Passionate cyclists Rachel Vann and Robert Nicholls met through their local cycling club, and while on, of course, a cycling holiday in the Pyrenees, South of France in September 2018 Robert took this opportunity to pop the question.
“We love exploring new places and returning to do iconic climbs, one of which is the Col de Tourmalet,” shares Rachel. “It’s a long lung-bustling 17km climb with an average gradient of 7.4%, it’s not for the faint-hearted. It was a hot day, so we stopped about 5km from the top at the ski resort of La Mongie for a well-earned coke before heading off to the top. When we got to the top we celebrated with some cake and coffee, before heading out for the obligatory photos next to the iconic bike and admire the view. As we were admiring the views, Rob then gets down on one knee! It was the best proposal that two cyclists could dream of.”
The happy pair set the big date for 19th October, 2019 with Malvern College setting the scene. Here we find out more about the finer details of their day...
Their love of traditional settings and the outdoors was encapsulated by Malvern College which offered all of these things and so much more. "The grounds are amazing with so many different options to suit your special day; we tied the knot in the Memorial Library and held our reception in The Gryphon Room. The staff here were invaluable in helping us to plan and prepare our special day, as well as help to make our day run smoothly."
Their love of cycling was reflected throughout the day including: a post bike (for cards), a rickshaw (the photo booth), bike biscuits (the favours) and miniature bikes (the place name holders) and all of the table names were of the mountain passes from where they got engaged in the Pyrenees.
"The autumnal colours were stunning and the grounds of Malvern College looked especially amazing at this time of year, together with the backdrop of the Malvern Hills, we couldn't ask for a more special place for our wedding day," adds Rachel.
The bride wore a boho-style ivory and champagne-coloured lace gown with off-the shoulder sleeves, fitted and flared at the bottom with a sweetheart neckline. "It also had a dipped and open back with a lace train which could be easily hooked up for dancing,” recalls Rachel.
Rob has always loved Harris Tweed and for their autumn wedding this style was perfect. "His suit had fantastic colours to suit a wedding at this time of year. He managed to find a shop online based in Edinburgh that sent samples of what he liked which were then tailor made to order for him and his best man. Rob's suit was a gorgeous autumnal rusty/mustard colour with hints of orange in the stripes and a herringbonefinish," adds Rachel.
The three bridesmaids wore the same navy colour dress but in different styles. All following a lace look with small sequin detailing, the bridesmaids tied in beautifully with the bride's dress, Rob's suit and the colour scheme.
The couple chose to have live music at the reception from the Mumford & Sons-style band, City Folk. All guests enjoyed a range of classic hits with an organic edge of country and folk, some of which had been requested by the guests themselves. "With their unique and engaging style they soon got people dancing," adds Rachel. "The dancing worked up an appetite and luckily Marvellous Pizza were on-site to provide delicious homemade pizzas."
"Be really relaxed about timings on the day. Things happen and things can change, but go with the flow, it's ok to move things around. Also, enjoy some special moments together alone on your day. This was the best piece of advice we were given." – Rachel