Gamekeeper's Wedding - Charlotte & Ashley

We're always delighted to host your weddings at The Gamekeeper's Inn and bring the perfect day you've always imagined to life. We caught up with some of our happy couples to reminisce about their special day with us, so we could share their story with you.

Please tell us your and your husband's names Ashley and Charlotte Nelson

The date of your wedding with us? 19th March 2022

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How did you meet?
We met on the dating app Tinder! Ash messaged me and I spoke to him a little bit. I stopped replying because I wasn't sure I was as ready for a relationship as he was, but Ashley already knew he'd found the one! He found me on Facebook and started to chat to me again, eventually he wore me down and I agreed to a date. Still not sure, and still covered in glitter from getting home from Leeds festival that morning, I set off to a curry house at 9pm.

He dropped me off at home afterwards and I just knew he was the one. Two weeks later we moved in together! Within a month I had a whole new life. Everyone thought we were crazy, but here we are coming up to 6 years later.

How did he propose?
Ashley proposed to me during lockdown. We couldn’t go anywhere, so on the morning of my 30th birthday I went into my living room, opened my presents then FaceTimed my stepson Finn. He asked me to pop the confetti balloons on the floor, I popped a few before finding a ring in one balloon. Overwhelmed, I asked what it was for and that's when Ash asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes!

Tell us about your stag and hen celebrations!
I had my hen party at the Peddler's Den in Malton which is a huge bunk bed barn. We went for 2 nights, our first night was a Harry Potter themed night with potion cocktails, and on our second night we had a butler in the buff who was great fun! I also had a bridal shower for family and friends with an evening meal at Steeton Hall Hotel in Keighley.

Ash wanted to make sure his son Finn who was only 14 at the time was involved in his stag, so they had a day out with best man and groomsman doing fun activities. His friends later organised a surprise night out go-karting.

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Why did you choose The Gamekeeper's Inn as your wedding venue?
Every girl dreams of her wedding, and I had already had a good idea of what type of wedding I wanted before Ash even asked me to marry him! I looked at everything in the area and The Gamekeeper's Inn stood out to me above everything else. The surroundings are just stunning. When we came up the drive it gave me butterflies and I knew this was my wedding venue.

I had only visited The Gamekeeper's Inn once before I booked my wedding, and that was to attend the Wedding Showcase. The staff were so friendly and helpful. After booking my wedding I visited regularly, and each time the staff always had a smile on their faces. They couldn’t help us enough!

The venue is simply stunning and it has so many options to make it your own with so many different styles. I remember standing at the patio doors looking down what would be my aisle and being lost for words at the beauty of the room and the feeling it gave me.

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What was the morning of your wedding like?
We stayed in a family room at The Gamekeeper's Inn the night before the wedding. My bridesmaids and my family who flew in from Australia all stayed the night before as well. The Gamekeeper's team organised us a table to all eat together that night, and they took our breakfast orders so we could have it delivered to our room the next morning and have one less thing to think about, which was amazing!

I was really calm all morning until I had to get into my dress. The moment I put it on I was filled with emotion when I realised that this was it! I was marrying the love of my life after planning a wedding during lockdown, worrying about the unknown of whether it would go ahead, if we would have the numbers we wanted, if my family would be able to leave Australia… it was finally here, and everything came together perfectly!

When I came down the stairs, the staff at Gamekeepers were clapping for me, which was so unexpected and made me feel so special. It wasn’t until I watched my wedding video back that I realised that two members of staff had fluffed my dress and veil as I started to make my way down the aisle and I just felt that was such a lovely added touch.

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What was your wedding theme?
We went for a rustic theme with emerald green and blush, as well as lots of greenery, flowers and wood effect items.

How did you choose your theme?
I tailored my theme to my venue! I wanted a theme that I felt would fit into the modern barn feel that The Netherside Suite at The Gamekeeper's Inn has. The theme and the venue complimented each other perfectly.

Tell us about your wedding look!
My dress is from Cinderella’s in Skipton, made by the UK designer Phoenix. It was a ball gown dress with lace over skirt, a Bardot ¾ lace sleeve and a very large train in colour oyster. I loved this dress but I prefer a bit more sparkle (don't forget I turned up to our first date covered in glitter!) so I had it customized by the brand to have a secret sparkle underskirt, which made it even more special as it was customised to me and my style. I added a plain cathedral veil from Wed2b.

How did you know you'd found 'the' dress?
I’m not a very confident person with how I look, so it wasn't easy to go and try on so many dresses looking for the perfect one, but this dress was the one I kept coming back to. When I tried it on a second time I burst into tears, I felt beautiful and I just knew that was the dress for me. And it was even more special because it was the dress my mum picked out for me to try on. Sometimes mothers know best!

