Rachel KNOWS weddings, having shot over 150 weddings herself under Veiled Productions! Rachel and Pete started their wedding planning journey in 2021, following moving house and welcoming their son. Today Rachel shares their journey from the engagement to the wedding day.
Tell us about your Engagement
We got engaged on holiday in the Dominican Republic in November 2018. I was a bit suspicious as Pete wouldn’t let me go in the safe in our room haha but on day 3 nothing had happened so I thought maybe I’d got the wrong idea! Then, that evening he told me he had a present for me. I closed my eyes and he placed quite a large box in my hand, when I opened it and saw a ring I still hesitated that it was an engagement ring because he hadn’t asked the question! I think I was in shock even though I had my suspicions. Pete then asked if I wanted to get married and of course, I said yes! It was a wonderful trip, we celebrated with beautiful photos on the beach at sunrise, amazing food and some champagne.
Tell us about your Wedding
Where and when:
Legal ceremony 2nd March 2022 at Warwick Registry Office
The special day 19th April 2022 at Bourton Hall, Warwickshire
The Planning Process:
We started to really plan the wedding in 2021. We moved house in early 2019, welcomed our baby boy in 2020 and of course Covid impacted weddings so we wanted to wait before booking a venue. One of our stipulations was that we wanted a venue we hadn’t worked at before. I saw Bourton Hall on a Facebook ad and seeing it was a new Country House Wedding Venue suggested to Pete we go and view it. I’d filmed at Gosfield Hall and Clearwell Castle, also owned by Country House Weddings, so I had an idea it would be amazing but it blew us away. Everything is so well thought out and designed for weddings so it ticked all our boxes. Ideally, we wanted accommodation for some of our guests, to have separate rooms for the ceremony and reception plus delicious food – Bourton Hall had all of this.
£25000, we came in under budget at £23,750
The Wedding Theme:
White / black tie
The Special Touches:
Planning the wedding, I was most excited about the ceremony but we knew we wanted some flexibility and a much more personal ceremony. We therefore decided on a celebrant led ceremony. My twin sister is amazing at public speaking and we knew having someone so close to us would bring a different dynamic to the ceremony. Lisa exceeded all our expectations and the whole ceremony was just perfect. My favourite moment was a moment we couldn’t have planned and our little boy Finley walked between Pete and me holding hands and said ‘No Daddy!’. Of course, we all burst out laughing and I’m so glad we had the day filmed so I can show him when he’s older!
I also asked both my Mum and my Dad to walk me down the aisle as they both mean so much to me and both brought me up to be the woman I am today.
We love the colours of peacock feathers, especially as my engagement ring is aquamarine, so we used peacock feathers for some of the decorations. On the morning of our legal ceremony a peacock was in the hotel car park and by chance, just outside the honeymoon suite at Bourton Hall there were paintings of peacocks too!
The best thing you spent your money on for your wedding:
People aren’t going to be surprised by this but the video! The films tell the story of the day in a way that photos just can’t. It’s amazing how much you forget, even 24 hours after the day has happened! It’s the most amazing day but such a whirlwind – having the video to watch and remind us of all those special moments means everything.
Adam from Creative Spark Films did such a brilliant job.
“I also asked both my Mum and my Dad to walk me down the aisle as they both mean so much to me and both brought me up to be the woman I am today. “
I initially didn’t want a dress and was hoping to find a jumpsuit but because I knew Pete wanted to do white tie, in the end I went for a beautiful dress by Nicola Anne Bridal which I found at White Lace and Butterflies. Everyone was so lovely and they recommended The Secret Fitting Room for the adjustments.
I wanted hair and makeup artists local to the venue and found Nichola and Mili via Facebook recommendations. I felt absolutely amazing and can’t thank them enough. I’m also so impressed with how amazing our Mums looked who were both a bit apprehensive about having their hair and makeup done.
For Pete and the groomsmen, we went with hiring the suits from Moss Bros in the end because everyone is so spread out around the country, it was easiest!
We both love ‘Colin the Caterpillar’ cakes and knew M&S did party size cakes so ordered two and decorated them with a tiny top hat and a tiny veil.
The photobooth was so much fun. We knew we wanted one with a backdrop so lots of people could be in the photo and Planet Booths were brilliant. We were sent all the images within a few days as well as a memory stick and a physical album with prints.
For the flowers we wanted ones that would last so we purchased faux rose stems and now have them in a vase to keep forever.
Sky Photography were brilliant at capturing the emotion of the day. My favourite photo is of our little boy running around on the lawn although the photo of Pete and I amongst the blossom comes in a close second!
We went on a mini-moon immediately after the wedding to Wyboston Lakes for a relax, and then went on an all-inclusive honeymoon to Sharm el Sheik in Egypt outside of wedding season in February 2023. We are hoping to return to where we got engaged in the Dominican Republic as well!
Advice for future couples:
Prioritise what’s important to you right at the beginning of planning. For Pete and I, we said we wanted to prioritise the wedding rings as they need to last forever, the food because we didn’t want people to go hungry and of course, having amazing photos and films to remember the day.
Ask your photographers and videographers to see a ‘full gallery’ of an example wedding. For photos, this will be an album of usually around 400+ edited images and for the video, it will be the edited films that they deliver for each package. This way you will see everything – not just the best bits for Instagram and their websites and will know exactly what you will receive after your special day.
Venue: Bourton Hall
Photographer: Sky Photography
Videographer: Creative Spark Films
Celebrant: Queer Ceremonies
Photobooth: Planet Booths
Makeup: Mili Fox
Gown Alterations: The Secret Fitting Room
Gown Designer: Nicola Anne Bridal
Suits: Moss Bros