A fantastical big day

Kelly and Matt's colourful celebration was a magical mix of personal and quirky touches.

Kelly Hallett and Matthew Alger met online, had their first date five days later and when they next got together they started talking about what their wedding would be like. They made it official after nine months together, although they'd already booked the venue for their big day before even getting engaged.

The proposal was a spur of the moment thing after Matt's romantic plans had to be cancelled. “He had it all sorted, including someone to capture the moment, but when the photographer fell ill he just couldn't wait and popped the question in our living room with a stunning mystic topaz and skull ring. At least it meant we could leap about in excitement without causing a public scene,” laughs Kelly. “He'd thoughtfully already asked my dad's permission, and my two children, who adore him.”

The couple were married on 6th August, 2017 at the Balmer Lawn Hotel in the heart of the New Forest National Park. Their day reflected them as a couple, their likes and loves with an array of decorative details from unicorns and skulls to geometric shapes and flashes of purple, pink, turquoise and black. “We also included iridescent accents to match the shoes I bought for our wedding the same week that we met!” adds Kelly. Read on for her account of their big day...

A fantastical big day: Image 1
We loved the venue because not only did it offer a beautiful outside space for the ceremony, but we could spend the whole day and evening there too. We had the whole wing of the hotel for our guests to enjoy as well as the gardens.


A fantastical big day: Image 2I'm a colourful person so I chose quite a simple dress. I wanted to make it my own though, so my friend and seamstress Nicole helped me dip-dye it with a touch of turquoise and did my veil to match.

A fantastical big day: Image 2b My bouquet was a statement piece, it's not often you see one with a deer skull and black flowers – even Matt's nan loved it!


A fantastical big day: Image 3
My adult bridesmaids Roxy and Jade wore long strapless black dresses and my daughter Molly wore a pretty black lace dress and green zombie shoes. My niece Evie and Matt's daughter Maiya looked lovely in white tulle frocks with sequin bodices and carried bubble guns to fire over everyone as they walked down the aisle.


A fantastical big day: Image 4Our florist Owen was amazing. He created a bird skull buttonhole for Matt to complement my bouquet.

A fantastical big day: Image 4b I baked and decorated personalised diamond-shaped cookies for each guest, which doubled up as place names.


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Matt's dad Dave was best man. We let him pick his own outfit and he didn't disappoint. He chose a shirt with a bright paint-splat design and a selection of coloured ties, which he changed throughout the day.


A fantastical big day: Image 6The table plan was made from a picture frame, using chalk pens and craft materials to match our theme.

A fantastical big day: Image 6b Being a cake decorator, I didn't do things by halves! I created a massive doublesided showstopper on a rotating turntable. One side was a watercolour geometric diamond design, based on the tattoos Matt and I had done for the wedding, and the other featured a zombie scene from The Walking Dead TV series.


A fantastical big day: Image 7
The tables were decorated with black sequin runners, skull tea light holders and centrepieces made from geometric terrariums planted with succulents.


A fantastical big day: Image 8We had two alpacas join us for the day and our guests were able to feed, walk and pet them. They even had unicorn and skull bow ties to match our theme.

A fantastical big day: Image 8b For the evening we chose music that reflected us as a couple, including a track from my favourite film Labyrinth.


A fantastical big day: Image 9
We had a table full of sweet treats and drip cakes, including a special vegan one and unicorn cupcakes made by my maid-of-honour Jade.


A fantastical big day: Image 10
Matt and I bought decorative unicorn heads and customised them to represent us. We had them on display on the day and used images of them for our invitations.


Kelly and Matt's contact book

Little Orchard Alpacas

Bride's dress

Bride's hair colour
Absolute Hair Company

Bride, bridesmaids and mother-of-the-bride's make-up
Baytree Beauty

Bridesmaids' dresses
Charmed Boutique

Caked Away

Caked Away

Little Lillies

Paul Newton

On-the-day hair stylist
Emma Webb at Fusion Hair
Tel: 01489 572 291

Photo booth
All Parties and Events

Roderick Alan Photography

Vegan cake
Hannah Banana Bakery

Balmer Lawn Hotel & Spa