All you need is love

Rachael and Ian tied the knot against the backdrop of Liverpool’s Hard Day’s Night Hotel

Rachael Bond and Ian Nicholson first met at work, but being in different departments their relationship was limited to saying hello as they passed on the stairs. “We had a work barbecue in September, 2014 and we finally got chatting; I was instantly attracted to Ian’s laid-back, infectious personality,” says Rachael. “We swapped numbers and the rest is history.”

Less than two years later the happy couple took a trip to Tenerife. Unknown to the bride, the groom had already asked for her parents’ hand in marriage and packed a beautiful ring in his suitcase. “We went to Mount Teide to watch the sunset, as we made our way back down in the cable car he asked me to stand in a certain position to take a photo,” the bride tells us. “He then dropped down on one knee and told me how
much I mean to him – he even managed to smuggle a bottle of champagne in his bag to celebrate!”

Upon returning home, they set the date for 20th October, 2017 at Hard Day’s Night Hotel. Here the bride tells us more about their special day…

All you need is love: Image 1
We wanted to wed in October because that's the month we started dating. When deciding on a venue we knew we wanted somewhere accessible for all our loved ones, with a great atmosphere; when we arrived at Hard Day's Night Hotel we knew it was perfect.


All you need is love: Image 2We used a colour palette of navy, ivory and blush pink, with a vintage afternoontea vibe. This was reflected in our gorgeous centrepieces and flowers; we opted for a mix of blush and white roses with blue thistles and sprayed foliage.

All you need is love: Image 2b Our cake had four delicious tiers of lemon, chocolate, toffee and champagne. It was decorated with iced bunting to fit in with our theme and a prety marble effect. We had a Lego topper as Ian loves the brand.


All you need is love: Image 3
We gave our adult guests a hangover kit as favours. They included paracetamol, mints, coffee, personalised Love Hear ts and nail files. Our place settings were lips for the ladies, and moustaches for the gents with their name laser-cut in to it.


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We wanted a nod to The Beatles because of our venue, so we named our tables after their records and even found original vinyls to display. We had a black-and-white dancefloor laid out in the style of the Abbey Road zebra crossing with cut-out figures of the fab four.


All you need is love: Image 5I went to Natalie Ann Brides wanting straps and a full skirt; I left with a strapless fishtail gown! I teamed my Essense of Australia dress with a beautiful veil and hair slide. I also wore two bracelets, one from Ian and one from my parents.

All you need is love: Image 5b Ian always wanted a tweed suit and we found the perfect navy and grey style. He and the groomsmen all wore odd socks for a quirky touch.


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For my best girls I knew I wanted a deep, rich colour in a maxi style. I found some gorgeous gowns in the ASOS sale, I bought them as a back-up option but my bridesmaids all loved them and they looked beautiful. My 10-year-old cousin wore a pretty ivory number with a navy sash to coordinate.


All you need is love: Image 7
After the ceremony, guests were greeted with a Strawberry Fields cocktail and yummy canapìs, which were little burgers and fish-and-chip cones. We had mini versions of different dishes like lasagne for our main course, followed by an afternoon tea and sweet table. There was so much to eat that some guests had it plated up and sent to their room ready for a midnight snack.


All you need is love: Image 8I was so nervous on the morning, but Ian says he was absolutely fine. A bit too relaxed I think as he was only just getting out the shower when the red Mustang I hired him as a surprise came to collect him.

All you need is love: Image 8b There were so many highlights from our day, but having our photos taken along Albert Dock was a really memorable moment; it was so special having some time for just the two of us.


All you need is love: Image 9
We had a caricaturist and she was a huge hit; there was a permanent queue of people waiting to have their picture drawn. In the evening, our DJ really got the party star ted – so much so that even when he finished, an impromptu sing-a-long broke out in the residents' bar!


Rachel and Ian's contact book