Two Wives, One Woof & A Wonderful Woodland Wedding
After meeting on the train on their way to their first day at University to study nursing, Rachel and Laura struck up a powerful friendship that eventually turned into their happy-ever-after…
‘We were both studying to be nurses,’ said Rachel, ‘and ended up in the same tutor group.’
‘We quickly became best friends and were inseparable by the time we went on our first placements. We remained friends for a couple of years although neither of us realised the true extent of our feelings (apparently, it was plainly obvious to everyone around us that we were deeply in love) until at the end of our second year of Uni we took the leap and kissed – and we’ve never looked back!’
The Perfect Venue
The girls chose their venue, the wonderful Cheshire Woodland Weddings, with one very special guest in mind, their much-loved dog, Summer.
‘We really wanted somewhere that we felt relaxed and somewhere that Summer could be present and play an active part in our special day,’ explained Rachel. ‘She’s such a big part of our lives and actually walked Laura down the aisle on the day which was just magical.’
‘Most wedding venues don’t let you have your dog there all day but Ebony and the team at Cheshire Woodland Weddings were more than happy for her to come along. We even told guests to bring their dogs, and some of them did! It was dog heaven!’
‘The whole surroundings are just magical – from the barn, to the woodland chapel, the pagoda and the lake. It suited us a couple perfectly and we wouldn’t change a single thing about our day.’
Feasting, Fun and Fab Activities!
Another reason the girls chose Cheshire Woodland as their dream venue was the epic activities they offer on the day to keep guests entertained.
We absolutely loved Rachel’s rationale on this when she told us:
‘At every wedding I’ve ever been to I have felt two emotions; hunger and boredom. It was my goal to have a wedding that was as fun for everyone else as it was for me and to feed them enthusiastically! We chose Cheshire Woodland Weddings because they offer amazing activities for guests throughout the day, so while we were having our photos taken our guests were playing archery, mini-golf, rifle shooting and human foosball! Everyone said what a good time they’d had – and we served afternoon tea for our wedding breakfast so no-one had to wait for food to be cooked.
I think our theme was just to be as relaxed as possible. We had no seating plan, no dress code. We just wanted everyone to be comfortable and have as much fun as possible’
With nine bridesmaids and just one best man, the girl’s joint best friend Jamie, girl power was most definitely the order of the day.
The girls chose a combined DIY and professional approach when it came to hair and make-up with Charlotte from Fantasy hair doing the brides and Laura tackling most of the bridesmaids herself.
‘We all did our own make-up,’ said Rachel, ‘ I stayed well away as I wouldn’t know what to do with a hairbrush! I didn’t have a style in mind I just asked the stylist to keep it off my face as I knew I’d be joining in with all the activities and didn’t want to be held back!’
The bridesmaids wore gorgeous jade coloured multi-way dresses from M&S. ‘We wanted all the girls to feel comfortable so going for the multi-way option meant they could all pick the ideal style for them. We didn’t have any rules about shoes, again just whatever the girls wanted but we did advise maybe avoiding stilettos in a woodland setting!’
Jamie picked his own suit from Zara and wore a floral button hole which matched the girls hair pieces. Sourced from Etsy, the buttonholes were a gorgeous natural touch and tied in the overall look with both Rachel’s Dad and Laura’s Stepdad wearing them also.
As Summer proudly walked Laura up the aisle to the dreamy woodland chapel, Jamie took over proceedings and performed the wedding ceremony himself. ‘Jamie is so special to us both, said Laura, ‘Not only was he our best man but he also delivered the whole wedding ceremony. We were so honoured to have him marry us and it really was one of the most special moments of the whole day.’
Two Dreamy Dresses
Imagine having not one but two dreamy dresses to find! Armed with both Mums (and Jamie of course) the girls managed to orchestrate their chosen bridal boutique to allow them to try on at the same time but never got to see each other.
‘I remember hearing everyone’s reaction to Laura’s dress,’ said Rachel, ‘I was dying to come out of my dressing room and have a look! But we resisted temptation and saw each other’s dresses for the first time as we walked down the aisle. ‘
‘We both had our alterations done at Adeva Bridal in Macclesfield. The dressmaker was great and made sure we never knew anything about the other’s dress – even when I asked her a million questions!’
The girls could not say enough good things about Ebony, Steve and the team from Cheshire Woodland Weddings. ‘ We simply couldn’t have had the day we had here anywhere else,’ said Rachel. ‘ Steve and in particular Ebony were just incredible. ‘They made sure the whole day ran so smoothly and they catered to our every need. Right up to the day of the wedding we were emailing Ebony with little questions and queries and it was never too much trouble for her to answer us. We could tell she really cared about us as brides and wanted to make sure we got the wedding day we had dreamed of. ‘
‘We have to mention our photographers too,’ said Laura. Charlotte and her assistant Helen from Captured Life Photography were phenomenal. They made us feel so comfortable and really listened to the types of shots we wanted. They were both good at making us giggle which makes for some pretty adorable photos!’
A Perfect End To A Perfect Day
During the ceremony and drinks reception the girls had the wonderful string quartet–Athena Strings. ‘They were amazing,’ said Laura, ‘They played as we walked down the aisle and then performed for an hour or so, doing acoustic covers of all our favourite pop songs. They have a massive repertoire so we had loads of fun picking out our ‘playlist’ – it took several weeks to whittle down the list!’
‘In the evening we had Dean from Silk Events come and DJ for us,’ explained Rachel. ‘He was fabulous and really played the room. We had very few instructions for Dean (except no ABBA – sorry mum!) but he was excellent and kept the whole room dancing all night.’
I’d love to be able to say the reception was an elegant affair but with two brides and a few dogs on the dancefloor it was definitely more of a party vibe! The barn is an epic location for a reception. It’s such a lovely relaxed vibe and although there are plenty of places for people to sit down most of our friends and family were up on their feet and danced the night away with us! We finished the evening with some sparklers in the woodland and, of course, a conga line. Just Magical.’
What Came Next For Our Loved-Up Pair?
The week after the wedding the two new ‘Mrs went on a mini ‘campingmoon’ – a few days camping in the Forest of Dean. A few months later they then jetted off to Florida with Laura’s sister and her niece and nephew. ‘We would really recommend postponing the honeymoon as it made us feel like the newlywed phase lasted even longer!’
When we asked Laura and Rachel to describe their big day in three words they simply said:
Best Day Ever.