LOVEBIRDS are celebrating after being the first same-sex couple to get married in Ulverston Methodist Church.

Ailsa Shimmin, 31, from Ulverston, who works in social care, tied the knot to 31-year-old Sophie Hatton,  who works as a supplier manager, from Middlewich

The pair met on the dating app Hinge and had their first date in Altrincham in July 2021.

Their love got stronger and Ailsa proposed to Sophie on holiday in Tenerife whilst on a walk after being together for seven months. 

They got married on April 27 at Ulverston Methodist Church with 110 guests and were the first same-sex couple to tie the knot there.

The church has a 'strong family connection' as Ailsa grew up going to the Methodist Church and went with her mum when older on weekends visiting Ulverston.

The reception was held at the Merewood Country House Hotel in Windermere.

Mrs and Mrs Shimmin said: "Dottie and Blanche (our little dogs) had been with a dog walker in the morning but soon made friends with everyone when we all got back to the Merewood. We had got them new leads and collars to match the bridesmaid dresses. They loved running around with the kids and behaved very well for photos. 

"Sophie let everyone know that the happy couple have been counting down the days to an important date this year - that is June 13, when we are seeing Taylor Swift. The tables at the wedding were each named after Taylor’s albums.

"The favours were Motor Neurone Disease Association charity pins, attached to name cards. Ailsa’s mum Christine died of MND in 2019. Ailsa and Sophie took Christine’s maiden name as their married name to commemorate her. 

"The food was amazing, we had lots of compliments on it. We were impressed by how well they catered for so many people. We had ham hock to start, beef for main, and sticky toffee pudding for dessert.

"We went for photos by the lake after dinner. We initially thought we didn’t want to leave everyone but it was one of the highlights of the day, made all the better when Ailsa fell down the hill on the way back. Luckily photographer James helped Ailsa take her shoes off as Sophie was too busy laughing at her from halfway down the hill."

Sophie’s auntie Steph and her partner Paul made their wedding cake - a three-tier sponge and fruit cake decorated with fresh flowers, a cake topper, and two icing replicas of their dogs.

They went on a P&O Britannia cruise to Norway on May 3 for the honeymoon. They said the scenery was 'stunning' and we had a 'great' week. 

The couple would like to thank Reverend Hayley Edmondson and all at Ulverston Methodist Church, wedding coordinators and all staff at Merewood Country House Hotel. James Hicks, Flowers by Aimee, Jade Ryder,  Imogen Hall, Mike Faulkner, Shaun Brady, What the Pluck and Calligraphy by Anna.

And to thank their parents, bridesmaids, best men, ring bearer, page boys and flower girls.