ABBEY HOUSE GARDENS IN MALMESBURY WITH RACHEL AND CHRIS
How did you first meet and how did the proposal go?
We met on the school bus! That's a countryside romance for you. The year we got engaged, we'd been together 10 years to the month, and I was having some suspicions when Chris suggested a trip home for kind of vague reasons and ended up having a quiet chat with my dad. After an anniversary break in Copenhagen, it hadn't been on my mind, and then on Christmas eve he got down on one knee and the rest is history. I was so happy I can't really remember what he said, but needless to say it was the best early Christmas present ever, and now we're about to spend our first Christmas as Mr & Mrs two years later.
What did you think of the pre shoot and how did it go?
It was fantastic to meet David before the wedding, and get past the clunky awkward bit so we could relax and be ourselves in front of the camera. David made it so easy to relax though and was really great in helping us find our own style naturally and showing us the difference little changes can make. It all came together on the day and we were able to get so much more out of each photo opportunity with David as a result. Great for him and great for us !
Where did you get the dress from, why did you choose it and what was it like? How many dresses did you try before you found this one?We live in Cambridgeshire, and I went to a couple of bridal boutiques on my own just to try and get an idea of my preferences. It all felt bizarre initially, and it's a little odd having someone help you try on elaborate dresses one by one and stand on little pedestals. Karen Forte was the second shop I visited and it was instantly so much more relaxing there. Even when I did try a couple of other shops I couldn't wait to rush back there. I thought I'd found the one, and then the lady helping me suggested another dress based on the styles I'd liked. While I wasn't sure immediately, when I looked back at the photos it had so much more impact than the other dresses, and in addition to that it was so incredibly comfortable! It's from a brand called Olvis and is made from stretchy lace! It was the easiest thing to wear, super lightweight and slim fitting. It had quite an impact on the day and I had endless compliments and comments on it.
Why did you choose the wedding locations and the wedding Venue?
We'd been looking online a while but not had much luck finding something that felt right and we didn't want to spend crazy amounts just on the venue hire alone. We knew we wanted to get married in Wiltshire where we'd grown up, and then we came across the Abbey House Gardens and it was just perfect. Barbara, the owner, was so polite and gentle on the phone, and we instantly loved the Gardens and Malmesbury when we visited. The family house is stunning and the gardens are bursting with beautiful plants, overlooked by the atmospheric Abbey Ruins. We loved visiting the gardens in the lead up to the big day, and it was amazing to say our vows overlooking the trees. I can't wait to visit time and time again.
Who did your make up and any advice on this?
I didn't have a great first trial, and was almost too worried to try and risk being disappointed a second time but I'm so glad I did. I initially approached Claire Guy just for my hair, but then ended up asking for a make up trial too and was delighted. I was so lucky to have found her. It's the person you spend the morning of your wedding with so I'd say trust your gut and make sure it's someone you feel comfortable with. Don't be afraid to try different styles either even if you end up coming full circle in the end, that's part of the process of a trial and not something you get to do often !
Who did you use for the catering?
McBaile - absolutely incredible, they were caterers and wedding organisers all in one, helping guide us every step of the way and of course serving an exceptional sit down meal for our nearest and dearest. True professionals!
Who did the flowers?
Chris' Aunt was the obvious choice for our wedding flowers. She did a floristry course after retiring from the NHS, and having family doing our flowers meant so much to us. They were the perfect accessory in every photo too. My mum did our herb centrepieces which was needless to say a labour of love!
When planning your wedding, did you have any help or did you do it mostly yourselves? What were the most important aspects for you (eg. the photographer, the food, the decor…)?
We did most of it ourselves in terms of the planning, but had a lot of help in the tasks themselves. Chris' Mum made our wedding cake, my brothers girlfriend made my veil, and the tea and cake reception was handled by my Mum and Dad. Delegating those bigger tasks was a big help, and let me get on with the smaller bits and pieces. We're not big foodies but knew the meal is a big part of the day especially for the guests. Photography wasn't high on the list either, but it's an incredible opportunity to capture really meaningful moments and emotions of the day and the people we shared it with, so that's why it was so important to find someone like David.
What was your wedding inspiration? (think decor, overall theme and feel of the day, etc)
The wedding was really all about family - about becoming a little family all of our own and the coming together of our families. We wanted it to feel just really relaxed and intimate.
Bride: What advice would you give to future brides for their wedding day?
Everyone said it to me but it's so true - the day goes so quick (even when you get up at 5.30), so take some time to step back and really take in the day and enjoy and appreciate it. Some of my favourite parts of the day where the moments between moments, like when Chris and I took a little walk on our own while our guests lined up for the confetti tunnel.
Groom: What advice would you give to future grooms for their wedding day?
On the day it will be easy to get swept up in the inevitable rushing around. Try to find at least a few moments to collect your thoughts before the ceremony to savour the atmosphere, and the same after (with your wife of course).
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Just keep in mind the overall atmosphere you want to create and keep it simple. It's easy to spend a lot on very small things that won't end up making a big difference, and getting help from family is win-win as it's so much better than money could buy
and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
The photography and the dress. If we'd spent less on those it would have been more obvious than other parts of the day.