The proposal was a complete surprise in a beautiful suite in The Ritz, London complete with champagne and flowers. Andrew had chosen the most gorgeous ring and I cried a lot! We then had a lovely dinner in the Ritz Restaurant and they treated us to a delicious celebration cake. It was so romantic!
We had a looked at few venues local to us and in the New Forest but when we arrived at The Montagu we knew it was for us. It was beautiful inside and out and very classic but also not too large. We love the New Forest and I had lots of childhood memories of visiting Beaulieu and so it fitted perfectly with what we had in mind for our big day.
All the staff we met were fantastic especially Clara and so we knew our big day would be in good hands.
We also wanted a venue that could accommodate guests staying the day before the wedding as well as the wedding evening; again, Clara was great at organising this.
My dress was by Pronovias and I found it at the lovely Brides of Winchester. It was only the third dress I tried on but after trying lots of others I knew it was the dress!
My veil was my Mum's but customised from its original length by Virginia Hannan who was recommended to me by Brides of Winchester - she also altered my dress. Mum's veil was in perfect condition and went with my dress so it made sense to have it as my 'something old' and well as have a little piece of family history with me.
I was very lucky to have some gorgeous Jimmy Choo shoes for the wedding day. They were mint green to match our colour scheme for the day.
My hair and make up was by the very talented Amy Moulsdale; she also did hair and make up for my Mum and the bridesmaids.
Our bridesmaids were both of our sisters, Stephanie (who was maid of honour) and Helen and my best friend Beth, who I have known since school. They were all brilliant on the day and looked beautiful. They wore lovely mint green dresses from David's Bridal, London and silver shoes.
Andrew had his best friend, Phil, as best man and close friend Tom, was our usher; they all wore grey suits and coordinating mint green ties and pocket squares.
There ceremony in the beautiful Oakwood room was wonderful (it also had a green colour scheme which we loved!); our registrars were brilliant and we also had three readings, which meant a lot to us, by Andrew's sister, Helen and some of my oldest friends Ellen and Catherine. Our witnesses were our Mums.
The room was decorated wonderfully with flowers by Mala Williams. Clara also arranged mint green chair ribbons.
We had eaten in the Terrace Restaurant a few times and knew the food would be fantastic but we could not have been happier with the wedding breakfast - it was delicious and we had so many compliments about the food.
The room also looked wonderful and all of our table decorations had been perfectly set out by the brilliant hotel staff. We were so lucky to have a warm day so the doors to the beautiful garden could be open.
The Hotel's master of ceremonies was excellent in making sure no one missed anything and the day ran to time; it was so helpful not to have to worry about anything on the day. We had a fab band, the Magic Tones in the evening and delicious buffet.
It was lovely to see all our guests exploring the hotel and gardens which we had come to love so much. Having exclusive use meant we could serve drinks and canapes and later coffee and petit fours in different rooms which helped make the day run smoothly.
Our flowers were by Mala Williams and were amazing, We had martini glass table centres which looked incredible and really made the room. She also made fabulous button holes, corsages as well as mine and my bridesmaid's bouquets.
We chose ivory roses, green and white hydrangeas and eucalyptus leaves in keeping with our mint green theme. Mala really understood what we wanted and the flowers were better than we imagined.
As the Hotel is so beautiful we did not have to have lots of decoration. Our flowers made the ceremony room and restaurant but we also had table centres made from horseshoes by my Dad (from family horses which was a lovely touch), dried leaves on the tables and 'mint to be' jars of mints as favours.
We also had frames of photographs of us both throughout our lives which were made by my maid of honour and her partner, Ryan. Everything was very personal to us and Clara and her team arranged everything perfectly.
The day was perfect and everything we imagined it would be and more - we just want to do it all again!
We could not recommend The Montagu highly enough. From the planning, right through to the day and sending our guests off afterwards they were fantastic!
I was driven to the ceremony by my Dad in his vintage Jaguar E-Type, which was lovely.
Our photographers were Darren and Sue Matthews of Darren Matthews Wedding Photography, who we met at the Winchester wedding fair; they were brilliant and the photos look fantastic. The Hotel and its grounds made a beautiful back drop.
Our wedding cake was a English Cheesecake Company wedding cake; it needed to be carefully stored and defrosted and Clara and her team dealt with this brilliantly.
Consider the Montagu Arms Hotel for your wedding venue in the New Forest. Contact Clara Earp today 01590 614981 to book your show around.
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