Rutland Pride

A Chance Meeting

Happily, the only thing that melted during Peter’s snowy Zermatt proposal was Sam’s heart, and after two false starts (thank you, pandemic), the couple finally managed to tie the knot recently, in a ceremony on Rutland’s Exton estate…

Images: Sarah Vivienne Photography, 01604 372543,
Sarah Vivienne Photography, 01604 372543,
Sarah Vivienne Photography, 01604 372543,

There’s a song by Jarvis Cocker’s 90s Britpop group Pulp, called Something Changed in which the song’s protagonist mulls over the unlikely happenstance that he should meet his future love. ‘Do you believe that there’s someone up above? And does he have a timetable directing acts of love?’ the song asks, and later ‘When we woke up that morning we had no way of knowing / that in a matter of hours we’d change the way we were going / where would I be now, where would I be now if we’d never met?’

Those lyrics could comfortably have been written about Samantha and Peter’s meeting, back in 2018. Ordinarily, our featured couples tell us how they were childhood sweethearts, or had been ‘just friends’ for years. Not this time though. Sam was born in the States, but she was raised in Staffordshire. Peter, meanwhile, moved from his native East Yorkshire to Melton Mowbray. The two never had any cause to meet. But when Sam was flying out of Birmingham Airport heading towards Finland, and Peter was collecting his luggage in the arrivals lounge after a trip abroad, there was window of no more than 30 minutes when they could meet.

Both were on the dating platform Bumble, which is dependent on potential matches being in proximity of one another, which Sam & Peter were… but only very briefly. The two exchanged their first messages in that small window of potential, and the rest is history. If that’s not a one in a million chance to find the person you’re meant to be with, we don’t know what is. The couple’s second date took place in Rutland, at Clipsham’s Olive Branch, and as a keen competitor in triathlon events, Peter was also keen on the area, visiting often.

Peter proposed on a snowy mountain in Zermatt, at a brisk -10°c but at least with beautiful surroundings. The two wanted to marry in Rutland in anticipation that they’d eventually move there – which they did, finally settling in Whitwell – and finding the Exton Park Estate, they fell in love with the place immediately.

“When we called we got straight through to Harry Campden, and we dealt with him all through the planning. He was so accommodating and a delight to work with.”

“He had a list of recommended suppliers and his suggestion of Events & Tents was a good one. The nice thing about a marquee wedding is that you have so much choice when it comes to your wedding venue; size, shape, position, layout, lining, lighting…”

“The amount of choice is almost overwhelming but Andrew from the company met us on site and then we had a drink at Barnsdale Lodge. He helped us out, guiding us through our reception options.”

“We had to re-arrange the event twice due to Covid, and though we kept most of our suppliers, we met our caterers, Emerson & Wests, when our original caterers couldn’t make our new date. Thankfully, they were amazing. We didn’t want to compromise on the food. We had fresh asparagus, sirloin of Welland beef and  a trio of desserts, and everyone said it was the best food they’d ever enjoyed at a wedding.”

“Drink was important too, and we hired ‘Matilda,’ a Land Rover converted into a bar and run by Round Corner Brewery of Melton Mowbray. It was brilliant!”

“My dress was by Pronovias, from the Atelier collection, and was a capped-sleeved A-line dress with beading and lace.” Peter and the groomsmen had their suits tailored by the same tailor that the Duke of Cornwall used for his wedding, The Cad & The Dandy on Savile Row, and wore the official tie of his gentleman’s club, The Gentleman Spoofers – look up the rules to spoofing online.

 “Another bride recommended Sophie’s Flowers, based in the Vale of Belvoir, and in addition to providing beautiful flowers she really helped out with props and the styling of the venue too.”

“Our hanging cake was created by The Ruddington Cake Company, and had four tiers, with Champagne & strawberry, Victoria, chocolate, lemon and red velvet flavours. It was the first time Lisa had made a hanging cake before but it looked amazing and tasted great!”

“My maid of honour was Danielle, one of my old work friends, and two further bridesmaids, plus our flower girl. Peter’s family sent our three-year old niece Aurelia down the aisle a minute or so before me, with a little sign saying ‘Aunty Sammy is on her way.’ It was so cute and melted everybody’s hearts.”

“Another highlight was a choir in the church who performed the song Viva la Vida by Coldplay, accompanied by the organ. They’re our favourite band so we used Sky Full of Stars as our first dance too.”

“After an overnight stay at The Finch’s Arms in Hambleton, and spending the next day with family and friends, we enjoyed a honeymoon in Santorini. The day after was really nice as it gave us the chance to reflect on the day.”

“We were pretty relaxed and expected at least something to go wrong, but nothing did. It all went so smoothly and it was so enjoyable. We were lucky with some great suppliers and our family and friends who were all there to celebrate our day with us!”

Wedding Suppliers: Samantha & Peter

Wedding Ceremony: Revd., Anthony Oram, St Peter & St Paul, Exton,

Reception Location: Exton Estate, 01572 812208,

Marquee: Events & Tents, 01780 408298,

Food: Emerson & Wests, 01858 462181,

Real Ale:

Wedding Dress:

Groomsmens’ Tailoring: The Cad & The Dandy,

Wedding Flowers/Styling: Sophie’s Flower Company, 01949 81199,

Wedding Cake: Ruddington Cake Company, 07966 541639,

Band/DJ: Phil Rostance & The Marshall Band,

Sarah Vivienne Photography, 01604 372543,
Sarah Vivienne Photography, 01604 372543,