Rhianne and Samuel were married in Cambridgeshire with this colourful Clare Hall wedding. I love weddings that are full of laughter. Bringing family and friends from all corners of the world together.
Rhianne, her mum and her bridesmaids started the day off at Clare Hall getting ready in one of the rooms there with the help of Vicky Brown. The wedding ceremony was held at Cambridge Registry Office where the couple read out their own personal vows to each other. On the green, we did the group photos before I climbed up Castle Mound with the newlyweds for some portraits. Back at Clare Hall, Rhianne’s family carried out an Indian ritual to bless them which Sam’s family took part in as well.
So many wonderful details had been DIYed by Rhianne and Sam. From the candle favours that Rhianne had made to the three wedding cakes (yes three!) that Sam made himself. Guests were able to sing along to a song that was written specifically for the wedding and the families went from table to table to toast each other. It was just such a beautiful day with the focus being totally on the people there.
Here are Rhianne and Sam to tell you more about themselves and their gorgeous colourful Clare Hall wedding.
About Rhianne and Sam
We met at university in London as we were both studying Radio Production. Funnily enough, we never actually talked to each other during the first semester. But we were assigned computers next to each other for a project in the second semester and we became best friends. Sam had a bit of a job wooing me to begin with, as we had such a strong friendship. But we started dating at the end of the first year of uni which was over 7 and a half years ago.
We got engaged in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which is where we both moved to in 2015 together. Sam took me to a beautiful park overlooking the twin towers. I did suspect that he was going to propose that day as he was acting a little odd. So when he walked over to me, we were both giggling a lot before he actually got down on one knee. He had compiled a video of us from over the years. And even recorded telling my parents that he was going to propose which he played to me straight after I said yes, which had me in tears. He filmed the proposal itself and added it to the video which you can watch here
We got engaged on December 15th 2016 and got married on August 26th 2017. So we were only engaged for 8 months, but I told him when we got serious that I didn’t want a long engagement – I’m quite an impatient person, haha – but we only started planning after the Christmas and New Year holidays in January.
Having Their Wedding At Clare Hall
We were planning from Malaysia, so it was actually quite difficult to decide on a venue in the UK. But knowing that we wanted to get married in 2017 meant that we had to think a little bit outside the box. We both grew up near Cambridge, so the city seemed like the perfect place to have it. So we booked in our date with Cambridge registry office. After that, my mum (who also lives in Malaysia) went to the UK scouting for venues and she had mentioned the University of Cambridge as a possibility. My Maid of Honour’s mum actually studied for her PHD at Clare Hall, which is why we thought of there first. So we booked it with only my parents having seen it! We both only saw it a few weeks before the wedding, but it didn’t disappoint. It’s a lovely building on a quiet campus with absolutely beautiful gardens.
Rhianne: I chose to wear a saree for the ceremony and majority of the reception. My mum is Indian Malaysian and wore a saree for her wedding. So I never really dreamed about my wedding dress growing up. And I’d always said I didn’t want to wear white for my wedding, so a hot pink saree with gold embellishments seemed more my style. It was actually quite a bonding experience with my mum as she practised tying the saree for months in advance before she dressed me on my wedding day. She was also the one who found my dress which I wore for the evening as I’d already told her the style which I wanted. It was the first dress I tried on and I knew it was the one from seeing it in the photo my mum had sent me. It was an off the shoulder, tight fitting long gold sequin dress, which was very glamorous and fit like a glove! I had already got a good idea before choosing my outfits of the styles and colours I wanted. And my saree and dress were exactly what I wanted and so perfect for me!
I wore gold bangles and earrings which my mum bought me especially for the wedding and I wore my grandma’s necklace and pendent. It was important to me that she was there in some way. I also wore a chain bindi which was attached to my hair and lay on my forehead. Plus stick on gold henna tattoos which my bridesmaids also wore. I figured, when you wear some bright and elaborate saree, you might as well have all the trimmings to go with it! Plus I love Indian style. I think it’s so vibrant and colourful!
My shoes were the hardest thing to find as I wasn’t wearing white. So finding bridal shoes was quite hard to match my outfits. I’d started looking in Malaysia, but nothing quite worked. When I got back to the UK I was on a mission to find some. Even bringing my outfits out with me to see if the shoes matched. In the end I was really lucky finding a pair of Kurt Geiger gold peep toe stiletto shoes in the sales which matched both outfits!
Sam: I had my wedding suit made in Vietnam, although I hadn’t even proposed at that stage. It was made to measure in a wonderful tailors in Hoi An. The rest of the wedding outfit was bought closer to the day itself. I managed to find a waistcoat from ASOS, which suited the style of the suit. The shoes were bought from Debenhams, whilst the tie was bought from eBay. I searched for a long time to find something that was a little bit different, but it also had to match closely with Rhianne’s saree.
