Hostels, Issue 5

The big day

YHA Ilam Hall proved the perfect setting for the nuptials of hostellers Polly and Gareth

Fate can be a wonderful thing. Three years ago, Polly Emmott and Gareth Hughes were driving to Bakewell on a late-winter hiking holiday. Passing through the Peak District, the Bristol-based couple stopped to admire the snowy hills, only to find that their Nissan Micra had given up on them. On top of a mountain. 

Polly takes up the story. “We bundled ourselves up and found our way to the nearest YHA without a map. As we tumbled through the snow and sheep poo, I said to Gaz that if we survived we should get married. We eventually walked into a warm welcome at Ilam Hall – and saw that they hosted weddings! When we got engaged, there was only one place right for us.”

They got married on August 6th. “We had the hostel from Friday afternoon until Sunday morning, and most of our guests spent the full weekend with us,” continues Polly. “Friday was spent busy with bouquets and bunting. The hostel put on a pie night – and kept the wine flowing!”  

“On Saturday morning, we calmed ourselves down in our favourite way, by going for a long walk! Our ceremony began at 2pm, and we walked down the aisle to a Fleet Foxes song. The highlight was a feathery surprise organised by Gareth – an owl ring-bearer! I had tears in my eyes as the owl flew towards our best man’s glove, missed, and landed on the bunting!”

“The wedding was utterly perfect and exactly what we had hoped for. The entire day was full of laughter and tears!”

YHA Ilam Hall and YHA Hartington Hall are both licenced for weddings, and many others can be hired for receptions – including YHA Wilderhope Manor, where there’s a honeymoon suite. 

Find out more at: groups.yha.org.uk/groups/special-occasions   

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