Festival Brides - Kat Hill Photography - Sarah & Sam Wedding_128

I am in LOVE with today’s wedding. I love the colours, I love the Mexican theme, I love Sarah’s dress, I love the goodie bags, I love their cake and I love the wedding photography. In fact, if I could go back in time and get married again I think I would pretty much copy everything they’ve done!

Sarah and Sam married on the 7th September 2013 at the beautiful Rowley Gate Farm in Leek, Staffordshire. They wanted their wedding to be colourful, relaxed, inclusive and fun and to be all about the people who came to celebrate with them. 

“It’s probably the only time that all of our favourite people would be in the same place at the same time to celebrate with us and so it needed to be the best party we could make it.”

From a stunning 1930’s wedding dress to colourful Mexican flags, their wedding is full of personal details, DIY decor, lots of smiles and of course a whole lotta love.

Over to Sarah…..

A whole gammon, fruit pie and a ripe cheese board….

Sam proposed on Hampstead Heath where we had been on our first date 4 years before. A friend was playing matchmaker and had organised a picnic where we all had to bring a dish. I spent 2 days baking a whole gammon and making the most enormous fruit pie, totally over the top and I must have looked like a mad woman. Sam turned up with a very ripe cheese board and a hangover. I met Sam at University but it took 11 years for us to get together, ha! Best not to rush into these things but it’s true what they say about the way to a man’s heart.




Two weddings; one small, one big……

We actually had two weddings! The first one was the weekend before and this was the official ceremony. We got married in Burgh House in Hampstead with just 30 of our friends and family.  The ceremony was perfect as we had a very sweet registrar. What I loved about it was that we both got to concentrate on what we were doing without feeling overwhelmed by the day. Afterwards, we all carried balloons and walked to the heath where some friends had set out the picnic I had made the day before. We ate sausage rolls and played rounder’s until the sun went down. It was amazing.

This way we could concentrate on the party the weekend after! The second wedding was all about involving everyone who will be part of our life and marriage and letting them know how important they are to us. Gorgeous John, who was once Sam’s babysitter, conducted a brilliantly sweet and funny ceremony where we made our vows in the presence of everyone and then we ate and danced. I got both of my dream weddings.


My Grandmother’s Wedding Dress…..

I wore my grandmothers wedding dress from the 1930’s with a beaded number over the top. I had a rubbish time with the wedding dress shop that tried to alter my grandma’s dress and I had to take it to another dressmaker days before the wedding. If I can give you 1 piece of advice when it comes to your wedding dress is research your shops well!

For my shoes I wore vintage wedges and my headpiece was borrowed from one of my best friends. Three of us have now worn it to get married in so it’s doing the rounds and all the more lovely for it!




A brilliant family friend and Mrs Robinson…..

The ceremony was conducted by a brilliant family friend who was once upon a time Sam’s babysitter and now a rather fabulous actor. He was perfect for the job and had everyone was laughing and crying in the right places. 

Sam’s sister Nu read a poem she had written for us which had us in tears again and our friends played and sung Mrs Robinson by Simon and Garfunkle. One of the best parts of the day!



Festival Colours with a Mexican twist….

We wanted our wedding decor to be fun. We went for festival colours with a mexican twist with real Mexican flags that our friend had posted to us from Mexico.

I planted up lots of herbs and lettuces for the tables so they would be around for more than just a day. I’m also in LOVE with Mexican daisies so there were lots of those around too. They flower forever so I planted them up a long time before the wedding.

My sister made loads of paper chains from photocopied paint charts. My mum is a very keen car booter, so much so that she had enough crockery for 200 people. It all looked gorgeous out on the tables. My friends helped me make ribbon bunting and we went totally over the top with festoon lights.



Homemade Cake with edible flowers….

Our cake was a homemade lemon curd and raspberry jam filled sponge with vanilla buttercream and edible flowers.

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A Mobile Mouthful……

Gavin at Mobile Mouthful provided all our food. He is an amazingly warm and sweet guy and he cooks beautifully.

We had Catalan style tapas to start as Sam’s mum is from Barcelona. It was all laid out the tables to share. We got the Salami’s from Picco who are just round the corner from where we live in London and they make incredible tasting salami. Our cheeses were from Brindisa and our amazing local meat supplier was Dunwood Farm.

Then we all tucked into pulled roast pork and all the trimmings followed by Crème Catalana, Chocolate brownies, salted caramel, local ice-cream and hot chocolate sauce.


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A dance floor of nutters……….

For the evening entertainment we had music from Boum Le Tete, a band I love and are great mates. They can get anyone dancing and put them in a musical trance.

The New York Brass Band also played and got the whole marquee up on their feet and dancing like nutters.


Favourite moment of the day….

Doing the conga! Every person there was dancing round the room with the biggest smile of their faces kicking their legs to a totally amazing brass band. I’ve never been happier, I thought I was going to pop.


Any advice for couples planning their wedding day?

Don’t get caught up in all of the hysterics of planning a wedding. Pick what you like and what feels like you. Invest in what is important, to us it was the food. Look after your guests and take care of the details so you can relax on the day. Get a brilliant photographer as they are such a special keepsake from the day.

The Line Up

Photographer: Kat Hill Photography
Venue: Rowley Gate Farm
Brides Dress: Bride’s Grandmother’s 1930’s Wedding Dress
Brides Make Up & Hair: Julia Bell Make Up
Groom: Start Suits 
Bridesmaid Dresses: Zara & Topshop
Flowers: DIY: Roses, Mexican daisies and herbs from the garden.
Catering: Mobile Mouthful
Cake: Homemade
Bell Tents: Bluebell Tents
Band: Boum La Tete & The New York Brass Band

Thank you so much to Sarah and Sam for sharing your fantastic wedding with us. Those Mexican flags looked great all together and the lets dance sign is brilliant!

Does anyone else think Sarah looks a little bit like Piper Perabo in her Coyote Ugly days? Gorgeous.

Sarah and Sam’s first dance will be featured under Independent Love Song later on today so we shall see you then.

Big Love

Festival Brides xx


Wedding beauty on its way!

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