Real Weddings – Poppy & Neil

It was third time lucky for Poppy and Neil, who married at Hampshire wedding venue Careys Manor in September, after their two previous dates were cancelled due to lockdown restrictions. The couple were joined by their closest family and friends and celebrated with a woodland themed wedding.

Poppy and Neil met on an on-line dating site and since their first date, they have never looked back. After some significant milestones, including buying a house and getting their first cat, the couple finally tied the knot at Careys Manor in the Autumn of 2021.

The Proposal

“On the third year anniversary of becoming a couple, I booked a stay in a remote but intimate Shepherd’s Hut. The Shepherd’s Hut is aptly named the ‘Angels Hut’ and sits at the top of a 65-acre farm in Dorset, with views over the gently rolling landscape. On the first night, I asked Poppy to visit the supermarket to get supplies whilst I made a start on dinner. Upon Poppy’s return, I had decorated the hut with rose petals, candles, love heart sequins and photos of the two of us, and when Poppy came through the door I was down on one knee waiting to pop the question. I was very emotional and managed to utter a few words but luckily the ring made it obvious to Poppy that this was the proposal, and more importantly Poppy said Yes.”


The Venue

“Careys Manor has a special place in our hearts and has been the setting for many special occasions for the both of us. We first fell in love with Careys Manor when attending a Christmas Party at the Hotel. The location is mesmerising being nestled within the trees and the customer service is second to none. We have revisited many times for anniversaries and birthdays and love spending time at SenSpa. For both of us, Careys Manor was our first choice wedding venue and after one meeting with the very lovely wedding planner, Françoise, we were even more convinced that the hotel would organise every aspect of our wedding to perfection. Careys was the only venue we visited and at the close of the meeting with Françoise, we both unanimously agreed that we wanted Françoise and Careys to provide the setting and organisation of our entire day; from ceremony through to wedding reception.”

The Flowers

“One of the reasons we love Careys Manor is because it is within the forest and we love the natural beauty of the surrounding area. To that end, we chose the woodland theme package for the décor of the ceremony, and natural colours throughout the day for decoration, so that the whole feel of the wedding venue was in keeping with our love of nature. Careys have such a wide selection of chair and table décor and the resident florist, Little Lillies, creates the most awe inspiring woodland themed centre pieces for the tables. We also chose the Lounge for the setting for our ceremony as it has an instant warmth when you enter with its wooden interior, sky light and fireplace.”


The Food

“For food and drink choices, we allowed our taste buds to take over the decision making process. We shortlisted a selection of wines, starters, mains and deserts and were then invited for a menu tasting prior to the wedding to ensure we were happy with our choices, which was a real culinary treat! Careys Manor offered vegan options for each course which was very important to ensure all our guests were catered for. As the Bride, Poppy had a trio of deserts for the big day as she couldn’t make her mind up on which desert to choose. For each course, our guests had a choice of three options with my personal meal choices including pork and apricot terrine starter, confit duck leg with spiced plum sauce for the main course and a steamed treacle sponge and custard dessert. Each course was delightful!”


The Photographer

Our choice of photographer was somewhat a stab in the dark, not having any previous experience with event photography. We chose Bournemouth wedding photographer, Jennie Franklin and were sure she would look after us after our initial consultation. Jennie was a great help on the day of our wedding, making sure we achieved all the milestone photo opportunities such as the first dance and cutting the cake as well as assisting the Best Men in fixing the button holes to their suits. Throughout the day we really felt Jennie was whole heartedly invested in our special day, Jennie seamlessly blended in and interacted with our guests. Most shocking of all was the fact Jennie began to process our wedding photos the very next day and we only had to wait a week to receive all final and edited photos after hearing many horror stories of couples waiting months for their wedding photos. The quality of the photos blew our minds and the endless stream of compliments on the quality have followed ever since.”

The Outfits

Myself and my two Best Men used the excuse of wedding suit shopping to have a very long overdue catch up!  Eventually we decided on a Navy Blue Tailored Fit check suit complete with grey waistcoat and pressed white shirt from Next. The fit of the suits was perfect and really lent itself to the illusion all suits were tailor made specific to each of the grooms party. The choice of design was driven by the country influence we were hoping to achieve with the wedding and on the basis a couple staying at the hotel thought I was a member of staff confirms the suit choices matched the ambience of the hotel.”

On her dress Poppy says:  “I got my dress from Isobel’s Bridal & Groom shop in Parkstone, who were amazing and I highly recommend! I went browsing a week after getting engaged as I was so eager, excited and far too organised. I tried on around 3-4 dresses and without any intention of getting a dress that day, found the one and had the approval from two of my bridesmaids. The other bridesmaids were far from impressed that they missed that big moment! My dress was from the ELLA ROSA collection by Kenneth Winston. It was a beautiful lace, vintage colour, mermaid style dress with beautiful heart detailing at the back with a long lace train.”

The Cake

Poppy attended a wedding open day at Careys Manor during the planning stages of our wedding and was lucky to have met Karen from Karen’s Cake Couture. Poppy was so excited to report back to me that she had found the perfect cake provider, explaining that the incredible décor of the cake was matched by the sublime taste. Our final bespoke cake design was a three tier naked sponge cake, each tier a different flavour including lemon with curd and butter crème, carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and chocolate cake with chocolate butter crème, decorated overall with fresh fruit and flowers, and sat upon a log base all of which fully complimented our wedding theme.”


Organising a wedding during a worldwide pandemic has been a little stressful to say the least, especially as we had to cancel two of the wedding dates due to lockdown restrictions. However, the stress and heartache would have been a million times worse had it not been for the flexibility and support of all our wedding suppliers, including above all, Careys Manor and Françoise who were brilliant in providing regular updates and overseeing our ever changing plans. When we were finally wed, all the hardship was soon forgotten, with both Poppy and I unanimous on the fact it was the best day of our lives, due in large to the incredible wedding venue provided by Careys Manor. Thank You so much from the bottom of our hearts.”

Photography by Jennie Franklin 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.