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Who did your hair and makeup?
My hair was done by Amy Wiseman who owns Amy’s hair salon in Keighley, and my bridesmaids' hair was done by Erin Bartnik who also works at Amy’s. Both were great on the day and kept us so calm, there was no huge rush or panic. Amy also did my hair extensions before the wedding. Both Amy and Erin waited for me to get into my dress before they left so they could make sure my hair was perfect before and my veil was in securely.

My makeup was done by Lydia Marie who specialises in bridal makeup. Lydia is such a lovely person. She was so calm, she listened to what everyone wanted and she executed it perfectly. Lydia went above and beyond and actually helped get me into my corset dress which I was hugely appreciative of.

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Who were your bridesmaids and groomsmen?
My maid of honour was Laura, my best friend of 12 years. I had three bridesmaids, Heather, Chloe and Sarah, who are all my best friends of over 10 years now. My Junior bridesmaid was Ashley's niece Ruby, and my flower girl was Dottie, my maid of honour's daughter and my mini best friend!

The bridesmaids dresses were supplied by my own small business Before The Aisle Bridal, and were forest green multi-way dresses that my bridesmaids all wore in different styles. Dottie's dress was from Next which was a blush pink tulle dress with large bow on the back.

Ashley’s best man was his brother-in-law Peter, his ushers were his son Finn and nephew Elliott, and his page boy was my cousin's son Lucas.

The men wore rustic beige check suits with blush ties, pocket squares and brown shoes, all from Next. The boys' suits were a similar brown check from Flower Girls & Bridesmaids who do boys' suits up to age 16.

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How did you feel walking down the aisle?
My aisle walk was amazing, I was sure I would cry - I almost did when my huge dress got stuck on some ivy at the side of the aisle! But luckily everyone thought I was simply having a dramatic pause before continuing my walk. One of the reasons I loved The Gamekeeper's Inn was because the aisle is such a great size, I felt like it gave me time to feel nervous on those first steps, then to be able to embrace it and take it all in. I had my eyes on Ashley the entire time, it was like nobody else was in the room as I made my way to him. It’s probably the most amazing feeling I’ve ever experienced in my life.

Tell us about your flower arrangements!
I decided to go for artificial bouquets, I'm quite a sentimental person and I wanted my wedding flowers to last forever! We had ivory flowers with foliage to match our centerpieces, I love dramatic flowers so the bridesmaids and I all had quite large bouquets. All the flowers were supplied by Flower Boutique.

I already had some flowers, but then I saw the ones I ended up choosing on Flower Boutique's page and instantly knew they were the flowers I was meant to have! They were beautiful but so simple and really matched our rustic theme.

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Tell us about your decorations!
Our room was beautifully decorated by Creative Venue Styling.

The centerpieces were white metal columns with flower bombs on top matching our bouquets, also supplied by Flower Boutique.

What did you have for wedding favours?
We made our wedding favours ourselves! Went for rustic heart boxes filled with green and blush chocolates to match our wedding colours.

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Tell us all about your wedding cake!
We had a three tiered cake with fresh flowers made by Every Cloud Cakes and Bakes. Our flavours were prosecco & strawberries, vanilla & rasberry, and salted caramel. We also had a custom made cake topper of the bride dragging the groom away from his other love… his car!

We used The Gamekeeper's Inn's cake stand and the cake knives were a gift from my bridal party.

How did you decide on your cake's theme and flavour?
We wanted a cake that would fit into our theme, so having a naked cake with real flowers that matched our wedding flowers was the obvious choice. Our supplier sent us some samples to try at home ( we couldn't come out to her due to lockdown) and we knew straight away which flavours we wanted. The prosecco and strawberry flavour was to die for!

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What food did you have at the wedding?
All our catering was provided by The Gamekeepers Inn and it was amazing! We had canapés which everyone agreed were just delicious and really generously sized.

We had a three course wedding breakfast for 48 people, followed by an evening buffet of chips, bacon sandwiches and mini fish and chips for our 80 evening guests.

I found it great that The Gamekeeper's Inn gave us two options to give to our guests for our wedding breakfast then a separate veggie option which also had two choices. The kids' menu also had the choice of two for each. The Gamekeeper's Inn also gave us the option to add meals for our suppliers, so it was great that I was able to add on a main meal for my photographer and videographer.

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What was your first dance song?
Our first dance song was Clinton Kane's 'I Guess I'm in Love'. I just happened to hear this song while scrolling on social media one day and it really hit me. His song tells a story about the heartbreak that comes before finding the one you love, which was something that really resonated with myself and Ash and I still get butterflies when I hear it.

What entertainment did you provide?

