How they met
“I was on a working holiday visa for two years and met Tim through work. He’s the one who actually screened my CV because he worked in the recruitment team,” recalls Rachel. “My plan was to work and travel, so I wasn’t looking for a relationship. However, after months of being great friends and doing my best to ignore Tim trying to woo me, I finally realised that I had to be true to myself and give the chemistry we had a chance to evolve, in case I ended up missing out on something very special,” she smiles.
After a fun-filled day out to Thorpe Park, Tim treated Rachel to a luxury evening out in London. “We made an effort to get all dressed up, and he took me back to a restaurant we’d gone to on one of our first dates,” explains Rachel. “After we’d eaten, we were walking to a local pub for a late night drink when Tim took me by the hand and led me down to the embankment overlooking the London Eye. He started reading a poem, which ended with him on one knee proposing to me,” she adds.
The bride’s outfit
Rachel looked breathtaking in her Paloma Blanca gown. “I thought the dress looked rather plain on the hanger and that the bow at the back was a bit too much, but once I’d tried it on, I knew it was ‘the one’. Being a curvy girl I wanted something that was going to make me feel elegant and enhance what I have rather than hide it, and this just fitted in all the right places,” says Rachel.
The groom’s outfit
“We could only get the suits once we were back in New Zealand, so we tried to find what suits were available at the local hire shops online. It was very difficult to tell what they were really like from the pictures,” explains Rachel. “Once in NZ, the guys tried on the hire suits but weren’t that happy with them, and so opted for a grey suit from a high street store that cost only a little bit more than the hire fee.”
Because they’d chosen an outdoor summer wedding, Rachel wanted elements of a country garden theme to be reflected in the bridesmaid and flowergirl dresses. She picked her cousin Annie to be an adult bridesmaid and her two nieces to be flowergirls. “Because I couldn’t be there to see Annie try on dresses, I bought her a convertible dress from Henkaa, which she could then wear any way she wanted. It was a light jersey material, which stretched and moved any way you want and cost about £80. My sister-in-law, and mother of my flowergirls, is a dress maker and their gift to us were the girls’ dresses,” she adds.
“We had an outdoor civil ceremony led by a wonderful woman who guided us through the whole process seamlessly,” recalls Rachel. “All of the words spoken, vows and readings were chosen by us, which made it more personal and meaningful, fitting with our own beliefs and values.”
“I was unable to choose my flowers until I got home to NZ two weeks before the wedding, so I found some gorgeous fake peony roses, which my sister-in-law, who’s a very crafty person, then made into our bouquets adding in gypsophila and fresh leaves to make them look real. It’s lovely to still have my bouquet as a keepsake,” smiles Rachel.
The couple chose a converted old wool shed back in Ohariu Farm in New Zealand. The wedding breakfast was a delicious barbecue buffet, including meats, fresh summer salads, vegetables and chocolate fudge cake for dessert – yum!
“There were a few themes incorporated into our wedding – a Kiwi/British fusion, English country garden and fun, fun, fun!”
Rachel’s bridesmaid has a passion for baking, so she made the cake as her gift to the couple.
“My bridesmaid also made cake pops as party favours that were made from the same mixture as our wedding cake, and then dipped in chocolate,” remembers Rachel.