WWW readers Joanne and Owain chose to tie the knot in late Spring on the 27th May 2017 at South Farm in Cambridgeshire. The venue is a working farm and is just a dreamy setting. I myself have attended weddings there and the surroundings, not to mention gypsy caravans are just so lovely. The barn was really transformed by Joanne and Owain who used a peach, sage and slate grey colour palette and personal touches to really make their mark.
The florals here today really are extraordinarily beautiful; roses, hydrangeas and peonies were all arranged to perfection. So pretty! Joanne chose to wear Osini by Pronovias and I can see why with it’s figure hugging lace and pretty halterneck straps. She looked so very beautiful in it, teamed with those super cute pom pom heels too. Owain meanwhile donned a light grey suit with dashing bow tie for a timeless and classic style.
Capturing all of the moments just wonderfully was Photography by Bea, whose images we are thrilled to be sharing. Thanks Bea!
THE PROPOSAL | Owain proposed while on holiday in Tuscany. On a gorgeous balmy evening we were enjoying a lovely glass a wine and taking in the beautiful scenery when he popped the question. Florence is my middle name, which Owain always refers to me as, so to be proposed to following an idyllic trip to Florence a few days before was so lovely.
THE VISION | We wanted a vintage, rustic theme that would complement our venue South Farm and chose peach, sage green and slate grey as the colour palette. It was my vision, that Owain created into a reality.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Its always been a laughing matter the fact that we were going to plan a wedding as we’re self-confessed non planners! Owain is too laid back and I don’t think I’m creative. It was also difficult as we live in Dubai but with help from Pinterest and friends and family with Owain’s creativity and talent we pulled it off!
THE VENUE | Because we got engaged near Florence we went on a recce to find a venue in Italy. Things went from bad to worse, terrible weather, loud Americans topped off with Owain crashing into a bush on a Vesper excursion! Italy was off the menu. So, because Owain’s family are in Wales and mine in West Sussex I wanted to find a venue that was in between the two places and stumbled across South Farm in Cambridge (yes, I know what you’re thinking Cambridge isn’t between to two – let’s just say I got that a little bit wrong but by the time it was realised, we had fallen in love with the venue.) South Farm is run by the Paxman family who you can tell are so passionate about the venue, which includes farmhouse, barn, stables and dairy not forgetting Romany caravans, one of which we stayed in on a menu tasting visit. South Farm is a running farm and smallholding. Provenance is of utmost importance to them so most of the food on the delicious menu is produce from the farm and if not locally sourced. They even make their own ice cream and specially made a rhubarb flavour as a gesture for my grandparents George and Eileen as they have grown rhubarb in their garden for as long as I can remember. As you can imagine South Farm is worlds apart from Dubai, which we call ‘The Sandpit’ it’s a great blank canvas to make your own with beautiful inside and outside areas.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My Pronovias gown is made from Chantilly and guipure lace with a glamorous train and champagne lining that worked well with our rustic theme and a different almost halterneck neck line with mermaid silhouette that hugged my figure without being revealing in any way. I paired this with a silk chiffon cathedral length veil as I wanted something really light and flowing that would complement the dress without drawing any attention away from it. My necklace was a beautiful wedding day gift from Owain that I now very rarely take off, it’s a lovely teardrop diamond encased in smaller diamonds. He did well as it sat on my neck perfectly with the dress’ neckline. Next my shoes, I’m normally very frugal and not one for designer brands (a rarity in Dubai) but I fell in love with a pair of Jimmy Choo Rosa 100 bridal shoes with the fur pom pom. In turn we sewed on some pom poms to little Niece’s flower girls shoes to match.
FINDING THE DRESS | I tried on quite a few dresses. I knew I didn’t want anything revealing as in low cut, nor did I want any sparkle whatsoever but I just couldn’t find one with all the elements I liked from various dresses. Just as my stay in the UK was about to end I tried another shop locally in Reigate, Surrey called The Bridal Room and hey presto, I found a Pronovias gown. The Osini.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | We went to a great tailor in Cardiff called Hawkes where Owain tried on quite a few suits. Originally we were going with a navy, but then felt a soft grey worked better with the rest of the wedding and had a pale grey suit made and paired it with white shirt, white bow tie and brown shoes. The groomsmen, Cen my bestman (best friend and brother) the two James’ (one a very close friend for many years, the other a close friend and business partner) and my Dad Les and Owain’s Dad Brian all had slate grey textured suits with light grey handkerchiefs, ties and bow ties.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | The readings were personal ones created and read by our mothers. Firstly Owain’s Mum Gail who said it in Welsh first, then in English, followed by my Mum Ann. We had a harpist during the ceremony and throughout the reception drinks. This was a little surprise for Gail who loves harp music and the fact the harp is Welsh. I walked down the aisle to Canon in D by Johann Pachelbell. In the evening we had a band Freddie and the Freeloaders who played our first dance Adorn by Miguel.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My bridesmaids, Emma, a best friend of mine since school, Louise a really special friend I’ve known for years since we worked together and my sister in law Celine. Louise was heavily pregnant for the wedding but she pulled off the dress really well. They all helped so much the morning of the wedding and we had fun the night before at a lovely B&B round the corner called Radford House reminiscing about the hen do in Bath. I hunted high and low for their bridesmaid dresses in the style I wanted (a sage green chiffon maxi dress with sweetheart neckline and chiffon halterneck over the top) but to no avail, so instead had them made by a tailor in Dubai. This was also the case for the little flower girl niece Elsbeth’s dress. I wanted a mini version of my dress so matched the lace as best I could for the lovely little gown, the same goes for her shoes with the matching pom pom. Getting the size right for this dress was quite difficult as she was just over a year old for the wedding and was growing so quickly it was a mission getting her measured and having it made in Dubai!
