Love Island star turned DJ Sam, 28, and The Challenge star Kailah, 29, got engaged in August 2020 after around eight months of dating. And after months of trying to plan their dream big day, the couple decided to throw caution to the wind and book flights to Gibraltar to marry and within two weeks the pair said “I do”.
Now Sam, who is set to release new music in the summer, has revealed just how they managed to pull off their stunning nuptials in two weeks – with the help of RockOcassions.com.
The newlywed also spilled all the details on the trip, which they will remember for the rest of their lives, in an exclusive chat with OK! and have even shared a never-before-seen image of their special day….
Hi Sam! Congratulations on your wedding, how are you feeling?
Good! I can’t believe I’m married man. Now I actually have to wear a ring, it’s really weird. I think I’m the only one for my series [of Love Island] that has got married, that I can think of. I don’t even know if anyone got engaged – someone might have got engaged and maybe it didn’t work out but I think I’m the only one!
Tell us why you decided to elope?
Mine and Kailah’s relationship has been quite quick. People probably think, “Oh Sam’s got married out of the blue”. We’ve not been together that long, we got engaged quite quickly and she came over to the UK. And with lockdown we also postponed the wedding a little bit. Then we came out of lockdown and started to plan a big wedding.
My family did want me to have a wedding, my mum is was obsessed with me having a big party and all that sort of stuff. And Kailah’s parents did want to see her in her wedding dress. But as her family from are from America and mine from the UK, it was gonna be expensive. It was also going to be quite difficult to get both families together. And if we had it in the UK, then more of my family will be there and if we had it in America more of her family would be there. And we didn’t really want people to spend all that money on us to come see our wedding.
So in the end, we just decided, “you know what let’s just go for it and find a place that we can just us two go get married and we’ll do it that way”. And weddings are so expensive the days and we’ve got lots of plans for renovating a house and having a family home. We thought, let’s put the money towards that!
‘We married in Gibraltar – just like John Lennon and Yoko Ono’
And did you tell anyone about your plans to elope?
Our parents knew, of course, and few friends and family knew but, we did keep it on the lowdown. Not because we wanted to be a surprise, necessarily, it was more to do with not disappointing loads of people and them asking questions and trying to convince us and we have to explain. We’re just like, “right a few friends and family explain what’s going on and then we’ll go off and do it”.
Why did you choose Gibraltar?
Gibraltar was kind of random, but it just came about through research. With her being from America and me being from the UK, you’d have to get marriage visas here. We looked it up online and they say Gibraltar is a closer version of Vegas, really. And you just need a birth certificate and a passport and you can be from any country and you can go do it.
And weddings are really popular there. They have lots of different people getting married there – same sex marriages over there are quite popular – so people who just want to elope. It actually quite shocked me on how wild it is that I called up and went “what do you need?”. A passport, copy of your birth certificate and they’re like, “Yeah, you’re ready, you can get married now”.
And in the UK it’s not like that, especially for a foreigner. To get married here she would have to have a marriage visa and there’d be a lot of planning for it. We did a bit of research and we saw that John Lennon got married to Yoko Ono over there many years ago and we thought that was quite cool, with him being from the UK and she was a foreigner. I’m not calling myself a modern day like John Lennon, I’m not comparing my music achievements to his, just to clarify that!
‘My mum wasn’t happy’
How did your family react to your decision?
My mum wasn’t too happy – not that she was angry, but she was like, “Oh, don’t you want that big wedding that you’ve been talking about?” Because six months before we were talking about a big wedding and I was like, “I want to have circus acts and I want to have a big swimming pool with acrobatics, and DJs and musicians”. And there was gonna be a big party I was going to call it Bird Fest and it was gonna be a festival.
So I’ve gone from that to, “actually change of plan, it’s just me and her and we’re just going to do on our own now”. She was a bit like, “Oh you sure you only get to do this once”. And I think Kailah’s parents were the same. But we managed to convince them and said it was for the best and we kind of met in the middle because I do plan to have a party in the summer – we’re calling it a celebration of marriage – with our friends and families to say congratulations to us.
Will you invite any of your Love Island pals to your party in the summer?
