Samantha Walker and Simon Prior: A summer wedding with sentimental details

06 Feb 2019

Every detail was accounted for on Samantha and Simon's wedding day, having taken the time over their three-year engagement to plan the perfect celebration

How did you meet?

At secondary school.


Tell us about the proposal.

We were in New York and went to the top of the Rockefeller Center at night where Simon proposed. I’d always wanted a Tiffany engagement ring and he later told me that he’d secretly driven to Manchester to choose it. He’d even arranged for me go to Tiffany the next day to have it sized to fit perfectly.



What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?

We didn’t really have a theme, but we wanted everything to have a modern edge and a touch of sparkle. Our colours were classic navy, white and silver. Everything tied in so beautifully, from our save the dates right through to the biscuit favours.


What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?

From our first visit to Rockliffe Hall in Darlington, we just knew that we would end up getting married there. We had had many overnight spa stays and fell in love with the building and its luxury more and more. The staff have always gone above and beyond to make each stay memorable so we just knew that they would make our wedding day perfect. Our guests have been talking about how impressive it was ever since.


When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?

I’d tried on a few different styles of dresses in number of shops but really wasn’t feeling any of them as I had a vision of my dream dress. I couldn’t find anything that was even close. As time was pushing on, I went to Y.A.P. Bridal Boutique with my mam and met with Jo, who was the most reassuring, understanding and passionate lady that I had spoken about dresses with. She knew exactly what I wanted and made it happen – she literally pulled the dress that I had envisioned and the one that I wasn’t even sure existed straight off the rail. It was a Maggie Sottero gown and was completely perfect; I knew that it was the one before I had even tried it on.


What did the bridesmaids wear?

I had four bridesmaids (two friends and two cousins) who were dressed in beautiful navy floor-length dresses.


What did the mother of the bride wear?

My mam wore the most amazing mother of the bride dress, which was a taupe colour and from Molly Browns in York. She looked incredible.


Where did you find your suits?

Because the boys wanted to wear tailcoats, they chose to hire their suits. The groom, groomsmen and both fathers wore the same.


Tell us about your floral arrangements.

We just wanted a neutral palette for our floral arrangements, with white and cream flowers as well as some greenery. There were bouquets and buttonholes, an arrangement for the register table and floral centrepieces. My bouquet had a ring attached with my grandad’s ashes inside, which was all I was really concerned about.


Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.

I put a lot of thought into how I was going to make our wedding personal. We spent a great deal of time making our save the dates and invitations ourselves, which was the best decision as they turned out exactly the way that I had wanted. We spent most of our preparation time with a silver spray can in the back garden and making all of the signs ourselves so that every font and colour matched. I had also made a little security tag for our pageboy and bought him some personalised sunglasses to match.

We had named our tables after settings from Disney films and bought wooden table names and a cake topper from the same place to tie in with our colour scheme. I bought a few personalised items, including confetti with our initials on, our special dates frame and a street sign with our married name to display around the room. We also had a personalised drop box frame instead of a guestbook and decided to bake our own favours with navy and white marble icing to match our cake.

We had a band, magician, photo booth, candy cart and sparklers as well as an exceptional barbecue on the terrace with a chocolate fountain at our evening reception.


How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?

The feeling that I had when walking down the aisle was very surreal and difficult to put into words. Knowing that everybody in the room has been anticipating your arrival is scary, but seeing those that mean the most to you and so much emotion is moving. I had everything that was important to me right there and then – with my friends and family surrounding me, my dad on my arm and my groom at the other end, I just felt complete. I remember saying that I would look around and smile at guests as I walked, but as soon as we began walking I couldn’t look anywhere but at my soon-to-be husband.


How did you make the ceremony personal to you? 

We only wanted a short ceremony so chose some additional vows but didn’t have any readings. We had an acoustic singer who sang songs that meant a lot to us as I walked down the aisle and as we were signing the register.



What was your most memorable moment?

I don’t know – it has all just combined into one huge memorable moment. Simon did have to feed me the strawberry from my champagne though as I couldn’t pick it out of the glass, which is just us all over.


What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?

Nothing was very challenging and I’d like to think that I was a pretty chilled bride. We had a fairly long engagement since we bought our house in the middle of it all, so we were able to save and prepare with plenty of time. We were of course lucky to have some financial support from our families, which will have taken a lot of strain off us.


What was the most important investment for you?

Everything at our wedding was an important investment as we have always said we will only have one wedding, so we had everything we wanted. We were lucky enough to have the five-star food and service that came with our venue so would probably agree that the venue was the most important investment.


What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?

I am absolutely not ashamed to admit that I love McFly, so our first dance was to It’s All About You and our band played this live.


Tell us about your wedding cake.

Our wedding cake had four tiers of vanilla, chocolate, butterscotch and candyfloss flavours. I designed our cake myself to match our theme and colours before I found a brilliant lady to make it.


Did anything go wrong on the day?

There were a few small hiccups, as there often is, but they didn’t make any difference to our experience and we have forgotten about them now. Mostly everything ran so smoothly.



Where did you go on honeymoon?

We went to Las Vegas on honeymoon before driving to Los Angeles in a Mustang. We also had a four-day mini-cruise to Mexico to relax a little in between. We were married on the Friday and travelled to Manchester Airport on the Sunday, which was admittedly quite stressful as we were so exhausted after the wedding.


Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?

Just enjoy every second of making the day yours and take everything in. Do what you want to do. Remember that you can’t please everyone and you will learn a lot about people when you’re planning your big day. I would also say that a videographer is invaluable but is often thought of as an unnecessary cost. I’m so glad that we decided to hire a videographer, as our wedding video is definitely as precious as our photographs.


