As the aerial shot of the guests testifies, a lot of work went into choosing the most appropriate tents which ultimately were going to fit into the garden! There was to be a square petal dining tent with floaty drapes dressing the open walls, and one central pole. It was set on the square lawn, mathematically measured out to be central, allowing the luscious deep herbaceous border plants to tumble into the tent.
Behind this, we organised for a temporary floor to be built over the pool and surrounding paving with a framed tent on 3m legs built thereon to house the after dinner bar, nightclub and 12-piece band. The service tents, measured out to the nearest centimetres were built on top of the family’s vegetable beds, the loos were installed on the neighbour’s driveway and the garages were used for storage.
Not only was a lot of thought given to the size of the tents, but the access issues for the crew building them, and how other suppliers would access the nightclub tent when the guy ropes of the dinner tent splayed out into the flower borders. The generators were taken around the back of the whole property and into farmland where the kind local farmer had given them permission to install them. With a lot of planning it is miraculous what one can organise and fit into the tightest of spaces!
The wedding was held in a beautiful country church next to the bride’s prep school – about half an hour from their current home. We organised carparking attendants to be at the church. Later guests arrived back to the house and a field had been secured ¼ mile up the road for parking, with a shuttle minibus service to transport guests. Champagne, interesting soft drinks, canapes and East Coast oysters freshly shucked in-front of the guests were all on offer upon arrival.
The family had taken the detail in the planning to incredible extremes, with personalised embroidery inside the groom’s jacket and with the bride’s clutch bag being embroidered with a handwritten message inside from her parents.
A three course dinner was served to guests seated in the petal tent, with the VIP wedding party seated along the one side of one table and four branches each of approximately 20 guests leading off. So much thought had gone into the tablescape; myself, the bride and her mother had been to the inspiration room of a catering hire company to look at all the options for china, cutlery and glassware available. It’s so helpful to be able to play around with different configurations before placing the order. However, the family really were keen that their ‘linen’ truly was linen – no polyester mixes! Having obtained numerous white samples from nationwide suppliers, they settled on some gorgeous ‘ribbed’ textured white linen cloths with similar napkins. The menus were printed on translucent vellum, the guest’s placename attached by paperclip and then placed on top of each folded napkin.
Following cake cutting and amusing speeches, guests moved through to the aforementioned nightclub tent where there was an open bar, cocktails, and a fantastic 12 piece band. LED furniture, white sofas, urns of miniature bottles of prosecco, shawls and flip flops for weary ladies’ feet, all made for an incredible evening with everyone dancing the night away!
We returned on the Monday to help sort the drinks and remove all empty bottles for recycling.
All photos by @sharon.cudworth