So far I’m the author of one book: The High-Street Bride’s Guide. I’ve written about dresses, bridesmaids and cake toppers for Brides and You & Your Wedding, and regularly contribute to the likes of GLAMOUR and Love Baking – often while eating cake in my pyjamas. I live with my husband in a chaotically untidy flat in Letchworth, which I pretend is an artfully unkempt writer’s loft in St. Albans.
And her book...
The High Street Bride's Guide
Brides-to-be, this one’s for you!
You can say your vows in a catwalk gown so beautiful it reduces your mum to tears (and not because she paid for it).
You can style a reception so stunning your guests won’t believe you didn’t hire an A-list planner.
And you can sprinkle the day with personal touches that make everyone feel like you gave them special attention before they even got there. Without spending a house deposit on it. Honest.
Samantha Birch has written for GLAMOUR, Brides, You & Your Wedding and Cosmopolitan Bride. She knows a thing or two about planning a wedding on a budget, how much you can expect to pay for everything and where to go to get it for less. And she’s put it all down here.
Where to buy The High Street Bride's Guide...
And now for Samantha's fabulous shoes...
“Shall we get a taxi?” I asked the cute boy in the rakish suit as we put my friend into a cab and waved goodbye. “These shoes are killing me.”
The red, sparkly open-toed sandals with the little bow on the front were part of my costume for the play the cute boy and I were doing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. We were both heading back to the same place—the flat that the cast was renting for the duration—so it made sense for us to grab a cab together.
“No,” he replied uncomfortably, “I’d rather walk.” Ah, that was pretty clear then. My turn to shift uncomfortably. But then he put his hand out: “I’ll carry your shoes.”
Two minutes later and my Dorothy sandals were nestled safely in his costume bag, while I clomp-clomped along a dark Edinburgh street in his size nine brogues. He was in just his socks.
“What’re you gonna do after this?” he asked me as we sauntered along in the glow of the streetlights. It was the summer after third year—we’d both just finished degrees at different unis back in York, but had only met here, in Edinburgh, two days before.
I explained I was moving down south, so I could be closer to London—I couldn’t decide whether to write or act so I’d got a job at a magazine, but I’d also applied to audition for a kind of circus version of Peter Pan, so who knew?
“Acting?” he mused, hoisting the bag with my shoes in it higher on his shoulder. He thought for a second, then looked right at me and smiled that so cute one-side-of-his-mouth smile as he tried to be suave: “A girl after my own heart.”
Six years on, I was standing in a hotel corridor in a familiar pair of glittery red shoes—a little older, a little dustier, but still the same sparkly Dorothy heels I was wearing the night the cute boy had walked me home.
I fidgeted, pointed the toes together—and a couple of friendly faces barrelled in through a side door, threw whispered apologies for their unpunctuality and disappeared into the distance.
I curled and uncurled my pinkies as the first few bars of Hoppípolla by Sigur Rós started up beyond the bar, in the ballroom.
And then I took a deep breath, and put one twinkly foot in front of the other. And I went right through the bar, right through the double doors, past a sea of wide-eyed faces and up to the table at the other end of the ballroom, in front of the stage. And I grabbed the cute boy’s hands and squeezed.
Less than an hour later, with our new rings on and confetti still in our hair, our photographer guided us outside and took our picture. After all the smoochy romantic ones and the look-into-each-other’s-eyes ones the cute husband suddenly lifted me off my feet. And my sparkly red shoes slipped out from under my wedding dress. And they looked a little something like this…
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And the winner of an ebook copy of Sam's The HIGH STREET BRIDE'S GUIDE is Kirsty Fox! Well done Kirsty! Sam will be in touch to send you your prize!
Where to find Samantha...
Twitter @SamBirchWriter (Sam)
Twitter @HighStreetBride (wedding advice)