Andy & Rachael
The date of our wedding was 1st August 2015. Our wedding date meant a lot to us as both my mum and my Nan also got married on this date, which meant we could keep the tradition running in our family. We got married in our local church in Eccleston, St Helens and had our reception at Briars Hall in Lathom.
I first met Andy on a night out in St Helens. It was a week after my 18th birthday and I went out with my best friend and another friend to carry on the celebrations. We met in zoo bar, he bought me a drink and the rest is history! We've been together ever since.
Andy proposed to me on Valentine's Day in 2013 after we'd been together for 3 years. We'd spoken about getting engaged and married in the future but I told him I only wanted to think about it when I finished university, so I hadn't expected him proposing early in the February! After work, Andy produced a Pandora box and told me it was my Valentine's Day present. We had been to Florida in the summer and I bought my first bracelet there so he had bought me a heart charm to add to my collection. As I shut the box Andy pulled out another Pandora box and passed it to me, this time it was a diamond ring charm. As I looked up he was down on one knee. As we rushed back to my house to show my mum and dad I opened the living room door and mine and Andy's family were all there waiting to congratulate us with champagne. We had a pile of cards and presents to open and my Aunty had made lots of engagement cupcakes - everyone was so sure I'd say yes!
We didn't really look around lots of venues but my mum's friend had told us about going to look around Briars Hall. We visited the hotel with both our mums and loved how it had a rustic and countryside feel to it. It also had a big garden at the back for all the children in our family to be able to go outside and play if they wanted too. The hotel only had 25 rooms so we managed to book out the whole hotel for some of our families and friends to stay over on the night with us, which meant the celebrations carried on way after the DJ played our last dance! The staff where all really lovely and very helpful and made organising our wedding really stress free and enjoyable.
I loved the idea of having a traditional big white wedding so I kept this idea in mind when we thought about our theme. I kept everything white and silver and wanted to add to the silver theme by adding lots of sparkles. My invites were very sparkly and so was my wedding dress!
I had diamonds on some of my centrepieces and had them wrapped around the stems of all my bouquets and even managed to get the florist to make a diamond wand for my baby bridesmaid Amber! I also had my florist sew my Nan's wedding ring into my bouquet which meant she could be with me and be a part of our day.
My bridesmaid dresses were a gorgeous Caribbean blue which complimented each bridesmaid as they all had different hair/skin colours. And Andy thought of a theme for each of our table names and chose a song from the different bands we had been to see over the years we'd been together.
I found a lot of my ideas and suppliers through visiting different Little White Books wedding fairs. We met our videographer Barry from Diamond Lights Wedding Videography and our photographer Sam Rigby at one of the wedding fayres at the Thistle Hotel in Haydock (now the Mercure Haydock) as well as the company Pier Fun Casinos who entertained our guests during the evening. We also met our florist Sarah from Skelmersdale Flower Centre at one of the wedding fayres at Briars Hall; she had amazing ideas and designed all our flower arrangements. I loved the Little White Books wedding fayres as they were full of different ideas and had brilliant catwalk shows with a great choice of wedding dresses. My Aunty made all my invites and even made our cake as our wedding gift.
My wedding dress was by the designer Ronald Joyce and was from Romancia Bridal shop in Billinge, St Helens. I took my Mum and my Nan with me to help me find my dress. As soon as I walked into the shop, I saw a long row of dresses across the back wall of the shop and my dress was sticking out slightly. I knew as soon as I saw it that it was the perfect dress for me! In total I tried on lots of different dresses that day but nothing compared to that dress. As soon as I tried it on and stepped on the box my Mum and Nan started to cry and I never tried another dress on after that.
Our first song was 'Can’t take my eyes off you' by Frankie Valli which also got everyone up dancing with us. Andy is a fan of older music and we both really love this song. Andy also made a playlist for the church whilst we were signing the register which had a mixtureof lots of different songs and we walked out of church to 'Higher and higher' by Jackie Wilson. I also had a first dance with my Dad to 'My girl.'
Our family and friends really loved our wedding day and still talk to us about how much they enjoyed the day. One thing everyone seemed to comment on was how happy Andy and I looked together and how much we were enjoying our wedding day. We had three great speeches which had everyone laughing and crying at the same time and had a packed dance floor from start to finish. Everyone told us how much fun they had at the casino and was a great way for people to mingle and talk to one another. We also wanted something different on the night from a traditional buffet so we had a hog roast which got lots of positive reviews from all our guests and from Andy who loves his food!
If I could offer any advice to brides and grooms it would be to just relax and enjoy your day as it really does go by so quickly! My friend gave me advice on the day to take time to stop and take in certain parts of the day and I will never forget those memories. Everything you were worried about doesn't matter on the day and it truly is the most amazing day of your life!
Sam Rigby Photography www.samrigbyphotography.co.uk
Diamond Lights Wedding Videography www.diamond-lights.co.uk
Skelmersdale Flower Centre www.skelmersdaleflowercentre.co.uk
Pier Fun Casinos www.pierfuncasinos.co.uk
Briars Hall Hotel www.briarshallhotel.co.uk
Romancia bridal wear www.romanciabridal.co.uk