Samantha's Botanical Wedding at Brighton Bandstand

Samantha's Botanical Wedding at Brighton Bandstand. Mobile Image

Oct 16, 2019

We had a catchup with Fross bride, Samantha, to find out all about her fun-filled wedding in Brighton and that stunning Stella York plus size bridal gown.

How did your partner propose?

It wasn't very romantic I’m afraid. We’d been talking about getting married for a while. I was standing at the kettle with him next to me at the kitchen sink. Our dog was sat behind us because she knew it was dinner time. I said “shall we just pick a date?” He said “are you just waiting for me to say ok?”  I said “yes” then he replied “OK… you haven’t really given me the chance to ask.” I’d like to point out we’d been together four and a half years at this point so he just got a stare from me. Then he said “Well, will you marry me?” And I replied “of course I bloody will.” Our dog Sugar grumbled at this point because she was getting impatient and wanted her dinner. Rob did then say that he’d take me out for dinner and ask properly… I’m still waiting!

What’s the best piece of advice you received in the run up to the big day?

Remember to enjoy it. I know that sounds daft but I am a natural born worrier – I worry about everything, so knowing it was all sorted meant I could enjoy getting married.

How did you go about finding the perfect wedding dress?

I’m a plus size and this was the bit I was dreading the most. I’d looked at dresses online and knew that I wouldn’t want something that was traditional and I didn’t want to end up in a tea length dress although the 1950s shapes do really suit plus size. I looked up shops locally online who catered for plus sizes and knew I had to jump in. I went to Wed2Be in Brighton Marina because I knew you could walk in without an appointment and I wanted it to be casual. I went with the intention of getting a shape/style rather than finding “the one.”

When I went to Fross I was so happy at the amount of dresses to look through. The dress I bought [by Stella York] was the first one I picked out of the rack and said I wanted to try on.

How many dresses did you try on before finding The One?

I tried on three dresses in Wed2Be and didn’t like any of them but knew I liked elements. I also knew I wouldn’t go back there because their plus size stock in my size was very limited and I found this disheartening. When I went to Fross I was so happy at the amount of dresses to look through. The dress I bought was the first one I picked out of the rack and said I wanted to try on.

What made you fall in love with the dress you chose?

The fabric was light and swishy which made me smile. I loved the lace detail at the top because it wasn’t too girly and floral but elegant and art deco. It felt amazing on.

What bridal accessories did you choose?

I had a small hair accessory in rose gold wire and with pearls and crystals. I also had a double hip length veil with crystals on because I knew Rob wanted to remove the veil to kiss me at the ceremony.

Tell us about your wedding day.

The day was pretty great actually. I went out and had breakfast with my mum, best friend and brother who had flown over from Australia. It was very chilled. We had stayed in the Hilton Hotel in Brighton and the ceremony was at the Brighton Bandstand so we walked up to the Bandstand for this. On the journey my mum took a tumble and I went into teacher mode and administered first aid (she’s ok now by the way). By the time I got up the aisle I was just relieved my mum was ok and wanted to give Rob a big kiss. During the ceremony there was a bit of a breeze so my veil kept flying into my face – much to our friends’ amusement. I ended up taking it off and then adding it back in for photos later. After this the reception was at Rob’s parent’s house so we had a bus take everyone there. Rob and I travelled with a friend and my mum in her car, but it turned out Rob had left his house keys in the taxi he had used to get to the ceremony so we had to wait for them to return the keys.. and Rob wouldn’t tell them he was the groom and we were trying to get to our reception. So we were a little late. For the reception we had a marquee in the garden and to get everyone talking to each other set up teams with a scavenger hunt, egg and spoon racing and sheep racing (not real ones). Everyone loved it and the atmosphere was very chilled, exactly as we wanted. My dad passed away ten years ago so I knew the day was going to be hard without him, so the focus was on fun and laughter. We wanted it to be informal so there were no speeches, no seating plan, no first dance - just fun.

What was your favourite moment from your big day?

I had asked my brother to propose a toast in honour of my dad just before we cut the cake. He gave a very small speech but it meant the world to me.

What theme did you pick for the wedding?

Botanical. I love flowers and plants. I’m a huge fan of unusual plants like cacti, air plants, succulents and carnivorous so I wanted to try to create a large greenhouse. Sadly our budget didn’t stretch to a wedding at Kew but we made a very special version of our own! Rob’s parents spent a long time planting up their garden so it was full of colour and flowers on the day. They also have a separate flower garden that had come into full bloom with lots of aliums.

What advice would you give to other brides-to-be?

Try not to get stressed. Things will go wrong, and you’ve just got to roll with it. Make sure you ask for help during the planning and prepping stages. I did everything on my own (including hen and stag do, outfits for several guests, mother of the bride and groom as well as my own things) and it was exhausting.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?

We have not been away yet as we couldn’t decide. We are now booking Guatemala for Summer 2020.

Who were your suppliers for your big day?

Cake – Glitterbug Bakery. We didn’t have a cake - we had a dessert table. They made: Mint chocolate chip, salted caramel cupcakes, macarons, brownie, lemon drizzle cake, Battenberg and banoffee pie. Everything was vegan! Flowers – Miss Mole’s Flower Emporium Photographer – Sam Pharaoh Venue – Brighton Band Stand. The Marquee was provided by The Great Outdoors. Hair & Make Up – XYZ Hairdresser (Dayna Hughes) and I did my own make up. Food – The Vegan Food Pimp. The food was picnic food with pastries and wraps and nibbles. I wanted everything to be sourced from local providers so I only looked at suppliers in Sussex, hence how I found Fross.