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Love began at school for these childhood sweethearts, Madeleine and Richard, whose vintage wedding in the countryside was the picture of romance…

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The proposal

Childhood sweethearts Madeleine and Richard have been good friends since their school days. “Richard wanted to take it further but I wasn’t sure at first because I didn’t want to ruin our friendship, but the gamble paid off,” says Madeleine. Richard pulled out all the stops for his proposal, and asked Madeleine to marry him on her 21st birthday at the Eiffel Tower at midnight.

The bride’s outfit

Madeleine looked like a classic English rose in her gown by British designer Maureen Myring Kesterton. “It had a simple, vintage feel, with a corset bodice and full skirt, and made me feel very bridal, Madeleine explains. “I kept my accessories to a minimum and wore Swarovski crystal earrings – a 21st birthday present from my mum – and a silver bracelet.”

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The groom’s outfit

Richard wowed his bride on the day in a cool and contemporary slim-fitting three-piece suit from Topman, and teamed it with a pale grey shirt and a grey skinny tie. “He looked so smart and handsome – the perfect groom,” Madeleine smiles.

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The bridesmaids

Despite being one woman down on the day, as one of her maids fell pregnant and didn’t fit into her dress, Madeleine was still attended by her four bridesmaids and her goddaughter Cara as flowergirl. The girls were the picture of elegance in their full-length silver gowns from Ghost at John Lewis.

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The ceremony

Madeleine and Richard were married in a religious ceremony at St Mary’s Church, Higham Ferrers, where the bride walked down the aisle on her father’s arm. “My sister did a reading, and cried through the whole thing,” Madeleine recalls. “The choir from the school where Richard teaches also sang during the ceremony.”

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The reception

The newlyweds held their reception at Rushton Hall in Northamptonshire, a magnificent 16th century mansion surrounded by 25 acres of beautiful parkland and a lake. “The venue was so beautiful that it didn’t need much decoration, but we had lots and lots of flowers,” Madeleine explains.

The guests were entertained with garden games and a DJ. “After our first dance, he played Reach by S Club 7 and all our guests flooded the dancefloor,” Madeleine adds. Instead of having favours, the guests tucked into a homemade pick ‘n’ mix sweetie table. “We bought big bowls from Ikea and bought loads of sweets from a cash and carry, and everyone loved it,” says Madeleine.

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The honeymoon

The couple enjoyed a hectic but memorable Italian honeymoon, spending 10 days travelling around Milan, Venice, Florence, Sorrento and Rome, including a fun Vespa tour of the Tuscan countryside.

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