RACHEL + RYAN - HALLMARK HOTEL BOURNEMOUTH CARLTON
Rachel came to me back in 2017 after booking my wedding stylist buddy, also a Rachel, from Love By Design Weddings & Events. Always love a recommendation, it sure does make you feel good about what you’re doing. We met and chatted over coffee for an hour or so, and I liked her straight away. Even better after she said they were including their British Bulldog, Cookie, in the wedding. I ruddy love doggos - every couple who has one should include theirs in the day.
This is the first time ever that I’ve worked on my birthday, a day I rarely celebrate, so being able to capture a fantastic couple’s wedding on this beautifully warm early April day was a treat.
Wendy from Sapphire Styling Bespoke Hair & Make-up was getting the ladies all glammed up for the day. It’s the first time we’ve worked together on a wedding and she is an absolute gem. This was another day when the bridal party girlies made me a banging cuppa and there was a tonne of pastries to munch on. Gotta love a plate full of pastries.
Rachel and Ryan are such a chilled couple who just want to do things their way and not have a lot of fuss getting in the way of the day. It was a super chilled day from start to finish, bloody perfect if you ask me.
The stunning dress was from Isobel’s Bridal & Groom, and the bridal party wore gorgeous minty green. The bouquet was a cracker from Paper Bouquets UK, all handmade paper flowers with beautiful jewels and trinkets to represent Rachel’s Nan who had passed. Rachel and her fab team had gone above and beyond for this one, with a cool coastal theme; windmills and sea shells and a custom made beach hut to boot - personalised with the date as the beach hut number…6419 - just awesome! There were also deckchairs and plenty of oversized beach games for the kids and the ‘big kids’ to play with. And space hoppers for those who love a good bounce. The tables were adorned with more seaside bling, buckets of ice cold beers and not just one cake, but three giant fondant fancies and a tonne of cupcakes from Sugar Paste Dreams. There was even one especially for me, and I tell you, it didn’t last long.
We had a fun, sun-filled ceremony with a super cute reading by Rachel’s daughter. Cookie lead the newlyweds out into the sunshine for the drinks reception, where we had a few family photos and some time alone for the couple shots. A posh picnic followed and I had to try damn hard to not eat, then Rachel stood to give her speech and shocked the room when she announced a surprise honeymoon for Ryan to Bali. How cool is that!?!
Before and during the wedding breakfast, we had a local artist/caricaturist, Danny Byrne doing caricatures for the guests, and I even got one as a special birthday gift. It’s framed and waiting to be put up on the wall in my new work space at home.
Breaking from tradition a little more, after this we all headed to the bar to watch the Grand National which made for some awesome photos of the wedding party having a few drinks and cheering the horses on. I had a bet on two horses, one of which only went and won. The day was going well…
For the evening reception, Rachel and her team had decked out another room and there was photo booth shenanigans from Photo Blast and casino fun to be had with the guys from Viva Las Vegas Fun Casino. I’ve never seen kids at weddings get so into the roulette table. Absolutely hilarious. And for the first dance, well, Rachel and Ryan took centre stage and my jaw almost hit the floor as I’m sure she said this wasn’t going to happen. Then the DJ dropped ‘Sex On Fire’ and the room went bloody bonkers. It was like being in the mosh pit at a rock gig, just the kind of crowd I love to stay and snap away for. I finished with a couple of gins, said my goodbyes and walked home along the beach. This was a wedding I could’ve happily stayed all night for, but I had a certain Australia trip to get ready for.
Thanks again for such a great bunch of people showing me a super fun day.
Check out the links below for the ace suppliers and get in touch if you’re planning your wedding and want a bit of RGW PHOTOS magic.
Until next time,