We hired Chris Stewart Close Up Magician who went table to table performing tricks. He was brilliant and all the guests absolutely loved him! We also had a DJ provided by Harrogate Weddings & Events.

We booked a stunning rustic heart-shaped photobooth which really went with our theme. This was great fun and all our guests signed a guestbook with their photo. It's been such a special thing to keep and look back on!

Who was your photographer and videographer?
Our photographer was Peter Anslow. I remember seeing a photo of his at The Gamekeeper's Inn next to the lake, and I instantly knew he was the one. Peter is so lovely! He is so charismatic and makes you feel totally at ease on your big day. Peter really shows dedication, love and effort to all his couples. We still keep in touch on Facebook 10 months later.

Our videographer was Mark Cooper of MC Media and Film. Mark was just starting out in the wedding industry when I booked him and he didn’t have any wedding videos to show me, however I liked his style from the videos he had and it just felt perfect to me, so I took a chance and booked him!

That chance paid off as he was absolutely amazing! He was regularly in contact in the run up to the wedding day and he spoke with me at length about the style I wanted for my video, key moments we wanted to capture and people we wanted to be in it. My wedding video was back with me within a week! Mark is now an established wedding videographer, he has just done my best friend's wedding. After seeing him again 10 months on after my wedding, Mark remains not only a supplier but a friend.

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Have you been back to The Gamekeeper's Inn since your wedding?
As much as we have wanted to, we haven't been back just yet. We wanted our next visit to be really special, which is why we're coming back for our one year anniversary in March!

When we contacted The Gamekeeper's Inn to book our anniversary break, they were just amazing. We booked the Honeymoon Suite which is where we stayed the night of the wedding, and The Gamekeeper's team upgraded our stay to include full leisure club access, spa treatments, two course evening meal and traditional afternoon tea the following day for a great price.

It's lovely to know that the couples are still so cared for after the wedding. I’ve spoken to Angela my wedding planner many times since my big day and I really do feel like The Gamekeeper's Inn is like home to me now. I can’t wait to make so many more memories there!

What keeps you coming back to The Gamekeeper's Inn?
The Gamekeeper's Inn is so special to us, not only because it was our wedding venue, but because we have so many memories here from our many visits. The food is amazing, the grounds are stunning, and the spa is lovely.

It's also the little things, like finding a charger for me and bringing it to the room when a wedding guest had accidentally gone home with mine. The staff really do make the place.

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Which is your favourite photo from your wedding day?
My favourite photo is the one of us standing at the bottom of the aisle together. It shows off the ceremony room perfectly and just captures the moment and venue so well!

One of our favourites is the photo of you both with our red telephone box. Was that the photographer's idea or yours?
The red phone box was one of Ashley's favourite things about the venue, he had quite a few photos there by himself before I jumped in!

If you could re-live your wedding day all over again, is there anything you would do differently?
If I could do my day again or offer advice to other brides, it would be to invite who you really want to and not who people tell you to! The day was perfect, my only regret is not booking my magician for the entire evening instead of just a few hours as he was amazing!

Is there anyone specifically who made your day special?
My wedding was the first wedding I had ever been to, so I needed a little extra help with everything. The wedding planner Angela was so helpful in answering what probably seemed the most basic questions. I always received quick replies and she was just absolutely brilliant.

I wasn’t sure what a master of ceremonies really did, but wow! Chris was just amazing! From coming to meet us the night before, memorising my aisle walk and getting all my bridesmaids down the aisle perfectly, Chris was there at every moment of the day, handing out canapés, topping up drinks. He was always about when we were taking photos to help carry kit and even throwing my veil in the air and running away so we could get that perfect shot! My suppliers commented on just how amazing he was with them. He was a huge part of my day and I absolutely loved having him there. He is a true credit to Gamekeepers inn.

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Charlotte & Ashley's Suppliers

Wedding dress: Cinderella’s | 01756 791007

Bridesmaids' dresses: Before The Aisle Bridal |

Hair: Amy's | 01535 500731

Makeup: By Lydia Marie | hello@bylydiamarie.co.uk | 07921 143766

Groom & Groomsmen's Suits: Next

Flowers: Flower Boutique | info@flower-boutique.com | 01494 762760

Wedding Cake: Every Cloud Cakes and Bakes | everycloudcakesandbakes@sky.com | 07814 697700

Decorations: Creative Venue Styling | info@creativevenuestyling.co.uk | 01282 476592

Entertainment: Chris Stewart Close Up Magician | chris@westyorkshirem­agician.co.uk | 07711 564 888

DJ: Harrogate Weddings & Events | info@hweh.co.uk | 07879 817061

Photographer: Peter Anslow Photography| info@peteranslow.co.uk | 01282 869346

Videographer: MC Media & Film | mcmediaandfilm@gmail.com | 07432477295

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