Wedding of the Week: Rachel Shaw and Cameron McKinnon

27 Mar 2017

A USA-themed wedding in Peterborough, which included an American football toss; red, white and blue details; and delicious Twinkies

How did you meet?

We met at work; we work together in a Bakery at Tesco in Serpentine Green, Peterborough, and have worked together for roughly seven years now. I always joke he never gets a break from me, but we love how much time we get to spend with one another.

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Tell us about the proposal.

We had been out about three months prior to look and choose a ring, which led to us trying on loads of different styles. I was then sent away while he chose a surprise for me, then on the 15th November (after getting approval from my dad) and three days after our third anniversary, I came home to candles lit in our front room with Nina Simone - Feeling Good playing. I was dressed in my Minnie Mouse pyjamas when he got down on one knee and asked me to make him the luckiest man alive. It was just perfectly us.

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What was your theme for the day and did you have a colour scheme?

The theme for the day was American as that was our honeymoon destination, which led to mostly red, white and the odd hint of blue appearing throughout the decorations. Think red polka dot '50s bridesmaids dresses, Twinkies and an American football bouquet toss.

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How did you find 'the dress'?

I actually chose the dress before we had even picked a date. I went to a sale with my mum, dad, friend, aunty and cousin. I fell in love with a dress that I saw someone else trying on... luckily for me she didn’t love it. As soon as I slipped into it and saw the look on my mum and aunty's face, I just knew. I didn’t want to take it off; I felt so beautiful.

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Where did you find the suits?

We hired the suits from Greenwoods in Peterborough and chose a lovely blue slim fit suit which fitted in with our feel for the day. Cameron wore a red and white polka dot tie to match with the bridesmaids.

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Tell us about your floral arrangements.

My lovely florist created lovely bouquets for myself and my bridesmaids and decorated the church with some beautiful pew ends and white satin ribbon bows on the alternate pews - it was so simple, but really made a beautiful touch. My brother then transported the pew ends to the reception to re-use as cake and top table decorations, along with the other little posies we had decorated inside 3D American cars, which looked amazing. I also made two flower wands for my youngest bridesmaids which they both loved and can now treasure forever. It just goes to show that even if you have a small budget the money can go far if you re-use your flowers in the two locations.

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Tell us about the details of the day.

I think the details that definitely stood out the most were the bridesmaids' dresses. It's not very often you see so many polka dots in one place, but they all looked absolutely beautiful... and their shoes that matched (polka dots with heart heels) Our main table decorations were 3D American cars (Mustangs etc) with places we are to visit on our honeymoon (Empire State Building, Golden Gates etc) and I decided to do an American football toss with 'You’re Next' written on it so that I could keep and preserve my bouquet.

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What did you choose for your wedding cake?

Our cake had to be one of the biggest attractions; I designed it myself and my maid of honour arranged for one of her friends to make it. It was honestly above and beyond anything I could have ever imagined and it also tasted amazing. The cakemaker crafted a three tier cake (chocolate and vanilla sponge) covered with beautiful little flowers, red, white and blue hearts, with a giant american football 'tossed' into the side of the cake - it was brilliant.

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How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?

I was so relaxed all morning (no nerves or tears all day) and by the time I got to the church I was just full of excitement to marry the love of my life. We requested from all of our guests that they didn’t take any photos during the ceremony and it was such a lovely moment as I was walking arm in arm with my dad to see everyone’s reactions and lovely smiles instead of cameras flashing. Luckily for me the church had a huge aisle, and by the time I got towards the end it was amazing to see my soon-to-be husband looking lovingly back at me. That moment is just everything.

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What was your most memorable moment?

Saying our vows to each other in church and finally becoming man and wife was just the most perfect moment.

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Any challenges when planning this wedding?

As we wanted to pay for the wedding mostly ourselves, I would say just saving up to do the day that we wanted was maybe the hardest thing. Apart from that, I absolutely loved every aspect of planning - maybe because we saved for two years before our big day arrived so we could slowly pick and choose elements for our day.

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What was the biggest investment for you?

Without a doubt, the photographer and videographer was the most important and most valuable investment that we could have made. There is no point spending all that money on everything for the day if you don’t have professional individuals to capture it correctly. Once the day is done, all you are left with are memories and if you choose correctly, your photographs will bring your day back to life. Our house is now covered in wedding photos and they were worth every single penny and more... as was the video.

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What dd you choose for your first dance song?

Nina Simone - Feeling Good as Cameron proposed to me with that song.

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Would you change anything about your wedding day?

Honestly? Nothing. Our day was just perfect for us. The only thing I wish was that the day could have lasted longer. 

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Where did you go on your honeymoon?

We went to New York in the days after our wedding for our mini-moon and it was amazing. We are now saving up for our ‘proper' honeymoon, which we plan to take this year.

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Any advice for those planning a wedding?

The best advice I can give to anyone planning their wedding is that it's you and your partner's day. As easy as it is to get caught up in family politics and wedding etiquette, you must always remember that it's your day. Always stay true to what you want and don't forget the whole point of a wedding is for you and your love to become one.

Steal their style:

Photography: Lina & Tom
Videography: Ellen Jackson
Wedding dress, veil and hairpiece: Heart Brides
Shoes: Rainbow Club
Bridesmaids' dresses: Lindy Bop (shoes from eBay)
Groomsmen suits: Greenwoods
Floristry: Amanda Hindshaw
Bridal hair: Hilton Hair, Stamford
Bridesmaids' hair: Kayleigh Greenhow. 
Reception venue: Peterborough Marriott
Transport: Wings of Peterborough
Cake: Darryl Needham
Decorations: sourced from eBay, Amazon and Hobbycraft

For more real wedding inspiration, pick up your copy of Bride magazine.

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