Right guys, if you are a bit of a dreamer and are DIY savvy, love giving things ago for yourself and/or have access to a mega creative team of family and friends then this is the wedding for you. It is jam-packed with homemade features, the decor, woodland centrepieces, letters, postbox – all homemade. Aunts, Cousins, Sister’s, friends have contributed to making this wedding a homemade extravaganza. The Groom with the help of both sides fathers even converted an old horse trailer to serve drinks from, that has gone on to become their business! Impressive right?
The wedding itself runs away with a Woodland Fairy Tale theme, full with whimsical detail complete with moss, faux trees, horseshoes and fairy doors.
Sammi & Sam show us how it is possible to create a community out of your wedding, how special it is to allow your nearest and dearest to help you and how rich the rewards are when it has been a family effort. If you can’t tell, we are super impressed.
Sammi the Bride: Sam asked me out at the local park back when we were 15. We first met at the age of 6 when my parents bought Sam’s family home and they moved to a house in the same village. We went to the local primary school together and grew up with the same friends, 2 of whom were our best men.
We have always known we wanted to marry in our local church ‘The Holy Trinity’ where we visited at school together. Rev Dawn Jewson was amazing, she made our service so personal and fun for everyone. There was so much love, laughter and singing. The organist even snuck in a little number from the Vicar of Dibley- which had everyone giggling in their pews.
We had always dreamt our wedding would be on ‘the land’ where Sam grew up. We just knew it would fit our woodland festival theme perfectly. We placed our marquee next to a very special tree we had planted for our friend David who passed away 2 years ago. On our wedding night we all raised a glass to ‘Sweeney’ next to his tree, it was emotional but so lovely.
We hired our traditional pole marquee from American Marquee Hire who was wonderful throughout. Mark went above and beyond to make it perfect for us. He added a clear roof marquee onto the side as a bar area for our DIY rustic pallet bar and bamboo cocktail bar where we served ‘Sex on The Farm’ and ‘Samito’ cocktails from beach buckets.
The Decor and Styling
Outside we had a cosy smoking area with hunting and fairy lights, a hay bale sofa covered with lace, wooden Instagram frame and signpost which my stepdad made. Next to this was our favourite DIY project of all… Our converted horse box. ‘The Kings Head.’ My Dad, Sam and his Dad spent all their spare time working their magic to turn the nasty old horse box into a fully functional mobile bar. We have since started our own business hiring The Kings Head Horse Box Bar for events.
We love nature and wanted to reflect that within our wedding. We attached branches to the wooden poles in the marquee to create the look of trees. We cut logs to make placemats, had wooden tags holding the napkins, mini wooden easels with a Polaroid picture of each guest as place names, birch straws and the woodland centrepieces covered with wildflowers it looked just magical.
I made our table numbers by attaching hessian onto the back of horse shoes and sprayed the number on. The day before was almost as fun as the actual day thanks to all our family and friends for helping to set up the marquee. When we finally stopped at 9 pm we had butterflies in our tummy’s imagining just what the next day had to bring.
Sam’s Mum Ann and friend Debbie were absolutely outstanding. They took our ideas of a woodland fairy tale and brought it to life. Their attention to detail was second to none. We cut logs of all different heights and screwed them onto a wooden base which Ann and Debbie dressed beautifully into an individual woodland scene for each table, with bronze rabbits, wildflowers and fairy doors. Our top table flower arrangement was my favourite.They made a 10ft trough to go the length of the table, filled with wildflowers such as lavender, blue delphinium and grasses, as though we were sat in a wild meadow. It looked absolutely magical!
Bamboo London created our beautiful woodland invites. Nikki is just amazing and really listens to what you want, she took on board all of my ideas and came up with the most beautiful and unique invites. Sam & I love festivals so with the help of Nikki we designed our personalised wristbands for our wedding favours #kingfest
After 11 years of being together, Sam finally popped the question! Sam designed my engagement with the help of Dominic from Hackett Watches. Sam wanted to ring to resemble a crown for the surname ‘King’. It was perfect as was his proposal in Rome in an orange garden overlooking the City.
