We met at art college when we were 19 and were together for 10 years before getting engaged.
Tell us about the proposal
One of the first dates we went on was to Bodiam Castle; 10 years later we went back for a visit and as we were looking out at the view from one the turrets Dan got down on one knee and proposed.
Daniel proposed to Rachel at Bodiam Castle
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
There was a slight castle theme as our tables were named after castles we had visited. The ceremony was at Tonbridge Castle and we had a white bouncy castle at our reception. We didn’t have a colour scheme, instead we decorated our venue with bunting that my mum made which was all different colours and patterns. It was more of a rustic theme as the reception was in a barn.
What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?
We chose two venues - one for our ceremony and one for our reception. We booked The Plough initially after attending an open day there. We really wanted to get married in a barn and have around 100 guests and this was somewhere that ticked both those boxes. The barn is stunning and had just the vibe we were looking for. We also really liked the fact that all the venue decorating, tableware, service and in-house catering was included in the price. It took a lot of stress out of having to arrange those things separately.
However, after we booked The Plough we realised Tonbridge Castle was just a couple of miles down the road and it cost only a tiny bit more to have the wedding spilt across the two venues, so we held the ceremony there.
The couple exchanged vows at Tonbridge Castle
When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?
I went to three different bridal shops and got my dress from WED2B in Bromley, trying on probably around 20 dresses in total. I liked the fact that at WED2B you tried on dresses in your actual size and you were able to by the dress off the shelf. I knew my dress was the one for me because the blush colour suited my skin tone really well, it fitted amazingly and I was able to accessorise it with an off-the-shoulder lace jacket which matched the lace of the dress and a belt. The dress was an A-line fit with 10 layers of tulle and lace fabric.
What did the bridesmaids wear?
I had three bridemaids, my twin sister and two friends who I have known for around 15 years. They wore knee-length dusty coral pink dresses from ASOS, with Kurt Geiger shoes and fresh gypsophila in their hair.
The bridesmaids wore dresses from ASOS
What did the mother of the bride wear?
The mother of the bride wore a white and pink dress with a floral pattern on Coast with a pink fascinator and Kurt Geiger shoes.
Where did you find your suits?
Daniel got his nevy three-piece suit from Lemming & Masterhand at the Kent Wedding Centre. His best men and the father of the groom hired matching suits from the same venue.
Daniel chose a navy three-piece suit
Tell us about your floral arrangements
Our flowers were natural looking in pastel colours. We had focal flowers of sweet avalanche roses and champagne coloured dahlias with hints of white astilbe, pale pink freesia and pale blue delphinium. Buttonholes consisted of Majolika spray roses, eucalyptus, rosemary, gyp, natural stems for the groomsmen.
Tell us about the details of the day
As we both work in the design we did all the wedding statienary ourselves, from the invitations to the table plan, table names and place names
My mum made red petal confetti and cones for the confetti out of lace doilies
Our friend drove my dad and I to the wedding in his vintage Morris Minor and Daniel and I rode in that car with the top down from the ceremony to the reception
We had a shirt make for the groom especially for the wedding day with our wedding date embroidered in the collar by Get Shirtie
We had a singer/guitarist at our reception who perfomed as guests arrived and during the drinks reception
We had a white bouncy castle at the reception, used by all. We also had some garden games
Our wedding favours doubled up as place names as we had candles for the ladies with a flag in them with their name on and Lego figures for the men holding a flag with their name on. We even tried to match the Lego figures to the look like the guests
We had a three-tiered cake stands that we made with old china plates as the table centrepieces
In the evening we had a photobooth which we doubled up as our guestbook so people could get their photo taken and then add the photo to the guest book and sign it
Rachel and Daniel added fun to their wedding day with a bouncy castle
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
My legs felt a bit like jelly, but other than that it was just very strange seeing so many people that we knew all in one room together.
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
We kept the ceremony quite short, but had some songs that we really liked playing in the background while guests waited. We also had our young nephew walk down the aisle first with a sign that said ‘They didn’t trust me with the rings!’.
The happy couple invited more than 100 people to celebrate their wedding
What was your most memorable moment?
I really enjoyed dancing in the evening with friends and family and using the photobooth.
What was the most important investment for you?
We didn’t want to scrimp on the food and I think everyone was well fed throughout the day. We also wanted to invest in our photography as I really do think you get what you pay for with photography and the photos last a lifetime.
Favours doubled up as place settings
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
Our first dance was to I Won't Give Up by Jason Mraz. We wanted a song that wasn’t one that we had heard at other people's weddings and one that that we would be able to do a waltz too, getting others to join in half way through.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
Our wedding cake was made by a local cake baker, The Yummy Cake Company. It was three tiers featuring different flavours: white chocolate and raspberry, chocolate praline and lemon and covered in white buttercream and decorated with fresh real flowers.
The bunting cake topper featured Rachel and Daniel's names
Did anything go wrong on the day?
Everything went pretty smoothly and I think that was helped by having a toastmaster, who took the stress away from the wedding party, as we knew he was keeping track of all the timings.
Was there anything you wish you’d known before?
I didn’t think about where I was going to stay the night before the wedding early enough and it seemed like a lot of hotels and B&Bs in the area were already booked up. My advice would be to book that soon after your venues – especially if you aren’t getting married somewhere with accommodation on site.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
We went on honeymoon a few months after the wedding as we wanted to just relax post-wedding. We went for a brunch together with about 12 people from the wedding the day after and went away for a couple of days to Rye just by ourselves. Our honeymoon was three months later and we went to Thailand for 11 days.
The Plough in Leigh provided the perfect barn setting for the wedding reception
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Get a wedding planning folder, so you can save all your quotes and invoices in one place
Use one email address for all the wedding email correspondence so you know that everything will be coming in to the same inbox.
Popular well-known venues in the area get booked up years in advanced, so if you want to get married in a shorter timeframe look at some of the less well-known venues as they will probably have better availability and will be cheaper too.
Get guests to let you know their favourite song to dance to, then you can add it to your song list for the DJ and it really helps get people on their feet and dancing
Remember to have include some fun aspects – we really enjoyed the bouncy castle and photobooth, it made the wedding fun and relaxed for us and our guests.