Interested in hosting an alpaca at your wedding? Rachel Jacobson and David Jacobson Fischer were, too. Luckily for them, Illusion Ranch in Boyertown, Pennsylvania was happy to oblige the request — and baby alpaca Duchess, at only eight months old, came adorned in flowers and ribbons to pose with the couple. See more photos from their joyful, summer-inspired Welkinweir wedding in the photos below by Redfield Photography.
Rachel and David met as psychology students at Haverford College. They first caught each other’s eyes in plenary — a college policy meeting attended by all Haverford students — and each asked mutual friends for an introduction. “I thought David was cute and funny,” says Rachel; “I thought Rachel was pretty and had a cute smile,” says David.
Their first formal date was at an Italian restaurant in Ardmore, and they stayed a couple for eight and a half years before getting engaged. The proposal happened in Boston, where the couple currently lives, and involved Rachel’s favorite animal: the red panda. After contacting several zoos about his idea, the Franklin Park Zoo finally allowed David to bring Rachel into their red panda enclosure. (He got her there by pretending to want company while determine the best route to work the next day.) Upon arrival, a zoo-keeper guided them to a “behind-the-scenes” portion of the zoo, where they got to see the red pandas up close. David bent to one knee, told Rachel he thought she was “the bee’s knees,” and asked her to be his wife. She agreed, and they spent the next half hour feeding grapes to the event’s adorably furry witnesses.
10 months later, the duo exchanged vows on a warm summer day at Welkinweir in Pottstown. Wanting to inject some silliness into the day, the animal-loving couple called around to a few nearby Alpaca farms to see if one might be able to attend.
“The first three alpaca farms were clearly uncomfortable with a total stranger requesting a visit from one of their alpacas, and rejected the request,” says David. “But Wendy from Illusion Ranch was happy to bring Duchess! Duchess, being only 8 months old, was able to fit in Wendy’s back seat, and they drove over together for the cocktail hour.”
Guests dined in a covered tent at long farm tables dotted with organic-inspired floral arrangements featuring roses, peonies, tulips, ranunculus, astilbe, and jasmine vine, and enjoyed mango mojitos and a vanilla chiffon cake with their meal. Rachel choreographed their first dance to “You Make My Dreams” by Hall & Oates, and, in one more nod to the animal kingdom, the couple doled out colored pencils wrapped in animal-themed adult coloring pages by Johanna Basford for wedding favors. They honeymooned in Australia, then returned to Boston, where Rachel is a psychologist and David is a neurologist.
Photography: Redfield Photography | Venue: Welkinweir | Florist: Sebesta Design | Catering & Cake: Jeffrey A. Miller Catering | Bride’s Gown: Reem Acra, Elizabeth Johns | Hair & Makeup: Mack Stylist | Groom’s Attire: Custom suit by Les Richards Menswear | Music & Entertainment: Scratch Weddings and Pete Smyser | Invitations: Casa Papel
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