Community pulls out stops for Knebworth wedding couple

A COMMUNITY pulled together to give a bride and groom a spectacular wedding, after the couple’s reception venue cancelled their booking eight weeks before the big day.

Lauren Draper and Sam Wood, of Swangley’s Lane in Knebworth, tied the knot at All Saints Church in Datchworth on Saturday after a fraught build-up to the event.

Lauren’s mother, Dawn Draper, explained: “The reception venue let us down and we really had to set about planning the reception from scratch”.

She said all the venues they contacted in the area were fully booked, so they opted to hire a marquee and erect it in a friend’s garden.

The hastily revised plans blew their budget, and left no money to pay for transport and flowers, among other things.

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“When people in the community heard our story they stepped in to offer help and support where they could,” said Mrs Draper.

“One local farmer offered the use of his vintage tractor and trailer, and even supplied hay bales to sit on, whilst another acted as the driver for the day.”

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A group of friends decorated the trailer with flowers from their gardens, and another friend made the bridal bouquets.

“The church was decked out beautifully with an array of sunflowers and foliage - much collected from villagers’ gardens,” added Mrs Draper.

“A friend made all the tablecloths and linen, two of Lauren’s old school friends made the cakes, and we made the order of service and other stationary, and provided our guests with home made jam and pork pies as wedding favours.”

Mrs Draper said that as the tractor drove through Knebworth’s high street, shopkeepers and their customers lined the street waving and cheering, and cars tooted their horns.

“Everyone had a fantastic day and it showed that true community spirit is still alive and that every bride can have her special day,” she said.

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