We absolutely LOVE hosting your weddings here at The Gamekeeper's Inn and creating a day that's perfect for you is a wonderful feeling. So we've asked some of our brides to relive their special day with us by filling out a little questionnaire so we could share a little bit of the magic with you too!
Please tell us yours and your husbands names Annette & Mike Daniel
The date of your wedding with us? Saturday 6th July 2019
Tell us how you met? I (Annette) had not long moved back to Harrogate and had decided to go out on a night out with my new work colleagues to a local pub. I worked with Mike's best friend so Mike joined us at the pub. We sat next to each other for most of the night laughing and joking and generally having a great time however we didn't exchange numbers so Mike had to sneak my number from his friends’ phone to text me a few days later
How did he or she propose? We were together 13 years, lived together, had 2 beautiful daughters and were engaged for 9 years prior to actually getting married!
Mike proposed 9 years ago on New Year’s Eve at Chez La Vie in Harrogate. My birthday is on the 3rd January so after dessert he presented me with an early birthday 'present' wrapped up in a box. I thought it was a watch due to the size and shape. However, it was a gorgeous diamond ring sat on a large pedestal in the middle of this box. Mike asked me to marry him and I said Yes!
What was the theme for your day, and did you have a colour scheme? We didn't really have a theme for our day. We wanted everything to be white. So pretty much everything was white except the bridesmaid dresses and guys ties which were a shimmering champagne pink.
Where did you hold your ceremony? We held our ceremony at the beautiful and stunning Gamekeeper's Inn, in Threshfield.
Why did you choose The Gamekeeper’s Inn as your reception venue? We chose the Gamekeeper’s Inn as we instantly fell in love with it. It is stunning! We had viewed quite a few different venues but due to us having an idea in our heads what we wanted nothing really felt right. We wanted a barn conversion but we also wanted to stay there and have all the facilities already in place so we didn't have the hassle of having to travel to and from the venue on the day.
Also, as we both work full time, we needed somewhere that would cater for all our needs so we didn't have to mess around hiring everything separately. I found the venue during a search on Google and the pictures were stunning so I decided to book an appointment with the wedding coordinator. Upon meeting Angela, we instantly felt like we had known her for ages, she is such a lovely woman who really helped to make our day so special along with the rest of the Gamekeeper's team.
When did you know you had found THE dress? I went to my first wedding dress fitting with 3 of my bridesmaids at The Harrogate Wedding Lounge. I picked LOADS of dresses which I tried on but nothing looked or felt right. My bridesmaids said the right things but even they knew the dresses just weren't looking right even though each was stunning. I was rather disappointed as all the dresses I thought I loved just weren't right.
However, Alison (the wedding shop assistant) was amazing - she asked me if she minded her picking a few so I thought it couldn't hurt. The curtains were closed and I waited whilst she went to pick a dress. She came in with a dress and I instantly said “hmmm, that's lovely but not really me.” Alison asked if I'd mind putting it on anyway, she said the curtain can stay closed, no-one needed to see it unless I wanted to show them so again, I thought it can’t hurt to try it on. Well, what can I say?! I was in love!! I just couldn't believe it; it was absolutely beautiful! I was lost for words and nearly started crying. Alison gave me a hug and asked if she could open the curtains. As the curtains were opened my bridesmaids turned and all three instantly fell back against the back of the sofa with their hands over their mouths speechless. It was a moment I'll never forget. They all whispered “It’s the one” and I knew it was!! I didn't want to take it off!
Who were your bridesmaids and what did they wear? My maid of honour was my best friend Latina. My bridesmaids were my sister Hayley, friends Linzi and Sharon, and our eldest daughter Emily and niece Isobel. They all wore matching beautiful multiway dresses.
My flower girls were our youngest daughter Evie and nieces Ruby and Kate who wore matching white dresses with ribbons that matched the bridesmaid dresses.
Tell us about your floral arrangements The floral arrangements were an easy choice, we knew we wanted lots of greenery with white flowers. Mike's best friend and the person who introduced us all those years ago has a floral business so we asked her straight away if she would do our flowers for us. Paula helped us to decide on the best flowers for that time of year and we had a few days out together looking around different places to decide on the best designs and flowers followed by a trial centrepiece so I knew what to expect on the day.
