What started as a summer romance between Lucy and Jason nearly a decade ago, led to choosing New Forest wedding venue, The Montagu Arms for a magnificent summer celebration for nearly fifty of their closest family and friends. We caught up with the couple to find out how it went...
"Jason and I met nine years ago whilst working at The Haven Hotel on Sandbanks. I was working there during my summer break from art school in Glasgow. I like to say that I knew pretty early on that he was the one - maybe it took him a bit longer! We had an amazing summer on the south coast exploring new places together and then in the September I had to go back to Glasgow to complete my degree. It was pretty hard doing long distance for two years but also made us appreciate the time we had together! When I finally moved to Bournemouth after graduation, it felt like the start of our life together."
"After seven years together, Jason asked me to marry him whilst on holiday in Majorca. We were on our balcony looking out to sea at sunset and he got down on one knee. It was definitely the happiest moment of my life. Little did I know, he had almost popped the question twice before but had lost his nerve. It was worth the wait though and was a perfect moment. We enjoyed a glass of fizz just the two of us on our balcony before phoning our families with the good news."
"We knew of New Forest wedding venue, The Montagu Arms Hotel from doing the popular walk from Beaulieu to Buckler's Hard. It is such a beautiful and eye-catching hotel. We knew our wedding wouldn’t be huge so it was difficult to find a venue that wasn’t too big or too small. Luckily The Montagu Arms was perfect for us. We loved the cosy interiors and pictured log fires and candlelight.
Our original date was October 2020, but due to the pandemic we ended up moving it to August 2021, the height of summer! In the end, the beautiful gardens at the hotel were the perfect setting for our day and we made use of both the inside and outside spaces.
There really was a room for everyone - the dance floor for those that wanted to dance, comfy sofas in the lounge for a quieter atmosphere, and the outdoor tables and a fire pit for making the most of the warm evening. All our guests commented on how fantastic the venue was and we are over the moon with our choice!"
"Our original date was in the autumn so for the flowers we wanted dark reds and plums which fit beautifully with the venue. When our date moved to August, we wanted to lighten the flowers to be more in keeping with the time of year, so our bouquets ended up being a mixture of white, red and soft pink roses, eucalyptus and pink peonies. We were delighted with the end result created by our florist Jill Stagg .
The beauty of The Montagu Arms Hotel is you need very little additional decor - the hotel is beautifully decorated so everything is already in place! For our wedding breakfast tables, we simply added flowers as a centrepiece and a few tealights. Nothing more was needed!"
"For our wedding breakfast we chose beef croquette for starter, pork loin with creamy mash and apple sauce for main and a zesty lemon tart for dessert. We didn’t want anything too heavy in case the weather was very hot and this turned out to be just right for the day. The food was wonderful on the day - all of our guests commented how brilliant it was. The hotel was very accommodating of dietary requirements and I know this was appreciated by our guests. It was such a happy moment sitting at the top table and watching everyone we love eating, drinking and laughing together."
"We chose Emma Frances as our photographer based on her previous work which looked so natural and elegant. We didn’t want to feel too staged on the day and Emma understood this perfectly. She managed to capture so many special moments. We love the candid shots of our guests chatting and laughing - this shows Emma’s skill of capturing the atmosphere of the day. Emma made us both feel so at ease so when the focus was on us, we felt we could be ourselves and I think this comes across in the photos. She is also a total delight to work with and many of our guests commented how lovely she was. She stayed a little longer in the evening to capture some shots on the dance floor which were great to look back on, as this part of the day felt a little hazy!"
"My dress was by Jesus Peiro and I found it in Anna Bridal in Ringwood. It was the first dress I tried on! I knew instantly it was my dress as I felt myself in it. I loved the simplicity of the shape and the heavy lace fabric. The cross back was also pretty special - I didn’t want to take it off!"
"The boy's suits were made by Steed Tailors - our Best Man happens to be the Managing Director! The blackwatch tartan was a nod to my Scottish roots and we loved how sophisticated the jackets looked with black bow ties and white roses on the lapels. The bow ties were from H.N White London and were beautifully made. All our Groomsmen had to learn how to tie a bow tie on the morning of the wedding - with a little help from Youtube and their wives!"
"We left our wedding cake until last minute and luckily a friend of a family member stepped in to save the say. We wanted to keep our cake quite simple and Debbie from Cakes by Debs achieved this beautifully. We opted for a classic Victoria sponge - who doesn’t love that! The icing detail was beautiful and just how we pictured it. We knew the cake went down well with our guests, as there wasn’t much left the next day!"
"Our band were fantastic on the evening. They were called The Vinyls, booked through Tailored Entertainment. They did two sets; the first one was all the classic retro hits like 'Johnny B Goode' and 'Surfin USA' and the second got everyone up dancing to ‘I Predict A Riot’ and ‘Mr Brightside’. For the final song of the evening the band chose ‘500 miles’ by the Proclaimers - we didn’t plan this but it went down very well with all my Scottish family and was the perfect song to round off the evening with everyone singing along."
"We would love to highlight how AMAZING the service was at the hotel - not just on the day but in the year running up to it. We know how difficult it has been for the hospitality industry during the pandemic and we so appreciate the patience and kindness shown to us by Clara and the team when we changed our date three times! Also on the day, the team could not have been more helpful to all of our guests. Everyone was a delight and contributed to making our day feel so special. The Montagu Arms will forever be a special place for us, with so many happy memories to look back on. Thank you. "
Hair by Samantha Stevenson
Makeup by Amy Richards Makeup
If you are looking for a wedding venue in the New Forest, choose The Montagu Arms Hotel for a wedding day completely bespoke to you. Call 01590 612324 or contact Wedding Coordinator Clara Earp online.
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