Oh have been itching all day to post this, could not concentrate on my “day job” at all.
Anyway I won’t ramble on anymore as the lovely Rachel D herself has written all you need to know about the important details of her pretty and unique affair.
Rachel married Simon in August 2009 with a service at St Paul’s Canterbury followed by a reception at a 14th century Tithe Barn in Rachel’s parents village, all of the fresh relaxed photography is by the talented Mark Harrison
The All Important Dress, Shoes and Accessories
I’d always thought I’d like to spend the money on a wedding dress on a fabulous designer dress that I could wear again but felt that I should at least try on a wedding dress to confirm they weren’t me. So we booked in to the dress shops on Chiltern Street, near Bakers Street. I really did enjoy trying them on – it is a little bizarre to see oneself all in white. For those unsure I would say go on try it and just watch the assistant’s face when you say you’re not sure about having a wedding dress. I quickly discovered I felt, and looked, better in either short or the more slinky dresses. I found my dress in The Bridal Rogue Gallery I went in to try on a different Sarah Arnett dress and then found mine – Sophie. I knew this dress was just lovely, I love wrap tops and finally, I knew Simon would like it. The staff in the shop were so lovely that I knew it would be a good experience going back. I did go to one more dress appointment and found that my heart wasn’t really in it so that determined that this dress was for me.
When friends asked about my dress I only told them that it was short and the one response I kept getting was – ‘ Well you’ll have to have fantastic shoes’. Visiting Emmy was a fabulous experience and I was willing myself to find a pair of shoes I loved – and I did. I loved that I could choose the heel height and they could make the flower the right size for my feet. Another lovely wedding shopping experience.
Part of me loves bird cage veils and big froufrou fascinators (I knew I didn’t want a veil so that was never an option) but I wasn’t sure how well they’d go with the feel of the day, my hair or my dress. Once I’d decided on the shoes I decided the hair definitely needed to be less not more, so it would be fresh flowers. To make it a little bit more bridal I bought some feathers from VV Rouleaux and handed them over to the florist with a rough idea of what I wanted – to fit into a comb with rosemary (also in my bouquet) and spray roses on wire. It all miraculously came together on the day especially as I’d not had a hair practice with it before. Though in the rush of getting ready the feathers went a little akimbo. Jewellery very easy decision a necklace and bracelet wouldn’t go with the dress and for earrings – the diamond studs my parents gave me when my sister married – my something old.
It was always going to be in a church and it was always going to be important but it was the best part of our day. As I imagined myself in my dress I always started with entering the church… and crying. On the day?
All was fine all morning. Our drive into town, hearing the bells ring out for us and then I stepped out of the car… It truly hit me all the regular Sunday services I go to would happen without me but this service was only happening because Simon and I were to be married – without us this service wouldn’t be happening. We walked down the aisle, with a tear of emotion rolling down my face, to Purcell Trumpet Tune and Air and I tried to consciously take it all in – this is the moment and there was Simon. I stayed holding both my Dad and Simon’s hands very tightly and then let go of Dad’s and was just with Simon. Hymns very easily make me cry and in the lead up to our wedding whenever one of our hymns was sung I’d well up. I managed the final verse of Praise my Soul the King of Heaven. One of my favourite parts of the marriage ceremony is when the vicar asks if ‘The family and friends of Rachel and Simon will love and support them in their marriage’ and you hear a resounding ‘I will’. I’d managed to gather myself but gently set myself off again with the vows – not completely but enough that everyone heard the wobble in my voice. Our final hymn Tell out my Soul – and it really was telling out our souls this had been a wonderful service and a religious experience not just a ritual. Then we gathered and walked out to Charpentier’s Te Deum Prelude. And there’s no feeling like it – the joy and love just shines from every ounce of your being.
The suit was by Austin Read and the shoes were Barker. The tie was really hard to find too so we searched the internet and found Woods of Shropshire – a wide range of plain silk ties.
First thought as I saw Simon? ‘but we weren’t wearing morning suits’ Really glad we chose the colours of morning suits it looked really smart but still “us”.
Treat yourself to a Make-up Artist and Beautiful Blooms
I decided I’d like a makeup artist – partly as I fancied the idea of subtle false eyelashes and I knew I wouldn’t be able to do them myself. I ended up finding someone local – Emma Smisson. The trial went well and on the day Emma did so much more than the makeup – helping us all get dressed etc. I loved the eyes too.
I didn’t go for manicure/pedicure but treated myself to lovely goodies – bliss foot file, Chanel base coat and Ballerina varnish.
For flowers It had to be roses – so sweet avalanche and spray roses. For bouquets, button holes, hair flowers and flowers on the pillars in the Barn – Contemporary Flowers – a great group of women – so lovely and professional to work with.
Neither of us are particularly into cars and so it seemed an added extravagant expense. What was important was to be able to transport our guests to the reception venue in the village and back to their hotels in town later on. We came across the perfect solution we would hire a routemaster bus and travel in it with our guests to the reception and then they could all travel back in it. It would also reflect our London lives. And a fantastic by product was that it also made a great backdrop to the photographs outside the church.
Entertainment and lots of cake!
For the evening entertainment we had a tribute Elvis. We’re not really into music (so spending lots on a band wasn’t a priority) and due to the Barn being in the centre of the village a disco wasn’t allowed. Simon came up with the idea of Elvis – would appeal to all generations, which it did – plus a bad tribute Elvis would be funny a bad band would be excruciating. It worked.
The cake Had to be fruit with marzipan and plenty of icing. We decided on Marks and Spencers and added fresh flowers on the top and petals around the base.
The First Dance
Obviously had to be Elvis – we chose The Wonder of You.
Advice for Brides
Leave a little more time to get ready than you think and you have your makeup done first for the photos to start on time. Don’t worry about how you’ll look in the photographs – your face will just naturally radiate love.
Love Love that dress – so pretty.
If you pop on over to Style Savvy we have a selection of some spectacular pin-flashing numbers for you to admire.
A big huge thank you to Rachel D and her husband Simon…..your wedding was just lovely and it was an absolute pleasure to post it on RMW.