We love a new wedding venue and this one is right up our street quite literally in terms of both appeal and location! Haddon Copse Farm occupies a breathtaking setting in the rolling valleys of the Blackmore Vale framed by beautiful unspoilt views that stretch for miles towards Bulbarrow Hill. It's the perfect spot for a festival theme or country wedding experience.
But it's not just the location that Haddon Copse Farm has going for it. Camping is permitted and a complete bell tent glamping village can be installed at your request which enables wedding celebrations to take place all weekend. Haddon Copse Farm also offers its own organic Dorset hog and lamb roasts, welcome meals on Friday evening, hearty breakfasts, use of a shepherd's hut and an area called the 'Magic Circle' which is ideal for natural blessings.
Oakleaf Marquees is the exclusive supplier of marquees and tipis at Haddon Copse Farm. Packages start from just £6000 for 100 guests which includes both marquee and venue hire fees but we can look after all your requirements including catering, music and even entertainment for the night before the wedding.
Contact Matthew at firstname.lastname@example.org to organise a visit and begin planning your big day or see the website for more information here Haddon Copse Farm.
If you're looking for a classic romantic English wedding we can think of no better venue in Dorset. The croquet lawn is perfectly flat for marquees and we've provided all styles of structure there in the past: traditional pole marquees for country style, clearspan frame marquees for elegant chic and tipis for a warm and cosy ambience.
Photo opportunities are vast with views everywhere you look plus topiary, archways tangled with flowers, water features, mature trees and secret grottoes.
Civil marriages can take place either in the Garden Pavilion overlooking the croquet lawn (for which we can supply canopies and chairs) or in the nearby Sawmill. The medieval All Saints Church is within the grounds and suited to intimate blessings for up to 90. Marquees on the croquet lawn can accommodate up to 400 seated guest and there is ample parking available.
Mapperton is located 15 minutes from Crewkerne and 20 minutes from Dorchester Stations, with direct links to London. There is tasteful accommodation nearby too with the Acorn Inn and Summer Lodge in Evershot and The Bridge House Hotel at Prout Bridge.
Recommended caterers are Jo Killin of Oxbridge Farm and Victoria Blashford-Snell. The recommended florist is The Real Cut Flower Garden and photographers Allister Freeman and Helen Lisk.
For more information on weddings at Mapperton click here or to get in touch call the Wedding Office on 01308 800114 or email email@example.com
The house can accommodate 18 people in nine double (king-size) rooms, so guests can make a weekend or even a week of the wedding festivities. There are acres of beautiful gardens to explore not to mention direct access to the beach. But what makes Studland Bay House so appealing for marquee weddings is that it has three different options for marquee placement: on the cricket pitch in front of the house which allows the marquee to be just a few hundred feet from the sea, on the house lawn, or on the lawn but connected to the house - perfect for early or late season weddings.
I'm sure I don't need to lecture you on the charms of Studland - let's just say four miles of golden sand and leave it at that. If that's not enough, Sandbanks is just ten minutes away (if you time the ferry right) with Poole and Bournemouth beyond with endless entertainment and dining options. There's also Corfe Castle and Wareham within easy reach. For those not fortunate enough to sleep in the house The Knoll House is just across the road.
Speaking of which, The Knoll House catering team is on hand to cater for any event at Studland Bay House whether in the house itself or a marquee on the cricket pitch. The most impressive menu I've seen was a selection of shellfish to start served from a cart on the lawn followed by lobster and chips in the marquee. Talk about doing it in style!
All our marquee styles and tipis work well at the house so the choice will depend on decorations and the look you're trying to achieve. We're fond of placing marquees end on to the view and fitting them with clear gables plus panoramic windows as this makes the most of the view (the end of the marquee effectively becomes one big window).
Recommended photographers are Jude Ives and One Thousand Words.
For all Studland Bay House and Knoll House catering enquiries please contact Michael on 07703 691579 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
How about making a weekend of it and hiring some bell tents or small tipis for your guests to stay in? Festival themes are all the rage with marquee weddings at the moment and it's not difficult to see why. Organising hotels for everyone is a tiresome business, particularly out in the sticks where accommodation is scarce. Even the celebrities are at it - Guy Ritchie had a glamping village built for his wedding last year!
But the main attraction is that you can keep the party going all weekend and enjoy meals together, fires in the evening and some serious quality time with your nearest and dearest. Weddings are generally over in a flash (particularly when you're the bride or groom) and I often leave feeling I should have partied harder or talked to great aunt Mary for longer or not disgraced myself on the dance floor without apologising the next day. It's nice for as many guests as possible to enjoy a few drinkies and not worry about driving, taxis, travelling, finding their hotel in the dark etc.
We've partnered with Acorn Marquees who are based in Bournemouth but supply groovy tents throughout Dorset and further afield. They offer stunning bell tents in various sizes and a wide range of furnishings which allow your guests to choose from authentic camping spec to seriously plush. Jon and Julie offer an outstanding service and we cannot recommend them highly enough.
So book your marquee with Oakleaf, assemble your glamping village with Acorn, order your festival flags and make your wedding weekend one to remember!
A difficult question, a bit like being asked which one of my parents I like most! I don't have a favourite - all have their own charm.
