Featuring a bumblebee theme, Samantha Stennett and Michael Goodfellow's September wedding was a calm and carefree day of celebrations
How did you meet?
Michael and I met online, via the app Happn.
Tell us about the proposal.
I think I am hard to surprise, but Michael managed it. He booked a trip to Florence and surprised me the night before, only saying "pack for a weekend away". We arrived at the airport, where he pointed Florence out on the departures board, and we flew Club Class, where we drank so much champagne.
We stayed in a beautiful hotel in the centre, Michael led me through the city and we hopped on a bus that took us up to the Fiesole Hills. We found a little bench to admire the views, and that was where he popped the question.
How was your wedding affected by Covid-19?
We only pushed the date back once to September, as we were due to get married in May 2021. As you can imagine, it was rather stressful, and due to the date change and various Covid cases, we had guests that were unable to make it on our actual day.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
Our colour scheme was green and blush pink. If ‘chilled vibes’ is a theme, then that was it.
What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?
We loved Sunbeam Studios after the first viewing, it is breath-taking and right in the middle of West London where I was raised. The venue is super cool with its marble pillars and huge emblem on the wall in the main hall, which really sold us. We wanted to have the ceremony and reception in one building, and the flow of Sunbeam gave us the best of both worlds.
How did you know you’d found ‘the’ dress?
I found the dress at Pronovias. I tried on around five dresses, with mine being the third, and we kept going back to it over the others. The dress is completely different from what I thought I would choose; my go-to for the dress was an Audrey Hepburn style that honestly just didn’t suit me at all. The ‘Apollo’ by Pronovias was just everything, laid back beach vibes and very complementary of my curves.
Who were the bridesmaids and what did they wear?
The bridesmaids are two of my best friends, and they wore a dress by Chi Chi London – named ‘Brie’.
What did the mother of the bride wear?
Mum wore a beautiful green dress by Diane Von Furstenberg.
Where did you find your suits?
Michael had his suit made at Beggars Run.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day
Our floral arrangements were by Blume Studio, and they were beautiful. Michael and I love flowers, and it was important that everything had an ethereal, romantic look. My favourite feature was the runner of flowers down the spiral staircase that ended with little meadows at the bottom.
Michael and I also have a love of bees, we actually carry round tiny vials of sugar solution to save poorly ones. Alex Monroe have a stunning range of bee jewellery that we used to accessorise. Michael had bee cufflinks and a bee pin for his lapel. I had a bee necklace and bee pins for my hair.
Our wedding favours were flower seeds to encourage butterflies and bees. My bridesmaid, Georgia, made our wedding cake, she is a fabulous baker and created the most delicious semi-naked Biscoff cake decorated with a delicate fern pattern and flowers from our arrangements.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
I felt elated, I laughed out loud when the doors opened. I was so excited to see everyone I loved there and Michael waiting at the end. My mum walked me down the aisle.
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
I walked down the aisle to Ludovico Einaudi – I Giorni, as we love that song and it felt right. Our best friend Trish gave a reading of Love by Roy Croft, and Michael’s uncle Neil played the flute while we were signing the register. It was magical.
What was your most memorable moment?
This is a hard one! Michael’s dad was hoisted into the air by two of our friends during the reception, it was brilliant.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
The most challenging part was trying to get in shape before the day, but I decided that if I felt good, I wasn’t going to ruin the build-up and excitement by not being happy with my body.
What was the most important investment for you?
Food and drink, for sure. Sunbeam Studios work with Zara’s Kitchen, and I can’t even stress how high quality the food was. We had bubbles and canapés to start while everyone mingled before the sit-down meal. Everyone said how delicious the food was, and it really was. The wine was by Lea & Sandeman; I take full credit in the tasting because, unlike Michael, I wanted a crowd pleaser. In the evening, we had an open bar that went down very well.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
We chose Ezra Furman’s Love You So Bad. We wanted to have a fun twirly dance and this really delivered. The song is super cool and right up our street.
Did you have any evening entertainment?
We had Gary from Fizz & Groove with us throughout the day as he specialises in UK garage, which made the evening really fun. I performed my version of a speech; I copied David’s dance from Schitt’s Creek and shimmied down the staircase to an open-mouthed Michael.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
I don’t know if it’s possible, but I would have tried to have more conversations with our guests. We managed to speak to everyone, but there aren’t enough hours in a day for proper catch-ups.
Was there anything you wish you’d known before?
People did tell us how fast the day would zoom by, and it was over in a blink of an eye.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
We are going to Mauritius on Boxing Day for our honeymoon. We had it booked for June, but needed to cancel it due to Covid restrictions. We are really looking forward to going.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
It’s your day, so do what makes you happy. We had a meat main and a vegetable main for our meal, and I panicked that we didn’t have a fish dish. However, I needn’t have worried as people really don’t care as long as it’s delicious. You are pleasing yourselves and want to look back with fond memories.
Steal their style:
Photography: Caitlin Mogridge
Venue: Sunbeam Studios
Hair: Ivana at TONI&GUY Chiswick
Make-up: SW London Makeup
Jewellery: Alex Monroe
Suit: Beggars Run
Flowers: Blume Studio
Cake: Gia's Cakes & Bakes
DJ: Fizz & Groove
Catering: Zara's Kitchen
Transport: Buttercups Bus
Balloons: Bubblegum Balloons