An intimate Slogarie Estate wedding with pretty DIY touches

Having just 14 weeks to plan a wedding may terrify some couples but, fortunately, high school sweethearts Jon and Sammy have been together since 2005 and make a truly awesome team.

“Sammy was very unwell in 2022 which meant a lot of time in and out of hospital.

“We only really got the all-clear from her consultant to go ahead and organise a wedding in February… Then we got married in June!

“Doing it together was the most fun thing about planning.

“Sammy loved creating the handmade aspects and personal touches while I kept an eye on the spreadsheets and liaised with suppliers,” explains the groom.

Slogarie Estate wedding - Anna Frances Photography

A week-long wedding

The pair always knew they wanted a small guestlist and Slogarie Estate was the perfect destination for a few days away with 28 of their family and friends.

Having exclusive use of the accommodation meant everyone could be together for the whole Monday to Friday celebration, and the intimate venue just happened to have the most beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces too.

They added loads of natural materials, plenty of personal touches and bursts of pink, their son Eli’s favourite colour at the time.

“The whole thing was pretty DIY,” says Sammy.

“There was a slight hexagon theme, inspired by the hexagon-shaped diamond in my engagement ring.

“This was used in the invites, which I hand-painted, the clay place settings for the wedding breakfast (made by me and my mum) and our hexagon-shaped lanterns.”

Taking advantage of the season, the couple made confetti with dried petals from their garden while Sammy’s mum took rhubarb from hers and turned it into flavoured gin favours for the guests.

She also crafted wooden planters and filled them with succulents for the centrepieces, signing table and reception.

Finally, they pulled together activity packs to keep the children busy and prepped DIY cocktails for the big day.

Finer details

The three days before the wedding involved a lot of work but Jon had a clear plan of what needed to be done and when, and friends and family chipped in too.

“We could have used a wedding planner or selected a less-DIY venue but that’s not what we wanted.

“All the hard work and effort really was worth it,” smiles the bride.

Although she was still busy organising in the morning, Sammy made time to get herself wedding ready with the help of hairdresser Morgan and make-up artist Alex.

“When I met Alex for my trial, I admitted I hate people in my personal space and find having my make-up done stressful.

“But on my wedding day I felt comfortable and relaxed.

“She adjusted everything effortlessly when I changed my mind following my trial and I was so pleased with the result.”

The final detail, of course, was the dress and as someone who is very indecisive, Sammy was delighted to find the shopping experience was much easier than expected.

“Being a mum, I wanted a practical dress so I could pick up my son for a cuddle and crouch down to talk to him.

“I only really felt comfortable in two dresses and knew straight away which one I wanted to wear,” she remembers.

She accessorised her “easy to wear” ivory gown with sentimental jewels then added a beautiful gold and pearl brooch from her late auntie to her bouquet.

Happy family

Sammy enjoyed walking down the aisle, delighted to see happy faces and beautiful weather, whilst Jon was excited to see his wife-to-be approaching.

“I felt like I’d been waiting for that moment for a long time!” he laughs.

The ceremony was relaxed, informal, personal and super-inclusive of Eli who was Jon’s best man and “performed admirably despite never having been to a wedding”.

He’d pre-decorated the ties used for the handfasting and helped warm the rings by passing them around the guests, whilst the couple had chosen songs and readings that meant something to them.

Afterwards, celebrations took place in the walled garden with prosecco, photos and playlists.

Later, everyone enjoyed garden games in the sunshine and took a woodland walk to where Jon had hung some photographs of the couple’s life together to date – so sweet.


Caterer Lee from Fika Café in Penrith had worked with Jon and Sammy to create a “not too traditional” menu with a starter inspired by their travels together and a dessert that Jon made for Sammy when she visited him at university.

“He easily adapted the menu for gluten-free, vegetarian and dairy-free, and it was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.”

After a surprise speech – “The plan was not to do any but Jon changed his mind, saying a short thank you and surprising everyone by singing and playing The One by Kodaline on guitar,” – the chilled atmosphere continued into the evening.

“We went for a walk to see the sunset, lit some sparklers and made s’mores over the fire pit, which we served with Baileys.

There was a lot of laughter and we loved that we had time to spend with all our guests, as well as time together.”

Slogarie Estate wedding - Anna Frances Photography

Photographer’s Credits

These photos were taken and supplied by Anna Frances Photography

“I knew this was going to be special when I heard all about Sam
and Jon’s plans. There were so many personal touches, making it feel very unique. Of course, the venue was stunning for such an occasion and the beautiful weather was just perfect. It was such a
pleasure to be part of it.”