We just don’t even know where to start summing up Sam and Sam (known as Boy Sam and Girl Sam to their mates)’s seriously stunning and F-U-N summer wedding!
The cool couple (who met at uni, studying nursing) intertwined medical touches with a festival feel (they got engaged at Glastonbury!) and just sheer epic-ness – including an awesome boat ride between their choice of AMAZING Bristol venues; the M Shed and Beeses’ Tea Gardens.
Girls and grooms, be prepared to beam at your screens. This West Country wedding is gurt lush alright.
Here’s beautiful Bristol bride Sam to tell us all…
We met at uni in our first year of nursing and Sam still says that the first thought he had of me was that I was really moody! There were slim pickings of guys on our course (what with being a nursing course) so I bagged him early! We are now coming up to being together for 10 years although that gets scrapped when you get married as they go by your wedding anniversary date!
The Glastonbury proposal
Sam proposed at Glastonbury in June 2013. It was a beautifully sunny day and after we had got there and set up we decided to go for a walk. We were saving a space for some friends arriving later so we agreed with our friends there to take it in turns to go for a wander. We ended up at the top of the site where there is a hill with the festival flags on it overlooking the whole of the site. Sam said we should go and sit right up the top to get a better view. By then I was a bit tired so I said no we’ll stay here as I couldn’t be bothered to climb up! We sat there for 5 mins then he said, come on, it’s not far and basically pushed me up, me moaning the whole way!
As we got to the top I turned around and he was crying as he got down on one knee. I couldn’t believe it and started crying too! It was a complete surprise which I love as I always thought I would know when he would propose as he’s rubbish at lying! We then spent ages ringing friends and family then went and got a little fizz on our way back to the tent. By this time we had been ages and when we got back everyone was moaning about how long we had taken! They forgave us though once we had told them why we had been so long and then spent the rest of the festival celebrating, I couldn’t have asked for a better engagement party!
Getting married in Bristol was a no-brainer…
It was a no brainer about which city we were going to get married in. Sam is from London and I have moved about a bit including the Midlands but Bristol is our home and it wouldn’t have felt right getting married anywhere else.
We knew about Beeses’ Tea Gardens from when Sam’s dad had owned a little boat and we had gone for a little trip along the River Avon. It is such a beautiful place especially in the summer I remember saying if we ever get married we should do it here and come by boat, so we did! That was what really appealed to us, the idea that we could have a ‘booze cruise’ for part of our wedding. So the reception and boat were the easy bit but you couldn’t get married at Beeses’ so we needed somewhere for the ceremony. We needed somewhere near the harbour so that we could easily get to the boat, this proved to be quite difficult at first as there were limited options but when we went to view M Shed we knew that that was the place it should be. The view over the harbour was perfect and with the back drop of the iconic Bristol cranes and the fact we were supporting a Bristol museum it made sense to have our ceremony in their events room on the top floor.
BIG balloon blog inspiration…
I spent a lot of time (and I mean a lot) browsing the internet and looking at websites like Pinterest and wedding blogs. Looking at photos of different weddings gave me ideas of things to do with ours. I saw a picture on a blog of a wedding party all stood in a line holding a balloon and really loved the fun aspect to it. There was a short walk between M shed and where we got on the boat, so we lead the way with two giant confetti balloons in hand and the wedding procession followed! I remember buying the balloons online and that morning took them to get filled up. The guys laughed saying that if I filled them all the way then there was no way I would get them in my car. The balloons on the day are about half the size they could have been!
Bedpans as flower holders…
We didn’t really have a theme but we had things in the wedding that related to us in some way. We had a few medical related things as we are both nurses and some festival things because of where we got engaged. We had old vintage medicine bottles on the tables which we used for vases, we had red crosses on the name cards on the tables, we had a doctor’s bag for all the cards and on the card/present table we had a few vintage medical books and an operation game. We also found two vintage ceramic bedpans which Sam’s mum used as flower holders. The tables were named after stages at Glastonbury and we had face painters in the evening.
Boats, face painting and dressing up
Even now when we’re talking about the wedding people do still love the fact we went on a boat. The day was one of the hottest of the year and we had French fizz and listened to music compiled by Sam’s dad as we slowly ambled down the river. The Tower Belle is a beautiful boat and using the Bristol Packet had extra meaning as Sam’s auntie used to work for them and part own it many years ago.
The face painters in the evening went down a storm, every time I looked around someone new had glitter on them! The girls were lovely and even stayed for longer as they were in high demand! We were extremely lucky to have The Carny Villains play at our wedding. Bringing some fun gypsy swing, we knew we didn’t want the traditional wedding cover band and they got everyone up dancing.
We also have a tradition with my friends where we do a fun box for people’s birthday. It’s a box full of toys and dressing up things so they did me a giant wedding one! Looking around and seeing my dad and uncle wearing a tiny top hat and moustache was hilarious. We also had a photo booth for us in a lovely vintage style as I didn’t want anything too tacky. I’ve got some funny family pics which everyone enjoyed afterwards.
What we enjoyed most about planning the wedding was…
We wrote our own vows for the wedding ceremony which was such a nice thing to do. It gave us a chance to sit down and tell each other what was important to us and how we want to support each other. We added a little bit of fun at the end which included Sam ensuring he could always provide me cider in my hour of need and me always making sure I had sun cream for him.
We also loved making the best party you have ever made! My bridesmaid helped me with a lot of things and took the stress right out of it, she could be a wedding planner!
Our least favourite part of wedding planning had to be…
Apart from the money side of things the table arrangements I found the hardest. Trying to please everyone and making sure people were sat with people they would want to be with but also not having enough space on each table. We knew we didn’t want a top table as I’d rather people sat next to people they like!
If we could do it all again we would…
Although it’s cheesy and everyone says it, it really was one of the best days of my life so far. We both still enjoy sitting and looking through our beautiful pictures and remembering all the things we did. If only it didn’t cost as much we would do it all the time! It’s having all of your friends and family in one place and everyone being happy.
Honeymoon hotspot: We went to Kalkan in Turkey as Sam could only get a week off work so couldn’t venture too far. We treated ourselves to a bit of luxury as we usually backpack. We flew on the Monday after the wedding and Sam’s sister treated us to a room at Hotel Du Vin in Bristol on the Sunday night so we could start our honeymoon early!
Well, wasn’t that pretty damn awesome? We love just how them, Sam and Sam’s beautiful Bristol big day was and how unafraid the couple were about mixing themes to include all of those things that make them who they are – from medical décor to festival-feel entertainment, it all went together brilliantly! Speaking of the entertainment, this super wedding saw face painting, fancy dress and a gypsy swing band – anyone else wish they’d been invited?
Thank you to Girl Sam for chatting to us and the couple’s fab photographer Sarah Gray for capturing this one-of-a-kind West Country wedding, so beautifully. We love it!