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.
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.
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.