Planning For The Big Day
with Natural Retreats
There's nothing more wonderful than celebrating one of your colleagues getting engaged, except perhaps when they then choose to host their special day at one your iconic retreats, nestled in the heart of the English countryside! We caught up with our dedicated (and very excited!) Base Team Manager Kellie, for her thoughts on wedding planning with Natural Retreats...
So Kellie, let's start at the beginning, how did your lovely fiancé propose?
Well, it was between Christmas and New Year in 2015, and I have to say it was all incredibly romantic! We'd both mentioned we'd like to squeeze in a last minute trip before 2016, but the idea had lost momentum until he told me one night that I needed to pack my bags and be ready to set off on an adventure in a couple of days. My only instructions were to pack walking clothes, plus one fancier outfit and at this my suspicions were immediately raised! We journeyed up the Motorway, northward bound, and as we neared the Lake District I must admit I was starting to get nervous. We stopped in a beautiful village called Brough where there were some incredible castle ruins, before checking into the stunning Augill Castle. We were taken to our room where there was champagne on ice, waiting in front of a roaring fire, and to be honest I said 'Yes' before he had a chance to finish the question!
Why did you decide on Natural Retreats Yorkshire Dales as your special venue?
We'd been browsing wedding venues locally, but couldn't find anything that ticked all of our combined boxes. I took us to our Yorkshire Dales lodges on a whim to celebrate his birthday, and on arrival we arrived to the most incredible snow and beautiful scenery. I think we fully fell in love with the location when Catriona (our Assistant General Manager) showed us around the site and took us on a guided tour of The Sanctuary. My fiancé loves nature and as he's originally from Yorkshire, Natural Retreats seemed the perfect fit. Certain members of my wedding party also have limited mobility, so the idea that everyone could stay together in our luxury lodges, and be transported around with minimal effort was ideal - it's definitely unusual to find a location with so much character that is also all on one level, with fantastic accessibility. We also were looking for a venue with dramatic landscapes as we're tying the knot in January, and where other locations are fairly bleak during the winter, the Yorkshire Dales is stunning in all seasons.
How have you found the wedding planning process, and what advice would you give to other brides planning their dream day?
All in all, it's not been too bad – however, I must warn all newly-engaged brides that it becomes all-consuming and you naturally become a little self-centred. However, with striving for the perfect day, it's a small cross to bare. My main piece of advice would be to find your venue, set your date and finalise your guest list first – once these are done, everything else is much easier. Wedding planning is also a great way of learning to compromise!
What part of your wedding are you most excited about?
Marrying my fiancé! But just as importantly, I can visualise everyone having a great celebration together, with fantastic food, lots of drink, dancing, happiness and general merriment.
Can you spill any details on 'The Dress'?
Unfortunately I'm keeping that one close to my chest, but I can reveal it is white, has been created by an English designer and the rest is to be revealed on the big day! I knew as soon as I saw it that it was the one, and incredibly, it was the first bridal shop I'd made an appointment at and the first dress I'd picked out to try!
How about the Flowers & Décor?
Pinterest mood boards have helped me with inspiration and once I knew we'd secured our venue in the Yorkshire Dales, everything else came to life - I could visualise it from the start! We're keen to 'bring the outside in', and with The Sanctuary's incredible floor to ceiling windows we shouldn't struggle at all. We're planning delicate natural touches and rose golds, a winter wonderland, elegant and classic. There will be lots of light and candles, home-made touches and plenty of greenery too.
Details on the Entertainment?
That is one of the elements that's already booked too! We really wanted a band to create atmosphere at this iconic venue and luckily my brother's friend plays locally, and their style of music is perfect for our hilltop celebrations.
Natural Retreats will be catching up with Kellie again in September when her plans will really start falling into place, but in the meantime, we can't wait for what will be the wedding of the year!
To find out more about our luxury weddings across the UK, contact our Wedding Specialist via 01625 416424 or e-mail [email protected]
Kellie beaming with her gorgeous Engagement Ring
Exploring the wedding venue in snowy Richmond
Heartwarming touches for the happy couple
Relaxing in style within our luxury lodges
Planning the details in our versatile hilltop venue
Panoramic vistas from our beautiful Sanctuary
Nothing quite compares to our incredible panoramic views of the rolling countryside
Our dedicated Wedding Specialist is here to guide you every step of the way
We can host the whole family in our incredible 3-bedroom hideaways
Our versatile hilltop venue can be as bespoke as your needs are