Real Weddings

Lakeside dreams. Berta for a summer’s wedding at Gilpin Lake House – Amy & Mike

26th November 2018 | Alexis Forsyth

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A picturesque lake house in Windermere provides the mesmerising backdrop to Amy and Mike’s wedding back in August, giving us plenty of wanderlust vibes on the blog today!

With private use of the lake and surrounding grounds, the wedding was something of weekend-long affair. Exchanging vows in Gilpin Lake House’s oh so pretty conservatory, the couple then partied with guests in the venue’s fabulous marquee. This enchanting setting was beautifully complemented by their white, cream, rose gold and pale pink color scheme, and we just have to mention the large hanging flower hoop cascading from the roof of the marquee, which has to be a highlight on the décor front!

Guests were also treated to a host of games, including boules, quoits and bean bag toss, as well as a string duo and plenty of Polaroid camera action. Needless to say, there’s lots to admire and inspire today, so let’s hand the blog over to Amy to tell us more…

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor James Tracey Photography.

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Amy says: Mike surprised me with a trip to New York for my birthday in May 2017. He gave me a series of clues about our trip, which led to us staying in The Plaza (the hotel of my dreams) where he proposed. It was the best birthday ever!


We got married on 25th August 2018 – we wanted a wedding weekend not just a wedding day, so the Bank Holiday weekend was perfect.

We got married at Gilpin Lake House in Windermere. The Lake District is such a beautiful place and we love going there. We are from Liverpool, so it was just far away enough for it to be a bit of a destination wedding.

When we went to view our venue for the first time, we both just knew as soon as we walked in that it was the one. It is set on a beautiful lake in private grounds. Not only is the venue itself gorgeous, but the views from every window are amazing.

We had the lake house for the whole weekend. The day before the wedding we had champagne afternoon tea, then spent a couple of hours chilling in the outdoor hot tub before hosting wedding eve drinks for our family and friends.

Rather than have a theme, we used the beauty of the venue’s natural surroundings. We felt like there was so much to look at already that it was best to keep the wedding style quite simple and neutral. As such, we chose neutral colours – white and cream with a splash of rose gold and pale pink.

The ceremony was held in the conservatory and as it was August, the surrounding trees were in full bloom, so we kept the indoor decoration and flowers quite simple. The same applied for the marquee, where the reception was held. We chose a marquee with clear sides, kept the interior light and neutral and used the surrounding beauty as our colourful backdrop.


My dress was by Berta, from The Wedding Club – they are the exclusive UK stockists of Berta Bridal. The store is in Knightsbridge so it gave me and my maid of honour an excuse for a weekend in London every time I had a fitting!

After spending months trying on a lot of dresses, I felt like I was never going to find one…but then I went to The Wedding Club. It’s a gorgeous shop and every single dress in there was amazing. I wanted something glamorous but still bridal and Berta have got this mix down to a tee. They say you just know when you have found your dress and it is so true; I knew as soon as I put it on that it was the one! I also had a long cathedral veil because when else do you have the opportunity to wear one?!


Mike had his suit custom made from Reiss – it was navy blue with a maroon pocket square and maroon knitted tie.

We hired the groomsmen’s suits from Slaters Menswear. They all wore navy blue to match Mike’s suit. Our nephew, Zack, was page boy and he also wore a navy blue suit with a knitted dickie bow, both from Next.

As a special touch, Zack, walked down the aisle holding a sign saying “here comes the bride” – this made him look even more adorable and got some laughs from our guests.


My bridesmaids wore a blush pink satin dress from Lipsy. Our niece, Mia, was our flower girl and she also wore a blush pink dress from Monsoon.


My hairdresser was Fiona Goulbourne and my makeup artist was Lydia Fox. They are both based in Lady Muck in Liverpool and travelled up on the day.


Our photographer was James Tracey and I would definitely recommend him. One of the main reasons we chose James was for his documentary style. It was really important to us to spend as much time ‘in our wedding’ with our guests rather than away from everyone taking photos, so James’ style was perfect for us. We had spoken with James a few times in the lead up to the wedding on Facetime and over the phone, this helped make it feel so comfortable on the day. He was also great at mingling in with the guests. We are in love with our photos and can’t stop looking at them, they really tell a story of the day.


