Morning all! Rachel and Rob’s “how they met” story is lovely so I have included that below. Sometimes a wedding comes along (and whilst it is pretty) it has a lot of substance to it too, this is one of those weddings. I know what it’s like to plan a wedding with certain limitations and I understand how extra stressful it can make things, it is lovely finding suppliers that get that, and work with you to make the day as easy as possible. This wedding is also extra special because it took place near my hometown. I also went to school with the brides cousin, so all in all, it was always going to be a yes from SYGM. There are so many special moments in this wedding but Rachel’s dad, Rachel’s face as she walks down the aisle and then the picture of Rob looking at her got me right in the feels. This is what it is all about folks.
photography | Lizzie Adams – Shoot It Momma
Rob works as the breakfast presenter on our local radio station and when he asked his listeners if anyone would like to become the Royal Correspondent to report on the birth of Prince George back in 2013, I jumped at the chance. We clicked straight away and chatted practically every day after that. The first time I met Rob face to face was at a local charity’s fairy picnic (Anna’s Hope – Rob is a trustee of this amazing charity for children and young people with brain tumours) in the grounds of Burghley House. Little did he know I’d mustered up all my strength to drive the 2 miles to go and meet him. I have Chronic Fatigue which left me pretty much housebound. After the initial meeting, I saw him a couple of times at more Outside Broadcasts and one (the Stamford Christmas Festival) I baked some cookies and took them in a tin for him to consume whilst he was broadcasting live. He then had to return this tin to me the following week where he said he could only stay for a few minutes. Well, nearly four hours later (and with his coat still on) he left…. We then spent Christmas 2014 Day together and we’ve never been apart since. This infamous cookie tin made an appearance at our wedding ceremony as the keeper of our rings.
Our theme was based around R&R – Rachel & Rob, Rolls Royce (our wedding car), Ryhall & Rutland. The colours were chosen by our love of sunsets so a salmon pink/coral theme and Rob loves the colour green so a soft green was incorporated too. Classic and elegant with a starry, magical feel was the inspiration behind the décor of the Barn Suite at Barnsdale Lodge. Rob proposed to me under the stars, where we believe his late father keeps a watchful eye on us. Our story has been described as a fairytale so we wanted to recreate the magic we feel we’ve been blessed with so covered the canopy with fairy lights. We also had a black star cloth over the dance floor recreating the starry night when Rob proposed.
We knew we wanted to get married locally. My family hail from Ryhall in Rutland and my parents and grandparents had married at St. John the Evangelist Church, Ryhall which is where I wanted to have our wedding ceremony too. I was also a bridesmaid for my Aunt and more recently, for my cousin there so this was very much a family Church. The Reverend Paddy McKee married us.
The wedding ceremony was followed by a reception at Barnsdale Lodge Hotel in the Barn Suite. We had chosen Barnsdale Lodge as I had wanted a marquee and Rob wanted a solid structure and the Barn Suite met both of these wishes. We also loved its location and its food was delicious.
Our friend Matthew Ireland helped us design our invitations, Orders of Service and menu cards. We wanted to incorporate R&R in everything with a very specific font for the R which Rob’s radio station uses. We used a green and cream theme. Amy Roberts from MM Print was fantastic at organising our invitations to be printed and our friend Nicola Sandall from BJ Print printed the rest of our stationery.
I also bought a R&R stamp which I used on the back of place cards and the invitation envelopes.
We kept the hiring of the suits to local business, Colin Bell. Rob, his Best Man and the Ushers wore a grey morning suit with a green cravat. My Dad also wore the same morning suit but swapped the cravat for a green tie. Rob’s shoes were his own until I surprised him in the wedding car on the way to the reception with his customised Converse trainers. He loved them!
Bride’s hair /makeup: My hair was created by my usual hairdresser and family friend, Kelly Ireland from Heiress in Stamford. She had been my late Granny’s hairdresser so it meant a great deal that she was able to do my hair and my Mum’s. She came to do a trial with me a few weeks before and she got the look I wanted spot on.
Karen Benson from Maples of Stamford did my make-up. I wanted a natural look which she created perfectly.
I only had three bridesmaids – my best friend, Jennie, my cousin, Anna and my 18 month old niece, Natalia. The bridesmaids wore salmon pink maxi dresses from Debenhams with their own shoes. Their hair and makeup were created by Maples of Stamford. Natalia wore an ivory dress and ivory shoes from Canada (where she lives). Jennie and Anna walked behind me with Natalia holding both of their hands. It was the most adorable moment when I turned around to hand my bouquet to my bridesmaids and I saw my niece behind me too. We weren’t sure if she would walk down the aisle but she absolutely loved it and in our DVD she quite clearly lapped up the attention!
I was extremely nervous about going wedding dress shopping. My first experience was rather disappointing but I needn’t have worried as I went to Annie Laurie Bridal in Easton-on-the-Hill where Katie laid my fears to rest. She greeted me at the bottom of the garden in the designated bridal suite with the biggest smile and then I was given tags to put on the hangers of dresses that I liked the look of which was terribly exciting. ‘The dress’ was the second one I tried on and I felt amazing in it. I couldn’t believe that I could actually fit into a wedding dress and look beautiful (I was heavier than I used to be due to have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which left me pretty much housebound as well as not being able to exercise).
