It was an old-school college romance for Sammy and Will, who became an item while studying at Truro College and shared their first kiss on the night of Sammy's 18th birthday. Fast forward to 2019 and, having ventured to Australia for their friends’ wedding, the couple joined a catamaran bound for the Whitsunday Islands. One evening they found themselves alone on deck as the sun was setting over a secluded bay, and Will plucked up the courage to capture the moment.
“The sunset was like nothing we'd ever seen before", recalls Sammy, "so Will said asked to take a picture of me looking west towards the horizon”. Stood across the deck and out of view, Will wound the film on but Sammy didn't hear his camera's characteristic shutter release. “When I turned around, he was down on one knee with a ring in his hand and in floods of tears - it was perfect”.
Back on Cornish shores, the couple set about planning their coastal boho celebrations in a seaside meadow overlooking Charlestown and St Austell Bay. They wanted the natural beauty and colour of the location to take centre stage, so chose an understated floral asethetic of white rose, pink lisianthus, gypsophila and eucalyptus to complement the setting of their day.
“We've always loved neutral, soft colour palettes, but having got engaged in Australia we also wanted a nod to that in our colour scheme,” she explains. “We settled on eucalyptus green as our main foliage colour and complemented this with neutral pampas grass and hessian tones through the marquee and on our signage.”
Having officially wed in a civil ceremony a few days prior, the couple’s self-penned vows were presided over by lifelong friend and celebrant, Laurence Pears, as they stood overlooking the sea beneath an arbour of Charlestown Pilot Gig Rowing Club oars. “We wanted to keep things as honest, personal and intimate as possible,” remembers Will. A combination of lawn games and songs from Steve Panter entertained guests while they enjoyed canapés and drinks before everybody headed to the marquee to tuck into an incredibly special wedding breakfast.
“We were set on something sourced in Cornwall, cooked al fresco and fit for a celebratory feast!” recalls Sammy, and with the team from Beautiful and the Feast at the helm, their brief was delivered with gusto. Handmade barbecue flatbreads were followed by slow-braised beef shin and smoked chimichurri, before bowls of cardamom plum and whipped custard crumble rounded everything off.
As day turned to night, The Brass Junkies wowed guests, while custom-designed cocktails and pasties were polished off. “The band learned a new song for us – (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life from Dirty Dancing – so we could attempt the famous lift at the end of their set!” smiles Sammy. Performances over, a personalised playlist kept guests on the dance floor until midnight, after which the rowers sang sea shanties into the early hours. “It was an unforgettable end to the night!” remembers Will.
With so much to take in, then what was the most special part of the day? “For me, it was trying to memorise every aspect of Sammy walking down the aisle,” reveals Will. “I’m so happy I listened when friends and family advised me to watch her walk towards me and commit it to memory – overwhelmed doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt!”
So, with their big day a success, could Will and Sammy share any tips for soon-to-be weds? “Make a list of the things that are most important to you and try to nail those aspects down as far in advance as possible,” advises Sammy. “And don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends and family – the night before is particularly important so you can focus on getting your nerves under control.”
Photography Lauren Knuckey laurenknuckey.com
Venue Broad Meadow House broadmeadowhouse.com
Marquee Absolute Canvas absolutecanvas.co.uk
Dress Lillian West from Elaine Rawlings Bridal Boutique elainerawlings.co.uk
Bridesmaids’ dresses The Pretty Infinity theprettyinfinity.co.uk
Groom & groomsmen's outfit Cornwall Suit Room cornwallsuitroom.com
Bride's ring Cathedral Jewellers cathedraljewellers.co.uk
Groom’s ring Justin Duance justind.co.uk
Hair Leah at Salt Hair Co instagram.com/salt_hair_co_
Flowers Andy’s Flowers andysflowers.com
Catering Beautiful and the Feast beautifulandthefeast.com
Pasties Pearce’s Family Butchers facebook.com/PearcesButchers
Cake Rachel Allen
Tableware & kitchen hire Abbotts Catering Suppliers abbotts-catering-supplies.co.uk
Bar South West Bars and Events southwestbarsandevents.co.uk
Entertainment Steve Panter facebook.com/stevepantermusic
The Brass Junkies brassjunkies.co.uk
Dog care Wedding Day Dog Nanny wddognanny.co.uk