Our very own magic maker – also known as Ceremony Co-ordintor Becky

6th June 2021

Getting married is a very special life event. Helping you to make your wedding extra special and guiding you through your ceremony is our Ceremony Coordinator Becky. 

Becky has been at Dode for several years; however, has known Dode for a lot longer. In fact, since a small girl Becky knew Doug because her Dad and Doug are good friends. Her sister had a naming ceremony for her nephew at Dode as well and her brother in law is the gardener keeping all the wonderful grounds looking pristine.

In her own words “the very first time I stepped into Dode for my nephews naming ceremony now some 13yrs ago I knew there and then this special place was where I wanted to be married, I could already envisage my dress and style, my poor husband to be didn’t really have much choice but lucky for me he loved it as much as I do. Dode is very much now part of our lives forever.’’

After having her first son Becky worked free-lance and started helping at Dode with marketing and some events, fast forward a few years and she is running a lot of Dode whilst Doug & Mary step back and enjoy a much-earned retirement.

Married at Dode nearly 5 years ago, on 8th October 2016 our blog features our very own magic maker – also known as Ceremony Co-ordintor, Becky. Picture below of Becky on her wedding day at Dode

Dode is such as special venue, can you tell us what your average day is like on a wedding day?

Most of our couples have a ceremony at around 1-2pm, with up to 40 guests in the church. They have the legal ceremony inside, then head outside for drinks and canapés in the grounds. A large proportion of our couples include a handfasting at the stones with Paul which allows for a more personal and intimate ceremony. Following the hand-fasting couples have photographs, while we turn around the church and put the tables out for food and set up with the caterers. Usually, the reception dinner is around 5pm however with Dode being quite a relaxed and fluid venue plans very much go with the flow. Couples can have a cake cutting or first dance after dinner when we have cleared away the tables. Bands and DJs are welcome until 10pm when transport arrives to take them to their destination for the night.

Did you always want to work in weddings, how did you get into it?

No! My education after school was based around equine studies (being an avid horse rider at the time) before I became an executive PA by chance for 13 years. I have always had an interest in weddings, like most girls do. However, as a freelance PA after my first son and knowing Doug and Mary family wise is how I got into running Dode. With having my own ceremony at Dode, I know what to expect and I have first-hand experience of how the ceremonies proceed and the best ways to make the most of the time at this magical venue.

If you could give couples one tip for planning their wedding what would it be?

Focus on you. Too many people get carried away with what everyone else and their family would like and feel like they must invite a huge guest lists including relatives they haven’t seen for a long time etc.  Remember it is about you, your partner, family and children. Enjoy it and don’t get carried away with the wants of others, trends and shiny things.

Dode has been lucky enough to see a selection of styled photoshoots, what is your favourite one?

There are two favourites actually; being a big Game of Thrones fan, I really enjoyed the Game of Thrones shoot where the stylist planned Dark and Light Sansa and Daenerys styled couples. It looked ultra-cool with the iron thrown in Dode. 

I can’t miss out my favourite doggy styled shoot as it has my own dog Cooper in as ‘Best Doggy Man’.  The shoot was a lot of fun last year after lockdown and being stuck at home for months. Two dogs were very lucky to be officially married with a hand fasting by Doug.

Do you have a favourite feature at Dode?

My favourite feature I would have to say is the back wall at Dode. Especially when you are down at the stones looking up at the Church viewing the stonework with ivy growing up. I think it makes a great backdrop for photos. The colours and the shape of the church, especially on a nice blue crisp day in contrast to the sky. I think it is a stunning wall and shows off the history of Dode. 

Dode is very special for everyone who visits, are you able to describe why? 

Yes, it is indeed a special place. So many couples who visit for the first time say that pictures just do not do it justice. It is not until you walk through the door and into Dode that you feel the atmosphere and there is a magic there, I have always felt it. There is a certain presence and an energy which is calming and peaceful and many people enjoy just coming to spend quiet time within Dode’s stone walls.

Various people pick up different things, we have had couples come through the door and cry, it is hard to describe the feeling in words. To think hundreds of years ago people were there doing the same things – getting married, naming children etc. Looking back when the Black Death was around people probably came to the church fearing their life – it is interesting to know and think about the history of the church. There is a feeling that you cannot portray in words or photos.

Do you have a wedding that sticks in your mind, and why?

This is hard, because with my role I am not actually there on the day, that is Graham’s job. I tend to see the wedding after in photos. But there have been several weddings – George and Amber has always stuck in my mind. Ambers dress and style was really unique (as many others are at Dode) and the photos really made a statement.  They even created their own photo booth wall for the day which the whole bridal party enjoyed.

Louise & Joes steam punk wedding with home-made props made by the groom including a steam punk inspired cake holder plus Louise’s custom-made dress really sticks in my mind.  Oh and Ty and Lee’s Halloween wedding with a life size Frankenstein in the car park. Hard to forget that one!

They are all so different and I love when couples find their own style and quirky theme which you can get away with at Dode.

The Lost Village of Dode, a wedding venue in the Kent countryside is licensed for 42 guests for a ceremony. You can choose from an intimate indoor Civil Ceremony or Partnership and Renewal of Vows. Or for an outdoor Blessing or Pagan Handfasting Ceremony. You can hold your event within the ancient Stone Circle followed by a Wedding Reception, with dancing by candlelight and then why not stay overnight, onsite; in one of the two superb award-winning cottages.

To learn more about ceremonies at Dode or to book a viewing please contact Becky becky@dodevillage.com

Thank you for reading,

The Lost Village of Dode Team 😊