Fantastic wedding despite the rain

The family gathered on Thursday to start decorating as soon as Collins from Wimborne has finished erecting the Marquee.  With ultra-cool the bride did not arrive, apart from a quick visit on Thursday evening,  until Friday lunch time as she was teaching.  Her pupils sent her off in a tiara and sash and driving a car filled with pink balloons and decorated with foil!

On Friday, the forecast was dreadful but the family were really laid back about it.  An extra small tent was put up close to the gazebo just in case of bad weather.  Beautifully decorated baskets of flowers, planted by a family friend, arrived and sheltered here until the wedding morning. 

The large canvas marquee was lined inside with white drapes and swags. Varying sizes of globe lights hung from the ceiling.  Collins were enormously helpful in working with the family and making sure that everything was perfect. ( www.collinsmarquees.co.uk )

Large numbers of family and friends descended to decorate on the Friday.  Flowers, provided by the family, were arranged in vintage looking milk churns on the tables, These had hessian bands bordered with lace laid across them and matched the napkin rings.

103_3422.JPG

Bunting was strung round the sides of the marquee, a sweet table was put together, complete with brown paper bags with the couple's name on them and a easel with the seating plan, cards pegged onto little washing lines, was placed by the entrance.  Outside a wonderful vintage bicycle was parked by the top of the steps with a "welcome" sign fixed to it.  Later the basket was filled with flowers.

The wedding cake had been copied from a photograph of the Bride's grandmother's cake.  Pale pink with very fine white patterns etched on it.  On top was the same vase that her grandmother had used which was filled with flowers. It was really beautiful.

103_3424.JPG

New Forest Bell Tents arrived to set up a camping village in the playground and some of the guests stayed Friday night.  To accommodate this the couple had hired showers which were so big they had to be parked in front of the house.  The groom set up a "make-up" gazebo by the bell-tents but on the day it was drizzling first thing so everything moved to the marquee which worked really well and ladies settled with much laughter infront of the mirror hung up for them. www.newforestbelltents.co.uk

Saturday brought the groom and his friends to put out the chairs and flowers in the wedding tent before nipping down to the Old Ox in the village for a quick pint.   www.oldoxinn.co.uk

The Bride arrived with her bridesmaids, who went with her into the house to see the registrar,  before accompanying her and her father across the lawns to the gazebo.

A string quartet played during the ceremony and continued afterwards in the marquee as guests chatted before the wedding breakfast.

www.alani-quartet.co.uk/ 

The Rain held off until the Bride and Groom made their way back to the marquee.

Later when the rain had stopped they had photographs taken in the grounds by annaluciaphotography.co.uk who took all those not marked with a dot which are in house.

A delicious wedding breakfast was provided by Dorset Fine Dining from Sherborne. The staff were amazing, as at times, they had to carry the food round the tent in the rain.  Nothing daunted them. They also provided a barbeque for the evening.(www.dorsetfinedining.co.uk )

While the wedding party celebrated inside a beautiful rainbow appeared over the top of the marquee.

The band - Groove on Up -  came from London and they kept everyone dancing until the Midnight curfew.( www.grooveonup.co.uk/) Guests wended their way to the campsite where the party continued round the fire-pit until the early hours.  The bride and groom spent the night in the walled garden in our "Indian" themed bell tent.

 

The next morning our wonderful village garage shop was raided for Costa Coffee, sausages, buns and bacon for a barbeque breakfast to wake everyone up enough for the great tidy up.

Another wonderful wedding came sadly to an end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rain brought the ceremony into the Dining Room

By the day before it looked as if the ceremony, that was supposed to be held outside on the lawn by the gazebo, was going to have to move inside to the dining room. Luckily this was a small, ceremony only, wedding so numbers were not an issue.

With rain pouring down on the Saturday, we speedily moved and polished furniture, made the dining room table smaller and filled the dining room with flowers and plants, in time for the groom and his brother to come and organise chairs etc. for the ceremony at 4.30.  Drinks were set out in the hall, ready for the guests after the ceremony and candles lit in the dining room ready for the bride and guests to arrive.

All photographs were taken by Darima Frampton - www.darimaframpton.com

A guitarist arrived to set up in the corner of the dining room so that he could play as the bride made her entrance, during the ceremony and during drinks afterwards - the bride and groom had met with him beforehand to choose the tunes that they wanted.  They said how helpful he had been. (Peter Richardson - www.guitaristuk.co.uk )

Hayley-Hayley-0160.jpg

The bride arrived to a sea of umbrellas in the porch to find her lovely little bridesmaid waiting for her in the hall.  She was wearing a wonderfully sparkly pair of pink shoes, of which she was hugely proud, and we found sequins round the house for weeks afterwards!  The bride's beautiful bouquet of dried flowers, along with the groom's buttonhole, were ordered from Etsy.  https://www.etsy.com/ie/shop/FlowerDecoupage

The ceremony took place in front of the open French Windows of the dining room.  The rain may have poured down outside but fresh air poured in, making the ceremony as near to outside as possible.

After the ceremony, drinks were served and guests braved the weather to have their photographs taken with the bride and groom on the lawn.  

Hayley-Hayley-0151.jpg

The bride and groom then went off into the gardens to have their photographs taken - boots and umbrellas were the order of the day!  Nothing dampened their smiles.

Photographs taken, the bridal party departed for their wedding breakfast - the end of a fantastic if eventful day.  

Hayley's mother kindly wrote to say a big "Thank You" and said "You made the venue look wonderful, and turned what could have been a disastrous day (dreadful weather!) into an amazing event"  which made all the rushing about well worth it!

Dodging the downpours

Once again, I was checking the BBC Weather site hourly as rain and thunderstorms threatened the day but the bride and groom were determined to get married outside and they did.

