Frequently Asked Questions / Terms and Conditions and Business

Can we get married at Wilkswood?

No I’m afraid we are not licensed to hold your civil ceremony. However, we can host blessings for which a celebrant to conduct the ceremony can be arranged and this can be a beautiful outdoor ceremony experience taking in the stunning views over the Purbeck countryside.

We will also arrange a wet weather option for you making use of the main marquee and we will turn the room around for you afterwards to dress it for your wedding breakfast and that service is all included in the service which Wilkswood provides.

Can you hold events other than weddings at Wilkswood?

Yes, we can. We can cater for vow renewals, baby naming ceremonies and any parties and celebrations so do get in touch and we will put a price package and a proposal together for you.

Won’t the good old British weather ruin our wedding day?

No not at all. We are a marquee based venue and are always prepared with the great British weather in mind. The marquee is built with a hard, carpet covered flooring so you are not straight on the grass. Your guests are sheltered at all times and if it’s going to be a little chilly we can install heaters into the marquee.

Most importantly of all the stunning view across the Purbecks from Wilkswood are spectacular whatever the weather! The front of the marquee is entirely window walls so you can always appreciate the view and if the weather is fine we can roll up the sides of the marquee easily and quickly so you can enjoy the outside space too.

The only thing you have no control over with your wedding so the best advice is not to stress or even think about it – embrace it and make it a part of your day if it does rain!

When can we see the venue?

The best time to view the venue is at one of open days which happen in the spring and the autumn and our staff are available to discuss plans with you. Please follow our Facebook page or register to be notified for our next open days. Private viewings may be available during the wedding season if you are unable to make one of the open days which usually take place early in the morning before wedding guests arrive when the venue is set up for a wedding that day.

We are able to do viewings at other times and during our closed season which is October – Mid April, however you must remember that at these times it will just be a site / location viewing. The marquee is only up for open days and when we have wedding bookings – at all other times the marquee is taken down – therefore we will happily accommodate site viewings to walk you through the site and show you where everything is set up but do remember you will not be able to view the marquee.

Most of our couples book the venue without having seen it using our extensive galleries on our Facebook page and website.

I want to book; how do I do it?

Firstly, you will need to check availability with us to see if the date you would like is available and advise us that you would like to book that date.

When you received a quote with us, we will have sent you a copy of our booking form which will need to be completed and returned to us by email or by post together with a deposit which needs to be paid by bank transfer and our bank details can be found on the bottom of the booking form.

Only once we have received both your booking form and deposit we will confirm your booking via email and will send you a receipted invoice for your deposit.

I have booked with Wilkswood, what happens next?

Once you have booked us we will be in touch a month before your wedding date and will send you your Function Sheet for the day on which will be all the information about your day: your guest numbers, timings, supplier details, music choices, drinks requirements etc. We will complete as much of the sheet as we can with the information you have already given us and then we will ask you to fill in any missing details.

At this point we will also send you your final invoice with your account outstanding to be paid a month before your wedding date. However, this doesn’t mean to say we won’t be in touch before and of course you can always contact us if you have any questions.

When do we finalise numbers?

When you book with us we require you give us approximate numbers to allow us to book the right size marquee but final numbers will be required a month before the wedding. This is when we contact you to go through all the final details by using what we call our Function Sheet. We email this to you to complete with all your final guest numbers, food requirements, timings etc. and we start to sort out all the final details with you.

Please note that during our busy times it may not be exactly one month before your wedding that this information comes over to you so please bear with us! We will get to you as soon as we possibly can but don’t worry we are super organised and your plans will all be looked after extremely well with award winning Wedding Planners in charge of your day for you.

Do the decorations come as part of the package?

No, the marquee is left as a blank canvas for you to be able to decorate it however you wish. We can assist you with styling the venue but we can also recommend companies who can do the styling for you.

Are there any extras we can order?

