Wedding at Hotel Endsleigh, Devon
A Night Like This
Sammy and CJ's magical winter wedding at Hotel Endsleigh
"Despite both being from Plymouth and living here our whole lives, we actually met at a wedding in Cyprus!" says Sammy of her serendipitous first encounter with CJ. "We sat next to each other during the wedding breakfast, and as they say, the rest is history!"
A Christmas Day proposal took place in utterly romantic style when Sammy opened one of her presents: a cardboard box with a note inside saying 'I'm on the tree'. "We went downstairs and there was a bauble on the tree with a red bow around it with a ring box inside. I turned around and CJ was down on one knee!"
With no particular style in mind for their winter wedding at Hotel Endsleigh, the couple planned their day based on one thing they didn't want - a Christmas-themed wedding! "We wanted everything to be really neutral: nudes, creams and greens, with fairy lights and candles for the lighting. Our wedding breakfast was solely candlelit. It felt so special," says Sammy.
Choosing a mid-afternoon ceremony meant that Sammy and CJ also plumped for a new pre-ceremony tradition. "Due to losing the light early, CJ and I decided to do a 'first look', where we saw each other before the ceremony and had some photos taken together in the gardens," says Sammy, who then walked down a candlelit aisle to wed CJ under a beautiful floral archway.
Canapes, mulled wine, winter Pimm's and an open fire greeted guests prior to the wedding breakfast in the stable block, which comprised starters of butternut squash risotto with rocket, aged parmesan, smoked haddock and pumpkin seeds; mains of slow-cooked blade of beef with bone marrow crumb, creamy mash, potato, kale and heritage carrots; and classic sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream for dessert.
A spectacular three-tiered 'winter wild' cake featuring lemon and elderflower sponge with raspberry coulis, fresh raspberries and blueberries; chocolate and Guinness cake with toasted pecans and salted caramel; and spiced carrot cake layered with clementine marmalade and candied oranges completed the day's fabulous array of flavours.
An evening of dancing around the firepit with sparklers and Irish jigs to the sounds of Black Friday kept the party spirit alive well into the early hours. "All our guests were on the dance floor," recalls Sammy. "It was such a high energy, happy night!"
When asked about one of their favourite parts of the day, Sammy highlights their first dance - doing the Irish jig 'Galway Girl' by Steve Earle. "It's not your traditional type of first dance song but it's a song we love and it fitted with our wedding perfectly," she says.
"Try not to get too stressed and enjoy the planning process, it will all come together just as you want it to," she says, urging other couples to adopt a laid-back approach whenever possible. "And everybody says it but it's so true - take a moment to take it all in on the day together as a couple, because it goes by in the blink of an eye!"
Photography Freckle Photography frecklephotography.co.uk
Venue Hotel Endsleigh hotelendsleigh.com
Dress Prudence Gowns prudencegowns.com
Bridesmaids' dresses Ghost from John Lewis johnlewis.co.uk
Groom's outfit Moss Bros moss.co.uk
Hair The Cutting Garden cuttinggardenhair.co.uk
Make-up Amy Elizabeth amy-elizabeth.com
Flowers Amanda Randell amandarandell.com
Cake The Bakemonger thebakemonger.com
Entertainment Jonathan Banyard facebook.com/djbanny1
Black Friday blackfridayband.co.uk
Copyright Wed magazine 2019