Portsmouth taxidermy lovers tie the knot at the Queens Hotel on dramatically dark wedding day
When Lou Hoy was planning her wedding she had a very clear picture in her mind of the look and feel she wanted.
The day needed to be an expression of the love of art, taxidermy and the slightly macabre that she and her husband Lloyd Hoy share.
Evident from the striking wedding shots, Lou opted for high drama and a colour palette that was delivered with her own skilled eye, resulting in a darkly romantic day that was anything but sombre.
Having walked down the aisle once before, Lou was well aware of how costly a wedding could be.
She wanted this time to be different, ensuring money was well spent when it came to creating a stylish and memorable celebration.
‘My first wedding was completely different with bridesmaids in pink and a shabby chic, country feel,’ says Lou.
‘It cost £30,000 and we had 110 guests for the daytime and 180 for the evening.
‘Such a big event felt stressful, a bit like an out-of-body experience,’ she adds.
Planning for the day, this time comprising just 38 guests, began a year before and as initial plans to marry in Prague were scuppered by Covid-19, the couple opted for the Square Tower in Old Portsmouth.
Lou adds: ‘When it came to planning this wedding, I was determined things would be different.’
Having searched for a suitable venue for the reception, Lou admitted that the moment she walked into the Queens Hotel and saw Libby’s Room, complete with wooden panelling and marble pillars, she knew she had found the right place.
‘For the most part Lloyd let me get on with it.
‘We both share a love of art and taxidermy. He got used to coming home to find me busy creating some element or other for the wedding day,’ recalls Lou, a training coordinator for Comserv who lives at Havant.
Flower girl dresses were on sale in Next, snapped up for just £16 a piece and when it came to her own dress, Lou ordered online from Russia and looked drop dead gorgeous.
‘It was just what I was looking for and perfectly made.
‘I did get a bit mixed up with the continental sizing and ended up with a size eight when I normally wear a 12, but I made sure I got into it and it looked wonderful on the day,’ she said.
Trips to charity shops proved fruitful when it came to finishing touches for the tables at the reception, Lou sourced all tablecloths and napkins herself. I dressed all the tables myself and when it was done I felt totally relaxed and I knew it was going to be a great day,’ she said.
Lou and her bridesmaids stayed in Room 126 at the Queens Hotel the night before the wedding, specially designed for gatherings such as these with a capacity for up to six and its very own beauty parlour room.
‘I really loved the specially designed hanging area for wedding dresses. In most rooms you end up hooking a hanger over the curtain pole due to the length of the dress’, says Lou.
‘It was great on the day to have a special area to have our hair done – there was loads of room and the kids were quite happy playing in the corner,’ she adds.
A perfect match, Lou and Lloyd, created their dramatically dark and romantic wedding day for just £6,000.
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
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