Wedding of the Week: Jessie & Samuel Tame

03 Jul 2017

This Christmas wedding at Dartington Hall in Totnes was a magical affair, featuring festive details, endless entertainment and a spectacular naked cake

How did you meet?

I was asked to be a session musician for Sam’s band to record for BBC Introducing back in February 2016, and met for the first time at the band's rehearsal in Exeter. We were both very nervous about meeting each other, but we instantly felt at ease with one another (even though he ordered a filtered coffee in a busy pub on a Saturday night). After we had finished recording, the band were due to give an interview and I thought it was a good time to say goodbye. Sam then instantly turned around and asked if I would take the synth back in my car (a mini convertible with very little room) as there was apparently “no room in his car”. As we both walked past his empty car, it twigged to me that he had said this in order to have the opportunity to see me again. Sure enough, we had arranged for him to come by my house to pick up the synth and we then arranged our first official date (over a filtered coffee).

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Tell us about the proposal.

As we woke up on the 6th August in beautiful Barcelona, Sam had suggested that we visit the stunning Park Güell in the afternoon before heading out to dinner. Good thing I agreed, as I had no idea that he had already booked our entry ticket for that afternoon in preparation for the proposal. When we got there, the sun was beaming down on us and the view was spectacular. We managed to find a place to sit down where there weren’t many other tourists, and that's when he said: “I’m sorry it’s so busy”.  I looked at him confused, to which he continued “I’m sorry there are so many people here to watch this, but I can’t wait any longer”, and got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was in total shock, and held my face in my hands for what seemed like forever until Sam said: “Is that a yes”?. We had spoken about marriage before, but he had managed to convince me that there was no way he would ask on holiday. As we were both holding each other in tears, a tourist nearby took the opportunity to take a couple of photos of the moment (without our knowledge) and showed them to us once we had managed to gather our thoughts. It was the most magical day, and we both phoned our parents immediately to announce the news.

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

Everyone kept asking me 'what is your theme?', and to be honest, I didn’t have one. Being so close to Christmas, we both thought that introducing Christmassy bits and bobs such as candy canes/mince pies and fairy lights, would be a nice touch.

I chose subtle winter colours (dusky pink and grey) which my bridesmaids looked beautiful in, and that worked beautifully in my bouquet which consisted of pink roses and gypsophila.

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

Sam and I had gone into Totnes for a bit of shopping prior to visiting Dartington Hall to confirm the venue for our wedding, and I stumbled across a little wedding dress shop and thought I would have a look (not intending to find anything). I had no idea as to the style/colour/length/designer I wanted to go for, but was met by the most wonderful lady who asked if I wanted to try a couple on just to get an idea. The first dress I tried on was stunning, and I instantly fell in love with it. A few weeks later, I had arranged for me, my mum and my bridesmaids to go wedding dress shopping in Totnes, and must have tried on 20 dresses in four different shops, but I knew in my heart that I had found the dress weeks before on my own. We went back into the shop and tried the dress on again, and that’s when I knew it was the one.

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Where did you find your suits?

After a bit of thinking and research, I decided that I wanted a grey or charcoal suit. I was taking inspiration from Dr. No era (Sean Connery) I think. I went for a bit of a wander around Exeter one Sunday afternoon and as soon as I went into Moss I found something that I liked. Thankfully, when I showed it to Jessie, she suggested a far nicer Ted Baker suit which was a lot closer to the mark. I took it to a tailor on Queen St for some alterations and then all I had to worry about was which brogues to wear with it.

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Tell us about your floral arrangements.

We were lucky enough to have a very talented family member (Helen Durrant) who specialised in flower arranging, and who had offered her help in dressing the venue and making the bouquets and buttonholes. We had initially bounced some ideas off of each other, and agreed that we would use predominantly ivy and gypsophila to dress the venue and introduce roses and eucalyptus into my bouquet. The gypsophila added an almost snowy aspect, and the ivy linked in with the Christmas theme. As we only had four months to organise the whole event, we wanted to go for flowers and foliage that were in abundance at that time of year.

