This year has been a rollercoaster for so many. With weddings hit hard by the pandemic the few that made the decision to go ahead against all odds and get married were an absolute joy to be a part of. Little rays of sunshine in an otherwise topsy turvy summer. For Danni and Ralph they choose to reschedule their large June wedding for a small but perfectly formed wedding at Glenfall House in September.
Danni and Ralph have been such a positive force for all that they hold dear, it was a real delight to have been part of their wedding day preparations and celebrations. An elegant wedding centred around the two most important elements. Their love for each other and their love for family and friends.
Their decision to hold their rescheduled wedding at Glenfall House was a good one. Glenfall House has masses of space which meant that everyone could socialise at a respectable and Covid secure distance. For me this meant standing back and using a massive lens to capture everything that went on. As have all my wonderful Clients, Danni and Ralph were no exception in ensuring that everyone present, be they wedding industry professionals or guests, were safe and secure.
It was a dreamy, relaxed wedding day. Far from traditional and every moment magical.
Ralph (a sales director) and Danni (an interiors specialist – check out Danni’s Instagram page for some serious inspo) had planned their original wedding for June 12th 2020 but moved their day to 4th September 2020 to ensure that the day could pass off safely.
“All I can say is partly because of lockdown (and not being able to go to any shops) but mostly because I left Ralph with the one job of sorting his and his best men’s out fits out, he ordered the bits he wanted online from various places only three weeks before our wedding and they arrived only two weeks before our big day!
Thankfully everything fitted, I honestly don’t know what they would of done if it hadn’t as there wouldn’t of been much time left to send back and reorder!
As it turned out though they all looked really dapper in matching trousers, shirts with floral cuff detailing and Ralph standing out slightly by the addition of a waistcoat.”
“A lot of our planning was condensed into the last few weeks beforehand. Because of Covid, anything we thought we’d nailed already frequently had to be rehashed as the goal posts were constantly changing.
I would say that it got to a point where we realised that we had zero control over anything and we had to get into the mindset that we would literally have to compromise on everything!
Once we got our heads around that, it in part takes the stress away as you cannot have any expectations whatsoever, it is no ones fault, it is what it is and we just had to go with the flow.”
“The short answer is no!
There were so many blows to our plans after Covid hit that I don’t even know where to begin on answering this. We were initially meant to marry in June and we soon knew that was going to happen.
The registrars told us that we had to get married by 19th September as that’s when our legal notice to marry ran out. If we didn’t we would be liable to their full charges again (approx. £800) I had tried to get wedding insurance back in the earlier part of the year but that horse had already bolted and the insurers were already excluding anything Covid related so we felt we had little choice but to try to reorganise it by the 19th Sept (in a nutshell and without going down a rabbit hole of moaning about how awful the registrars were! They subsequently changed their tune on this but of course we had already started to try and reorganise everything gearing up towards the new date. We decided to keep to it after that as it was important to us to try as much as possible to help the small businesses whose services we’d employed and not muck them about any further by changing the dates again).”
“With everyone else pushing back their wedding dates too it was a case of quickly checking with our close friends and family which dates they could do that our venue and supplier were also free on, we managed to secure the 4th September. Even after pushing the date back there were so many uncertainties, my dress wasn’t in (and couldn’t be fitted even if it was) we couldn’t go anywhere to get anything we needed, I’d had a brace fitted which was meant to be off long before the wedding but the orthodontist shut in lockdown, could we even have a disco? Or any music at all?!
Would I be able to be walked down the aisle (an important one for me having lost my Dad, Ralph’s father was due to escort me instead) there was so much uncertainty and stress. We’d paid for the venue in full about two years prior and the thought of spending that much and potentially having only 6 people caused a few sleepless nights! In the end, we realised we literally had no control, we could do our best to plan around it but ultimately we would just have to do whatever the rules allowed at the time.
Weirdly in some ways, once we embraced that mindset it took the pressure off as everyone knew the score and there could be no judgement if it wasn’t perfect. Despite everything not all going to plan we still had the best day ever, genuinely and I wouldn’t of changed one thing about how it turned out (and yes, I still had my bottom brace on, thank you Nikki for not showing it in any of the photos you took!!)”
