Real Weddings Camberley: A glorious day full of sunshine, singing and an Easter egg hunt
These newlyweds combined plenty of homemade delights with fun, food, family and an Easter egg hunt that nearly didn’t happen! Our WED2B Real Weddings feature reveals more: Rachael and Paul met online and chatted for a week before setting a...
These newlyweds combined plenty of homemade delights with fun, food, family and an Easter egg hunt that nearly didn’t happen! Our WED2B Real Weddings feature reveals more:
Rachael and Paul met online and chatted for a week before setting a date to meet. “We met under the clock at Waterloo and had the best first date,” says Rachael. “Paul planned the whole thing and it involved visiting museums, walking around London, having dinner and watching the sunset from London Bridge. Our first date lasted eight hours and we didn’t stop talking or laughing the entire day. I knew I was on to a winner!”
A romantic proposal
When Paul proposed he started the day by delivering breakfast in bed and a postcard with a clue on it. “This was a throwback to our third date when Paul planned a fun day with clues leading me to each activity,” says Rachael. “This time the first surprise was a ‘meet the animal experience’ with a sloth. Sloths are my favourite animal and it was wonderful. We got to meet and feed the sloth, it was so special! The next surprise took us back to our second date when I’d planned a walk and picnic on a beautiful hill. Paul had planned a surprise picnic at the same place. The sun was shining and we sat in the same spot, chatting and enjoying the views. Then he turned to me on one knee and asked me to marry him!”
Meeting the parents
“Paul had also taken my Mum and Dad out to lunch the week before to ask for their blessing,” says Rachael. “It was really important to me that he spoke to them both and they were thrilled. After the proposal, we went to their house for dinner and they surprised us with champagne and homemade congratulations signs! It was really special."
A fabulous dress shopping experience
Rachael visited WED2B’s Camberley store in September 2018 with her Mum, two sisters and her baby niece. “I’d never been dress shopping before and I was nervous but excited,” says Rachael. “We were greeted by Lauren who warmly explained how things worked and I instantly felt at ease. Then the lovely Carolyn helped me in and out of dresses and was so kind and friendly. Despite it being a busy Saturday I was treated wonderfully. I was quite indecisive but Carolyn was very patient and I never felt rushed. She recommended dresses based on what I liked and disliked about previous designs and nothing was too much trouble. She made our experience wonderful and became an additional part of our family that day. I felt like a real part of the WED2B community!”
Rachael eventually chose stunning Destin. “It was the fourth dress I tried on,” she says. “We actually saw it on a mannequin and thought it was beautiful. My Mum asked a store assistant if they had it in my size and fortunately they did and it was kindly brought over to me. I put it on and instantly felt like a queen. Then, when I realised it had pockets, I squealed! As soon as I stepped out, my sister said, ‘It has pockets doesn’t it?’ because she’d heard my excitement! Then I added a belt and a veil to complete the look.”
The perfect venue
The couple married at Bradfield College, a private school in Berkshire. “The venue was gorgeous and had lots of charm and elegance,” says Rachael. “We were able to have lots of different rooms too, which meant we could have a games room and a chill-out room, as well as a drinks reception room and the dining hall with its gorgeous stained-glass windows and wooden beams. It was an amazing place to enjoy our wedding breakfast and the grounds were ideal for an Easter egg hunt too.”
A sunny big day
The wedding was held on Easter weekend in 2019. “We got married at St Paul’s Church, near my family home,” says Rachael. “It’s a beautiful place to marry. My Dad walked me down the aisle and it was wonderful seeing Paul standing there. Any nerves were completely gone when I saw his cute smiling face. I couldn’t wait to be his wife! We had a couple of readings by family and one of my bridesmaids sang while we signed the register. My husband’s good friend also gave the address and spoke about how to have a loving and successful marriage with God at the centre of it all. It was really important for us to have family and friends play a role in our special day. It was such a joyous celebration of love and life.”
Games on the lawn
After the ceremony guests enjoyed a drinks reception on the lawns at Bradfield College. “The sun shone all day which meant all of our guests were outside playing garden games and enjoying the surroundings,” says Rachael. “We had some photos taken and we also cut our cake, as it was being served for dessert.
Rachael made lots of personalised signs for the day, including signs for the easels and also for the page boys to carry down the aisle. “Our centrepieces were books from my late grandparents and our table names were some of our favourite board games,” says Rachael. “I also made crosswords in memory of grandparents who’ve passed away. Family and friends helped too by drying petals for the confetti baskets.”
Please be seated
Instead of a standard seating plan, Rachael printed polaroid pictures of all the guests under the title, ‘Find your face to find your place’. Written on the back of each picture was the table the guests were sitting on. “It was another small gift for them to take away with them, as well as their favours, which were packs of playing cards,” says Rachael.
Chocolate treats all round
After the speeches and dessert, there was an Easter egg raffle. “This is a bit of a tradition in my family and, as we were married over Easter weekend, we wanted to incorporate it,” says Rachael. “Each guest had a raffle ticket on their place card and our fantastic MCs (my brother and sister-in-law) nominated people to take a number from the hat. It was so much fun.”
A surprise Easter egg hunt…
“One funny moment, that we didn’t know about until after our honeymoon, was the mix up with the Easter egg hunt we'd planned,” says Rachael. “My brother and sister-in-law went to the venue in the morning to hide around 30 plastic eggs in the gardens. When it was time for the Easter egg hunt, they sent the children off in search of the eggs but no one could find any! It turned out that the gardeners had been after they were hidden. They hadn't realised they were for an Easter egg hunt and had tidied them all up. The children still got their chocolate and it ended up being a really funny Easter egg hunt story!”
Music and dancing
After dinner guests continued enjoying drinks in the evening sunshine while the dining hall was turned around for the evening reception. “While this was happening some of our friends played music and we were able to have a little boogie,” says Rachael. “It was the most wonderful background music for a picturesque evening. When the reception room was ready everyone was called through for the first dance, which was choreographed by a friend. It was so much fun and a complete surprise for our guests. Then the disco kicked off and our magic mirror photo booth opened, which was another surprise. People used it all night long.”
In the evening there were pizzas and bacon rolls, along with a sweetie table. “It included jelly snakes, which are our absolute favourite!” says Rachael. “As my dress had pockets I was able to store my bag of pick ’n’ mix sweets in them. It also meant that I could whip them out while on the dance floor and feed people sweets. It was a definite dress highlight!”
Rachael’s top tips…
“Just enjoy every moment, the day goes by so fast,” says Rachael. “Make sure you grab time with your new husband to soak up all the love around you. Get as much planning and DIY done as soon as you can. Then you’ll be able to relax in the week leading up to the wedding and not feel stressed about finishing tasks. Finally, make the wedding your own. We had a sloth and penguin on our cake, a raffle, an Easter egg hunt, food we loved and personalised things that were important to us. Our guests noticed all these small touches and they loved seeing our personalities shine through.”
Rachael's Dream Team:
Photographer: Epic Moments Photography (epicmoments.co.uk)
Venue: Bradfield College (bradfieldweddings.co.uk)
Videographer: Ben Radley Wedding Films (benradleyweddingfilms.co.uk)
Magic mirror, up lighters and LOVE lighting: Animation Events Ltd (animationevents.co.uk)
Choreography: Routine Riots (routineriots.com)
Bridal hair and makeup artist: Alice Porter MUA (alice-porter.com)
Did your wedding have a surprise Easter egg hunt along with other beautiful touches? If you would like your big day to be one of our real weddings please click here to share your story and photos with us and we’ll be in touch.
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