about breathtakingly, blowsy, beautiful blooms, it’s no wonder that Sama shed a happy tear or two when she saw them. I for one will be pinning these bouquets to within an inch of their lives!

When I sneaked a peek of Sama at the weekend in all her glory on the RMW Facebook page, one of her friends responded with a comment that’s stayed with me ever since. She said, ‘It was the BEST wedding. Style AND substance’, and you just know that this statement encapsulates Sama and Paul’s wedding perfectly.

This wedding oozes style, creativity and charm but you can see from the beaming smiles on the faces of this gorgeous pair and all their friends and family it was so much more than that. There’s enough love in these photos to last a lifetime or two and this makes me very happy indeed.

Congratulations you two.

All my love Lolly xxx

P.S. If you want to see more and hear more from Sama herself why not check out her blog – Utterly Wow – here.

Author: Lauren Gautier-Ollerenshaw
Lolly is a self-professed frustrated florist and styling maven with an endless passion for all things pretty.

30 thoughts on “Love Is In The Air.

  1. Oh Sama…look how beautiful you are!

    I’ve loved following your blog and your wedding lived up to all expectations and just about a million more! You and Paul are such a gorgeous couple and sooo in love! These photos are stunning and if I listed all the things I loved I would be here for the rest of the day, but special mention has to go to the flowers, the dress and the festooooons!

    Congratulations loves! Xxx

  2. Wow! I’ve just gone a bit pintastic on this one! This is such a beautiful wedding and it oozes fun, love and laughter! Oh to have been a guest at this shindig! Congrats to Sama and her handsome beau! xxx Ps. Same I have now also just stalked you on all social media available! Can’t wait to read more from you on your blog…

  3. Oh my!!! I have loved following your blog and will continue to do so! The sneek peeks of this day have teased us but this is truley gorgeous and amazing! You day looks perfectly boho like you wanted yet elegant and timeless. I am in love with every detail and NEED to work out where I can put festoons up in my venue!

    The colours all match between decorations dresses and florals, the stationary is amazing, the day is just pure gorgeous!

    But Sama darling you are gorgeous! That dress was made for you and your hair looks amazing! I am currently trying to work out if your make up style would suit me! You are just stunning, never mind your new hubby 😉 You also got the most gorgous light for your portrait shots! I need that golden light for my day! Could you co ordinate the sun for me? please?
    x x x

  4. What a BLOOMIN gorgeous wedding! I just know that I’ll stare at it again and again as soon as I’m back from work. The flowers are absolutely amazing, beautiful bridesmaids and the whole affair looks so relaxed, but styled and simply gorgeous.
    But most of all: Sama you rock that dress! You look absolutely stunning, the hair, the dress, you, simply jaw-dropping. And I’ve got to say, the photos are so amazing. It is a great pleasure to somehow take part in the glory that was your wedding day! Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. Wow – Literally my perfect wedding. Coral colour scheme, bouquet, barn, photographer, cake off, pizza van, dress…. I could go on and on. Beautiful couple and a perfect wedding! Thank you for sharing your day with us. x

  6. So very beautiful Sama, the colour scheme, the blooms, the bridesmaids dresses……and you? You look perfect. I couldn’t imagine a more made-for-you gown.

    Thanks for sharing your lovely day with RMW.

    Charlotte xxx

  7. There are so many things i love about this wedding like the beautiful blooms, Sama’s dress, the bridesmaid dresses, styling, the pizza van! But most of all i love how the happiness radiates out from the photos! Congratulations Sama – what a gorgeous day!! xx

  8. Well, obviously I am all over the shot of the kissing with the light bulbs…loving that…although not sure I admit that I like a photo of people I don’t know kissing….I hope that doesn’t make me too odd?

    Also, I mis-read the sign on the pizza van – I thought it said “Man-Dough” at first and was imaginging all sorts of craftings out of dough!

    Seriously beautiful wedding. I love how brave the choices of blooms are – I reckon a lot of people would shy away from such fire oranges and go for paler pastel peachy shades but those are just wow.


  9. Sama!! What a nice surprise to see your gorgeous face here this morning.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I want to stick my face in a big bowl of your wedding and eat it all up. Everything looks so fruity and delicious and full of life! You look so beautiful and it looks like the most perfect day.

    Fringed brides are the best brides!!! xxx

    @Pamela – we need to get ourselves in the man-dough business. I’m imagining baking classes for hen weekends.

  10. So there I am on maternity leave, leisurely checking my Facebook feed in the rare half an hour free time I have and BOOM. Samas wedding smacked me in the face in a shining gorgeous ‘I wish this was my wedding’ kind of way.

