Today’s real wedding is proof that you really don’t need to loose sleep over the weather. WWW readers Katherine and Ben had a really romantic rainy wedding day and you know what? It was so cosy and special, it really added to their wedding day atmosphere. They decided to get hitched in September 2019 at the lovely South Farm in the stunning Cambridgeshire countryside. They even told me;
It was actually your feature on Natalie and Louis’ wedding at South Farm that really cemented my love for the place before we even went to see it!
How amazing is that?! It always makes me so happy to hear that WWW helps to inspire you guys. Hooray! So what do I love about their day aside for the stunning outfit choices, personal touches and the joyful vibes? The flowers, they were just so pretty, the peach and burgundy bouquet interspersed with blue was really striking. Oh my.
First things first: it wasn’t a shock. Having been together for 7 years, we were both on the same page about wanting marriage in our future – it was just a matter of when! I chose my engagement ring, and then Ben proposed to me on holiday amid snow and a (very) faint glimmer of the Northern Lights.
Our idea of a perfect day involved quality time getting ready, a personalised ceremony, great music, good food, and being surrounded by our loved ones.
We wanted a beautiful and stress-free wedding day – and thanks to South Farm, this is exactly what we got. The laid back atmosphere of this place just felt exactly right when we first looked around, and paired with its twinkling lights, gorgeous little animals and the friendliest staff you’ll ever meet, we were quickly won over.
The Planning Process
My elongated spreadsheets and lists came in handy: I scoured Pinterest and wedding blogs to map out a timeline of what we needed to do when and, combined with South Farm’s brilliant planning document and my obsession with getting things sorted immediately, we remained on track for the months leading up to the wedding day. I began properly planning the day in February and by late spring everything was pretty much sorted. We didn’t opt for a theme or elaborate decorations, as South Farm is beautiful all on its own, and we were on quite a modest budget. I loved plotting out the music for the ceremony, agonising over which song would flow into the next, and also put a huge amount of thought into the combination of flowers (simply because I adore flowers of so many kinds!) Ben sorted out the suits and we both loved choosing the food for our guests, of course…
Fairly modest and slightly exceeded. It was worth every penny.
Ben and I both love the colour blue and this was scattered into a lot of the day – including in the hydrangea on the top table and in the bridal party’s bouquets. Amy from Thyme on St Mary’s did an amazing job pulling together my requests for the bridal bouquet and the bridesmaids and flower girls’ posies, which included splashes of yellow and bright green, dreamy pinks and the deepest burgundy they could find. Flowers included viburnum roseum and thlaspi; yellow craspedia; small dahlia and scabious; pale pink roses and blue waxflower. We kept the ceremony room flowers simple – one vase of flowers on the table and some gyp wrapped in twine around the outer chairs (fairly cheap and cheerful).
A friend made our cake – the top layer being matcha and white chocolate, and the bottom layer peanut butter and milk chocolate. We asked for the buttercream not to be too sweet and for it to be topped with berries, macaron and pansies. It tasted great and our guests loved it.
Your Outfits & Accessories
The first thing we bought clothing-wise was my dress. I had no idea what I’d go for, but ahead of my appointment at the Tailor’s Cat in Cambridge, saw a photograph of a flouncy, flowery gown by Stella York (6432) and just fell in love with it. That said, I had no idea if it would suit me at all. As I’m a bit conscious of my arms and back (I get a little acne and it’s unpredictable, as many will relate to!), I wasn’t sure a strapless dress would make me feel my best. But when the appointment came around, I tried it on as the third out of four initial options, and once I was in it, I just didn’t want to take it off. All I could picture was Ben, and that’s how I knew it was ‘my dress’. Ben got his suit and those of his groomsmen from Moss Bros on hire – it was a Ted Baker design called Lounge Lizard, and he loved the slightly grey-blue tone.
Kerry from Cambridge Makeup Artist will attest to my enthusiasm and the speed at which I booked her once I’d seen her stuff online. I really liked the way she combined glamour and natural beauty into her work. She wove pretty stars into my hair (from her own range, Enchanted Bridal Accessories) and showered my eyes with golden glitter. I bought my lipstick (Charlotte Tilbury’s Amazing Grace) a few days before the wedding and it was handy being able to top it up during the day. Kerry was also a super reassuring and organised voice on the day, keeping my bridal party on track and nice and calm. At the last moment I bought my earrings from the lovely Lilac Rose in Cambridge…their jewellery is pretty and very affordable – a great combination in my book.