Yes indeed there are and one month before the wedding we will enquire if you would like to add any of our extras to your order this can include:-

– Separate breakout tents on site perhaps for a drinks reception, children’s play area, hay bale seating area / quiet zone

– Hay bales delivered to the venue for you to create seating for your guests

– Camp fire or fire pit (s) for the evening – we can even arrange marshmallows for your guests to toast!

– White LED fairy lights or festoon lighting in your marquees

– More outdoor seating if required – we can hire in additional furniture for you

– Additional tables for gift tables / sweetie bars etc

Speak to the Bellissimo team about anything else – we will be sure to be able to help you.

Do you have sound / PA equipment on site for our ceremony or speeches / music?

Unfortunately, not. As we are marquee based everything has to be brought on to site for each wedding and we can’t own or store equipment which will suit every couple and their wedding size and requirements so you will need to hire in your own PA equipment for your ceremony and your speeches.

We recommend a DJ or a band for your evening and we can pass recommendations on to you for all of this for the evening and for your PA equipment hire during the day.

Please bear in mind we are not sound engineers and if you provide your own equipment without a professional to set it up and operate it we can do our best for you but we cannot be responsible if we cannot get something working for you on the day. Please enquire for further information and we will help you wherever we can.

What about music? Can we have live music and until what time?

Of course! You are able to have live music or a DJ at the venue. Why not think about a string quartet or an acoustic duo or something for your ceremony and drinks reception too – it works so well at Wilkswood. We only ask that at midnight the music whatever kind you have then goes down to a background level. This means that a live band or DJ or any amplified music would need to finish at midnight.

Whilst we don’t have neighbours particularly close to us live music will carry and we don’t want to upset people across the Purbecks! You are welcome to have your own background music from an iPod etc playing after the amplified music finishes eg if you are staying overnight and wish to have music on and enjoy a few drinks with campers into the early hours but if you could keep it to background level this makes us very happy!

Can we bring our own drinks on the day?

Yes, you may bring your own drinks for your drinks reception on arrival or after your ceremony at Wilkswood, wine for your meal and bubbly for your speeches / toasts.

We are one of the few venues in the area which will allow you to do this without any corkage charge. The only charge you will need to cover is to reimburse the caterer for the cost of a chiller trailer to chill your drinks down for you and keep them cool during the wedding day, glass hire and bottle disposal at the end of the wedding day. These costs will be incorporated into your catering costs. This makes the wedding all around a more affordable affair for our couples and it works very well – you can deliver up on site the day before or morning of the wedding all your drinks which can then be placed in the chiller trailer ready for the wedding day.

The arrangement for couples to bring their own drinks is subject to your leftover (full and part used) bottles being removed from the tables at the end of the wedding breakfast and cleared away for you to take home after the wedding. Our staff will take care of this. The caterers’ glassware will also need to be cleared away at this time so as not to confuse with general bar glassware and to avoid breakages of fragile glass during dancing etc. and our staff will take care of this for you. All unused wine is boxed for you to take away. This allows the cash bar to take over from this point until the end of the wedding.

Is there a bar on site for guests to buy their own drinks?

A fully licensed cash bar facility will be set up and on site and open from as early as you require and latest at the end of the wedding breakfast. You can specify particular items are stocked behind this bar or you can leave it to the bar staff to run as they normally would.

Use of the bar facility is subject to a minimum bar spend of £750 to cover the setup of the bar, staff, glassware etc. At the end of your wedding, if the total bar sales for the day and not reached £750, the bar company will issue an invoice to you to cover the difference to meet the minimum spend.

Please note that the bar facility is a cash bar only i.e. no card facilities on site so please ensure that your guests are aware of this on the wedding invitation – the nearest cash point is in Harman’s Cross Village.

The bar is usually licensed until 11.30pm to allow for drink up time for 30 mins when the music finishes at midnight.

When should we book hotels?