Tipis are increasingly popular because one of the priorities with weddings is the desire to do something different and original. Many of us have been to a wedding in a white marquee whether it be a pole or frame structure whereas a wedding in a tipi is a new experience for most. However, all our marquee styles allow customers to bring them to life in their own way - there is virtually no restriction on decorations. We've installed wallpapered walls, water features, topiary, different carpet colours, Moroccan linings and lanterns, coloured drapes and so much more over the years. That's one of the key reasons people choose a marquee wedding.
Tipis can be a bit more cosy by virtue of the fact that there's less roof space (due to the conical design) and you can have real fires inside thanks to the flaps at the top that allow smoke out. You don't get one big space with tipis as you do with marquees because they are smaller (10.3m diameter) structures joined together, so depending on layout the event can feel slightly divided. Having said that, I'm sure we've all been to rocking house parties where several rooms are involved, some with music playing, others for chilling out, the kitchen for drink and snack selection, which never seemed to affect the atmosphere negatively at the time.
What I really like about tipis is the timbers we use which are de-barked spruce from the freezing forests of Scandinavia and all 80+ years old. Furthermore, tipis have been used by humans for 4000+ years and I love that sense of sitting in a piece of history. Traditional white pole marquees are very English and suitable for quintessential country wedding experiences and clearspan frame marquees are extremely flexible in terms of layout and interior fixtures and fittings - both attributes I like.
Tipis are darker inside due to the canvas used, so if you're after an event space that's light and airy then perhaps a tipi isn't the best choice. Also, you don't get the many window options as you do with a conventional marquee - if you want to look out at a view the sides need to be raised which is great in summer but not ideal if it's raining and windy.
Whichever structure you choose for your event, you can rest assured that you will get the best standard from us and we'll happily meet with you to introduce our range and listen to your ideas. Oakleaf Marquees are renowned throughout Dorset, Somerset and across the South West for the hire of marquees and tipis. A quality service, premium product and approachable pricing.
With Lorton House not doing weddings anymore (boo hoo) we've been looking for a new favourite venue in the Weymouth area. We're due to provide a wedding marquee at Westbrook House in Upwey this weekend having been there a few times already so I'm pleased to announce that Westbrook is now our favourite marquee venue in the Weymouth area! It's a private house but there is accommodation available on site too and the setting is exquisite with a lovely lake, gardens and house providing an ideal backdrop to any marquee. Bookings are handled by the lovely Oonagh (The English Event Company and The English Florist) - click here for the contact page of her website.
Most quotes are made on the assumption that the marquee is going on grass, so please let us know in advance if the marquee is going on a hard surface.
Traditional marquees can't go on hard surfaces unfortunately because they rely entirely on long stakes hammered into the ground (unless the footprint of the marquee matches the size of the hard surface and there is mud/grass around the entire perimeter). Clearspan (frame) marquees can go on hard surfaces, but there are two important issues you need to consider:
Stop the marquee becoming airborne
Thankfully we've never had a marquee 'go airborne' and only two or three staff have been presented with their 'marquee wings' i.e. they've been lifted off the ground by a gust. When marquees are on grass, each leg is held down by a yard long stake, sometimes two. On hard surfaces, you can't do this. Before you read on, take a look at this clip on YouTube (a clip that is forever etched on my brain and keeps me up at night whenever I hear the wind howling).
The marquee in the clip weighs 2 tons and it takes a wooden floor with it. Scary stuff. But the clip is designed to educate, not intimidate (nice rhyme!).
There are four ways to prevent a marquee flying off:
1) Guy ropes. Assuming there is softer ground nearby that surrounds the marquee, use ratchet straps as guy ropes attached to the top of each leg and running down to stakes 1-2m away from the marquee. Cost: £0
2) Bolting it to the ground. This involves us drilling 10mm wide, 150mm deep holes for each leg (two per leg on 12m and 15m wide structures). Legs are positioned every 3m around the perimeter and the holes can easily be filled afterwards. Cost: ££s
3) Weighing the marquee down. Amazingly, in order for a marquee to withstand 80mph plus and be in line with manufacturer's guidelines, marquee legs need to have 750-1000kg of weight on EACH leg! This can be achieved with either water weights (IBC 1000 litre water containers) or concrete blocks. Cost: £££s
4) Attach the marquee to a sub-frame floor system. The marquee bolts into a made-to-measure steel frame and then wooden boards are slotted in place. The weight of the frame and boards prevents the marquee from causing a nuisance to air traffic. Cost: ££££s
Stop rain water soaking into the carpet
On grass, rain water just soaks into the soil and drains away (unless it's extremely heavy). On hard surfaces, it forms puddles and hangs around until it evaporates. This is all well and good, but puddles have a habit of growing if the rain is persistent or heavy and they can creep under marquee walls and start soaking into carpet. Once the soaking in starts, it's very hard to stop and before you know it, the whole carpet is soggy.
There are two preventative measures:
1) Have a wooden boarded floor which sits on battens meaning the carpet is elevated a couple of inches off the ground and rain water can pass freely beneath. Cost £££-££££s depending on size.
2) Have a sub-frame floor system which does the same as the wooden boarded floor above but elevates the carpet even further. Cost: ££££s
Finally, there are a few steps that hirers can take to minimise the effects of wind too:
1) Keep an eye on the forecast (I like XC Weather).
2) Don't choose very exposed locations at potentially stormy times of the year.
3) Keep all entrances/exits closed and fastened tight to prevent wind getting inside.
4) Keep an eye on stakes/guy ropes/bolts each day to make sure they haven't worked their way loose or become slack.