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  • Writer's pictureSuzanne Killalea

Alastair and Rebecca's Celebration

What a wonderful start to weddings here at Minley Manor in 2021! This amazing couple were featured and interviewed on BBC News.

Rewind to December 2019 when we had the pleasure of first meeting Alastair and Bex who were planning to get married at their beloved church on 6th June 2020. The couple were so full of trepidation and excitement and fell in love with hosting their reception at Minley from the outset. Then the pandemic hit and March 2020 saw the first of the three national lockdowns. Alastair and Bex had planned to have a large reception and ceilidh for 200 guests in The Orangery, and sadly this was not to be with many tough decisions over the following months.

Bex was working on the frontline, and living apart from Alastair during the pandemic, a challenging time in any couples life and being apart from each other only made the wedding planning harder. Still eager to marry as planned, even if it was not be the wedding they had both hoped for. However, as June came and passed, due to the continuing government imposed restrictions they knew their wedding day was going to look very different. Regardless of the delay of their wedding celebration they were determined to marry as soon as legally possible, and could only pray that the government would allow small, socially distanced wedding ceremonies.

Thankfully their prayers were answered and on 4th July 2020, Alastair & Bex were one of the first couples to be able to have an intimate, church wedding, with a mere handful of their nearest and dearest. They followed the ceremony with a socially distanced outdoor picnic in the church grounds.

We were absolutely delighted, that although no reception and despite our gates being closed for the unforeseeable future, with masks and hand sanitizer we could at least welcome the happy couple onto the estate to have their photographs taken. These stunning images were captured by the very talented Olly Knight Photography.

Desperately wanting their big wedding celebration with as little compromises as possible, and having considered their options following the governments 3 step plan, Alastair and Bex decided to further postpone their celebrations until 29th May 2021. We were very pleased to be able to move their booking again to their new date, however, as the months went by into 2021, and many of the restrictions remained, it was clear that this date was also going to be postponed.....yet again!

Throughout the whole wedding planning journey and all the challenges of the pandemic, the wonderful newlyweds remained positive, upbeat and extremely flexible despite sadly losing family members to the virus. We became very fond of this steadfast couple after months of Zoom calls, emails and texts updates on social distancing and restrictions.

Their celebrations, rearranged for the 24th July 2021, finally came around with some beautiful warm weather the week prior. However, imagine the couples dismay when storms were forecast for their big outdoor celebration, and with the prospect of wind and rain, Alastair and Bex decided against their having their blessing on the Wellingtonia Avenue as planned, borrowed some small marquees and continued with their ceremony for 170 guests on the South Terrace sheltered by the Loggia.

Despite the grey clouds it was wonderful to see so many happy faces and hear joyful singing after such a long and emotional rollercoaster of the previous 18 months. The sun finally came out and it was an incredible day full of laughter, lawn games and elation that after so many postponements the day was at last here.

We wish them all the happiness in their married life together and hope we may get the chance to see them again in the near future....maybe their vow renewal?!

"Dear Suzanne,

Thank you so much for all you've done for us! The day was so so much fun, it was really special to be able to celebrate with so many of our friends and family, plus were amazed with how sunny the day turned out to be....Minley is beautiful in the photos too.

Thank you so much for journeying with us and making it all possible, we're really grateful and the celebration was worth the months of uncertainty.

Love Alastair and Bex"


Furniture: WA Carr & Son

Lawn Games: BWH Events

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