Our Big Day, All Our Own Way – Chris & Ash at Ashfield House

This wedding is quite a special one to us at Little White Books as we’ve worked with Chris and DFC for many years. We’ve seen Chris flourish over the years as an experienced wedding host and more recently he’s added yet another string to his bow in becoming a qualified celebrant. So, when he and Ash tied the knot at one of our favourite venues, Ashfield House, on 7th January 2022, we just had to feature it in this edition!

I’d always known of Ash as we lived in the same area, she also used to go to school with my brother. Our first twinkle of romance was sparked in the local Farmfoods shop! The next time we met was in Wigan on a night out, we got talking and she got a little tipsy and kissed me – and the rest is history. Since then we’ve moved in together, renovated a house and had a baby, we felt there was no rush as such to get married as we both knew it would happen eventually, it was always on the cards.

I was at a Wedding Fair exhibiting with DFC at Ashfield House. I’d always said I’ll get married at Ashfield; it’s local, so welcoming, I work there regularly and even did my first gig there. Then Katie, the owner of Ashfield House, asked me if me and Ash were thinking of getting married because she would do us a great deal – and before I knew it, I was leaving with a quote in my hand! I came home a bit over-excited and blurted out “hey, fancy getting married?” Shocked as Ash was, she accepted it as a proposal and we got on with the planning and saving, it was an exciting time.

We didn’t need a fancy proposal we didn’t even go crazy on our wedding rings, we’re not materialistic at all, plus Ash can’t wear diamonds at work so we just went for plain wedding bands, and we even made a joke about them in our vows… “I give you this £40 ring, as a symbol of my love, even though you probably won’t wear it… I’m ok with that…because I proper love you”. Our money was spent in other places.

When you’ve hosted as many weddings as I have you take away something from each one; for example, what worked and what didn’t work, then you pass that knowledge onto your couples. So, I took my own advice and ripped up the rule book which definitely came across in our ceremony. 
I basically planned our entire wedding. Ash just chose her dress and rocked up!

Being a qualified Celebrant I couldn’t imagine having a civil ceremony with a registrar, it would have been completely against my nature. I wish everyone could experience the difference between a celebrant-led ceremony and a civil one, it really is a completely different ball game. I cannot stress enough, if you want your ceremony to be extra special, throw as much of yourself into it as possible and employ a celebrant to write a bespoke script because your guests will be blown away! Our Celebrant was Katie from Ashfield House, who I did my Celebrant course with, and we were the perfect fit – the ceremony was one of my favourite parts of the day.

I wanted our guests to have the best experience so of course I had my own Wedding Host. Some weddings still have the venue function manager acting as master of ceremonies – it’s just not the same. Every wedding should have a proper, dedicated wedding host. It is a game changer. 
A host will shape the dynamic of your day and complement it in all the right places, provide the right amount of entertainment without being ‘too much’… on the other hand if you want a party, they will bring it! 

As someone who works in the wedding industry, I’ve always found that most weddings tend to follow the same script when in truth ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ – it’s your day, have it your way. Part of me wanted to change everything around to purposely throw people off, I meticulously planned everything to ensure everyone had the best wedding day, and I didn’t want people to think they knew what was coming next.

Many thanks to:

DFC Lancashire – I wanted my colleagues at DFC to attend my wedding as guests, and enjoy the day and night without having to work it, too. I can’t thank DFC enough for supporting me on my journey with them over the years, without them I wouldn’t be half the Wedding Host I am today. They very kindly gifted me ‘Paddy’ as a wedding present as my afternoon and evening drinks reception entertainment – you will not find a more talented bloke on guitar, his ability to work a room is outstanding. 

Ashfield House – The team at Ashfield feel like family and it truly is work-home. They have won countless awards, in my eyes, probably one of the best venues in the northwest, maybe even the country… you’ll be lucky to find a venue that is as pliable as Ashfield House. 

Pat Mulligan – Host & DJ, Pat has been a great friend and support for around 10 years and so it seemed fitting that he would host my wedding. www.patmulligan.co.uk

Rose Boutique – Sarah is just fantastic, she really knows her stuff, we didn’t want too many flowers in the wedding breakfast because of the way our food was being served, she designed the perfect arrangement for us, I cannot recommend her enough, she is so lovely! 

Christopher Lewis Photography & Jack Valentine Photography – Chris was our main photographer on the day and we couldn’t have been happier with how our images turned out; they are both great friends of ours, their styles are very natural and that’s us down to a T! 

Little White Books – I work at Little White Books wedding fairs on a regular basis and their fairs really do stand out because they give you a good mix of quality wedding suppliers. My advice to recently engaged couples would be to attend their first venue viewing or wedding fair on their own so they can get an idea of what they want without any pressure from friends and family. 

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