My beautiful dress was ‘Marigold’ by Maggie Sottero with customised sleeves.
My shoes needed to be comfortable so I chose a pair of flat lace ballet shoes with memory foam insoles from BHS to walk down the aisle in. Once the ceremony was over, we changed into our customised Converse trainers from Dead Fresh. Mine were salmon pink to match our colour theme and Rob’s were black and white
We were extremely lucky to have my Aunt, Kitty Walmsley, on board with our flowers; she is such a talented lady. Her arrangements at both the Church and at Barnsdale Lodge were perfect and she listened to what I like and picked the perfect colours. Bouquets, buttonholes and corsages for the Mothers were arranged by Mandy Clarke from Greensleaves Florist in Stamford. We met through a love of sunsets and so Miss Piggy roses were used to depict this. Rob also loves green so these were our two colours (coral/salmon pink and green) for the wedding.
My favourite moment was when Reverend Paddy McKee announced that we were husband and wife. I had dreamt of marrying my husband and these words made the dream a reality. I was so proud to be called Mrs Persani. In addition, Rob had had a jingle made by Jon from JAM Creative Productions over in Dallas (who create jingles for all radio stations across the world) and so I felt very honoured, proud and special being announced at our Reception by the jingle, ‘Rob and Rachel’s wedding day, the fourteenth of May, Rob and Rachel Persani.’
All our catering was by Barnsdale Lodge Hotel. We had a taster session before our wedding which was a great idea as we completely changed our menu from the first draft! Rob and I love everything local so we wanted to try and incorporate this in to the wedding breakfast. Our first choice for each course didn’t work as a whole menu so in the end we opted for chicken, parma ham and avocado salad for starters, traditional roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and the trimmings for the main course followed by chocolate brownie and ice cream for dessert. The children had sausages and mash followed by ice cream which they loved. My brother now lives in Canada so he very much appreciated the roast beef and Yorkshire pudding as the main course in addition to Lincolnshire sausages that his daughter couldn’t quite manage all of.
We weren’t sure what to have as our favours but we saw an advert pop up for customized M&Ms which we thought was a fun, cheeky and different idea! We had our picture on one side with R&R on the other. A bit whacky but our guests thought they were fun!
We spent our honeymoon in the beautiful county of Dorset, staying in the Haven Hotel in Sandbanks, Poole. Our suite overlooked the sea and there was a private beach to relax and unwind. We had the most wonderful of sunny days and I really enjoyed showing my husband around the county where I had spent every summer as a child as my Great Aunt ran a Bed and Breakfast on Wareham Quay.
As both my husband and I are DJs (he’s the professional though!) and with Rob being in the music business, music was a very important part of the party for us. Rob’s very good friend Danny Hern (from Rocky Road Music in Uppingham) was our lighting, sound and music DJ and we were extremely lucky to have Rutland’s best band playing at our wedding. Funk Soul Brother were simply fantastic and guests were dancing all night. Our guests clearly had as much fun as us as they said such wonderful things about them and continue to do so months after our wedding.
Our cake was lovingly made by our family friend, the very talented Mitzi Vanson. Although Rob and I like tradition, we also enjoy venturing away from the ‘norm’ so we didn’t have a traditional tiered cake. We had two large cakes and one smaller cake which were laid next to each other and they read ‘R & R’. We had a delicious chocolate orange cake, a vanilla sponge and the smaller cake was a rich fruit cake.
The BEST one in Rutland – Lizzie Adams from Shoot It Momma. Rob and I find it difficult to make decisions but when we met Lizzie and saw her work we knew we had to have her to take our wedding photographs. She made us laugh, she made us relaxed and she understood my limitations with Chronic Fatigue. On the day her experience of weddings was invaluable and she felt like one of my bridesmaids; she even made my lunch when my bridal party abandoned me to get ready! Her work is amazing and every photograph in her portfolio made us smile. Our wedding photographs captured our day to perfection; we couldn’t have asked any more from her.
The videographer was the wonderful Nick Grove Photography.
Remember it’s your day, don’t settle for second best or feel rushed or pressured into making decisions. We planned our day in fourteen weeks and found suppliers who were happy to meet with us several times to ensure we were completely happy with our choices.
Create spreadsheets to manage your budget, log invoice dates, compile your guest list and to track RSVPs.
Don’t be afraid to change your mind even though you might think it is too late. I wanted the bridesmaids dresses to be green but the colours available weren’t quite right and we didn’t have time to order bespoke dresses so we chose a different colour – salmon pink – to match the Miss Piggy roses in the flower arrangements.
Where did you find your inspiration?
I only bought a few magazines to gather ideas; I didn’t have anything set in my mind as to how I would look nor how the venue would be either until we started talking to suppliers about what we liked or disliked. SYGM gave me lots of ideas about having a magical, elegant and classic theme with soft colours and ideas for favours, stationery. I also went a little mad on Pinterest for hairstyles and fairy light ideas.