“I think all of our local lovely suppliers deserve a huge amount of credit here, they are all independent, small business facing the adversity and insecurity that Covid bought with it.
Throughout, everyone of them went above and beyond all expectations to do everything in their power to keep our special day on track. I’d particularly like to thank Jan (Yon), Tall Order Catering, Jane, Wedding Days, Dianne and the team at Glenfall and of course yourself Nikki for keeping so positive and keeping fluid.
With all of you having to navigate through an ever evolving set of rules / lockdowns / restrictions – you all did such a phenomenal job! Thank you!
My chief bridesmaid Andrea, and Ralph’s best man Guy also deserve a little shout out as they too did an incredible job of keeping the show on the road.
They were absolute champions doing anything they could to help us. Not only that, they had the unenviable task of not only organising our stag and hen do’s but un-organising it too because of Covid!
If ever there was any drama behind the scenes that needed being dealt with, these two were on it without worrying us if that wasn’t necessary, they were and are bloody amazing!”
“No, if I’d of known what was about to happen re: Covid we may not of gone ahead! It was undeniably stressful at times but I 100% hand on heart wouldn’t of changed what we managed to have in the end so I’m glad it panned out as it did.”
“Both Ralph and myself have been married before. Last time I had a long meringue that I could barley walk in!
This time I wanted something timeless, classic and classy but that I could actually move and more importantly eat in!! I went for a tea length dress with a Bardot neckline, I could dance and I could move freely and I felt absolutely amazing in it!
Jane from Wedding Days (where I bought it from) was wonderful for advice and she has such a good, experienced eye, for example knowing what style veil and length I should go for, whether my earrings needed to be blingy or simple how I should wear my hair (up or down) – she just knew!!”
“Initially we had planned to marry up north where some of Ralph’s family originate from. I soon realised that I would personally find that logistically hard to organise and not only that, it would be difficult for guests to attend so I started looking for something a little closer to home.
That week Glenfall House popped up on my Facebook feed and I arranged an appointment to take a look around.
I hadn’t realised the venue was there despite it being less than 2 minutes from my house, I was absolutely blown away by it! They have the most gorgeous grounds and as we were looking around them a deer popped out on the lawn to say hello!
I think I was sold at that exact moment!!”
“A thousand years, Christina Perri. The words of the song sum up how we feel about each other in the most romantic way.”
We met when Ralph joined the place that I was working at the time in Reading. He rocked up (after having parked in the directors spot!) and we just hit it off straight away, well, after he moved his car!
“Seeing Ralph at the end of the aisle, seeing our close friends and family around us, seeing how emotional he was, knowing that we know each other inside out and recognising how far we’ve come to get this point of marriage (neither of us thought we would get married again) and feeling really happy and content about what we were about to do.”
“Over the years we’ve attended many weddings and at all of them (not counting evening do’s) we’ve had a sit down meal at each of them.
Whilst that format is great for socialising and meeting new people, I sometimes found that kind of formal dining a little heavy, particularly after a few drinks on board! So we felt we wanted for ours to mix it up and do something a little more casual.
We opted for a BBQ with different meats, salads and sides which worked really well. This was always our plan anyway but with Covid it played out really nicely not having to change anything with this option, we were able to have this outside in more of a picnic like setting.”
“Work out your priorities on what’s important and go from there. For us, as parents and two people who have been married before, we favour experiences / holidays / family time and completing our home renovations rather than forking out on unnecessary wedding chintz (this isn’t a judgement on how others chose to do it, just our circumstances and what we wanted)
With this in mind, for us, we wanted to keep it basic and simple and not spend crazy big of any ‘extras’ .
The venue was important as it needed to be local and easy for everyone and it helps that it’s stunning as it will always look good in the pictures!
Plus we knew we were in great, experienced hands with them.
The photo’s were important as they last forever, you’re putting faith in someone to capture your day and your memories of that day and you need that photographic story to be in the hands of someone you trust.
