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WPC Real Wedding: Charlotte and Matt's Traditional Military wedding

Today we have the pleasure of sharing this beautiful traditional military wedding in Wiltshire (Pre-Covid). Real WPC couple Charlotte and Matt both serve in the British Army so they they wanted their day to have a nod towards this big part of their life. Complete with Military dress uniform, a Guard of Honour outside the Church and a vintage Ford Mustang this is a beautiful wedding full of inspiration. Charlotte and Matt were married in Matt's local church, with their service jointly conducted by the local vicar and an army chaplain friend. The couple had their elegant wedding reception at the beautiful country house wedding venue, Grittleton House. Read on as Charlotte shares her favourite wedding presents, her brilliant wedding suppliers and her highlights of the wedding itself.

What was the highlight of your experience with The Wedding Present Company?

The whole process at The Wedding Present Company was really enjoyable, but it was amazing to receive delivery of our presents from our friends and family. We use so many of the items regularly and it is so special to know that they were given to us with love for our wedding.

What were your favourite brands available within The Wedding Present Company?

We love cooking, and so we knew we would be adding gifts from brands like Le Creuset and Sabatier to our wedding gift list. We also enjoyed discovering brands we hadn't encountered before, such as Nkuku and Just Slate Company.

Why did you choose The Wedding Present Company?

We liked that we could visit the showroom to choose items like our china and cutlery in person. This was a really enjoyable part of the process. Also, as we were moving house shortly after the wedding, we wanted to make sure we could time the delivery of our gifts to suit us. The flexibility of The Wedding Present Company played a key part in this. 

Have you had your presents delivered? How was your delivery day?

Delivery day was so good, we did it twice!! We had our presents delivered in two batches, and both occasions were like Christmas. It was a great way to revisit the wedding excitement after the day and the personal touches with our deliveries were really special. 

Favourite Wedding Presents

Recycled Glass Cake Dome w.Mango Wood, 34cm
Nkuku
£70.00
Picnic Blanket, Bees
Sophie Allport
£35.00
Traditional Wooden Deckchair, Soccer Stripes
The Stripes Company
£110.00
Steak Knives, Maison, Pakkawood, Set of 4
Sabatier
£34.00
Square Grillit, Signature, Cast Iron, Teal, 26cm, Le Creuset
Le Creuset
£130.00
Wine Bottle Stopper, Lion, Silver Plate
Hayward & Stott Silversmiths
£52.00
Master Edwards Wall Clock, Copper & Navy, 30cm
Newgate
£59.00
Ono Glass Jug, 1.2L
LSA International
£36.00
Butter Dish, Stoneware, Coastal Blue
Le Creuset
£35.00
Portable charcoal barbecue, 44 x 42 x 27cm, Weber, Go-Anywhere, black
Weber
£95.00
Cook Book Holder, Brompton, Antique Brass, Garden Trading Company
Garden Trading Company
£25.00
Hammock Cushion, Origami with Bobble Fringe, 30 x 60cm
The Stripes Company
£28.00

Engagement Story

Matt proposed on holiday in Southern Greece. We were staying in a beautiful villa by the coast and he suggested that we have a picnic on the beach for dinner. He said that the villa owner had recommended a small cover a short walk away. It was a beautiful evening and we were alone, apart from an old man fishing with his dog at the other end of the cove! After we had eaten, Matt said some lovely things and proposed on one knee with a beautiful trilogy ring he had designed at Taylor & Hart. I was completely surprised and delighted, and was buzzing for days! We went back to the villa where Matt had arranged for champagne and chocolates to be ready for us, and had a wonderful evening calling our friends and family.

Theme for your Wedding?

We are both serving in the Army, and we knew we wanted a traditional military wedding. We wanted the overall look to be elegant and timeless, but for the day to feel relaxed and celebratory. Our main priorities were food, drink and dancing!

Location

We were married at St John's Church in Devizes, Wiltshire, which Matt's family has attended for years. Our ceremony was conducted jointly by the St John's vicar and an Army chaplain who we know through work. 

Our reception was held at Grittleton House. We visited lots of wedding venues, but loved the grand architecture and the ability to seat all our guests in one room, indoors, for the wedding breakfast. The grounds are also beautiful, but the best feature on our very windy wedding day was the orangery, where we were able to hold our drinks reception without being blown away!

