Real Weddings – Lorella & Mike

Lorella and Mike were married in June 2021 at Careys Manor. After their ceremony in the Cedar Garden in glorious afternoon sunshine, they celebrated with cocktails and canapes on the front lawn and enjoyed a 5-course tasting menu in the Cedar Suite with their nearest and dearest.

Lorella and Mike met when they were both working together at Frimley Hall Hotel as Operations Manager and Head Chef respectively. For his birthday, Mike invited Lorella along with a couple of colleagues our for a meal; “with hotel life, you always end up socialising mostly with your colleagues, due to the unsocial long hours and weekends, so a midweek night out was nothing new! After a few sherbets’, you could say love blossomed and pretty soon even my cat was moved in to Mike’s flat!” 


The Proposal

“I would frequently ask Mike when he would actually make ‘an honest woman of me’. After living together for nearly 5 years, the premature birth of our beautiful girl, Elena, and the purchase of our own home, Mike finally proposed on New Year’s Day 2020! He managed to get the day off and by then, I already had suspected he was going to propose. We went for a nice New Year’s Day drink in a country pub and returned home to put Elena down for a nap. Cuddled up on the sofa in front of the TV,  watching the movie Cool Runnings; Mike decided that was the most romantic time to propose (I would beg to differ!). Needless to say, I said yes immediately and a bottle of champagne was opened at 4pm! Well, it was New Year’s Day after all”


Careys Manor

“I always knew I was going to get married at Careys Manor. Mike and I both worked at there; I was Hotel Manager and Mike was Executive Sous Chef and It was a special place for us and we both love the New Forest . I always wanted to get married outside and we both wanted a rustic intimate wedding, so there was no better place . I knew that James (Managing Director), Françoise (Wedding and Function Sales Manager), Alistair (Head Chef) and the team would treat us like royalty and allow us to create a bespoke wedding day, designing our own menu and wedding package .

The Flowers

“Initially, we chose the ‘Graze and Green‘ wedding package, which had fresh foliage and wooden decor included. We then added white flowers in tall vases to compliment the greenery, giving a real focal point to the room. I love Owen from Little Lillies rustic and sculptured flower work and all the rustic elements that the package included – the hoops on the ceiling, the tea lights, the wooden tables and chairs, the lace and hessian runners, wooden crates and ladder corner decoration.”


The Food

“Mike and Alistair had designed a wonderful sharing menu, however, covid put a stop to that and so instead, we treated our guests to a 5-course tasting menu. We are both passionate food and drink lovers, having spent our lives working in hotels, so Mike, along with Alistair wrote a seasonal menu of food we love. We started with a demi tasse of gazpacho, followed by a wild mushroom and egg yolk ravioli, then scallop with peas and pancetta, followed by a main course of saddle of lamb stuffed with wild garlic and feta, finished by a trio of desserts; Grand Marnier chocolate mousse, cardamom and lime crème brûlée and passion fruit cheesecake.”


The Photographer

“Az from Lemontree Photography was a hotel recommended supplier and I am so glad we chose him. We wanted very natural photos, where people do not realise they are having their picture taken and this is exactly what we got. They are so beautiful and capture people’s emotions and sheer joy of the day. The group photos were fantastic too and our photos of just the two of us are simply stunning!”

The Outfits

“As it was a small, relaxed wedding, we didn’t want to go overboard with the cost of the wedding dress and suit.  I tried on some full-length dresses and they just didn’t suit me. I came across a website called ‘Still White’, that sells unwanted and second-hand dresses. I fell in love with a Ted Baker dress that was very unusual with a 50’s style design which just complimented my shape perfectly. It was second hand, but had never been worn and it still had all the tags on and for half price – so that was great! Mike’s three-piece suit also came from Ted Baker and the style and design was perfect for him – I knew he would choose a blue one as that’s his favourite colour. He accessorised it with a light pink tie, complementing the bridesmaid’s dresses, which were both light pink.”


The Cake

“We chose Karen’s Cake Couture, again a recommended supplier from the hotel. I had seen her cakes lots of times from having worked there, so I knew they were great! We both loved the semi naked cakes, as they matched our rustic theme. As we didn’t have time to go to a cake consultation with her, due to the lockdown, she arranged some cake sampler boxes for her clients, which were delivered to our house. We had a lovely Sunday afternoon trying several different flavours. The decoration was mini donuts as we wanted something a bit quirky. The cake was delicious, we chose her chocolate cake with Lotus butter cream, as Mike loves Lotus spread and then lemon drizzle for me.”


“Having a wedding under covid restrictions was always going to be challenging and having to keep our numbers at 30 was tricky. But, on the day it was simply wonderful and you would never have guessed we were still in pandemic. The sun came out just in time for our ceremony outside, we had drinks and canapés on the lawn and everyone was just so happy to see people and be in different surroundings.  Unfortunately, last minute, Mike had no Best Man as his wife was heavily pregnant and had to be induced that day. His Nan also couldn’t come as she wasn’t well. My sister had to fly in from Holland; self-isolate for 10 days and do numerous covid tests to be there, leaving my niece and brother-in-law behind. On the day it was all worth all the stress and heart ache of not having some family and friends there, as the most important thing was that we became Mr and Mrs Ball, which was all we wanted and why we didn’t postpone.  Our family was complete, our daughter Elena was a beautiful bridesmaid and we shared a magical day with our family and friends. Thank you, Careys Manor, for making our dream come true and the hotel will be forever in our hearts.

Photography by Lemontree Photography

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