Well… we thought it was summer…!
Rachel and Sam had booked a summer wedding at Tortworth Court… or so they thought! The day dawned; overcast and chucking it down with rain. Typical British weather but isn’t that one of the reasons we love this country! There was some serious team work with these photographs as we rejigged the schedule and dodged in and out of the venue between storm showers!
This gorgeous couple met February 2014 through mutual friends who had recently got together at the time. They realised they both had very single friends, and so they arranged a get together at the pub for Rachel and Sam to meet and get to know one another. Sam popped the question. He arranged a weekend away in Wales and planned for them to walk up Cadair Idris. Sam loves mountain walking but Cadair Idris was Rachel’s first mountain – a lot of effort for a proposal, but definitely worth it!
Unlike their wedding day, their engagement day was a beautiful, sunny day and the view at the top was incredible. Rachel told me that when they had reached the top and sat down, Sam asked her is she had enjoyed the walk and if she was happy. Her response was yes. He then got down on one knee, popped out a ring and said, ‘whilst I have you in a yes mood, will you marry me?’!
Without further ado here is the Wedding Story of Rachel and Sam in their own words…
Something old – mum’s diamond pendant
Something new – the rest of my wedding jewellery, chain and bracelet
Something blue – my wedding nails
I didn’t have something borrowed, forgot about that one!
An British summer wedding at a stunning country castle house was their plan for their wedding day and Tortworth Court certainly lived up to expectations. The team at Tortworth led by Laz were superb and looked after the photography team incredibly well. Thank you Team Tortworth; looking forward to seeing you again in a couple of weeks time!
Rachel’s and Sam’s theme for their wedding day was whiskey! They are both whiskey drinkers and so named their tables after whiskies using bottles as the centre pieces. All anchored with the colours of blue and grey.
We gave ourselves two years. At the time, we were also moving house so we felt two years was a good amount of time to do two big life changing things!
I wore a diamond pendant that belonged to my mum which she passed onto me specifically to wear for the wedding. We also had a Chinese tea ceremony to represent part of my family’s culture.
The groomswear was hired from Tuxedo Junction. It was a blue suit with a blue and grey checkered tweed waistcoat, finished with a sky blue tie.
We also had our friends 2.5 year old boy as page boy dressed in a matching waistcoat.
DIY all the way! But Nikki was our hidden weapon giving us lots of advance insights on how the day would run, recommendations on suppliers and as a general of ceremonies on the big day.
The wedding dress is Art Couture from Wedding Days of Cheltenham.
It has a plunge v neck line and low back, full tulle A line skirt with a large train. The top half had a full floral design and the bottom half had floral lace design around the trail and on part of the skirt.
The dress was finished off with a beaded belt around the waist.
Acoustic guitar version of John Mayer’s cover of Beyoncé – XO
Prep as much as you can so you’re not doing lots of last minute running around. If you’re both getting stressed, take a step back and breathe.
Remember it’s your day and you both should have time to get excited in the run up to the big day!
Without Pinterest, we’d be lost! My favourite colours are blue and grey so I searched blue and grey themes on Pinterest.
Sam and I are both whiskey drinkers and so we named our tables after whiskies and added the bottles as part of the table centrepieces.
As some of our guests travelled from abroad, instead of a guestbook, we had a world map created by a friend for guests to sign
No matter what Nikki says, a high speed fist full of confetti to the face does in fact, make you wince!
I use to work within the wedding industry and had the pleasure of working with Nikki.
When I organised wedding fayres, I had the opportunity to see Nikki’s beautiful work and see how passionate she was when talking to clients.
We hit it off straight away and we haven’t stopped giggling since!
Sam was cynical about wedding photographers but as soon as he met Nikki and saw her work he was sold.
We enjoyed a mini moon in Dundee. We had a peaceful getaway at a lodge at The Hideaway Experience.
From our initial enquiry to after the wedding, we received and a great customer experience from the wedding team.
The team answered all our questions during our planning and if we had a request, they would make it work and on the day of the wedding, nothing was too much trouble.
We had a lot of guests travelling from abroad so it made sense to have our wedding within our hotel and De Vere Tortworth hotel was a beautiful Victorian hotel which our guests loved.
We created the save the dates, wedding invites, favours, pallet signs, place cards, table plan and added whiskey bottles with lights in for the table centre pieces.
Everything went so smoothly and on time! This was all thanks to the Tortworth wedding team and Nikki for having an organised schedule.
What was your favourite part of your wedding day?
So difficult to choose! We loved the Chinese tea ceremony, I’m half Malaysian and with some of my relatives from abroad attending, it was so great to represent the culture.
A close second was our first dance as our friends performed it, it was so special!
The tea ceremony is one of the most significant events at a traditional Chinese wedding. Its a traditional way to show a very formal introduction of the bride and groom to both families and a means of showing respect to their families.
The earliest recording (written) of a tea ceremony dates back to the Tang Dynasty over 1200 years ago.
Did you know that it was originally called ‘cha dao’ (茶道）or ‘the way of tea’. S
In today’s modern times many couples host a tea ceremony for both sides of their families together.
Serving tea when guests come to visit in China is very traditional. At a wedding a tea ceremony is an act to gratitude and respect to the parents of both the bride and groom for all the years of love and care.
A tea ceremony also has other meanings such as being a symbol of purity, stability and fertility. Pureness and nobleness is signified by the purity of the tea.
Faithfulness and love are represented by the stability of the tea and the fertility of tea symbolises the hope that the new couple will have many children.
After the drinking of the tea the gifts for the bride and groom are presented.
Gifts are usually in forms of red envelopes that contain gifts of money ranging from large to small amounts.
These red envelopes are traditionally made from paper.
Starter – Whipped Goats Cheese
Main – Fiver-hour Beef or Butter-Roasted Hake
Dessert – Dark Chocolate Tart
We went for a 4-tier semi naked cake – different flavours for each tier; lemon, chocolate and Guiness, salted caramel, chocolate hazelnut.
Who/what made your day extra special?
It was important to us to involve our loved ones and we’re very lucky to have talented friends and family so there were several personal touches throughout the day that made it extra special.
Being a musician, I had my musical friends perform our first dance. We also had a friend paint a world map for people to sign as our alternative guestbook and my cousin who created handmade flowers to add to the décor.
Ceremony & Reception venue: De Vere Tortworth
Flowers: Suzanne Woodward Florist
Dress: Wedding Days of Cheltenham
Bridesmaid dresses: ASOS
Groom’s outfit: Tuxedo Junction
Cake: Confetti Cakes
Stationery: RKM Calligraphy
Entertainment: Paul Johnson Guitarist (ceremony) / The Lighter Thieves (Evening) / Friends of the bride and groom (first dance)
Hair and beauty:
Rings including engagement ring: Engagement ring – Purely Diamonds / Rachel’s wedding ring – R.J. Spicer / Sam’s wedding ring – Amazon (£20 bargain!)