We couldn’t recommend South Farm enough if you’re after relaxation, togetherness and a touch of what feels like magic. The staff are so well organised and welcoming, and everything seems effortless from start to finish (though we can only imagine the work it takes behind the scenes to keep this place going like clockwork…!) They offer you the option of getting married outdoors, but the Old Dairy had such a charming atmosphere, we opted for it in advance – and it’s just as well, as our day was all kinds of crazy weather: rain showers, gusts of wind, a little sunshine…all of which made our time indoors feel extra cosy throughout the day.
The Readings & Music
We didn’t have any readings but we wrote our own vows. I walked down the aisle to The Finnish Line by Colm Mac Con Iomaire – an absolute favourite – and we walked back up the aisle to Merrily Kissed the Quaker by Planxty, in homage to my Irish roots. The rest of the day was full of Motown and Soul music mainly, with our first dance being to the Delfonics’ La-La (Means I Love You). DJ Gary kept the dancefloor grooving into the evening with plenty of classic tracks.
The moment we saw Irene Yap’s work via a wedding blog, we were bowled over. I feel I don’t need to sell it to you in words here, as her work speaks for itself! What we’d like to share, though, is that in tandem with being incredibly talented, Irene is also an absolute delight to work with – she is funny, kind, not showy, and you’ll hardly notice her for most of the time…which adds to the natural beauty of her work. We met Irene in Brighton for our engagement photos over the summer and this really helped us feel at ease with having our photo taken together. It was also just a very fun day (highly recommend cocktails at The Set if you’re ever in town).
Mike at Black Sheep Films produced a romantic, atmospheric and brilliant encapsulation of our special day: something to treasure always. We honestly couldn’t have asked for more, as he managed to include both our vows and plenty of shots of the people we love enjoying themselves.
We found our bridesmaids’ dresses via Simply Be – they’re by Joanna Hope. The ladies loved the colour and neckline. What is also lovely about them, I’m told, is how stretchy the fabric is and that it doesn’t get creased easily; ideal for a wedding day. We finished their look with a super sparkly necklace from Accessorize and some little hair pins featuring stars to tie in with my own. To go with the flowers, our bridesmaids wore lovely vibrant lipstick (ranging from coral to more red tones), and their eyes were sparkly too.
The Details & Décor
The ceremony room had a table where we put a cardboard post-box for cards, a little tree for messages and a couple of framed photographs – one being the first photo we had taken together, and the other Irene took during our engagement shoot. Beyond the flowers, we bought little tea light holders and starry scatter for the tables in the Barn. I borrowed two chalk boards and decorated them with chalk pens the night before the wedding – when my anxiety was kicking in all too strongly. They made it to the venue but I accidentally left them in my mum’s car, only to completely forget about them while I was getting ready…nobody noticed of course!
So many – but some of our favourites include getting ready; being reunited at the top of the aisle and the ceremony itself; and everyone being just so happy for us throughout. As you can see in our little film, we were beaming and laughing for so much of the day, and it was over in a flash as everyone always says. One of my bridesmaids made a touching rhyming speech that had everyone giggling. Sitting and listening to Laura’s Paper Heart’s acoustic set during our lunch was unforgettable – her voice added such a lovely warmth to that part of the afternoon. We also enjoyed our first dance more than we anticipated, as it wasn’t at all awkward and people were cheering us on to savour that moment.
We had very little money left after the wedding, but wanted to go somewhere, so booked a three-night break on the Isle of Wight. It was early October and, though it was a little chilly and rainy, the Isle of Wight is a gorgeous place to visit and the food at the Garlic Farm and the Little Gloster was delicious. Wandering around Steephill Cove and the Botanic Gardens was wonderful, too.
Advice For Other Couples
Assume nothing will go perfectly and then marvel when it does. Don’t worry about the weather, as your day will be beautiful no matter what. If you’re on a budget, choose a venue that is pretty all on its own, so you don’t have to buy or rent loads of stuff you’ll only use once. We saved money by keeping decorations to a minimum and ordered loose stems from the florist for our longer tables, and my lovely bridesmaid arranged them on the morning of the wedding, into little glass vases we borrowed from her friend. Saving on not going for extras like a photo-booth or band freed us up to splurge on the things we really valued – the photographs and (as a last-minute decision) a film. On the latter, my advice would be: don’t be afraid of video! My reservation on a videographer was that I didn’t want to feel self-conscious as they filmed me, but if you go for someone like Mike at Black Sheep Films, you honestly don’t even notice they’re there for the majority of the day, and what they create is a natural and beautiful time capsule for you to keep forever.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Irene Yap Photography
Mike Nolan at Black Sheep Films
Hair & Make-up
Kerry at Cambridge Makeup Artist (assisted by the lovely Ali)
Thyme on St Mary’s
The Tailor’s Cat
Does it get any more romantic? A rainy wedding with so much love and happiness.
Katherine and Ben, thank you so very much for sharing your lovely wedding celebration with us xo Lou