Liam & I met in college, and though his wedding speech detailed how I was definitely putting the feelers out before we clocked each other properly, we actually first noticed each other during a trip to the bowling alley with a big group of friends. After a couple of months, we headed to the park after celebrating a friends birthday where he asked me if I “wanted to make this more official?” After a year together, we both headed off to separate uni's and had regular trips to see each other. We bought a house together after about 6 years together, and then we got engaged a year or so later... I’d planned to surprise Liam with a trip to the Lake District for his birthday, but his detective skills meant he’d figured out something was up after suggesting we head to Edinburgh… I managed to pick a rubbish hotel which gave us twin beds (definitely not what I’d booked!), and ended up being quite poorly as we headed away. It was one of the wettest weekends of the year (of course) though not to be deterred, we headed out for a walk with our big waterproof coats on and to explore the forest around the hotel. In hindsight, Liam was very chatty and couldn’t let a silence just be, and I was constantly scouting possible locations I could run to (I still wasn’t feeling so good). As we reached some tree cover, Liam suggested we stop for some food and said he had 3 surprises for me so to turn around. The first was a Malteaster bunny, as was the second. I knew they came in packs of 3 so imagine my face when I turned around for the third time to find Liam on one knee! Of course I said yes! This lead us to deciding to get married around our tenth anniversary, October 2020… Completely unaware of how much Covid-19 would influence the original plans.
So excited but a bit nervous too. My best friend, Niamh, had found her gown at Y.A.P and described the most perfect and wonderful experience. One of my neighbours, Lisa, also knew Joanne (Y.A.P's founder) quite well too. I knew I was in good hands but trying on wedding dresses sounded very grown up, like what proper adults would do, and I didn’t feel like that was me!!
To an extent… I knew I’d suit and be more comfortable in a floaty dress rather than anything too fitted, but was still keen to try different styles just to see how I felt in them. I knew in my heart though that it would be something in an a-line shape, covered over my shoulders, floaty and not quite completely boho, but that sort of vibe.
Aww the full experience was absolutely amazing! Right from booking my initial bridal appointment, having fizz on arrival, talking to Brogan (my stylist) about all things wedding and what gown ideas I had in mind, to trying the gowns on, and coming back to say yes to my Y.A.P dress! The accessories and collection appointments, right to the support from the team all the way up until the day, it was all superb. Having my Mam and sister, Kirsty, with me for those first few appointments was so special too as they were treated like Y.A.P family. I felt like I was the little sister in the Y.A.P family, and that everyone was genuinely so excited to see me get married! Each of the team was so invested and their enthusiasm on every visit I had was so special!
I tried a figure-hugging dress on first just to confirm that it wouldn’t be the style for me, then Brogan brought out my gown 'Camille'. It was the first 'real contender' I had tried on. I cried when I was in her, though I think at that point it was more because it was the first dress that was similar to what I’d pictured. Brogan then accessorised it with a belt and I just knew it was the one to beat. I continued to try on a couple more dresses which I’m so glad I did, as Brogan explained that the elements of the other dresses I liked were all in 'Camille' together! And it turns out that my skin tone didn’t really suit ivory or white, so blush was the chosen shade! I put my potential gown on once more before leaving, as I’d always said I wanted to leave the shop before making a decision, but knew that was it. I had one more appointment the same day but knew we’d be heading back to Y.A.P. I called the girls straight after my other appointment, they squeezed me right back in that afternoon and had my gown waiting for me. It was the one! It felt like me!
I felt like I had a gown that was made for me. Each time I tried it on for fittings, I found it easier to walk around in, as it became mine. Putting it on that afternoon for our wedding was so exciting! From when my Dad saw me in it for the first time, and then my bridesmaids, to walking down the aisle towards Liam, my dress just felt like it was an extension of me. Seeing Liam’s face when he saw me, watching him take my dress in, it was all just magical! We’d also learnt a fully choreographed first dance during lockdown, and although I hadn’t factored in the size of the train, it swished around perfectly during the twirls and the whole dance. I loved it.
Dreamy. Floaty. Special.
