A Carlisle-born bride has had her dream wedding in an historic setting dating back centuries after winning a competition launched by Askham Hall to celebrate its new wedding facilities.
Emily Fenna tied the knot with husband Sam Caldwell, after scooping the prize of an early summer wedding at Askham Hall. They enjoyed a civil ceremony with 30 guests in the atmospheric Medieval Hall, which has recently been restored with many original features, including a large 16th century fireplace and traditional low hanging beams. The newly-weds and their guests also enjoyed drinks in the gardens, before a wedding breakfast in the restaurant and an overnight stay in the main house.
Emily met Sam while they were at school and have been together more than ten years. Although they currently live in Bolton, she was originally from Cumbria and still has family in the Penrith area. Emily spotted the competition on social media and jumped at the chance to return to Cumbria for her big day.
She says, “We fell in love with Askham Hall when we drove through the village one day and decided to visit the gardens. We had recently got engaged and we joked that we could never afford to get married in a place as beautiful as this. We wanted a small wedding for 20 or so of our nearest and dearest, but were struggling to find local venue that would cater for such small numbers.
“A year or so later we heard that Askham Hall had begun offering intimate mid-week weddings and it all sounded too good to be true. When we found out we had won the competition, we couldn’t believe it – we were grinning from ear to ear for the rest of the week. Our family and friends were over the moon for us.
She adds, “When it finally arrived, we had the most perfect day. The atmosphere was warm and relaxed, the sun was shining, the food was spectacular. Everyone kept telling me it was the best wedding they’d been to. The team were lovely and made sure every detail was taken care of – nothing was too much to ask. I just wish we could do it all over again!”
Askham Hall has grown rapidly as a wedding venue in just over four years. In 2013, it hosted just 3 weddings, but it is expected to welcome more than 100 weddings between now and the end of next year.