When Penny Married Sam

Penny has been an integral part of the AOW community since the very early days, and we are honoured to bring you her take on her wedding day.  There’s never been another wedding even close to this one, for so many reasons.  I don’t think any of us will ever see photographs like this again.  And of course,  no-one captures a moment like Penny.  Get some tea, sit back, take your time, and enjoy. 

All pictures taken by the immensely talented Kev at BlackEyeSpecialist.  Over to you, Pensky:

I am Penny, and on June 4th 2011 I got married to Sam, and it was amazing.  We got engaged on New Years Day, so really didn’t give ourselves much time at all to get sorted. This is because I am excitable and impatient, and also because Sam won’t even get out of bed unless you give him a deadline for it. To be honest it was just as well. We couldn’t have fitted many more DIY projects into our house. Another month and we would have had favours poking out of the chimney.


People tell you how you’ll feel on your wedding day, but you never really get it til you’re in it. I spent the night before snuggled on the sofa with my closest friend, watching Dirty Dancing and eating (too many) scraps left over from the cakes and cookies I’d spent all day baking. In the morning I woke up in my own bed and everything felt weirdly normal. Like I was shoving lightning bolts in my ears, feathers on bum and a great big bouffy creation atop my bonce to do something absurdly normal like go to the cinema or round the shops.


We had our ceremony at the historic Leeds Town Hall, a beautiful old building with some slightly gnarly stone lions out front. It was small, just twenty people – pretty much family only. This was partly down to budget, but looking back I can see how much more comfortable we both felt knowing that everyone there knew us inside out. It certainly made me much less self conscious about the whole shebang. As it turned out, we managed to do everything just as we wanted it, on a relatively tiny budget, and never felt a moment of regret or limitation over anything. I feel very lucky indeed that we were able to so.


I tell you what  though, nobody tells you that you won’t suddenly be able to float around pain-free wearing ridiculously high heels on your wedding day. I had my blue clompers on for approximately two hours (just about enabling me to get down the aisle to You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall & Oates)  before kicking them off and spending the duration of our wedding meal sliding round in my stocking feet. Much more fun. Then I had the excitement of changing into our matching Converse that Sam had designed for the evening bash.

We did feel conscious that our friends weren’t at the ceremony, so we made sure the evening do kicked off early and had as much of the wedding-related fun included, including a riotous best man‘s speech and maid of honour poem written for the occasion (did I mention how much I love my best friend? Well I do). And lots and lots of cakes and sandwiches more or less immediately available to eat, as I’m allergic to people being hungry in my presence. Our Magical Unicorn Dessert Buffet was hosted by our mannequin, Ken. Ken likes cake, and he likes to party, so he was an obvious choice. Look at what a good job he’s doing!


Coming from musical families led to the creation of The Dad Band, a collection of our fathers, uncles and siblings getting together to rock out. This was easily one of my favourite bits of the wedding, and they completely upstaged our own wedding band (Penny & the Sausages) who really should have been the experts and played a bit more quietly, given that we are, er, a wedding band. On the flip side, nobody minds when you play You Shook Me All Night Long at brain-blowing volume at your wedding, because it’s your day. Win!


Both Sam and I busted our bums DIYing loads of tiny details to decorate the reception venue (a dance studio round the corner from our house), which admittedly not many people noticed but gave us a lot of satisfaction. In amongst the general Blue Petering of pompoms etc we made our own fanzine to take away as a favour (featuring a cut out and keep Nissan Bluebird, comic strips and more), and Sam made a P&S postbox and found a load of bizarre old 70s postcards on eBay from various UK destinations, which became our guestbook. We also had many, many varieties of cookies as I’m a bit obsessed with making them and putting my favourite chocolates in them….Caramac, Chocolate Orange, After Eight and Reeses Pieces (all guarded by our unicorns who did a rubbish job as they all got eaten – never trust a unicorn with your cookies).


We had our first dance to The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson/Pump Up The Jam by Technotronic. It was so late by the time we got round to it. I’d just imagined somebody would materialise to tell everybody what time things were happening and completely forgot that I was the only person who knew. And I wasn’t wearing watch, or paying any attention. It didn’t matter.



When I had imagined  what our wedding would be like before the day – so many, many, many times – I’d pictured it being some kind of riotous and slightly debauched thing, where everyone was swinging from the rafters and puking in the bushes. As it turned out, it was so much more sweet, intimate and emotional than I could ever have imagined. With a hefty dose of ridiculousness. You just can’t take yourself too seriously in a puffball veil and feathers. You just can’t.


Categories: Wedding Pretty, Wedding Reports
28 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Vivienne
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Aaaah. I love you I do. What a fab post for a bloody freezing cold Monday morning – bright, and infectiously happy.


  2. Posted February 25, 2013 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Oh P, I will never ever tire of getting glimpses if your w day. And ‘blue petering’ or ‘to blue peter’ is my new favourite verb. I needed this after getting the crazies yesterday. Somehow unicorns, lightning bolts and mannequin torsos make everything seem ok.