Dodging the downpours made for a fabulous, highly organised but totally relaxed wedding weekend.

The marquee was set up on Thursday on the main lawn by DP Marquees, a magnificent traditional shape with one wall of windows.  The bride soon had the family sitting in the sunshine assembling pompoms to decorate the ceiling and these were strung in place by DP's fantastic team.  www.dpmarquees.co.uk

Large numbers of friends and relations descended on Shillingstone House on Friday, each with their allotted task, and bunting was strung round the walls of the marquee and tables were laid.  

Garden flowers, some from the Bride’s parent’s garden and some provided by Martha and the Meadow ( www.marthaandthemeadow.com ) were arranged in beautiful blue pots in the centre of each table.   The pots were made by the bride who sells them at Winchester market and the Downton Cuckoo Fair.  She kindly gave us one as a thank you so it is a wedding we will always remember. (https://www.emilyspaintedpottery.com )

Little personal touches - packets of hankies, confetti, and piles of blankets – were all around.  

 “Jonboy’s” bar (shown above), decorated with fairy lights and more flowers, was assembled in one corner and a wonderful selection of sweets opposite.

In the garden, the gazebo had a garland hung over the entrance, made by the family, who also placed two beautiful pots of agapanthus on either side.  The aisle was marked with haybales and troughs of flowers grown by the bride’s aunt. Other troughs were arranged by the steps and on the lawns.  Haybales were put out for guests to sit on by the marquee and round the fire pit in the field for use in the evening.  (Haybales from www.vinesclosefarm.com/ )

The couple had printed sheets for the guests giving details of the ceremony and timings for the party afterwards.  On the back was a beautiful watercolour of Shillingstone House done by the bride - another wonderful keepsake for us.

Before leaving for pre-wedding dinners, the family practiced for the following day with the bride given her clipboard to represent her bouquet.  

The family stayed in an Hotel in Cranborne the night before and dressed there the following day.

Saturday saw the arrival of the cake, an amazing creation of lemon drizzle and vanilla sponge and covered with real flowers, made by a family friend.

The groomsmen arrived to set out the chairs.  The weather forecast was fine for the morning.  No sooner were they in place and they had left to change than the heavens opened.  In and out went the cushions! On their return, the groomsmen mopped the chairs and got them ready for the final time.

As the time for the ceremony approached it poured again.  Luckily the registrars were not rushing to another wedding and were happy to delay until the sun shone which it did and the bride had her wish of an outside ceremony.  Guests gathered in the sunshine, wet seats removed to under chairs as the bride came across the lawn on her father's arm.  Alice Raey sang quite beautifully to the acoustic guitar during the service.  (https://www.facebook.com/alicereay/ )

Guests assembled on the lawn for drinks and canapés while the bride and groom had their photographs taken by Claudia Vye who has been several times to Shillingstone and takes brilliant photographs -   Claudia took all the photographs NOT marked with a spot which are in house ones.  

https://www.violetpearlphotography.com 

Alice continued to play and sing as the guests mingled -all songs chosen by the bride and groom.   Photographs over, guests retired to the marquee for speeches followed by an amazing meal by The Tickled Pig, who also run a highly recommended restaurant in Wimborne.    www.thetickledpig.co.uk                                

 

Pudding took the form of wedding cake and an “Orio Cheesecake” made by the bride’s mother.  People the next day were asking for the recipe of the latter as it was so good.

The band arrived from London ( https://www.alreadylegends.com ) Amongst their repertoire they played some wonderful 60’s music so we were happy inside! The dance floor filled and the party continued to midnight. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

 

During their break at 9.30, The Tickled Pig served a huge dish of seafood paella which looked incredible. The staff were here way past midnight clearing up – they had done an amazing job as they had manned the bar as well as serving the food.

At midnight, the music might have stopped but the party hadn’t, as the campers moved to the field and settled round a blazing fire in the firepit where they sang until about 1.30 before retiring to the bell tents put up once again by New Forest Bell Tents. The bride had a bridal tent provided by them and her parents slept in ours with the Indian hangings. (www.newforestbelltents.co.uk ).

Sunday, sleepy campers were revived by Canadian pancakes cooked by the bride’s mother which were hugely welcome and utterly delicious – filled with blueberries and covered with maple syrup.

The end to an amazing weekend – many happy tears were spilt before they all left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Really relaxed but highly organised wedding

Once again I was checking the BBC Weather site hourly as rain and thunderstorms threatened the day but the bride and groom were determined to get married outside and they did.

The marquee was set up on Thursday on the main lawn by DP Marquees, a magnificent traditional shape with one wall of windows.  The bride had the family sitting in the sunshine making pompoms to decorate the ceiling and these were strung in place by DP. 

Large numbers of friends and relations descended on Shillingstone House on Friday, each with their allotted task, and bunting was strung round the walls of the marquee and tables were laid.  

Garden flowers, some from the Bride’s parent’s garden and some provided by Martha and the Meadow ( www.marthaandthemeadow.com ) were arranged in beautiful blue pots in the centre of each table.   The pots were made by the bride who sells them at Winchester market and the Downton Cuckoo Fair.  She kindly gave us one as a thank you so it is a wedding we will always remember. (https://www.emilyspaintedpottery.com )

Little personal touches - packets of hankies, confetti, and piles of blankets – were all around. 

 “Jonboy’s” bar, decorated with fairy lights and more flowers, was assembled in one corner and a wonderful selection of sweets on one side.

In the garden, the gazebo had a garland hung over the entrance, made by the family, who also placed two beautiful pots of agapanthus on either side.  The aisle was marked with haybales and troughs of flowers grown by the bride’s aunt. Other troughs were arranged by the steps and on the lawns.  Haybales were put out for guests to sit on by the marquee and round the fire pit in the field for use in the evening.  (Haybales from www.vinesclosefarm.com/ )

Before leaving for family dinners, they practised for the following day. 