For the evening, Rhianne told me that she was having an outfit change, so I decided that I should as well. This was more so that we still had some form of colour co-ordination going throughout the night. My second suit wasn’t made to measure, but more a selection of different pieces that I’d bought over the years. My trousers came from Ted Baker in Malaysia, a present from Rhianne for my 26th birthday. The shoes were also Ted Baker, but I’d bought them a few years previously in Cambridge. Whilst the waistcoat was from Ted Baker as well. I bought it in Malaysia, and it was bought specifically to match the rest of the outfit. My tie was bought online, whilst both shirts were from Next.
About Their Wedding Decor At Clare Hall
We were both really involved with the styling and decor from the beginning, which I’m really proud of.
I designed all the wedding invites, welcome posters, gift tags for the wedding favours, champagne labels, table numbers, table arrangement poster and the thank you cards which we had printed locally in Malaysia.
Orchids are my favourite flower, so I knew I wanted them for the tables. In Malaysia we found a wedding shop which sold high quality artificial flowers. And bought white and pink (to match the saree) orchids and jars for the candle wedding favours which I made. I had everyone from Sam, my mum, dad, sister and Aunty taking them over to the UK. We also bought lace and white flowers for the chair backs with a specific design in mind. Just to be a little different from the genetic bow design you usually see.
I’m really lucky that my aunt is really talented in floristry and crafts. We gave all the flowers to her and she created all the centrepieces, the chair backs, the button holes, the bridesmaids bouquets, flower hair accessories and my bouquet and Sam’s buttonhole which she made from fresh orchids. She did an AMAZING job, with everything looking even better than I had imagined! We bought fairy lights which we decorated all around the venue. And attached photos of Sam and I from our baby years and all the way through our relationship and of all our guests from over the years. It felt like a special way to make them feel really included in the wedding.
Extra little touches were gold and pink balloons which were our theme colours. And also handmade pink lanterns which my mum’s friend made especially for the wedding. They were also packed in numerous family’s suitcases!
I just loved that all the decor was designed, hand chosen and bought by us which reflected how we wanted the venue to look.
About Their Wedding Ceremony
Rhianne: The ceremony was really special for the both of us. We chose our own personal vows and reciting them to each other was an absolute highlight. My cousin even said he won’t get married until he can genuinely say what we both said to each other at our ceremony. It was fun picking out our own music that was special to us to walk down the aisle to and back up as man and wife too.
Sam: I really enjoyed the ceremony and strangely enough I didn’t feel nervous at all beforehand. I was excited and felt completely ready for what the day entailed. It was great that we had the opportunity to really craft the ceremony, the way we wanted. We spent a long time picking the music, as well choosing what to say to each other. It would have been nicer to be able to invite more people, but I’m glad that it was a smaller space as it encompassed a more intimate feel.
Their First Dance
We chose Michael Jackson’s ‘Got To Be There’ as Sam is a big Motown fan and Michael Jackson was my favourite artist growing up. It’s not a very obvious choice and the lyrics are so beautiful! “I need her sharing the world, beside me”. We had them printed on the back of the gift card for the candle wedding favours.
About Working With Clare Tam-Im Photography
We decided to book Clare as we loved her vibrant use of colour and how natural her photographs looked! From the first email conversation she was so friendly and throughout the whole wedding prep seemed genuinely interested in our plans. When we met her on the wedding day it seemed like meeting a friend. So many great photos from the day. But I love our portraits from the gardens with the flowers in the background. We look so happy, relaxed and in love. Also my other favourite is when my bridesmaids see me dressed in my saree for the first time. Their faces just say everything and it’s such a special moment. I’m so happy Clare managed to capture it.
Their Favourite Day Of Their Day
Rhianne: There were so many amazing moments from the day. It’s really hard to choose just one!
But some really special loved-up highlights were saying our vows to each other. Our first dance as we were in a room full of people, but only had eyes for each other. But, I would say the speeches were probably the best part of the day. It was really wonderful to hear all the things our friends and family had to say to us. Plus, during Sam’s speech he played a video from my friends and colleagues from back in Malaysia who couldn’t make it. That had me in tears!
Sam: I loved every minute of it. I just wish the day was longer.
It was great to have so many people over from all over the country and the world as well. My highlights included the speeches (we had seven, but they were all great). I loved the ceremony and the wedding breakfast. And finally getting to cut the wedding cake that I’d made for the day.
Their Advice For Engaged Couples
Try to enjoy the wedding preparations and be as involved as you can. Once the wedding is over you can relax, but you kind of miss the buzz that planning a wedding and getting married brings. Try to get most things done a few days before the wedding, so you can relax with your friends and family in the run up and the day of. Make sure you plan a day which YOU BOTH want! You are not going to please everyone, so make sure you it’s what you want.
Clare Hall Wedding Photography