Congratulations to newlyweds Lee and Gill Carter who held their wedding reception at our Rawtenstall store’s café – the place they met and fell in love three years ago.
The couple couldn’t afford to splash out on an expensive party – and were delighted when our colleagues offered to host their reception and transformed the café for the big day. Gill said: "The café is a special place for us. The staff are lovely – we regard them as our friends.”
Lee and Gill were married at Accrington Registry Office before colleagues lined up to applaud them into the store. They then headed to the café, which had been specially decorated with balloons and tablecloths for the wedding party.
Gill, who’s 55, said: "When the colleagues applauded us in, it made our hearts pitter patter! It was such a lovely thing to do.
“We had a fantastic day and all of our guests really enjoyed it too. The colleagues went all out to make it special. It’s hard to put into words how pleased we are. It was lovely what they had done with the café – it looked wonderful.”
Gill and Lee’s romance began three years ago when Lee invited her to join his table because the café was full. They live five minutes’ walk from the store, so visit it most days.
She said: “I’ve been coming to the café regularly for eight years for a bit of company and I think Lee did too. When we came in we weren’t on our own any more. When we met in the café it went from a spark to a flame.
“The café is a special place for us. The staff are lovely – we regard them as our friends and it’s just a lovely place, with a great view of the hills."
Store colleague Anne Whitley, pictured above with Lee and Gill, first suggested the café as a place to hold the reception after Lee and Gill told her they wanted to get married but weren’t sure they could afford it.
Anne said: "I’ve known Gill and Lee since I started working here five years ago. They’re lovely – I adore them both – and it’s wonderful we’ve been able to help them.”
Lee, who’s 42, thanked colleagues in his speech. He said: “A special thanks to Asda and the café team. They have worked so hard for us and made our wedding day one to cherish for the rest of our lives.”
He added: “We love the café because of the lovely helpful staff that always have a smile on their faces and are very supportive and friendly. When we told our family and friends our plan they were surprised but very happy for us. Everyone at the store’s been so helpful, providing champagne and even sorting a seating plan for us.”
Colleagues also provided a tiered wedding cake to which Gill’s sister added special decorations.
Darren Knowles, Asda Rawtenstall’s deputy store manager, said: "It’s a pleasure to give something back to two regular customers who’ve been coming here for years, and it’s great for Asda to do something like this for two members of the local community.”