Wedding at The Glass House for Preston couple James Lilley and Sarah Stapleton

When James Lilley and Sarah Stapleton began planning their wedding, they decided on a small intimate ceremony abroad and a party back home afterwards.

Friday, 24th January 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Monday, 27th January 2020, 11:16 am

But when they realised their wedding didn’t just mean the world to them, but also their families , they knew they had to marry here.

Sarah, a civil service manager, met James at the Merry England Bar in Blackpool 16 years ago and they became engaged in front of Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World.

Sarah said: “After we went to see the Glass House as the party venue, we immediately fell in love with it and decided to have the ceremony there too!

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

James Lilley and Sarah Stapleton. Photos: Esme Whiteside Photography

“Laura, the wedding co-ordinator was fantastic and very understanding that we didn’t have a bottomless pot of money.

She made some great suggestions and the staff couldn’t do enough for us.

“I mean, if your wedding co-ordinator doesn’t hold a brollie over you in the rain, is she even your wedding co-ordinator!?”

The Preston couple did as much as they could themselves creating a bespoke DIY wedding.

James Lilley and Sarah Stapleton. Photos: Esme Whiteside Photography

From save the dates and invites to wooden signs made out of pallets, the bouquets and table centrepieces, they made everything thelselves.

“We surprised our guests with a caricaturist and they loved it. Our first dance was Tom Walker, Just You and I, which started slow and then switched to a dance version and everyone joined us on the dance floor, complete with glow sticks!” They had their favourite caterpillar cakes as the wedding cake and Sarah surprised Man United fan James with a congratulations letter from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. James also gave Sarah a locket with a photo of her late nanny inside.

James, a lithographic print operator said: “It was perfect; relaxed and informal, just the way we wanted it. Officially ‘The Lilley’s’.

Sarah said: “One of my favourite photographs from the day is me and my nan dancing – she’s been very poorly recently so that moment is even more special to me now. The love we felt that day from our wonderful friends and amazing family meant everything to us.” Venue: http://www.staininglodgevenue.co.uk Photos: https://www.esmewhitesidephotography.co.uk

James Lilley and Sarah Stapleton. Photos: Esme Whiteside Photography