THE FLOWERS | The colours of the flowers were chosen to match the colour palette including peonies, veronica, astilbe, wax flower, hydrangea, avalanche roses and Juliette garden rose. The florist was Daisy Ellen who created perfect bouquets for me and my bridesmaids, buttonholes, corsages, table centre pieces in vases and jars, a huge flower garland above the top table, flowers decorating our step ladder (one of grandad’s that we painted) bunches on each chair on the aisle and flowers with ribbons hanging from a tree with a hand painted frame in the grounds as a photo station.
THE CAKE | The cake was supposed to be semi naked however the cake maker covered it in buttercream (was still delicious) but didn’t meet our brief however Owain sculpted our two Pomeranian dogs as wedding cake toppers.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Bea was our fantastic photographer. I researched her work before booking her and loved the way she really captured the romance and ambience of peoples weddings. We are so happy with the images she took of our special day.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We wanted a close family atmosphere to the wedding and included lots of welsh elements including a bag of welsh cakes homemade by Owain’s Mum Gail and close friends (cant get more authentic than that) and dainty wooden love spoons. On a visit to Wales we went to the beach and found hundreds of pieces of slate. Some were even shaped as love hearts so went in search of collecting the right shapes and sizes as place names that Owain would write on with white pen in a lovely calligraphy style he does. I love bunting and how quintessentially British it is and commissioned local company Something Borrowed to make some that was really personal to us. The bunting flags included world maps to symbolise me travelling the world as cabin crew, farm animals to complement South Farm, dogs for our zoo back home (we rescue dogs, cats and tortoises in the UAE) along with a selection of peach, sage and slate grey fabrics to match the colour palette, all strung with lace to match my dress. It was perfect, such an amazing mix of materials. We did consider making the bunting ourselves but by the time we had bought the fabric and spent all the time cutting out the flags and sewing them all together it worked out so much cheaper hiring it from Something Borrowed, plus it worked out really well. We got it delivered to my Mum’s house on the Thursday, then they arrange a courier to collect it on Monday.
We wanted to include our love for Italy and vineyards in the wedding so Owain created the table plan using old wine bottles on crates with stunning labels with guests names on, then on each table was a drawing of a special place he had drawn in coffee with a handmade cork frame (all the corks were saved by Cen Owain’s brother!), he made a direction sign out of reclaimed wood and painted in sage green chalk paint along with a walker for the flower girl that was filled with rose petals, again out of wood he re created the caravan we stayed in for their menu tasting to be written on as a guest book. We went on an excursion with my Dad and sourced all our log slices and fell in love with a beautiful old piece of oak that we had on the top table (which when we settle back in the UK will make into a mantlepiece) and painted our menu and order of the day with chalk paint on reclaimed pallets that Dad made into signs. Sounds like I’m bigging up my husband but I really am so proud and in awe of his talent. He’s since done some beautiful drawings of South Farm that we have up in our villa and is considering taking commissions to draw wedding venues for couples as keepsakes or first anniversary gifts to symbolise paper.
Owain used to keep birds and look after injured pigeons so a dove release was a must in his books. They’re something that South Farm offers and keep in the Dovecoat. We also had a great magician Lee Smith mingling with our guests throughout the reception drinks plus garden games including giant jenga, hoopla, and skittles as entertainment during the day. The evening was another family affair. George, my Grandad loves to entertain so he carried out a performance of jokes, singing and harmonica playing. Our band played throughout the evening and took part in another performance from Grandad George, a waltz with my Mum Ann.
The day was finished off with guests who had travelled from around the world to attend the wedding to take part in the sparkler send off. I loved walking between all our family and friends waving their sparklers, it was magical bringing back memories of the excitement of bonfire night! It was the perfect ending to a perfect day. A day I will treasure forever and never forget.
THE HONEYMOON | Erm, well as I said we aren’t really planners so we still haven’t booked anywhere, however we have been looking at going somewhere on Safari.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Our most memorable moment is seeing each other for the first time as I was walking down the aisle to Owain. I followed my little niece down there, It’s such a daunting moment when you’re there on your Dads arm waiting for the signal but you’re just in this incredible bubble were all you can focus on is your future husband or wife.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Know what you can and cant do. We did a lot of it ourselves but it does get stressful so involve specialist suppliers to do what they do best and to take the pressure off you. Doing bits yourself is special and really adds a personal touch to your wedding but know your boundaries. I love baking but there was no way I was making our cake!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Photography by Bea
Florist | Daisy Ellen
Venue | South Farm
Bunting | Something Borrowed Events
Hair & Make up | Izzy Wild
Brides dress | Pronovias
Magician | Walk About Magic
Brides shoes | Jimmy Choo
Groom’s suit | Hawkes
Just so beautiful!
Huge thanks to Joanne and Owain for sharing their wonderful wedding story with us xo Lou