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A vibrant wedding at The Slaughters Manor House in Cheltenham

A vibrant wedding at The Slaughters Manor House in Cheltenham

Written by Katie Byrne

Leonie and David filled their celebration with colour, flowers and meaningful traditions


Leonie Ng, 32, a compliance officer, and David Cameron Smail, 35, an investment banker, were married in a religious ceremony at St Mary’s, Lower Slaughter, and held their reception at The Slaughters Manor House in Cheltenham.

Budget: £75,000

Flower budget: £5,000

Photography: Jacob & Pauline

We were introduced by mutual friends a few years before we started dating. The first time we met, David made such a bad impression it took a while to be reversed!

We got engaged in Paris, just before Christmas. David told me he wanted to look at the impressive flying buttresses of the Notre-Dame - and then got down on one knee in a little park nearby. A photographer was hidden in a tree to capture the moment!

We wanted our wedding to be relaxed yet elegant. We don’t like things to be too fussy but our traditions are important to us, so we were keen to incorporate them into the celebration.

We’re based in Singapore, so we weren’t physically involved in the initial phase of the venue selection. The Slaughters Manor House looked beautiful online and was a short drive from David’s mum’s house. The quaint little church next door was perfect for our ceremony, too.

The venue was actually refurbished shortly before our wedding date. The new décor was a mix of modern and traditional elegance and there were spaces to suit every part of the celebration, from cocktails to dancing! Our wedding planner was our guardian angel. She took care of the few hiccups that occured on the day - we were completely oblivious to them.

I absolutely love flowers, so they were very important to our wedding. The right blooms can add effortless romance to a reception, as well as help to lift décor. 

There were no predominant flowers in our arrangements but our florist did a fantastic job in picking the perfect mix. They even managed to include some orchids in my bouquet, which meant a lot because the orchid is the national flower of Singapore.

We also incorporated flowers into our wedding cake. The four tiers were adorned with delicate handpainted flowers; they were designed to match the fresh arrangements. Our florist provided small stems to intersperse between the handpainted flowers, which really made it come alive!

We brought a tradition with us from Singapore: the gatecrashing ceremony! David and his groomsmen were put through a series of games before David was allowed to ‘fetch’ the bride. We exchanged wedding gifts blindfolded, adhering to the superstition of the groom not seeing the bride until the ceremony.

I wouldn’t change a single thing about our wedding. I loved every single aspect of the day. We didn’t go to bed until 2am, ahead of leaving for our honeymoon at 8am later that morning.

My favourite part of the day was the horse-drawn carriage ride with David, right after the ceremony. My heart was thumping madly, so having that short journey alone with my new husband helped to calm my nerves.

My tip for brides-to-be: If you’re working with a wedding planner, make sure it’s someone who understands exactly what you want. Fuss and fret all you want right up until the day before the wedding – but on the day itself, go with the flow and enjoy every moment. You only get it once!

Steal their style

FLORIST: Westwood Florist PLANNER: Jessie Thomson VENUE: The Slaughters Manor House, Cheltenham DRESS: Renée L. Collections GROOMSWEAR: Moss Bros. Hire CAKE: Curtis & Co. Cakes HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGE: The Ostler Carriage Company


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