Tell us about the personal touches you added to the day I wanted to do/make as much as possible on the run up to the wedding with the help from my amazing family and friends. This meant plenty of meet ups which included lots of Prosecco, nibbles, belly laughs and amazing memories. We hand made all the invites and the seating plan and ordered everyone silver wooden place names so they could keep these after the wedding. We even made homemade Toffee shots from vodka and Werther's Originals which we put in mini jam jars with personalised stickers on the front.... these were drunk as part of the speech and went down really well!
We decided to spend the full weekend at the Gamekeepers Inn so everyone arrived on the Friday and stayed until the Sunday (some of us stayed until the Monday to enjoy/prolong the 'after party'!) Thanks to the Gamekeeper's and due to them not having anything else booked in the events room on the Friday we were able to decorate the venue the day before which also really helped to get us all in the mood and get everyone involved in decorating the already stunning venue.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle? It was a gorgeously hot day, I had been so calm all day, however when my dad walked into the suite I just cried! And from then I was a nervous wreck! Due to it being such a lovely day we walked from the outside through the double doors, my flower girl’s, maid of honour and bridesmaids went first and as I stood and waited for the singing to start my dad was telling me everything was going to be ok.
As we walked down the aisle I was so overwhelmed with emotion I cried, but it was so beautiful. We had an amazing pianist who played the tune as the bridesmaids walked down the aisle then she started singing a 'Thousand Years' as my dad and I walked in. We chose this song as it felt like a thousand years as we had been together so long before getting married. My dad held my arm so tight as we walked down the aisle, I think we were holding each other up by the end!! It was just breath-taking but over far too quickly.
What was the most memorable moment of your day? The most memorable part of the day was just how much fun we had during taking our vows. The lady (Sue Pollard) who conducted the ceremony was amazing, and she really helped calm our nerves and made a few jokes which had the room howling with laughter. Along with Mike's jokes it was the funniest ceremony I'd ever been to and thankfully it was my own!! The videographer we hired really captured it well and I can't stop watching it
Which song did you choose for your first dance and why? We decided to treat our guests to a bit of a mix up for our first song (also we couldn't agree on one!) so we started with John Legends ‘All of Me’ and then the song scratched and stopped as all the lights went out in the room as the dance tune ‘Show Me Love’ came on with disco lights and me and Mike had split apart and had put sun glasses on. It was a funny twist to the standard slow first dance.
Which food and drinks did you choose to provide for your guests on the day? When choosing the food, we mainly went for what we prefer to eat. The Gamekeeper's Inn had a great choice of food and were very accommodating to a couple of our vegetarian friends who didn't want the meat or fish options we had chosen.
We decided on the mushroom pot (my favourite and I had this every time we visited prior to the wedding!) and the duck salad for starter, the toffee glazed gammon and the cod and mushroom risotto for main then the sticky toffee pudding (the lightest sticky toffee pudding ever and it is to die for!) and the glazed lemon tart for pudding. This was followed by coffee and truffles. The meal was absolutely gorgeous and we had practically every guest saying how tasty and beautiful it was. We decided on the Chardonnay as the white choice, Pinot Grigio blush for the rose and the Merlot for the red then for those who don't like wine we went for the Peroni.
We were so thankful for the great choices provided by the Gamekeepers, this meant we could keep all our guests happy and there was no need to stress about anything.
Tell us about your wedding cake The cake.... this was one thing neither of us was really bothered about. We didn't really like traditional cakes so we struggled to pick one until we met The Blossom Tree Company at a wedding fair. They are 2 great guys who make the nicest cakes ever and their attention to detail is phenomenal! Our cake ended up being 3 tiers of white icing with the middle layer of icing being a different texture/look. We then had the greenery and flowers to match the flowers in our décor with silver leaf coming out from under the flowers. On the top we had miniature replicas of ourselves in our wedding outfits (I had to keep it hidden so no-one saw my dress).
What music and entertainment did you have on the day? The very talented Shona Crossan played the piano and sang before, during and after the ceremony. She has such a great voice and talent; we were so glad we decided to hire her. Our friend is a DJ but as we wanted him at our wedding, we decided to go with Harrogate entertainment who provided the photo booth, downlights, disco lights and the DJ. They were fantastic and did an amazing job. Especially keeping everything a secret since we also had a secret Father/Daughter dance which only Mike and my mum knew about, not even my best friend or sister knew! My dad and I had been going to weekly dance lessons for a couple of months to learn this dance which was very emotional on the night and went down great. The kids also learnt and performed an amazing little routine which was great.