We went back to Hackett Watches for our wedding rings, and our surprise wedding gift to each other, which were all equally as perfect.
As soon as we saw Summer Lily Studio’s portfolio we just knew we had to book Terri. Her soft, romantic and natural style was absolutely perfect for our wedding. On the day Terri was brilliant. So patient, friendly and almost invisible. Some of our favourite shots are of us with our horses King Arthur and Mikey. Even Apple, Sage and Derrick Trotter our muddy little pigs managed to get some camera time.
We are absolutely over the moon with our photos. When we look through them it brings back all the love and laughter we shared on the day.
Nicholas Visuals was fantastic. They were so friendly and managed to keep up with our crazy friends and family dancing around the marquee during dinner. We can’t stop watching our film, it always makes me cry with happiness. We are so glad we decided to have Nicolas Visuals to capture our day.
I wore an Oleg Cassini dress from David’s Bridal in three colours which complimented each other really well. Once Mary Louise had altered my wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses they fitted perfectly. Louise attached a beautiful piece of jewellery onto the backs of the dresses for an extra special touch. Our flower girls looked so pretty in ivory dresses from Monsoon.
On the day my good friend Chanel created a fish tale up do with pretty little flowers. She was so relaxed and calm which carried on through all of us. We had so much fun being pampered. Our makeup was applied by the wonderful Georgia from Love Locks Lounge She made is natural and soft to match our wedding.
Sam is super laid back as everyone knows, so when it came to choosing suits he thought he had all the time in the World. But it was worth the wait as out Dad’s, my Step Dad, our Page Boy and the Ushers looks very handsome in three-piece suits in navy from Burtons with brown shoes and a tweed pocket square. Sam and his best men wore the same suit with a tweed waistcoat. They wore a pink rose button hole and Sam’s was encased in a gold gun cartridge for his love of game shooting.
We used Oliver Catering for our canapés and wedding breakfast – the food was amazing and we particularly love out Oreo cheesecake served in a mini flower pot with a mini shovel.
Our good friend Gemma prepared and served our evening buffet along with a delicious hog roast.
Sam’s sister Charlotte and cousin Rachel made our wonderful woodland wedding cake. We placed it in a huge old electric cable wheel we found in the yard and covered it in moss. Not only did the cake look stunning, it tasted delicious!
We absolutely love Paolo Nutini and have travelled Europe to see him, so when I found Paolo ‘Martini’ online I just had to book him. I kept it a secret from everyone, even Sam and surprised him on the day. He was so shocked and happy when Paolo started singing our favourite songs during the drinks reception. Paolo because of part of the furniture, even helping to refill the generator with diesel. Note to couples – remember diesel for the ‘Jenny’
Sam’s cousins George and Jacob, part of The King Driscolls performed a set on hay bales whilst everyone danced and drank Uncle Abes’ homemade cider. During the wedding breakfast, we had the brilliant Douglas Elom, everyone was standing on their chairs singing and dancing. The atmosphere was fantastic! The main thing we wanted from the day was for everyone to have fun and it sure was!
Our friends Karen and Kevin Gregory provided the beautiful horse and carriage, we even got to pick which one we wanted. Sitting in the luxurious open-topped carriage, cuddled up to my dad whilst people around the village waved to us and shouted good luck, will be a moment I cherish forever.
I would advise everyone to do this – Every so often out friend took me and Sam to one side and told us to take everything in, it was such a great sight to see everyone you love all under one roof dancing, chatting, hugging and laughing. A vision we will never forget.
Amy works on The List as Rock My Wedding Supplier Development Co-ordinator and she also writes and produces ‘real wedding’ content. Amy lives in Hertfordshire with her husband, three children and two chickens.