What I love most about weddings is how each couple put so much of their personalities in to their day, whether it be the colour scheme they choose or the music or even a theme.
There are certain weddings that go above and beyond what I expected on the day. Tom and Rachel were a highlight for me!
They began dating in the summer of 2012 and a beautiful proposal took place in 2015, on Rachel’s 30th birthday. Their gorgeous son Owen (who has the bluest eyes I have ever seen!) arrived in October 2016 just a few months before their spring wedding.
Tom & Rachel chose the idyllic Crook Hall & Gardens in Durham as their venue and, as I do not live too far away, we took the opportunity to meet a few times before the Wedding to look around and excitedly discuss ideas for their day. I was given carte blanche with regards to their photography, they were so relaxed about the style and really just wanted the images to flow naturally.
On the morning of their wedding, the rainclouds cleared before Rachel’s VW camper van pulled up at the venue and we were treated to a beautifully sunny spring day.
Pre-ceremony was filled with shots of smiling bridesmaids, two little princesses and an incredibly dapper page boy! In keeping with tradition, a tight fitting shirt and a wayward garter caused a couple of “eek” moments but Tom & Rachel just laughed and took it in their stride.
For the first time, Tom’s nerves surfaced as he waited at the alter for his beloved. Rachel was accompanied down the aisle by her brother Matty and when asked 'who gives this woman' he proudly and spontaneously planted the biggest kiss on her forehead which garnered a few laughs and a few happy tears.
Tom and Rachel also chose very personal pieces to be included in their day, Tom wore his Grandad’s cufflinks and Rachel wore beautiful pearls which had belonged to Tom’s Grandma, Margaret. The inclusion of family & friends that were no longer with them was paramount. Their dearest were honoured within their vows and a touching family photo frame on display.
After vows were exchanged I opted for some candid images whilst guests mingled and sipped cocktails before taking a sneak peak at the reception room. It was beautifully adorned with the most incredible flowers and candles and thoughtful touches like books for the children, arranged by Tom’s ‘Mam’ Sharon.
We were treated to a sumptuous afternoon tea and the chance to take in some thoughtful and hysterically funny speeches from the Groom’s Dad Mark and his brother Darren.
As with all of my weddings, I whisked Tom & Rachel off for 30 minutes so they could have some relaxed photographs taken. I’ve always found that this gives my couples some time to themselves so they can take a breath and soak in the day so far. It’s also a nice surprise for family and friends after the wedding as the images have been kept under wraps.
It was fabulously unscripted! Tom decided to jump on the swing whilst pushing his Bride creating one of my favourite images of the day, whilst Rachel put aside her fabulous Vivienne Westwood heels in favour of her favourite pair of wellies!
To top off their day guests were treated to mouth watering wood fired pizzas (Hadrians Pizza), an exquisite retro ice cream van (Scoops n' Smiles) and a candy bar to keep everyone “sweet”.
After their evening guests had arrived, Tom & Rachel cut in to their elegant ombre cake (Celebrations Cakes, Middlesbrough) and took to the floor for their first dance as Husband and Wife. They had opted for a juke box and a photo booth (Magic Mirror North East) in keeping with the relaxed and fun theme of their day.
It was a day full of joy and laughter, plenty of candid moments, pastel colours and tweed suits. Tom & Rachel wanted their wedding theme to really reflect them .. and it truly did!