Real Weddings - Phil & Laura

21st Apr 2015

The Proposal

Phil proposed on the 20th June 2014 having collected me from a work social event on the beach. It was a beautiful evening and he took me to Evening Hill at Sandbanks which is my favourite place in the world.  We got some fish and chips and sat on a bench overlooking the harbour.  Sadly for Phil, our delightful dog got bored of us sitting about and started barking incessantly – we decided to relocate to the beach so he could dig some holes and leave us alone and it was there that Phil dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him. I said yes immediately and we attempted to drink some champagne to celebrate whilst dodging the flying sand being hurled at us by our manically digging dog.

The Dress

It didn’t take me long to find my dress – it was only the 4th one I tried on and we bought it from Isabelles in Parkstone. I didn’t want to spend too much money and with a few tweaks and alterations it was just perfect for the day. I didn’t want to take it off!

The Bridesmaids

My 3 bridesmaids live all across the country so we couldn’t co-ordinate for fittings. Instead, I gave them a colour and told them to find something they loved so they could all have a dress they could wear again.  They did an amazing job and all looked beautiful on the day.
Groom’s outfit
We hired Phils suit from Moss Bros, it was a perfect dark grey (to suit a winter wedding!) and the dark blue of his cravat matched the bridesmaids perfectly, despite no attempt at co-ordination!

The Ceremony

We hired Jack and Joe for our ceremony music – and they played an instrumental version of somewhere over the rainbow as I walked down the aisle – it was just perfect and I cried the whole way!  My dad was so nervous about standing up infront of everyone that he almost forgot to actually give me away and sat down in a panic – he had to stand back up again to do it.  The ceremony and vows passed in a blur of smiles and tears, and our friend read out a poem I had written which was lovely.
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The Reception

Our reception was brilliant, we had lanterns on the tables with candles instead of flowers as it got dark at around 4pm so it really helped to create the right mood in the room.  We scattered mini doggy paw print confetti over the tables to suit our new forest theme and Phil had made our table names in the form of pub swing signs – they all looked amazing.  The food was perfect as we’d opted for the new forest roast lamb and guests are still talking about how tasty it was now!  Toby from Your DJ provided our evening entertainment and played all the songs we wanted, the dance floor wasn’t empty once!

How do you feel the day went?

The day was amazing from start to finish, every detail was just perfect and the staff at Careys couldn’t do enough for us to make sure it ran smoothly.  Our faces hurt from smiling by the end of the day, and it meant so much to be surrounded by so many family and friends. It really was the best day of our lives.

Which particular memories stand out for you?

Phil surprised me on the morning of our wedding by leaving me a card to open – inside the card was a link to a you tube clip, and it was for a magician that I had seen at a work party years before.  I had loved him, and Phil had managed to track him down and book him as a surprise for our wedding.  It was so thoughtful and every single guest told us how brilliant he was. The speeches, seeing our cake (made by my friend) and our first dance were all just wonderful, but the main memory I have of the day is just smiling, non stop smiling.

For more information about our wedding venue in Hampshire, please contact our Wedding Coordinator Françoise Gysemans on 01590 625204 or email

Real Weddings1 | Phil And Laura | Careys Manor Hotel
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