A couple of weeks ago I attended the wedding of Carly and Rob in Beaulieu – Carly is one of my lovely work colleagues and both her and Rob are talented designers. Being creative types, a lot of the wedding was handmade, and although Carly had given us some clues about the big day, most of the details were left as surprises. Carly even made her own wedding invites, designing floral printed fabric which she printed and cut into hankies for ‘happy tears’. As soon as we received them, we knew it was just the tip of the iceberg for what was sure to be a creative and beautiful day.
The wedding took place in the heart of the New Forest National Park at The Master Builder’s Hotel. Set on the banks of the Beaulieu river, the hotel is situated in Buckler’s Hard, a picturesque 18th century shipbuilding village. The hustle and bustle of those shipbuilding days have passed but the village retains its maritime history and is now preserved for the paying public, who come for a day out at Buckler’s Hard museum and to take a river cruise. It truly is a peaceful setting and the perfect venue for a wedding.
We arrived at the hotel to be greeted with an easel and framed print welcoming us to the wedding – the first of many handmade signs designed by Carly and Rob to keep their guest amused as well as informed. Carly’s mum had knitted the prettiest woollen flowers, gathered in bunches in a collection of china tea cups and pots that Carly had collected from thrift stores. The wedding cake stand was handmade from a piece of tree trunk that Rob had varnished, and he even built and painted wooden crates to sit at the centre of each table at the wedding breakfast. If there ever was an example of a ‘Pinterest-worthy’ wedding, this would be it!
The ceremony was as beautiful as the setting, the bride being the most beautiful of them all, waving and saying hello to her guests as she walked down the aisle. It was probably one of the most intimate weddings I’ve been too and it was clear to see how madly in love Carly and Rob are! There were lots of happy tears shed and the exit of the bridal party to the theme tune of Jurassic Park set the tone for what was to be a fun and informal rest of the day.
After the ceremony was over we grabbed a glass of Pimms and headed outside on one of the hottest days of the year to take in the views and congratulate the bride and groom.
Once the ceremony room had been cleared and transformed into a dining room, complete with Rob’s handmade crates, more teapots and knitted flowers, it was time for the wedding breakfast. At the entrance of the room was Carly’s very clever table plan, printed on a frilly fabric table mat on the top of a tea trolley, with tables named after different types of tea. We found our way to table ‘Camomile’ where little tea bag favours signalled our seats and sat down to the most delicious BBQ food.
After the speeches had ended and the cake had been cut, some of the guests headed off on a river cruise and the rest of us had a wonder around Buckler’s Hard. Carly and Rob had also bought a selection of games for the guests to play so there was absolutely no time to be bored! The evening rolled around pretty quickly with a band and bacon baps, and Rob’s friends took no persuasion to pull their best moves on the dance floor.
It really was a beautiful wedding and thanks to Carly and Rob for inviting me! As I mentioned in my Woodland Wedding post about the wedding of my cousin last month, I have five weddings to attend this year, and so far I’m really enjoying my first ‘wedding season’! This Saturday is the wedding of another work colleague, Kate, which I’m sure will be just as beautiful, so watch this space for more wedding themed blog posts!