Congratulations to Ashlea and John who tied the knot recently at The Wild Boar Inn. Ashlea explains how they met, their romantic proposal and the preparations leading up to their perfect day.
John and I met 10 years ago whilst we were both working at a local farm shop. I was in my first year of college and he had just come home from 3 months in Canada. We were both working on the deli and butcher’s counters and got chatting during my weekend shifts. He soon asked me out, and although taking several weeks to reply due to thinking it might be a joke, I eventually said yes!
We’d been together for such a long that that I really thought I’d see it coming if he ever decided to propose. A few days before our 8 year anniversary John organised a very cute date night, suggesting we watch the very first film we saw in the cinema. The next morning he made breakfast for me and then suggested we headed up into the Lakes for the day and have a picnic at Thirlmere – one of my favourite spots in the. I asked if we could just eat in the car, but he convinced me to head down to the water. After eating our lunch and admiring the views, I found him down on one knee, asking me to be his wife!
We knew we wanted somewhere fairly relaxed, cosy, with good food. We also liked the idea of getting married in the Lakes, as we spent a lot of our weekends up there exploring. We just so happened to pop into the Wild Boar for lunch a few weeks after getting engaged and just knew we’d found the right place for us. A few days later we emailed Jeanette and arranged to meet her for a look around and I left so excited. We didn’t need to look anywhere else!
My shoes were the very first thing that I bought. I noticed that a gorgeous pair of Rachel Simpson embellished, open toe, kitten heels that I’d looked at a few times had been put in the sale, so I couldn’t not buy them
I got my dress from The Dressing Room in Garstang. I went in wanting something quite relaxed and flowy, – I was feeling those boho vibes. But I quickly changed my mind as the unstructured dresses made me feel a bit frumpy and the structured A-line dresses made me feel like a little girl dressing up. To my surprise, it was a lace, sequinned fit and flare dress that I fell in love with.
My hair comb was bought on Etsy from Gyspsy Rose Vintage and my jewellery and veil were my something old and borrowed.
John and his best man knew they wanted tweed suits and so got in touch with Neil at Charles Campbell Bespoke Tailoring at Ribchester about the possibility of having one made specially. Neil took the time to guide them through all the options, including tweed and lining materials. They were both very impressed with the fit and finish, receiving lots of compliments on the day.
Food is so important to us and we wanted to make sure everyone enjoyed it. We thought every single thing we tried on the taster menu was gorgeous which meant we only had one problem – knowing what other people would like.
We opted for soup, Scotch egg and the deli board for starters, steak and chips, zesty chicken and sweet potato fries and lamb shank with mash for mains and then Sachertorte, sticky toffee pudding and profiteroles for dessert. We then had a cracking vegetarian menu for our one vegetarian guest. So many of our guests commented on how wonderful it was, with lots saying it was the best food they’ve had at a wedding.
I’ve always been a little on the crafty/folksy side, and so I pretty much made all the decorations myself. We spend a lot of time in the lakes and I wanted to try and find a way to incorporate the scenery into the wedding. I approached a lady I’d seen felting mice on Etsy and asked her to make lots of different animals. She made us 10 different woodland animals which we then placed inside a bell jar with moss and fairy lights, making a different woodland scene in each.
Our place cards were written in gold pen and stamped with a leaf stem. I also glued pressed leaves onto old coffee jars and tied ribbon around the top to make leafy candle holders/Ianterns.
Being massive fans of homemade liqueurs, especially Sloe Gin, we just knew this had to be our wedding favour. We picked the Sloe berries from some of our favourite walking spots, leaving them to soak in the gin for a good 18 months before bottling them up in little glass bottles.
Our cake was from the Bakery at No4 in Kendal Melissa and Marianne designed the most gorgeous 3 tier cake for us (vanilla, lemon drizzle, choc guinness), with a base that was made to look like a log, a hand painted scene of Thirlmere on the middle tier and sugar flowers scattered around. It was absolutely amazing.
John found a really sweet song by Ray Lamontagne called ‘You are the best thing’. We then got into the full party spirit with the help of The Seals and the Dollz glitter bar, which we and our guests absolutely loved!
I think it was pretty special sharing the day with my Grandma who turned 80 that same day. We finished the speeches by bringing out her birthday cake and Emilie, our photographer, captured the most beautiful picture of her blowing the candles out.
Do not fall into the trap of feeling you have to buy everything brand new. I bought quite a few things second hand – candle holders for the tables, faux flowers for my bouquet and tables, and made lots of it myself. I started planning early which gave me time. It was so unbelievably rewarding to see it all come together. So if you have time and the patience, make as much as you can as it’s so worth it.