Saturday saw the arrival of the cake, an amazing creation of lemon drizzle and vanilla sponge and covered with real flowers, made by a family friend.

The groomsmen arrived to set out the chairs.  The weather forecast was fine for the morning.  No sooner were they in place and they had left to change than the heavens opened.  In and out went the cushions! On their return, the groomsmen mopped the chairs and got them ready for the final time.

As the time for the ceremony approached it poured again.  Luckily the registrars were not rushing to another wedding and were happy to delay until the sun shone which it did and the bride had her wish of an outside ceremony.  Alice Raey sang quite beautifully to the acoustic guitar. (https://www.facebook.com/alicereay/ )

Guests gathered on the lawn for drinks and canapes while the bride and groom had their photographs taken by Claudia Vye who has been several times to Shillingstone and takes brilliant photographs. ( www.claudiavye.com)  Alice continued to play and sing as the guests mingled -all songs chosen by the bride and groom.   Photographs over, guests retired to the marquee for speeches followed by an amazing meal  by The Tickled Pig, who also run a restaurant in Wimborne.  ( www.thetickledpig.co.uk )

Pudding took the form of wedding cake and an “Orio Cheesecake” made by the bride’s mother.  People the next day were asking for the recipe of the latter it was so good.

The band arrived from London ( https://www.alreadylegends.com ) Amongst their repertoire they played some wonderful 60’s music so we were happy inside! The dance floor filled and the party continued to midnight. 

During their break at 9.30, The Tickled Pig served a huge dish of seafood paella which looked incredible. The staff were here way past midnight clearing up – masterminded by Claire, they had done an amazing job as they had manned the bar as well as serving the food.

At midnight, the music might have stopped but the party hadn’t, as the campers moved to the field and settled round a blazing fire in the firepit where they sang until about 1.30 before retiring to the bell tents put up once again by New Forrest Bell Tents. The bride had a bridal tent provided by them and her parents slept in ours with the Indian hangings. (www.newforestbelltents.co.uk ).

Sunday, sleepy campers were revived by American pancakes cooked by the bride’s parents which were hugely welcome – filled with blueberries and covered with maple syrup.

The end to an amazing weekend – many happy tears before they all left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wedding with a difference

This was a wedding with a difference as the bride was determined to put her marquee in the field and look back at the house through a sea of fairy lights.  This nearly did not happen as rain had rendered the field wet and slippery but the gods were with her and the field dried out and her dream came true. 

Sean from Affordable Marquees was hugely helpful, extending the tent and lending extra bits etc.  He and his team strung lights from the trees and created the atmosphere that the bride had wanted.  ( www.affordablemarquees.com )

 

The groom had a very well trained set of groomsmen who were in charge of putting out the chairs and other last minute decorations.  They all looked extremely smart with incredibly shiny shoes!

The ceremony took place outside in the gazebo which had been beautifully decorated by the bride and the groom's mother and Aunt with a garland of white silk and real flowers.  With the weather uncertain, they had put up a small tent in front ofthe gazebo and they strung white and silver bunting made by the groom's aunt from the roof.  Ivy wound round the poles and tulle was tied to each of the chairs - quite a challenge to keep in place in the wind.

 

The bride arrived in a vintage car and was met in the drive by the registrars.  Before joining her bridegroom,  she and her bridesmaids had some wonderful photographs taken by Jason Perkins who took all the photographs marked with a small spot. http://www.jasonperkinsphotography.co.uk/

The bride wore an amazing circle of flowers on her head, made by Rustic Rose in Sturminster Newton who also made her beautiful bouquet.  As she crossed the lawn to the gazebo, her lace edged train spread out behind her.  www.rusticrose.co.uk/

_DSF2408-Edit headdress.jpg

The Alani-quartet played during the ceremony -   http://alani-quartet.co.uk/

After the ceremony guests mingled on the lawns while formal but not too formal photographs were taken before the bride and groom left to have more amazingphotographs taken in the grounds.

Photographs over guests moved to the Marquee where the flower theme continued.

The bride had placed a tall silver candelabra in the centre of each table and decorated each one with a candle and flowers.  Yards more of the white and silver bunting was strung from the roof of the marquee and in the garden.   The bride had also made a beautiful, large wreath which Sean and his team had hung from the ceiling of the tent.

 

 

The cake was made by the bride’s Aunt and had pride of place in the marquee

_DSF2372-Edit cake.jpg

The bride and groom had borrowed our Photo-booth Frame which proved very popular and to which they had added a camera, a book for comments and their initials in flowers.  Their table plans were equally beautifully presented with flowers draped over the corner and a crate of lilies below.

Behind the tent a street food market was in place for guests to chose their food from.  Chase Mobile Bars had set up their gazebo and this had been joined by Lee from Rebel Town Pizzzas.  Ben from Hog Roast BBQ had his barbeque and hog roast and crepes and waffles were available from Crepe N Waffle Stop.  The guests all said the food was absolutely delicious.     www.crepenwafflestop.co.uk  -  www.rebeltownpizza.co.uk http://www.chasebars.co.uk  - https://www.hogroastbbq.com

 

Guests collected their food before sitting down to eat formally.

 

During the meal a surprise guest turned up - the groom's favourite actor Ricky Gervais aka the look alike Tim Oliver. tim@rickygervaislookalike.com

 

As evening guests arrived and the light darkened the bride and groom went out to have some last photographs taken in the field beside the marquee.

_DSF3292-Edit.jpg

 

The party continued to midnight, dancing to the music of CCL Sound and Light who kindly supplied the photograph below. (http://cclsoundandlight.co.uk/ )

 

With their guests gone, the bride and bride groom retired to the wall garden to spend the night in our Wedding Bell Tent.  The bride had put a huge amount of time into organising every last detail of the day and with the help of family and friends this really paid off, it was a wonderful "wedding with a difference!"