Steal their style:

Venue: Rockliffe Hall,
Photography: David E Williams,
Videography: Total Memories,
Dress: Maggie Sottero from Y.A.P Bridal,
Hair: Keep it Pinned
Make-up: Kelly Quinn
Suits: Slaters
Cake: The Cake Place
Flowers and centrepieces: Flower Angels
Band: The Maverick Rejects
Magician: David Diamond
Singer: Jess Avison
Photo booth and candy cart: James Entertainments

For more real wedding inspiration, pick up your local edition of Bride magazine

Related content

supplier finder

Get a quote

Looking for that perfect local supplier?
Let us know what you need and we’ll start looking for you.

supplier finder

Find a supplier

Search over 200,000 Suppliers in the UK.


Leave a comment


There are no comments to display, be the first!


Everything for your wedding

A vintage wedding shoot in Warwick

Celebrating the free-spirited bride, a trio of wedding suppliers set about creating a pho...

How to keep your bride tribe happy

A rowing bridal party is the last thing you need while in the middle of wedding planning,...

Wow wedding venues in the South West

Looking for a South West wedding venue with the wow factor? Take a look at these settings...

How to create the perfect wedding menu

Food for thought when it comes to ensuring a winning wedding menu for you and your g...

Wedding Photo of the Week: Rebecca Gurden Photography

Each week we’re inviting all wedding photographers to submit their images to be Bri...

Looking for that perfect local supplier?
Let us know what you need and we’ll start looking for you.

the wedding show

Sun -Sun 20
The Hop Farm Wedding Experience, 2019 find out more »
Sat -Sat 02
Bride: The Wedding Show at Tatton Park find out more »
Sat 02
Lodore Park Wedding Fair, Lake District find out more »
Sun 03
Rhinefield House Hotel Wedding Fayre, Hampshire find out more »
Sun 03
Puckrup Hall Wedding Fayre 2019 find out more »
Sun 03
The Kimberley Hall Wedding Fair, Norfolk find out more »
Sun 03
The Kings Head Wedding Show, Cirencester find out more »
Sun 03
The Wellington Barn Wedding Show, Nr Calne find out more »
Sun 03
Taplow House Hotel Wedding Fair, Maidenhead find out more »
Sun 03
Bolton Town Hall Wedding Show find out more »
Sun 03
Eastnor Castle Wedding Showcase find out more »
Sun 10
Vintage Wedding Fayre, Hampshire find out more »
Sun 10
Trinity Park Wedding Fayre, Suffolk find out more »
Sun -Sun 22
Tortworth Court Wedding Fayres 2019 find out more »
Sun 10
Abbots Barton Hotel Wedding Show, Canterbury find out more »
Sun 10
Ingleside House Wedding Show, Cirencester find out more »
Sun 10
Lillibrooke Manor Wedding Fair, Maidenhead find out more »
Sat -Sat 16
Upton Barn & Walled Garden, Open House Weekend find out more »
Sun 17
Shuttleworth Wedding Show, Bedfordshire find out more »
Sun 17
Uttoxeter Racecourse Wedding Show find out more »
Sun 17
Stourport Manor Wedding Show 2019 find out more »
Sun 17
Ashford International Hotel Wedding Show, Ashford find out more »
Sun 17
The Osborne Hotel Wedding Fayre by Prim and Proper Events, Torquay find out more »
Sun 17
St David's Hotel Wedding Show, Cardiff find out more »
Sun 17
The Marsh Farm Hotel Wedding Show, Swindon find out more »
Sun 17
Hillfields Farm Estate Wedding Fair, Reading find out more »
Sun 17
Old Thorns Manor Hotel Wedding Fayre, Hampshire find out more »
Sun 17
Inn On The Lake Wedding Fayre find out more »
Sun 17
Hotel Miramar Wedding Open Day, Bournemouth find out more »
Sun 17
The Moorlands Wedding Fayre, West Yorkshire find out more »
Sun 17
Copthorne Hotel Wedding Show find out more »
Sun 17
Hythe Imperial Wedding Fayre, Kent find out more »
Mon 18
The Grand Brighton Wedding Open Day, Sussex find out more »
Thu 21
High Lodge Wedding Fayre, Suffolk find out more »
Fri 22
The Ned Wedding Showcase 2019, London find out more »
Sat -Sun 23
Bride: The Wedding Show at Norfolk Showground find out more »
Sat -Sun 23
Bride: The Wedding Show at Bournemouth International Centre find out more »
Sat -Sun 23
Royal Bath Hotel Open Day, Dorset find out more »
Sat -Sun 23
The Scottish Wedding Show, Glasgow find out more »
Sun 24
Barney Hill Wedding Open Day, Surrey find out more »
Sun 24
Martels Wedding Events Village, Essex find out more »
Sun 24
The Gloucestershire Wedding Show 2019 find out more »
Sun 24
The Grand Hotel Wedding Show, Folkestone find out more »
Sun 24
The Ramada Hotel Wedding Show, Dover find out more »
Sun 24
Oxleaze Barn Wedding Show, Lechlade find out more »
Sun 24
The Westonbirt House Wedding Show, Tetbury find out more »
Sun 24
DoubleTree by Hilton Wedding Fair, Reading find out more »
Sun 24
Urban Wedding Festival at Victoria Warehouse find out more »
Sun 24
Sketchley Grange Hotel and Spa Wedding Fayre, Hinckley find out more »
Sun 24
Aldwickbury Park Golf Club Wedding Fair, Harpenden find out more »
Sun 24
Aldwickbury Park Wedding Fayre find out more »
Sun 24
Casterley Barn Wedding Showcase, Wiltshire find out more »
Sun 24
Merrydale Manor Open House Day, Cheshire find out more »
Sun 24
Colshaw Hall Open House Day, Cheshire find out more »
Sun 24
The Fir Hill Wedding Open Day, Cornwall find out more »