My accidental visit to Dorset for Mat and Amber’s wedding day!

Wedding Table Decoration

The booking of this wedding started simply enough! Amber and Mat decided they needed a wedding singer, guitarist and DJ and then proceeded to get in touch with me. We discussed all their musical choices for the big day and got everything in place to make sure the day ran perfectly smoothly. So that’s it then, surely? Everything sorted?

But no! I’d obviously made a slight oversight when checking the wedding venue during the initial booking because a month out from the wedding, when I was building my plan of action that I make for every wedding at which I sing and DJ – I noticed that the wedding was actually in DORSET!!

Wedding Guitarist based in Yorkshire covering the UK.

I’m not sure what I did to be honest! When Amber’s enquiry came through I Googled the wedding venue, had a quick look at the pictures, etc – I specifically remember thinking how nice it all looked. So I do not know how I accidentally missed the fact that the address was a Dorset one. All I can think is, when Amber sent me the postcode, I saw that it was a ‘B’ postcode and the name of the wedding venue – Sopley Mill – and just thought to myself, ‘Ah, it’s another one of these old West Yorkshire mills that has been converted into a wedding venue.’ (Like this one!) I must’ve just assumed that the ‘B’ postcode was a Bradford one when in fact it was a BOURNEMOUTH postcode!!

Wedding Singer at a wedding ceremony

I sent a message to Amber chuckling about what I’d done and she wondered if I was still up for it as it was a 530 miles round trip and I’d incur some sizeable expenses! I said that of course I was up for it and that I would never think of leaving them in the lurch one month out from their wedding! Even if it meant I had to play for free! Luckily that wouldn’t be the case as the expenses weren’t quite as bad as that, but I still took a hit financially and just chalked it up to experience! It’s a mistake I’ve never made in literally hundreds of weddings and one I will NEVER make again! As my dad always mockingly says when I do something wrong, ‘Aaah, experience – you can’t buy it!’

Wedding Venue Sopley Mill

So I decided to turn it into a mini-break for myself. Firstly, I booked two nights at the lovely Double Tree Spa Hotel in Cheltenham that I always stay at when travelling southward down the country. This way I could break up the over 5 hours long drive (without traffic that is!!) into two more manageable chunks and spread the driving over two days. I’d drive two and a half hours to Cheltenham, sleep over while enjoying the swimming pool and jacuzzi – and then get up in the morning and drive the final two hours down to Dorset. Then I’d do my own brand of wedding singing and DJing all day and night (as Amber and Mat had booked the All Day Wedding Package) and then I’d drive back to Double Tree in the evening before finally making the journey home the next day! It was a lot to be done, but it was all my fault so I just had to swallow it down and make sure that it didn’t affect the service I gave Amber and Mat in any way. 

Wedding Singer and DJ Yorkshire Sopley Mill

I’m actually very glad I made the trip down as the day was great, the venue was beautiful and I genuinely had A LOT of fun! My cheeks were hurting from laughing by the end of the night!

I must mention the beautiful wedding venue – Sopley Mill. The place is brimming with character! It was obviously a fully working mill once upon a time, which means it still had the river flowing through the building where the rushing water used to power the wheel! All the old millstones and grinding mechanisms are preserved too and are lit up in a way that really highlights the building’s beautiful individuality (see my wedding highlights video). The ceremony room was jaw-dropping also! Just a very classy place that let the natural beauty of the building shine through. When you have such an amazing, historic building as your wedding venue, complete with a river flowing through the inside and views over the countryside as far as the eye can see – you don’t need to add any gimmicks! The beauty speaks for itself! You only have to view some of the featured images by the amazing ‘Camera Hannah’ on this blog to see how nice the wedding venue was.

Below is a highlights video I made of the day that I think captures a lot of the fun of the wedding better than I could in writing. 

The first song you hear was their chosen song from the aisle walk – my version of Iron and Wine’s ‘Love and Some Verses.’

The second is an improvised instrumental sample of Oasis’ ‘Half The World Away’, played by me.

It was and amazing day and I was very happy to be a part of it! Even with the driving, I’d do it all again!

Supplier shoutout – The amazing and personal photographer was Camera Hannah. It was a pleasure to work with her as she went the extra mile for Amber and Mat. (Featured Images) http://www.camerahannah.co.uk/ 

The wedding venue’s website can be found here – http://sopleymill.co.uk/ 

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