Amazing attention to detail really paid off on the day!

The bride's sister was married at Shillingstone last year so it was wonderful to welcome the family back.  A very different style of wedding but just as beautiful.

Western Marquees provided the marquee.  The vast windows of their new clear span tent filled the space with light.  Containers of flowers and plants arranged by the family welcomed guests at the entrance.

The weather was dicey so the marquee was placed quite close to the Gazebo in case of rain but the sun shone and the chairs were set for an outside ceremony as planned.  The simple but beautiful flowers on the gazebo and the baskets on the tables were arranged by Emma from Martha and the Meadow.  She also created the bride's bouquet which was made up of the same old rose colours as the table decorations and was stunning.  ( https://www.marthaandthemeadow.com/ )

The bride had take huge trouble to get everything perfect on the tables and laid them herself. 

Inside the marquee the bride and groom had thought of all their guests with toys for the younger ones.  Later the lawn filled with bubbles!  Photographs and mementos had been put out with a tray for guests to put their wishes of good luck.

The bride came across the lawns on her father's arm to join her bridegroom at the gazebo.

The Ceremony finished the guests mingled on the lawns with their drinks before sitting down for a delicious Wedding Breakfast cooked by Indulge, a catering company from Shaftesbury.   The puddings had been made by the bride's family. (www.indulgebakery.co.uk/private-catering )

The sun continued to shine and croquet was set up on the lawn, with both adult and child-sized mallets provided and there was much happy laughter as the children played with this or footballs in the fields.

As the sun went down, Evelyn and the Vipers started playing a contemporary mix of jazz, swing and modern pop rock which really got the guests up and dancing.  Alba the singer has a beautiful voice.  The band had offered to learn a first dance song and the groom said their cover of Home was fantastic!  ( http://www.evelynandthevipers.co.uk/ )  

IMG_500.jpg

The evening was warm enough for guests to dance on the lawn until midnight. The party over, many of the guests moved to the camping area.   There, settled on hay-bales round our fire-pit, the party continued until 3am!  The bride and bridegroom went to their bell tent in the walled garden and their guests to the festival of bell tents put up by Land and Wave from Swanage.       ( www.landandwave.co.uk )

IMG_002.jpg

Sunday brought glorious weather and the party started again, when, with most of the wedding cleared, they relaxed on the lawn with croissants, and bacon butties cooked up on the barbeque by the bridegroom and his friends, not leaving until tea time. 

Thank you so much for sharing your home with us, we had a truly amazing weekend which has made memories we shall cherish forever! V and B

 

 

Wonderful Family Wedding

The bride and groom had put a huge amount of planning and effort into getting everything ready for their wedding.  Sadly, they were badly let down by the Party Gazebos that they had bought.  Family and friends to the rescue!  A larger gazebo was lent and the wedding was on again.

An army of friends and relations descended and beautiful hand-made paper pompoms were hung, black material lined the ceiling, fairy lights, disco balls and spotlights were strung and pink tulle was twisted round the poles and all in time for the ceremony.

The bridegroom's mother had made a very smart post box for the good wishes cards.

DSC_0965.JPG

 

The groom and his team set out the tables and the chairs and put the final touches to the tent and then nervously awaited the bride.

DSC_0331.JPG

 

When she arrived, she was dressed in blue!  She looked amazing.  She walked across the lawn on her father's arm to the gazebo in the garden proceeded by her two bridesmaids and tiny page. 

Drinks on the lawn and photographs followed the ceremony -

bouqet.jpg

 

The wedding breakfast was entirely catered for by the mothers of the Bride and Groom and the Bride's grandmother. The bride's mother had made the wedding cake, a towering pile of cupcakes.

cake.jpg

 

The bar, provided by Southern Mobile Bars from Blandford,  was set up in the corner of the tent and managed by some very efficient and friendly bar staff.   www.southernmobilebars.co.uk

20170610_160514.jpg

During the speeches the bride's brother, who has an amazing voice, sang "Oh, what a wonderful World" to the couple. 

Speeches finished and the tables were moved to the side to make room for the dancing.  The DJ was another family friend and he kept the party dancing until Midnight. As the lights went off,  guests kept the party going by lighting sparklers.

DSC_0888 (2).JPG

 

The bride and groom spent the night in our Bell Tent in the Walled Garden - the first couple to use the new "Indian" interior.

 

The end to a wonderful family celebration.

The majority of the photographs were taken by Sophie Williams, a family friend, who is hoping to set up as a Wedding photographer.

Perfect Summer Weather

Thursday saw the arrival of a new marquee supplier Marqco Marquees - (www.marqco.co.uk) The bride and groom had chosen the Capri style and each arch was decorated with garlands of roses and ivy provided by Marquo who also assembled the most beautiful rustic tables and outside bar with pallets from India.

The bride's mother had spent many hours making the most beautiful ties for the backs of the chairs and runners for the tables.  The dark hessian went perfectly with the dark brown chairs and the dark wood of the tables.  She also made ties for the serving tables outside in the garden..

Friday brought the arrival of Land and Wave with bell tents for the guests who wanted to hire these rather an bringing their own tents or camper vans. The playgrounds took on a festival air.  The bell tents hadfurnishings and inflatable beds if guests wanted these. Some guests stayed on Friday night as well as Saturday.  (www.landandwave.co.uk)

Parents from both sides, friends and relations arrived bearing car loads of props to decorate the marquee and grounds. Even the groom's father's bicycle was enlisted.

