This colour-popping big day was a celebration of all things bright and beautiful. The summer brights in this wedding will lighten up any day!
How they met
Sparks flew the first time Rachael and Matt set eyes on each other. “I was on a night out with friends, and spotted Matt across the bar,” Rachael remembers. “It was love at first sight, even though we were very young – we were together for 13 years before finally tying the knot.”
Matt ask Rachael to marry him while on an early morning stroll in Las Vegas. “We’d been together a long time and had talked about marriage so I knew it was on the cards, but I wasn’t expecting the proposal to come when it did,” Rachael says. “We were on holiday and we went out for a walk to see the sunrise. It was a big surprise when Matt got down on one knee outside the Bellagio Hotel. It was so romantic and peaceful – a lovely, unexpected way for him to propose.”
The bride’s outfit
As a designer, Rachael knew she wanted to be involved with the creation of her dress. “I wanted something bohemian with Grecian influences,” Rachael explains. “I had an image of a natural, flowing backless dress that I could dance in, and took my ideas to Kate of Scarlett Poppy. My dress evolved from there and I felt so happy and relaxed wearing it.” Rachael wore a bright Trixx rose in her hair, and added coral satin shoes and sparkling Swarovski jewellery.
The groom’s outfit
Matt opted for a fitted blue-grey waistcoat and matching trousers from Next, worn with a crisp white shirt and a bright orange tie. “He looked absolutely gorgeous – the suit really complemented his colouring,” says Rachael.
The three bridesmaids looked stunning in their chiffon maxi dresses from Missguided. “I wanted to bring out everyone’s personality, and the girls looked amazing in coral, peach and lemon,” Rachael says. The two flowergirls wore Monsoon pleated chiffon gowns in coral.
Rachael and Matt were married in a civil ceremony, with an address written by the couple’s friend Carrie. “We tried to inject lots of fun into the ceremony to make it a relaxed and happy occasion,” says Rachael.
Rachael chose a popping colour palette of bright pink and citrus shades for her blooms, put together by Janine at Ello Flower. “She sourced the most amazing two-toned flowers and mixed and matched them so that they looked beautiful, effortless and spontaneous,” Rachael explains. The bouquets were made up of Trixx and Ilios roses, pink and peach lisianthus, euphorbia, French ruscus and eucalyptus.
“We never envisaged a typical traditional wedding, but a big, colourful celebration with everyone we love,” Rachael says. Sandburn Hall in York, with its light, airy atmosphere and vaulted ceilings, was the perfect location.
Rachael let her imagination run wild with the décor for the bright and cheery reception. “Matt let me take the reins – I was like a kid in a sweetshop, and kept bouncing ideas off him,” she says. “He was amazed by how it all came together.” She worked around a summery theme in a spectrum of brights, with jam jars filled with colourful blooms, table numbers held up with giant pegs, and oversized lanterns hanging from the high ceiling. The bride even designed her own beautiful boho-inspired fabric to use as table runners.
Rachael designed her own stationery featuring a brightly-coloured bohemian design with fun typography. “We included a giant luggage tag keepsake and a sweet drawing by my niece, encouraging our guests to dress colourfully, and packaged it all in orange tissue tied with striped twine,” Rachael explains.
The couple chose a tower of colourful cupcakes, topped with a cutting tier covered with hundreds of edible buttons by Swirly Sweets. “We originally thought we’d go for something subtle but then decided to go crazy and have something cheerful and full of impact,” Rachael says. “I even made a cheeky little sign saying, ‘Please keep your mitts off the cakes until they are served!’
Rachael and Matt gave their guests miniature bottles of spirits, from Martini and vodka to Jack Daniels. “We dressed them with coloured ribbon and tags saying, ‘Take me home,’ says Rachael. “We just wanted everyone to party.”
The first dance
The newlyweds chose Let’s Stay Together for their first dance. “It’s one of our all-time favourite songs and was performed brilliantly by our live band,” Rachael says. “Matt doesn’t really dance, so he ended up picking me up and twirling me around in the air!”
As well as live band Vibetown, who performed three sets with a DJ in between, Rachael and Matt had a female vocalist during their ceremony and wedding breakfast. “We also had a photo booth, a dedicated play area for the children with games like giant Jenga, and a balloon release,” adds Rachael.
The couple enjoyed a twin-centre honeymoon, with sightseeing in Dubai followed by 10 nights of relaxation, sunbathing and spa treatments in the Maldives.