Craig decided to pop the question on Valentine’s day 2008 after nearly 9 years together. Craig had asked Sam to book Valentine’s day off work as well as the following day. Sam had no idea about the proposal.

Craig and I had been through a lot of recent stress about that time and I felt like it was Craig’s way of showing his appreciation and support by doing something extra special on Valentine’s day’. He had reserved a room at a beautiful London hotel and booked tickets to see Dirty Dancing at the theatre. After a lovely meal and a West End show we retired to the hotel where Craig left the ring open on the bed waiting for me to see. I saw a small box open on the bed with something very sparkly inside. As soon as I saw it, Craig then asked me to marry him. At first, I didn’t know whether to believe him because he can be a practical joker at times and I thought maybe it’s a pair of earrings instead but, true to his words, there was the most amazing brilliant cut diamond ring inside. The following day we visited all the family to tell them the brilliant news.

The Wedding and Reception Venue

Gaynes Park was the 2nd wedding venue Sam and Craig had visited.

It was perfect in every way. We said to ourselves that after each venue we visit we will list out the pros and cons of each but we couldn’t think of any cons for Gaynes Park and ended the search there and then. I loved the whole idea of the barn and we felt the location was ideal as we and our family and friends lived within 15-20minutes drive. We loved the fact that the ceremony and reception would take place at the same venue and we loved the honeymoon cottage that the bride and groom could retire to at the end of the wedding day and spend their first night as Mr and Mrs.

Sam and Craig booked the venue 10 months in advance.


Sam’s eldest sister was Maid of Honour and the four Bridesmaids were her other sister, niece, best friend and Craig’s cousin. They all wore pale orange floor length satin dresses with a dropped neckline, which were made bespoke for each of them.

The Men

Craig had two best men and his three brothers as ushers. They all wore silver grey morning suits with matching trousers and waistcoats. The Best Men, the dads and ushers wore silver cravats while Craig had a pale orange cravat.

Your Dress, Accessories and Flowers

Sam wore a Spanish influenced vintage style dress with beautiful beaded details to the bodice and a light floating ruffled skirt and trail. Her dress was accessorised with a simple but elegant pearl necklace and matching bracelet and pearl stud earrings.

Her bouquet was made up of calla lilies and pale orange roses with pearls draped over, whilst the bridesmaids had calla lilies.


Sam finished her bridal preparations in the honeymoon cottage on the morning of the wedding so there was no need for transport.

The Decorative Touches

The couple’s vintage charm wedding theme was reflected in their decorations. They chose ivory vintage birdcages as their table centrepieces. Each birdcage had a candle in the middle with pearls, ivy and orange roses climbing the cages and tabletops. The birdcages were also used in the ceremony room hung from the wooden. They looked absolutely beautiful.

Because the barn already had so much character it would have been a shame to overdo the decorations and hide the barn’s charm. So we had our vintage birdcages and hired some mood up-lighting that highlighted the features of the barn.

They also added extra vintage touches like ivory frames on the present table that contained photos of Craig and Sam growing up as well as a special photograph of Sam’s recently deceased uncle. The couple decided to combine the favours with the nametags. Each guest was given a heart shaped cookie with orange icing as a base colour and their name written on the top in ivory icing.

The Cake

Sam and Craig had a cupcake tower. The top tier was a sponge cake with a vintage style ivory lace detail to the icing. All other tiers consisted of alternating orange and ivory cupcakes with a flower detail and decorated with calla lilies and orange roses.

Best Part of The Day

This has to be walking up the aisle, seeing my future husband looking right at me and knowing that we were finally going to be man and wife. To top it all, the weather was forecast as rainy and right at the last minute it seemed to look promising and all our guests commented that the moment I walked up the aisle the clouds cleared and the sun came out. It made the moment even more perfect and we had glorious sun for the rest of the day.

Wedding Planning Tiph3>

I think that you should enjoy the planning and not get too overly personal about minor details. I am an interior designer myself and I had everything planned out in my head and I could see how I wanted everything to look but at the same time I wasn’t going to get stressed out if, for example, on the day the flowers didn’t quite look as I had imagined because it would only be me that noticed. The guests wouldn’t notice so there is no point in letting anything like that ruin your special day. I think I went into the whole wedding planning thing with the right mind set because neither my husband nor I could believe how relaxed we were on the day.