My New Forest Wedding: By Sam, our Marketing Manager
When it comes to getting wed in the New Forest, no-one has more first-hand experience than our Marketing Manager, Sam.
Not only does our delightful Marketing Manager, Sam, look after the promotion of our New Forest Hotel, she tied the knot here herself and you can hear all about her experience as a Bell Inn Bride right here. Take it away Sam…
Location, Location, Location
With this being ‘I do, take two’ for me, we wanted something relaxed where the ceremony and reception could be held in one place. Instinctively, I thought of The Bell Inn. One of things I love about the Inn is how it changes with every season. In the spring, you watch as the New Forest and its surrounding countryside bursts into life and at the Inn, we open our doors to our country beer garden. As summer rolls around, the evenings get a little longer and guests can linger just that little bit longer. By October, it’s time to batten down the hatches, light the open fire and snuggle up in a cosy chair with some hearty and indulgent comfort food.
My favourite time at the Inn is the winter, so it was an easy decision to choose November 2017 for our wedding date. One of the great things about a winter wedding is you don’t have to worry about the weather. Inside, all our favourite people and loved ones would feel ‘at home’ with the whole place to themselves – I can remember the inglenook fire roaring and the drinks continually flowing!
The Perks of the Job
Although I am the Marketing Manager it seemed a natural and obvious choice that the Inn should be our wedding venue. Clearly at this point, given that I’m an employee, you’re probably thinking ‘well, of course you would, I expect you received a discount’ and being a member of staff I do enjoy some perks! But, in all honesty, this was neither here nor there. The Bell Inn ticked all our boxes and with 28 rooms, included as part of the all-inclusive package, we knew it would work for us. My husband’s family all live out of the area and they were all going to need somewhere to stay – we didn’t want any extra travel between ceremony and reception venues!
Wrestling with my Expectations
For as long as I can remember, my expectations in life have been always been unrealistically high and I’ve nearly always found myself disappointed. It comes as no surprise that I probably became slightly ‘bridezilla’ about the day; what decorations could I put up here? Could we change one of the courses? Would you have enough roll-out beds to accommodate all the children staying overnight? Can dogs come to the ceremony? And even, is it ok if my young son gives me away? Seemingly, without being phased, our General Manager, Mark, dealt with all my requests effortlessly.
The Big Day
The Inn’s wedding ethos is that the team will do everything for you; the couple should be enjoying a leisurely morning getting ready. And that’s exactly what happened. I literally didn’t lift a finger and took my time getting ready! I was able to enjoy meeting some of the guests arriving and generally just feeling the centre of all attention.
When the big moment arrived, Mark appeared shrouded in an unassuming and unflustered aura. He ushered us both through the pivotal parts of the day and if something happened that hadn’t been anticipated, he was on it. If things were dealt with, I didn’t even know! Like clockwork, the wheels were put in motion and the beauty of it all for me as the bride was that nothing was too much effort.
One of the Most Idyllic wedding venues Hampshire has to offer…
Yes, I am biased – of course I am, I’m the Marketing Manager. But on my wedding day I was a bride, pure and simple. Having watched many weddings happen at the Inn, I knew what the team were capable of doing. My expectations were always going to be high, and as the bride on her wedding day, why wouldn’t they be? The next morning we drove to Cornwall for our honeymoon and reflected on our day. It had been absolutely perfect and everything we’d wanted it to be. It was then that it dawned on me; for the first time in my life my expectations had been met and not for any old day either.
I’ve seen many weddings come and go at the Inn and now, having had the privilege of holding my own ‘big day’ there, I can honestly and proudly say, choose The Bell Inn and you will not be disappointed.