Sam & Claire first met after joining the same Roller Derby team in Hull, where they quickly bonded and became known by others as ‘double trouble’! During a trip to Budapest, they went on a night river cruise down the Danube. Moments before tucking into a gorgeous meal, Claire popped the question – of course, Sam said yes! In hindsight, though, Claire wished she’d maybe waited till after the meal, as there were far too many tears of joy to then enjoy the 5-courses!
Tom first got talking to Sam & Claire at a local wedding fair, they clicked straight away and decided that he absolutely had to shoot their wedding! Pretty quickly, it became apparent that it was a special one. Sam & Claire were whisking themselves, along with their friends and family, away to France for their big day! Needless to say, everyone was pretty excited (a wedding and a mini-break? Magic!) The next few weeks were spent figuring out the logistics, y’know, stuff like – “How do we get a photo booth across the English Channel?!”
Tom & Ant (and Rob, the videographer) drove down to France a couple of days before the wedding itself. They drove 500 miles in some 30 degree heat to get there, yep – it was a pretty long trip! They actually got pulled over…by machine gun wielding police men. They only wanted to check Tom’s driving licence – but it certainly made sure they were awake!
It became clear the journey was worth it the moment they arrived, as they pulled up at a set of grand cast iron gates – which opened to reveal the Château de Miserai! A sight nothing short of stunning – with the interior of the building not disappointing either. Sam and Claire certainly hadn’t done things by halves, and had decorated the venue with lovingly hand-made details to add to the rustic and relaxed vibe they were hoping for!
There was an entire day for the guys to relax and prepare, and the fun started as soon as they arrived! Sam & Claire hosted a cheese and wine night, along with a number of their nearest and dearest, and it was delicious. It was super laid back too, and allowed Tom, Ant & Rob to become familiar with the guests before the wedding itself. They’d even designated the guys an entire ‘Photographers’ building, complete with a beer-filled fridge! The following day was spent exploring the local area, scouting out potential portrait locations, and grabbing coffee in the nearby village, where they spotted some of Sam & Claire’s guests soaking up the atmosphere, too.
The wedding itself was the most relaxing, least work-like work day Tom can remember. Preparations didn’t start until later in the morning, and staying at the venue meant that Sam & Claire could get ready without worrying too much about time restraints. When they were ready, and the guests were seated in the outdoor ceremony area, Tom got to capture Sam & Claire’s ‘first look’! It felt laid-back, emotional, and exciting all at once – three words which, genuinely, could be used to encapsulate the entire day.
The ceremony itself was gorgeous. Sam and Claire said some non-traditional, heartfelt vows under a lovely archway they’d made themselves. There were some special readings from both Mothers of both Brides, which could honestly have melted even the most stone-hearted of guests! The rest of the day included portraits in the rich, gorgeous woodland (as photographers – we were spoilt for choice!), a yummy meal around an intimate table which was, again, beautifully decorated – followed by some hilarious speeches. The wedding didn’t slow down in the evening, either – there was plenty of dancing, chilling on the lawn, more exploring of the gorgeous surroundings and, to round it all off, some lovely nighttime portraits featuring sparklers!
Sam & Claire – they’ve set the wedding bar pretty high, right? See for yourself, photos below!