Louise and Sam holding hands during their wedding vows

Louise and Sam met in 2000, when they were just seven years old. “Sam and I went to the same primary school, then the same secondary school, and then the same university,” says Louise.

Louise's colourful wedding bouquet

“We drifted over the years, but then Sam had a dream about me and decided to message me. We messaged for months before I finally agreed to see him, because I was adamant that we were going to be nothing more than friends. I didn’t want to get his hopes up! A few months later, on the 12th October 2016, we made it official.”

Louise holding her wedding bouquet on the morning of her wedding
Louise looking in the mirror on the morning of her wedding

A New Year’s Day proposal

Sam proposed after the couple had been together for four years and had just bought their first home together. “It was the 1st January 2021, and we were on a New Year’s Day walk with my dogs,” says Louise. “It was just along the local river where we both grew up, but it meant a lot because it was where we’d go each evening to watch the sun set during lockdown.”

Shopping for the dress

“My experience at Exeter WED2B was so lovely,” says Louise. “The woman who helped me made me feel so at ease and gave me as much time as I needed.”

Louise walking down the aisle with her dad the father of the bride

“I ended up choosing Minnie, which was actually not what I thought I’d go for at all. I went in thinking I’d go for something plain, and came out with a dress full of intricate beading! My favourite thing about the dress was the low-cut back.”

(For similar styles try Ffion, Mallorie or Fae)

Louise and Sam's ceremony arch decorated with their wedding flowers and lanterns
Louise and Sam kissing during their wedding vows

Small but perfectly formed

The couple married at Ever After at Lower Grenofen, in Devon, on the 20th October 2022. “They’re situated along a river, in the woods, and specialise in intimate elopement weddings,” says Louise. “We didn’t want a big wedding, so this suited us well. They also included the photography, flowers and cake in the package, making everything very easy.”

Sam looking at Louise during their wedding ceremony

The big day

“I got ready in the cottage onsite with my sister, who was my maid of honour,” says Louise. “My dad walked me down the aisle to Elvis Presley’s ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love With You’. It was a sunny day, which was a miracle in itself because the rest of the week had been pouring down with rain. We wrote our own vows, which made the ceremony that much more special. I even remembered all of mine off the top of my head!”

Celebrating with family

“We had a mini champagne and canapés reception after the ceremony, which our nine guests enjoyed while we had our photos taken in the woods,” says Louise.

A nature theme

“We wanted our wedding to tie in with the surroundings, so had woody and green colours throughout,” says Louise. “The flowers were then a mixture of brighter colours, so they stood out.”

“We had stuffed cookies made by Just Dunne Baking and Macmillan gold leaf pin badges for our favours. Our cake was lemon and raspberry flavour with a white chocolate buttercream.”

Louise and Sam's wedding cake Louise and Sam's one tier wedding cake decorated in their wedding flowers

The best bits…

Louise and Sam laughing with their best man and bridesmaid
Close up shot of Louise and Sam embracing

My top tips…

“Only invite who you want there, it’s your day, no one else’s,” says Louise.

Louise and Sam holding hands staring at the beautiful scenery Louise posing with her bridesmaid

Louise and Sam’s Dream Team

Photographer: Clare Kinchin

Venue: Ever After

Wedding dresses Exeter: WED2B

Caterers: Taylor’s Tavistock

Cake: Harrie at Boo To A Goose

Flowers: Amanda Randell at Flowers Et Al

Videographer: Baxter & Ted

Hair stylist: Jodie at Tavistock Hair Lounge

Cookies: Just Dunne Baking

If you would like us to feature your big day, like this intimate elopement wedding, 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 more details about WED2B’s bridal shops Exeter.