There was only one thing that would do for this traditional couple. Rebecca and Oliver had to have a proper white wedding – the real deal!
How they met
“Ollie and I met 10 years ago in a nightclub in Norwich,” Rebecca explains. “I thought he was amazing, and was totally and utterly besotted from the moment we met. On our first date, we met at a bar. I was so nervous – and also really late! Luckily, Ollie waited for me, and dropped me home afterwards in his old Mini Cooper – his pride and joy.”
Oliver whisked Rebecca away to Edinburgh for a surprise weekend break, where he popped the question. “He woke me at six o’clock one morning and told me to get up, because we were going away and a taxi was coming to pick us up,” Rebecca recalls. “I didn’t find out our destination until we arrived at the airport. Ollie dropped to one knee at Edinburgh Castle when the one o’clock gun salute was fired. I’m not easy to surprise, but he definitely got me with this one. I loved every second of it.”
The bride’s outfit
Rebecca looked breathtaking in a princess-cut vintage lace dress from La Sposa, with a delicate diamanté encrusted belt. “It was only the second dress I tried on,” Rebecca explains. “I thought I would go for a slim-fitting fishtail style, but when I put it on, I fell in love. I went on to try another 18 dresses, but nothing else came close so I went back and bought it.” Rebecca finished her look with a headband from Pure Bridal and Dune kitten heels.
The groom’s outfit
Oliver chose a bold royal blue three-piece suit from Marks & Spencer, accessorised with a polka dot tie and matching handkerchief. “He knew he wanted a smart, slim-fitting suit rather than tails or morning dress, and he looked so stylish,” Rebecca smiles. “Every time I looked at him, I got butterflies.”
Rebecca was attended by a flock of four beautiful bridesmaids and four flowergirls. The ladies – Rebecca’s sisters, sister-in-law and best friend – wowed in full-length navy blue chiffon dresses in a one-shouldered style from Dreams Bridal, teamed with navy peep-toe shoes from Dorothy Perkins and pearl hairpieces. The four flowergirls wore ivory dresses, also from Dreams Bridal, with navy blue shoes and pearl hairbands.
Rebecca and Oliver were married in their village church, and hired a London bus to transport the bridal party to the ceremony. “All our neighbours came out into the street to take photos,” Rebecca laughs. The couple chose traditional hymns for their marriage service, including Jerusalem and All Things Bright and Beautiful, and Rebecca’s sister Beth read Blessing of the Hands. “Seeing Ollie for the first time was amazing, but my favourite bit was exchanging our first kiss as husband and wife,” Rebecca smiles. “The whole congregation cheered. and I have never felt happier.”
The beautiful bouquets and floral arrangements were created by Debbie Billman at Constance Webster, and featured a mixture of white roses, pale pink freesias and blue gentry.
The theme of Rebecca and Oliver’s big day was traditional elegance. “We wanted it to be a proper white wedding, with a real village feel,” Rebecca explains. The reception was held in a marquee at the beautiful Hoveton Hall Gardens. “We were aiming for it to be formal, but relaxed, rather than stuffy and pompous,” says Rebecca. The delicious wedding breakfast included baby leaf salad with tomatoes, mozzarella and avocado, roasted breast of chicken with fondant potato and Eton mess. The two best men put on a hilarious double act for their speech, relating anecdotes from their 20-year friendship with Oliver.
Hiring a marquee meant that Rebecca and Oliver had the perfect blank canvas on which to create their wedding vision. The couple decorated with tissue pom poms, lavish flower arrangements and scattered pearls on the table. “We put little aprons made by my mum on each of the flowergirls’ chairs to protect their dresses from spills, and also hung a ribbon with pegs attached on one wall so our guests could hang up their hats,” Rebecca adds.
Rebecca and Oliver worked with local graphic design company Orange Bean to come up with the elegant design for their stationery. “We co-ordinated the menu cards and place names with our colour scheme and invitations,” says Rebecca.
Scrumptious Buns created a three-tier pearl and lace-themed cake with layers of vanilla sponge, chocolate fudge and lemon poppy seed cake.
Rebecca and Oliver put together little bags of traditional penny sweets for their guests, while the younger children were given colouring books and crayons to keep them amused.
The after-dinner entertainment was provided by acoustic guitarist Tom Pearce, who walked around the marquee playing to the guests as tea and coffee was served. “It was a great way to signal the end of the wedding breakfast and the start of the evening party,” says Rebecca. Later, wedding band Empire performed two sets, and the couple also hired a photo booth to get everyone giggling. “I loved looking through the book at all the crazy pictures – it’s a lovely keepsake,” Rebecca says.
The couple enjoyed trips to South Africa and Mauritius.