Gemma and Tom celebrated their wedding on Friday 7th October, 2016, at The Plough, Bolnhurst, in Bedfordshire.
It was beautifully crisp autumnal day, with the faint smell of bonfire in the air drifting across the surrounding fields of the Bedfordshire countryside, only to be accented by the warming fire pit, which guests huddled near to before they entered the ceremony.
The teepee provided the perfect shelter to an intimate gathering of close family and friends, who took their seats on wooden benches covered in warming sheepskins and thick blankets, underneath a glittering disco ball which was decked with blousy green foliage and flowers.
Large L – O – V – E letters lit up the back wall behind us, the perfect mix of modern and rustic. It was certainly cosy, to say the least!
I had met with Gemma and Tom only a few weeks earlier, and we had talked for a couple of hours about their plans for their day, and the meaning that the day held for them.
White Feathers took pride of place as a delicate feature to the ceremony. They were sprinkled by the flower girl as she walked down the aisle before the bride entered to a the piece of music known as the ‘The Feather Theme’ from Forrest Gump, which was played on the piano by Gemma’s aunt.
Feathers are very symbolic in Gemma and Tom’s relationship – they symbolise fate, destiny, and the briefest hint of the angels we knew who were amongst us that day. It was incredibly touching.
The story of their love’s history and development, and the involvement of family members and friends who gave readings, moved us all to tears. Even I struggled to keep it all together – it was a truly heartwarming ceremony for us all!
Gemma and Tom’s vows were read out loud, line by line by them both together. They had decided that Tom would begin a sentence, only for Gemma to finish it. This was an honest representation of the strength that they give to one another by uniting as one; as they always do in life, especially when confronting challenge, or else welcoming success.
Following the exchange of their wedding rings, Gemma and Tom also included a unity candle ceremony in their service, to symbolise the coming together of two separate energies, to marry and form one.
We used a gorgeous Jo Malone candle as the central pillar. It was scented in Peony and Blush Suede – a scent which was sprinkled around their wedding to further aid their memory of this day. I wore the perfume as well – by coincidence, it is one of my favourites!
In the ceremony itself, I surprised Gemma and Tom by informing them and their guests that in many cultures, peonies also represent romance and prosperity, and are believed to be an omen of good marriage and a happy future. How apt that they had chosen this for their wedding!
“Samantha, carefully guided us when it came to planning our ceremony. She gave us lots of choice and advice and to our surprise even helped us write our personalised vows.
Samantha spent a lovely afternoon with us discussing our relationship, goals in life, family, friends and everything in between. We were utterly blown away when she came back to us a few days later with the completed ceremony.
Our personal vows had all of our guests crying and our wedding planner (Katrina Otter Weddings) had to hand out a second round of tissues as a result!”
It was a gorgeous ceremony; sweet and symbolic, but emotional and unassuming all at the same time. I felt so honoured to have been a part of it, knowing just how special it had been for them all.
The wedding was perfectly planned and styled by Katrina Otter, and with wonderful photography by Hannah Duffy and videographer Sam Henton there to capture every moment. We are all very proud that Gemma and Tom’s wedding also featured on Rock My Wedding in August 2017. Follow the link to see more photos and read the full story from their day!