Sam and Michaela first met on Plenty of Fish, a popular dating app, and set off for their first date after messaging back and forth. Michaela says, “The conversation flowed effortlessly, and I was instantly attracted to his looks, ambition and selflessness.”
The pair realised they’d found the one at a three-day horse show, which Michaela was competing in. After the first two days of the event, she had fallen off twice and felt upset about her performance. But Sam inspired her to stay for the qualifying round, and she ended up winning thanks to his support. From that moment on, the pair knew they’d met their perfect match.
Every year around Christmas time, the couple visits Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, London Olympia Horse Show, and finishes some last-minute shopping. But Sam planned something extra special on this trip. Michaela comments, “We were with friends and saw a horse and carriage outside, which looked like something out of a movie. Our friends encouraged us to take a photo with the two white horses, and we posed for the photo. Sam suddenly dropped down on one knee and asked me to marry him – I couldn’t control my emotions and cried with sheer happiness.” Of course the bride said yes, and the pair travelled in the horse and carriage through Covent Garden until they arrived at Dirty Martinis, where loved ones were waiting to celebrate.
The couple set the wedding date for the 1st August 2021 and wanted to create a relaxed day where friends and family could come together to celebrate.
Situated in Northamptonshire, Rushton Hall Hotel is a beautiful venue with many historical spaces for lovebirds to explore. What location would be better for Sam and Michaela's special day? The bride says, "I had visited the property numerous times before and had always said it was my dream to tie the knot there. I never thought it would be possible, but my mum encouraged us to get a brochure, and the venue was within our budget!"
The lovebirds didn't want to take away from the venue's beautiful spaces, especially in The Orangery, and kept all venue styling simple. They opted for a vintage mirror in a champagne-coloured frame for the table plan, and each table was labelled with a number to help guests find their seats.
The favours were elegantly displayed in marble-patterned boxes with names written in calligraphy to doubled up as place names. Inside, guests found grey and white personalised M&M'S and some love hearts.
The pair sent menu options to guests before the wedding to help them decide what they wanted to eat. They then had A5 cards created with each person's food options to help the staff serve the food without any confusion.
After the wedding breakfast, loved ones could try the impressive four-tiered cake. The bottom layer had a faint-marble pattern while the second had a soft-crystal effect, and the top two levels featured flowers. Michaela says, "Neither of us particularly like colourful florals, so we picked white blooms with plenty of foliage for a classic look."
Michaela wore a stunning dress from the Pronovias Privee collection called The Pickford, which had a 1920s-inspired style with delicate beading and a detachable skirt. The bride-to-be came across Jaynes Bridalwear after searching high and low for the gown online, and the dress had just arrived in store. Once Covid-19 restrictions lifted, Michaela tried it on straight away and knew it was perfect. She says, "I felt so beautiful and elegant when I tried it on. Sam bought a delicate diamond bracelet and some pearl earrings to wear on the day, which finished off my look perfectly."
The groom opted for classic-styled tuxedos for him and the groomsmen. Sam and his best man wore waistcoats to stand out, unlike the others who wore braces.
Booking a live band was essential to the couple as they wanted guests to have a fantastic evening. The bride says, "The first supplier we booked was Agent Smith. We were over the moon with their performance on the day, and they knew how to get our guests on the dancefloor!"Another big hit with loved ones was the magic mirror, which created the perfect memento to look back on after the day.
The couple had worked hard to create their dream wedding and couldn't be happier with the results. A few moments from the day really stood out to them. The bride says, "After we got married, our toastmaster pulled us to one side while the guests went outside for the confetti throw. We got to speak as a married couple for the first time and had a glass of champagne to celebrate – it was an extraordinary moment for us both."
Another special moment was when the bride's grandma, who could not attend the wedding, called the couple on Facetime from Wales. Their talented photographer Howard from Absolutephotouk captured the moment for the pair to treasure.
Two suppliers went above and beyond to ensure the couple had the perfect day. Michaela says, "Our Harpist, Soraya Vermeulen, learnt a new arrangement of the traditional Wedding March and our first dance song – everyone commented on how incredible she was." She adds, "The toastmaster Alan Hodge was just amazing and made the whole day run smoothly without us having to think about anything. His humour was great, and I don't think we could have done it without him."