Josh Braithwaite knew he had found ‘the one’ when he took Rachael Ayre on a date to Starbucks - and she paid the bill.
His late father Michael had felt the same when he met Josh’s mum Susan.
“He didn’t have a ring, but I didn’t mind as I was the happiest person in the world right then”Newlywed Rachael Braithwaite
Bride Rachael, a sales executive from Whittle-le-Woods, explained: “One thing that always makes me laugh is Josh followed in his dad’s footsteps when choosing the right woman. When Michael was dating Susan, he chose to settle down with her because on their first date she paid for her own meal!
“Well that went the same way with me and Josh when we went on our first date.
“We had a little heated conversation about who should pay, and it ended up with me pushing Josh out of the way and forcing my card into the machine. From then on he knew he had something good.”
The couple, who live in Higher Walton, met through friends four years ago, and went the distance as Josh was working in Wales at the time.
They moved in together after Josh, a meat technician from Higher Walton, spontaneously proposed eight months into the relationship.
“One evening after a few drinks in our local pub, Josh told me how much he loved me and couldn’t see his life without me anymore,” Rachael says. “So out of the blue he said he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and asked me to marry him.
“He didn’t have a ring, but I didn’t mind as I was the happiest person in the world right then.”
They went ring shopping the very next day, and were married around three years later on June 27 at All Saints Church in Higher Walton, followed by a reception at the Leyland Hotel.
A poignant moment was when they visited Michael’s grave at the church.
“Taking ourselves away from the wedding party to make a special moment for Josh, we laid a single flower from my bouquet at his dad’s grave,” Rachael says.
“It was a very touching and moving moment for both of us, mixed with tears of sadness for Josh’s loss but also tears happiness for our marriage and knowing that Michael would be looking down on us.”
The newlyweds visited St Ives in Cornwall for their honeymoon.
Those who made the day special
Bride’s parents: Steve and Carol Ayre
Groom’s parents: Michael (deceased) and Susan Braithwaite
Best Man: Timmy Stringer
Chief Bridesmaid: Mel Ayre
Bridesmaids: Germaine Braithwaite and Savannah Hunt
Paige Boy: Callum Williamson
Bride’s dress and suits: Bride’s Gallery at Heskin Hall
Bridal shoes: Christian Louboutin