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Real Weddings | Michelle & Russell

9th Jul 2018

"Every element of the day was just perfect". Hear about Michelle and Russell's magical day at The Montagu Arms when they tied the knot on 3rd August 2014.

The Proposal

The proposal was on a private boat on Coniston Water in the Lake District. We arrived for an early morning boat ride and had the whole lake to ourselves. The mist and peacefulness was magical and it was just perfect. However, I am sure Russ would have preferred a quicker answer from a very emotional Michelle. We celebrated afterwards with earl grey tea and cake looking over the lake. We then returned the next day for another boat ride, one that Russ could relax and enjoy this time.

michelle and russell

Why did you choose The Montagu Arms Hotel for your wedding?

We chose the Montagu Arms as we were able to have exclusive use, which was such an important element of our day. We wanted to know that the staff were all dedicated to our guests and that we could use all areas of the hotel with ease and comfort. Nothing was too much trouble. From the very first meeting with Clara we could tell that the dedication and attention to detail meant we could enjoy the organising and we could have our wedding day tailored to our own personal needs.

The Dress

The dress, bolero, veil and hair accessory were all purchased from Brides Of Winchester.

The dress and bolero is from the Nicola Anne collection called Sardinia.

Michelle had tried on a few dresses and knew exactly what she wanted to look like. At Brides of Winchester they listened to her wish list and the second dress she tried on was just as she had imagined. The veil was cathedral length and was edged in lace.

the dress

The Bridemaids

There were 6 bridesmaids who were all our nieces. The older bridesmaids wore sage green dresses and hair accessories from Coast and the two flower girls wore ivory lace dresses from John Lewis. We all had a fabulous time staying the night before at the Montagu Arms and it was so wonderful to get ready together at the hotel with plenty of space, room service and a relaxed atmosphere to get ready in together. On our departure from the hotel to the church, the wonderful staff at the hotel came to wave us off, it was such a lovely touch to our very special day.

The Ceremony

The ceremony took place at St Matthews Church in Netley Marsh and we were able to have the florist design the archway which was absolutely stunning! The beautiful church was also where Russ’ parents and sister were married and is next door to Russ’ primary school.

The Reception

We had exclusive use of the Montagu Arms Hotel.  The bride, her parents and her bridesmaids all stayed the night before as well. Our guests who stayed the night at the hotel were so thrilled with their individually designed rooms and all of our guests were so impressed with all of the food and the wedding breakfast. We couldn’t have asked for a more magical day, all the staff were incredible and attention to detail from Clara was impeccable. Nothing was too much trouble. The staff were all impeccably dressed and our guests had the most amazing time. The hotel and grounds are just perfect for exclusive use, there is plenty of seating throughout the hotel and grounds, all incredibly comfortable so that all guests can just relax and enjoy our very special day.

the ceremony

The Flowers

All of the floral arrangements were designed and produced by Mala Florist, who is also the in house florist from the Montagu Arms Hotel. We wanted all of the floral arrangements to look consistent and be of the same high standard and design. The floral archway outside the church was so amazing and all our guests were blown away by the design, it was definitely a talking point of our guests, even long after the wedding day.

The Décor

To be honest we didn’t need to use many decorations at all as the hotel was perfect in so many ways.  The gardens were immaculate and the in house florist had already placed arrangements which colour matched our own wedding floral arrangements, so it all had a co-ordinated look and feel. We chose the chair ribbons to colour co-ordinate with our colour theme which really tied in the décor, and apart from that there wasn’t that much décor that was needed.  The hotel itself is beautiful and didn’t need any embellishment at all.

michelle and russell 2

How do you feel the day went?

Every element of the day was just perfect and the care and attention that Clara gave us was so much more than we ever expected. We had a photographer and also a videographer which were both amazing.  We have so many pictures printed, but to be able to watch the video of the whole day including the whole church service, all the speeches and to see all our guests was just priceless. It doesn’t matter how many times we watch the video, Michelle always cries her happy tears!

Any particular memories from your Wedding Story that stand out that you would like to share?

The florist (Mala florist) and the cake (Sarah Louise Cakes) both came from recommendations from the Montagu Arms Hotel wedding brochure. It was so important for us to have such a high recommendation for both of these services. They exceeded all of our expectations on the day – truly perfect!

Sarah Louise Cakes were incredible to work with and she had so many different flavours to choose from.  We also asked her to provide 5 cutting cakes to go with the evening buffet of all varying flavours, we just couldn’t have a 3 tier cake only, her flavours are incredible! 

We bought our jewellery from Jeremy France Jewellers in Winchester, who were able to custom make our designs and matching jewellery, nothing was too much trouble to get the perfect design and fit.

We also had the lovely Cordelectra ladies play at our arrival to the hotel. They are incredible to listen to and watch, you just have to see them!  They played traditional classical music when our guests first arrived, but then changed into an electric trio which was really unexpected by our guests.  They were incredible and we were so pleased they were available for our wedding day!

In addition to our beautiful cakes, we also had a large Godminster cheese wedding cake for our evening buffet, it was perfect as it allowed for so many different types of cheeses to be added to our evening buffet.  They were a great company to work with as were able to tailor our cheese wedding cake to our preferences and number of guests.


Consider the Montagu Arms Hotel for your wedding venue in the New Forest. Pop by our Wedding Open Day on Sunday 4th March or contact Clara Earp today 01590 614981 to book your show around.

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