From Hard Hats to High Heels – Meet the Winners – Rachael & Neil’s Story

6th February 2012
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You’ll likely have already seen that Rachael and Neil recently won our hard-fought wedding photography competition after ten days of frenzied voting. Their wedding is to take place next December, just after Christmas, at  Swinton Park in the stunning Yorkshire Dales – so here’s hoping for a festive sprinking of snow to add to the occasion & scenery! As promised here’s a little bit more about them and their story. From hard hat & rigger boots in a sewage plant to a romantic awards dinner to a proposal picnic in Goldenacre park – and sandwiched in between a traditional request to Rachael’s parents for their daughter’s hand in marriage…….. in their own words.

How we met – by Rachael

“Neil and I didn’t have the most stereotypical romantic meeting ever! We were both working on an engineering project to build a large sewage storage tank near Hull. I was the project manager on the job and Neil was the scruffy looking engineer in hard hat and rigger boots.”

How we got together – by Neil

“I was asked to present at an awards ceremony and when I arrived in my best suit, while waiting for my big moment, I saw Rachael approaching none the wiser. She noticed me at the last minute and with a shocked look on her face exclaimed “ooh you scrub up well!” We only had a few minutes to chat before I had to go.

I was invited to the same event a month later and hoped to see Rachael there. I knew that she was attending as I had found out that she was organising the event much to my delight. I wasn’t put on her table however which wasn’t part of my plan. In the end we got chatting after the awards, we had a lovely evening getting to know each other and the rest is history!”

The proposal – by Neil

“It being super impossible to hide anything from Rachael, I arranged to go round and speak to her parents by texting her dad and pretending that I wanted to talk about DIY. After a couple of abortive attempts I finally got the chance. I went round and had a chat with Rachael’s parents and told them how much I loved her and wanted to spend the rest of my life with her and I asked for her hand in marriage. It was very emotional but her parents were lovely and made it a little less stressful. I then went off to get a token ring as I wanted us to choose the actual engagement ring together. I also got some food and champagne for a picnic which I put together while Rachael wasn’t around.

The following day we went for a picnic at Goldenacre Park just north of Leeds which has been one of Rachaels favourite places since she was a young girl. We took a walk around the park as the weather wasn’t so good. Then as we neared the car park the sun came out – perfect for a picnic! We went and sat down for the picnic and I asked Rachael if she would marry me. She said yes and it was the most amazing feeling, it was the best day of my life.”

The competition – by Rachael

“Neil and I attended our first wedding fayre at the Harrogate International Centre after a friend gave us a ticket. We were a little overwhelmed at the fayre and weren’t really sure where to start. Richard & Caroline were one of the first stands we came across, we got chatting, had a look at some of the lovely wedding albums, and Richard asked if we’d like to enter their competition to win an engagement shoot and possibly our wedding photography. Of course we did! The next day Caroline called us to let us know that we had won a shoot, we were over the moon but a little apprehensive having never had any professional photos before! We decided to go to Bolton Abbey for the day and despite a rainy start the weather picked up and we had a lovely day with Richard, who put us both at ease – despite accidentally making me put my face on a spider-web covered wall!” (Ed – thanks for pointing that out Rachael!)

“We waited for 3 months before the competition started and we were fairly determined to have a good go at it as it was such a great prize! We spent the 10 days over the competition drumming up support from friends, family, work colleagues and old aquaintances. We were really suprised at how supportive everybody was! A few of our close friends and family drummed up a lot of extra support, for which we are very grateful! We were relieved when the competition ended and were over the moon the next afternoon when Richard called to let us know that we had won!

We have found a fantastic venue which we both love and feel at home in at Swinton Park. We are hoping to get a date booked there in December. We are delighted to have won our photography with Richard & Caroline, its really spurred us on to get things organised.”

Our thanks to Rachael and Neil for letting us in on their perfect story. Here’s to the next chapter in December – can’t wait!

R&C x

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