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Wordsworth House and garden in Cockermouth made history yesterday when it held its first ever wedding ceremony. The venue, which was the childhood home of William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy, is the first National Trust property in Cumbria to be licensed for wedding and civil ceremonies. Yesterday’s event was made even more special by the fact the first bride is the daughter of two of its staff.
Natalie-Sacha Morgan and Ian O’Neill, now Mr and Mrs O’Neill, jumped at the chance to tie the knot at the unique venue. The pair have strong connections to the property as Alex, Natalie’s Step-Mum, is Interpretation and Communications Manager there, and her dad, Trevor, has used his skills as a Graphic Designer to produce several exhibition displays for the house, and occasionally works in the cafe too.
Natalie said: “When Alex told me Wordsworth House was applying for a wedding licence it all clicked into place. We already have a family connection to the house and when I discovered we could be the first people ever to marry there it made it even more special.
“The logistics were the biggest concern - getting married away from home and getting everyone there from around the country, but it all came together brilliantly.
“The ceremony in Wordsworth House was really intimate and the gardens were looking beautiful so the photo opportunities were amazing. By getting married on a Friday when the house is closed, we had it to ourselves so there were no other people running around. It was so special.
“We held the reception at the Trout Hotel, which is right next door to Wordsworth House – it wouldn’t have been any easier even if we had had it all in one place. It was perfect.”
Zoe Gilbert, Manager of Wordsworth House and Garden, added: “I’m delighted Natalie and Ian had such a great day. They are a lovely couple and we wish them every happiness.”
Sue Eccles, The Trout Hotel’s Managing Director, said: “It was a real honour for us to host the wedding breakfast of the first couple to tie the knot at Wordsworth House. Our staff really enjoyed playing a part in not only a special day for Natalie and Ian, but a marriage milestone for Cumbria with Wordsworth House being the first National Trust property in the county to be licensed for civil ceremonies.
“Everyone at the Trout Hotel wishes Natalie and Ian all the very best for a happy future together.”
The Trout Hotel is offering bespoke wedding packages in partnership with Wordsworth House, as well as providing additional benefits such as car parking for joint bookings.
Natalie-Sacha, aged 27, and Ian, aged 34, from Little Sutton, Wirral, have been together since August 2008 after meeting on holiday in Newquay, Cornwall.
The pair also have another link to the 300-year-old house. They run a ghost hunting company, The Haunted Investigation Company Ltd, where they invite believers and sceptics alike into historic properties for a spooky, but also scientific, night. They visited Wordsworth House for one of their events and say there was some ghostly activity, but nothing scary – maybe those friendly ghosts were watching over them on their wedding day!