Beautiful golds, whites and displays of pampas grass created a dreamy look for this water mill wedding. Our WED2B Real Weddings feature reveals more…

Sammy and Josh met in 2017 when Josh bought the flat above Sammy’s. “We became neighbours,” says Sammy. “We started off as friends for a few months, randomly playing ping pong in his lounge and hanging out with cups of tea during the week.”

Bride's lace wedding gown hung up on the morning of the wedding

“Our first date was actually a trip to Ikea in February 2018. We sang R&B songs the whole way, making it super fun, and that’s when I knew I really fancied him. I played it down for weeks but his sense of humour and silliness won me over eventually! I just felt so relaxed, it was amazing to spend time just being myself around him, being silly and being real.”

Bride having her wedding veil placed into her hair

A campsite proposal

Josh proposed during the couple’s annual family camping trip in May 2019. “Unknown to me, he had asked my daughter (from a previous relationship) if he had her permission to marry me, which was very special,” says Sammy. “We had booked a long weekend in Cornwall on this beautiful campsite with row boats and stunning blue waters. It was there Josh proposed, in front of my family. “

"The scenery looked like something from the film The Notebook and we were all super relaxed in our wellies and scruffs. Because of this I felt really shocked, it was super unexpected but so beautiful, raw and natural.”

Bride posing with her four bridesmaids

Shopping for the dress

Sammy found her dream dress in WED2B’s Bristol store. “I’d been dress shopping for months and found it really overwhelming,” she says. “I had taken too many people and couldn’t choose a dress that felt like ‘The One’. However, I found WED2B online and saw a dress I loved. So I drove for three hours by myself to try it on, as it was the last one in my size in the country!”

Bride and Grooms water mill wedding venue

"I did however FaceTime my mum while I had it on. She lives in Australia, so was unable to be with me, but the staff made that very easy to do. It brought that special moment to life for us both, as I said yes to the dress! The store itself was really relaxed, it had dresses for every shape and size and such a huge amount to choose from at your leisure. That was really special.”

Bride and Grooms decorative walk down the aisle

A Limited Edition delight

“I chose the limited edition Elliot gown, which blew my mind,” says Sammy. “How could something so beautiful be in my budget? I absolutely loved the sheer bodice and how it was a little different to most dresses. It was my perfect dress and I felt a million dollars on my wedding day.”

(For similar styles try Lena, Beau and Kiely)

Bride walking down the aisle with her dad

A water mill wedding venue

“Josh actually found and chose our water mill wedding venue,” says Sammy. “It was Sopley Mill, Christchurch, Dorset. It’s stunning and inside the building, as you walk to the bar, you have a full size view of the mill. You can also watch the water flow beneath you. That was Josh’s favourite part. For me, I loved the grounds and how pretty the detail was. It felt cosy, personal and was a blank canvas to style however we wanted. We got married on the 3rd April 2022.”

Bride and Groom saying their wedding vows

The big day

“My dad walked me down the aisle to an instrumental version of ‘Shallow’ and Josh sobbed the entire time!” says Sammy. “My brother sang live to us while we signed the register, which made the ceremony very special. He had flown from Australia to make our big day and that was such a personal and beautiful moment. Especially as Covid had prevented this for our original wedding date. So, we both felt very teary and lucky listening to him sing Ed Sheeran and it was a lovely surprise for our guests too.”

"All round, having both my mum and brother there on our day was huge for me. I hadn’t seen them in four years and I was so sad when we thought Covid restrictions might prevent them being there.”

Bride and Groom walking back up the aisle as husband and wife

The afterparty

“After the ceremony, Josh and I went into the bridal suite for a hug, cry and champagne,” says Sammy. “We really wanted to soak in the moment alone before heading out to the crowd. Our guests went outside for cocktails and Prosecco in the sunshine to mingle and relax. Our first dance song was ‘Why I Love You’ by Major. It’s a very personal song for us both, especially me, as I’ve struggled with my mental health in recent years. The song reflects just the simple words of learning to love yourself and then being loved for all you are.”

Bride and Groom walking hand in hand on the grounds of their water mill wedding venue

Elegant gold, white and pampas grass

“Our theme was white, gold, champagne and pampas grass,” says Sammy. “My bridesmaids wore champagne off-the-shoulder dresses while Josh and his groomsmen wore beige suits. We had a stunning white floral arch in the ceremony room, covered in white roses and pampas. There were also lots of big pampas stands, gold candles, white silks and gold wax melts. Plus we had a gold mirrored back drop with neon lights saying, ‘It was always you’, a white aisle carpet and jars with floating candles.”

Bride and Grooms wedding themed table decorations

“I had the best stylist who brought my ‘Hollywood-meets-countryside’ vision to life,” says Sammy. “We served table service BBQ food, with lots of fresh meats, veg and rice. It was delicious. I also had a stunning white, three-tier pearl cake with handmade orchids and pampas fans on it. It was beautiful and had delicious flavours of salted caramel, elderflower and lemon and raspberry. In the evening we had a DJ who had people dancing all night long. The dance floor was never empty!”

Bride and Grooms metallic wedding cake

The best bits…

“The most memorable moment of the whole day was seeing Josh cry and reading our personal vows to each other,” says Sammy. “They were so special, personal and a few funny ones. And having my brother sing to us!”

Bride and Groom posing in front of their wedding venue and signage

My top tips…

“On the day, nothing matters but you both getting married and being in that moment,” says Sammy.

Bride and Groom posing in the grounds of their wedding venue

Sammy and Josh’s Dream Team

Photographer: Aurelia Allen Photography

Water mill wedding venue: Sopley Mill

Wedding dresses : WED2B

Wedding Stylist: Effortless Elegance

Cake: Fancie Cake

Flowers: Simply Flower

Videographer: Jack Aldridge Photography

Hair stylist: Chloe Molly Hair 

Makeup artist: Michaela Selene 

If you would like us to feature your big day, like this water mill 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 Bristol