Caroline Langham

Caroline Langham

Owner of Cote How Lake District Weddings
Owner of Cote How Organic B&B and Tearoom 2006 – 2014
Bridalwear Retailer and Bespoke Bridalwear Designer Nottingham, 1993 – 2006

For Better For Worse... Carole and Kevin's Small and Intimate Lake District Wedding


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In the words of Carole Matthews herself... "The perfect day, the perfect place..."

What a perfect wedding day it was!

Firstly, a glorious day in every way - The sun shone, but that didn't make the day - The people did. From the very start there was a heady and happy atmosphere of love, fun and excitement. A very tightly knit group of close friends, all coming together to witness this very special occasion. The air was giddy with excitement, and this set that very special tone that lasted the whole day long!


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Made all the better by one of the very best registrars in the whole of Cumbria, Mr Shaun Onions... a very funny and loveable character full of charm, warmth and a stack of well-honed jokes and a natural knack of putting everyone at ease and adding his special brand of humour to quell any nerves!

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 The fun lasted all day and possibly one of the many highlights being the cheeky Rydal Water geese - Biting everyone's bum when we were trying to get some lovely photos by the lake!


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Dinner was a fine dine of freshly smoked salmon followed by deliciously succulent roasted lamb, and a delicious slice of wedding cake.  



Thank you, Carole and Kevin, for the most special day for us too - We thoroughly enjoyed it! :)

Thanks to Kerry at the The Floristry of Windermere. Chair sashes from Lily Lou's of Ambleside.


See the whole wedding here:


Sunday, 18 March 2018 00:00

10 Reasons to Elope

Elopement Weddings10 Reasons to Elope

Engaged to be married? You probably started out with a very romantic vision of your perfect wedding day. Dreamy and stress free in an idyllic setting, where it is all about the two of you and the love you share for each other. Too many external pressures can quickly dash these dreams; not least well intended ‘help and advice’ from friends and family.
Because of this many couples choose elopement as a simpler, less stressful road to marriage.

Traditionally when we think of eloping, we imagine a bride scrambling from her bedroom window, escaping the family home, and eloping with her sweetheart in the dead of night.

Modern elopements tend to be less about running away in secret, and more about a slimmed down wedding focussed on just the two of you. Many do include a select number of close family or friends. The emphasis being on a more relaxed, informal, and private wedding perhaps in a more unusual destination wedding location.


If you are considering eloping here are 10 reasons to help you decide

  1. Simplicity - It’s more about the TWO of YOU

    It’s so easy to get carried away on the ‘Wedding Train’ and lose focus of why you wanted to get married in the first place. Keeping it simple, it’s more about the love that you hold for each other, and how you want to make those life affirming commitments to each other.

    Elopements, by being smaller and shorter, are more focussed on the wedding ceremony itself, the sentiment behind the vows, the intimacy and privacy, rather than the party you feel you need to throw to keep your guests entertained. Designed just for yourselves… you can be selfish, indulgent, and exclusive, by not feeling obliged to anyone else.

  2. You get to Choose When and Where

    You may start out with ideas of a destination wedding somewhere special to the two of you, but as the wedding train gets bigger the needs of your guests become a major consideration. Are they able and willing to make the journey, how will they get there, and where they will stay. Can they get baby sitters, or time off school? This is particularly important if a mid-week wedding is an attractive option for you, as many wedding venues offer generous savings on midweek weddings in addition to often having more dates available midweek than at weekends, which get booked up very quickly.

    Having fewer guests naturally increases your options when trying to find your perfect wedding venue, plus opting for a midweek wedding can save you waiting time and money.

    You may like the idea of your wedding being a part of a bigger adventure, so with less strain on the budget you could splash out a little more to combine your destination wedding with an epic honeymoon.

  3. Short on Time

    Traditionally elopements were arranged in secret…  There’s a lot to be said for this of course!
    But if you don't want to keep it a secret, or you are not good at keeping a secret, why wait? 

    Short notice weddings are becoming very popular and let’s not over complicate this… The smaller and simpler the wedding then the easier it is to arrange. 

