Nine years ago, a girl from Bermuda met a boy from Scotland. They were both in their first year at the University of Edinburgh when their paths crossed. The feelings they had for one another could not be contained, and their close friendship blossomed into a relationship two and a half years after they first met. They’ve been enamored with one another ever since.
The girl is the ever elegant Rachel, and her beau is the handsome Russell. There is no denying they crave each other’s company. They are best friends who built their lives together—with their rescue dog, George—with the intent to fully experience life, take risks, and explore all the beauty the world has to offer.
“We respect and adore each other in every way,” said Russell. “Our personalities complement each other perfectly, and all we want is to spend every second of the day together, along with George, of course.”
“We bring out the best in each other,” echoed Rachel.
Both vegans, animal lovers, and adventurers with a passion for the outdoors, this charming couple has much in common, yet they come from very different parts of the world. With Rachel being a native Bermudian and Russell being from Scotland, their roots are mismatched, but their backgrounds contribute to their special bond. Now, they both live in Aberdeen, Scotland, where Russell works as a reservoir engineer and Rachel is training to be a psychotherapist.
When it came time to pop the question, Russell had the perfect plan. He didn’t stick to it, but that made the event even more memorable. It was just before Christmas on December 13, 2014, and they were on their way to Copenhagen for a quick weekend getaway. They had looked at rings the day before, and already knew in their hearts they would one day marry before he officially asked for her hand.
“I proposed on the embankment across from Westminster,” explained Russell. “I originally planned to do it when we flew out to Copenhagen the next day, but I couldn’t wait!”
“It was great because we could see some of our London friends after to share the news, and then being on holiday felt extra special,” gushed Rachel.
Rachel always knew she wanted to get married in Bermuda, and Russell didn’t need convincing. He, like most do, quickly fell for the island’s dreamy pink-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. They chose to get married at the renowned Coral Beach and Tennis Club overlooking the south shore on August 8, 2015.
“I loved the view of the ocean from the terrace, and I knew all our overseas guests would too,” said Rachel. “I also liked how we could get married in the wedding garden, and then have pictures on the beach. It was a nice mix.”
She had seven bridesmaids, which included her best friends, Russell’s sister, and her sister, Charley, who was the maid of honor. Russell had two best men, Rowan and Scott. His two brothers, Fraser and Mark, were the other groomsmen. The ladies looked stunning in the pastel dresses they chose, and the gentlemen were dapper in their blue suits.
“We didn’t want it to feel stuffy or formal, so it was very relaxed in what everyone wore,” said Rachel. “We really didn’t mind that nothing matched. It all looked great.”
The showstoppers were the bride and groom, with Rachel in a Suzanne Neville silk dress with sheer sleeves and lace, and Russell in a smart white suit and navy tie. Rachel’s romantic look was complete with a whimsical flower crown.
With the couple in the wedding garden were 150 of their closest friends and family, most of whom were either from the U.K. or Bermuda. Thoughtfully, Rachel and Russell provided their guests with paper parasols to provide shade from the heat, along with programs made into fans.
The ceremony flowers, done by Rachel’s friend, Christine Watlington, were gorgeous. The bouquets were made with pink bougainvillea, palm leaves, ferns, white English roses, lavender, and ivy. On the signing table, Christine incorporated roses and rosemary, symbolic of remembrance.
“The ceremony was fantastic and beautiful, especially the bride,” boasted Russell. “My most memorable moment would be seeing my future wife in her wedding gown for the first time.”
After a short, yet meaningful ceremony, the party started on the terrace with music by the band Working Title. They kept everyone on their feet the entire evening, fueled by rum swizzles and dark ‘n’ stormy cocktails.
For food, guests enjoyed hearty vegetarian and vegan passed canapes, a sushi station, and later on, grilled cheese sandwiches with sweet potato fries. The dessert was a beautiful gluten-free and vegan vanilla naked cake by Sabine at Coral Beach. The cake was adorned with greenery and a striking white rose.
The reception décor was natural and vintage, with green and white tables, mason jars, lanterns, and glowing candles. The terrace was also illuminated with magical string lights up above.
After the reception, the party moved to the beach for a bonfire and midnight swim—the perfect ending to a perfect day.
Rachel and Russell say they wouldn’t have changed a thing about their wedding. The two lovebirds continued the fun in Belize for a week-long honeymoon.
Ceremony & Reception : Coral Beach and Tennis Club
Photography: Alexander Masters
CAKE: Sabine at Coral Beach
Music: Working Title