Andrew and I met six years ago through my sister shortly after they became friends. Even though I hadn't known him long, Andrew seemed very familiar, like he had been a friend to our family for years. Not long after we met, Andrew moved from London to Windsor and although our paths continued to cross over the following year we eventually lost touch. We reconnected years later through email and kept in touch almost regularly until he asked if I'd like to meet for coffee on his next trip into the city. Our relationship eventually turned into an eleven-month courtship during which he moved back to London.
Andrew's proposal was a combination of planning and chance; come February he had been thinking of unsuspicious ways to propose. When I called him on the 10th to make dinner plans, he brought the ring with him just incase. After dinner I suggested we have dessert at the same coffeehouse we met up at eleven months earlier and he agreed. While we waited for a table Andrew still wasn't sure if the right moment would present itself until we were ushered to the same window table we sat at that first night. He was on one knee just after dessert arrived.
We had decided on a September wedding and were drawn to the idea of a cozy, intimate ceremony surrounded by those closest to us. Shortly after our engagement I began to visualize a courtyard ceremony at the Black Trumpet, an urban-style restaurant in trendy downtown London. We knew the building had historical roots and the courtyard had an Eastern European ambiance. We also loved that it was a unique location that would comfortably fit our 26 guests for both the ceremony and reception.
We were five months away from our wedding day and the anxiety set in. The countless wedding magazines I bought gave me a lot of inspiration but didn't help with actually selecting a colour or 'look'. I had nothing to base my floral, décor or stationary decisions on and time was getting short so when I learned of RAC Design it felt like we had been struck by divine intervention. When I saw Rachel and David's web site I knew that I had found the 'look' of our wedding.
Andrew and I met with with the Rachel A. Clingen Design consultant on our first visit. As we progressed, she asked us questions that allowed her to get to know each of our personal styles, which was great because Andrew initially thought he was just along for the ride. I left the meeting with a feeling of accomplishment and that a huge weight had been lifted.
With Summer in full swing we were due to make final decisions on flowers and linens so Rachel came to London to see our venue and how to proceed with décor. The second Rachel walked through the door I knew exactly why she was so acclaimed. She was in her element, very focused, energetic and fun to work with. She knew immediately which colour we should use for the drapery in the dining room to coordinate with the décor rather than turn it into something it wasn't, but her vision for the courtyard was beyond what I would have imagined. Rachel suggested an 18' high by 40' long L-shaped wall of velvety drapes to envelop the courtyard making it more private and intimate, a more exclusive feel, and it was the huge finishing touch. Among Rachel's many attributes is her natural ability to turn any vision (or lack thereof in my case) into reality but I think her passion to do so is what makes her elite. We were undoubtedly in the most of capable hands.
The morning of our wedding day began like any other for me, sitting in my parent's kitchen with coffee in hand reveling in the fact that I was relaxed and free from any agitation over last minute adjustments. It was priceless. I arrived at the Black Trumpet ten minutes before the ceremony was to begin and headed straight for the dining room.
When I opened the French doors I just stood in awe of a picturesque room that looked like it had been pulled from the pages of a magazine in its elegant, candle-lit splendor.
As for the long awaited courtyard I cannot accurately describe what a beautiful moment it was to step onto the aisle with my dad and watch our dream day unfold. I was so overwhelmed by what I saw that I don't recall hearing the string trio; it was a blissful day.
I once read that small weddings are all about attention to detail, which is true, but no matter the size of the wedding the details are what make them so much more special and everyone at RAC Design believed that. Our family had nothing but praise of how beautiful our day was and Andrew and I were deeply touched at the invaluable care you took of us; everything from our first meeting to the lighting of the last candle was absolutely divine.
Our sincere thanks to everyone at Rachel A. Clingen Design for making our dream day come true.