Monday 19th November 2018
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Photography: Paul Heathcote from Nottingham
Featured in the September 2018 issue

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It’s not every day you get married, is it? That was the inspirational quote behind David and Sharon Holt’s big day as they tied the knot at Washingborough Hall.

“The day was magical,” said Sharon, 44, who exchanged vows with husband David during a January wedding at the beautiful, boutique hotel just on the outskirts of Lincoln.

“I had a very clear vision in my head of how I wanted my day to be and I’d say it was perfect.”

Sharon first met David, 52, on a blind date in 2009 after friends Steve and Jeanette Borsberry suggested the two should meet.

Sharon added: “We often said that our first date together was like a job interview: we were firing questions over the table at each other, but we really hit it off and have been together ever since.

“David proposed to me with a subtle Valentine’s Day card in 2014. He gave me a card which had a lot of writing on the back, and he’d underlined or circled certain letters that spelled out ‘will you marry me?’

“When I’d finally worked that out he had a card prepared for a ‘yes’ answer or a ‘no’. I never opened the no, and I couldn’t be happier.”

The couple, who live in Saxilby, decided that Washingborough Hall was their ideal venue after searching across the country, visiting places in East Yorkshire and beyond. They settled on a Lincolnshire location after Sharon fell in love with the idea of a country-style wedding and had met with Amy Thorne, the hotel’s own director of romance.

Sharon said: “A huge part of us picking Washingborough Hall was Amy, who is an absolute star.

“I’d say she went above and beyond with her help and as a result I absolutely got the wedding I really wanted. She managed to guide us masterfully as a couple without being intrusive and that’s what we loved about the experience.”

Amy helped Sharon and David get the elements they wanted and needed for their big day, including tracking down the exact style of invitation they wanted, even going so far as to visit stationers across the country.

The wedding featured over sixty day guests, with fifty more arriving to help celebrate at the reception. Sharon picked meticulously over every element, wanting only the best for her big day.

“I had the whole hotel covered in flowers, it was like a dream. I even had some last-minute advice from our florist Robert Stubbs, who is also one of the hotel’s front of house staff. He suggested that I tried adding a lily of the valley to my bouquet and it really set it off.”

Sharon’s dress came from Harrogate Wedding Lounge in North Yorkshire. She describes the dress she eventually wore as the last one in the pile that she had to try, but knew as soon as she put it on that it was the one for her.

“It was a strapless one and I didn’t know if I wanted one in that style but it really did suit me. I can’t describe how much it felt right when I put it on.”

David had his suit made bespoke by Jim Smith, a Lincoln-based tailor who supplies the same service to many celebrities.

The couple had string trio Blue Topaz from London play a repertoire of subtle music during the guests’ arrival, during the ceremony itself and to accompany the signing of the register. This was followed by singer Ben Stretton, who recreated well-known hits by Frank Sinatra and other Rat Pack singers.

“Ben actually sang our first dance, which we thought was lovely. He sang a version of John Legend’s ‘All Of Me’ which was brilliant.”

The couple’s food options were similarly exquisite. Guests enjoyed bespoke canapés, followed by pan-fried fillet of beef bourguignon, dauphinoise potatoes and wild mushroom duxelles with a red wine jus.

This was followed by an assiette of desserts – caramelised apple tart tatin and clotted cream, chocolate and orange mousse as well as lemon sorbet and a brandy snap basket. The couple had private consultations with the head chefs for their menu as well as having a menu trial. The couple also enjoyed a private dining meal the night before the wedding as well as a relaxed Sunday lunch the following day.

The pair’s cake was also extravagant, created by Fiona Mills at Nettleham, coupled with the bottom layer cooked by the groom’s mother.

David and Sharon then took an extended twenty-four-day holiday in Thailand, staying at the Banyan Tree resort on the island of Ko Samui.

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