THE GARDEN TIPI WEDDING IS FULL OF FESTOON LIGHTING

Magnetic attraction: that’s what brought Samantha and Benjamin together on Australia’s Magnetic Island. “I was travelling alone and Ben was on a trip with a friend who worked in Sydney. It took three days for him to remember my name, but then he really grew on me. I dragged him round Sydney sightseeing, and for the next year we dated long distance as we both lived two hours apart in the UK.”

The proposal happened three years later in December in Budapest. “I’d had our little boy in July that year, so we had postponed our annual date weekend until after he’d arrived. We were actually bickering at dinner because I thought he was too predictable and I always knew what he would do before it happened… he got pretty irritated and then very smugly said, ‘I’m so predictable then, am I?’ as he pulled out a ring box and proposed!”Sam & Ben 17122

Suzanne Neville was this bride’s designer of choice, who picked out the ‘Splendour’ gown at The Wedding Shop in Colchester. “The simplicity of the dress appealed to me.

“I LIKED THAT IT WAS EASY TO WEAR WITH LIGHTWEIGHT FABRIC SO I KNEW I WOULD BE ABLE TO DANCE IN IT, AND THE LACE WAS JUST BEAUTIFUL.”Sam & Ben 1711

Once I added a veil and a vintage style belt, my mother and bridesmaids were sold.” The bride’s floor-length veil also came from The Wedding Shop, and Samantha added Glow by Carvela Kurt Geiger court shoes.Sam & Ben 171

Ben hired his suit from Anthony Formalwear in Colchester and purchased a pair of Hudson shoes to go with it. He looked the smartest I’ve ever seen him and really calm – I thought he might cry but clearly I didn’t make that much of an impact because he was fine!” jokes Samantha.

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The three bridesmaids wore the ‘Coppelia Ballet Dress’ in porcelain blue by Needle & Thread. “I loved the colour and thought they would suit all the girls despite them being so different, and they didn’t look like your traditional bridesmaid dress. They bought their own shoes, with two choosing strappy block heels with a lace effect and one wearing a strappy silver number. We didn’t have any page boys but Ben’s older son wore the same suit as the best men and our little boy George wore a little suit with a bespoke bow tie.

We had our ceremony at Dedham Church in Essex – it’s really beautiful, huge and right on the high street so we had an audience when we walked out as husband and wife! Both of our mothers gave readings so that we could involve them in the ceremony too.”

Samantha and Ben’s wedding breakfast called for a more relaxed style of dining. “The Pig & Chicken supplied amazing canapés which went down really well, so well that I actually didn’t get my hands on any! Linda Hamilton catering then created a feast for our main meal, serving sharing boards of artisan breads, pate, asparagus and dips first, followed by chicken, ham hock and leek pies with crispy shallots. We enlisted Morris, the vintage ice cream van, for our desserts.”

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