Wanting an inside-outside wedding feel, Jodie and Sam created wedding magic with their humanist ceremony and clear love for one another.
It had always been our dream to travel in America, and in 2018 we finally did it. Sam had hidden the ring within copious amounts of socks and managed to sneak it through airport security without me noticing. Sam thought long and hard about where to propose, and after googling “best places to propose in LA,” she decided we were taking a trip to Griffiths Observatory, and it was there she asked me. It was a little busier than Sam expected, so we went a little off the beaten track in the hope of a less public proposal.
Interestingly, moments before she popped the question (and halfway through a heartfelt speech), we were joined by a mysterious jogger who proceeded to strip off his clothes before turning to the hills with his hands in the air and screaming, “I want to feel the wind on my body!!”
Sam maintains it was all part of the plan.
PLANNING THE WEDDING LOCATION AND FEEL
When it came to location – we wanted somewhere slightly different. Somewhere with an “outside-inside” feel that wasn’t too big and felt relaxed. We loved the architecture of Utopia and the fact, so many wildflowers surrounded it. It is just one space, with lots of glass looking out onto the garden. It was beautiful but also felt casual compared to a lot of other wedding spaces we looked at.
We really wanted our wedding to be relaxed and fun. The most important thing to us was for our guests to have a good time and have the chance to catch up with family and friends. So good food, good music, and a relaxed atmosphere was the overall vibe! In terms of decoration, it was quite autumnal with reds, pinks and burnt orange throughout.
WEDDING DIY PROJECTS
We did a few DIY projects- making the menus and painted some signage for guests arriving. We designed how we wanted the venue to look and collected everything to go with a relaxed autumnal kind of theme.
We had glass vases for our flowers on each table years ago, when Sam’s family was doing some construction on their house, and these bottles were found buried in the garden. Cleaning them up and used them on the day, and it was perfect!
We had fantastic help from family, friends, and our florist Emma setting up the space.
WEDDING DAY OUTFITS
We both struggled to find outfits that we felt comfortable in. I didn’t really enjoy the wedding outfit shopping experience. In the end, I wore separates – a skirt from a Catherine Deane and a Needle and Thread embellished top in the ASOS sale.
Sam knew she wouldn’t feel comfortable in a dress, and her main aim was not to look like she was dressed for work. It’s easy to feel you need to change how you present yourself on your wedding day, but we luckily found the exact outfits that fit in with our usual style.
THE WEDDING DAY
It’s so cliche, but it really was the best day of our lives. We felt so lucky to have our friends and family surrounding us and to feel so much love. The sunshine luckily came out so we could get married outside as planned. We had a BBQ for our wedding meal and a cake table for our dessert, which came back out during the evening and was the best mid-dance snack.
We had a humanist ceremony, which included our own vows and two readings, from my sister Kelly and our friend Anna. There were a few funny stories, too – we wanted it to be a fun part of the day. After the ceremony, we had garden games on the grounds of Utopia while we all mingled and caught up. Our dog Albie popped by as well for some photos! We spent the day laughing, dancing and eating so much cake. It was perfect and relaxed, just how we wanted it!
The speeches were definitely one of my highlights. We had an all-woman lineup of Sam’s Mum Debbie, our best friend Rachel, and then Sam. All three speeches were so funny but so emotional simultaneously – which is a good result considering Sam left her speech on the kitchen table.
Photography by Lianne Gray
Cake & Dessert Sift
Candles Ester and Erik
Catering Good Food Story
Celebrant Sophie Colligan Ceremonies
Cinematographer Wild Love Films
Engagement Rings James Newman
Florist The Petal Studio
Hair Saks Skipton
Lighting Typical Type
Makeup Cat Johnson
Pants Jules B
Shirt Paul Smith
Shoes Grenson, Other Stories
Skirt Catherine Deane
Stationery Paper Skeleton
Top Needle and Thread
Veil Ink and Thimble
Venue Utopia, Broughton Hall
Wedding Rings James Newman, Ashcroft Jewellery