Rachael Coan and Christopher Bowler had their heads in the clouds when they first met 11 years ago – literally! He was training to be a pilot and she was cabin crew. “He asked me out for a drink and we hit it off straight away,” Rachael recalls.
After being together for more than nine years, Chris surprised Rachael by proposing over sundowner drinks by the waterside. She said 'yes', of course! They tied the knot at St Peter's Church Curdridge on 27th August, 2016 followed by a glamorous reception at the Hilton Hotel at The Ageas Bowl, Southampton. “I love organising events and dinner parties and seeing how our guests enjoyed themselves was one of the most important things for me,” adds Rachael.
Read on for her account of their big day...
I'd always dreamed of having a big wedding dress and my Anna gown by Augusta Jones made me feel elegant and glamorous. It also cinched my waist, making it look smaller!
Getting married at St Peter's was the only option for Chris as he went to The Vines School opposite and spent a lot of time there as a child.
Chris and his groomsmen wore morning suits with double-breasted waistcoats and paisley ties.
I chose floaty dresses for my bridesmaids knowing they'd love them. They fitted perfectly with the theme and the flounces matched the ruffles on the cake.
I wore a veil with a halo of Swarovski crystal and pearl elements.
Our stunning, five-tier cake incorporated a copy of the belt on my dress and other elements of our day.
The jazz band was fantastic. As I arrived at the reception, I could hear the music playing and it gave me goosebumps.
The centrepieces were candelabra adorned with hydrangeas and spray roses.
Chris and I discovered a love for Krispy Kreme Doughnuts on a visit to New York and wanted to incorporate elements of the things we love into our day.
We visited the Hilton at The Ageas Bowl shortly after it opened in May, 2015 and we loved the clean, crisp, contemporary look.
The fun casino and cocktail hour were a great hit.
I have a massive sweet tooth so we wanted to make a feature of all the treats and provide something fun for the children as well. The macarons were made in Chris' favourite strawberry milkshake flavour.
We decorated the reception with sequin tablecloths, floating candles and life-size cherry blossom trees, which gave it a very decadent feel.
St Peter's Church Curdridge
Viva Las Vegas Casino
Fiori By Lynne
Groom and groomsmens' suits
Moss Bros, Whiteley
Hair and make-up
Luvvit Want It
Hilton at The Ageas Bowl, Southampton
Sweet table balloons
Balloons, Bubbles & Bows
Nostalgic Car Hire
Trees and venue styling props
The Cherry Blossom Company