It was back in October last year when Rach, Jay, Toby and I met up at The Hundred House Hotel for their pre-wedding shoot. Each had the honour of being my first bride on crutches for a shoot. She did admirably wondering through the Hundred House's gardens with a leg brace. If you didn't get to see the photos from that shoot go take a look here
Seven months on and it was finally time for them to exchange their vows, in front of all their family and friends, with Toby performing their wedding ceremony for them. Whether it's having Toby shoot along side me for the day, or having him perform a wedding ceremony whilst I photograph it, it's always great to work alongside each other as 'Team Dignum'.
Rach and Jay had been together for several years before walking up the aisle to marry. As with many couples that have been together a long time before getting married, their shared history and the depth of their relationship shone through on the day to make it extra special.
Their country pub themed wedding was complete with beer garden games, a pub picnic reception meal, and the men and women of The Ironmen and Severn Gilders Morris dancers.
I'll leave you with their story in Rach's own words, and a few memories from their wedding day.
"15 years ago on a cold and moody February evening in Snobs, I clapped eyes on a handsome young man. Instead of wooing him, I moaned about my ex to him! That should have been the end of the encounter but somehow we kept seeing each other in Snobs every weekend, and a few months later I plucked up the courage to buy him a drink (well, actually I gave him my friends drink!) and our story began from there.
Over the years we've moved house a few times, travelled the world together and ate and drank in many fine establishments! It didn't take us long to realise that we were best friends as well as soul mates and therefore even the tougher times were easier standing side by side.
Jay proposed out of the blue on our 13 year anniversary with a beautiful home cooked meal inspired by the countries we have visited together. He popped the question by writing 'will you marry me?' inside a home baked fortune cookie. I was well and truly gobsmacked and many of our friends and family didn't believe the news when we told them. It was the start of a truly magical adventure."
"We looked at a number of venues as we initially had different ideas about what we wanted on the big day. We decided on The Hundred House in Telford as it just felt so right from our very first visit. The staff were welcoming and were understanding and patient with all the questions we asked. The venue itself is a beautiful 17th Century Barn with tons of character and charm - the perfect setting for a chilled out wedding picnic that we had planned."
"For the wedding dress I was sure I wanted a short, 50s style dress but when I actually tried on a range of styles I was smitten with a long, A-line lace dress with a veil. Nothing at all like I was planning but I loved it so much on the day I didn't want to take it off!! Jay and the best men looked very handsome in navy blue suits and pink ties to match my accessories and flowers. Jay had a special pocket square made out of otter printed material - we have a thing about otters and I swear Jay is looking more like one these days. The flowers girls and bridesmaids wore green 50s style dresses with big purple underskirts. We didn't really have one specific colour scheme as we wanted the day to look bright and colourful."
"The ceremony was perfect from start to finish. I wanted to hold on to every word being said so I could remember if forever. Toby helped us feel relaxed and delivered the ceremony with just the right mix of humour, sensitivity and guidance. Our guests commented afterwards on how much they enjoyed it."
"My sister read an extract from 'The Velveteen Rabbit' by Margery Williams Bianco. We chose the reading as it was light hearted and fun and my sister did an amazing job with the reading - even down to special voices for the rabbit and the skin horse. It went down so well that one of our guests went out and brought the book after the wedding.
We wrote our own vows and I'm so glad we did. We made them special and about our future lives together and it added a personal touch to the ceremony."
"Phil and Toby were superstars throughout the whole process. We had our engagement shoot at a time when I had unfortunately broken my foot but this didn't stop him working his magic and we had some great images that captured our personalities and the character of our venue in autumn leaves. Every step of the big day was thoroughly discussed with us and we had the opportunity to shape the type of photographs we wanted, with expert guidance from Phil.
On the big day they worked tirelessly in order to capture all of the special moments on camera and when we received the photographs back we were amazed at how beautiful they were. They really tell the story of the day and I love looking back through them to bring back all of those happy memories. Thank you so much."
"There are so many wonderful memories to choose from; One that particularly stands out is the moment that Toby announced us as man and wife and we were so excited that we ran down the isle whooping and punching the air. Wasn't planned but we were so excited we couldn't help ourselves!""We chose 'A Little Respect' by Wheatus for our first dance, as it was a song that we often danced to back in the Snobs days. We didn't want something slow as it just isn't for us as we wanted to bounce around the dance floor! "
"Lots of people said this to me but I would recommend taking a moment to just stop and really take in and enjoy what is happening. There was a lovely moment of the day where Jay came with me upstairs to help change my shoes and we just had a few minutes of hearing the reception music and people chatting and laughing. It was nice to take a step back and just listen to it happening"
Acoustic Wedding Singer: www.darrenjonesacoustic.com
Wedding Venue: www.hundredhouse.co.uk
Wedding Dress Shop: www.weddingdressesbirmingham.com
Morris Dancers: imsg.clubbuzz.co.uk
Wedding Accessories: www.etsy.com/uk/shop/InBetweenTheKids
Wedding Shoes: www.rubyshoo.com