25th Anniversary Joy at Ufford Park

25th Anniversary Joy at Ufford Park

A couple who married at a Woodbridge hotel have returned 25 years later to relive every element of their special day.

Alan and Sara Lankester were one of the first couples to tie the knot at Ufford Park Hotel, Golf and Spa after it opened in 1993.

And to mark their silver wedding anniversary, the pair, who live in Ipswich, were invited back to the wedding venue, which is also celebrating its 25th birthday.

Mr Lankester planned the romantic surprise for his wife after speaking to hotel marketing manager Debbie Ratcliffe.

He said: “Some people don’t believe in love at first sight but with Sara and I that was what it was. In fact I knew she was the girl I was going to marry after only a few months of dating.

“I look back at the last 25 years of marriage and know that asking her to marry me was the best decision I have ever made. I share my life with an amazing woman that still loves me and we have three handsome sons that we are incredibly proud of.

“To mark our anniversary with a trip down memory lane was magical – it was one of the happiest days of our lives.”

He added: “I think that returning to the venue was a lovely surprise for Sara. I try to keep romance alive in our marriage – perhaps that it one of the secrets to its longevity.”

Alan’s romantic streak began when he proposed to Sara in 1992. He took secret horse riding lessons at Bentley Riding School so that he could ride into the stables on a white horse dressed as a medieval knight, dismount and get down on one knee.

Ufford Park Hotel, Golf and Spa offered the couple a complimentary overnight stay in the room they stayed in on their wedding night 25 years ago – The Bawdsey Room. Alan had arranged for the room to be filled with flowers, balloons and chocolates.

Debbie Ratcliffe from the hotel said: “We were absolutely delighted to help Alan and Sara mark 25 years of marriage.

“It’s a special celebration for us too because this was one of the first weddings we catered for and there are still some staff who remember it being a very special occasion.

“They slept in the honeymoon suite, they held the reception in the Park Restaurant and they even had a photograph taken in our gym.”

Alan and Sara were invited to replicate all the photographs from their big day during their stay.

They also relaxed in the hotel spa which is a new addition since their original visit.

For more information on Ufford Park, visit their website here.

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