Ann and Ashley’s Story

Ann and Ashley chose to have an aquatic and fun theme for their wedding at Coltsford Mill.

 When Ann and Ashley first started going out they went on holiday to Edinburgh, where they visited the Sea Life Centre. This is where their love of aquariums and fish keeping started. Therefore, when they went on a long weekend to Blackpool, it was inevitable that they would go to the aquarium there. Little did Ann know that Ashley had been planning this trip for six weeks! “He had arranged for two divers to go into the shark tank and then when we came in to look at the tank they held up a sign saying ‘Hello Ann, are there any sharks in this tank?’ Once I nodded they turned the sign over and it said, ‘Better make this quick then, Ashley wants to know if you will marry him?’ When I turned around Ashley was down on one knee holding up a ring. I was shocked, but managed to say yes immediately. The aquarium had organised the local press to be there and they were all taking photos of us and asking questions. I felt like a celebrity!”

Ann and Ashley wanted a venue where they could have a Civil Ceremony and wedding ceremony but in separate rooms. Coltsford Mill had that and more. “The grounds are stunning with streams and cascades, perfect for photographs. The ceremony room is beautiful – you get married in front of the internal workings of the old watermill and the function room is beautifully lit with beams and floor to ceiling windows. There is also a beautiful honeymoon cottage, which we booked and found invaluable. Everyone we dealt with was professional and helpful and made us feel welcome each time we visited.”

Ann wore a Maggie Sottero dress, which was A line with quite a long train. It was white with a very slight hint of pink in it and had a lace-up back. She also wore a pearl, crystal and diamante tiara, which matched the details on her dress and borrowed her great grandmother’s necklace that represented both her something old and something borrowed. She wore cream high heels covered in diamante.

Ann had four bridesmaids. Two wore knee length chiffon dresses in pale blue from Confetti Bridal Setting and the other two wore floor length satin dresses in midnight blue from Debenhams. They all had small diamante tiaras and silver strappy shoes.

Ann chose classic roses for the bouquets, pale pink for herself and cerise pink for the bridesmaids to introduce a fun theme.

Ashley and the ushers were in black morning suits from Dapper in Esher. They all wore pale ice blue waistcoats and Ashley, his brother and the best man wore navy cravats and the ushers all wore ice blue cravats. Ashley likes cars and arrived at Coltsford Mill in his bright yellow Caterham 7.

The decorations were a mix of pale pink and cerise pink flowers in a mixture of square vases and tall lily vases to add interest at different levels in the reception barn. The tall vases were filled with pink and white marshmallows – the only input that Ashley had into choosing the flowers! There were see-through balloons with fish prints on them on each table and one was named after a tropical fish. Ann and Ashley didn’t offer favours, but put table games on each table including Hungry Hippos, Jenga, Bop It, Kerplunk and Connect 4. They also had chocolates with the coffee that were shaped like starfish, seashells and seahorses. They had an aquatic themed fruit cake with a diver on top holding a sign saying ‘Just Married’. They also had a chocolate cutting cake for all the chocoholics like Ashley!

For Ann, the best part of the day was “apart from the ceremony, of course, we both loved going on the demolition ball bouncy castle that we hired. It was great fun and enjoyed by all!” We asked if there was anything they had learnt that was an important tip for future wedding couples; “There were two pieces of advice given to us that are worth passing on; make sure you stop on the day every so often and take a mental snapshot of what is happening. It will make you slow down and enjoy the day more and also ensure that you remember the day better.

Remember that the honeymoon period isn’t just the week or two after, it is for the rest of your life”