“We went on holiday to Cape Town where Chris is from to meet his family,” remembers Samantha. “Chris arranged for me to go up in a microlight to see the amazing views of Cape Town and Table Mountain, as his cousin Ricky flies microlights on a regular basis. I was taken up for over an hour to enjoy the sights, and upon landing Ricky pointed something out on the ground of the airfield. When we got closer I could read that is said ‘SAMANTHA, WILL YOU MARRY ME?’ I eventually landed and Chris ran over to us, and then went down on one knee and asked if I would marry him.
The tears started to flow and I, of course, said ‘yes’. While I was up in the air his mum, sister and brother came to help him set up, take pictures and to bring Champagne, flowers and the ring!”
The bride’s outfit
“Well… I originally bought one online, but a month before the wedding I tried it on and cried because I didn’t feel it was the dress I wanted to get married in,” says Samantha. “I would advise other brides not to do this – the best way to find a dress is in a bridal store. The very next morning my mum and I went shopping in Norwich and we found a Phil Collins dress in La Crème – my best friend Lucy works there, and she was a major help. Without her I’m not sure I would have found ‘the one’’.
The groom’s outfit
Chris opted for a dapper dark grey suit from the Ben Sherman collection at Debenhams.
The couple had a civil service with a harpist providing background music, and a very emotional reading given by the groom – it even reduced the men to tears!
Creating the couple’s birds and butterflies theme was a real family affair, with the bride’s mum (a trained florist) overseeing the flowers and decor, Samantha’s sister Kelly Mitchell at Eventiss Cakes making their fab cake, and the rest of the family putting together the stationery and favours.
“We hired a candy buffet table, a popcorn cart and also made a photobooth and props, which Chris actually designed himself!” smiles Samantha. “Our first dance was to Michael Buble’s Everything. We spent a few weeks prior to the wedding learning a routine at a dance school in London – there was a little lift and even a swirl!”
After their South African guests had gone home, the couple left for their wonderful 16-night honeymoon to Thailand, enjoying the sun, snorkelling and elephant rides!