Helen and Leigh’s Wedding at The Mill at Gordleton

We pulled up in the car park of the Mill at Gordleton in the New Forest to be greeted by the sight of vibrant ribbons and paper lanterns swaying in the breeze.

The gardens at this Lymington-based restaurant and hotel are spellbinding anyway, with quirky sculptures, a river flowing through and lots of little nooks and crannies to get lost in, but these added an even more magical party feel.

We had a good view of the grounds below during the bridal preps and could spy on  Leigh and all the guests arriving as they walked over the bridge into the hotel. Whilst I was kept busy snapping up Helen’s hair and make-up everyone settled down for the outdoor ceremony on the terrace.

The dress was one of the prettiest we’ve seen. Expertly hand-crafted by Cocoa Couture Wedding Dress Designers in Cheltenham. Helen told me she was able to mix and match different elements from the dresses hanging in the shops to get the design that was just right for her.

The late-afternoon wedding was small and intimate and took place right next to the river, underneath the permanent striped canopy. There’s always something really magical about an outdoors ceremony but because of the strict rules on locations there are very few venues that manage to offer this without having a more closed-in permanent structure.

The ceremony itself was very personal and after an Apache blessing and the register signing Helen and Leigh walked back down the aisle to this…

…Which made us very happy indeed.


The tables and the aisle were decorated with lots of pretty, in-season flowers and these were used for the button holes and Helen’s gorgeous country bouquet too. We spent a bit of time after the drinks reception exploring the grounds and venturing into the spider-gated “Secret Garden” for some portraits.


As the wedding party was made up of close family and friends, instead of formal speeches there were more relaxed, off-the-cuff toasts in the garden. We love this set-up as it’s so cosy and far less daunting for the speakers and with everyone gathered round in a circle everyone gets to hear. It’s a brilliant idea for smaller weddings.

Shortly after it was time for everyone to sit down to have their meal and we left Helen and Leigh to enjoy their wedding breakfast sat at their cosy “table for two”. Such a lovely idea, and one we’ve not seen before.

Posted with thanks and congratulations to Helen and Leigh x

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9 comments on “Helen and Leigh’s Wedding at The Mill at Gordleton

  • Jennifer

    Gorgeous wedding photos as always! I want to visit The Mill, Gordleton now – the gardens look lovely, not sure about the spider though 😉

  • Phill

    The only reason I’d not want to see every single one of these images printed large on a billboard at 250 metre intervals along a stretch of motorway is that it wouldn’t make driving particularly safe. Maybe along a very long footpath instead so I could walk, and stop, and look. It’s all so utterly beautiful.

  • Lisa

    Beautiful natural photographs. Love the colourful details and relaxed garden feel.

  • Helen and Leigh

    Words really can’t express how much we love the photos – you managed to capture all the emotion and happiness of the day…thank you so much!!

  • Melanie

    just beautiful x

  • Helen

    Beautiful Wedding!! have to say they made your job easy on this one Emma! x

  • Amy Wass

    Love an outdoor ceremony! I never knew this place existed. Gorg wedding, love the streamers. And dress. And flowers. And photos. All generally awesome

  • jo

    Wow! what an amazing wedding and so beautifully captured. I’m stunned xxx

  • alison

    Beautiful, just beautiful, it looked like a perfect day, and you are so happy. Lots of love to you both. xx

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