Real Weddings – Siân & Carl

Siân and Carl first met when they were 16 years old and after 11 years together Carl proposed to Siân surrounded by Christmas lights. Three years later the couple married at New Forest Wedding venue Careys Manor Hotel. We caught up with the couple to see how the day went ...

How did you meet?

Carl and I became friends through a mutual friend when we were at secondary school. We have been together since we were 16.

The Proposal

Carl and I had been together for 11 years when he proposed in December 2019. Carl had planned a day with all of my favourite things but things kept going wrong. He took me to lunch at my favourite café but they’d sold out of my favourite lunch. We then went ice skating in Bournemouth gardens and it rained the whole time. Afterwards we went on the Bournemouth Eye where Carl had intended to propose but it was raining so hard that we couldn’t even look at each other. Soaking wet we then walked back through the gardens to see all of the Christmas lights. I stopped to take a photo and when I turned around Carl was down on one knee.

Finding New Forest Wedding Venue Careys Manor & SenSpa

“We stayed at Careys Manor to celebrate our 10-year anniversary. We love the forest so when we got engaged, we were keen to visit on a wedding open day. From the second we walked in we loved the venue. The staff were so attentive and the grounds are so beautiful. We loved how light the Cedar Suite was and that we’d have access to the private walled garden throughout the day. Additionally, the Complete Celebration Package offered us everything we wanted within our budget. I wanted the peace of mind that if something went wrong on the day, I wouldn’t have to worry about it. Françoise and her team gave me the confidence that they would take care of everything.

The Florist 

One of the things that made us so excited about getting married at Careys Manor was Owen Lavin’s unique floristry work. We had never seen anything like it and loved how it complemented the venue. We met Owen at a Carey’s wedding open day and loved his passion and creativity. We met Owen prior to the wedding and had a really in-depth conversation to plan all of the flowers and décor. He was very accommodating and allowed us to be flexible with what we wanted, whilst offering expert advice to help us choose the flowers and décor that was right for us. We’re really grateful to Owen and his team at Little Lillies for making our venue look so beautiful!

Venue Styling

“We choose Kirsty and her amazing team at The House of Styling to help personalise Careys Manor for us. Kirsty had emailed me the evening before to let me know they had started setting up the ceremony room. At this point my mum, sister, bridesmaids and I were eating dinner in the Cambium restaurant when I was hit with pre-wedding nerves. We decided to have a sneak peak at the Cedar suite and my nerves were completely settled by how beautiful the room looked.”

The Food

The food was amazing! We visited Careys Manor prior to the wedding to enjoy a menu tasting which was included in the Complete Celebration Package. The food was delicious and we really liked that we could choose 3 dishes per course to give our guests a choice of what they would like to eat. This also allowed us to cater for a variety of dietary requirements making the thought of catering a lot less stressful!”

The Photographer

Our photographer was Martin Bell. A friend had shown us some of Martin’s photos of a wedding she had attended and we loved how light and candid his photos were. He also creates some amazing golden hour and evening shots which looked stunning. We visited Martin at a wedding open day and he was so friendly and made us feel so at ease that we booked him later that day. Carl and I were both nervous about having our photo taken so we booked an engagement shoot with Martin the August before the wedding and we are so pleased that we did as it made us so much more relaxed on the wedding day. Martin was friendly and professional from start to finish and was such a calming influence on our wedding day, helping it all run smoothly. Martin asked us about the parts of Careys Manor that we loved and focused on these in our wedding photos. Both our wedding photos and wedding album are absolutely stunning and we really couldn’t thank him enough.

The Videographer

“We had Simon Parris of Final Cut Film Company as our videographer. He worked well with Martin Bell and together they were a very calming influence. Simon has been friendly and professional from start to finish and we just know our wedding video is going to be such a beautiful keepsake of our wedding day.”

The Dress

My wedding dress is a Pronovias gown which I bought from Anna Bridal with only seven weeks until the wedding. The team there were so helpful and supportive at what was an incredibly stressful time and I couldn’t recommend them enough. I was recommended to have my dress altered by Kimberly Stone, who was amazing to fit in three appointments before the wedding day. Kimberly was also able to add a special personalised touch by having my veil embroidered with our initials and our wedding date.

Bridesmaid’s Dresses

“The bridesmaid dresses were from Wed2B. The style of dress looked amazing on each of my bridesmaids and we were able to choose from a variety of colours.”

The Suits

The suits were navy checked from Moss Bross. Carl bought his suit and had the jacked embroidered with our engagement date, and we hired matching suits for the ushers and our Dads.”

The Cake

Our cake was made by Claire at Caked Patisserie and was absolutely delicious! We had to book almost all of our suppliers during the beginning of the pandemic so met with Clare over zoom. She completely understood what we wanted and sent us the most adorable cake taster package through the post. Claire sent through 3 designs for us to choose from and created our perfect wedding cake.


We hired the pianist Simon Woodley to play during our ceremony and wedding breakfast. So many of our guests commented on how beautifully he played and loved how current his music selection was. Through the Complete Celebration Package we had Toby Oakley as our DJ for the evening reception. We met with Toby before the wedding day and he was able to explain the evening in detail. We had asked our guests to include a song request on their RSVP and we were able to send this to Toby for our evening playlist. 

We also booked The Photobooth Bournemouth for the evening reception. The booth was full all night and so many of our guests commented on how brilliant they thought it was. Guests were all given prints to take away and a copy of their photo was stuck in a scrapbook album for us to keep. The booth attendant also encouraged them to write messages for us inside which was a lovely touch.

“Françoise, Janos and the whole Careys team were incredible from start to finish! They really took care of us and all of our guests so that we could completely relax and enjoy our special day. Nothing was too much trouble from them and we can’t thank them enough!”


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


Photography credit: Martin Bell Photography