Showcase Wedding: Dream Occasions

Today we bring you the 3rd installment for our series of showcase weddings from members of the UKAWP. We must admit there has been a bit of a gap since Simone shared her showcase  with us back in April and Kelly  in February but we hope you can forgive us. Today’s showcase is from director Bernadette Chapman of Dream Occasions and features a mixed faith, dual venue wedding in May 2009.

At the end of 2007 I was hired by Daniel and Aniela to organise their wedding for Spring 2009. The wedding was never going to be typical with a civil ceremony, mixed faith blessing and afternoon tea in one venue, then cocktails and dinner at Aniela’s parent’s home. They were both clear on having a wedding that reflected their personalities and tastes, the end result was just breathtaking. The wedding is due to be featured in You and Your Wedding Spring 2010.

Daniel and Aniela

Daniel and Aniela

The first task at hand when hired was to find a suitable venue near Sudbury, Suffolk where we could hold the civil ceremony, Jewish/Christian blessing and an afternoon tea. We visited many venues from converted windmills to country manor houses, however we eventually choose a barn which seemed perfect with the lovely long aisle and dias for the registrars. We booked the registrars and started talking with the venue caterers about the afternoon tea requirements, however it soon become clear the caterers were not quite right for this wedding. So after much deliberation we cancelled the venue and went back to the drawing board and we are so glad we did as we found the stunning Mildenhall Barn in Suffolk. The owner was wonderful and understood what we were trying to achieve with the wedding. Even better was the local caterer who was able to create exactly what we required for the afternoon tea.

Afternoon Tea

There was a lot to organize for the venue, I hired in white chairs for the ceremony, 3ft tables for the afternoon tea, linen and aisle runner. The grooms mother made some beautiful bunting which we tied up in the courtyard, the florists produced some stunning jugs filled with natural flowers to keep the natural country feel to the ceremony and tea.


The second element of the wedding to organize was the reception held at Aniela’s parent’s home in Suffolk, from our discussions we knew we didn’t want a traditional marquee. We investigated various options from Indian tents to yurts, eventually we agreed upon giant tipis.


Although an expert in marquee weddings this was the first tipi wedding I had organized and as a result I learnt a lot for future events. We had 2 tipis dedicated to dining, 1 for the bar and jukebox and the last was the stage and dance floor. Aniela and Daniel wanted a bright wedding and were happy to mix and match elements, i.e. no matching of napkin ribbon to the bridesmaid dress! This was a relief and I knew bright colours would be fabulous in the tipi, I realised however creating the ‘mix-match’ look is a lot harder to create because if styled incorrectly it could have gone terribly wrong.


One thing I was certain on was not using ivory linen within the tipis as the colour would be bland against the tipi canvas. I know this was one area Aniela and Daniel were unclear on but because we had such a strong relationship they were willing to trust me. The blue cloths on the day and purple napkins looked fabulous, any other colour would have paled into significance. The florist created bright displays of flowers with a mix of low and high, we hung origami birds from the tipi poles and outside in the garden.  origami-bird

Instead of a table plan we hung guest names from a willow tree, in fact this blew over once so I know Nikki had to do this twice! There were so many design details that it is impossible to list them all but do look out for the wedding in You and Your Wedding in Mar/Apr 2010.



On the day because there was so much to organize with dual sites I hired Kelly from the Bespoke Wedding Co and Nikki from Jigsaw weddings to oversee the tipi site whilst my assistant and I were at Mildenhall for the ceremony. It was wonderful having staff I could trust in my absence. 

If you are a UKAWP member and wish to have a wedding showcase, please let us know!

Photo Credit: The wonderful Kerry Morgan

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