Sam and Laura's Lancashire Love Affair

Sam and Laura Griffin were married in May 2017 in Lancaster, the city where they studied and first met each other, and the place they fell in love with. It was a privilege to host their reception at Lancaster House. It was our red roses of Lancashire that caught their eye and confirmed that this was the perfect venue for their big day. 

Sweet Encounter

Whilst studying Primary Teaching at the University of Cumbria, Laura and Sam happened to be at the right place, at the right time at the student nightclub ‘The Sugarhouse’ in Lancaster, which led to many memories in our favourite city.

Perfect Proposal

After two and a half years of whirlwind events, from graduation to moving in together, Sam took Laura to the place where they spent many a ‘date night’ – Williamson Park. After seeking Laura’s Dad’s permission, he planned the perfect proposal. It was pouring with rain but nothing could dampen the beauty of the moment. Up the sweeping stairs of The Ashton Memorial and into the sheltered balcony, Sam got down on one knee (well without getting his knee wet of course!) and asked Laura to become his wife.

Lancashire Rose Venue

We were completely clueless when it came to venues. We knew for certain that the ceremony had to be at The Ashton Memorial, and then we set about searching for the perfect reception venue. Someone mentioned Lancaster House. On entering the hotel, the first thing we noticed was the Lancashire rose.   Significant for us because that’s where our journey began.  As we were shown around the beautiful, tasteful and quintessentially English hotel, we were awe-struck. The large Bowland Suite was perfect, enough for the top table and 12 tables of 9-10, a private entrance and bar – what more could we want?! The beautiful lounge and outdoor area sold it to us as we knew that it would cater for every age of guest. 

Bride & Groom Outfits

Laura wore an ivory Alessandro Rossi gown, from Copplestones Bridal in Liverpool. After searching for the perfect style, I found the exact style I wanted, but it was a bit pricey!  A few months later I happened to see THE DRESS on the Facebook page of my favourite boutique (with a significant discount) and booked an appointment for that weekend! I knew it was the one, because my mum cried continuously!  

Sam wore a navy blue suit from Cains of Heswall, Wirral. We decided to have pale blue ties to match the bridesmaids’ dresses, with the page boy and youngest usher wearing a pale pink tie to match the flower-maids.

A Veritable Feast of Food Choices

We were amazed to discover that we could have 3 choices for starter, main and dessert, most other venues had only offered one choice. For starters we chose; Portobello mushroom, Soup of the Day and Creamy Breaded Brie with Cranberry and Crostini. Chef was more than accommodating, we both love breaded brie and it wasn’t on the menu, but nothing was too much trouble.

For mains we chose Trio of Sausage with Mashed Potatoes, Lamb Hotpot and Red Cabbage and a Mushroom and Stilton Tart. Dessert was a choice of Banoffee Pie, Fruit Scone Parfait and Trio of Ice-cream.

We knew that we wanted to have a simple yet elegant theme for our wedding. We agreed on hessian and lace with a vintage twist. Sam’s Mum made the hessian cutlery bags and my Mum created the hessian favours.  Razzle-Dazzle dressed the Bowland Suite and we had fairy lights draped across the ceiling.   


Flowers were provided by the amazing Lune Valley Home and Garden. We opted for martini glasses filled with flowers to match the bouquets.  We also named our tables after places that were special to us.   

Alternative Favours

Rather than giving sweet favours, we decided to give a donation to a worthy charity. We have a beautiful whippet-cross called Holly who was rescued from the RSPCA, and we are part of a group called ‘Lancky Dogs’ who rescue greyhounds and whippets who are in dire need, so we chose this charity. Mum made hessian and lace wrapped mints, and we made small tags to tell our guests that we had made a donation on their behalf!

Our-Design Cake

Our cake was made by Rose Evans, a neighbour of Laura’s Mum and Dad, a retired baker who has known Laura all her life. When it came to planning the design cake, we looked at all of the ‘fashionable’ designs but in the end we decided to design our own. We had a four tier cake, with vanilla, chocolate fudge, carrot and Guinness flavoured layers. It was decorated with a plain white icing with hessian ribbon and a hessian heart topper.

First Dance  

Our first dance echoed how we started our relationship - ‘Never Seen Anything Quite Like You’ by The Script - as we bonded over our shared love of the band back in 2012, Sam even made me a mash-up CD for the journey of our first date! I danced with my dad to ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’ by The Shires.


Straight after the wedding, we booked the honeymoon suite at The Waterhead in Ambleside for a mini-moon. It was fantastic and we were treated like Royalty!  

We had asked for Thomas Cook Vouchers for our wedding presents and later in the year enjoyed a 10-day honeymoon in Sentido Cala Vinas in Mallorca. We had a fantastic time!

Best Advice?

Stick to your non-negotiables! It can be tricky if, like us, you aren’t paying for the wedding, but we were lucky that our parents understood how much these things meant to us, and we negotiated and compromised on the finer details. No matter what, enjoy planning your big day – it is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Congratulations to Sam and Laura on their future together. Thank you to Jo Boulton Photography for the images of the day. 

Lancaster House by Twilight

Come along to our Twilight Wedding Showcase and see for yourself why Sam and Laura chose Lancaster House for their wedding reception. Enjoy canapés and a welcome drink on arrival, then chat to our wedding team and a selection of wedding suppliers. We will be showcasing a full wedding Ceremony and Reception Room set up.

Friday 10th November 2017, 5pm - 8pm.