Real Weddings – Chelsie & Chris

Chelsie and Chris met just a week before the national lockdown and after an instant connection they kept in touch through the wonders of technology. After a sunset proposal Chris and Chelsie began their venue hunt which led them to Hampshire wedding venue Careys Manor Hotel. We caught up with the couple to see how their special day went ….

How did you meet?

Chris and I met on a night out in Leeds on the 13th March 2020. I was in Leeds with my sister for a concert and Chris was out on a stag do. We met in one of the clubs and we hit it off straight away.  After exchanging numbers, we met up again for some drinks the following night. Little did we know that the next week the whole country would be thrown into lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the next couple of months, we kept in contact through Facetime and sometimes would speak for hours. Once lockdown restrictions eased, we started to meet up again and it wasn’t long until Chris made the decision to move down to the South so that we could live together.

How did Chris propose? 

In August 2021 we went to Cornwall on holiday. Halfway through the trip, we went to Lands’ End and as we were cuddled up watching the sunset Chris pulled out a ring and asked if I would marry him – of course, I said yes!

Finding Hampshire wedding venue Careys Manor Hotel

Careys Manor was the first venue we looked at. I had been there before for afternoon tea and told Chris I’d always thought it would be a lovely place to get married. After visiting and discussing wedding packages with the wedding coordinator we decided very quickly that Careys Manor and the Complete Celebration Package was the perfect fit for us.

The Flowers

We decided to go with Careys Manor’s in-house florist Little Lillies. Right from the start Owen was great to work with and provided our table centrepieces and matched them beautifully to my bouquet. We had plenty of compliments on the floral arrangements from our guests.

The Food

As part of our package, we got to go for a menu tasting to try the starter, main and dessert options are guests would have. All three options were delicious! Both Chris and I chose to have the same dishes. A highlight was the Potted Salmon and Brown Shrimp with Pickled Cucumber and Rye Crisp starter – this is hands down the most delicious dish I have ever tasted. The potted salmon had so much flavour and tasted so fresh. For mains, we had the Chicken Breast, Polenta, Mushrooms and Herb Pure. The chicken breast was so tender and was a nice-sized dish. For dessert, we had the treacle sponge cake with custard and ice cream. This is both mine and Chris’ favourite. It was nice and warm when it was serviced and you can’t bet some custard!

The Photographer 

We went with Sarah Elvin Photographer.  Sarah is a very experienced wedding photographer and we loved her more natural style of wedding photography rather than all of them looking posed.

The Videographer 

Chris and I chose Matt from Forever Captured. Matt and his team did an amazing job on the day, making us feel comfortable in front of the camera and were brilliant at making themselves invisible so we didn’t feel like we were being followed by a camera all day.

The Dress

My dress was Olivine by Enzoani which I bought from Ava Louise Bridal in Southampton. It was the very first wedding dress I tried on and no other dress I tried compared to how amazing I felt in it. Chris’ suit was from Moss Bros, he designed the jacket himself choosing the colour, buttons, and lining. He also got our names and wedding date embroidered on the inside of his jacket.

The Cake

Our wedding cake was made by a local cake maker called Kams Cake. We decided to go for a vegan red velvet cake which is my favourite plus a few of our guests were vegan so it meant everyone could enjoy a slice or two. The cake went down a treat with all our guests and we got a lot of compliments the next day on how yummy it was!

The entertainment 

As we went with the Complete Celebration Package the resident DJ Toby was included for the evening. We also hired Toby to do our music for when the guests arrived and for our ceremony. We really couldn’t thank Toby enough. He went above and beyond on our day and made sure there was music playing throughout. He made to play our must-have songs but also play the classics that would get people up and dancing.


To start planning your day at New Forest wedding venue, Careys Manor Hotel, contact us to book a personal show around with one of our Wedding Coordinators or visit us at our next Wedding Open Day.


Photography credit: Sarah Elvin Photography