After a beautiful Church ceremony, Rachel and Nathan held their stunning wedding reception at Botleys Mansion, complete with plenty of glittering rose gold detail.
Rachel and Nathan met at East Anglia University and after being friends for 2 years, they eventually became a couple. In April 2015, Nathan decided that having been together for 8 years, it was the perfect time to ask Rachel to marry him. It was an ordinary Sunday morning and the couple had been stocking up on sun cream and bikinis in preparation for their upcoming holiday the following week. Nathan gave nothing away while they relaxed in a beer garden in the glorious spring sunshine, before heading home to continue sunbathing on their garden terrace; Rachel had no idea that her life was about to change. The afternoon continued like any normal afternoon, but when Rachel went to head back inside the house, Nathan stopped her, saying “before you go, I have something to ask you,” and when Rachel turned back around, he was down on one knee! Nathan wanted his choice of engagement ring to symbolise them both: the solitaire style was traditional like himself, but the oval cut was not-so-traditional – like Rachel! The couple gave themselves just over a year and a half to plan their special day.
Finding the Dress
Rachel loved her wedding dress shopping experience and had plenty of fun trying on at least 25 dresses before finding ‘The One,’ back in her home town of Oundle, which made it feel extra-special. The Caroline Castigliano gown that Rachel fell in love with was in fact not at all what she had imagined she would choose for a winter wedding. However, the sleeveless and backless dress perfectly suited her. The classic A-line cut and lace detail was complemented by a grey satin belt, which added a splash of winter colour, making the look unique. Rachel also loved that the gown had pockets, which were both useful and added an extra hint of contemporary style. Rachel’s wedding shoes were extra special to her, because her bridesmaid Alice, by chance, helped her choose them. Alice worked at Harvey Nicholls, and sent a photo of the Sophie Webster shoes one day, suggesting they might be perfect for the wedding. Rachel knew that Alice’s fashion sense was flawless, so with that decision made, her bridal look was complete.
Finding a Winter Wedding Venue
When it came to choosing the right venue, Rachel and Nathan knew that they needed somewhere perfect for a winter wedding, so beautiful indoor space was a must. For Rachel and Nathan, Botleys Mansion in Surrey ticked all the right boxes. In their words: “what’s not to love about Botleys?” They wanted to capture the warmth and cosiness of winter, and The Atrium at Botleys Mansion was the perfect space to create their dream theme. For Rachel and Nathan, Bijou’s Online Planner was what really set Botleys Mansion apart from the other 8 wedding venues they viewed. This tool allowed the couple to plan every detail of their wedding so that the day itself ran seamlessly, with Rachel commenting that it “kept groomzilla at bay at least…Nathan was checking it every night!”
The Bridal Party
Rachel chose her sister Laura as her Maid of Honour and her 3 closest friends, Emma, Alice and Colette, as her bridesmaids. Their dresses were certainly one of the most stunning details of the day; gold sequin gowns complemented the day’s glittering theme perfectly, and Rachel was even a little bit jealous that she didn’t get to wear one of the sparkling gowns herself! For Rachel, her make-up was done by Sarah Hale, and her hair was styled by Nina from Blo Bar in Chiswick. They were the perfect company for Rachel to get ready with on such a special day. Rachel’s hair was curled and finished with an intricate beaded hair vine, and her sister Laura cleverly added Rachel’s “something blue” with a secret blue hair pin. Her look was completed by a bouquet created by Bijou Partner Sonning Flowers, featuring white and bush roses, gypsophila and grey brunia, expertly designed to match their elegant theme. The groom’s party all arranged their own tuxedos - they were either custom made or hired from from Moss Bros or Suit Supply. All of the suits were finished with white or blush rose button holes.