Rachel married Wayne on the 2nd March 2013 at Whitley Hall and wore Claire Pettibone ‘Mystere’ in platinum with Rachel Simpson ‘Carmen’ shoes. The sun shone, the dress was a blow everyone away type gown and their 1st dance was to The Darkness – one very cool wedding indeed! Here is her story:
Wayne and I got engaged on the 24th December 2011 – the 7th anniversary of us meeting. We looked at quite a few wedding venues but nothing really stood out to us, until a friend from work suggested Whitley Hall, which neither of us had ever heard of (despite it being about 10 minutes away from our house!). We went to visit and were instantly smitten. The building and the grounds were beautiful and stylish. Plenty of room for our guests and yet still quite an intimate atmosphere, and not too commercial and “hotel chain-y” like some of the other places we’d seen. Plus there were PEACOCKS! We originally wanted a Christmas wedding but apparently they are increasingly popular and we didn’t want to wait 2 years!! So we chose 2nd March 2013.
We didn’t have a theme as such but I hoped for a vintage boho country chic type impression! We had yellow as our major colour as we knew we wanted daffodils to feature in the flower arrangements. I love daffodils- and they were seasonal for March. Yellow and grey was the original colour scheme until I threw a spanner in the works by buying a dress with lilac detailing… so I tried to pick that out as well by including some purpley flowers in the bouquets.
The most important things for us were a gorgeous venue, good food, photography (it’s the only thing you have left at the end of the day – apart from a husband…) and music. We’re both really into our music, Wayne used to be a live music promoter and work on the local band scene so we always knew we were going to have a live band and not a cheesy DJ!
I started my dress hunt in May 2012. I was very excited about dress shopping but I didn’t really know what I was looking for, and only really seemed to have a clear idea of things I HATED! I went to 3 shops on the first day – the first shop was terrible and instantly took the shine off dress shopping – literally thousands of dresses shoved on rails (including some literal Bo Peep numbers), of which I could only pick 5 to try on, the dresses were dirty, the assistants disinterested, other people and their parties trying on dresses at the same time and when we left, I wasn’t allowed to know which dresses I’d tried on unless I came back to buy one! Another shop I had booked the appointment to look at a specific designer only to be told when we got there that they no longer stocked her… Also the assistant seemed under the impression that I was about 17 and kept steering me towards “more youthful fun dresses!” The third shop was thankfully lovely, which made me feel all the more guilty that I didn’t like anything!
My second outing was all the way to Staffordshire to look at a particular designer, which I (predictably) didn’t really like when I got there! I was sidetracked by a Stewart Parvin gown there, which was very clean and simple and nothing like what I’d thought I wanted, but fitted beautifully. I was frankly just relieved to have found something I actually quite liked and very nearly bought it…
One of the first things I did once I actually was engaged and a date was set for the wedding was email Chloe about Mystere and about making an appointment. I made appointment for much later in the year. After my outing in Staffordshire I thought I had found The Dress but I knew I still HAD to go and visit the beautiful boutique and see Mystere (even though potentially I thought it could be a bit too “out there” judging by the other dresses I had seen) just to rule it out. So I begged Chloe for a last minute appointment to help me make my decision… and the rest as they say is history! In hindsight, it was always The One, I compared everything to it even though I’d never even seen it! I needn’t have bothered with anywhere else… But I suppose I couldn’t have appreciated how fantastic and different The White Room is had I not had experienced the other “traditional” boutiques.
How did you feel getting dressed on the morning of the wedding?
I felt sick! We got up ridiculously early for breakfast, and then didn’t really know what to do with ourselves all morning, as we didn’t want to get ready too soon! I was excited about finally actually getting to wear my dress though, and felt much better once my hair and make-up was done and the dress was on.
What was your groom’s reaction to your gown? Did the guests love it and more importantly, did you feel amazing?
He cried! He loved it, everyone loved it. So many people said how amazing it was and that they knew I wasn’t going to be in a meringue! I don’t think there was a single person who didn’t say how amazing it was (even the men!), I really couldn’t have chosen better.
Was your wedding day everything you wished for? Did everything go to plan? Did any little things go wrong?!
The wedding day was wonderful. I honestly don’t think it could have gone any better. Nothing at all went wrong, despite my prior stressing! We were very lucky.
The best part of the day (ironically the part I was most dreading) was walking down the aisle towards Wayne. I thought I would feel so awkward with all eyes on me, but I didn’t even notice anyone else apart from Wayne. The whole ceremony was wonderful, and over so quickly!
What was your 1st dance song? Does this have special meaning to you both?
Our first dance song was I Believe In A Thing Called Love – by The Darkness. We’re not really pop-y ballad-y people so it was never really going to be mush! The Darkness is Wayne’s favourite band, he followed them around on their tours with his best man in their misspent youths… Although it was an obvious choice, we didn’t really make up our minds about it properly until two days before the wedding!
Is there anything you would change? I wouldn’t change anything.
Do you have any advice for brides to be?
EVERYONE says it and SO many people said it to me but it really is true, the day goes so quickly so make the most of every second. And don’t worry about anyone else – I spent so much time stressing that people would get bored during the day – I wish I had worried less as everyone said they had an amazing time. One of the guests said it was the best wedding he’d ever been to- praise indeed! People will always entertain themselves, and the day is about you and your husband! And also – EAT! After the wedding breakfast I didn’t eat anything until the next day… I didn’t touch our evening buffet which I am disappointed about to this day haha!
And The White Room?
Trying experience was nice and relaxed. Listened to all my previous dress dramas. Seemed to have a much clearer idea of “what kind of bride I was” rather than just try this dress on because its nice… as in other shops.
There were far less gowns than in any of the other shops I had been to, but definitely a case of quality over quantity! I still could have bought about 10 of them! I think the gowns are “expensive” by most people’s standards, but I am a firm believer in “you get what you pay for”. Nothing was more than I was prepared to pay.
The boutique is stylish and comfortable. Nice and airy and open front helps give a daylight impression of the dresses. Fitting room was spacious.
All fittings were easy to arrange. Boutique is very accommodating with late nights etc. Alterations very reasonably priced I thought.
Would you recommend brides to be to us?
YES DEFINITELY. Stylish, cool, eclectic designers. Not Your Average Bridal Shop. (In a good way!)
Another Happy White Room bride! With love to Rachel & Wayne xxx
• Venue Whitley Hall Hotel
• Florist Tracey Campbell
• Photography Shakespeare Photography
• Hair & Make Up Dale and Ann from La Coupe & Me (with Clinique, Bobbi Brown, YSL)
• BM Dresses Monsoon
• Band: Rory Holl and The Men.