  3. Jen G
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    What an awesome fun-filled day – you can see the joy in every photo! Jx

  4. Posted February 25, 2013 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Of al the weddings I have ever read about, or seen photos of, this has always been The One. The one I most wish I was at, the one that always made me think “I can do this, I can make my wedding be MY wedding”. The one that makes me want to be Penny’s friend forever, in an entirely stalkerish way. The one that is just so full of joy and love and awesome silliness that I cannot.stop.smiling.

    Love you, P. This is, obviously, and as ever, amazing!

    K x

  5. Posted February 25, 2013 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    What a bloody lovely start to the week.
    Penny your wedding looks amazing. I so wish I knew you and could have blagged an invite.
    I particularly love the amazing smooching pictures and I nearly fainted with delight when I read that you walked down the aisle to Hall & Oates. Jealous much? Me? No. Not at all, never.
    And your dress, and veil, and converse, and … oh okay I’ll go now before I embarrasse myself by gushing too much. (I’m sensing this has happend already!)

  6. Posted February 25, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Oh wow Penny, this is the coolest wedding ever and like Katielase said this totally makes me want to be your friend (yeah that sounds weird). But really, cake, cookies, unicorns and all the colors.
    And the love, and joy and fun!
    Thanks so much for sharing !!!

  7. Posted February 25, 2013 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Penny, your wedding looks like so much FUN! Loving the Dad Band and all the DIY. Definately a wedding I’d have liked to be a guest at! Xx

  8. Zan
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Your wedding pics literally get fabber every time I see them! Everyone should have a dress made of feathers :) Amazing pics and an amazing write up! x

    • Posted February 25, 2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      You know when you could re-use that dress made of feathers? To a ballerina themed hen do of course :-)

  9. Lee-Anne
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Love it. What a great start to a cold and gloomy Monday. xx

  10. Posted February 25, 2013 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Penny and Sam, your wedding has made my day before it has even really begun.

    Ps. I don’t think i’ll ever get tired of that veil/ dress combo.

    Pps. Anyone else wish they had snuck in to the evening do and danced with Ken? Oh, ok.

  11. Posted February 25, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Your kid is going to look at these pictures one day and think, “I have the coolest parents EVER.” And he/she is going to be absolutely right. Penny and Sam, you are ace.

    • Posted February 25, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      Kirsty, this is my ultimate dream! I hope he doesn’t just think we’re embarrassing…


  12. Posted February 25, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    This looks like the fun-nest wedding ever. I wish I was there now and not mildly-shirking my working day…

    P.s. loving the Husker Du picture in the background, excellent music taste!

  13. Amanda M
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    So, SO cool. I’ve said it before but Penny really looks like a young Courtney Love on a good day.

    And I want each of those cookie flavours RIGHT NOW. If I have to take out a few unicorns to get them, well so be it. (In fact, maybe this is why you rarely see a unicorn – they have a tough job and get crushed in the cookie rush)

  14. Posted February 25, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    AMAZING. I love everything about this. Thank you Penny!

  15. Posted February 25, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for your amazing comments everyone (SO happy I finally got a shout-out for the Husker Du print Lucy G), they have been a ray of sunshine on an otherwise rather awful day. And thanks to Anna, Aisling and Clare for letting me re-live the whole thing again – eternally grateful and completely obliterates any sadness or disappointment I had about losing that “other” post.

    May there be unicorns and mannequins for everyone!


  16. Amanda M
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    And cookies. Right? RIGHT?

    • penny
      Posted February 25, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely! Caramac cookies for all!


  17. Fran M
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Oh, this is just great.

    That postbox is a genius creation! I can only dream of ever looking that cool behind a mic (let alone being able to play an instrument that justifies me being behind one).

    And I’d like all of your chocbar cookie recipes please and thanks.

  18. Posted February 25, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    What an unique and special wedding this must have been, I am especially loving the singing and dancing photos, it just all looks so much fun!. the photos are fab, and that dress is immense. I never really knew what happened with the “other” blog, I don’t see why they deleted all your lovely wedding posts, but it’s great to re-read them here.

  19. Posted February 25, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Wheeeeee! Penny and Sam’s wedding – love it! You both look so cool and happy and giddy.

    (And, I had the same problem with my shoes – I think I thought I would magically be able to wear high heels all day when I’m not normally capable of doing so for longer than 2 hours. Needless to say mine were off straight after lunch…)

    K x

  20. Posted February 25, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    L O V E

  21. Posted February 25, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    I love it. Everything. The veil. Ken. Unicorns. Cookies. It looks like it was such a fun, amazing and wonderful day.

  22. Mahj
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m still slightly obsessing over Penski’s legs but unicorns guarding cake?! I think I missed that first time around!

    Am so so happy P that you got to post your wedding up here – and in my next life, I want a wedding just like yours.


  23. Anita
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    It was your original wedding report which made me aware of the wonderful fact that you can design your own Converse. I am now the proud owner of 2 pairs of custom designed Converse which I ADORE and get loads of compliments on and I’d never have known about this amazing option if not for you. Thankyou Penny!

  24. Posted March 3, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    I love this post and the photos and the words and my word your legs are amazing.

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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