Maria and Damon first met in a coffee shop over seven years ago. After a romantic proposal the couple happened to find New Forest wedding venue The Montagu Arms by chance on a rainy December day in 2020. The couple married in early autumn 2022 surrounded by their closest family and friends. We caught up with Maria and Damon to see how their special day went ...
"We met in London when I (Maria) used to work in a coffee shop and Damon was my customer. But we only really got to know each other once I left the coffee shop and we swiped right (on Tinder)!"
"We've been together Since December 2015 and Damon proposed on our fourth anniversary in 2019. He printed about two-hundred photos of us and spread them all over the living room. He also wrote a book with our love story and ended it with 'and then, one day, four years after they found each other, they were engaged to be married (hopefully!) and lived happily ever after..." When I finished reading (I was very confused) he was waiting with the ring."
"We actually found the Montagu Arms by accident. In December 2020 we went to Montagu's sister hotel, Careys Manor, to celebrate our fifth anniversary and on the way back there was a downpour of torrential rain, so much so that we couldn't see anything so had stop the car. We pulled up just outside the Montagu Arms and when the rain cleared we saw the hotel and the Beaulieu river and decided to get in touch. Turned out it was everything we were looking for and the rest is history!"
"We decided to go for early autumn shades since the wedding was mid-September. Flicking through the hotel's Instagram account we saw a previous wedding's photos and just fell in love with the colours and decoration so used that as a starting point. On the day it was absolutely beautiful! Jo Hicks and Sam from Linen and Lace worked together to create our decoration and it was a million times better than we had imagined. We wanted more foliage on the fireplace and Jo did an amazing job."
"The food was excellent! All the guests loved it. We wanted one fish and one meat option. At the menu tasting we tried three of each course and settled on the two we liked best. For starter we had salmon raviolo with garlic velouté and celeriac risotto our main courses were roast loin of pork and fillet of hake with braised lentils and finished with bakewell slice or yoghurt pannacotta."
"For both the cake and the photographer, we decided to use recommended suppliers. They know the venue, they are local and they come with an endorsement and we weren't disappointed! The cake by Sarah Louise Cakes was absolutely delicious and the photographer, Scott of ASR Photography, made sure we got great photos and were relaxed on the day."
"Damon's suit was very easy to choose, we had the colour in mind and were recommended a shop in London called Suit Supply which had everything we wanted. Maria's dress on the other hand was almost a surprise dress. It was made in Brazil by an amazing seamstress with Maria's mother help. Maria got her measurements taken in November 2021 when she went to Brazil and only saw the dress and had a first and final fitting in July 2022 when the dress was nearly ready so not a lot of room for errors! Luckily Maria's mum has a great taste and knows her daughter very well - everything worked out and Maria loved her dress when she tried it on."
"Our wedding favours were typical wedding cookies from Brazil called 'Bem-casados'. The legend says that these wedding cookies represent the couple's union and commitment and promise a life of happiness. According to the tradition, each guest must be offered a bem-casado so they can be blessed with the same luck and hapiness as the couple."
"We had the best time and the day was perfect. We were very fortunate with the weather and everything went to plan. We must thank Clara and all the staff at the hotel to thank for everything they did, our guests loved the wedding and so did we."
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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