    You need a date, the two of you, two witnesses, and a registrar.
    Legal notices are required but even these can be done in 30 days or sooner if you have medical reasons to get married quickly.

  4. Minimise the Stress

    Beware the experts. It’s great to receive advice, tips, do’s & don’ts - but don’t lose sight of your original vision, your own dreams, based around your own style and budget.

    You announce your engagement then suddenly everyone becomes an expert wedding planner.
    Eloping eliminates the obligation often felt in trying to keep everyone appeased. It’s so easy to get caught up in the Bridezilla frenzy – does it matter if your shoes are not quite the right shade of ivory? The more you allow others to influence your thinking the higher your stress levels will be.


  5. Is the size of your wedding getting out of hand

    So many times I hear from couples who have happily decided on guest lists and found a venue perfect for their needs… then for reasons outside of their control, usually financial supporters, they are pressured into accommodating guests they have never even met. We call this the “Auntie Eileen Syndrome”, after hearing from distraught brides, “I never even knew we had an Auntie Eileen!”

    Pressure to invite and rules on invitation etiquette, same for his side as hers, even though his family is so much smaller? Distant cousins, work colleagues and plus ones, are often the topic of heated debate.

    A smaller guest list requires a smaller budget, less financial pressure, and possibly no need for additional funders, giving you the freedom and flexibility you need to remain in control. Do you even need a guest list at all? You can still have your cake and eat it too by eloping then organising a fun and informal party nearer home after the wedding!

  6. Use your money wisely

    According to the Telegraph, The Guardian and The Independent, the average cost of a UK wedding in 2017 was more than £27,000.

    Bridebook also highlighted a breakdown of costs in their Ultimate Wedding Budget Breakdown. This includes a whole host of elements from venue hire to favours and gifts for the guests. A large chunk of this, £7,000 in fact, being just for the catering. Imagine how much of this can be trimmed and the money put to better use with less guests and a smaller venue; a deposit for a new house perhaps?

    Think about what the important key elements to your wedding are. Maybe you could ditch the wedding favours, the wedding car, the wedding singer, the cake of many colours and flavours; the gluten free, the traditional fruit, and of course the dairy free layer, and maybe even the official wedding photographer. though there are some great photographers out there that specialise in elopement wedding photography. After all, the memories are priceless!

  7. Catering complications

    When the menus go out to your enormous guest list with the statutory request for any special diets, you may need to brace yourselves for the ever-growing list of food allergies and dietary intolerances that you are now obliged to accommodate.

    Medical conditions are of course one thing and as such are extremely important, but you are now faced with a major operation in co-ordinating various fads, which on balance are not going to cause extreme upset, yet you feel obliged to accommodate. This often results in altering your preferred menu choices for other more suitable options, but not what you would really love to eat on your own wedding day.

  8. Free yourself from stifling tradition

    The seating plan - the strategic placement of estranged guests is fast becoming an art form. Do you really need a top table? Do you really need to cut the cake?
    Do you have to embarrass yourself with a first dance performance to please the guests?
    Do you really have to stand up and make a speech?

    Elopements, by definition, are for the rule breakers and those that defy tradition, so have some fun and think creatively!

  9. Who are you trying to impress?

    Firstly who do you upset when choosing, or rather, not choosing your bridesmaids and best man/men? How are you going to decide on outfits to suit everyone with so many different skin tones and body shapes? Not forgetting that you can’t upstage the bride.

    With elopement weddings there is no need to ‘Dress to Impress’ your guests - You just need to wow yourselves and each other!

    Back on the wedding train we see speeches evolving, with interactive quizzes, oversized white screens and embarrassing slideshows more focused on the competition between university friends than appropriateness for your wedding.

  10. Friends and Family Elopements

    Modern elopements are not always secret runaway couples, though this is still desirable for some. You can extend your elopement wedding to include your nearest and dearest – It just means smaller, more intimate, and more focussed - so instead of thinking 100, think 10.
    So consider smaller more intimate weddings if elopements are not quite big enough.


