Stuart and Laura's classic and intimate 2021 microwedding at Gorse Hill Hotel

Monday, July 26, 2021

Mr + Mrs Hanvey 

17th April 2021 | Gorse Hill Hotel, Woking

Instagram: @mrslaurahanvey & @shanvey93 | Guests: 10 | Photographer: Jodie DC Mitchell

Laura and Stuart wed on a beautiful sunny day in April with 10 of their nearest and dearest. They had an intimate ceremony which was livestreamed to those who were unable to join due to restrictions. The day was filled with personal touches and local suppliers. The bride wore a chic satin dress from Ellis Bridals paired with  two tier veil. 

Tell us all about your wedding theme...

We got engaged in October 2020 when it was not at all clear when normal scale weddings might return/ when venues would have availability given all the postponements! We decided to go for it with an intimate micro wedding with just immediate family in person but a livestream for everyone else we would have otherwise invited. Due to lockdown, we had a local venue and suppliers which was lovely as it made the day feel so personal. Because of the small scale we kept things simple but found it allowed us to add so many personal touches like our personalized cake toppers!

Something Old, Something New...

I wore a sentimental pair of earrings my parents gave me years ago as my something blue and bought a new pair of earrings for my second piercing as my something new. Now when I wear them, they always remind me of our wedding day! My something old and borrowed was my late nanny’s ring.


Bridal Entrance: My Destiny by Lionel Ritchie - we love the words and wanted something more upbeat than a traditional lovesong. I love hearing it on the radio now!

Ceremony Song: we signed the register to signed sealed and delivered by Stevie Wonder- another happy upbeat tune!

Bridal Exit: My Best Friend by Queen- again such a happy song with beautiful words!

Did you have anything unusual at your wedding?  

As we couldn’t have many with us in person, we contacted Wessex Sound Hire who arranged a live stream of our wedding ceremony so that more people could join us virtually. The result was amazing! Alex set up three cameras that swiveled so we could be seen clearly walking in, saying our vows, and signing the register. Stuart had a microphone so everyone could hear us clearly as well. Having since watched the recording it was beautifully done I’m so glad we had it captured! 

What was the best wedding splurge?

The livestream/ recording of the ceremony! Everyone said how beautifully it was done and how it felt very intimate given the many camera angles that meant everyone could see us clearly throughout the ceremony. It was so lovely to involve so many people in the day even though we weren’t allowed to have them in person.

How did you choose your venue?

We wanted to keep things local and my Mum came across Gorse Hill online. The team booked us in and finalized our arrangements with less than two months to go as our original venue became unable to hold our wedding in April 2021. We had already postponed from early March and were desperate to keep our second date as all our suppliers were already booked in. The Gorse Hill team were amazing, so professional and friendly! They kept us fully informed as more details of wedding rules post 12 April 2021 were released and worked with us to make the day absolutely perfect- even when we had a few surprises like indoor receptions not being allowed! To top it off, the grounds were absolutely stunning!

Tell us about the cake...

Our cake was made by the lovely Rachel at @bakehouse_surrey Rachel had made a few celebration cakes for us before- all of which had been amazing! We chose white chocolate and raspberry for our wedding cake and asked Rachel to decorate with the same flowers I was having put in my bouquet- the result was just stunning! The lace detail on the bottom part of the cake was all edible too!

What was your favourite wedding purchase?

Our dinosaur cake toppers - Stuart proposed on the Jurassic coast and we had them personalized to match our colour scheme. The wonderful @perlilla_pets made them and they now sit on display at home as a lovely reminder of the day. 

What was your favourite part of the day?

Being able to spend so much time with all our guests as we were such a small group. It felt very emotional and special having both our families all together again after lockdown.

Tell us about the dress...

I went dress shopping with my Mum which was so much fun and very quick as we found the one in the first shop! My dress was not at all what I expected to pick! I thought I wanted something lacey and definitely not tight fitting. The wonderful Deborah at Surrey Brides in Weybridge pulled the dress I chose out and asked me to ‘humor her’ by trying it on. I loved it straight away, but I still tried on some more as I was so surprised that I liked that style! I kept going back to that one dress and knew it was one after trying it on again- Deborah added a veil (which again I didn’t expect to want) and that was it! I was pleased I found the dress in that shop- its been there as long as I can remember and I’ve always loved seeing brides shopping for their dresses when going past. It felt very special being the bride everyone passing saw through the window! 

Advice for future brides…

Plan the day you and your fianc√© want not what you feel you should have (in particular, don’t fear a smaller wedding!)

Tell us about the food...

We were due to have a traditional wedding breakfast, but restrictions changed so we could not have an indoor reception. The amazing team at Gorse Hill suggested an afternoon tea that could be beautifully packaged for guests to take home in the event of bad weather to avoid any waste. Fortunately, we had amazing weather and we enjoyed a very extensive and delicious afternoon tea on the patio! 

What did you choose for your favours?

We chose to buy charity wedding favours and confetti. We bought forget me not flower seeds and confetti through the Cancer Research UK website and they were lovely! All biodegradable packaging too so ecofriendly as well!

Did you make any wedding DIYs?

We made personalized mini hand sanitizer bottles to sit on each seat in the ceremony room. A true sign of a wedding in covid times! The message on each bottle had our names and the words ‘spread love not germs!’

Were there any surprises on the day?

The weather! We had snow the Monday before we got married on the Saturday- we fully expected even the morning of the wedding to be saying goodbye to guests after the toast as we didn’t think it would be warm enough for an outdoor meal. Fortunately, we got lucky with beautiful sunshine! It was lovely and warm so we had the whole afternoon on the patio at the venue enjoying champagne and afternoon tea with our guests. So grateful for the lovely venue staff who thought quickly after seeing the days forecast and got the outdoor seating ready for us without us even asking! 

Tell us about your honeymoon...

We stayed in a lovely little cottage in Ringwood, the New Forest @cornercottageholidayhome which was just perfect! The owners even decorated it with just married banners, rose petals and left us prosecco and chocolate which was such a lovely and  generous touch! The local area was gorgeous with lots of beautiful walks and it was close enough for us to visit West Lulworth where we got engaged. 

Photographer: Jodie DC Mitchell

Videographer: Wessex Sound Hire

Venue: Gorse Hill Hotel

Flowers:  Richard & Joanne’s Florist West Byfleet

Cake:  Bakehouse Surrey

Hair and Makeup: Caitlin Houghton of Bridesmaidartistry

Dress: Ellis Bridals via Surrey Brides in Weybridge

Shoes: Rainbow Club 

Suits: Moss Bros

Wedding Rings: Victoria Jewellers Camberley

From Brides, With Love xo

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