Emma from Martha and the Meadows started to transform the Gazebo into a stunning wedding bower.  She returned on Saturday morning to put the finishing touches in place.  She also created the beautiful wedding bouquets and wreaths for the hair of the bride and bridesmaids and bunched the flowers for the tables and the sides of the aisle.   The latter were place in jars carefully ringed with hessian, lace and ribbons by the bride's mother. (www.marthaandthemeadow.com)

Saturday brought the bridegroom and helpers to set up the chairs and glasses for the reception drinks.  They placed service sheets on each chair.  These had the most beautiful water colour on the outer cover,  depicting the gate on the ha-ha, and  executed by one of the bridesmaids . The lovely champagne glasses for the toast came from Forget-me-not Vintage who are based in Dorset. ( http://www.forget-me-not-vintage.co.uk/home.html)

The bride arrived just before midday to see the registrars in the dining room before the ceremony. She looked stunning with flowers in her hair and a wonderful floating dress. Her six bridesmaids were all in cream but in dresses that they had chosen themselves. The overall look was very Grecian.

The bride and her father crossed the lawn to the gazebo for the ceremony, preceded by her bridesmaids.

A family friend played the piano during the ceremony and the bride's sister and the best man did readings.

Kasia from Peppermint Love Photography took over 3,000 amazing photographs during the day, staying until the party ended. www.peppermintlovephotography.com  (The ones marked with a dot are in-house photographs)

After the ceremony the guests mingled on the lawn and were treated to a display from the Wessex Morris Men as the groom's father is one of the team. One guest said as they stood on the lawn watching the Morris Men - "When I die and go to heaven, I hope that it will be just like this!"

By now the sun was really hot and guests gathered in the shade to have their picnic lunches served from hampers. The hampers and picnic rugs, like the champagne glasses came from Forget-me-not Vintage.

The Bride is a vegetarian, so Cashew Catering, a vegetarian/vegan catering company from Brighton came to set up their kitchen. (They also do raw food.) They cooked both the main and evening meals. The evening meal was a delicious selection of kebabs served with olives and salads.(www.cashewcatering.co.uk)

 

Lunch finished, guests emerged from the shade of the trees to try riding the "wobbly" bicycle, make huge bubbles or just wander in the grounds with a cooling drink from the bar. (if you look closely at the picture by the bar you will see an enormous bubble floating by!) The children tried their hand at cricket or foot ball in the fields, undeterred by the heat.

Formal, but wonderfully informal, group pictures taken, the bride and groom were whisked off by Kasia into the gardens for photographs, with more taken in the evening when it was cooler and there were less shadows.

An incredible array of cakes appeared for tea, crowned by a towering wedding cake made by Cashew Catering.  Tea was drunk from vintage china collected over the last year by the bride's mother.

Speeches followed and with the sun still shining these took place by the gazebo.  The band "Pulled Strings" played for the rest of the celebrations(https://www.facebook.com/)

A friend had brought their drone to the wedding and this took some wonderful pictures from high in the sky.

As darkness fell and the band continued to play outside, they danced on the lawn as it was still so beautifully warm!  A first for Shillingstone, and recorded for ever in the evocative images shot by Kasia.

Midnight brought the end to the music but not to the celebrations.  The bride and groom were led to the Fire Bowl in the field by a Sparkler Procession ending in a triumphal arch of light.

Guests drifted away to their tents or their beds leaving a few really close friends to chat into the early hours. The bride and groom spent the night in our bell tent in the walled garden.

 

Sunday brought the great tidy up as everything was packed away into cars and trailers with the groom's father's bicycle leaving last on the roof!

The end of a magical weekend. 

 

 

Triumph over the weather!

The weather forecast during the week leading up to the wedding was appalling but the bride and groom were amazingly laid back about it and planned for the worst! 

Friday saw a team of helpers descend on the marquee.  This was provided by Western Marquees - www.westernmarquees.co.uk/- who had provided our first marquee and suggested that we start a wedding venue!  With the weather in mind they kindly provided extra carpet between the tent and the drive. The marquee was lined in ivory and hand made bunting loaned from a friend was looped across the ceiling.  A beautiful daisy light hung like a huge dandelion head in the centre. 

The bridegroom's mother had grown the most beautiful hanging baskets which were arranged on special stands in the marquee and looked stunning. 

Trestle tables were placed in a U shape and the tables decorated with a hessian runner and jars of garden flowers arranged by the bride's Aunt.

The bride had created many wonderful finishing touches over the previous year with the aid of the addictive  "Pinterest".  She said that unpacking them from storage was like an early Christmas!  She had written all their notices in perfect script.  A table was dedicated to those who could not be at the wedding including photographs of grandparents who are no longer with them.

They had thought of everything-  an allergy to wasps by one of the guests was solved by garden cloches over each cake!

The bride arrived in a car that had once belonged to her father and which had been the pride and joy of a close family friend who had owned it since new.

The wedding ceremony for twenty five close friends and family took place in the dining room of Shillingstone House.  Chairs were brought from the marquee and the room was decorated with jars of flowers from the marquee.  The bride looked amazing with a stunning crown of flowers in her hair created by Jessie Copper of West Dorset Wedding Flowers - westdorsetweddingflowers.co.uk

Guests moved from the ceremony to the marquee for tea where the most wonderful array of cakes had been provided by Sturminster Marshall Evening WI where the bride's aunt is president.

A Gazebo was set up beside the marquee by The Perfect Pig, Hog Roast and Barbecue Co., run by a husband and wife team.  Arrangements were made, in case the rain did not stop in time, for the evening guests to come and fetch their food but in the end the skies cleared. http://www.theperfectpig.co.uk.

