NEWLYWEDS eloped to the Lakes alongside their children after a five-year engagement.

Kelly-Marie Parkinson, a 36-year-old teaching co-ordinator at Lancaster University, tied the knot to Robert Parkinson, a 38-year-old self-employed bricklayer.

The pair met through mutual friends in their early 20s, and with their similar sense of humour, music and a love for a night out, they instantly clicked.

"Rob always stood out as the funny, cheeky one, and I’d never met anyone like him before," said Kelly.

The couple got engaged home in the last year of 2018 - the same day they met ten years ago.

On December 29 2023, Kelly and Rob got married at Cragwood Country House in Windermere with only them and their three children - two twin boys aged 12 and a 11-year-old daughter.

Kelly and her daughter stayed in the bridal suite and had breakfast in bed, and the hair was done by a long-term friend, Jayne Knowles, who has a hairdressing business.

Rob and the boys had their own room across the landing, and they had breakfast downstairs in the morning. They got ready and met the registrars at 12pm. 

Once met with the registrars after Rob, Kelly and her daughter made their way down to the ceremony.

"When my walk-in music started to play, my daughter walked me down the staircase to the library, where Rob and the boys were waiting," said Kelly.

"It was such a beautiful moment; the fire was lit, and the winter sun was shining through the window - it brought me to tears as soon as I saw all three of them.

"We said our vows with the children helping with the rings and then proceeded to sign our marriage certificate. We had a glass of fizz, and our photos were taken for a couple of hours by Tiree Dawson."

"I just remember feeling so lucky and it was just a real reflection of us, as we are a close private family and don’t like a fuss for personal events. It just felt so special and magical. At night we had dinner in the restaurant and it was lovely, the food and staff at Cragwood were just exceptional."

Kelly explained she was 'overwhelmed with emotion' by the end of the day as on the previous day, her grandad Peter George Camm was laid to rest.

She said: "I spent most of the year looking after him and was with him when he passed. I was really close to him, so it was a rollercoaster."      

The couple stayed at Cragwood for two nights and then moved on to Keswick Reach Lodge Retreat at Bassenthwaite for a family moon, where they stayed for four nights over the new year period, enjoying the surrounding area and meals out, the on-site spa, log fires and family time.

"We will be having a child-free break later in the year, somewhere overseas for some sun," concluded the couple.