We first met Nicola and Craig at Chewton Glen last year at an event held by Exquisite Bridal Couture. We gave them a couple of recommendations for bands and photographers after which they asked us for our business card. A couple of days later we had a call from Craig saying after meeting Melanie, he would like to instruct Bellissimo Weddings for our final three months plan including on the day co-ordination.
A big thank you must go to Nicola and Craig and Murakami photography for allowing us to share these beautiful images and also to videographers Kissing Gate films who were amazing on the day, very discreet. You can see their video at the bottom of the blog.
With their wedding in the first week of March 2013, we worked with Nicola and Craig from the first week of December. In this time we helped them finalise their guest list, booked a band for the evening, organised the most amazing fireworks, organised outdoor decoration such as lanterns and fire torches, prepared the wedding favours and organised Bridal cars, amongst many other things! Nicola and Craig live in Bournemouth but professional people who work hard and out of the area they had found themselves very time short for pulling together all of their plans and booking the final few suppliers.
We produced a detailed time schedule and budget from the time we started working with them to keep them on track of what needed to be done and what they still had left in the budget to provide all the added extras they wanted to give their guests a really special day to remember. The detailed time schedule of the day was distributed amongst all the key suppliers for the day so they were aware of when and where they were needed.
Throughout the planning process we were in constant contact with the wedding co-ordinator at the Chewton Glen to ensure she was fully informed and happy with everything we were planning. Our couples find it really useful to have us as their central point of contact so that we can keep the suppliers updated on all elements of the wedding and they won’t forget to pass on information. It also means they don’t have to phone or email lots of different suppliers which can be difficult to keep track of – in the last few weeks of planning a complex wedding you will find you exchange a few hundred emails and calls so it can be really reassuring and reduces to stress to have someone there doing all of that for you, filtering everything down so you only hear about only the essential things you need to make a decision on.
Although Nicola and Craig were staying at the Chewton Glen and were having their reception there, they had chosen to get married at The Priory in Christchurch, a stunning eleventh century church in the heart of Christchurch and just down the road from the hotel. The evening before we attended a rehearsal with them at the Priory so they could run through the next days service. Following this we had organised a rehearsal dinner for them and their close family at the Chewton Glen. Rehearsal dinners are quite an American idea although they are coming into fashion more here in the UK. We think they are a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the occasion with your close family and friends as your wedding day can be busy with lots of people to talk to. It also allows you to soak up the excitement building up for the next day.
On the morning of the wedding we were at the Chewton Glen bright and early to meet the florists and complete the finishing touches of the décor. We tied rosette chair sashes to every chair, put out place names and hand tied ribbons with gift tags to favours before putting them into place. The stunning flowers were provided by Corbins florist in Brockenhurst and were just out of this world. The beautiful tall vases were complemented by a stunning top table display which draped over the edge of the table. Every lady also had a cream rose at her place setting. After seeing both Craig and Nicola and making sure they were calm and then a last minute alteration to Craig’s waistcoat (the things we do!) we headed across to the Priory to over see the setting up of the flowers there and then meet and greet the guests. An essential part of our role at this stage is ensuring all of the Groomsmen are properly dressed with neat ties and button holes and making sure the best man and ushers know what they are doing!
Nicola arrived in a beautiful Rolls Royce Phantom and made her entrance to the wonderful Alani string quartet who also played during the signing of the registers and for the exit.
After the ceremony Nicola and Craig went off with the photographers and the videographers for a bit of time to themselves and to have some photos by themselves whilst their guests made their way back to the Chewton Glen where they were greeted with bubbly on arrival. Nicola and Craig were blessed with a beautiful sunny day so despite it being the first weekend in March, the drinks reception was held outside on the terrace. We stayed behind to pack away the pew ends and sweep up the petal aisle then headed back to the Chewton Glen for final tweaks to the reception room.
The couple looking gorgeous after the ceremony – we were on hand to assist the photographers and the couple with post – ceremony photography as time was short before the next wedding began so it was really important the couple got the shots they wanted. Craig looking very dapper in his tailored morning suit which we assisted him with in the lead up to the wedding
Guests were treated to a sumptuous three course meal and had a huge surprise when their waiters turned out to be singing waiters! They worked alongside the Chewton Glen staff for the service of the starters and mains during which they burst into song. They were excellent singers and the guests loved it.
We dressed the chairs with “rosebud” style satin sashes for a different look to bows. We made beautiful pearlised ivory boxes with miniatures inside for the wedding favours finished with a deep blue sash and diamante brooch and a handmade tag from Emma Farwell Stationery to complete this gorgeous little touch for the tables
The day quickly turned into evening and Nicola and Craig escaped for a few minutes down to the Treehouses for a few more photos.
The evening guests were entertained by The Milestones from LM2 entertainment. Craig’s cousin is a Michael Buble tribute act so guests were delighted with a few songs from him and he was absolutely amazing! Then came the piece de resistance- the fireworks! Pain’s fireworks had been working hard all day in the grounds of the hotel to put together a ten minute firework display set to music which had the guests just in amazement.
Take a look at the stunning video of Nicola and Craig’s wedding by Kissing Gate Films. It was an absolute pleasure to work with them and we really look forward to working with them again in the future.
We loved working with Nicola and Craig on their wedding. They are such a wonderful, in love couple who wanted an amazing day not only for themselves but also every single one of their guests too. From the feedback we got on the day we definitely achieved that! And to top it off we received this lovely email from Nicola a few days later.
“Just wanted to say a massive thank you for all you have done, our day was perfect in every way and we couldn’t have wished for anything more. You did such a fantastic job making sure everything was organised and ran
smoothly on the day and you did it in such a great way, making everyone feel so at ease. You made it look easy but we both know it would have been incredibly stressful so well done. Thank you so much, Nicola & Craig “
Nicola and Craig’s wedding suppliers
Ceremony venue- The Priory, Christchurch
Reception Venue- Chewton Glen
Wedding Planners- Bellissimo Weddings
Flowers- Corbin’s florist
Favours- Bellissimo Weddings
Favour tags- Emma Farwell stationery designs
Wedding Cars- RR Elite
Photographers- Murakami Photography
Videographers- Kissing gate films
Evening band- The Milestones from Lm2 entertainment
Fireworks- Pain’s fireworks
Hair and Makeup- Annabel Hornsby