We would like to introduce you to all the gang.

Simon is our Bar Manager, or Zoltan Perkins as we sometimes have to call him (don’t ask – Amanda and I have just accepted it with sideways glances at each other!!).

Simon is a professional photographer by trade and indeed does a lot of commercial work for college prospectuses, but just loves being a Bar Manager at Hornington Manor. Simon is very enthusiastic and is probably the most helpful person you would ever meet as nothing is ever too much trouble leading up to and on your special day. Last weekend one of Angela’s guests left it way too late to get a taxi (we are in the middle of the Yorkshire countryside and you can’t just hail a cab) for a connection he needed from York station to Birmingham airport, so Simon took him so he didn’t miss his train.

Simon is also a qualified first aider, but thankfully hasn’t needed to use his skills other than for a lady that had sprained her ankle on the dancefloor. He sprang into action with his ice pack and gentle manner, only too pleased to put what he had learnt into real practice.

Amanda is our lovely head housekeeper and calls the Manor her little Downton Abbey. She ensures that the Manor is beautifully cleaned with fresh bedding, towels and fluffy dressing gowns put out for all your guests.

She is the kind of person who always goes the extra mile. One of our grooms had arrived on the Friday with his Dad’s Defender (TD5 110 so I’m informed by Amanda, as these things are important), which the best man was supposed to use to transport the bridesmaids from the church back to Hornington Manor for the reception. He was in a tizz because something had suddenly gone on the vehicle. Amanda is a keen enthusiast and indeed drives a TDI 90 Defender called Dave.

She said, ‘Don’t worry my Dad will have a spare indicator relay’ as she had identified the problem, and so off she went to pick up the part from her Dad, and with her boyfriend Tom in tow, arrived back with half an hour to mend the vehicle. One very happy groom, without even having the chance to stress about it, could not believe his eyes when she handed the keys back to him having fixed the problem.

She truly is one in a million and she even laughs at Simon’s jokes, so we all love her.

And then there is me, Jo, Events Manager and Wedding Coordinator, married to Gary our farmer. I see your day through from the initial viewings until we wave you off as a married couple and I can honestly say that I love my job, as varied as it is.

I help Gary with the farming side, so you will see me feeding my orphan baby lambs through March – June if you are up early enough. One Saturday morning, one of our grooms was so nervous about the day, he was walking around at 6am so he helped me feed Hugo and his pals. We just chatted like it was a normal day and he went off to get ready, having calmed down with a little smile on his face. I just told him to imagine everybody naked when he was doing his speech – apparently it works!!

I try to add a little something extra to the venue with a splash of colour to coordinate each individual bride and groom’s colour scheme to make it unique to them. I have made the garland for the Lychgate and added the little glass baubles so that the little flowers inside can match each wedding. The trees in the courtyard are branches from the trees around the farm that I got Gary to saw off. I painted them white and added the cherry blossom. My mum even collected lots of acorns from the local woodland and made all the hearts wreaths which are hung on the planters and doors in the courtyard.

Wedding days are always so special and when I see the bride come down the stairs in the Manor, I cry every time.

We all make sure that you day runs smoothly, so you can just enjoy being with friends and family, and that often extends to holding and pushing babies in their prams so that Mum and Dad can enjoy their meal and speeches without missing out.

And we cannot forget Hugo, who is a star member of Team Hornington.


We are an effective team – Zoltan Perkins.