Three members of the Lofty family – Mel and his daughters Gemma and Sam – all chose the same wedding venue, Low Wood Bay. Mel tied the knot recently at Low Wood Bay so we caught up with the whole family.
It was the baby of the family, Gemma, Wedding & Events Manager for the hotel and her husband, Nevil, General Manager, who led the way marrying at the hotel where they both now work.
Tell us how you met
Mel and Evelyn: After I retired from the police and moved to the area, I volunteered at the local kennels. Evelyn regularly brought her dog(s) in and we got chatting. When we discovered that we both had a connection to the police service, Evelyn having been a police trainer, it felt like we spoke the same language and things developed from there.
Richard and Sam: We worked together for a while and although there was a definite attraction, Richard already had a girlfriend and so nothing came of it. It wasn’t until a whole year later, Richard called me up and we had our first date.
Nevil and Gemma: I really didn’t like Nevil at first. He was employed as the new Manager in the hotel where I was a waitress. Anybody who knows Nevil will realise he has quite definite views on just about everything, and so it was a bit of a culture shock when he took charge! One night the hotel had a power cut and Nevil came to sort things out and rally the troops and I saw how much he cared for his team and the people around him. Shortly after that he organised a quiz night for the staff and that’s when we really started to get to know each other.
Mel: Gemma was only 18 when she intimated that she was leaving to go to the Lake District with Nevil, who was several years older than she was. As a protective Dad, I insisted that I came up with her to chaperone her move, more than a little concerned that she seemed to be putting everything on the line for this chap. I had nothing to worry about and in my speech two days ago, I re-iterated how proud I am to have Nevil as my son-in-law.
And the proposals?
Mel and Evelyn: Christmas morning 2013, I was waiting for breakfast in bed and Mel burst in with a bottle of champagne and flowers. My first reaction was irritation as I was looking forward to food! The next minute he was down on one knee and I thought he was kidding. I believe my first words were “are you serious?” Of course, as soon as I knew it was for real, I melted into the moment.
Richard and Sam: This was one of the most poignant moments of our relationship. Richard had recently had a stroke which had affected his movement and speech. It was New Year’s Eve at Low Wood Bay and the bells had just sounded. Amidst all the kissing and hugging and cheers, Richard quietly presented me with a plastic ring. The crowd quickly dispersed to watch the fireworks over the lake and Richard got down on one knee and I knew this was the real thing, made all the more special because of the huge physical effort it took because of the stroke.
Nevil and Gemma: I took Gemma out for dinner in an upmarket London eatery and organised for the pianist to play her favourite song. Then in front of the whole restaurant, I went down on one knee and asked her to marry me. Her first word was ‘No’, followed by ‘Stop joking’. When she realised I was in earnest, the romance was recaptured and I heard the answer I was hoping for.
A cherished moment from your big day
Mel: For me it had to be the ceremony – standing in the Low Wood Gallery with the person I love most in the world, surrounded by my nearest and dearest and looking out over the mountains that I have been such an important part of my life over the last ten years. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Evelyn: Two moments really. Mel had arranged for a piper to play ‘Rowan Tree’ just after the ceremony which had important significance to me, growing up in Scotland. Another moment was whilst we were eating a beautiful wedding meal and I realised just how much work Gemma had put in behind the scenes on my behalf in order that I could have a completely stress free day where every detail had been anticipated and organised.
Richard: Getting to travel through the beautiful Lake District countryside to the ceremony in Troutbeck on a big red double decker bus was something pretty special.
Sam: Saying our vows, and hearing Richard’s clear declaration of love and knowing that he was having to dig deep to even form the words and get them out. I think the whole wedding party wanted to punch the air, shout victory and break down in tears, but we managed to hold it in until we got back to the hotel! Richard’s speech was also memorable and hilarious – a power point presentation, aided and abetted by his best man.
Nevil and Gemma: We had organised for the Kinder Children’s Choir to sing whilst we were signing the register. Usually a time for quite conversation, the airwaves were tingling with the sound of Ave Maria followed by You Raise Me Up – a sound that we will treasure for ever.
Low Wood Bay Weddings
Gemma invests all her days making sure that it is a place where dreams come true for her wedding couples. Meet Gemma and the rest of the team at the Lake District wedding venue, Low Wood Bay at the Showcase on Sunday 25th October 2015, 1pm – 4.30pm.