Would you just take a look at that glorious image above?! In fact all of these utterly dreamy images featured, shot by the brilliant Lina and Tom, are sublime you guys! We are so grateful and thankful to be sharing them with you today.
WWW readers Natalie and Louis were hitched on the 13 May 2017 at the gorgeous South Farm in Cambridgeshire. They had a vision of a whimsical Midsummer Night’s Dream wedding and they totally achieved it in complete and utter style. The barn was adorned with festoon lights and stars to give a night sky effect, there were opulent natural meadow style cascading florals and quirky decorations to name a few. They also hand folded over 800 paper cranes, which look just lovely strung around the barn.
I have to say their outdoor ceremony looked just perfect and I am a huge fan of their choice of The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman reading. To entertain there was a magician, bouncy castle and live music, I am sure guests were in their element.
Finally, I just have to mention how stunning Natalie and Louis both look. Natalie chose a Dana Bolton gown featuring a tulle skirt and cap sleeves teamed with flowing cathedral length veil. While Louis went for a three piece brown tweed suit with a tie for him and bow ties for his groomsmen. What style.
Louis proposed in Pembrokeshire, Wales in December 2015. During our walk along the cliffs of Marloes Sands, we happened upon a breath-taking waterfall. We decided to take a short biscuit break to admire the view, and while Natalie was digging around for the chocolate digestives, the sky transformed into a dazzling Turner canvas (beams of sunlight shattered through clouds, and a rainbow appeared across the planes). Louis seized the moment … and got down on one knee.
Natalie, a hopeless romantic, had the vision of a wistful, whimsical and mischievous wedding. Natalie’s inspiration? A Midsummer Night’s Dream (AMND). Think fairies, potions, enchanted forests, donkeys, lovers and starry nights. Louis, bless him, went along with everything.
THE PLANNING PROCESS
Louis’ advanced spreadsheet skills came in very handy.
South Farm, Royston, Cambridgeshire. We loved South Farm from the word go. The grounds were gorgeous – vibrant and full of life, especially in Spring – and the menu was first-class – locally sourced, organic and plenty of options for our veggie and pescatarian family and friends. When we arrived at South Farm for our first visit/consultation, we knew very quickly that we didn’t need to see anywhere else.
It really helped that South Farm’s website was so user friendly, with an up-to-date availability calendar and prices set out in black and white (this is in contrast to many venues which ask you to make enquiries – not conducive to impatient couples/brides (like Natalie).
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES
Dress: Semi-bespoke dress by Dana Bolton. Accessories: Ruby and diamond cluster pear studs and matching pendant from Gemondo; pearl bracelet from Ernest Jones; floral crown by our florist, Jo from Heavy Petal. Daytime shoes: Rachel Simpson Mimosa heels in ivory. She also purchased a pair of deco buckles from Rachel Simpson – these added an extra hint of elegance to the heels. Evening shoes: Bella Belle Adora embellished mesh flats.
FINDING THE DRESS
Natalie had a pretty good idea of what she wanted – whimsical and boho (so flowy and unstructured), while also being vintage inspired. She tried on a few dresses which incorporated these features before she found and fell in love with Dana Bolton’s designs. Dana’s Eloise dress was especially striking, and with a few requests from Natalie (dark cream silk skirt under sheer tulle for the vintage look, flowy capped sleeves, trailing lace motifs around the hip, and lots of buttons at the back), the end product was an exquisite semi-bespoke design. Dana also made Natalie an extra-long veil, which acted as an alternative to a train.
A three-piece tweed suit (in tobacco Donegal pattern) from Walker Slater. The groomsmen wore waistcoats and bow ties made from the same material as the groom’s suit. We managed to convince the store to sell us some extra tweed so Natalie set about making the bow ties herself. This meant getting reacquainted with a sewing machine after a very long hiatus (two decades!). (The last bow tie looked better than the first one, though not by much …)
THE READINGS & MUSIC
Readings: “Meeting Point” by Louis MacNeice and a passage from The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman, both read by Louis’ (groom) sister, Rose. Ceremony music: Classical guitar by the very talented Steve Bean. We had a couple of special requests, and Steve did not disappoint. He played “Kissing You” by Des’ree while Natalie walked down the aisle, and “Sukiyaki” by Kyu Sakamoto for guests who travelled all the way from Japan, while the couple signed the register.
