In April 2016, Candy, Tim, Natalie and Gabe were lucky enough to have a fabulous holiday in Venice. Whilst on a gondola ride, Tim popped the question in Italian (thanks for the translation Gabe)...
Tim on bended knee "Vuoi sposarmie, Candy?"
Candy "What? I don't know what you're saying."
Tim "Just say yes."
We searched far and wide for a venue that we liked. We wanted something slightly different, nothing too formal and somewhere that our family and friends could relax and enjoy the day. Branksome Dene Community Rooms may not have hosted any weddings of the rich and famous but we love the location right next to the beach. Back in the 1920s when beach attire seemed to consist of a hat, a stiff collar, several layers of clothing and stout shoes, the building served as a Fortes tea room as pictured below.
Are we really getting married there?
Yes! The registrar will be taking the actual marriage ceremony - no fake celebrant stuff, in case you were wondering about the venue. It's one of Poole Council's approved sites.
The wedding breakfast will take place after the ceremony inside the room and the marquee. The food will be in a picnic style with lots of choice and will cater for all tastes hopefully :) We will be providing a hot snack in the evening, plus there will be plenty of tea, coffee and cake etc, so no one will go hungry or thirsty.
We've hired in a pay bar for the day, which has a great range of drinks available at a good price - check out prices here. We will be providing the fizz, wine and water, but please can you buy all other drinks including soft drinks from the bar otherwise we will be breaking our agreement with them. It's fine for children to have their own drinks. There is a legal requirement that no alcohol can be consumed in the room where the service will take place an hour before and during the ceremony. Outside is ok. If you look under 18 you'll need to bring ID or the bar won't serve you! Cheers.
What to wear
Dress is smart but casual. This means jackets and ties are not obligatory, but please no flip flops, trainers, jeans, tee-shirts or shorts, at least until later. We don't mind if you want to slip into something more casual in the evening.
Children are welcome, just let us know in advance if you are giving yourselves a day off from the kids, so we can get our numbers right.
We would ask that you don't give us presents (our cupboards are crammed with too much stuff as it is). If you want to, you could give a small donation to Cancer Research instead, although we don't want to turn our wedding into a charity event, so won't be setting up a specific page.
Branksome Dene Chine does have parking for 150 cars, but it's not cheap (oh no I sound like my dad). Last time we looked the prices were £15.50 for the day. However, there is currently parking on the surrounding roads, it's a couple of hundred meters walk down to the chine. Just be aware this will be in the height of summer, so will be busy. If at all possible get a taxi so you can enjoy your day stress free.
Allow plenty of time to get there
Like we said, it's summertime, which means the roads will get busy, especially those coming from the Southampton direction. The queue through the forest starts to build up from around ten or eleven, and can add the best part of an hour if you leave it late. We ask that you be ready for the ceremony by 12.45.
Poole Council's terms and conditions
We have to adhere to a few terms and conditions. At the end of the day we have to vacate by 10.30pm, and the Council ask that we
ensure guests leave in a timely and quiet manner in respect of neighbourhood residences. There is a legal requirement that no alcohol can be consumed in the room where the service will take place an hour before and during the ceremony. Outside is fine. They've also asked us to keep music to a moderate level and within the confines of the building. Music to finish by 10pm.