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Ashmore, Cranborne Chase, Dorset

Alice & George

Alice & George's autumnal "Wedfest" celebrations

Alice & George's celebrations at home near Cranborne Chase, Dorset in October 2018.

Could this be a wedding case study with the perfect blend of tradition and alternative? Where parental expectations for grand celebrations with family and friends meet the couples' arty and colourful outlook?

Bride Alice is an artist who just loves colours and used to specialise in tie-dye creations as much as paintings and sculpture. (You may spot some of her geometric designs on the tables!) She loves festivals and this location is just around the corner from the fabulous Larmer Tree Gardens, a wedding venue in itself and home of quite a few events and festivals that she has grown up with and even had festival stalls at selling her tie-dye clothing and wares.

Not only that but the historic village of Ashmore, where she grew up, has its own beautifully pagan, summer solstice celebrations around the large village pond called the "Filly Loo"! No surprise then that a fantastic festival theme wedding was in order. I do like going to Dorset events as my school life was there many years ago in the Bournemouth area and my ageing parents are still there. Cranborne Chase itself is a magnificent AONB and well worth a long visit and a few good walks.

Alice contacted us a long time in advance and we discussed things both with her and her parents, slowly developing a collaboration between us and the more local marquee hire company DP Marquees who had previously done a family party themed "Strictly Come to the K-Bs", no doubt with a big dance-floor and lots of glitter balls!  Originally DP Marquees were also going to be installing huge amounts of extra high-up gallery-seating in the village church to accommodate all the guests too! 

As it turned out a collaboration was a great idea as it enabled both companies to work on what they do best. We supplied the colourful fairy-lit marquees and DP supplied the white ones that became the links, service tents and toilet tent. (Always consider locating the toilet blocks inside tents during the colder seasons.) They also supplied the furniture, generator, loos and other finishing touches. Tablescaping and floral displays were beautifully done "en-famille" and look at those huge, glorious plant-hangers!

It took an extra layer of planning to combine two main installation companies but was well worth it, as you can see.

Due to being a very popular family in the area, a large guest list required big tents with warm, well-heated interiors for the end of October. (Freezing nights then but spectacular views and great weather to boot). A more informal pre-wedding party was held a couple of nights before the main event in the red and yellow tent whilst the wedding breakfast was held in the red and white one. Two large tents gave plenty of room for mingling, speeches, dining and partying without guests being squeezed in and the outer area was well lit with overheard festoons on giant shepherd crooks as well as lots of fire bowls.

In a small village, where Church weddings are not every week, it was an event not to be missed!

You will also see that father-of-the-bride "wedd-ified" his Landrover, which is always a good idea, (I've done that too with ours, turning it into a highly polished bridesmaid transporter) and that marquee site-plans can start simply with a sketch on the back of an envelope!

Some of these photographs are with kind permission of Richard Greenly Photography Ltd with Kate Shortt as the wedding photographer. The aerial photo is courtesy of DP Marquees Ltd. The rest were taken by us on install.

Wedding planning hint:

Though some companies may not want to as they may want to provide entire packages; don't be afraid to ask suppliers to collaborate as you may find you get a much better result. We have had this pleasure on many occasions and it can really work wonders! We welcome collaborations and marvel at what other suppliers can help create. In fact, it really helps to know what other suppliers are involved as their efforts and requirements can be planned in.

Best wishes Alice and George: see you in a festival field in the summer one day! 

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