I spoke to Jack Fincham the day before the wedding, actually. He just called me out the blue for a catch up and I was like, “Oh, you’ll never guess what I’m doing tomorrow”. So I told him and he said, “well, congrats”. And I said: “I’m gonna do a party and, of course, you can come”. And the same with Adam [Collard], I spoke to him while I was out there. So I’ll invite them. And, I speak to Dr. Alex quite a lot and he’ll be a good person to have there just in case you’ve got people running around being drunk he can, he can be the paramedic for the day.
You planned the wedding in two weeks, how did you find the process?
We just got really lucky with finding this company, I’ve been shouting them out because they were excellent. They’re called Rock Occasions and they specialise in weddings in Gibraltar, and they honestly looked after everything for us – from picking flowers to finding a suit.
People plan suits for ages and they get something expensive and then they get all their best men suits to match. And honestly, I got mine from ASOS, it cost me £50 and I think it looks quite good. No one would know that my suit was 50 quid and I’ve got no shame in that, it was a nice suit, I thought, “quickly get that”, it was there the next day and that was sorted.
But, the company sorted out the flowers, makeup artist and hairstylist. So I think if it wasn’t for them, it would have been a bit daunting. And the real value in with working with those guys was that they submitted the documents for us to make sure that we didn’t get to Gibraltar and they go: “Oh, by the way, you forgot this”, because that would be a nightmare. So they pretty much did everything for us. And I guess the two weeks made us kind of feel like, “there’s no backing out now. This is it. Don’t think about it. Two weeks, let’s go out there we’ll get it done. We’ll have a good time and be on holiday. We won’t regret it”. And we won’t back out and think, “oh no, maybe we should do the big wedding”. We just went for it.
‘It was a quick fire wedding’
How did Kailah choose her dress?
With only a short space of notice, it’s hard. It was custom made but she ended up finding a dressmaker in Slovakia, I think she found it through Etsy. It was more expensive than my suit – it was at least over £1,000 but definitely cheaper than your average wedding dress.
It was a bit risky because I had to measure her – it wasn’t someone at the shop. We had to do it at home and send it off and then you have to pray it’s going to be a nice dress. And, luckily, she was really happy with it. She got it taken in a little bit here and there in a local place in Norwich.
But, it really was a quick fire wedding!
How did you feel when you got on the plane? Were you nervous at all?
Ah, yeah, kinda. Part of me still thinks, “I still going DJing, still have fun and all that sort of stuff,” which still makes me feel like I’m in party boy mode. But then then I realised I’m 29 this year, and actually, it’s not that unusual that I’m getting married.
‘We picked somewhere beautiful to say our vows’
Tell us about the ceremony?
You have to construct a wedding in Gibraltar yourself because the main legal bit is the day before the wedding. You’ve got to sign some documents and you have a notary who stamps it – you’re 80% married at that point.
The next day you then go to the registry office as your first point of call, she has the wedding dress on and I have my suit on and my friends came, because you need two witnesses. Normally, people in Gibraltar go together and they explore and they pick two random strangers from the street and they’ll sign for them. Apparently that’s really common. I’m glad my two friends came out there because we didn’t have strangers to sign the document and it was nice that I knew them.
And the registry guy reads the legal vows he reads and you have to read it back to him. And they do all the: “If anyone objections, this marriage”, that sort of stuff. You’re in a small little room and there’s a British flag and a picture of the Queen on the wall. And it’s very strange.
So we did that first and signed the document and we knew that wouldn’t be the perfect place to say our vows because it was an office, we needed to pick somewhere beautiful. So we found the botanical gardens – a really nice sort of garden area and a lot of people do their vows there. And that’s where we did the vows and in front of my friends and the videographer. It was pretty nice short and sweet and simple.
What were the vows like?
Kayla’s vows like really personal and really nice and she loves it when I’m emotional, which I’m not very often, so that was a very nice moment. And I’d written a nice speech. Most of my speech was based on how me and Kailah met – she messaged me on Instagram and I messaged her back and I was flirting from the get go.
