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This gorgeous pair threw tradition to the wind and planned the day they wanted in just four weeks…

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WHO: Rachel and Simon

WHERE: Langley Priory, Derbyshire

WHEN: July 2012

PHOTOS: Shelley Mantovani at Toast of Leeds

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The proposal

“I came home from work and all the curtains in our house were closed. I was a little taken back, because Simon should have been at work,” remembers Rachel. “Eventually, I plucked up the courage to peek inside – and I certainly wasn’t expecting what I saw! The whole house was filled with pink candles, and I followed a path of them down the hallway and into the lounge. Simon was at the end waiting for me, down on one knee. He popped the question to which, of course, I said ‘yes’. He then led me upstairs to where he’d already run a bath for me, filled it with petals and placed yet more candles and a bottle of wine next to the bath,” smiles Rachel.

The bride’s outfit

“Because my mum was very ill, we wanted to get married just four weeks after the engagement,” explains Rachel. “I also knew I wanted to wear a Jenny Packham gown, but there wasn’t enough time to order one from a boutique.” Instead, our beautiful bride bought a pre-worn gown from another bride. “Luckily her measurements were exactly the same as mine – it must have been fate,” smiles Rachel.

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The groom’s outfit

“Simon had his eye on a Canali suit, so the wedding was the perfect opportunity to buy it,” says Rachel. It cost £1,200 – a lot more than my dress – but he looked so fantastic.”

The bridesmaids

“We only had 15 guests on the day, and so there wasn’t an opportunity for lots of bridesmaids! My sister is a fantastic person and my best friend, I didn’t think twice about asking her. She also walked me down the aisle and made a speech at dinner, so she certainly made the most of her role,” explains Rachel.

The ceremony

“It sounds cliché, but my favourite memory from the service was hearing my mum gasp when we walked in. She’d been so excited in the run up to the wedding and it had really cheered her up while being poorly. It was nice to hear how happy she was,” says Rachel.

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The reception

Due to the natural beauty of Langley Priory, Rachel and Simon barely needed to decorate. “The only decorations we added were the flowers, which were pink roses. The venue didn’t need any extra decorations because it was already filled with beautiful details. As a lived-in stately home, it had everything from grandfather clocks, fireplaces, chandeliers, Victorian portraits, fine china, vases, and mirrors,” remembers Rachel.

The honeymoon

Rachel and Simon have been saving up their annual leave at work so they can go on a big honeymoon next year, either to South America or Iceland.

Rachel and Simon’s real wedding gallery

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