Celebrations in Samantha Lewis and her partner Lee Riches from Bognor Regis had been together for many years before Lee took her by surprise and popped the question during a romantic meal. However it didn’t take long to make the decision to wed on a stunning sandy beach in Florida, with their son Joshua to join in the celebrations

Finding ‹“the one’

We first met in a previous workplace, and although I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was love at first sight, there was definitely an instant attraction for both of us!

The proposal

He actually popped the question to me at Goodwood Race Course! We had been together for 15 years and have a 10-year old son, so it was completely unexpected when he asked me to marry him over a romantic meal.

Location, location

The decision to get married in Florida was an easy one. We both love Florida and wanted to go back there after having been there twice before, so we

felt it would be an ideal choice for us. We decided that a beach setting would be intimate, personal and perfect for us, and Clearwater Beach and the Sand Pearl Hotel stood out to be everything we wanted – our dream location!

The planning

We did our own searches online but our travel company, Tropical Sky, organized and advised us on everything we needed. Tropical Sky was very helpful, answered every enquiry we had and handled all our arrangements extremely well. Before we went we simply organized the basics – we just knew where and what we wanted and had a reception party organized for the day after we arrived home.

The guests

We chose to have an intimate beach wedding – just us and our son, Joshua. I have two other children, Chelsey and Todd and would have loved for them to be there too, but with children of their own it was too expensive for them,

Sam and Lee‹“s intimate beach wedding in Florida especially at short notice as we had decided to plan and book our wedding with just a ten week time scale!

Getting the look

I had two dresses. I ordered the first one from China, which I wore for the ceremony -1 added a little extra detail to it at home. I wanted it to be light, white and backless, something simple but stunning, sexy but classy. The second dress was my reception dress for the UK party, which was strapless with diamante style bust and fuller skirt in an ivory colour, which I

wore with beautiful heals. I just wore flat sandals for the beach ceremony. I kept the accessories simple and twirled pearl hair accessories into my hair, which I wore up for the wedding and down loose for the UK reception. I also had a beautiful wedding bouquet in Florida with white orchids.

The ceremony

Our wedding ceremony took place on the sand on Clearwater Beach and lasted around 40 minutes. Our son Joshua gave me away, which was lovely.

The reception

We didn’t have a reception in Florida, we waited until we were back in the UK and had an evening reception at the Robin Hood

in Bognor Regis with a buffet for our guests. We also had our First Dance at the evening reception, which was All of Me by John Legend.

seeing Lee cry when I tapped him on the shoulder, and his first look at seeing me in my dress. The funniest moment was trying to get Lee’s ring on his finger!

Photographic memories

Our Florida wedding planner and photographer, Cara De Hart, took our wedding photographs. She was an absolute star and a pleasure to work with

– an amazing lady! There are quite few photos that we love, but the ones on the beach are particularly special to us, and Joshua photo bombing us made us laugh and is one of our favourites!

Magic moments

Samantha: One of the most special things I remember from our wedding day was

Lee: My best moment was seeing my stunning bride, and our vows on the beach.

The honeymoon

We stayed for one week at the hotel in Clearwater where we were married, then we moved on to Orlando to enjoy ourselves in the theme parks with Joshua.

On budget?

It cost around ‚£4,500 for the wedding and two week stay in Florida. We were very happy with the price!

Further information


Karen Andrews & Danni Jones American Sky Tel: 01342 889224

WEDDING PLANNING Samantha Lewis Photo Gallery


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