WEDDING: Back to bride’s childhood home for reception in a tipi

Primary school teachers Charlotte Dickinson and James Atherton married at St Marie's, Standish, followed by a reception in a tipi at Charlotte's parents' house near Wigan Rugby Union Club. 'Photos by Capture Photography - www.heathercapture.co.uk

Primary school teachers Charlotte Dickinson and James Atherton married at St Marie's, Standish, followed by a reception in a tipi at Charlotte's parents' house near Wigan Rugby Union Club. 'Photos by Capture Photography - www.heathercapture.co.uk

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A tipi set up in her parents’ garden made Charlotte Dickinson’s wedding reception all the more personal.

After saying ‘I do’ to James Atherton at a ceremony in St Marie’s, in their hometown of Standish, the bride enjoyed an afternoon of celebrations at her childhood home.

“I was so overwhelmed that I barely spoke for the first 24 hours!”

Charlotte Dickinson

“We had an amazing three hat tipi which was situated in my mum and dad’s back garden,” Charlotte describes.

“It was very special because it was at my childhood home and also James and my dad, John, had spent a lot of time preparing the field so it could have the tipi on it.

“Both sets of parents worked so hard to make the day special and as a result it was very personal.

“James’s mum, Julie, handmade wedding invites, the cutlery pockets and hessian runner whilst my mum, Marjorie, made the place names and put together a world map for the table plan.”

And the grand proposal will also stand out in the newlywed’s memory as being one of the best times of her life.

Charlotte, who is originally from Wigan, explains: “The proposal was incredible.

“James had gone away on a stag do and left me a message under the bed telling me to pack a suitcase as we were going away on a surprise trip.

“I was so excited but nervous as I had no idea what to pack!

“When we got to the airport, I still didn’t know where we were going until we were in the queue for check-in.

“We were off to Torbole on Lake Garda, Italy.

“I was so overwhelmed that I barely spoke for the first 24 hours!

“Our hotel overlooked the lake and was absolutely stunning. He had booked us the best room in the hotel, and there was a bouquet of flowers, special chocolate treats, Champagne and decorations on the bed. It was perfect.

“The next day I could tell James was on edge, as though he was waiting for something.

“He asked me to be ready for our meal for 7pm, but the table was only booked for 7.30pm so being a girl, I got ready for then.

“We went for a delicious meal at the hotel and then James took me back to the room, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

“Of course I said yes immediately. He presented me with a ‘pretend’ engagement ring because he knew I’d want to choose my own.

“I only found out later that he’d wanted to propose before the meal… oops!

“The rest of the holiday was like the best dream ever; I couldn’t believe it was real and he’d made so much effort for me.

“On our last night we spent the evening on our private terrace watching fireworks go off across the water.

“It was the most magical few days of my life.”

The couple, who are both primary school teachers, honeymooned in Las Vegas and then Playa del Carmen, Mexico.