We would recommend you book hotels around 6 months before your wedding. The Purbecks including Swanage, Corfe Castle and the surrounding area is a very popular summer destination so hotels/ Bed and Breakfasts do get booked up very quickly, particularly during the school holidays so it is essential to look into and book hotels quite quickly. For ideas of places to stay please click here.

Where can our guests park?

Guests can drive up the lane at Wilkswood and park in the designated area in the field behind the marquee. There will be signage from the road up to the car park for your guests to follow. This is where your Ushers can come in very useful- we would usually ask that one of them stand by the road to direct guests up to the venue and one or two of them help with parking. All parking will be behind the marquee so that the cars do not interrupt the magnificent views from the venue.

Are there toilets on site?

There are no toilets on site as this is a marquee based venue but we can arrange for luxury mobile WC facilities for you which are essential. Please enquire as the size of unit will depend on your estimate number of guests and if you plan to stay for 1 or 2 nights. You can also add a mobile shower unit as well for your weekend with us – let us know and we can get prices for you.

When is the venue ours until?

We usually aim to have the marquee ready and finished by Friday lunch time and we will meet you on site for a handover and to help you with any early decorating and set up etc. If your wedding is not a Saturday we will re-arrange things for you but most of our weddings take place on a Saturday. You are then welcome to stay on site overnight and glamp on the Friday night as well as the night of the wedding as well. Our bell tent companies will be able to organise a pamper tent for you for the ladies to get ready on the day of the wedding complete with full length mirrors, hairdryers and all luxuries with full standing height tents!

On the Sunday you would usually depart around 12 noon after waking up with the rolling hills in the background – your caterer can even arrange a full English breakfast for you back in the marquee if pre-ordered! If you wish to remain on site for longer on the Sunday please do enquire so we can check this fits in with the schedule of any other events going on at Wilkswood.

When you depart Wilkswood please ensure that you take all of your rubbish with you otherwise a charge to dispose of your rubbish will be levied after the event – please help us to keep the Purbeck countryside clean and tidy. Your caterer will dispose of all catering waste and bottle / cardboard from the drinks you have supplied and the cash bar will dispose of all bar waste but anything else will be your responsibility to remove when you go including cigarette butts from the grass please.

Whose responsibility is it to remove rubbish from the site at the end of the wedding?

It is the responsibility of the hirers of Wilkswood Wedding Venue to remove all rubbish, including any packaging, unwanted decorations or boxes, relating to their wedding and/or camping. This does not include any rubbish generated by your chosen caterers, who are responsible for the removal of all rubbish relating to their operations. Removal by the marquee company, venue managers or farmer of any rubbish left on site after departure will incur a clearance reasonable clearance fee, appropriate to the amount of waste left, subject to a min of £100.

Alternatively, you can opt to pay a £100 clearance fee in advance of your wedding and all rubbish will be removed from site by a third party. This does not include removal of catering waste, which will remain the responsibility of the caterers.

Can you help us plan our whole wedding?

Yes, we can. Your package at Wilkswood includes having a wedding planner from Bellissimo Wedding Planners on hand the day before your wedding day for a handover of the marquee and venue and can assist you with some set up the day before if you require it. It also includes the services on your wedding day as well from early in the morning until the end of the wedding to ensure that the whole day is managed well and everything goes smoothly. Usually one or two members of the Bellissimo team will be on site to help it all run depending on your guest numbers.

Bellissimo will also be on hand to help you in the lead up to your wedding, right from the initial quote and booking to bringing the plans together and helping you book the perfect suppliers.

If you would like additional help in planning your wedding for example if you would like us to help with your ceremony plans, help with sending out invites and collecting RSVPs, help with budgeting and producing time schedules for planning as well as anything else not directly connected to the venue then please contact Bellissimo for a quote. If you book full Bellissimo services in conjunction with booking Wilkswood you would benefit from a substantially reduced rate for a full plan service. However, Bellissimo can help with as much or as little as you wish and we will charge our fees accordingly.

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