We were delighted to help Rebecca and Ben have the wedding day of their dreams. Two avid Star Wars fans, the couple took the opportunity to tie the knot on Star Wars Day: May 4th. This was certainly a first for us at Balmer Lawn, and our wedding coordinator, Ruth, relished the challenge, thoroughly enjoying being part of something different. At Balmer Lawn, we’re passionate about helping our guests have the most special wedding possible – whatever that may entail!
We’ve since caught up with Rebecca and Ben, who kindly participated in a Q&A to tell us all about their wedding experience at Balmer Lawn:
When did you first discover Balmer Lawn?
We both enjoy cycling in the New Forest, and came across Balmer Lawn during one of our bike rides. So, after we got engaged, it was one of the first places we thought about visiting for our wedding.
What were your first impressions of the hotel?
We were instantly drawn by the lovely decor and style. We loved the mix of old and new (modern) features; it felt very ‘us’ – not pretentious, whilst also being a high class venue.
What attracted you to the hotel as the ideal location for your wedding day?
We both love the New Forest, because we cycle there so regularly. We visited a few other wedding venues, but Balmer Lawn felt very ‘in tune’ with us and our style. We were also attracted to the lovely location, which will look great in our wedding photos – and was also in the ideal spot for our families, who are based in Hampshire and Dorset.
Tell us about your wedding day… what style did you go for?
We wanted a very personal wedding that suited our personalities. We found the date (May 4th) very fitting as this is ‘Star Wars Day’, which we both really enjoy together. However, we wanted to keep this theme mostly subtle. Due to the location of Balmer Lawn, we also thought about having a ‘woodland’ theme, which we achieved by having a tree stump and moss centre pieces with Star Wars figures incorporated. We also have a local friend who made wooden personalised coasters, which doubled as the guests’ name place, and featured wedding favours written in a Star Wars font. Our wedding cake was also of a similar theme, whereby the four-tier cake appears to be white from the front – however, the back opened up to display four different Star Wars characters, which were revealed with a revolving cake stand.
As a tribute to our love of cycling, we had an ‘ice cream bike’ for guests to use for photos. In terms of colour, we chose grey with splashes of red. The four bridesmaids wore long grey dresses, and the groomsmen were dressed in grey suits with red ties. We also arranged for the flowers to be a mixture of red and white. To surprise our guests and keep them entertained, we had Star Wars characters attend in full costume – this added some fun to the wedding photos and garden games that were provided by Balmer Lawn.
How many guests did you have for day and night?
In the day, we had 87 guests, and in the evening we had 120.
How did you find the process of booking, organising and planning your wedding at Balmer Lawn?
We found that it was good to have just one person (Ruth), who had been our point of call since the first meeting in January 2018. Ruth proceeded to answer our emails and questions quickly and efficiently. We also had various face-to-face meetings, which helped smooth out some of the finer details.
Would you recommend Balmer Lawn to other couples planning their wedding day?
Yes, we would!
Will you be returning to Balmer Lawn for an overnight stay in the near future?
Maybe, for our anniversary.
How did you find the food and wine tasting when choosing your menu?
It was top quality. We also really enjoyed bringing our parents along to the sampling, who helped us choose the food and wine. I (the bride) also had afternoon tea with the bridesmaids, which was really exceptional – and left them all-the-more excited for the wedding day food!
Do you have any tips for future couples planning their special day?
Definitely make your day personal to you. We were so excited about the unique elements of our day, and wondering what our guests would think! I would also recommend taking some time to research, as you can often find the same item that you like for a lower cost elsewhere. We loved using Facebook Marketplace to find some wedding decorations, and really enjoyed doing most things ourselves – such as the centre pieces, decorations and sweet cart for the evening. This saved us a lot of money, which we realised we could spend elsewhere – such as hiring a videographer!
What sets Balmer Lawn apart from other wedding venues?
Balmer Lawn is a lovely venue that is set in a tranquil, scenic location. Plus, myself and my partner have our own personal link to the hotel, thanks to our love of cycling!