Decor

The venue didn't need much additional decor, apart from the stunning flowers. We added a few personal touches, such as some art deco menu cards (we found the templates on Etsy) and polaroid-style photos of each of our guests at their place settings. I went on a modern calligraphy course with A L'aise and created the place cards myself.

Transport

I got ready with my Mum and bridesmaids at Grittleton House and booked a wonderful 1950s Leyland Tiger Cub Coach to transport us to the ceremony which we booked through Adrains Coaches.

Matt loves Ford Mustangs, so we booked a 1966 Mustang as our wedding car through Ford Mustang Wedding. We loved it, and our driver gave us a good demonstration of its engine on the country roads! 

Flowers

The flowers were really important to me, as they were the main additional decor at the venue. Jody from Rosy Lea Florist did the most incredible job, with very little direction from me. I gave her some idea of the colours and style I was after, and she did a perfect job. I kept holding and smelling my bouquet on the day after the wedding, and was so sad to leave it behind when we went on our honeymoon! I have since commissioned a gorgeous illustration of my bouquet from Charlotte Argyrou, which is such a lovely keepsake. 

Bridal Fashion

My dress was by Justin Alexander, and I bought it from George James Bridal in Bedford, my home town. I loved the bow on the back of the belt, and the fact that it had pockets! During the ceremony and wedding breakfast, I wore a lace jacket, also purchased from George James Bridal. The ladies there were so helpful, suggesting options for the jacket and helping me to choose my two-tier veil (I had a minor meltdown trying to decide on the length of the veil!). On the day, the veil ended up being a big feature of the photos, given how windy it was!

My shoes were the gorgeous Bluebell design from Emmy London, which were my 'something blue'. I kept my jewellery simple, with pearl earrings and a pearl bracelet. Our wedding rings were plain gold bands from HJ Johnson Jewellers in Devizes.

Hair & Make Up

Michelle from Bridal Hair in Hampshire did the hair for me, my Mum and bridesmaids. She did a great job and my hairstyle survived the wind and my veil flying all over the place! 

My wedding day make up was done by Elisha from Make Up by Natasha Louise. I don't usually wear much make up, so was a little nervous about looking 'over-done' but I was so happy with the end result!

Groom's Fashion

Matt wore his military dress uniform, which saved us shopping for a new outfit!

Bridesmaids

My beautiful bridesmaids wore a mixture of styles from Sexy Her. They have a huge range of styles and colours and can adjust for height, so we were able to find something to suit each bridesmaid. 

Caterer

Grittleton House served a delicious 3 course wedding breakfast, as well as fabulous canapes and a cheese board in the evening. They were really flexible and put on a great menu and wine tasting evening a couple of months before the wedding. My favourite part was our trio of desserts - we had so many comments on this!

Photography

Our photographers were Suzy and Alex from Suzy Wimbourne Photography. We were really keen to have a pair of photographers to capture both of us getting ready, and they produced an incredible set of photos which we will treasure forever. They photographed Matt's best man's wedding a few years ago and we are constantly recommending them to everyone! It was like having another couple of friends with us on the wedding day. 

Music

Our band was Groove Anatomy. They were so fun on the night, and really easy to work with - true professionals. The dance floor was packed! 
Our first dance was to "L.O.V.E." by Nat King Cole. We surprised our guests with a choreographed first dance, which I don't think anyone would have expected (ourselves included!) but we really didn't want to be awkwardly swaying. We really enjoyed our dance lessons with Lorena from The London Academy of Dance, which were a good way to take our minds off the other parts of wedding planning! 

Standout Moments

It was so special to finally be walking down the aisle with my brother towards Matt. We were so excited during the ceremony, and couldn't stop smiling.

Another really special part of the day was the speeches as there was so much love in the room. My Mum is not a fan of public speaking, but did such a wonderful job and got lots of laughs! I was keen that the important women had a chance to speak, including myself and our maid of honour, Eva. The absolute highlight was Matt's speech. He is an Army Officer, and not usually known for being sentimental, but he read a poem he had learnt by heart, and there weren't many dry eyes left in the room!

Advice to Future Couples

My advice to couples would be to include the things that are meaningful to you on your wedding day, and not to feel under pressure to include something (or leave something out) because of current trends, or based on someone else's opinion. If the day is a reflection of you, your guests will love it! Also, I am so glad we invested in photography, because the memories are so precious. Enjoy the whole process - the wedding was fantastic, but being married is the best!