 

Guests could then wander in the gardens where more decorations had been hung in the trees

With the sun shining , wonderfully natural and happy photographs in the grounds were taken by Claudia Vye from Claudia Vye Photography (who took all those in the blog not marked with a dot)  www.claudiavye.com

The party continued until midnight, dancing to the sound of Sam EB, DJ from Middleman Solutions, (http://middlemansolutions.co.uk) when many of the guests retired to their tents in the grounds including the bride and groom who slept in our bridal Bell Tent in the walled garden.

Brunch was provided the next morning before the great tidy up took place!

 

Blessing and celebrations!

The Bride and Groom married abroad a few weeks earlier and came to Shilingstone to share this event with a Humanist blessing in front of their family and friends.

The ceremony took place overlooking the fields with everyone gathered round them.  The bride looked wonderful with her hair swept up and kept in place with a stunning clip.  She arrived in a VW camper van called Betty.

The celebrations were masterminded by her cousin, Claire Miles, who used to be a wedding co-ordinator.  She arranged all the flowers and lent many of the props.  Family and friends rallied round on the Friday to make sure that marquee looked perfect.

 

The marquee was provided by Dorset Party Marquees. They had been involved with the Chalke Valley History Festival the week before where the mud rivalled Glastonbury.  All the chairs had to be washed before they would be used.! (www.dpmarquees.co.uk)

The ceremony took place at 1.00 and tea followed,  served by Bethell Bridges Bakery - http://www.bethellbridge.co.uk.  The wedding cake, which had three different layers - one a surprise for the bride - was baked by https://cakes-by-christine.co.uk 

Afterwards guests wandered in the gardens and children played in the fields, playground and lawns where games such as Giant Jenga were set up.  The bride and groom were taken off for photographs by Sam from New Forest Studio - http://www.newforeststudio.com. (He took all the photographs not marked with a dot) He loved the old doors in the gardens when he wandered round before the wedding and managed to sneak them into the photographs!

 

The evening guests were treated to a hog roast by Julian Else, Butchers from Stalbridge - www.hostaroast.com  The bar was run by Tom's Bespoke Bartending Company - www.tomsbespokebartendingco.com

Salamanda Rock -http://www.salamanderrock.co.uk/ -  provided the music and dancing went on until Midnight. 

 

The bride and groom retired to the Walled garden to spend the night in our Bridal Bell Tent.  Other guests camped in the playground.

Brunch was provided for sleepy guests the next morning before helping to tidy up.  Straw bales had been used for some of the seating in the garden and the temptation for the children to make them into a castle was too much!  Straw everywhere - kindly raked up by the groom and friends.

And so ended a wonderful, relaxed weekend.  Many guests commented on the gardens which were still awash with roses and Kerry kindly posted on our facebook page -

"Stunning location. Fantastic day. Couldn't have chosen a more beautiful venue. Thank you for allowing us to use your gorgeous gardens to make such a wonderful day."

 

 

 

 

 

Out with a bang! Last wedding of 2016

Our last wedding of 2016 literally went out with a bang as they had arranged for fireworks to be let off to music at 10.00 pm.  Somewhat larger and noisier than expected but fantastic. www.euphoria-pyrotechnics.co.uk

(photograph taken by Belinda McCarthy- www. belindamccarthy.co.uk who took all the amazing photographs marked with a dot.  All others are in house.)

(photograph taken by Belinda McCarthy- www. belindamccarthy.co.uk who took all the amazing photographs marked with a dot.  All others are in house.)

A huge marquee - www.dpmarquees.co.uk -  went up in front of the house, covering most of the lawn.  DP did an amazing job and Ollie and his team were there from 8am to 9.30pm.  A white carpet gave a real feeling of spaciousness and the sofas, lighting etc .gave it a real "wow" factor!

Friday saw the decorations arrive.  First 10 trees for the marquee!  Hired from Castle Gardens in Sherborne  - http://www.thegardeneronline.co.uk - and later festooned with little white lights, they were a wonderful touch.

Car-loads of beautiful things arrived from Linen and Lace.  Again Sam and Sarah were there until late on Friday evening making sure the effect was perfect.  They provided everything from the candlesticks and decorations on the tables to the post-box in the entry hall and spent hours tying drapes on the chairs.  http://www.linenandlacehire.co.uk

The Florist, Katy and her team from Rustic Rose, in Sturminster Newton  - www.rusticrose.co.uk -  first added the most amazing flowers to the candlesticks on each table and to the small tea glasses and vases (provided by Linen and Lace) dotted round the tent. 

The bride and groom added their own touches with round each glass with their guests' names engraved on them, plus mini Yankee "Wedding Candles" for the ladies and personalised playing cards for the men.  The children all had individual bags of goodies. The bride had also thought of every comfort for the ladies with shawls to keep them warm and flip-flops for sore feet!

The finished effect when all was in place was stunning!

The bride was determined they were going to get married in the gazebo despite the threatened storms so, tent finished,  Katy moved with her flowers to the lower lawn. First a huge heart made of eucalyptus was safely pinned in position, then she laid a rope of eucalyptus down each side of the "aisle", finally covering the front of the gazebo with the most amazing arrangement - so large that the registrar can be seen peaking out underneath during the ceremony! 

Saturday dawned and a final decision to go ahead with an outside ceremony was made about ten minutes before the bride arrived when the groom and guests moved out the benches from their storage place in the gazebo. The Bride and Groom met with the Registrars in the dining room of the house.  The bride arrived in a vintage car that once belonged to her late father.

The bride, who looked terrified, was given away by her mother, but as soon as she joined the groom at the gazebo a huge smile came over her face!  A beautiful ceremony followed with Dan Baker providing the accompanying music - http://www.danbakermusic.co.uk- As they finished the signing of the register, the heavens opened and everyone had to dash for the marquee.

