When bride-to-be Nicole was checking out wedding Instagram accounts and found Rhinefield House little did she know how special it would prove.
If you have recently got engaged and looking for some inspiration then you should check out some wedding related Instagram feeds, where you will find everything you need for your perfect day from gorgeous stationary to delicious cakes and beautiful flowers.
It is how Nicole found Rhinefield House, she picks up the story: “After seeing the venue on Instagram we decided to pop by for a coffee. We hadn’t arranged a viewing but we were made to feel unbelievably welcome from the second we stepped in the door. After just a few short moments at the hotel we both knew nothing else would compare. From its setting deep in the New Forest National Park, to the aesthetics of the Tudor and Gothic building and the helpful staff, we couldn’t have wished for a better venue. We also loved the concept of having exclusive use, which meant a truly private wedding with all of our guests in one place.”
When it came to a theme for their special day, they hinged it on two givens –Australian native flowers (reflecting Nicole’s roots) and Miles’ Naval uniform (which he had chosen to get married in). “We took the key elements from this,” explains Nicole “and made sure that everything else would sit alongside visually, from the stationary, to our invitations and table décor. We used a lot of wood, for example, as a nod to venue and surrounding area.”
Owen Lavin from Little Lillies was responsible for the overall look. He took the time to get to know the couple as individuals to create unique and personalised touches such as the gum nuts intermingled with gorgeous Aussie foliage. Miles loves Eucalyptus so Owen made sure it featured heavily, particularly in Nicole's bouquet. He also made a floral headpiece for her, which was extremely intricate and used wildflowers associated with Australia.
“Owen is a genius, a true master of his craft. We knew how creative he is so refrained from giving him too many parameters as one of our highlights was seeing what he would produce for us on the day. He certainly didn't disappoint. We can honestly say we have never seen anything remotely similar in the way of flowers at any wedding we have been to previously and know we never will as everything he produces is one of a kind.”
Another supplier that impressed the couple was the photographer, Martin Bell. “Our journey with Martin started at a wedding open day at Rhinefield. Photographers weren't even on our agenda, but the fact that every other vendor we spoke to had asked if we had seen Martin yet, and if not, that we must, lead us to track him down. When we did, in a few short moments Martin's exceptional knowledge and understanding of the venue and his profession meant that by simply disclosing the date and time of our wedding he could suggest we close a part of the curtain in the grand hall just by a few inches so guests didn't get light glare in their own photos. We were sold!
“On the day Martin was a machine. He coordinated people effortlessly and has an eye for detail that is nothing less than extraordinary. His eagle eye spotted bandages that weren’t tucked in on a bridesmaid's injured foot, rogue champagne glasses in the background and positioned our guard of honour and confetti throwing to perfection – it looked like a scene from a Disney movie! His unique techniques delivered spectacular results, and most of all he was patient, considerate, incredibly well organised and an all-round great guy that constantly reassured us and made us comfortable.”
Like Martin Bell, Your DJ has worked at Rhinefield House for several years (ten, in fact) and is always highly recommended to couples. They are highly passionate about what they do and having booked them on an all-day package he looked after them from their ceremony and reception drinks all the way to midnight as their DJ and MC. “The dancefloor definitely got a work out and the uplighting, photo booth and motif all added to the atmosphere. Having Toby there all day definitely took the pressure off us. The added benefit of him knowing the photographer and staff at Rhinefield also contributed to the smooth and flawless running of the day,” confesses Miles.
With the couple’s family history an important aspect of the wedding, the cake reflected part of Nicole’s journey in life. With her kinfolk in the mineral, crystal and fossil business, they thought that an amethyst geode cake made completely out of edible sugar would be the most fitting tribute and Jill The Cakemaker pulled it off perfectly. They had four tiers - mud cake with chocolate ganache, coconut with milk chocolate ganache, carrot with vanilla butter cream and champagne and strawberry sponge.
In the same vein, the favours were hand carved Peruvian soapstones that they picked out on a trip to Denver the year previous to their wedding, with the kangaroo representing Nicole’s Aussie roots and the elephant representing Mile’s Kenyan descent.
While the suppliers surpassed the couple’s expectations they were also blown away by the team at Rhinefield. Miles explains: “We were very lucky to have such an amazing bunch of people pull together our day. When we first came to Rhinefield two years ago we knew it was a special place and it certainly didn't disappoint. They quite literally went above and beyond from the moment we entered the venue.
“The day itself was flawless. We enjoyed every minute. Having all of our friends and family in such a spectacular location enjoying the wonderful and relaxed atmosphere, and being able to look around and be proud of every element of the day, knowing that we not only appreciated it but our guests were blown away, too, was something else.
“The drinks flowed, the food was plentiful and spectacular – we have heard nothing but compliments even from our pickiest of guests, and the staff were dedicated, efficient, and highly coordinated. Everyone worked so hard but they always had a smile on their face and could not do enough for us. We are so spectacularly lucky to have found Rhinefield and her team.”
ENTERTAINMENT: Your DJ ( 07835 518539 / yourdj.co.uk/)
DÉCOR AND FLOWERS: Little Lillies ( 023 8022 1000 / little-lillies.co.uk)
CAKE: Jill The Cakemaker (cakemaker.org.uk)
PHOTOGRAPHY: Martin Bell Photography ( 07834 686633 / martinbell-photography.co.uk)