From Canada: Jessica (maid-of-honour and five months’ pregnant at the time of the wedding!), Erin and Kristin. From Zurich: Marlena. From London: Ezra. The girls wore Jenny Yoo’s Annabelle dress in various shades of pastel. Ezra wore a powder blue suit, with a blush pink tie. Our flower girl, Daisie, wore a dress from Monsoon Girls, and fairy wings from Etsy.
Heavy Petal. The look that Jo created was nothing short of magical – moss, fern, trailing ivy, manzanita trees, bird cages and beautiful, vibrant floral arrangements on every table. We’d stepped into our enchanted forest. Then there was Natalie’s bouquet – it cascaded, it was wild, it was exquisite. Jo allowed us to dream big, and on the day of our wedding, she brought our vision to life.
A cake of cheese. We just HEART cheese. The best thing? Leftovers.
“Ahh, Lina and Tom …” (said with warm, tender affection). What a talented duo. They capture so much energy and emotion in a picture that it’s hard not to be transported back in time to experience it all again … and again. On top of this rare talent, Lina and Tom are just incredible human beings. They became part of our closest circle of family and friends at our wedding, as well as in the lead up to it – they gave us support, they made us laugh, and they really and truly had our backs. We love these guys – for their work and for who they are (told you we heart cheese!).
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR
We strung festoon lights and star-shaped lanterns to create the illusion of a starry night sky in the old barn, where we had our wedding breakfast. And with the manzanita trees, moss and trailing ivy on the tables, it was a barn-cum-enchanted forest. Additional table details: confetti made from pages of AMND, donkeys spray-painted gold, vintage toys (kaleidoscope, thaumatrope and matchbox puzzles), table names with characters from AMND (and quotes from those characters on the back), tree slices from Louis’ childhood home, and wedding favours, which were second-hand classic books and tea in three different flavours (cherry green tea to represent Japan, maple bacon pancakes to represent Canada, and rhubarb and custard to represent the UK).
Louis’ parents made the beautiful frame for our seating chart, using branches and ivy from their garden.
Louis and Natalie also applied themselves creatively by folding cranes, hundreds and hundreds of them. We initially set out to fold 1,000 cranes (for good fortune, as per ancient Japanese legend), but after reaching 800 and something just hours before the wedding, we lost the will to go on. (Hopefully this says nothing of our marriage.)
Ten glorious days in Mauritius – adventure-packed but also indulgent.
The rain threatening, then drizzling, then stopping five minutes before our outdoor ceremony, followed by sunny skies thereafter; the intoxicating amount of love you feel when you see each other down the aisle; a nervous groom starting his vows with “I do solemnly decware”, met with colossal laughter from our devious guests; confetti in the mouth and up the nose; the bouncy castle; nine-day old piglets running around the farmyard; the Father-of-the-Groom speeches; the Mother-of-the-Bride speech; the bridal party breaking into the Friends’ theme song, “I’ll be there for you”; and dancing to “put your hands up for Detroit” with a mature great aunt, to name just a few.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES
It’s tricky to spend quality time with all your wedding guests, especially if you have a large guest list, so how about getting the festivities started a day early with those you haven’t seen in a while/those from out-of-town? We organised a day-trip in Cambridge for our overseas guests, followed by an overnight BBQ and bonfire soiree at a barn retreat near our wedding venue. It was fun, and we had the opportunity to spend some leisurely time with those who travelled far to see us.
Once the day arrives, let go and enjoy every bit of it, because it’s over in a flash!
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Lina & Tom
Hair & make up
Lisa Alger Hair & Make Up
Isn’t that sparkler send off just the most perfect way to finish an amazing day!?
Thanks ever so much to Natalie and Louis for sharing their story with us, just magical xo Lou