Elopement Giveaway

We are giving away a Cote How Exclusive Elopement Wedding.
To enter “LIKE” our Facebook Page, LIKE and SHARE this post with a comment containing your names.
The lucky couple will be announced on the 1st November 2018 and will receive a two hour Simple Elopement for upto 6 (including the bridal couple) with a bottle of bubbly at Cote How.

Call Caroline today for an informal chat on 015394 32765 or visit our website for further details or book a face to face appointment here

Elopement Weddings

50 Plus Weddings

Love comes late - boom in marriages for the over 50s

The marriage rate for over 50s is on the rise, despite the overall number reducing during the 21st century. 

Recent studies from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show total marriages between the year 2000 and 2015 declined by 18%, whereas marriages for the over 50s rose by a staggering 49%.

The rise is attributed, in part, to more ‘silver surfers’ becoming internet savvy and joining dating sites.

The maturing baby boom population, who are now reaching their 50s and 60s, have a longer life expectancy over recent generations.

The ONS says: “We also know that older people are more connected, economically and socially, than they were before. People aged 65 and over are more likely than ever to be working”

“We can’t rule out practical reasons for older couples deciding to tie the knot. One of these may be a substantial change to inheritance tax rules made in October 2007, which allowed married couples or those in civil partnerships to transfer their tax-free allowances between each other for the first time.”

In line with these new younger lifestyles, older couples are researching the internet to find more interesting and picturesque venues than city centre registry offices.
According to the ONS: “89% of all civil marriages in England and Wales are being held in approved premises. These are venues holding a Civil License and do not include registry offices.”

There are also more people forming relationships later in life than ever before. This trend is set to continue, with an estimated increase of 12% by the year 2039.

These more mature couples, are more likely to be getting married for the second or even third time. This often results in very different priorities to their younger ‘first time’ around counterparts.

It is more about just the two of them and the love they hold for each other, and less about trying to impress. Older couples also tend to prefer smaller, more intimate weddings with a relaxed family focussed celebration.

Cote How offers a selection of intimate wedding options, from elopements for ‘Just the Two of You’, to ‘Small and Intimate’ all-inclusive celebrations. 

As all our weddings are bespoke you have the flexibility to vary your choices and choose the elements that are more important to you.

At Cote How our most popular option is our all-inclusive midweek wedding. We can style this from 12-32 friends and family and includes the wedding flowers and cake.

Older couples are definitely more relaxed themselves and after our initial meeting seem more than happy to leave all the detail to us. They can simply turn up and we will do the rest!

Call Caroline today for an informal chat on 015394 32765 or visit our website for further details or book a face to face appointment here

Review from Lynne:

“Everything about our wedding day was exactly as we could have wished for. We had a small family wedding, the only one thing wrong was the day didn’t last long enough I never wanted it to end! Caroline & her team were excellent. nothing was too much trouble.” Graham and Lynne Scratcherd 18th July 2017

 Photogrpahy by Simon Hughes

Open 11:00am until 4:00pm

This is your chance to visit Cote How to sample first hand the style, luxury and variety of this first class quality wedding venue and sample just a little glimpse of what is on offer at this prestigious natural beauty spot.
The venue will be adorned with sample layouts of various wedding styles. Professional Suppliers will be on hand throughout the weekend to show examples of their work to you.
Please note that there is no onsite parking, the Public Car Park at Pelter Bridge (pay and display) is just 50m down the lane. Or pop in during your walk around Rydal Water!

Guided Show Arounds

Available by appointment only at 11:30, 1:00pm, 2:30pm or 4:00pm
Your chance to have a guided tour with venue owner and personal wedding planner Caroline, and a chance to ask lots of questions.
Please note that due to high demand these are group show rounds only. Private consultations will be available after the weekend for more detailed discussions and bookings.
To book your place at this special event Please complete your details here and we will get back to you as soon as possible

Download our Wedding Showcase Open Day PDF here

You can read more about this showcase weekend here




Read what our lovely couples have to say about their wedding here at Cote How

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Cote How Lake District Weddings
Rydal, Near Ambleside
Cumbria, LA22 9LW
Tel: 015394 32765 (9:00 - 17:00)


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