Real Weddings – Hannah & Steph

Hannah and Steph met at work and what started as a friendship soon blossomed into a loving romance. The couple celebrated their Christmas wedding at Hampshire wedding venue Careys Manor Hotel & SenSpa with the 'Love in a Bubble' package. We caught up with the couple to see how their special day went ….

How did you meet?

“Steph and I met at work originally! They say that the best relationships start from friendship and for us that was absolutely true! We were best friends for a long time before we became partners, and I really think it has given us a solid foundation and an extra level to our relationship that makes it even more special.”

The Proposal

“We had been together just over two years before we got engaged. Our engagement was one of those fairy tale movie moments – unbeknown to each other we both had actually planned to propose to each other on the same day! It happened in Amsterdam, which is our favourite city to visit. I had planned to propose on a surprise boat tour which I had arranged at sunset, but unfortunately increased covid restrictions forced the company to shut. I knew in my heart that date 11/12/21 was the date we were destined to get engaged so I waited until the perfect moment. We were sat in the most beautiful part of Amsterdam, with colourful lights shining on the water, and I went to my bag to start the surprise when Steph proposed to me! And from that moment it was more of a joint proposal really – incredibly beautiful, moving and perfect for us as we are so in sync in every way. We got married exactly one year after that magical day!”

Finding Hampshire Wedding Venue Careys Manor & SenSpa

“We wanted to have quite a small, intimate wedding and many of the other venues in Hampshire offered smaller packages, but the spaces just didn’t feel right. They were either too big, or void of any personality, and when we found Carey’s Love In A Bubble package it was perfect for what we were looking for! We knew it was the venue for us the second we saw it, walking towards the stunning building, set in the tranquillity of the New Forest. The hotel, the rooms and the décor were beautiful – it felt intimate and special.”

The staff also made the decision for us – every single member of staff we have encountered throughout the whole wedding process has been nothing short of spectacular. Everybody makes you feel like you are their number one priority – I’ve never experienced service like it.

The Florist & Venue Styling

“When we visited Hampshire wedding venue Careys Manor for the first time, it was early January and the Christmas decorations were still up. We absolutely loved how they made the rooms feel cosy and warm, and as we wanted to get married in December, we thought a Christmas themed wedding in terms of colour scheme would be perfect! We worked with Laura from Blooming Marvelous Creations, and she absolutely understood our vision. We wanted lots of deep burgundy, light pinks, and greenery for the flowers, with candles and wood accents through the décor. We chose a moongate because we wanted a centre piece, and knew that we could never trust the British weather, so would have a perfect back drop for photos if we needed it! On the day, the flowers and décor were absolutely perfect – a dream come true. All of our guests absolutely loved the details, and we were ecstatic with the way everything turned out.”

The Food

“We had canapes to start during the photographs, followed by a 4-course meal, with cake and coffee served during the evening. We also had a sweet cart for the kids (and the kids at heart!) We had a variety of foods for the main wedding breakfast, including smoked chicken salad, smoked salmon, lamb and cod for the entrée, and warming crumble for dessert. All of the food was delicious, and the best bit? Getting to do a full tasting before! Our feedback was taken on board and the tweaks we wanted to make the meal perfect for us and our guests were implemented perfectly.

The Photographer

“We chose to have Scott of ASR photography for a few reasons; firstly, as a same sex couple, it was really important for us to have a photographer who understood us, and our love, and that the day may be slightly different to a typical wedding. Secondly, we also wanted someone who knew the venue, so that we could get the best photos in the best spots, whatever the weather. As Scott was recommended by Careys Manor, he was the perfect choice and was brilliant on the day. We have some stunning photos to remember the day by and we got all the photos less than two weeks after the wedding too! Incredible service. We particularly like the candid photos that Scott took, and he really captured the emotion on the day.”

The Dresses

“My dress was Maurelle by Maggie Sottero, which I bought from Proposals in Chichester, which is sadly no longer open. I went to Proposals originally to try on a specific dress, but when I tried on Maurelle, it was as if it was made for me. Everybody in the shop said the same thing and I fell in love with it straight away.”

“Steph chose a Justin Alexander sincerity gown, style number 44299, which she bought from Creatiques in Southsea. She loved the ‘simplicty’ of the gown (which still makes me laugh because it was the most beautiful intricately detailed dress I have ever seen!), and it was incredibly comfortable and light weight.”

The Cake

“We ordered our cake from The Pastry Corner in Southsea. We have had cakes from them before so we knew the cake would be delicious! We chose a white buttercream decorated cake, which was very simple. However we had a rainbow cake on the inside, which was bright and beautiful and very very tasty! ”


“I hired an acapella band to sing during the ceremony called Versa. They were absolutely amazing – so easy to work with, reliable and just so incredibly talented. They added a special personal touch to the ceremony, and all of our guests commented on how fantastic they were. In the evening we just had music, as we had quite a small number of guests this worked well for us. ”


Working with everyone at Careys was an absolute breeze. Careys is a beautiful venue, set in a stunning part of the country, and is lucky to have some of the best and most attentive people we have ever worked with – nothing was ever too much trouble! If you are looking for a venue that will make you feel special, and use a huge amount of experience to help you plan the most beautiful day of your life – look no further!

To start planning your day at Hampshire wedding venue, Careys Manor Hotel, contact us to book a personal show around with our Wedding Coordinator, Françoise Gysemans.


Photography credit: ASR Photography