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

As we both met through our mutual love of music, we made sure that this was a key element in our day. My mum had created the most incredible cake which included a mini piano and guitar, and we had organised for two bands to play on the day. The first was a jazz duo consisting of a saxophone and jazz guitar for when guests were arriving for the evening, and the second band was a jive band from Kent who were the main entertainment. We created our own playlists for the ceremony and breakfast which consisted of songs that were personal to us, and that we would listen to on lazy Sundays. Our favours were candy canes with each individual's name on them (handwritten by my very talented cousin in-law), and we covered the venue and ceremony room with candles in jam jars that had been collected by friends and family over the last few months. We wanted the day and evening to feel very relaxed, and for the decorations to be warm and welcoming which worked perfectly.

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How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?

Initially I was very relaxed, even while I was getting ready at my parents’ house on Dartmoor, then as soon as the car pulled up to the red carpet at the back of the Upper Gate House in Dartington, the excitement set in. The doors opened, and there was my handsome chap staring at me from the top of the aisle. I focused on him the entire time, not taking in anyone else in the room. I remember having to take in a deep breath, as I was starting to shake, but gripped onto my dad’s arm who gave me a reassuring squeeze back to let me know I was doing OK.

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What was your most memorable moment?

Jessie: My most memorable moment was seeing my husband’s face when I walked down the aisle. It was an uncontrollable emotion within him, and as I got closer, I could see his bottom lip start to wobble. He then said to me “You look incredible”, while we both tried to hold back tears.

Sam: It is really difficult to pick a most memorable moment, as the whole day was so special. I remember taking a bit of time to look out at all our guests laughing away while I was sat at the top table, with my amazing wife sat next to me. There was just this overwhelming feeling of pride and contentment, which hasn’t faded away in the slightest since that day actually.

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What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?

As we only had four months from the proposal to the wedding, we knew that we couldn’t afford to hang about in decision making, and had to put a lot of trust in friends and family to help out where they could. This was also a huge positive, as our decisions were quick and easy. We had to make sure we weren’t choosing things that would take a long period of time to sort out due to us both being in full time work as well, but managed to have what/who we wanted there which made the day so special.

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What was the most important investment for you?

The most important investment for us was the two bands that we had asked to perform on the day. We had always agreed that live music needed to be a huge part of the day, and it was wonderful to hear the amazing comments from the guests on how it made the day/evening even more special.

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

We chose Waiting For a Star to Fall by Boy Meets Girl as our first dance, due to the fact that we both are fans of '80s music, and it was a song that Sam had tried to learn on the piano a few weeks into our relationship because I loved it so much. We wanted something upbeat and that people could dance to and it worked a treat.

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Tell us about your wedding cake.

As soon as we announced our engagement I had asked my very talented mum (Sarah Richardson) if she would make our wedding cake, and had an idea in my mind of what it would look like. I had seen some incredible photos of naked cakes which looked amazing, as I wasn’t a fan of the traditional fruit cake. The picture that I sent to my mum was of a Victoria sponge covered in berries, which for a winter cake would be a challenge. But my wonderful mummy spent four months researching and freezing various layers of Victoria sponge to create the most incredible cake I had ever seen. The cake fed people throughout the day and night; and my husband and I were able to have the last sneaky piece at 11:30pm.

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If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?

I wouldn’t have changed a thing to the day or evening, as everything went so well and was executed brilliantly.

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Was there anything you wish you’d known before?

Not really; we were well informed as to what was achievable in the four months we had given ourselves, so expectations were managed on that basis.

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Where did you go on honeymoon?

We flew up to Edinburgh on the 27th December, and drove to the Highlands to spend a few days in a beautiful cottage in the middle of nowhere. We then drove back down to Edinburgh for New Year’s Eve where we were lucky enough to have a hotel room that overlooked the castle for the fireworks at midnight.

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

I would advise future couples planning a wedding to not overthink things and be open-minded. We found that by having only four months to organise it all, gave us the kick up the bum to not spend too long on making decisions, while always being aware that our style/personalities would shine through.

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Steal their style:

Photography: Charlie Tyjas, Bristol Contemporary Photography, www.bristolcontemporaryphotography.com
Flowers: Helen Durrant
Band: Goosebumps, www.goosebumpsmusic.co.uk
Venue: Dartington Hall, www.dartington.org

For more real wedding inspiration, pick up the latest edition of Bride magazine.

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