    I immediately had to discuss this with Charlotte and Lolly and we were all completely in awe of how gorgeous not only Sama looks but how wonderfully styled her whole day was.

    Utterly gorgeous (no pun intended)


  11. Sama – you’re wedding is absolutely beautiful!!!! I can’t get enough of all the detail. I am a huge lover of rustic romance and this whole affair radiates gorgeousness! xxx

  12. Gorgeous, what a bright and happy wedding, congratulations to the happy couple!
    I just had to comment because I wore my Mum’s flower garland in my hair when I got married too… in fact, I didn’t want to take it off at the end of the day. Mum’s are so clever for saving such gorgeous little things for their daughters to maybe possibly wear one day!
    And the Great Wedding Bake Off… genius! You have super clever friends and family, all those cakes look delicious!
    And the Van Dough van, amazing! Do you think they’d drive round to my ouse if I asked nicely!

  13. Sama!!! I never had any doubt that your wedding would be beautiful. You’ve exceeded all expectations. So pleased for you and I can’t wait to watch your business go from strength to strength! xxx

  14. Wow, I am in love with EVERYTHING about this wedding. Your floral garland is stunning. I’ve tried many a floral crown on and never feel I suit them, but one like yours would be perfect. Gorgeous.

    I actually looked like this > :O when I saw the first picture of your barn. Stunning venue and beautiful photography.

    Styled to perfection!

  15. Sama it was SUCH a pleasure to work with you on your wedding stationery, and I’m so pleased to see it grace these beautiful pages. You’re happiness in these photographs speaks volumes.
    Hurrah, much love xxx

  16. Ahhhhhhhh. I tell you what- it’s a bit nerve-wracking having your face all over the blog you’ve followed FOR YEARS but these lovely comments have made it all worth it. No, actually it was worth it already but the comments have made it even better! Getting married is bloody awesome, I tell you. And I love what you said @Pamela about the flowers being brave- it didn’t feel brave to me, I just LOVE warm, spicy colours and wanted to throw a huge party full of everything I loved! Fortunately Paul was happy to let me get on with it 🙂 I am STILL blown away at how perfect those bouquets were though.

    For all those still counting down the days, just enjoy every second of the planning stages- you’ll miss it when it’s gone! xxxxxxxxx

  17. Van Dough is on my road! I walk past it everyday but am yet to sample – I’m now hoping they will drop some yummy pizzas round for me and my girls the night before my wedding! They look like franco manca (Londoners will know) but better!
    Really really pretty wedding and Sama’s eyelashes look immense, worth the unpleasantness of application for those pretty photos! xx

  18. This is just spectacular. Those flowers are to do for!! This is one of those moments when you see another wedding so utterly perfect that it makes you consider doing a complete u-turn on everything you have planned and shamelessly stealing every single idea from someone else’s wedding. I can’t get over those blooms, and that dress looks spectacular. I wonder if I can get my guests to bring a cake all the way over to Italy…..?? The Great Italian Bake Off? Hmmmmm…… xxx

  19. Sama…what can I say. You know how excited I was to be your florist when you asked me and your colour scheme was oh so much fun to work with as were you. I’m not surprised to see your minxy self on these hallowed pages, you are a very beautiful bride and your day is so full of Love it’s just immense. If I could change one thing it would be to have seen you on the morning..biggest smooch from me! XX

  20. What a gorgeous wedding….I absolutely love the gold LOVE bracelets that the bridesmaids were wearing – can you tell me where you purchased them from!?


  21. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww Sama!!!
    A bit late to the party here (been off getting wed don’t you know!!! 😉 )

    Have been so looking forward to see pics from your day. It looks just as epic as imagined!
    Love the dress…LOVE the flower crown!
    Looks like all the hard work paid off my dear!

    Huge congrats xxx

  22. blooming gorgeous wedding – looks effortless and full of smiles.
    had a laugh out loud moment at my desk, as i kept on saying ‘no matchy matchy bridesmaids’ on saturday when we went shopping for my girls (and quite possibly a bit too much as we went out drinking bubbles after).
    L xxx

  23. YAY! I’ve been so excited to see these photos – Sama you are a boho goddess! What an amazingly creative, personal and exquisitely styled day. Totally floored by the rustic, bohemian gorgeousness of it all, those blousy blooms and Dominique Bader’s stunning photography. I hope you’re loving newlywed life to the max! xx

  24. LOVE. She writes so well and looked bloody gorgeous on the day. Loving the colours, those fabulous flowers, the laid back and lovely approach to the day and the stunning piccies. x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.