We chose YSD Media to film the wedding and our videographer on the day was Rhys. He was fantastic. A drone was used for the aerial shots over the lake. We are so glad we chose to have a video, it really captured the day perfectly and now we can relive the day over and over.


My bouquet was made up of white hydrangeas, provided by Brackens of Bowness. I knew I wanted simple and elegant, but I wasn’t sure what flowers to choose. I showed the florist, Kevin, a picture of my dress and he suggested white hydrangeas. I loved them!

The bridesmaids had foliage bouquets with ivory summer flowers. We also had mini bunches hanging on the chairs lining the aisle. Mike’s buttonhole matched my bouquet and the groomsmen’s matched the bridesmaids too.

Décor-wise, Brackens of Bowness created a large hanging flower hoop cascading from the roof of the marquee. It really gave the marquee something extra as your eye was immediately drawn to it as you entered the marquee – and it smelt amazing. They also provided the table centrepieces, which were floating candles in a cluster of vases and also mini vases of flowers. Our florist had a really good vision for what would suit the venue and we could not have been happier with the results.

We named our tables after New York landmarks and places as a nod to our engagement. The table plan was a map of New York and we had mini yellow taxi figurines holding up the table cards. We also had wooden laser cut place names on the tables. These were from VM Bespoke.

Our wedding stationery was supplied by Owl Tree Designs. We found them on Instagram and we were really happy with all of the stationery.

We also had bride and groom balloons on the main road as well as a personalised arrow road sign, bought from Etsy, to direct people to the venue.

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We bought our cake from Marks &Spencer. It was a three-tier naked vanilla cake. My aunty Sue was ‘designated cake dresser’ on the day, adding the fruit and rose petals for decoration.


For our starter we had celeriac and apple veloute, followed by pork belly for main and Tahitian vanilla for dessert. Everyone loved the food – it was absolutely delicious. For evening snacks, we had sausage and bacon barms and chips.


We had Athena Strings, a string duo, playing us out of the ceremony room and then for background music during the drinks reception. We requested pop songs and it was really good to have the classic touch of the strings with a modern twist.

We bought lawn games from Amazon for during the drinks reception (boules, quoits and bean bag toss). They made for some great photos and video moments!

We chose not to have a live band and instead went straight into the DJ set in the evening. Mike created the playlist himself beforehand and the dance floor was full all night.

We hired a Polaroid camera to go with our guest book so that people could stick their pictures in when signing it. We also had large light up letters placed at the side of the dancefloor – they were rustic in design and said “Mr & Mrs Jones”. We hired them from The Word Is Love and I would definitely recommend them as they made the whole hiring process so easy.

Special touch

In place of favours, we chose to make a donation to Cancer Research on behalf of every guest, in memory of my mum, Karen. We placed a card with the donation message on the tables for each guest. I thought this was a nice way to involve my mum in the day.

Special Mention

We would absolutely recommend Gilpin Lake House to other couples. The venue has such a uniqueness about it and the staff could not do enough for us and our guests.

Best bit

We loved every minute of the day, but the speeches were our joint favourite parts – they were all hilarious. My special moment was walking down the aisle, after a year of planning I couldn’t believe it was actually happening. The evening reception was so much fun, the dancefloor was full until the very end. It really is great to see everything you’ve been planning all coming together on the day.


A couple of days after the wedding we went on our minimoon to Santorini, Greece. We just wanted a sunshine break to chill and come back down the earth. We are going on our main honeymoon soon. We will be visiting Antigua, New Orleans and ending up in New York again. We loved New York anyway but it now holds so many nice memories for us.


My top tip for other Brides Up North would be, share the planning and try not to stress about the small stuff. I was very particular about what I wanted, but on the day it’s really not going to matter what shade of pink the napkins are.

I also loved reading the real wedding features on Brides Up North during the planning process for ideas and tips.

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  • Amy Bell
    January 1, 2019 | Permalink | Reply

    We have recently got engaged in Greece August 2018 and are getting married at Ledsham Church then Bunny Hill a new lovely venue in North Cave.

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