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Real Weddings | Ashley & Joseph

6th Aug 2018

Ashley & Joseph tied the knot on 24th May 2018 at Careys Manor Hotel.

The Proposal

We had always discussed the idea of getting married one day but because we are two men, we were not sure who was meant to do it! We had agreed one day that Joseph would be the one to propose. However, Ashley proposed to Joseph on a leap year in February 2016. We were both so happy it felt like the natural step in our relationship. On the actual day of the proposal; It was a very cold and windy day when we went for a long walk from Joseph’s parent house in Plymouth to Bovisand Beach in Plymouth. Ashley had secretly packed a bag with a small picnic, some personalised message cards and a bag of Haribo Starmix© (for the rings!).

Once we got to the beach, we sat on a large rock on the beach and talked whilst watching the world go by and eating our lunch. Once Ashley had plucked up the courage, he reached for the message cards out of my bag and gave them to Joe; telling him to open it and read what was on them. There were 9 cards in total. Each of the cards were telling him something Ashley loved about him and how much he meant to him. The final card popped the big question! Luckily, he said yes and we both wore the Haribo rings- for about 5 minutes before we ate them! We didn’t spend long at the beach after that because it was very cold.

The proposal

Why did you choose Careys Manor Hotel for your wedding?

We had visited the Senspa at Careys Manor for a full body massage and spa day in August 2013. It was a sunny Summer’s day and we fell in love with the beautiful red brick Manor house as well as the colourful landscaped gardens and mature trees. The New Forest scenery and wild horses only added to the beautiful experience we had. It was perfect for us. Ashley told Joseph that this is where he wanted to get married one day. We went home and researched prices (as most engaged couples do) and decided the Complete Wedding Package was the best for us and our budget. The celebration package is a great idea because it allows the engaged couple not to worry about the small stuff such as a cake stand and knife- because it’s included. We booked a date shortly after getting engaged to avoid disappointment. We then attended Careys Manor’s next wedding fair which only confirmed that it was the right decision for us. This is also where we saw the Woodland Ceremony set up and it took Ashley’s breathe away. Carey’s Manor Hotel is now Ashley’s favourite place on Earth!! (Of course Joseph loves it too)

The Grooms Outfit

We both wore traditional dinner tuxedos from Moss Bros. Ashley’s was navy blue and Joseph’s was burgundy. Ashley’s favourite part of his outfit was his brown Ted Baker shoes. Joseph’s were similar but in black. Joseph’s favourite part of his outfit was the colour of his suit because it was unique and really stood out. We both felt really smart in our tuxes. It’s not often you get to wear a bow tie so it felt very special. For the ceremony we both worse Ashley’s late grandad’s socks as a way of paying homage to him. We later changed into our ‘Groom’ Socks for the reception so our shoes wouldn’t hurt our feet whilst dancing the night away! We both had cufflix as wedding gifts which we really loved wearing. Ashleys were Stags cufflinks from Moss Bross and Joe’s said ‘Groom’. They were lovely.

The outfit

The Bridesmaids

The Bridesmaids were Ashley’s childhood friend Emma, his University friend Megan and his older sister Jess was Maid of Honour. Jess and Megan wore off-the-shoulder maxi dresses with rose gold sequins and Tulle skirt from ASOS. Emma wore the same but with sleeves. They all looked beautiful in their dress and the sequins sparkled in the video and photos- it looked amazing! Joe’s niece was a flower girl who wore an Estella Sparkle maxi dress from Monsoon that had rose gold glitter in and a Ted Baker cardigan with rose gold buttons and sparkly rose gold Ted Baker shoes. She looked and felt very beautiful. She was twirling for people all day!

The bridesmaids

The Ceremony

What can we say? WOW! We had arranged for the Woodland Ceremony Package for the ceremony set up by Careys Manor in the Cedar Suite because we had seen it at a wedding fair and absolutely fell in love with it. I think it was my favourite part of the whole day. It included 3 tree arches, logs down the aisle, 10 ceiling stars and an ivory carpet. We accompanied this with Log candle holders down the aisle. It all looked stunningly beautiful.

The ceremony was very intimate with only close family and friends. It was perfect. Joe greeted the guests before the ceremony and Ashley choice to walk down the aisle with his Nan and pageboy. The bridesmaids and flower girl all walked in separately before Ashley and his Nan. Ashley walked down to Madilyn Bailey’s cover of Perfect by Ed Sherran.

The registrars made a few jokes during the ceremony which broke the ice and cured our nervousness. Our bridesmaid, Megan read a reading she had wrote for the occasion. It was very emotional and personal. It made us both cry (Ashley and Megan).

The ceremony

The ceremony 2

The Reception

Our wedding breakfast was held in the Manor suite and our evening reception was held in the Cedar Suite. We chose round tables including the Head table. For centrepieces, we chose candelabras and flowers and tealights on the tables. We also had draping and backlighting from the hotel. It was the perfect setting. We had a lovely 3 course meal followed by some speeches from Ashley’s nervous Dad; Joseph and the best man; Joe’s older brother Lee. All of which did not disappoint. Afterwards, everyone said how amazing Joseph’s speech was. It is definitely something I will remember forever.

For the reception we had the DJ (included in Complete Celebration Package) from 7pm followed by a Garden BBQ in the private walled garden.

Our first dance was another cover. It was ‘Perfect/Can’t Help Falling in Love by Joey Stamper.

The reception

the reception 2

The Flowers

We chose Owen at Little Lillie’s for our flowers because of Owen’s unique and creative perspective that stood out from any other “wedding florist” we had seen. We both loved his work straight away. We also chose him because he was included in the Complete Celebration packages which was a huge bonus! In the bridesmaid’s and flower girl bouquets, we had King protea; Vuvuzella roses; aiplants; succulents and eucalyptus. They were so beautiful. Its great that we got to keep the succulents and airplants. They will last forever and will also be a memory of our special day.

The flowers

The Decor

We went with a mixture of rustic woodland, rose gold and romantic glamor. We had log candle holders, gold tealights, rose gold foil placecards and menus, and a rose gold balloon which spelt ‘LOVE’. as well as the bridesmiads dress and gold glitter on the cake so I suppose you could say rose gold was the main colour scheme except our suits.

After the ceremony we had a ‘Pimp your prosecco’ table outside with fruit for guests which turned out great. In the evening, we had a cookie bar where people could help themselves to bags of biscuits and cookies from jars on a table. We chose this instead of the traditional instead of sweets.

The reception 3

How did you feel the day went?

Quickly! People always said to take everything in because it speeds by and it definitely did but we enjoyed every second. The whole day was so beautiful. I will remember it forever.

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

I remember the front of house/ reception staff being very helpful and charming all day. It was lovely because I am a worrier and a bit of a stress head so they definitely helped that! Bash- the Master of Ceremony’s did his job excellently and made sure I was happy with everything through the day. I felt like everyone cared so much.

I was also dreading our first dance but it was actually one of my favourite moments. Although we were centre of attention, it felt very intimate and romantic.


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