Their florist was the talented Tammy Hall, from Wild Bunch. Her flowers are grown on a family farm in Leintwardine, just a few miles from Burton Court, and Rachael and Nicola particularly loved her romantic and natural arrangements. Luckily she is also a family friend of the couple! She spent lots of time getting the bridal bouquets just right. One of the caterers said, “I’ve been to a lot of weddings – including my own - and these are the best flowers I’ve ever seen!”
Rachael and Nicola had a civil ceremony in Hereford Town Hall the day before, with just their parents as witnesses. They were keen to design their own ceremony to declare their commitment in front of family and friends and did not want to have any restrictions on wording or content. They both love nature and are spiritual without being religious and assembled a collection of music, poetry and rituals that were meaningful to them. They held the ceremony in the evocative yew and rose garden at Burton Court, in front of the sundial.
Going against tradition all their ushers were some of their closest female friends and sported rainbow pins so they could be identified! Their friend, Maddy, selected some crystals to place on the sundial. Rachael’s family friend, Becci from Lux Bay Duo, accompanied on guitar by Nicola’s brother, Jonathan, sang Etta James’ “At Last” as the arrival song and Ella Henderson’s “Yours” at the end. Their friend, Amy, ‘hosted’ the ceremony and Charlotte read Carol Ann Duffy’s poem, ‘Rings’ from The Bees. And Emma read an adaptation of Edward Monkton’s poem ‘A Lovely Love Story’. They exchanged rings designed for them by Emily Nixon, including some family diamonds of Nicola’s, and they used a pleated multi-coloured cord that they had made together for a handfasting ritual.
Burton Court arranged the essential summer Pimms and homemade lemonade drinks reception, with accompanying live jazz music, including vocals from Wendy Neiper. The food was provided by the Soul Food Project and went down very well with the guests and brides alike! Lunch was a spread of small plates, including pastries (Mushroom, Kale and Keen’s Cheddar Quiche, Courgette & Ricotta Tart, Pork Pies and Piccalilli), salads (Courgette, Chilli and Mint Salad, Seasonal Slaw, Beetroot and Crème Fraiche Salad, Tom Baker’s carrot salad) and homemade ciabatta rolls filled with Sliced Cured Meats; Emmental, Tapenade & Pickles; Smoked salmon, Sourcream, Horseradish & Beetroot; Roast Aubergine, Ezme & Rocket, and Hummus & Slaw.
Throughout the eve, a real wood fired oven (brought on a trailer!) was kept stoked outside. In this there was Slow Cooked, Mechouia-Style Lamb, with Carrot & Cucumber Pickle, Mint Yoghurt & Flat Bread and a selection of pizzas, cooked to order.
Zoochoffie: Tomato, mozzarella, courgettes, Korean chilli
Talking to a Wall: Stilton, pear, sunflower seeds and rocket
Eat Your Greens: Kale, Cheddar, Parmesan, Roast King Oyster Mushroom, Chilli
King Kong: Nutella, banana and salted caramel
For the kids: Small Margherita: Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella