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Set in the idyllic village of Kingham, in the heart of The Cotswolds, Sam and Jo's stunning country wedding braved all the elements the British weather could possibly throw at it; hail, rain, gail-force winds, sunshine and even a rainbow for good measure. A beautiful Papakata marquee effortlessly stood up to the challenge and stunning bride Jo wore a breathtaking Le Spose Di Gio silk wedding dress. Read on for lots of personal touches, including a surf simulator, vintage Land Rovers and DIY decor from the whole family.
Sam took a house down in Cornwall for his 30th birthday with a gang of his friends. He proposed to me before everyone arrived up on the cliffs of Polzeath (one our favourite spots for surfing in the summer) with a tanzanite stone from his time out in Kenya. We then celebrated with his family and partied the night away with everyone.
The Wedding Present Company were seamless from start to finish. We were made to feel very special from the moment we walked into the showroom, and the service provided was exceptional. We were shown around by Lucy who was really knowledgeable and helpful and made it so easy to pick our wedding presents.
We chose Kingham in The Cotswolds, as this is where Sam's family home is, and we have lots of very happy memories here. My family also live in Scotland so we thought that The Cotswolds was an easier option for all of our guests. We knew we wanted to have a very relaxed country wedding, and the beautiful surroundings of Kingham were perfect for this.
We used Papakata as we had seen their high top sperry tents at Wilderness Festival and loved them and their festoon lighting. We couldn’t recommend them more highly - not only did it look absolutely beautiful but it stood up to the crazy British weather! For a late June wedding we had it all - rain, gail-force winds, hail! You never would have known though, everyone had a brilliant time inside the tent.
We did all of this ourselves. We used family sofas and rugs inside, and big hydrangea bushes and wicker chairs outside. We also used our own fire pits and a local farmer’s hay bales for everyone to sit on.
Sam was allowed to pick one ‘non-negotiable’ for the wedding reception, so hired a surf machine for his ushers. It was a huge hit with the entire wedding party and provided us with some brilliant photos!
Sam’s family’s vintage landrovers, dressed in ribbons and flowers.
We wanted peonies (Jo’s favourite), roses and thistles (to reflect England for Sam and Scotland for Jo). We used Sweet Peas of Great Tew. Geri was so down to earth and knew exactly what we wanted. Everything from the church to the marquee was perfect.
Both of our mothers also dried roses for months in the run up to the wedding so that we could have gorgeous hand made confetti in baskets. We loved it.
I had had my eye on Le Spose Di Gio for a long time. It is a little boutique Italian store in Chelsea which only offers private appointments. My beautiful dress was made of organza and satin, and was made especially for me in Milan and sent over to the UK. I tried on lots of dresses in other shops but wanted one which was delicate and easy to dance in. I also got my wedding shoes and lace veil from Le Spose Di Gio.
Jewellery wise, I wore a tanzanite and diamond necklace, given to me by Sam when we got engaged, and some Davina Combe pearl earrings given to me by my brother.
I did my own makeup but used Lauren Wheeler for my hair. I wanted to still look like myself so wore my hair loosely up with roses for the wedding ceremony, and then shook it out for the party.
Sam wore a traditional morning suit (an ex-hire from a shop near Sandhurst!) and a light blue waistcoat from Old Hat in Putney. He also wore his elephant Patrick Mavros cufflinks as a nod to his work in conservation.
I had 5 grown up bridesmaids. They all wore matching light blue Ghost dresses and they all looked smoking (I can never understand why some brides put their bridesmaids in horrible sacks!). I loved dancing into the early hours with my girls.
We used an Oxfordshire friend called Sarah Hudson-Evans who was fantastic. We wanted lots of canapes and champagne during the reception and then to sit down relatively early for a long relaxed wedding ‘breakfast’. To allow some flexibility to timings we opted for cold charcuterie sharing boards to start with on the tables, followed by roast lamb and Ottolenghi style salads. For pudding we had our wedding carrot cake with berries and ice cream. For the rest of the evening there was a cheese table, a sweetie table, coffee and teas.
Sam and his father made a number of light aircraft flights to Majestic wine in Calais to pick up all the wine and champagne. We had rosé, white and red. We love rosé so wanted lots of it!
We also made all of our own sloe gin wedding favours after a long summer of picking them whilst on walks in Oxfordshire.
In the evening we had Moscow Mules and G&Ts using Love Gin from Eden Mill in St Andrews (another nod to my Scottish heritage). We also had Doombar, Corona and Bulmers for the boys from our hand built “bunk bed bar” which Sam built out of his old bunk beds with his best friends, Sam and Jo’s brothers and Jo’s father.
Louise Adby - we had heard about Louise from various friends and loved her work. Louise was wonderful and discreet, everything we could have wished for from a photographer.
Sam Moore - Sam blew us out of the water with his wedding video which we still watch to remind us of the whole day. He even had a drone, which was very cool as it captured awesome birds-eye views of our marquee during the preparations and even late into the party:
We LOVE to party and dance until the small hours and thought as long as there was a great band and epic company, what could go wrong. We were not disappointed with The Damiain Lodrick Band who blew the roof off the marquee with their 12 piece band. We have already been to a few friends’ weddings since ours who asked for them to play at theirs too.
Listening to the speeches in the marquee by candlelight whilst thunder and lightening boomed all around us outside. It was very atmospheric. We loved the weather on the day as it shone with sunshine, made way for rainbows across the field and rained when everyone was dancing- perfect.
Don’t make married life about your next Sainsbury’s trip. Stay wild. Never stop adventuring.