On Sunday 14th August 2016, I married the love of my life and became Mrs Skarratt. We got married at The Inn on the Lake on Lake Ullswater, Glenridding which is in the beautiful lake district. As with most good things in life, the day was certainly worth the wait, just like those who took the plunge before me told me it would be. I’m happy to say none of my many wedding nightmares came true!
I spent a lovely morning with my Mum and Maid of Honour/ best friend Emma, having breakfast in my bridal suite and starting to beautify ourselves/ swapping gifts. The pressure began to mount as the morning literally slipped away from me – time moved at a lightning speed! I’d decided to do my own make-up on my wedding day as I hadn’t liked the way it looked at my trial. I wanted to feel like me so I’d invested in some great high-end products that would last and look great and I could use again. This certainly added pressure to the morning but I’m happy to report it all went to plan (other than fact I was twenty minutes late!)
One of the biggest draws of the venue we’d chosen was the stunning, postcard perfect views from the hotel of Lake Ullswater and the surrounding mountains and greenery, along with acres of perfectly manicured gardens. We’d hoped and dreamed we could get married in the gazebo outside but knew this was always going to be a huge gamble with the great british weather, despite the fact we were getting married in the middle of summer. Our wedding planner had told us the night before that the wedding team could wait up until half an hour before the wedding before setting up outside if there was a chance of rain, and it was the registrar’s final call.
One of the girls excitedly said to me “they are setting up outside!”, at around 10am on our wedding day and I felt so relieved and thrilled! I knocked back a couple of bucks fizz to calm my nerves and I was almost ready to go. I had a moment where I looked at myself in the mirror, all ready to go. My eyes filled with tears, wow I was a bride and I looked pretty amazing, the day was finally here. I was going to marry the love of my life.
The bridesmaids all joined us for pictures and looked gorgeous in their dresses, my two year old son and pageboy came in to see me for a quick cuddle – he is a little ball of energy so had to be kept until control as he started causing chaos in the room and standing all over my dress. I managed to steal a few precious shots with him, trying my best to hold him still.
My brother, Peter was standing in for my Dad, who we tragically lost when I was just fifteen. Peter stepped in as a father figure to me ever since which was pretty amazing when he was just eighteen months older than me himself. It was a very special moment for us and one he knew I’d been waiting for, for a very long time. He’d walked me through a lot of heartache and many failed relationships throughout my twenties.
Here comes the bride
After five or so sobering minutes with the pretty serious registrars, it was time to walk down the aisle – oh my god, this was the most nerve-wracking part of the day for me. We assumed position with the instruction of our organised wedding co-ordinator and ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’ by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole started playing, ready for my entrance.
The bridesmaids walked down ahead of me in pairs and we waited behind the hedges at the end of a long stone path which was my aisle, hidden from Steven and our wedding guests. It was my turn, here we go. Leaning probably a bit too heavily on Peter, we strode down the aisle to many beaming faces of the people closest to us. I was so nervous but it was exhilarating. I saw my handsome Steven standing there waitingand looking as cool as ever, he looked so happy when he saw me.
We said our formalities, exchanged rings and read out our own vows to each other which added a lovely personal touch. Once the ceremony was over and our marriage was sealed with a kiss, I felt a huge sense of relief and joy. That was the most nerve-wracking part of the day for me, after that I could relax and really enjoy the day.
The Perfect Backdrop
After a confetti walk and lots of cheers, we greeted our guests on the patio with a Pimms and canapé drinks reception. This was a great chance for all of our guests to mingle. Steven and I were quickly stolen away for photographs, along with the help of my Maid of Honour and Steven’s Best Men (chief champagne glass holders!). This time together was lovely, it allowed us to have some time together to take it all in and enjoy being freshly married. Many people advised us to try and take a bit of time together and this was the perfect opportunity.
The views were just truly breath-taking, it was the perfect backdrop to a perfect day and made having our pictures taken so easy. Before we knew it, we were being summoned to the wedding breakfast. We were introduced by our wedding co-ordinator as ‘The New Mr & Mrs Skarratt’, which I loved! We took our seat at the top table to get ready for the speeches.
My brother Peter gave the most wonderful speech which had myself and my Mum and many others in the room no doubt in floods of tears. It was such an emotional day, there was a huge presence missing in the room which was my incredible Dad. Peter did him proud and shared some beautiful sentimental words and memories and went on to tell some embarassing memories of my youth along with lovely words about Steven and about how proud he is of the person I’ve become. Steven’s speech was next and was also lovely, Steven isn’t too emotional so kept it light and witty but with lots of sentiment. I’ve always said that Steven is amazing at putting a lot of meaning into very few words. This was then followed by the joint best man speeches which were great, gave us all a good laugh but also carried some lovely sentiment.
We then enjoyed a lovely three course wedding breakfast and cut into our amazing three tiered birdcage styled wedding cake. It was one of the most delicious cakes I’ve ever tasted! After dinner we squeezed in some group pictures on the lawns and then it was time to love into the newly renovated ‘Ramblers Bar’ which was a separate building where the evening reception was being held. We were lucky that a fabulous extension to the Ramblers Bar had just been completed. ‘The Candleroom’ was beautiful and provided a separate seating area set away from the dancefloor which was perfect for guests with children and those wanting a bit more peace and quiet!
Time to party
After freshening up, ditching my veil and ‘bustling’ my dress up (hooking the long train onto a clever button on my dress so I could dance the night away!), it was time to hit the dancefloor with our first dance. We had a live band who sung “Grow Old With You”, from the film The Wedding Singer. We loved the words and thought it was very fitting and original and was fairly short and light-hearted, Steven is not a fan of dancing at all! After a little shuffle around together Thomas ran over shouting “Mummy, Daddy” causing lots of sweet sighs from the crowd, we picked him up and he joined our first dance which was perfect. He then went on to steal our thunder by leading two little girls onto the dancefloor! It was adorable (he was only just two at the time!) and stole a lot of hearts. If anyone was going to steal our thunder, we were pretty happy it was Tommy!
After this things became a little hazy, my new Father-in-law bought me a bottle of prosecco (I’d asked for a glass!) and the party really got started. The band were brilliant, they played covers and a couple of sets of songs we’d chosen that we knew would get the party started. One worry I’d had was we may have an empty dancefloor throughout points of the night, that certainly wasn’t something we needed to worry about.
It really was a celebration. It’s safe to say pretty much everyone let their hair down and partied. I made a point of being on the dancefloor all night, I knew no one would let the bride be up there by herself so it was my ploy to keep the party going! I was on cloud nine regardless but it was the best day and evening of my whole life, it was perfect. I even grabbed a spontaneous karaoke moment and grabbed the mic to sing “Don’t stop believing” at one point (my new wedding trick!” to get the crowd going and certainly worked. I did mic drop and upset the band but we won’t go into that!
When the last song was played around midnight (Oasis) it was safe to say that we were nowhere near ready for the night to end! I was gutted it was over, it felt like the day had whizzed by in the matter of a couple of hours. People tell you how quickly the day goes but you have no concept of it until you have been married yourself. We carried on with a couple of nightcaps at the hotel bar before crashing into bed at around 2.30am.
Our wedding was featured on Brides Up North, you can read the write up here.
We also have a gorgeous feature film, shot and edited by the wonderful Tie the Knot films. I absolutely love it, it catches the key elements of the day and makes me smile and feel warm and fuzzy every time I watch it. Something to treasure forever and a day. You can take a peek at our highlight film here.