Oh, to be boiled alive
According to Rachel, love is “like being slowly boiled alive without realising there is a flame under the nice big ‘bath’ you are soaking in” and it’s just so plain to see how easily Rachel and Harvey would have fallen in love (or boiled alive so to speak) with each other. Their shared values of family and friends (and cats, skulls and Axototls) was so clear in the beautiful wedding they had put together on Harvey’s family farm in Worcestershire. Opting for a humanist ceremony in the woods meant that they could create a ceremony that truly reflected their beliefs and involve their important family members. The day felt as much a celebration of the various relationships and friendships they have than themselves, a private festival attended by their nearest and dearest. I’ll let Rachel and Harvey tell the tale of the day with their write ups accompanying my photos, but my word I love these guys and what an honour it was to capture this stunning day.
If you like what you see and are planning a wedding in Worcestershire, or anywhere on planet earth for that matter, I would love to have a chat. Just click HERE to drop me a message.
Rachel & Harvey’s Dream Team
Celebrant: Hannah Bryant
Flowers: Floral Roundabout
Hair: Lisa Smith
BBQ: Lazy Pig
Pizza: StrEat Pizza
Band: The Daddy-Os
Photo booth: Booth Nineteen
Toilets: Sweet Pee
Signs: Brian Coldrick
Axolotls: Foxglove Bears
Bride and Groom Q&A
How did you guys meet?
Tinder. Just like all great fairy tales…
Rachel was couch surfing around different friends’ houses and happened to be staying close enough that we showed up for each other. The first message that Rachel sent (at about 4 in the morning) was that she was a part time insomniac and asking what my excuse was – I didn’t reply until the next day because I was already asleep like a normal person.
We chatted for about five weeks before actually going on our first date – walking around Hyde Park bribing squirrels with nuts followed by coffee and hot chocolate when it got too cold and dark to stay outside.
Tell me a bit about yourselves
We both work in messy workshops that make prosthetics and animatronics for film and television (basically just making monsters). By the time it’s the weekend, we love nothing better than chilling at home with some nice food, a good film and smothering our lovely cat Frank with affection. On sunny days we enjoy long walks, followed by more food at a pub. And cinema marathons. With more food.
Rachel is from Malta so we enjoy regular trips visiting her family out there. This of course means more food.
How did the proposal go down?
Rachel – I came home and saw that Harvey’s car was already there, but didn’t think much of it as he had finished early the day before too. I climbed the stairs whilst precariously balancing a large packet of kitchen roll, bleach and bin bags and went directly into our open plan kitchen/living room. The lights were dimmed and there were lots of candles placed around the room, and Harvey was awkwardly standing by the TV. Clocking what was happening, I slowly dumped all my belongings onto the counter and giggled all the way towards him. He said some lovely things, and by that point I was cry-laughing, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I didn’t even look at the ring, and after lots of hugs made him go back down on his knee to place the ring on my finger. Meanwhile, Frank sat on the sofa, sulking that we weren’t giving him all the attention.
Harvey – I left work early on our third anniversary and waited for Rachel to come home. I proposed in our living room with candles lit and Frank sat on the sofa judging the whole thing.
I had previously spoken to both families so they all knew it was going to happen. I had called Rachel’s family while they were olive picking and Rachel was on a flight back home – one of the only times I knew she wouldn’t find out what I was doing. The whole week before I had many excited text messages from Rachel’s mum who was struggling to contain herself. After we FaceTimed our families, they decided to FaceTime each other and have a communal cry.
How did you choose your wedding venue?
It was a bit of a no brainier for us – Harvey’s family home is a non working farm in Worcestershire that used to be his grandfathers dairy farm. We wanted the wedding to be in Tombs Wood, the wood that Harvey’s dad planted in 1999 in memory of Harvey’s mum’s father, Harry Tombs.
We wanted the wedding to be personal and intimate, and it definitely helped to have as much time as we needed to get all the DIY sorted. Harvey’s dad put his heart and soul into getting the wood ready, and with the help of both of our families we managed to pull everything together!
What sort of experience did you want your guests to have?
As much as a wedding is about the bride and groom, we genuinely just wanted everyone to have the best time and throw a big fun party. We invited our closest family and friends, filled them with food and booze, and let them go wild on the dance floor!
Because the farm is quite remote, we encouraged our guests to camp with us, which (in combination with no time restrictions at a venue) meant we kept the party going until the sun was coming up.
Can you describe some of the details and stylings, did your wedding have a theme?
Not really a theme per say but we wanted it to feel quite rustic. We managed to get our hands on tonnes of pallets from work which made for handy tables and bonfire wood. We added lots of little personal touches like Harvey’s mum’s ceramics hanging from trees, little cold cast animal skulls that we made scattered on tables and amazing cakes baked by Rachel’s mum and Harvey’s sister. On the skull theme Harvey had also made me little corvid skull hair pins that looked fantastic in my messy bun.
We were lucky enough to not only have help from our amazing families but also from our incredibly talented friends who helped create all of our signs, including a fantastic illustration for our guestbook. On the day we were surprised with lovely teddy-axolotls that our genius friend had handmade for us, that we quickly put on display next to the cake and cheese mountain!
We wanted our families to be involved and as part of our humanist ceremony we included a sand ceremony. Our families helped us to collect sand from sentimental places in Malta, Scotland and England. This has also left us with a lovely physical memory of the day sat on our shelf.
What was you best decision during the wedding planning?
Once we got engaged we got planning straight away. This meant that we managed to book our first choice for all vendors and avoided any disappointment. This of course included Roo!
What was the hardest decision?
Realising how much everything costs when it comes to weddings and trying to stick to the budget.
What were your favourite memories of the day?
The whole day is filled with wonderful memories but we’re especially glad that we had the morning together for all the finishing touches, family breakfast and getting ready together.
Seeing each other in the wood surrounded by family, friends and trees, with Rachel’s uncle playing his guitar.
Plotting with Roo how we could sabotage/improve our group photo by pulling funny faces while everyone else was still smiling.
Our cheese mountain. And pizza. And all the other food.
Escaping for our little sessions with Roo, which included jumping a fence, making friends with neighbouring cows and dragging him away from beehives! These moments also allowed us some quality time together away from the group madness which was really nice.
Harvey helping me out of my dress and changing into spooky cat PJs for optimum dance comfort.
4.30am, being last ones standing once everyone had hit their tents, watching the sun come up and taking the moment in.
What advice would you have for any couples planning their wedding?
Book things early to avoid disappointment and you have less to organise close to the time – there will still be lots to sort no matter how prepared you think you are!