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Meet the happy couple... Mr and Mrs Rodwell

PUBLISHED: 13:17 06 September 2011 | UPDATED: 19:56 20 February 2013

Sharing laughter outside the hotel

Sharing laughter outside the hotel

Julia and Rod were married at 1pm on 13 July 2011, in the Rose Room at 16th-century Rookery Manor.

Blaze victim Julia Sbardella was swept off her feet when Rod Rodwell rescued her from a fire at her home and now, after a 13-year courtship, the couple have tied the knot at Rookery Manor. Something just clicked that day even though we had seen each other at our worst, says Rod.
After the fire I decided to pop round to see how Julia was and to ask whether she needed a hand in redecorating the kitchen.
The couple enjoyed a cup of tea and a chat before going their separate ways. But they kept bumping into each other until Rod plucked up the courage to ask Julia for a date. They have since brought up the children together at their home in Wraxall.

Where and when
Julia and Rod were married at 1pm on 13 July 2011, in the Rose Room at 16th-century Rookery Manor.

About the day
I (Julia) arrived for the wedding ceremony in a vintage car to be given away by my son, Alexander. I wore a beautiful Maggie Sottero gown with diamante in my hair and carried a bouquet of white lilies and purple fuchsias.
I was attended by my daughter Annabel, Rods daughter Sharni, and a friends daughter, Jessica Avery, who all wore short, purple dresses and carried small versions of my bridal bouquet.
The flower girls were my nieces Lydia and Katie Scanland, who wore long, white dresses and carried baskets of purple and white petals to scatter as I walked down the aisle.
Rod looked ultra-smart in a pure white suit with a purple cravat and a matching buttonhole. His sons best man Conor, and ushers George and Toby wore light grey suits and purple ties.
We hosted a purple-and-white themed reception under the starlit ceiling of Rookery Manors magnificent Desborough Suite.
I surprised Rod with a wedding cake designed in the shape of flames around a model fire engine, complete with a miniature bride and groom perched on top!
After the formal reception, it was time to party with a buffet and disco for 100 guests. We chose When You Came Into My Life by The Scorpions for our first dance.

The honeymoon
We spent our wedding night in the hotels Diamond Bridal Suite before jetting off to Hawaii a surprise gift from Rod. He had planned a helicopter flight, a trip to the rainforest on horseback, swimming with dolphins and a spa day for me while he went scuba-diving. Keeping all this a secret hadnt been easy, but Rod said that seeing my face when the bridesmaids performed an Hawaiian dance as he presented me with a lei during our reception made it all worthwhile!

Brides tip
Its a great idea to plan a memorable finale to your wedding celebrations. Our guests really enjoyed our spectacular fireworks display, which Rod and I watched from the balcony of Rookery Manor.

Bride's dress and Groom's outfit - Maggie Sottero at Rookery Bridal Boutique |

Flowers - Rookery Stable of Flowers |

Catering - Rookery Manor |

The Car - Rookery Limousines |

Spanish Guitarist - Hugh McDonald |

Fireworks - Firestorm Fireworks |

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