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Yorkshire wedding party travelled 360 miles to recreate ceremony so bride’s nan could attend

A pair of newlyweds made a round trip of 360 miles to recreate their wedding ceremony so the bride’s grandmother could attend the big day.

Childhood sweethearts Will and Rebecca Heppell, both 26, from Selby, tied the knot in front of 60 guests in a picturesque ceremony in the Cotswolds last month. The pair then re-enacted their vows in a more intimate setting two weeks later in the grounds of the care home where Rebecca’s grandmother Peggy Dracup lives.

Peggy, 91, has Alzheimer’s and wouldn’t have been able to attend the ceremony, so the couple did it all over again 164 miles away so she could be part of their big day, reports PA.

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Rebecca said: “It was a really special day and great that my Grandma could be part of it. She was overjoyed. Her memory isn’t great, but she knew who we were on the wedding day and she kept saying how beautiful my dress was.”

Rebecca and Will, both teachers, met as teens and got engaged when Will popped the question on a romantic break in Iceland on their 10th anniversary last March. When it came time to plan their big day, the couple wanted to make sure Peggy could be a part of it.

Will and Rebecca in March 2012 when they were in school together
Will and Rebecca in March 2012 when they were in school together
(Image: © Rebecca Heppell / SWNS)

But carers at Osborne House in Selby felt she wouldn’t be up the long journey to the venue in the Cotswolds. Undeterred, the couple simply arranged to recreate the whole day in the grounds of the care home with Peggy in attendance.

Their first wedding took place on August 5 before they went on their honeymoon to Kenya and Mauritius, before returning home to recreate the special day on August 29. The second ceremony was an exact replica of the first, right down to the couple having a Cèilidh at both ceremonies and decorated both venues the same.

Stunning pictures from both days show how they went into minute detail to recreate the day, right down to striking the same pose during their first dances. The wedding bouquet also included white roses, a nod to Rebecca’s Yorkshire roots.

Afterwards, the couple were showered with hundreds of rose petals as proud Peggy watched on. Reception class teacher Rebecca, of Chipping Norton, added: “I really wanted her to be there, we were hoping she’d be able to come down, but the practicality of her coming down to the Cotswolds just wasn’t going to happen.

“But it was great, she didn’t know it wasn’t the real ceremony, she loved it. And we weren’t as nervous the second time round. It was much more relaxed. She loves music, my grandad played the piano and taught my sister how to play. My sister played a few of his tunes at the ceremony.

“The care home were absolutely amazing, the events manager went above and beyond and created a magical setting and made a spectacular wedding cake adorned with handmade sugar roses.”

Will and Rebecca in Iceland where they got engaged
Will and Rebecca in Iceland where they got engaged
(Image: © Rebecca Heppell / SWNS)

Will, a school chemistry teacher, said: “It was doubly magical, because we were reliving the original ceremony of a few days earlier.”

Rebecca’s mum Helen Harrison said: “It was hugely important for Rebecca that her grandmother should be present to be part of the celebration and it was wonderful day. My daughter looked fabulous and her grandmother commented on the beauty of her dress.

“It was delightful to see my Mum interacting with so many people, smiling and laughing and having all her family around her. Osborne House was beautifully decorated and the chef went above and beyond anyone’s expectation catering for the reception with a spectacular silver service buffet tea – a grand finale to a perfect day.”

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