Samantha and Stephen are in their 30s, but they met when Sam was 18 through a mutual friend – they ended up meeting in Steve’s parents’ house - and moved in together three years later so they have been together for a long time. They moved to Saundersfoot just under five years ago.
The couple got engaged in December 2019 at Monkstone beach on a walk (in the random days between Christmas and New year) and then because of Covid and lockdowns they finally married in May 2023.
The wedding was very much beach/Pembrokeshire themed as Sam and Steve wanted to show off the local area to our guests, many of whom hadn’t been to Pembrokeshire before.
The wedding took place at St. Issell’s church in Saundersfoot in May 2023 and had our reception at Trefloyne Manor. We also stopped off at Glen beach in Saundersfoot for photos on the way to the reception.
A harpist played at the church; she played Canon in D for Sam to walk down the aisle, Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars during the signing of the register and Ar Lan y Mor to walk out to.
During the service there were three hymns: Guide Me O Though Great Redeemer, Jerusalem and Who Put The Colours in the Rainbow.
“My engagement ring was a ring belonging to my great grandmother which my nan inherited and then gave to us for me to have as my engagement ring.
“Our wedding rings were purchased in Cardiff in December 2022 – we both chose rings that we liked/wanted to wear so they are not matching.
“The wedding party consisted of:
“My mum Helen who gave me away as we sadly lost my dad in 2020 so she stepped in to the role.
“A mutual friend, also called Steve, was best man (he is the friend who introduced us to each other all those years ago).
“My cousin William rang the St Issell’s church bells for us.
“Steve’s nieces Elize and Maya and my brothers Richard and Jonathan were my ‘bridesmaids’.
“In terms of planning, we started looking at ideas at the start of February 2020 but with lockdowns and everyone having to cancel/re-arrange their weddings we put all planning on hold until the lockdowns ended and started properly planning at the end of 2021. As there were so many people already rescheduling into 2022 due to their 2020/2021 wedding being postponed we decided to wait until 2023 so that we could have the venue/dates etc. that we wanted.
“We went to a wedding fair in Haverfordwest – once before covid and once again after covid. I believe they were at the time Pembrokeshire County Wedding Fayre but the name has now changed I think to West Wales Wedding Fayre. It was important to us to use as many local suppliers as we could and this was a great way of meeting people.
“I had a ballgown style lacy dress which I purchased from White Bride in Narberth. They altered it to fit and changed the style of the neckline for me to create my perfect dress. I cannot fault their service at all!
“My hair was styled by Liz at the Hideaway Beauty Room in Stepaside; my make up was done by Amy Louise Aesthetics and Beauty; my bouquet was pinks and whites – a mix of peonies, roses and calla lilies and was arranged by the florist at Sandyhill Nurseries – she also created bouquets for my two bridesmaids and buttonholes for the men in the bridal party.
“Our bridesmaids wore dresses that had chosen themselves – they were 19 and 15 so we took them out for a day shopping and let them choose their own dresses. They had the same style of dress but in different shades of blue.
“We had a colour scheme of blue for the bridal party but left this open for everyone to wear what they wanted and were comfortable wearing and whatever shade of blue they wanted and this actually worked out really well.
“The groom’s suit was purchased from Hugo Boss – he doesn’t have many suits so rather than hire one we took the opportunity to buy him a really nice suit that he will be able to wear again – he was a little concerned over the cost but I still haven’t told him how much my dress cost and at least he gets to wear his again!
“Our reception was at Trefloyne Manor. We had around 70 guests in total.
“We had and ice cream van to welcome the guests to the reception along with their welcome drinks and the Fishguard Folk Singers sang some sea shanties for us.
“Our wedding breakfast was a three course sit down meal and Trefloyne really outdid themselves – everyone commented on how lovely the food was. They were brilliant at creating a bespoke menu with us too as it was important to us to give all of our guests a choice of food.
“On the evening we had a local DJ Steve Briers provide the entertainment and Trefloyne provided an evening buffet.
“Our favours were sticks of rock from the sweet shop in Saundersfoot and beach themed colouring books for the children.
“Our photographer, Sarah Mumford was absolutely brilliant!
“Our cake was made by Dec o’cake (based in Pembroke Dock) – Vicky took all of our ideas on board and created a fabulous 3 tier beach themed cake. The filling was raspberry and white chocolate and was delicious.
“Top Class Cars provided our transport and we went for something a little different. The groom and best man travelled to the church in a vintage hot rod. I travelled to the church in a vintage blue Buick which also then took us to the beach for photos and to Trefloyne. They also provided the vintage ice cream van at Trefloyne for us.
“Narberth Travel also provided two coaches to take guests from Trefloyne to the church and then back again afterwards as there is not much parking available at St Issell’s.
“Steve had his Stag do in Bristol and he and his friends went on a bit of an activity day clay pigeon shooting and off road go karting.
“I didn’t have a traditional hen do but I, my mum and my brothers used it as an excuse to go to London for a few days to see Moulin Rouge the musical.
“We went on a mini-moon to St David’s to escape for a few days – we are yet to book our official honeymoon.
“My top tips for a bride to be would be to stress less. A good to do list and break down what needs to be done by when and schedule it in rather than trying to do everything at once. Somehow it all works itself out and it’s far better to be enjoying the process than stressing yourself out – enjoy the planning!
“Take your time with things on the day, allow yourself to have enough time to get ready without rushing and then just enjoy it! It’s a cliché but it really does all go by so quickly so go with the flow and enjoy each part of the day, it really will be the best day ever.”