Where: Broadoaks Country House, Troutbeck, Cumbria
Theme: Traditional, but relaxed
Photographer: Ragdoll Photography
Jak and Jules met at work when Jules joined the Jak's department. They became good friends almost immediately, but it took them quite a while to realise the impact they were having on each other.
Their relationship became a departmental scandal, but after 10 years together and with two sons to show for it, they're still working in the same department and their affectionate referral as 'wifey and wifey' is now legal...
We had booked to go away for a grown up, child free weekend for my 40th birthday. Any chance we get and it's off to the Lake District.
As I am a massive Beatrix Potter fan I chose to stay next to Hill Top. We were having an amazing first day, stunning scenery, good weather for the beginning of March and afternoon tea, my favourite.
I was however unaware of what had been planned prior to this with the children's involvement. We had talked about getting married for a while but it was all going to be low key or so I thought.
We were getting ready to go for dinner when I was told to sit down; more pressies, I thought, but then Jak got out her phone and produced a video of the children wishing me Happy Birthday!" followed by, Jak has something to ask you!
My inner detective had now kicked in and I realised what was about to happen. My favourite song of the time, Ellie Goulding, Love Me Like You Docame on and a ring in a box appeared in the hand of a very nervous Jak. The ring had been chosen with the assistance of our eldest son, who had assured her it would be ok because it was half price!! How well he knows me!
The idea was always going to be a registry office ceremony and then a big party as we wanted to be able to include all of our family and friends who had been with us through our time together. This changed following the unexpected death of my mum only a few weeks after our engagement. We started to talk about the possibility of a hotel in the Lakes, (where else!); it had to be gay friendly but it also had to be dog friendly as we our furry daughter is also very much part of our family.
Insomnia had led to me looking at venues at 2am one night, and that's when I found our venue, Broadoaks Country House at Troutbeck. It was all I could do not to wake Jak to give her the news, but it was the first thing I told her when she woke up. After visiting the venue we didn't look anywhere else.
We set the date for 28th January, 2017 which turned out to be my grandparents wedding anniversary and arrangements were handled by the very capable wedding planner Charlie and all the amazing team at Broadoaks.
The rest of our wedding planning was pretty much the same; we found Rosie, the photographer, at a gay wedding fair in Manchester and fell in love with her straight away. She was the first photographer we spoke to and was just what we were looking for. A perfect choice she was amazing!
The whole organisational aspect was very stress free and easy and the result was amazing. We have had so many requests to do this every year, we wish we could.
"Jak had always wanted a drag queen to host the evening entertainment and Dixie certainly made an impact on our guests. This was kept as a surprise, so reactions were priceless. We tried to support small businesses where possible, the standard was amazing."