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Rebecca (owner of the brilliant bespoke wedding stationery company Kilkie Sands) and Samuel's beautiful Winter Wedding was an Alpine lovers dream thanks to a stunning Alpine Lodge themed marque in the grounds of Norton Grounds, a beautiful wedding venue in the heart of The Cotswolds. Full of personal touches, DIY elements and the most touching Father of The Bride speech, read on as Rebecca highlights their brilliant team of wedding suppliers that helped them create such a magical and special day.
Whilst on a big group of friends holiday in South Africa, there was one night we couldn’t all get into an AirBnb together, so the couples all separately booked romantic hotels/vineyards and the singletons went back to Cape Town for a wild night out! We ended up further than most at The Robertson Small Hotel which I found on Instagram and was simply heaven on earth. Sam, who had been incredibly hungover from a big wine tasting session the day before in Franschhoek, pulled it together for a lovely supper. We had Amarula nightcaps on the veranda and as we walked back to our room through the gardens, he dropped to one knee under a palm tree lit with fairy lights. I couldn’t have been more surprised and after 11 years together, I thought I’d have seen it coming (or I’d actually come to terms with the fact that maybe it would never happen!!). We told our family & friends the following morning and the best bit, we got to celebrate that evening when we were all reunited!!
Getting notifications that family and friends had bought us gifts that we will keep and use for life. We loved reading their notes too, it was so special. We love that The Wedding Present Company collate all your guests' notes into a keepsake book for you after your wedding. It's such a special touch.
Alveston Church & Norton Grounds, in The Cotswolds - we always knew we would be married in Alveston, it’s where I was christened & where my father is buried so it was a case of finding a beautiful venue close enough that allowed for weekend hire, room for enough guests and still let us put our own stamp on it. A family friend and our wedding coordinator, Anna, pointed us in the direction of Norton Grounds. It was better than we could have ever hoped for, they helped us to create our perfect marquee wedding weekend with the added bonus of sleeping 24 on site which was a lot of fun.
We had a range of quotes (a lot of marquee companies had hidden costs) but we found Bisley Marquees and they were incredible from the start. Nothing was too much trouble, especially with a winter wedding there were a lot of things that could have gone wrong! We had full confidence in them that everything would be perfect. I am also quite indecisive which can be incredibly annoying if you are on the receiving end - again, Bisley just got it!
We had hints of a ski chalet throughout the marquee with sheepskins, Christmas trees, wooden sledges & blankets. We used our wine boxes for cards and presents under the trees & we even created a mantle piece and (fake) fireplace with personalised stockings & cozy seating. We made wooden themed signs that said ‘time to get piste’ for the bar, ‘Unload here’ with a chair lift logo for the loos, a huge entrance sign with ‘Harper Lodge’ and a homemade ski shot for the bar!
Cars are a big part of both of our lives.
To get everyone to the church, we hired a Land Rover Defender to collect the groom and ushers first so they could meet and greet everyone. It then came on to collect me and my bridesmaids. Having lost my dad, I wanted a way that could detract from the empty void of that traditional father/daughter journey to the church and this was perfect - we turned the music up and sang the whole way there!
For our wedding car, we borrowed a family friend’s Porsche which they had badged up as a surprise with ‘Mr & Mrs Harper’. Driving from the church to the venue, just the two of us taking it all in, in such a beautiful and fun car is a really special and stand out memory for us.
My mum, Sam’s mum, hugely generous family friends and I had an amazing time in the garage doing all the flower arrangements - the bridesmaids even did their own bouquets on the morning of the wedding! We raided friends gardens for foliage, I spent months collecting flower arranging equipment and bought flowers wholesale which we kept in mum’s garage for a few days to let them all open in time. We were allowed into church the day before and because it was Advent we had to take all the displays with us to the marquee which the ushers did very efficiently.
My dress and veil were from Pronovias. I tried a lot of dresses on but kept coming back to the Vicenta which I first put on when I first went shopping with my Mum. I had no idea what I wanted and never had the ‘it’s the one moment’ but it was definitely my one and I absolutely loved wearing it. I loved the veil so much I wore it until the meal! My Marks and Spencer shoes were stunning, they had so many comments and were incredibly comfortable.
In terms of jewellery - I didn’t wear much except for my ‘something borrowed’ which was a broach. My Nana gave this to me as good luck charm to wear on my bouquet which is a family tradition and has been handed down through generations of my family.
I always knew I wanted the bridesmaids in Maids to Measure - I love all their dresses and the fact you can pick a colour and let the bridesmaids choose the best style to suit their taste makes it such an enjoyable process - they are so lovely in there too. Coincidentally the bridesmaids chose two Regent and two Lark and looked symmetrically stunning - Amy was 6 months pregnant at the time and with the Lark, it sat beautifully over her bump.
It was really important to me to have a fun wedding morning surrounded by people I knew and loved. Our hairdressers were Anne and Sharon who have done my hair since I was 5 and our make up artist was Nina who I used to work with in a clothing shop in Bristol at university! We had a lot of laughs, a lot of cups of tea and a few bubbles! I had both of our mums, bridesmaids and my brother’s girlfriend there which was really special.
The groom's Morning suit and waistcoat was from Oliver Brown.
We used a family friend to do the catering, they make the best Upside Down Pear and Ginger Pudding you’ve ever tasted!
One of our highlights of the whole wedding process was doing a trip to France with Sam’s mum, wine tasting and ordering our white & red from Maison Gosselin. For our reception and speeches we had our absolute favourite and go to, Berry Bros Crémant de Limoux.
For the evening drinks and bar we used The Watering Hole who were amazing - they provided the bar too, which was very in keeping with our theme and encouraged the use of the shot ski! They allow you to create a cocktail for the night but we chose to have our favourite shot - the after eight - which we drink a lot of skiing!
We used Golden Pineapple - Anna was an absolute superstar and we knew that whatever happened, she would ensure we had the best day of our lives. With Anna, nothing is too big or too small and it’s amazing having that external person there on the day that knows how you want the day to look and flow, and also to sort any disasters without us knowing about them on the day! Every wedding should have an Anna.
I am a calligrapher, my company is called Kilkie Sands so I did all the stationery for the wedding. I had big plans but in reality no time so now my friends just get all the inspiration when they get married!
When my brother surprised me and stood up to do the Father of the Bride speech. My dad had written the speech in the days before he died in 2010, and entrusted my brother with it… fortunately I was marrying Sam and he even guessed our best friend, Rigby, would be Sam’s best man! Only four people knew beforehand but most of our guests were blessed to have known him well and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house - it will forever stay with us and people still talk about it today.
Yes, best day ever! We had our presents delivered in two lots and used the free storage facility which was great. The delivery days were such a highlight, and the in-house drivers a total delight!
Wedding List: The Wedding Present Company
Flowers: The bride and her family and friends.
Bridesmaids: Maids to Measure
Hair: Hair by Sharon Robinson
Make Up: Nina Ruberry Makeup
Groom's Fashion: Oliver Brown
Catering: A Family Friend
Wedding Planner: Golden Pineapple
Photography: Simon Biffen
Videography: Gorgeous Films
Stationery: Kilkie Sands