Swiss Alps hosts Cotswold society wedding of the year
It was the Cotswold society wedding of the year – but this being March and the polo fields being empty – it took place in a plush ski resort in the Swiss Alps.
England polo star Mark Tomlinson married British Olympic champion Laura Bechtolsheimer in a wedding which had everything from German wedding vows to the Cotswolds’ very own hunting vicar.
In the background were Prince William and Prince Harry, as well as the Duchess of Cambridge throwing confetti, but all eyes were on one of the surprise stars of London 2012, who bagged a gold medal and then the ‘Glossy Posse’s’ most eligible man in a whirlwind few months.
Bechtolsheimer is the granddaughter of a German retail magnate, whose parents moved to the Cotswolds when Laura was a baby.
Limited Deal. All day wedding photography only £545.00View details
All day wedding photography only £545.00
From Bridal preparations to first dance.
250+ Hi Res images on disc with full printing rights.
Professional photography at affordable prices.
Free no obligation consultations.
Offer subject to availability.
Book before 31st May 2013.
Available in Bath, Bristol and surrounding areas.
Contact: 01225 439257
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
She grew up to be one of the best dressage riders in the world. Soon after winning a gold medal in the British dressage team, alongside the likes of Newent’s Charlotte Dujardin, she got engaged – and now married – to Mark Tomlinson.
Mark is the son of Beaufort Polo club owners Simon and Claire Tomlinson, and one of the stars of the England team.
Both his brother Luke and sister Emma have also played for England and with their home at Westonbirt, grew up as close friends of the two princes, William and Harry, who have often been their team-mates in Beaufort colours.
Among the set of polo and hunting, dashing Mark, a 30-year-old professional polo player, was the catch for all the ‘stick chicks’ in the ‘Glossy Posse’, who played and partied in the pubs around the Cotswolds.
“For Laura to have been the one to have finally bagged him is lovely,” said one friend of the couple.
“They obviously share a love of horses but come from two very different sports. But being both elite athletes they will be equal in that, and be able to share the pressures that brings.”
The wedding took place at the ski resort of Arosa, in a small Protestant church, before a lavish reception at a hotel owned by Laura’s grandfather, the billionaire Karl-Heinz Kipp.
The 88-year-old made his fortune in department stores and hotels right across Europe, and is a household name in Germany.
So the wedding of his naturalised English grand-daughter to one of the best friends of Princes William and Harry caused quite a stir in Switzerland and Germany – especially since the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge was among the guests.
The wedding service was in German and English, with the local pastor Thomas Muller-Weigl sharing officiating duties with Canon Christopher Mulholland, the ‘hunting vicar’ from Badminton who rides out with the Beaufort Hunt and is a close friend of Prince Charles.
Prince William acted as an usher for Mark, and the presence of the royals added to the excitement in the ski resort, particularly since they arrived on Friday, on the eve of the wedding.
“I saw Kate just walking along the road and couldn’t believe my eyes,” said local resident, Ursula Winiger, 52.
“I automatically waved at her and she smiled and waved back. I said in English that I wished her a pleasant stay and she thanked me. She was very friendly.”