When we first walked through the door we were greeted by the reception staff, who knew us right away and were very friendly. They asked us about our nerves and assured us that everything was in hand, with the Hadrian Suite being all prepared for us.
Before meeting our friends and family we decided to have a sneak peek into the Hadrian Suite and we were not disappointed; the tables were dressed, the crockery and glassware sparkled from the unique lighting that shines down from the ceiling and our faces beamed.
With help from our friends we set about adding our own unique touches to the tables, a milk bottle with a flag for our table names, the vases for centre pieces that would be arriving from our florist, Jen Musgrave of The Flower House, in the morning and our 5 tier cake stand which we hired from A&V Event Hire.
We also set up our table plan, which had been printed onto a mirror and now hangs in our living room, and a welcome sign, both created for us by our friend Amy Edmondson who makes fantastic creations and is on Instagram @madeby_amy_withlove. With everything set up we could relax and have a few drinks before heading to bed in anticipation of what was to come the following day.
On the morning of the wedding, we awoke in the Lincoln Suite four poster bed and headed downstairs for breakfast. We were greeted by the staff with smiles and well wishes for the day head and went back up stairs to find our room had been tidied ready for the wedding party to arrive and get ready in. Our two best men, six groomsmen and five groomsmaids joined us and the atmosphere was abuzz. The girls had been for their hair and makeup done by Haley at Atelier Hair Couture in Carlisle beforehand and looked amazing. With everyone getting ready and guests starting to arrive downstairs our photographer, Lauren May Photos, snapped away to capture the whole thing.
Scott MacGregor, the Weddings Manager for The Fleece kept us all in check. He’d planned the whole day with us for months and was determined everything would run swimmingly. The music for walking down the aisle was tested again on the morning, putting us at ease and he ensured that we had a few moments alone before the ceremony to breathe. We used this time to write our speeches, which probably should have been done more than an hour before the ceremony! The staff and our ushers got everyone seated for the ceremony and Scott made sure our entrance to walk down the aisle was perfectly timed. The ceremony was held in front of the beautiful fireplace, with windows looking out to the cows grazing on the meadow.
While the staff beavered away in the background turning around the Hadrian suite for our wedding breakfast, we enjoyed canapes and drinks on the lawn with our guests. We had our group photos taken on some haybales and even managed to get some with our surprise guest of honour, Lassie the Jersey Cow. The panic and fear for his beautiful lawn was shown on Scott’s face as we walked her around the corner was a sight to see, but there was nothing to worry about in the end. We entered the Suite again as Mr & Mr Irving Shaw, announced by Scott with all our guests standing as we walked to the top table. The top table had been set with places for Tony’s parents, who sadly passed away just weeks before the wedding.
Every request we made was honoured by the Fleece and it was ones like this that made us feel like they’d made the day extra special to us. Our speeches were well received, and it was on to the meal. We thoroughly enjoyed the food at the wedding and every comment we’ve had about it from our guests has been complimentary.
More guests arrived in the evening to join us for a drink and a dance, and my did they, the bar and the dancefloor were never empty! The beautiful weather allowed for guests to spill outside onto the benches and haybales too. We partied until the early hours and had all the rooms booked out at the Fleece for our guests.
Those who’d gone to bed a little early commented the following day on how soundproof the Hadrian Suite was and how they’d slept wonderfully and were delighted with their room. Breakfast the next morning was a fragile affair for Paul who managed only a cup of tea, but Tony wasn’t missing out on the delicious breakfast and was down at 7:30am to tuck into a Full English. We met with Scott again for a debrief and to pass on our thanks to all the staff at the Fleece for making our special day fabulous from start to finish.
If you, or any one you know is planning an idyllic Cumbrian wedding in the next couple of years please keep us in mind. You can download our brochure and find out more about our Wedding packages here