When Kerry and Kenny Parkes decided to hold their wedding at The Queens Hotel, they knew they wanted to make a big impact.
And as you can see from their beautiful photos, they managed to transform the Elizabeth Room into a fairytale setting for their guests to enjoy.
If you are having a summer wedding, why not stay an extra night and book a VIP area in the garden to reflect on your wedding day with friends and family
Work with the hotel’s events team – they know what works in the building and can help to make your dream day come true
Getting ready at the hotel together makes it more fun – and the team are on hand to help
Far from being overwhelmed with the prospect of making their mark in our signature event space, Kerry had a clear vision of what she wanted.
“I knew I wanted white. When I sourced the trees, I just knew they would work. The ceiling is so high you can really get away with larger decorations without it feeling too over the top,” she said.
Kenny sadly lost his mum Angie in 2015 and the couple wanted to ensure she was still part of the day.
“Her favourite colour was yellow. So we made sure there were touches of yellow amidst all the white,” explained Kenny.
The pair opted to hold their wedding ceremony at Portsmouth Cathedral. They felt the grandeur of the religious building perfectly matched the ornate interiors of The Queens Hotel.
“We first started planning the wedding in 2021. Then it was put on hold by the pandemic. In the end we were happy to wait as the restoration work on the hotel was progressed and the improvements to the garden were also completed.
“We really enjoy coming to the Queens. We wanted our guests to enjoy it as much as we do. That’s why we decided to hold the welcome drinks in the lobby so everyone could enjoy the stunning interior,” said Kerry.
The wedding was held on a busy weekend with Southsea Food Festival underway and a Field Gun Crew reunion the night before but Kenny and Kerry were unaware.
“It was only afterwards we learned how busy the hotel was. We were made to feel like we were the most important event that was happening.”
Kenny and Kerry (nee Young) have known each other since they were kids. They socialised in the same group but it was only in 2019 that they started to date.
“We’ve known each other for years. We have been together as a couple for 3.5 years. When we started dating in 2019, I told Kerry I was going to marry her one day.
“I was planning to ask her to marry me when were on holiday abroad. However when several of those were cancelled due to the pandemic, I proposed to her on Sandbanks beach in Poole . Two ladies came running over to congratulate us because they had seen what we had done,” recalled, Kenny, who works as a project manager.
When they first came to the Queens to book their wedding, the garden was being redesigned. So the couple were delighted the outdoor space could play a big part in their wedding celebrations.
“Sales, Marketing and Events Manager, Nicole Morris, helped us to plan the day with her team. It was easy to contact her and nothing ever seemed too much trouble,” said Kenny.
Kerry, who works as a hairdresser and a cleaner at QA Hospital, enjoyed staying in the hotel’s largest room. It is a perfect space for brides and bridesmaids to get ready.
“I had breakfast in the room and there was no rush, it was perfect. I relaxed in the bath and then my bridesmaids arrived and we all got ready together, which made it very special.”
Having hired the trees and sourced the flowers for the backs of the chairs and all the other details for the day, the first time the couple got to see the room fully dressed was just before everyone else was called through.
“We had a sneaky peek before everybody else saw it – and it really did exceed our expectations.
“All our guests commented on how well the day went – they loved the food, the room looked beautiful and it was great to be able to use the garden too,” added Kenny.
Having spent the wedding night at the hotel, the couple decided to extend their stay a further night and enjoy the live music in the garden on Sunday with friends and family.
“We hadn’t planned to stay but, in the end, it was great to relax with friends and family in the garden,” said Kerry.
Photo credit: Dan Akerman Photography www.daphotographyuk.com