The Master Builders Hotel – Bucklers Hard
The Master Builders Hotel is one of our favourite locations in the New Forest as it has a ‘vibe’ about it and is perfect for anyone looking for a tranquil laid back venue with character. Being formed as a shipbuilding village many warships for Nelson’s Navy were built, three of which took part in the Battle of Trafalgar. It has twee rows of lovely cottages and the hotel is located around the shores of the Beaulieu river, which also has a small marina full of sailing ships. The hotel itself comprises of a large bar, restaurant, lounge and very spacious gardens. You have to travel about 5 minutes from Beaulieu centre and it feels like you are right away from everything, which adds to the chilled vibe of the Master Builders as a wedding venue. It is a four star hotel and probably one of the most reasonably priced venues in the whole of the New Forest. We have managed many all day weddings at the venue over the years as well as a number of evening functions and we have always found the staff and management to be friendly, relaxed and full of enthusiasm.
Your ceremony is usually in the restaurant area, just down the hall from the reception. Its design is quite a bit like being on a ship, so expect wooden panelled walls and lots of nautical decor. Its a great room as its L shaped, so you get a great distance to walk down the aisle (as opposed to a smaller room). Your drinks reception is in the grounds, on a private patio area, which is very nice in the summer months. Being near the sea the weather can change quite a bit, but its a very cosy venue and has lots of indoor space, with log fires etc. You will share the venue with other guests and tourists visiting the museum etc. but this has always (in our opinion) added to the chilled vibe as they are usually very respectful and stay out of the way. You can get some excellent photos at the venue, and the natural incline of the grass area allows a good vantage point for the photographer. There is also a lot of foliage, you have the venue as a background as well as the river and marina area for backdrops.
The wedding breakfast is also held in the restaurant, which is a brilliant space. If you intend to fill it with guests then it worth using our services for microphones, especially if you have elderly guests. The food and service is excellent. José is one of the best managers we have come across!
The evening usually starts after the room turn around following the meal (8pm approx.). We generally set up in the area directly opposite the main restaurant entrance, next to the fire door (see photos below). Our LED uplighting works really well for the Master Builders and we generally set these up all around the room. If you are cutting your cake just before first dance, we generally put this on the dancefloor as it encourages guests to come all the way down, which is very helpful if you want them to join you on first dance. If you are cutting your cake earlier in the day then making an entrance from the bottom of the room from the terrace works really well as it pulls your guests through quite a narrow gap between the kitchen and buffet dining areas, thus allowing them to easily join you on/after first dance. The finish times at Master Builders is midnight and we would generally do a fake ending at about 11.45pm, congratulate you guys and then finish it with a couple of amazing tracks from your set list.
Hannah Ferguson is the wedding coordinator at Master Builders Hotel. She is VERY helpful, knowledgeable and you will always be greeted with a smile and a hug! 0118 9767342 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Venue website: http://www.hillbrookehotels.co.uk