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Natasha Baker shares particular particulars from her gorgeous wedding ceremony day

  • Paralympic rider Natasha Baker kicked off the 2022 season in style, with her wedding to Marc Jaconelli. Multi-medallist Natasha and business owner Marc tied the knot on Saturday 26 March at North Cadbury Court in Somerset, and described it as “the best day of our lives”. 

    “I always said that London 2012 was the best day of my life,” Natasha told H&H, referring to the double gold she won at her first Paralympic Games riding Cabral. “But actually, our wedding day beat even that. Having everyone we love all in one room just meant the world to us. I’ve dreamed of my wedding since I was two years old and it turned out to be a dream come true.

    “I have been so fortunate to have ridden at three Paralympic Games, but marrying the love of your life is something you only do once, and so we wanted to give it our everything,” added Natasha, who won triple gold at Rio in 2016, also on Cabral, as well as team gold and double individual silver at the Tokyo Games in 2021 on Keystone Dawn Chorus (Lottie).

    She confirmed she will continue to ride and commentate under the name Natasha Baker after the wedding, but will take Marc’s surname, Jaconelli, for her personal life.

    She and Marc, who first met at the London 2012 Paralympic Ball, got engaged while skiing in Switzerland in January 2020.

    “The uncertainty [of the pandemic] meant we didn’t know what it would mean for us, but luckily it didn’t impact us too much,” said Natasha, who admits that she was “an emotional mess” while walking down the aisle to the traditional Wedding March, with her father Phil.

    “I was so nervous, and my heart was pounding. I was actually way more nervous than I usually am when competing, but I found myself using all the same techniques as I do before riding,” she says. “In the ceremony I started weeping and needed tissues! The ceremony was really emotional and beautiful, but not too formal.”

    Natasha Baker: ‘I wanted the wedding to be about us as a couple’

    Horses may be a huge part of Natasha’s life and career, but the couple opted not to have many horsey touches as part of their wedding day. 

    “We didn’t want it to be horsey, even though I think everyone expected me to, because I was really conscious that I wanted the day to be about me and Marc, rather than about me,” explains Natasha. “He is incredibly supportive of my whole horsey life, but that’s not our relationship. I wanted to make it clear that the day was about us and what we had done together. The one small nod to horses was that we named all our tables after places that we had been together that meant a lot to us, and Rio was one of them, because of the Paralympics.”

    While the day may not have had equestrian vibes, there were plenty of familiar faces from the horseworld in attendance, including Natasha’s fellow Paralympic dressage medallist Sophie Christiansen; Mount St John Stud’s Emma Blundell; owners Christian Landolt and Joanna Jensen, Natasha’s trainers Lisa Hopkins and Claire Gallimore, as well as Natasha’s FEI commentating colleagues Phil Ghazala and Spencer Sturmey. Equestrian journalist and media manager Amy Powell was also one of Natasha’s bridesmaids.

    Food was an important focus of the day, with Natasha reporting that their menu of goats cheese and parma ham bruschetta, fillet of beef and a trio of desserts turned out to be “incredible”.

    “We also had singing waiters, which was one of the biggest highlights – only I knew about them, but when they came out everyone was on their feet singing and dancing, we had people on chairs,” she laughs. 

    The speeches were another emotional moment, with Natasha’s father Phil reducing plenty of guests to tears.

    “Whenever I compete, before I go into the ring, he taps me on the leg and says ‘Good luck, have fun and enjoy’. In his speech he got everyone to say that as a toast to our marriage,” says Natasha. 

    The day rounded off with Natasha and Mark performing their first dance to Frankie Valli’s Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, before dancing the night away with their friends and family. 

    “We partied all night and I don’t think I got off the dancefloor once,” laughs Natasha. 

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    Check out the photos from this star-studded wedding

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