Love has been in the air at Bodnant Garden this summer…if not always that bright, yellow thing in the sky! Two couples recently defied damp August weather and got engaged at the garden, taking away some (hopefully) warm memories.
Jade Chapman popped the question to Jenny Martindale in our picturesque Boat House, with a little help from staff and volunteers who secretly arranged to present the couple with a bottle of champagne.
Jade contacted Bodnant Garden to tell us of her plans and to ask for help arranging the surprise proposal, which we were glad to provide.
Property manager William Greenwood and events officer Charlie Stretton prepared the lakeside venue on a very wet Monday morning, putting up ribbons and pictures in the face of wind and driving rain. Volunteer Dave Horsely, who helps with our wedding functions at the garden, also stepped in as the champagne waiter – managing to loiter unsuspiciously around the Boat House until he was given the signal to pop out with the champers.
Charlie said: “This was one of my more unusual duties as events officer! The Boathouse looked very pretty when we finished decorating it, but we were slightly worried that it would all blow away in the wind and rain. Thank goodness for double- sided sticky tape. The sun came out just as the happy couple reached the Boathouse, and we were all so pleased when Jenny accepted.”
Jade, from The Wirral, said: “I have been to Bodnant Garden twice, once on a school trip and once with my family. I remembered it being gorgeous surroundings and it felt like I was so far from home I couldn’t believe the little paradise was this close.
The Boat House and, right, volunteer waiter Dave Horsley
“I love the Boathouse, as when you stand there looking out to the willows and the lake you could be in a Zen garden in Japan. It was so peaceful and beautiful, a perfect setting to propose.
“It couldn’t be more of a perfect day. The morning started off a little damp but once I got down on one knee and Jenny said yes the sun broke through the clouds and we were stood there layered up in wellies in sweltering heat! Thank you Bodnant Gardens for all your support and kind words.”
Emma Brookfield and Maurice Raymond West, from Southport, seen right, also defied a grey day to get engaged at the garden, sitting on the seat overlooking on the iconic Canal Terrace.
The delighted couple sent us pictures of the occasion. Emma said it would make for special memories and a lovely place to visit together in years to come.
Ah…it seems that whatever the weather you just can’t keep romance down. And the Bodnant Garden magic breaks through any amount of grey skies. Congratulations guys – thanks for sharing your very special days with us and we wish you all the best for the future.
(PS we do weddings too!)
For more details about Bodnant Garden call 01492 650460, check out our website nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant-garden or catch up with us on Facebook or Twitter.