Cat and Alex met in October 2013 through a dating website and by the end of the year they had pretty much moved in together. "It turns out we only lived up the road from each other but our paths had never previously crossed...although our parents are adamant we went to the same playschool together, says Cat".
"Alex proposed on my birthday, March 2019. I’ve always loved Beaulieu, specially the Palace House. Alex had organised with the Palace House manager to have use of it after closing hours. We were getting ready to go out for my birthday dinner and Alex gave me a card and told me to open it once he’d left the house. It was instructions, including that I had to be ready at a certain time and my parents would be collecting me. By this point I had a funny feeling what was going on."
"My Dad drove through Beaulieu estate and parks outside Palace House where the House manager Chris is waiting for me, he tells me to follow the flowers. There were flowers in individual vases lined from the bottom of the stairs all the way up to the second floor of the house. I could hear my favourite song being played on piano and then as I reached the top of the stairs, I saw Simon the pianist playing (he also played our wedding). As I entered the room and walked round the corner, Alex was on one knee asking me to marry him. The most romantic thing he has ever done! We then enjoyed champagne whilst listening to Simon play some of our favourite songs. It will be a day I’ll never forget."
"We had originally planned a DIY wedding in a beautiful village hall in Emery Down for 60 guests, caterers, florist, band etc had all been booked. Our day was for June 6th 2020 and then of course the unthinkable happened to the whole world. It took us a very long time to get our heads around the possibility of not having our wedding in 2020 and potentially 2021 in light of the restrictions on guest numbers."
"We had got all our money back from our previous date and decided to start afresh when possible. I then started hearing and seeing that more couples were having intimate or micro weddings and wondered whether this could be an option for us. It was an easy yes, all we wanted was to get married to each other and have our closest family and friends there which we could achieve with 15 guests allowed."
"We’ve always lived local to Beaulieu so have always known of the Montagu Arms, why. It was of course on the top of my list being in my favourite village, but it was the wedding show round that blew us away. From the moment we stepped into the venue we were spoilt, Clara spent the time to show us our options and we loved the Oakwood room immediately with the open fireplace as a beautiful backdrop, an offer of Afternoon Tea we couldn’t’ say no to turned out to be the best afternoon tea I’ve had and the service from the staff was amazing, we knew from that point we were not going to be disappointed with having our wedding here."
"My dress was from bridal boutique Sass & Grace in East Stratton, Winchester. I’d been trying dresses all day with my two bridesmaids and mum. By that point, we thought we knew what we liked on me, but it was the Ellis dress picked out by the boutique assistant which I fell in love with immediately and nothing compared to that dress after. Alex and his best man's suits were from Moss Bros, they were a herringbone tweed in a dark green, which really suited a wedding in the New Forest."
"When orginally booked our wedding for November 8th so I wanted an Autumnal feel - lots of burnt oranges and toffee colours and natural foliage. However, the date was forced to change to December and I was conscious of the fact it was very close to Christmas and would I be able to have the autumnal colours. I love Christmas but didn’t want it to take over the day."
"The Montagu Arms recommended Florist, Jo Hicks and I’m so glad they did, she is such a talent and became much more than our florist in the lead up to our wedding. For the décor we used Sam at Linen & Lace. I’ve been following her page on Instagram and loved her styling. Jo & Sam had worked together many a times so I knew between them they would create something wonderful, which they did."
"On the day the flowers & décor took our breath away. The fireplace had an impressive offset floral display, the tablescape for dinner consisted of candlesticks with colured candles, a selection of vintage bottles, gorgeous coloured linen and napkins with the flowers draped in between and our three bouquets used for the table centre pieces."
All the menu options sounded delicious and really suited the time of the year. The chef did an outstanding job on the day. For starter we had the Beef Brisket Croquette, our main was Confit of Duck Leg and dessert was the most yummiest Bitter Chocolate & Praline Delice, I could of eaten that again.
"Our photographer was the wonderful Roderick Alan. Rod had done a couple of my friends' weddings previously, so I knew of his talent. Alex & Rod had become friends too from working together on events so he was an obvious choice when it came to picking a photographer for our day.
His style is very creative & authentic, capturing wonderful natural shots. We are so happy with our end photos, they are so beautiful, his relaxed style really shows through us in the images, we are both just beaming."
"It rained heavily when we were due to have photos but as it was a winter wedding we were conscious of losing the light, so we grabbed our bright yellow umbrella and embraced the weather. I’m so glad we did, it didn’t hinder the beautiful photos that were captured and it was a lovely moment as passers by in cars were honking & cheering for us whilst they stopped their cars to allow us to cross the road without getting us splashed."
To start planning an intimate wedding at mico-wedding venue, The Montagu Arms Hotel, call 01590612324 or contact Wedding Coordinator Clara Earp online.
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