Leilah & James celebrated their special day at the Montagu Arms on 23/10/16.
It was the first night of our holiday at our favourite villa in Florida. We had a tradition of getting fried chicken and Bud Light (not the most romantic fare I know!) and dipping our feet in the hot tub. I had told James that this was my favourite thing in the world. He remembered and proposed by the hot tub. It made the rest of our holiday very special.
Why did you choose The Montagu Arms Hotel for your wedding?
We had always loved the New Forest and we wanted to get married in Hampshire as we are both from there. We popped in on the off-chance, and even though we had no appointment, were treated like royalty and made to feel really special. I also liked the way the way it was really intimate but that there were lots of other spaces that guests could spread out into. We went to see a few other venues afterwards but nothing even came close.
Tell us about the Bride's outfit?
My dress and veil are from Creatiques in Southsea. I had originally thought I wanted a more slim-fitting dress, but as the process went on, I got totally carried away and ended up with a big princess dress!
Tell us who your Bridesmaids were and what they wore?
I had my three friends from school and James' sister as bridesmaids. I made the brave decision of letting them all pick their own dresses, as long as they were knee-length and navy blue. Two of them were actually pregnant at the time of the wedding, so I thought it was unfair to put them all in the same dress. Even though I hadn't seem them together until the morning of the wedding, amazingly they all looked great together.
Tell us about the ceremony
I walked down the aisle to an acoustic guitar version of 'Can't help falling in love with you' by Elvis Presley by the very talented Julian Ward. My bridesmaid, Becky, did a reading that she had written herself and James' cousin Neil also did one. Although he had been very calm in the lead up to the wedding, James was very emotional at the ceremony, which was very sweet.
Tell us about your reception
I really liked how much the venue changed for the evening. The lighting made it look like a completely different venue. I had a brilliant band, The Matt Stafford duo, who kept our guests dancing all night. We also had a magician while there were coffees in the lounge and sparklers later in the garden. The fire pit went down very well with guests too.
What flowers did you choose?
Mala, the house florist did a beautiful display of flowers in Martini glasses. I had my bouquets and buttonholes from a florist in Portsmouth called Webbes, who had done the flowers for my mum and stepdad's wedding, I was very impressed as I gave them very few instructions as to what I wanted.
Tell us about the décor you chose
We had a subtle aviation theme for the wedding, as James is a pilot. We had aeroplanes on the stationary and an aeroplane on the cake topper with figures of us in it. We also had small silver aeroplane confetti on the tables. The table names were places in Florida, as a homage to where we got engaged.
How do you feel the day went?
It was absolutely perfect and was better than I could have even imagined. This was a lot due to the fantastic organisations of Clara and the team.
Any particular memories from your Wedding Story that stand out that you would like to share?
A small, but sweet story, was one that showed how thoughtful the venue was. James' grandpa is a notoriously fussy eater and when the pudding came he mentioned that he didn't like sweet things. The venue then brought him out a special cheese plate. He was absolutely overwhelmed and said it was like being on his second honeymoon.
To enquire about your own enchanting wedding at the Montagu Arms Hotel, view our wedding packages or call our Special Events Co-coordinator Clara Earp on 01590 612324.