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  • Writer's pictureLisa Flahant

Real life wedding: Sam and Jon

Updated: Aug 17, 2021

Sam and Jon’s wedding celebration was held at home in Cornwall on Saturday 26 June 2021, with the ceremony set in a beautiful walled garden…

…. And it was a ceremony filled with fun, laughter and some very happy tears!

I first met Yorkshire-based Sam and Jon at the end of December 2019. They had made the ceremony booking earlier in the year, but post-Christmas presented an excellent opportunity to meet up, as they were visiting family in Cornwall. And we got on like a house on fire! A truly lovely couple, who’d been together for many years, Jon had proposed to Sam on Gwithian beach (my favourite place! I simply had to be their celebrant!) and they were now in full wedding planning mode. They snapped up my last free Saturday in June 2020 for a gloriously laid back beachside ceremony.

Of course, as we now know, 2020 had different ideas - Covid meant there would be no summer weddings, for starters. But for Sam and Jon, the changes were far more profound. Having spent some years living on a canal barge which they were in the process of restoring, a change in working circumstances gave them the nudge to rethink and make the long anticipated move, along with their cats and dogs, down to south Cornwall.

With this momentous move behind them, the couple also decided they would change up their wedding plans a little. Concluding that a wedding at home would be the way to go, highly practical Jon, along his parents, sister Charlotte and of course Sam, began designing and constructing a walled garden at the family home, in which the wedding ceremony would be held.

And what a walled garden it turned out to be! A mini Eden Project is the only way I can describe it, complete with pretty brickworked pathways, gorgeous mosaics, leaded stained glass windows, a sundial, even a gargoyle! And, of course, many beautifully planted beds and floral features. Added to that plenty of space to seat guests, and lovely acoustics for the ceremony, all else that was needed was good weather.

Despite some worrying forecasts earlier in the week, the weather turned out to be fine and bright, much to everyone’s relief. To Jon’s surprise, Sam made her grand entrance with her two sons, aboard ‘Muffin’ - named because this creatively decorated farm vehicle acted as the mechanised version of a ‘mule’ during the construction of the walled garden. Sam and her boys were accompanied by two bridesmaids and a flower girl, into a perfectly decorated corner of the garden for the main event.

Keen to include everyone in the moment, we opened with some great group vows, which everyone participated in most enthusiastically, and we all waved on camera and said hi to Sam’s Mum, who would be watching at home on Yorkshire. The ceremony then focussed on Sam and Jon’s brilliant adventures through life – whether that was their passion for travel, the outdoors and exploring with their furry family, their knack and creativity for practical projects such as the mammoth restoration of their recent home on water, or their love and skill for learning new sports and activities –mountain biking, paddle boarding or sailing, to name but a few. Sam and Jon are certainly a couple who choose to ride the rollercoaster in the front seats, arms in the air, whooping and laughing all the way round – and it was a privilege to tell their story.

However it should be said, that the stars of the show were Samantha and Megan, Sam’s nieces, who provided us with the most entertaining reading I have heard in some time! A brilliant adaptation of Why Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog – tailored perfectly to Sam and Jon. Very well done, girls! A career as a celebrant beckons either one of you!

But the highlight, certainly for me, was when Jon and Sam read their vows to one another. They had decided to write these themselves, and this long awaited moment was fully loaded with emotion and meaning - prompting quite a few tears all round! The vows concluded with Jon placing a beautiful wedding band on Sam’s finger – cue much cheering, clapping and celebrating by everyone.

Sam, Jon and their guests then enjoyed drinks and games on the lawn, a wonderfully rustic meal in the marquee, followed by an open air ceilidh dance. The perfect summer wedding celebration.

This was a ceremony I couldn’t help but feel strongly connected to; Jon and Sam were just the easiest couple to work with, it felt as if we completely ‘got’ each other. Sam told me after one of our meetings,

We both said on the way home that you are SO perfect (for us) and just what we hoped for!! You can’t help but totally relax us about the whole ceremony.

Then, later when I sent them the first draft of the ceremony, I received this response,

It’s amazing how you’ve captured how we feel, we’re just so glad we found you.

Ditto Sam and Jon - you were both awesome!

You can read Sam and Jon’s review here :-)

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