Dan Baker continued to play as the guests drank Pimms or cocktails served by Dorset Fine Dining (see details further on)  and despite the rain guests drifted out to the photo booth on the drive - in this case a mini vintage caravan manned by Hello Sweet Pea - The photograph below is from a previous wedding here when it was dry enough to drive onto the lawn - info@hellosweetpea.co.uk

 

The wedding breakfast was served at 4.00.  This was a fantastic two course meal cooked by Nick and his team from Dorset Fine Dining.  Sharing pies were followed by meringue roulade to die for! We joined the party for the breakfast so I can verify this - chocolate and berries one end and lemon curd the other - http://www.dorsetfinedining.co.uk - They also provided the food later in the evening - fish finger sandwiches, pulled pork rolls, a falafel bar and chocolate roll for pudding!  Quote from the bride " I can't recommend Nick highly enough!  He really was amazing!"

The wine and prosecco were from Yeovil Majestic who, the bride said, were very helpful and knowledgeable  and gave them a free tasting and free delivery.  The champagne for the toast was from Langham Wine Estate, near Dorchester,  (www.langhamwine.co.uk).

During the breakfast, David Willmott - http://www.davidwillmott.com - came round each table with magic tricks - so close but still impossible to see how he managed to take us in.  Music continued throughout the meal with Johnny Stephens (Rat Pack and Swing) - email -  johnny_holmes_uk@yahoo.co.uk - serenading us with a great selection of old favourites chosen by the bridal couple

Innervision a live 5 piece band from Salisbury - http://www.innervisioninfo.co.uk -and a disco by Andy Martin from Alive Network (0845-094-3815) played alternately until the witching hour of midnight.   Both band and disco will cater for any genre of music and they certainly hit the right sound that night as the dance floor filled with guests of all ages.  The disco lights gave the tent a magical look from outside.

The cake was cut for the evening meal - a wonderful towering creation made by the bride's twin sister.

Every effort had been made to keep guests amused with a casino - Viva Las Vegas - http://www.vivalasvegasuk.com - set up at one end of the marquee where black jack and roulette were available.  Proper chips could be exchanged for tokens given out to each guest to the "value" of £50.  I lost mine very quickly but not without some spectacular wins and much enjoyment. I wish I could show you some of the pictures of the guests as they lost or won - some wonderful action photographs were taken by Belinda. 

At midnight the bride and groom departed for Plumber Manor - the bridegroom was not keen to spend the night under canvas!  Some guests, however, were braver and repaired to their tents in the grounds - some to their own and some to bell tents put up by Honeybells - www.honeybells.co.uk

The party did not finish there, with guests returning the following day for a barbeque cooked, once again, by Dorset Fine Dining.  The rain had stopped and guests could explore the gardens.  Pinstripe Volcano had been engaged to play during lunch but sadly this turned out to be a rock band and wonderful as their sound was we had to cut their time short - too loud to ask the village to listen over Sunday lunch - https://www.facebook.com/pinstripevolcano

The bride had said that she wanted her wedding to be a wonderful party and without doubt it was that and more!

 

 

 

 

 

Smart and Beautifully Crafted Cufflinks

The perfect present for the bridegroom has come to our notice this week and we felt we had to let you know about them as soon as possible.

Buchanan and Wilmot produce beautifully crafted cufflinks using high quality industrial machinery.  "Our products have a subtle elegance which is designed to stand the test of time. Made from titanium, brass, gold and silver, our cufflinks have a simple but effortlessly easy to use design which is as robust as it is beautiful."  To fully understand the intricacy of their manufacturing process you must go to their website.  http://www.buchanan-wilmot.com/ 

 

You can, at present, have initials or a date engraved on the back and the company are working towards using personalised initials on the front.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simple but beautiful

The bride was very insistent that she wanted a "No Faff" wedding and that was what she achieved and the simplicity was really beautiful.  Careful planning meant that everything was in place months before.  The bride had planted some large glass bowls for every table and this and the wonderful lighting in the Capri tent that they had chosen was all that was needed. (www.dpmarquees.co.uk )

The wedding was remarkably relaxed and had a wonderfully happy feel to it.  The gardens were looking at their best with all the roses in full bloom.

102_1562.JPG

The bride and groom met the Registrars in the dining room before the ceremony.

 

Friends and relations gathered by the gazebo before taking their seats as the bride crossed the lawn towards them.

 

The ceremony was conducted by Dorchester Registrars

 

 

Wonderful photographs were taken in the grounds by Adrian Feltham - email - adrianfelthamphotography@gmail.com - who took all those not marked with a white dot.

 

Photographs taken, guests retired to the tent for tea, produced by Littleton Caterers - Kathryn Fewings, Manor Farm Littleton, Somerton, Somerset TA11 6NP. Tel: 01458-272-741.  Marks and Spencers had produced the most beautiful cake.

 

The band started to play quite early.  With the side of the tent removed round the dance floor, "Johnnie be Good" floated down to the village who loved it!  http://www.RiptideBand.co.uk  -All ages took to the dance floor -  

 

The evening meal took the form of pizzas freshly baked in a Pizza oven set up on the drive by Pizza Dragon - http://www.pizzadragon.co.uk.  Luckily they had an awning as the skies opened just as they began serving.  It did not seem to dampen the appetites of those queuing and the pizzas were deemed delicious.

Dancing continued until midnight when some of the guests retired to the bell tents put up for them by Honey Bells - www.honeybells.co.uk  The bridal tent was complete with a tented bed!

 

A barbeque breakfast was provided the next day before everyone helped to clear away.  The end to a wonderful weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art Group Visit

Thursday 14th July saw the arrival of the Poole and East Dorset Art Society.  Twelve members set up their easels in the garden with some wonderful results.  Huge choice of subject from the wheelbarrows by the potting shed to the vintage scales by the stables, from the walled garden to the Catalpa tree on the lawn.  They very generously gave £4 each to charity and I sent £48 off to Home Start North Dorset, a charity I work closely with. 