The Gamekeeper's Inn provided background music for during the meal which was a love song playlist which was lovely and again this took the pressure off us having to pick more songs.
Where did you go on your honeymoon? For our honeymoon we spent 3 nights at the Pan Pacific in Singapore, then we flew to Bali and spent 4 amazing night at the Ubud Village spa and resort in a garden pool villa then carried to an Island just off Bali called Lombok where we stayed for 4 nights in the Sudamala Suites and Villas in Senggigi with a 1 night stay on the Gili Islands.
We loved Singapore; it is a beautiful city however Bali was definitely our favourite. Bali was and is such an amazing place and I would recommend it to anyone. The places to see are just breath-taking. There are temples, volcanoes, waterfalls, coffee plantations, markets and much much more. Lombok is also stunning with amazing beaches; this was the relaxing part of our holiday which wasn't very relaxing as we hired a moped for practically nothing and drove all over the island seeing anything and everything. The culture in Bali and Lombok is completely different from the UK and we loved every minute of it! The couple of days spent on the Gili islands were just unforgettable. The food and views are just fantastic. Here we went on some great boat trips, which included snorkelling, water sports and more but I've got to admit their sunsets are just out of this world! Something we'll never forget. The best honeymoon setting, it was very romantic.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning your wedding? To be honest the Gamekeeper's Inn made everything so easy for us. We pretty much selected what we wanted and they delivered! I would say the most stressful thing was deciding on who to invite and the seating plan. (as noted from Mike's speech, who's going to get on, who not to sit next to each other, try not put all the wreck-heads together!! lol) but to be honest I loved every minute of putting our wedding together.
Was there anything you wish you had known before? Not really, Angela was excellent and helped us with any questions. I Google everything and was on a few wedding sites so had read most of the do's and don’ts.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their wedding? Videographer!! No matter your budget get a videographer. If you can’t afford it, skimp on something else. It is a must have. Mike really didn't want one but I pushed him into us getting one and even he is so pleased we got one now. The videographer wasn't intrusive, he was amazing and even added to our wedding. Memories fade and photos don't always show everything. We have an amazing wedding video which I have already watched 100's of times. It includes the full day, the music, the sounds, the laughter, the voices.... everything! I'd already forgotten parts of the ceremony/day until we received the video. We got to re-watch the day through other people’s eyes, we got to watch people’s reactions which we missed on the day. The speeches which were amazing but we had forgotten/missed parts until we watched the video. We were so overwhelmed on the day we missed so much and this video has helped us (and everyone else that has been round to watch it) re-live it all over again, and again, and again (LOL).
You spend so much money and time and emotions planning your wedding day, you won't want to forget a moment and a video will help you remember everything.
A short review... "Well what can we say? Everything was just perfect, from the rooms, the spa, the location, the venue, the decorations, the staff...just everything. Angela and all the staff at The Gamekeeper's Inn are just amazing!
The venue is just stunning, the rooms are gorgeous and the food is to die for!!
We stayed Friday until Monday for our wedding with the venue being fully booked with our loud and happy bunch both Friday and Saturday night and the staff were fantastic from start to finish. They were happy and helpful. They had thought of every detail and executed it to perfection. We really could not have asked for anything more. We don't believe anything went wrong and if it did, we were/are not aware of it which is great! Thank you so much, you helped make our dreams come true xx"
Wedding Dress - The Harrogate Wedding Lounge
Bridesmaid dresses and Guys Ties - La Closet De Chanel
Photographer - Graham Charles Photography
Videographer - Cassidy Storytelling
Make up - Katie Harrogate
Hair Stylist - Liv-Lucy Leighton
Nails - Nikie Robinson @ Sunkist Tanning and Beauty Harrogate
Flowers - Paula Davey
Cake - Blossom Tree Cake Company
DJ and Photo Booth - Harrogate Wedding and Event Hire
From your first visit, through all your planning, right up to your wedding celebrations, our wedding planner Angela will be by your side. Angela has been organising weddings at The Gamekeeper's Inn since The Netherside Suite opened and has overseen many happy couples tie the knot. She will answer any questions you might have and help you set out your perfect wedding.
So why not choose The Gamekeeper’s Inn as your perfect wedding venue? We have everything you need to plan your wedding and we’ll help you through every step. Please check out our 'Weddings' page for more information, or get in touch with Angela directly to start discussing your special day today.
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