The Muddy guide to Hampshire and Isle of Wight weddings
Big fat Hampshire or (Isle of) Wight wedding coming up? Stop right there and take a look at these brilliant local wedding venues and businesses.
Looking for inspo for your impending nuptials? You’ll want to read this. Muddy’s turned wedding planner with our all-new guide to getting hitched in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. From flowers and favours to rings, designer dresses and quirky places to tie the knot, our curated guide shines a light on a few of our brilliant local wedding venues and suppliers to help you navigate your way to the big day.
The proposal, the vows, the forever after… when it comes to rings, it’s important to buy well – something Charles Nobel in New Milton can help with. A family-owned firm, they’ve got a massive choice of engagement rings and wedding bands to match, plus some beautiful vintage rings.
In Southsea, 2021 Muddy Award winner Charlotte Cornelius (above) has brilliant bridal collections comprising engagement ring and wedding band. Or get personal – her team will work with you on a bespoke beauty for you and your beau. (Cue ecstatic dream-come-true romance faces!). Bonus alert – if you choose an engagement ring, they’ll even throw in a free photoshoot and portrait!
Aagghh, admin. We’ll keep it brief. First up, wedding insurance – an absolute must. Get it before you buy or book anything. Top tip: pay for any major expense or deposit via credit card, never cash or debit. Finally, consider a pre-nup. Don’t be afraid to chat openly about it with your fiancé – check out our need-to-know pre-nup guide from top local solicitors, Paris Smith.
The Wedding Venue
Country, coast or quirky – just like your soon-to-be-spouse, you’ll know when it’s the real thing. Star of the show in the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Muddy Awards 2021, The Elvetham (above) is a splendid country manor in Hartley Wintney, near Hook. Imagine walking down those stairs – dreamy…
Nominations came in thick and fast too for Lainston House, a gorgeous country pile near Winchester. Other top spots well-rated by readers were Pylewell Park near Lymington (with, ahem, a 15-acre lake and its own private beach), Silchester Farm and The Barn at Avington, near Winchester.
Always a Muddy favourite, you can be lady of Careys Manor (above) for the day with a ceremony and reception in the gorgeous house – or tie the knot in its wonderful walled garden. Celeb pick? Ant McPartlin just had his all-star reception at the rather gorgeous Heckfield Place, near Hook. Boutique wedding belle? On the Isle of Wight, The George Hotel is a top pick for sea views and stylish rooms.
Or how about some of our quirkier Hampshire wedding venues… Gin lover? It’s got to be the Mediterranean Glasshouse at the Bombay Sapphire Distillery (above). Even more offbeat? You really will ‘watch the birdie’ as it brings your rings or soars overhead (show stealer) with a wedding at the Hawk Conservancy Trust.
Quirkier still? A tree house in Beaulieu would be pretty amazing. Or head higher – to the top of Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower… Magical Wight wedding that’s well and truly away with the fairies? That’ll be the eccentric Enchanted Manor, Niton.
Vintage, ruffles, feathers – a leaf through glossy wedding mags can help you decide what trends and shapes you *think* you’d like. But as any bride will tell you, nothing beats a try on session (and a little help from a friendly local bridal dress guru).
Opened in January 2021, find our Muddy Awards Best Bridal Boutique, Olive Blossom Bridal (above), in the pretty village of Overton. Expect fizz chilling in the fridge, a top selection of designer dresses to try and a brilliant ‘I said yes’ wall to snap a hurrah moment in front of.
Also rated locally, try finalists Brides of Southampton (Southampton); Boo Bridal (Hartley Wintney); Creatiques (Portsmouth) and That’s The One (Farnborough). Just opened in Fareham, Margeux Mae Bridal is also worth a look.
Pretty, pretty. So many incredibly talented florists in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are just a call away. Best of the bunch? Take a look at Muddy Awards 2021 finalists Blossom and Wild in Hook; Claudia & B in Winchester; La Luna, in Basingstoke; Wild Rose, in Whitchurch and our Isle of Wight winner, Summer Lilly Flowers, in Newport.
Simple, fancy, chocolate, fruit cake… the Dotti Cake Company has loads of beautiful designs – like this simple floral number (above). Vegan? Lucie loves to Bake – and she’ll do you a lovely, bespoke wedding cake. Cheese fiend? How about a cheese wedding cake from Newlyns Farmshop. On the Island, mum and daughter duo Frostbite Bakery make simply decorated bespoke cakes using a secret recipe – and they look pretty tasty to us…
The Gift List
Trust us, guests will want to gift – and they’ll appreciate a steer. Vouchers are always an option – although travel ones can be restrictive. Online platforms like Marriage Gift List allow you flexibility to pick, choose and list gifts from any online store. Stores on the Muddy list? Fresh new homewares from XV Stripes and Turnbull and Hooch. Ethically-made Netflix-and-chill trousers from Loungers. Oh, and a few lovely smellies from Live The Seaweed Lifestyle.
If your usual stylist can’t help, try your luck with a Muddy-approved salon. In Winchester, Lord Hair Salon won out in the Muddy Awards 2021 and offers a bridal service. With salons in Winchester and Southampton, look out for the fantastic Arcana Hair and Haringtons. Lymington and New Forest brides will be well tended by the lovely Guy Kremer Lymington. Need an ‘on-location’ specialist able to look after your entire Team Bride crew? Check out Fareham-based Riot Hairdressing.
Toasts and fizz go hand-in-hand. Keep in Hampshire with a glass or three of fabulous English Sparkling Wine from Hattingley Valley or Exton Park vineyards. Or how’s this for rustic chic? Drinks afficionado Jane Ray – aka The Firsty Foal – will happily giddy up to your reception with her converted horse trailer-turned-mobile bar (above).
Do Yourself a Favour
Simple, personal, delicious. Morse Toad’s chocolate initials wedding favours are handmade in the New Forest. And oh, the tasty Belgian chocolate… sweet.
Just married and like to thank one of your brilliant local suppliers – and tip off a soon-to-be bride? Comment below with who they were and how they helped you!