 

 

First Wedding of 2016!

We were amazingly lucky with the weather - storms predicted - but the bride was determined that she would get married outside and her faith in the weather paid off!

It was a wonderfully calm, family wedding.  The bride works with children and she made sure that they had a fantastic time - from toys attached to their chairs in the Marquee to making full use of the grounds - playing football on the lawn, riding on the tractor etc.

Affordable Marquees,  ( http://www.affordable-marquees.com)  who have been to Shillingstone many times in the past, provided a brand new tent with brand new linings and it looked wonderful.  The family decorated the inside with ivy up the poles and lovely finishing touches such as a sweet stall.  Flowers were arranged very simply but very effectively in jam jars and cellophane by Jane Edmonds from Penselwood - http://www.edmondsandhoward.co.uk/- where they grow their own flowers.

The bride's mother had made and iced not one but two cakes.  One stunning traditional one and one for the Bridegroom who is a Bournemouth supporter.

Tea and Pimms followed the ceremony, served from vintage china collected by the family over the last year.  Tom Clements serenaded the guests from the Gazebo. (http://www.tomclements.co.uk)

The bride and bridegroom went to have their photographs taken by Emma a family friend. (She took the ones without a dot - the others were taken in house) She managed to sneak one of Michael and myself taking photographs of the Ceremony out of the window!

Later in the evening they were treated to a feast from "Eat Like A Greek" -  - who provided wraps and salads which the bride said were fantastic.  Drink had been bought by the family and the bar was kept going by Tom, another family friend. www.eatlikeagreek.co.uk

Food finished and the serious dancing started! The band - http://www.facebook.com/thezigzagband - was fronted by the groom's uncle who is the lead singer.  The dance floor was packed all evening.

With midnight, the music ended but the campers continued to party round the Fire Pit in the field until they retired to their tents about 1.00pm.  The bride and groom spent the night in the walled garden in our new bell tent which they luckily said was extremely comfortable!

The following day the campers - there were at least 20 tents set up in the playground - gathered for bacon and egg butties. Later, after relaxing in the sun they had lunch cooked on a barbeque kindly loaned by the Gillingham Hockey Club which the bride plays for - seen below decorated by a huge bunch of balloons (a present to the bride's father).  The children found these wonderful but some of them ended up in the trees as strings escaped from small hands! Still there 24 hours later, a lovely reminder of a perfect weekend.

New Candle votive glasses to lend

A wonderful family friend has really kindly given us 72 votive for couples to borrow if they fit their theme! 

 

102_1576.JPG

 

We have also got two rustic cake stands, yards of bunting, a fire bowl and photo booth frame.

David leaves :(

David Lewis has been helping us in the garden for over 9 years but has decided that he must now concentrate on his other profession - photography.  He has been taking fantastic wedding photographs for many years but is beginning to enter the world of commercial photography.

We are devastated as he has been a key part of making the gardens what they are today - enormously knowledgeable and incredibly flexible - pruning the wisteria on a high ladder one day and putting up the wedding tent the next/picking figs or planting carrots!  We will miss him enormously but wish him well in his new career.

 

 

Wedding Night Tent

Our 5 metre Bell Tent is up and running!  Fully furnished with a double bed, chairs, storage rugs etc., it  has been tried and tested and found to be very comfortable.  It is already much in demand for this summer's couples - at £50 a night it is a bargain!

We had great trouble finding the rugs that we wanted until we saw Lidl advertising blue and white striped ones.  We visited four shops on our way back from Cornwall to try and buy some - all sold out.  Then the wonderful Manager of Lidl in Bridport, Paula, ran some to ground in Gillingham and reserved them - huge thank you to her!

So far it has been set up in the Walled garden but you can place it in the playground if you prefer.

 

 

New wonderful suppliers!

Too long since I last blogged!  We went to a wonderful lunch party a short while ago and found some brilliant new suppliers to add to our list.

Prosecco was on tap from a mini van - Bubble Bros run by Ben Broad - http://www.bubblebros.co.uk - ice cold and delicious.

Lunch was set out in a really beautiful marquee - light and airy, with an Indian theme.  Roland Vernon - Apex Marquee in Bruton - www.apexmarquees.co.uk

Last but by no means least, the food!  This was amazing - an incredible seafood spread followed by gluten free brownies to die for!  Nomad Food - www.nomadfood.co.uk - just perfect for a summer lunch but they have a wide menu choice. 

A million thanks to our hosts for fantastic afternoon in the sun!

 

 

Need a wedding planner??

I had a meeting a few weeks ago with a wedding planner, Kayleigh Hartey from Dream Designs Dorset.  I know that some people come and visit Shillingstone House and panic at the idea of finding suppliers and bringing it all together on the day and perhaps may want to use this service.

Kayleigh and her team will help you plan the whole thing, working closely with you and your ideas, or will step in the month before and take over the responsibility of making sure everything runs like clockwork from that moment on.

I have not got first hand experience of Kayleigh's work but she was very kind about Shillingstone House and would love to work here!  Have a look at her website - http://www.dreamdesignsdorset.com or give her a ring on 07444169118.

Below is a review from a recent client.

 

 

NEW FLORIST JOINS THE TEAM AT SHILLINGSTONE HOUSE

Martha and the Meadow is a wedding and event florist who has just started to trade from Shillingstone and I can thoroughly recommend her! I have seen her work both here and in the Christmas Decorations at Stourhead.  She creates beautiful and naturally styled flowers which are perfect for the Country House Weddings that we hold here a Shillingstone House.  Emma Whicher an experienced florist, who will work closely with you, using your ideas and colours to create something that is unique for you.  Take a look at her website for more information - http://www.marthaandthemeadow.com