The Master Builder’s Hotel – Buckler’s Hard
The Master Builder’s Hotel is one of our favourite locations in the New Forest, due to its tranquil, laid back, yet characterful venue. Being formed as a shipbuilding village, many warships for Nelson’s Navy were built there, three of which took part in the Battle of Trafalgar. It has 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 boats.
The hotel itself comprises 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 Builder’s 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. The interior is quite a bit like being on a ship, so expect wooden panelled walls and lots of nautical decor. It’s a great room as it’s 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 delightful in the summer months.
Being near the sea, the weather can change quite a bit but it’s 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 but this has never posed a problem in our experience, 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. The venue itself, as well as the marina and river, provide a variety of beautiful backdrops for your photos.
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 to ensure all speeches are heard by everyone. The food and service is excellent. José is one of the best managers we have come across!
The evening usually starts after the room turnaround 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 Builder’s 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 dance floor 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 time at Master Builder’s 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.
Liga is the wedding coordinator at Master Builder’s Hotel. She is VERY helpful.
The Master Builder’s House Hotel
T: 01590 616 253 F: 01590 616 297 E: firstname.lastname@example.org