The food, the drink and the music were our only other outlay (apart from clothing, rings & thank you gifts) So for example I did my own makeup and we chose not to have any flowers / chair coverings / extra venue decorations which saved us thousands and it didn’t detract at all from our day.”
Certificate details have been removed for privacy reasons which we take incredibly seriously here at NKP. However this was just too fab an image not to share!
“After an almost proposal in Rome in 2014 (Ralph had to abort mission after the ambience was ruined by builders working on the roman ruins!) we went on a romantic break, just us two, no children, to Lazarote in 2017 where he had better luck!
It was an absolutely beautiful evening, we went out for dinner and drinks and walked back along the harbour where he got down on one knee.
Ralph proposed with a plastic ring that he had snuck off and bought earlier that day, I had assumed he was off to find a decent cider when he went missing in action!
Whereas in fact he had rung my mum to ask her permission to marry me and to buy the plastic ring….I still love that ring! I had so many compliments! – I think people thought it was real!!”
Nope 😊 ……I loved our venue as I felt it was perfect as it was and didn’t need any embellishing so for me it wasn’t really on my radar to need to do anything extra, which was for me, as a busy mum part of its appeal!
With or without Covid’s involvement we never planned to have a formal sit down meal, favouring a relaxed bbq vibe instead, the upshot being that we didn’t require any table seating plans or table decorations either.
“We kept things very simple, for us it was less about having any fancy embellishments and more around making sure people were well fed and watered.”
“I also really enjoyed our speeches. They had everything! They made us laugh, they made us cry! And they were heartfelt…even if they did go on MUCH longer than expected!!
I’m also glad I made one too, it was nerve wracking and I found it difficult beforehand trying to navigate the line of trying to be humorous as well as sincere but it was important for me, as a woman, to stand up and say something too.” – Danni
“If a wedding planner came in budget I would absolutely of had one! To be honest though, Kat at Glenfall did a sterling job liaising between us and our suppliers to ensure everyone was on the same page.”
“We’re yet to book or even choose anything, we’re enjoying talking about options and making plans for the future with it all to look forward to.
With having the children we’ve chatted about having a few mini breaks rather than one long honeymoon…anything to spread the fun out a little longer!!”
“I had intended to, I even wore blue knickers!! But with the last minute rush of getting ready I’d forgotten my borrowed item! Luckily with regards to this particular fable I’m not superstitious!”
“I know I should probably say it’s because I’d researched and knew you were an amazing photographer but it was totally because Ralph and I really liked you!
You made us feel really comfortable, it was obvious you knew your stuff and were incredibly passionate about it too but it felt good to know we’d be spending time in company we respected and enjoyed.
It was almost a secondary requirement to learn of your impressive photography credentials!”
“That old September feeling, left over from school days, of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air … Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year’s mistakes had been wiped clean by summer.” Wallace Stegner,
“We went for a delicious cake of cheese made up of several different varieties which we then had cut up for guests to have in the evening with crackers & port. Having attending many weddings where there’s been way too much evening food as everyone is still pretty full from the sit down meal, we took away from that and felt this worked well as a little nibbly top up and without tons going to waste.”
Ceremony & Reception venue: Glenfall House, Cheltenham
Photographer: Nikki Kirk
Flowers: I didn’t have any at all, not even a bouquet!
Dress: Purchased from the lovely Jane at Wedding Days of Cheltenham
Bridesmaid dresses: Monsoon (adult & children’s)
Groom’s outfit: Various places, all chosen in mind to be able to wear again.
Cake: We had a cake made of different types of cheese
Catering: Tall Order Catering, Cheltenham
Transport: My Honda!
Stationery: Handwritten invitations bought from Hobbycraft
Entertainment: Outdoor DJ
Favours: We chose to put money behind the bar instead!
Hair and beauty: Dean at Sloane’s came and put my hair up in a lovely chignon, I did my own makeup.
Rings including engagement ring: The engagement ring was from Promenade Antique jewellers and both our wedding bands were from Andrew Scott, both in Cheltenham.