Jennifer and Adam’s manor house wedding Real Weddings Bournemouth
Despite changes to the original date and venue, this delightful wedding day ending up being full of love, laughter and plenty of dancing. Our WED2B Real Weddings feature reveals more…
Jennifer and Adam met at her cousin's daughter's third birthday party. “Adam was making sandwiches and I came to help with the kids,” she says. “I had just got out of a seven-year relationship and he was just so nice to chat with, and made me laugh. He also loved the Mars Bar cakes I'd made for the party, so I think that helped."
"Our first date was two weeks later, we went to TGI Friday's and bowling. We didn't stop talking the whole evening, and we've messaged all day every day since then. We've been together about eight years now."
A seaside proposal
“In March 2019, after five years together, we moved into our first house,” says Jennifer. “Adam had also booked us a weekend away at the end of June, once we'd settled in and unpacked everything. We went to Lyme Regis, but the actual proposal happened on a cliff in Beer."
"We walked up to a grassy area that overlooked the beach and had a lovely picnic. Then he said he wanted to take a photo of me looking out to sea. When I turned back round he was on one knee, but he had the box open towards him! I laughed and obviously said, 'Yes'. Looking back, I had been wondering why he kept moving his shoes around the picnic blanket, but it was where he'd hidden the box!”
Bridal shops Bournemouth
Jennifer bought her dress from WED2B's Bournemouth store. “I had visited other bridal shops Bournemouth and found another dress I liked, but something wouldn't let me make the final decision,” she says.
“We went to WED2B and I tried on one dress that was way too much for me, I felt silly. Then I put on Tara, and I felt like a princess. I tried on a couple of others but they didn't have the same feeling. So, I put Tara back on and loved it. I then got my sister and best friend to try on bridesmaids’ dresses while I just walked round in Tara. I didn't want to take it off. That's when I knew it was ‘The One’! I loved the simplicity of it, and that it was classic, elegant and just beautiful. I also added a diamanté belt for a touch of sparkle and it was perfect.”
Changing the venue and the date...
The couple married at Parley Manor in Christchurch. “We were originally supposed to get married in August 2020 but our original venue went into administration,” says Jennifer. “Cue panic and stress, but we managed to get all our money back and found Parley Manor instead. We realised it was so much better than our original venue, so we booked it straight away. It's a beautiful manor house with amazing gardens, an outdoor ceremony marquee and a huge marquee for the wedding breakfast and evening reception. We wanted a really relaxed day with all our friends and family, and this had so much space. It was also ideal for garden games."
"We managed to move all of our suppliers to the new venue too, thankfully. Then Covid hit, and we had to move our date, so we went for May 2021. Then wedding restrictions happened. So, after that, we moved the date again to 26th September 2021, when we could have all our guests and have the wedding we wanted, with no restrictions and a big celebration!”
A beautiful sunny day
"Leading up to the wedding we were watching the weather closely, and the day before was grey and miserable,” says Jennifer. “But on the morning of the wedding, I woke up to bright sunshine and it was lovely and warm. It was perfect! Unfortunately, the Airbnb we were staying in had a massive power-cut through the whole village, so we couldn't do hair and makeup. Luckily, Parley Manor has a new bridal prep suite, so we dashed there quickly to get ready.”
“My dad walked me down the aisle and, later, looking at the photos, everyone has said he looks like a mafia boss with his shades on!” says Jennifer. “After the ceremony, we had a drinks reception and music. Then, before all the formal photos, Adam and I went for a drive in Lulu, a VW camper van I'd hired. It was lovely to have a quiet glass of bubbles and some time on our own before the day continued. When we got back, we went to see the room for the wedding breakfast and had a plate of canapés, then we were ready for the family photos.”
Fab flowers and a delicious cake
"We didn't really have a theme, we just wanted a relaxed day for everyone to enjoy after all the Covid restrictions,” says Jennifer. “Decorations were mainly floral, with lots of eucalyptus and white roses."
"Our wedding cake was a semi-naked cake with fresh flowers to match my bouquet. It was lovely, with three tiers of lemon sponge, raspberry and white chocolate and lime and coconut. Our favours were wooden name tags and a shot of gin or rum for the end of the speeches.”
“We didn't want a formal sit-down meal, so we had an amazing BBQ with loads of salads,” says Jennifer. “After the speeches, everyone went outside to enjoy the last bit of sun and play games. We had an ice cream bike serving Marshfield Ice Cream and a cocktail bike, which went down really well. There was also a Ferris wheel full of sweets that the kids loved.”
Dancing the night away
“In the evening, there was pizza, mini fish ’n' chips and mini pulled pork rolls, but I didn't see any of that!” says Jennifer. “We also had a photo booth, and everyone had fun looking at the photos afterwards. The same company also made us a bespoke wooden sign with our names on, which was a nice touch."
"Later we had a live band and they were incredible. They played folk-style music, like Mumford & Sons, plus all sort of other music. Adam's family is Irish, so they also had to play a few of the old Irish tunes."
"A few of our guests told me afterwards that the band thought we were the best wedding crowd they'd had. They’d never had so many people up dancing and singing all night. It was a good craic!”
My top tips…
“Use a spreadsheet,” says Jennifer. “It was so easy for tracking everything such as we'd booked, outstanding balances and for checking costs. I couldn't have done it without Excel. I also just really enjoyed planning it, even with a venue going bust and a global pandemic, I didn't really get stressed about it at all. In fact, I feel a little lost now I don't have to plan it anymore!”
Jennifer’s Dream Team
Photographer: Jack Aldride
Venue: Parley Manor
Bridal shops Bournemouth: WED2B
VW: Dorset Dub Hire
Florist: Julie Land
Cake: Kelly Emm
Band: London Folk Avenue
Photo booth: Pikabooth
Garden Games, Ferris Wheel and Ice-Cream Bike: Garbanzo's
Make-up: Olivia Lucy Make Up
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