Our first wedding of the summer brought the new Petal Marquee from Affordable Marquees - www.affordable-marquees.com/ The bridal couple had chosen to put this up in the field facing the house. It looked wonderful despite the dark skies and showers of rain.
Rain and thunderstorms were forecast so Sean from Affordable Marquees put up an extra cover in front of the gazebo where the ceremony was due to take place.
On Friday friends and relations arrived to decorate and put everything in place. The couple had ordered an extra large marquee with sofas at one end so that IF it rained everyone would be comfortable
Large coloured paper balls had been hung by the marquee company from the ceiling.
The couple had borrowed our Photo booth frame and provided props and a camera. This proved very popular on Saturday evening.
The tables were named after cities of the world. The tags on the tables collapsed overnight but were quickly revived by being ironed in the house on Saturday morning!
Guests had a photograph of themselves on their places, along with a little box of sweets decorated to look like a suitcase. Children had the added bonus of a special colouring book.
A post box was provided for wishes of good luck and a bar set up in the corner. Flip flops appeared in a box for sore feet and an umbrella stand was positioned by the entrance in case of rain.
A huge amount of thought and preparation had gone on over the months prior to the wedding - decorations for the tent and tables etc - which made the atmosphere on Friday seem remarkably stress free and fun.
The gazebo was festooned in silk ivy by the groom's parents who added pink pots of flowers to the "bird cages" and along the front. (bird cages also provided by Winterborne Vintage)
With everything in place, the bride and her bridesmaids made their way back to the Old Forge, Fontmell Magna. They had stayed here the night before in a range of accommodation - Cottage, Shepard's' huts, old Forge and a Gypsy Caravan. The party gave the B & B rave reviews. (http://www.theoldforgedorset.co.uk/bed_breakfast.htm)
Saturday dawned and a completely different forecast met our eyes. Wall to wall sunshine!
The caterers - Flaming Peaches - www.flaming-peaches.com - finished laying the tables and brought over the flowers from the cool of the house porch.
The most beautiful three tier wedding cake arrived with each layer a different flavour. This was finished off with real flowers to match those on the tables. ( Lynne Hassini Wedding Cakes: https://lynnehassani.com/)
The groom and friends arrived first to check arrangements, then the cars arrived with the bridesmaids, looking very elegant in matching lilac dresses and the bride accompanied by her mother, who was giving her away. The bride looked stunning in an off the shoulder dress of cream lace. They all entered the house by the front door, passing the ancestors also dressed for the day. They all carried bunches of flowers in bright colours, again made by Emma from Martha and the Meadow.
Official papers finished, they made their way down the dining room steps over the lawns to the gazebo.
With such glorious weather, the couple were able to marry outside and their guests sit under the marquee for shade rather than the feared downpour.
After the ceremony, the guests gathered on the lawn for canapes served from an old fashioned VW van - again the caterers Flaming Peaches. They looked delicious!
Nostagia Steel Band from London set up on the lawn and serenaded the party whilst they had their canapes. The perfect sound for such wonderful weather. ( Lionel McCalman - www.nostalgiasteelband.co.uk / firstname.lastname@example.org)
Official photographs were taken along with some lovely relaxed informal ones. Adrian Neal from the Studio Without Walls took these and all the amazing photographs not showing a dot which are in house - www.thestudiowithoutwalls.co.uk
The wedding breakfast followed - a sit down meal, also provided by Flaming Peaches. Non stop laughter drifted out of the tent.
Children began to sneak out to play cricket or one of the other lawn games set out by the groom. With speeches finished, adult guests joined in with much joking and laughing. Even the bride was persuaded to take part. At some point the ball obviously disappeared into the bushes.
More delicious food by Flaming Peaches arrived for the evening, again served from the van or circulated by waiters.
The evening band arrived - again from London - Motown Gold/www.Earcandylive.co.uk /08002300889 - played some fantastic music and the dance floor was packed. They also provided disco music during their breaks.
11 pm brought the thunderstorm we had all been expecting. Sheet lightening lit the sky and rain came down in buckets. The party in the tent did not miss a beat! The music finished at midnight but it was quite a lot later before the campers made their way to their tents.
We had one Bell Tent put up by Dorset Bell Tents and ordered by one of the guests. www.dorsetbelltents.com but otherwise it was private tents which filled the tenting lawn.
The Bride and Groom spent the night in our Indian Bell tent. The end of an amazing day, blessed with the most amazing weather. A day filled with laughter and fun.
Umbrellas had been provided but were hardly used and these were kindly donated to us for future weddings here.