The wedding of Mathew Gilbert & Danielle Deaville-Lees at Bradbourne House

09 Sep 2014

Norfolk-based couple Mathew and Danielle chose Kent to marry with their ceremony taking place in the cathedral where the groom had been a chorister and the reception at Bradbourne House, where nothing was too much trouble

Photography: David Fenwick

Image gallery

Image gallery

We began our search for a wedding venue in March 2013 following our engagement in Mexico. Rochester Cathedral was our hope for the ceremony as Mathew had been a chorister there for many years. We knew our search to find a reception venue that matched the beauty of the cathedral would be a challenge. After researching many venues, despite their attraction, the magic of what we were looking for was simply not there, until we found Bradbourne House.

We found Bradbourne House during our many hours of online researching. As we lived in Norwich and both worked long hours, we were not able to travel to Kent very often. However, Sharon Page, the wedding and event manager ensured that this would not be a problem and helped facilitate our dreams to become a reality. A personal and unique venue was what we sought; and this is what we found in Bradbourne House. It matched our personalities to a tee, and did not feel like a wedding conveyor belt. We loved the venue instantly; every single room was breathtaking. What really clinched the deal for us was that there was no need to worry about the Great British weather, because Bradbourne had it all.  There were stunning gardens , a lake and a waterfall for when the sunshine made an appearance, but equally stunning rooms and space within the house for the more typical British summertime and ‘liquid sunshine’.

The catering company, Scott Anderson, were soon in touch. There was an endless list of delicious food to choose from and three different packages to suit every budget. Once we had managed to narrow down the options we went for a tasting session which was incredible. We accidentally brought along Mat’s parents as we hadn’t realised the session was meant to be for just the two of us, but nothing was too much trouble and the staff set up another room to accommodate us.

Bradbourne House was so beautiful that it didn’t need any additions, but we wanted to add our personal touches. Lanterns with candles, a candy table, a keg of ale, a finger print tree, a photobooth, dancing shoes and many more ideas were put forward.  Sharon warmly welcomed every idea and even suggested where to put our things to highlight every small detail. All of the staff at Bradbourne House were incredibly enthused and passionate about our big day. With all of these extra touches we were worried how we would have the time to set it all up on the morning of our wedding. After hours of deliberation we decided to give Sharon a call - if only we had done that in the first place! She immediately resolved our anxieties and reassured us that the housekeeper would kindly set up on our behalf.

The day before our wedding we unloaded two cars full of our personal items into the care of the staff at Bradbourne House. As they were so calm and organised it made us feel the same, and we had a lovely relaxed day getting pampered.

Our wedding day was perfect. Following our wonderful ceremony we arrived at Bradbourne House. Everything was set up exactly how we had hoped. We had a ‘cocktail hour’ which was great fun out in the gardens, with the canapés being snapped up in no time- especially the mini fish and chips. The toastmaster, Michael, was absolutely fantastic and excelled in organising the groups for the photos. Throughout the day all of the staff could not have been any more attentive if they had tried.

The wedding breakfast was seamless. We had written everyone’s menu choices on their name cards but needn’t have, as the waiters knew exactly who was having what and didn’t make a single mistake. Our guests said it was by far the best wedding food they had ever eaten, with the pear tarte tatin being a particular favourite. The champagne glasses were then filled before Michael led the toasts… which we laughed, cried and cringed through.

As the evening guests arrived we went for some photos of the two of us, knowing that our guests would be well looked after. David Fenwick, our photographer, found some magical spots for photographs. Not only did the images he had captured look stunning, his relaxed and fun manner helped us enjoy every second.

It was then time to cut our cake, followed by dancing the night away in the best setting we could have only imagined. Our first dance was a little untraditional with ‘Feel The Love’ by Rudimental. The bar was brilliant and the keg that had been set up went down a storm, especially with the men! Unfortunately our day had to come to an end, but there is not a single thing that we would have changed. We both had the perfect day.


Photography: David Fenwick, Kent,

Venue: Bradbourne House, East Malling, Kent,

Dress & Accessories: Pure Brides, Norwich,

Bridesmaids’ dresses: Dreams Bridal, Rackheath, Norfolk,

Wedding rings: Wedding rings direct,

Hair & make-up: Lisa Bridal Beauty, Kent,

Groom and groomsmen: 1860 suit hire from Greenwoods, Norwich,

Stationery: The bride

Flowers: Brown's The Florist, Gillingham, Kent,

Cake: Marks And Spencer,

Catering: Scott Anderson, Kent,

Transport: All Kent Wedding Car, Sittingbourne, Kent,

Entertainment: band,  Joy Spring, Kent,; DJ, Elite Entertainment, Kent,; Photobooth VIP booth,

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