Several acts of kindness, quick thinking and contingency planning helped Ormskirk couple Hayley and Jamie Traynor to tie the knot at The Wild Boar Inn Grill & Smokehouse near Windermere, despite the terrible weather conditions.
Wedding photographer Tiree Dawson hitched a ride on a tractor to get to the venue on time and at one point waded waist-deep through the rising floodwaters with her equipment protected only by bin liners.
She also managed to deliver a wedding cake kindly donated by the Merewood Hotel, whilst the original cake finally arrived safely all the way from Southport thanks to the timely intervention of a police escort.
Meanwhile, wedding DJ Gary Mills took his 4x4 truck to collect Gareth Lambert from Aqua salon in Bowness, who had agreed to be ‘standby’ hairdresser for the bride.
With the registrars arriving by Land Rover and The Wild Boar staff rallying round to pick up wedding guests by any amphibious vehicle they could muster, the wedding ceremony went ahead with all 53 guests in attendance. The scene was perfectly captured by Ms Dawson’s photograph of the newlyweds wearing Wellington boots in a flooded road.
“We booked the Wild Boar as we wanted a wedding that was a little different, and we certainly got more than we bargained for,” said Hayley. “Our wedding would not have happened if not for the community spirit of all our wedding suppliers and hotel staff going beyond their call of duty to make our day a reality. We are more grateful than we can ever put into words.”
English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues wedding planner Emma Sanders added: “It was pretty clear by the Saturday evening that this was no ordinary storm and we held an impromptu emergency meeting with the bride and groom to see what could be done. Our local suppliers were delighted to help and couldn’t have done more to keep the bride happy. There were many examples where people put their hand up to make it all happen, and Tiree’s determination to get to the wedding on time come what may epitomises this spirit.
“It’s a day none of us will forget, and mainly for very sad reasons when so many people, including some of our staff, have been affected. But I hope it will also be remembered for Cumbrian spirit and goodwill and the way everybody came together to help each other out.”
The wedding team at The Wild Boar also ventured out in the treacherous storm to save stranded families and get them back to roaring fires, warmth and comfort.
English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues, a partner of Choose South Cumbria, reported that Ambleside’s Waterhead Boutique Hotel and Bistro and Low Wood Bay on Windermere are open for business as usual. Whilst the Midland Hotel in Morecambe and Lancaster House both experienced power outages, back up generators came to the rescue of staff and guests. Both hotels have reported that they are now open and back up to full speed.
Subscribe to our newsletter: get a glimpse of what it's really like to live and work in Cumbria.