Rachael and Ivan Ho go way back, having met when they were just 16 years old. “We met at a concert in London,” Rachael remembers. “We remained best mates before eventually becoming a couple when we were 21.” Their friendship was a brilliant basis for their relationship, as five years later – after plenty of moving and travelling in between – Ivan was planning to pop the question.
Alpacas are Rachael's favourite animal, so Ivan arranged for her to walk with some. “We went trekking through some woodland,” she remembers. “When I turned around I saw Ivan was down on one knee. It was a huge shock; he made me the happiest person alive.”
The loved-up couple set about organising their big day for 22nd February, 2019. We caught up with Rachael to get the lowdown…
We visited Carlton Towers for a wedding show, having already booked a venue in York for the summer. After arriving down the drive and seeing the beautiful gothic building I looked at Ivan and knew what he was going to say. A few days later, we cancelled our original venue and booked it!
The venue has such a timeless feel, which worked perfectly with our romantic floral theme. We highlighted this with a navy, burgundy, gold, blush and white palette.
Our table centrepieces from The Balloon Lady were beautiful wintry florals, which tied in with our theme brilliantly. We treated our guests to Yankee Candle favours in the Wedding Day scent.
For the ceremony room, we had a white aisle runner, stunning blossom trees and glass baubles. Pretty petals were strewn down either side of the aisle for the finishing touch.
We were keen to keep a relaxed vibe to the day, so we didn't have a sit-down meal and there was no table plan or place settings.
Our amazing dog, Jasper, who's a Eukanuba ambassador, was front and centre of the day as part of the family.
My timeless lace dress really suited the day. I accessorised it with a full-length veil, which had lace applique to match my gown.
Ivan looked like a true gent in his navy three-piece tweed suit from Esquire. His groomsmen rocked plain suits but they all tied in together with burgundy accessories. My bridesmaids wowed in vintage-style dresses in blush and purple.
We kept our loved ones entertained with a magician. He was such a hit and he even dined with us! Our violinist, Mark Ostyn, created a lovely ambience during the reception before a live band got the party started in the evening.
We can't thank our suppliers enough. Sarah Bruce Photography and Johnny from A & A Video were wonderful and captured everything perfectly. Gemma and Paul from Carlton Towers went above and beyond to make everything magical.
On the day, we felt so excited and in love. Seeing all our friends and family in one place was really special, and I was so happy my grandparents could make it as my granddad isn't in the best health.