Serina and Ian enjoyed a beautiful summer wedding at the Montagu Arms Hotel in August 2016. Here is the story of their perfect day.
The proposal happened in our room at The May Fair Hotel in London and was a complete surprise. Ian managed to arrange an upgrade to a stunning suite as the hotel staff knew what was happening, however even after this I somehow STILL didn’t cotton on! We were there under the guise that we were meeting some friends for a 30th birthday. Then just as we were about to go out the door to 'meet' our friends, I turned around and Ian was on one knee! The ring was absolutely perfect. We went for a delicious meal at The May Fair Kitchen afterwards and the champagne was flowing all evening!
We visited several venues around Hampshire. We had previously been to the evening reception of a wedding at The Montagu Arms several years ago and had loved it then so it was always on the cards. When we went to look at it we just knew it was THE venue! We loved absolutely everything about it, especially the stunning gardens and beautiful décor inside. We also liked the fact it was elegant but also homely and cosy. We thought come rain or shine, the venue would be the perfect place for us and our guests.
My dress was a Mori Lee gown from Brides of Southampton. I tried on quite a few dresses in several beautiful stores but I came back to this one as I just couldn’t get it out of my head! I also purchased my veil from here. I went for some silver, sparkly but comfortable heels from Debenhams as I knew I wanted to dance the night away!
My hair was done by my hairdresser Bev Cooper and make-up was done by Gemma Laverick. They were both amazing and helped me to feel so special on the day.
My bridesmaids were: my two sisters, Kayleigh (chief bridesmaid) and Millie; two of my best friends Suzie and Nikki; and little Phoebe who is Ian’s younger cousin. The girls all wore some beautiful blue dresses which we found online. They all looked gorgeous on the day and I felt proud to have them all by my side.
Ian had two best men, Joel and Simon, both of whom he has known since school. My brother was an usher as well as Ian’s younger cousin, Cameron. The groom and groomsmen all looked dapper in 3-piece, blue suits.
The ceremony was at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Brockenhurst. We were so lucky to have such a bright, sunny day. The ceremony was very special to us and the church felt like it was full of happiness and love.
The reception was perfect from start to finish. The room was so well decorated by the hotel staff. I was so pleased we didn’t have to stress over it at all the day before. There was such a relaxed feeling to the day and all of our guests seemed to really enjoy themselves from the moment they arrived, with drinks and scrumptious canapés. The Wedding Breakfast food and wine was divine as well as the evening buffet. We had a live band in the evening called The Big Town Boppers who were fantastic. They had people up dancing all night long. So many people have said since how much they enjoyed the band and how fun the whole day was. Our photographer was Hana Venn and she captured some amazing photos and shots of the hotel. In the evening she set up a photo booth which was really fun and lots of people enjoyed using. We had exclusive use of the hotel which was absolutely brilliant and we would highly recommend!! Many of those staying the night continued celebrating long past closing time and it was amazing to see our guests at breakfast the next day.
Our bouquets, button holes and corsages where made by our family friend Lisa from Hearts & Flowers. She took everything we told her into consideration and the flowers were all absolutely gorgeous. I loved them and wish I could have kept them forever! At the venue, our table centre pieces were by Mala Williams and again they were stunning. The large martini glasses really stood out and made the room look very impressive.
We chose to go with a chalkboard theme which we felt reflected the traditional ambiance of The Montagu Arms. We didn’t need a huge amount of decoration as the hotel is so beautifully presented. We chose blue to be our main colour with hints of pink, yellow and lilac pastels. Our tables were named after my late father’s favourite ales and we also displayed photos of him and both of our parents on their own wedding days with our grandparents.
The day was undoubtedly the best day of our lives. We loved every single second. If we could do one day over and over, our Wedding day would be it!! Throughout the whole process Clara and the staff at the hotel played a huge part in making it so fantastic. On the day they were so helpful and made us feel like everything was under control so we didn’t have to worry about a thing…apart from enjoying ourselves and making the most of every moment! We have since had SO many compliments from our guests about the venue and the absolutely amazing food.
We were very lucky to have blazing sunshine on the day of the wedding. In the days leading up to the wedding it was down cast with showers and the weather forecast predicted rain. However the day of the wedding was just AMAZING. The guests definitely made full use of the luscious gardens at the Montagu Arms.
It was also a bitter sweet day as my father had only passed away less than a month before the wedding day. Every single guest made such an effort to make the day so happy and unforgettable for us. We will forever be grateful and regardless of what had happened, we both still had the best day of our lives and we know my Dad was there with us on the day!
Photographer: Hana Venn
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