Talk to us about the location and how you styled your day …
Brinkburn Northumberland Weddings!! Their whole team are a delight to know, from our first visit, to booking our date, visiting almost every single open weekend, and the run up to the wedding in Covid-19 times. I don’t think I can properly express how much Leah, our wedding co-ordinator, and the rest of the team helped us through the stress of lockdown and restrictions.
The tipi on site doesn’t really need anything adding to it, but we introduced a subtle theme to run through the ceremony room and tipi. Many a jam jar was collected! We added hessian, and ribbon to match the burgundy of the bridesmaid dresses, along with candles and wooden log slices. The bouquets and floral decorations were all made up around a year in advance (thanks Ikea!) My bridal bouquet was purely white and green, and worked brilliantly with the groomsmen’s navy check suits.
I designed our invitations and wedding-day stationary myself, and it tied the whole theme in together.
We talked through a few options of how to arrange the ceremony room as our numbers got more and more restricted but we kept it quite similar to how was originally planned for 80 guests despite us ending up with only 12, just with a lot more space! The tipi was rearranged by the Brinkburn Team so that the wedding breakfast would be served to us in a horseshoe set up, which meant due to our small numbers, I could talk to the 2 people sat furthest away without having to raise my voice at all! It was perfectly intimate! When we saw it that way for the first time a couple of weeks before the wedding, I cried. It was my favourite set up I’d seen it in!
Tell us about your chosen suppliers and how they made your day perfect …
The Bigger Picture, (@bigpicagency) our photographers and videographer; Ange, Jeanette and Jason. Our original videographers let us down 3 weeks before the wedding, and Ange and her team stepped up to make sure we were covered. Having a small number of guests due to Covid-19 restrictions, Ange and Jeanette became a huge part of our day! Always snapping away but not in an intrusive way, and most of our guests said they felt like good friends by the end of the day!
Jo from MoJo Hair Design (@mojohairdesign) is a curly hair specialist and I began to see her at the start of the year to try and sort my curls out ready for the big day. She offered advice and reassurance to what I was already doing, and put a creative flair on what I’d asked for during my trial.
Melanie Hedley, my makeup artist, (@melaniehedleymake_up_artist) I loved her style from even before I was engaged! I requested a quote and once she confirmed she was free on our date, I snapped her up! My trial, and the morning of the wedding was spent laughing. Mel got on so well with my Mam and all bridesmaids, and listened to each of our wants/needs to make sure we were all comfortable with what we had on our faces.
Anne at Diva Designs for You (@divadesignsforyou) made my perfect gown fit me properly, and added some more beautiful lace motifs for me. She also made us our bride and groom facemasks!
Tara at Spa Fusion (@spafusion) helped me to chill out in the days before the wedding with a heavenly massage, and then also applied my tan and made my nails look bridal - she’s an actual goddess.
Amie at DIY A Wedding (@diy.a.wedding) supplied the lovely arch, flower photo frame, LOVE light-up letters, postbox and typewriter. Although it rained from start to end (quite fitting to tie back in to when we got engaged) so everything we’d planned to have outside moved into the tipi, it all just fit so perfectly with the theme, it was like it was meant to be totally inside all along!
Stephanie’s Patisserie (@stephaniespatisserie) supplied our two-tiered cake. I went to school with Steph and noticed she’d started making such beautiful cakes so just asked the question if she’d like to make our wedding cake! I was quite open to ideas so gave her the general gist of the day and sent a few photos, and she came up with our absolutely stunning cake!
Special mention to Simon at The Hand Dyed Shoe Co (@handdyedshoeco), who made Liam’s custom shoes for the day! They were Liam’s wedding present from me so it was so cool to finally get to Simon’s studio and see Liam create his own totally bespoke shoes, with his initials engraved.
Finally, a shout out to Elaine, the Mam of one of our groomsman, Daniel, who crafted a gorgeous flower topper for the traditional white fruit cake.
If you could give one piece of advice for future Y.A.P brides about to embark on their bridal journey, what would it be?
Everything all works out in the end; if it’s not alright, it’s not the end.
Sam thank you for sharing your beautiful bridal journey, we have adored being by your side every step of the way. We wish you and Liam nothing but love and happiness throughout your life together.
You Are Precious always,
Love, Your Y.A.P team xxx