She was in Florida. I was in the UK. And within the first few messages I was like, “Oh, do you wanna fly to the UK and be my wife?” And she said, “Yeah, alright, then”. I said, “Okay, cool. How many kids will we have in LA? Okay, yeah, this many. All right, cool. I’ll book a flight to Florida”. And now it’s just weird that we have those messages still to this day.
‘Kailiah made a bet on our wedding date – and won!’
How did you celebrate after?
The hotel had actually organised a small dinner. So me and Kailah had a table and my friends joined us for dinner and had some drinks. We had a the penthouse suite on the top floor at the Sunborn hotel. It was a massive party room and had a massive deck. It was a Thursday night and not a lot goes on in Gibraltar on Thursdays – they don’t have clubs and bars and stuff open. So we decided: “Shall we just order loads of drinks to the room?”. I brought my DJ decks we’ve got the speaker go and I was DJing in the room and we a fun party together and we just kept it small.
Then we ended up in a 24 hour casino. And Kailah actually put a bet on – she doesn’t normally. We did roulette and we got married on the 3rd of March 2022. So, she put a bet on the number 33 for our wedding date. She put like a load of chips in – she was drunk – and then it came in and she won £200 straight away, so that was pretty cool. We got that and spent more on drinks. That was a cool moment!
Your friends actually played a prank by making you film a Cameo message to yourself…
Oh yeah, that was good, because I haven’t like logged on in a while. And, I logged on like the other day where you can accept people requests for Cameos. I get quite weird requests. But, I just fo it for fun really – you don’t make much money out of it but it’s just a fun, easy thing to do and you get to engage with fans and stuff.
So I did a really weird one at Christmas time – it was for an aquatics company. So I did that one and then this one came in – obviously my friends did it – and it was like, “Sam’s just signed a diamond deal at his job, he’s a legend. Wish him congratulations on the diamond deal”. And, obviously, they were just disguising the job as the wedding and the diamond ring. The message was from SBNC Productions, which is my friend’s initials. And it was from Sam to Sam and I was like: “Yeah, from one Sam to another”, didn’t realise I was doing it for myself. So I completely fell for that. But joke’s on them because they have to pay $50 to for that and it went straight to me!
Will you guys go on honeymoon?
We’re going to do a three week little tour of the US. We’re going to Miami, other parts of Floria and North Carolina to see her parents, because they haven’t seen her since before the wedding. And New York, too.
‘I’m ready to be a dad’
And what are your future plans now?
As a couple we’re really into home renovation. It has taken over many people’s lives and over lockdown and it did for us because it’s something to do. And we brought a house at the start of the last lockdown and we renovated it and I learned to fix electricity on YouTube – kind of, learn as you go.
I shocked myself a couple of times, but we managed to figure it out and we just sold that property and made £60k profit on it. It was our first house and we started a home account at that time, called Casa Bird, and we documented the whole of that renovation and it was really cool because we’ve had both mine and Kailah’s audience come together on that platform. We’ve sold the place now.
But, it was never going to be our dream home. The next one is much bigger and it’s slightly out of the city. It’s a bungalow and we wanna get an extension, so it’s gonna be a big project. And I was actually on the phone to a TV show who are interested in covering the renovation, which is quite cool. You never know how these TV things go but they’re quite keen. You never know, maybe we’ll be on TV showing our next renovation, maybe I’ll be the next George Clarke!
And then with my music, carrying on with DJing and music. I’ve got a tour coming up in the summer in Greece and Belgium and Spain and places like that.
What about children, are they on the cards?
I would say so. I don’t think this year, maybe towards the end of the year. I mean I’m definitely ready to be a dad for sure, but I want to make sure that when it does happen it’s in the right environment. So the new house is a big enough house for a family when we’ve renovated, extended and made it fit for a family and I think we’ll be ready.
I’m glad we got married before kids, even though we got married pretty quickly I feel like it’s a nice way of doing it. I’m not necessarily a traditional guy but it’s still good that when we do have a baby we’re married, we have a house and ready for it because I’ve heard kids are a bit of nightmare to be honest!
Follow Sam and Kailah’s home adventures on their Instagram account @CasaBird
For all your updates on Sam Bird and much more, sign up to our daily OK! newsletter.