Aimie & Sam
This couple put together the ultimate purple wedding, filled with personality and homemade touches, for their perfect celebration
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARTIN BEALE, MJB PHOTO, mjbphoto.co.uk
Despite having a challenge to keep his purchase of the vintage engagement ring Aimie had set her heart upon a secret, Sam did still manage to surprise her when he proposed. “Aimie had set up alerts on the ring, so she’d know if it was sold,” Sam explains – “I hadn’t realised I’d need to prepare a cover story for that, so she thought someone else had bought it!”
“Sam proposed in Rome at sunset overlooking the Colosseum, the day before our 10th anniversary. He said some beautiful things about our relationship, but I was sure he wouldn’t propose because he was facing the wrong way,” Aimie laughs. “I was wrong and when he asked me it was perfect.”
The bride fell in love with a Nicole Spose gown at Turner and Pennell in Rayleigh.
“It actually took a lot of persuading from my mum to try my dress on – I didn’t want a strapless gown!”
The design featured ivory and champagne fabrics, layers of lace and a beaded tulle overlay for the bodice. “I cried and my mum cried – I felt amazing and knew it was the one. I loved the way the colour of the gown gently shifted as I moved.”
Aimie accessorised with a custom-made veil and headpiece from Lesley Linton, ivory silk and purple leather shoes with a blue insole, which were bespoke from Shoes of Prey, and vintage jewellery from Warburtons Jewellers in Northern Ireland.
Sam looked dapper in a grey, three-piece suit from Debenhams.
“The waistcoat was a must for Sam. He knew he’d hate wearing a jacket all day, so a waistcoat kept his look formal while being comfy too.”
A purple cravat and a cravat pin, gifted by his in-laws, completed his look. “It was overwhelming to walk towards him down the aisle. He looked rather handsome too!”
The bride met two of her bridesmaids through Scouts and asked her godmother’s two daughters to join her too.
“They’d told me from a young age that they’d be my bridesmaids one day, so I couldn’t disappoint them!”
“We gave three other girls from our family the role of handing out confetti in Scout cooking tins to the guests too.” Having bagged a bargain for the dresses, each bridesmaid received bespoke shoes, also from Shoes of Prey. “My only stipulation was that they be the same purple as was featured on mine to match.”
Sarah from Jacsar Beauty took care of the bridal party’s beauty looks alongside makeup artist Nicola Hayes. “Sarah put us all at ease and was even happy when I changed my mind on the hairstyle I wanted after the trial. I felt natural and so beautiful.”
The couple married in a civil ceremony at their local church. “We tried to make it as personal as possible and even had photographs outside on our family bench. Sam’s grandmother read ‘Beauty In Love’ and my friend read from the Song of Solomon.” Adding to the line-up of family and friends, one bridesmaid played the flute while two more friends played the organ and guitar, and another sang. “We chose several hymns for the ceremony, also including ‘Kumbaya’, which is a Scouting hymn in a nod to how we met.”
“It was important to me to recognise my mum and dad’s shared role in bringing me up, so they walked down the aisle together in front of me.”
Friends generously offered to cook the couple’s wedding breakfast barbecue. “I made the desserts myself,” says the bride, “because I run a dessert business. My mum and godmother also helped me to make the side dishes the day before.”
Guests tucked into a feast of salmon with lemon, black pepper and dill, spiced chicken thighs with ginger, chilli and coriander, grilled aubergine and courgette with a Korean glaze and tamarind glazed tofu. The vegan sides included cucumber and red onion salad, quinoa and pomegranate salad, tabbouleh, coleslaw and tzatziki.
“Our friends built a wooden yurt to use as the bar and food serving area. We hung flowers from the centre poles and had a marquee for dinner and dancing. There was also a chill-out tipi filled with sweets, fancy dress and a huge pink sofa.
We decorated the tables with apple tree log slices from my godmother’s farm, as well as 80 vintage vases filled with flowers. Sam’s mum and sister made the table runners, which were finished with fairy lights and moss.”
“It was really important to me to have meaning behind my flowers.”
Jennie from Out of the Earth created the bride’s arrangements. “I chose iris and freesia for my grandmother and aunt, we added craspedia for my other grandmother, silver birch for scouting, rosemary for my love of cooking, sea lavender for my love of water, lisianthus for my mum and eucalyptus for my godmother.” Ferns, in a nod to the New Forest, and Japanese wax flowers in memory of a Scouting trip to Japan completed the arrangements, which were tied in sisal.
The groom’s sister created their three-tier, fruit and sponge cake, decorated with a batman figure for the groom. The bride’s godmother made the blackberry and raspberry vodka favours.
Between Two Minds played from the moment guests arrived at the reception. “When we arrived and got out of the car, they started to play our song. It was magical.”
“We didn’t want to have a normal first dance with everyone watching and quite a formal tone, so we chose to get everyone involved for the fun!”
The couple chose ‘Oops Upside Your Head’ to get all their guests on the dance floor with them.
“Do it your way. Look to others for inspiration and advice, but ultimately tailor the day to exactly fit you as a couple. Don’t be afraid to ask for help either. When I mentioned we were on a budget, we were surprised and honoured by how many people offered to help.”
“I flicked through so many weddings in Wedding Ideas while planning. The magazine helped us enormously, because we won our wedding photography with Martin at MJB Photo through a Wedding Ideas competition!”
CEREMONY St Andrew’s Church, Ashingdon, Essex
RECEPTION VENUE Shopland Hall Equestrian Centre
DRESS Nicole Spose at Turner and Pennell, Rayleigh
ACCESSORIES Lesley Linton, Shoes of Prey, Warburtons Jewellers
HAIR & MAKEUP Jacsar Beauty, Makeup by Nicola
FLOWERS Out of the Earth
ENTERTAINMENT Between Two Minds