If you like small, luxury hotel weddings then you’ll love this elegant day in Suffolk. Our WED2B Real Weddings feature reveals more…

Sallie smiling whilst Sam is kissing her cheek

Sallie and Sam met at secondary school. “We’d been together just under three years when Sam proposed,” says Sallie. “We were in Edinburgh for my birthday and we walked up Calton Hill, which overlooks much of the city. He got down on one knee and I just burst into tears, there and then. Whilst saying yes over and over!”

Sallie's wedding dress being steamed on the morning of the wedding. Also a back view of Sallie in her low back wedding dress.

Shopping for the dress

“I’d been to a ‘traditional’ wedding shop and really hated the experience,” says Sallie. “I’m not a big size (size 10-12) but all the sample sizes I tried on were a size 8! I felt rushed and it was just horrid. Then I went to WED2B’s Chelmsford store and got there for when it opened."

"I instantly clicked with the lady on reception and I wasn’t rushed once."

It was all in my own time. I also got to try on my size too, which was so lovely!”

Sallie putting on her wedding shoes with the help of a bridesmaid. Sallie trying to compose herself on the morning of her wedding holding her bouquet

“I was given free rein to look at the dresses,” says Sallie. “So, I tried on four or five at my leisure and found what I thought was ‘The One’. I was stood by the mirror and my eye was caught by a dress being collected. And that turned out to be ‘The One’ instead!” 

Sallier and Sam's wedding rings

“It was the Bekkie dress. When I tried it on with a belt it all fell into place. I loved its simplicity, as it allowed me to add the accessories I wanted. I got the belt sewn on in the end, so it felt part of the dress. It was perfect!”

Sallie and Sam's wedding cake and welcome sign for their wedding

Luxury hotel weddings

“We were looking at small luxury hotel weddings,” says Sallie. “We’d been to a well-known venue near us but they wanted the room back at 5pm, which just didn’t work for our day."

Sallie walking down the aisle with her dad
Sallie smiling and holding hands with Sam during their wedding ceremony

"A friend’s sister had just got married at The Swan at Lavenham, in Suffolk, so we thought we’d look. It was the best thing we ever did. It was a beautiful old building with so much character, which allowed for our small and intimate day without feeling lost in a room.”

Back view of Sallie and Sam kissing outside their wedding venue and a close up image of Sallie smiling during their wedding ceremony.

The big day

“There were so many points that will always be special to me,” says Sallie.

“We had our makeup done in our room. My sister-in-law, who was seven months' pregnant, spent the morning steaming my dress. She lent me a bracelet she wore on her wedding day and my mother-in-law lent me the same earrings that my sister-in-law had also worn.”

Sallie and Sam smiling at their wedding guests during their wedding ceremony
Sallie and Sam smiling while their wedding guests throw confetti outside their wedding venue

“We kept the day very relaxed,” says Sallie.

“Getting married at 2pm meant we had lots of time to get ready and relax. The ceremony was also short but sweet, with a few stumbles over words along the way!”

Sallie and Sam embracing outside their hotel wedding venue
Sallie and Sam moments from walking back into their wedding venue for their evening reception

Games, dancing and laughing

“After the ceremony we had our photos and caught a brief window in between showers, which made for some amazing pictures!” says Sallie.

“Then we spent the evening playing games, dancing and laughing.”

Sam embracing Sallie, who has a huge smile, happy to celebrate this special day
Close up image of Sam and Sallie kissing outside their wedding venue

A stylish neutral theme

“For the colour scheme we wanted neutrals,” says Sallie. “So, it was all creams, light browns and eucalyptus. I had a bouquet of white roses, as did my sister (my maid of honour). The wedding breakfast was a five-course meal of canapés, three courses then petit fours."

Sam and Sallie seated during their wedding breakfast

"As we were such a small wedding, we got to have choices for our guests which was great. It never once felt like mass catering, just a lovely sit-down meal with our families.”

Sam and Sallie's small intimate wedding  with their guests cheering

The best bits…

“The most memorable thing was that we really got to embrace our day,” says Sallie. “We didn’t worry about anyone but ourselves and I’m so glad for that. I’m a worrier and I’d have spent the day running around after everyone else if we’d had the big day."

"A small wedding meant we got what we wanted every minute of the day!”

Sallie and Sam seated and smiling during their wedding meal holding cocktails.

My top tips…

“Be completely selfish,” says Sallie. “Don’t ever do this day for anyone else but yourselves.”

Examples of Sallie and Sam's wedding stationery

Sallie and Sam’s Dream Team 

Photographer: Lottie Judd

Venue: The Swan at Lavenham

Wedding dresses Chelmsford: WED2B

Florist: Autumn Lane Flowers

Cake: Robyn’s Cakes

Makeup: Aleksandra Makeup and Beauty

Hair: Mia Hair and Beauty

If you like luxury hotel weddings would like us to feature your big day, like this lovely day, then please click here to share your story and photos with us and we’ll be in touch. Your nearest WED2B is closer than you think, click here for your nearest store and here for what to expect when you visit.