Philippa & Matt

October 2020 | Hanbury Wedding Barn & Kedleston Country House Hotel

Love Isn’t Cancelled: Derbyshire couple Philippa and Matthew finally got to tie the knot on 24th October 2020.

After meeting at a running club back in 2014, Philippa who works as an NHS Doctor, wondered if her and Aerospace engineer Matt were more than friends after they got lost during a run together and the conversation was flowing so freely that they actually lost the rest of their running party.

It took a last minute trip to California in February 2019 for Matt to pop the question, getting down on one knee in Yosemite Park. Philippa remarks, ‘It was the most beautiful location with snow on the trees, it really was a winter wonderland.’

Upon their return, Philippa and Matt booked an April 2020 wedding date, thinking it would be the perfect year to get hitched as friends from Australia were also able to attend. However, due to the swift moving pandemic, the couple had to postpone their wedding with only one month to go and plans got put on hold.

Thankfully, with an understanding venue, their wedding was moved to October 2020 with a view that things would be ‘business as usual’ by then. ‘As time went on, we realised things were not going back to normal and we postponed again until March 2021’. However, as the pandemic continued on, it was clear that weddings as we know them would not be happening for quite some time, with the prime minister cutting wedding numbers to just 15. ‘It meant so much to us to just be husband and wife, especially in a year like this last one’, so Philippa and Matt decided to go ahead with their October date as planned and have booked a big anniversary celebration in 2021 instead.

With only 4 weeks to go to the big day, the couple were understandably rattled by the goings on with media coverage of a potential second wave and constantly changing government restrictions. ‘Working for the NHS, I saw numbers of patients with COVID increasing every day…we were lucky to get our day in before lockdown 2.0, but the stress and anxiety it brings to couples is really underestimated.’

When their all important wedding day finally arrived, Philippa had her hair and makeup done by her Mum and two bridesmaids. ‘I was so emotional reading the card Matt had written for me; I couldn’t really believe it was actually happening.’ Philippa was then driven to Hanbury Wedding Barn by her sister but the pair had to make a swift turn around due to forgetting the flowers in a panic.

Upon arriving to the venue however, all her worries disappeared as she laid eyes on Matt. ‘We had written our own vows and it really made the ceremony so personal and memorable’.

The happy couple had set up a Zoom meeting so other guests not present could still be there virtually for their special day. This went down really well and guests were able to leave well-wishes on Zoom after the ceremony which was an added bonus. Philippa and Matt also got to rewatch their wedding the day after as it had been recorded through Zoom.

Hanbury Wedding Barn is a stunning venue, with beautiful exposed beams and lots of light. After the ceremony, the couple attended the Kedleston Country House Hotel for a meal with their guests. ‘The hotel was really welcoming and we made the most of every second till our 10pm curfew.’

When asked about any stand out memories of their special day, Philippa remarked, ‘There are so many memories we wouldn’t have if we had been able to have the wedding we’d originally planned. My best friend and bridesmaid was 39 weeks pregnant so we just had to hope her baby wouldn’t come early!’ Another lovely memory was when the couple were unexpectedly ambushed by a group of their friends upon arrival to the Hotel. ‘I think most of all, we loved just getting a taxi home at the end of the night, slightly tipsy and Matt carried me over the threshold!’

We also asked the couple what advice they would give other couples getting married, here’s their response:

‘Do whatever works best for you as a couple-the day is about the two of you getting married. It can seem like everyone has an opinion, but each couple’s circumstances are different, particularly in a pandemic and you should do whatever makes you both happy! Supporting small businesses and sharing the work of suppliers is more important than ever and we felt they were all really rooting for us throughout. We had such a personalised service from the venue, photographer and bridal boutique. And now we can do it all again next year!’

The happy couple plan to have a big anniversary wedding reception with their intended guest party at Hanbury Wedding Barn in 2021.

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