Real Wedding: A picture-perfect party at Merriscourt
Following a romantic proposal in Bali, Rachel and Matthew celebrated their big day within the stunning Cotswold setting of Merriscourt, with the aim to throw a memorable party complete with good food, plenty of drinks and a brilliant DJ.
The happy couple: Rachel Millman, 26, a development consultant, and Matthew Millman, 34, a chartered surveyor, from London
Wedding date: Saturday 19 May 2018
Ceremony and reception venue: Merriscourt
Photographer: Albert Palmer Photography
Flowers: Jackie Eddy, Flowerstyle
Dress: Andrea Hawkes
Bridesmaid dresses: Asos
Groom's outfit: Ted Baker
Cake: Emily Thorn
Stationery: Ged Lawson, Red White Digital
Entertainment: DJ Nigel P, the resident DJ at Babington House
Favours: Shots of Limoncello
Hair and beauty: Di McDonald Hair and Make-up Artist
Rings including engagement ring: Webley, Hatton Garden
When and how did you first meet?
We met at work five years ago in 2013, on a work ski trip – sparks flew in the Alps!
Who popped the big question and how did they propose?
Matthew proposed under a full moon on a quiet beach in the middle of the night, on Gili Air island in Bali.
How long did it take you to plan your wedding?
Why did you choose your venue?
We wanted somewhere beautiful but informal, and most importantly we wanted the bridal party to be able to stay on site so we could make a full party weekend of the event!
Was there an inspiration or theme for your wedding?
Not especially, we wanted lots of wild flowers and string instead of ribbons – a really country barn vibe rather than anything too fussy!
What made you choose your photographer?
He came recommended (along with several others) by the venue, and we chose him because the photography on his website all looked like he was capturing moments, rather than posing shots.
How did your wedding photographer capture your big day memories?
Seamlessly! I barely knew he was there, he was so relaxed and just kept himself to himself.
Did you hire a wedding planner or was it a DIY affair?
DIY and I’m not a natural bride with these things; I can’t say I enjoyed the planning but the day was worth it – it was the best day of my life! So much fun!
Did you make, design or create anything yourself?
We didn’t, our main goal was just to throw a huge party – plenty of good food, plenty of booze, games on the lawn (croquet, cricket, boules) and the best DJ we could find!
Tell us about the wedding dress…
I’m a fairly young bride at 26 so I wanted something to reflect that; I’m generally not very traditional either (getting married felt very traditional for me!) so I went for a slinky low-cut silk number.
However, for the ceremony I had long sleeves, a higher neck in chiffon, and a train. My veil was a similar material and so I looked very bridal at the beginning of the day (which kept Daddy happy). My shoes were soft suede ivory Emmy, the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn!
What did the groom wear?
A Ted Baker three-piece suit in quite a bright blue and a grey white spotted wool tie with a tie clip. He looked gorgeous.
Did you have something old, new, borrowed and blue?
No (we all forgot!)
What song did you walk down the aisle to?
The piano instrumental to Sampha – ‘No One Knows Me’.
Did you have any special readings during the service?
We had an extract from Kahlil Gibran, and a Shakespeare sonnet.
What did you have for your wedding breakfast?
A sharing board of ham hock, jumbo prawns and charcuterie to start, then a joint of pork with crackling which we carved at the table. Dessert was a crème brûlée (which was to die for!)
What kind of cake did you go for?
A three-tier lemon sponge naked cake, swiss meringue, and lemon curd with buttercream, the florist decorated it with fresh flowers.
What was your first dance song?
Anthony Hamilton – ‘Do You Feel Me’.
What was your favourite part of your wedding day?
Greeting everyone after the ceremony and confetti – it was so great standing on the lawn in the sun as everyone came out and we all hugged and kissed, I felt very emotional.
Did everything go to plan?
Flawlessly! So lucky to have so many people helping make the day run smoothly.
What advice would you give anyone planning their big day?
I think the main advice would be about the day after the wedding; Matthew and I really wanted to be alone, we were tired and wanted to spend time just the two of us (which can be a bit tricky when you are all staying on site together of course!).
Is there anything you know now that you wished you’d known before the big day?
I didn’t realise that the people giving speeches wouldn’t really be able to relax until after them, so I wish we had done them earlier during the wedding breakfast so they could all sit back and enjoy the meal!
And finally, where did you spend your honeymoon together?
Sicily, we had a wonderful relaxing time!
Wednesday 18 July 2018
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