Happy Wigan couple finally tie the knot after hotel comes to the rescue

A hotel stepped in at the 11th hour to prevent a Wigan couple’s wedding plans from falling apart yet again.
Holland Hall saved Ian and Sheila Bateson’s big day by hosting their reception at very short noticeHolland Hall saved Ian and Sheila Bateson’s big day by hosting their reception at very short notice
Holland Hall saved Ian and Sheila Bateson’s big day by hosting their reception at very short notice

Ian and Sheila Bateson, both widowed, had originally planned to marry in March this year but pandemic restrictions put paid to that.

Everything was on course for a July 31 ceremony at Houghwood Golf Club, but then at the 11th hour the chef and several staff went down with Covid-19.

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Not to be defeated a second time, the determined couple from Ashton-in-Makerfield and their families hit the phones to find an alternative venue - and landed on Holland Hall Hotel, Up Holland.

“We phoned Holland Hall Wednesday at 6pm, met them that evening, and then sat back and watched as they dropped everything to create our wedding reception in around 60 hours flat - with everything ready to go at 3.30pm on the Saturday,” said 60-year-old retired police officer Ian.

“We’d managed to keep the ceremony itself at Houghwood, which couldn’t be moved to Holland Hall because the venues were in different areas from a registrar’s perspective, but they did us proud,” he added.

And after a perfectly performed ceremony, 60 guests piled into cars, cabs and minibuses to head over to Holland Hall where the events team had set up the reception room to reflect the original seating plan from Houghwood, while the catering team had created a menu to duplicate that originally planned so to avoid re-requesting meal choices - and then the events team steamed in again to set up an evening party for 100-plus guests including finding a DJ with just hours to spare.”

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“We couldn’t have wished for anything better - the reception at Holland Hall went perfectly, the venue was fantastic, with amazing decor, excellent service and great food,” said Sheila, a 58-year-old shop assistant.

The perfect pop-up wedding was pulled together by Holland Hall Hotel Group CEO Bevan Middleton and his team.

Ian said: “As soon as we met with Bevan on Wednesday night we knew we were in safe hands. Nothing was a problem, and he and the team delivered on what they promised.”

Bevan said: “In a way it’s a dream task for a team like mine.

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“In normal times planning and producing a wedding reception might take weeks, but I met with Ian and Sheila on the Wednesday night, briefed my team on Thursday morning, and, alongside other events and daily customer needs, they created something special for Saturday at extremely short notice, ensuring every detail was perfect, and watched a happy couple become even happier as the day and evening progressed faultlessly and enjoyably.”

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