Lily and Arthur’s rustic fusion wedding day at The Manor Barn in Harlton is beautiful with a capital B. In fact every time I look at the photographs from the wedding I fall more and more in love with the sublime imagery captured perfectly by John Hope Photography.
There is love, there is laughter, there are a whole heap of guests having ping pong fun and much more besides. I adore Lily’s dress – the Ulises design by Rosa Clará and I’m in lust with her exquisite peony and dahlia bouquet. And I haven’t even got started on the pinky orange table florals or THOSE cakes yet. This wedding is a dream!
The Bride’s Fashion
Lily The Bride: I chose Ulises from Rosa Clara’s Soft Collection 2014. The long wedding dress had an intricate beaded overlay, which gave a bohemian/Gastby-esque look that I loved. I was searching for a dress that covered the shoulders but still felt young and fresh, so one of the main features that drew me to this dress were the fluttery short sleeves.
The evening gown was a modern Chinese cheongsam, known as a “qipao” in Mandarin Chinese. The qipao was a nice nod to my family’s culture. My mother and I selected a light pink silk with watercolor flower print from Beijing’s famous Silk Street and had it custom-made for a perfect fit.
I chose a pair of gold, high heel sandals from Andre. The warm, gold worked with both dresses so that I did not need to change shoes when I switched to my evening gown.
We met at the University of Cambridge, when Arthur was getting his master’s degree and I was on a study-abroad program. The city of Cambridge thus holds special meaning to us and we wanted to celebrate our wedding where it all started. As we met in school, we had thought about holding the ceremony at one of the chapels of our colleges, but eventually agreed that a humanist wedding suited us better and that we wanted a more private venue. The Manor Barn, Harlton was the perfect choice. The gorgeous garden area next to the barn gave us the opportunity to hold an outdoor ceremony and reception in 27 degree weather and plenty of sunshine. The large barn had beautiful high-ceilings and was spacious enough to fit our wedding party of 100.
The rustic barn provided a backdrop of nice, neutral tones, to which we wanted to add a pop of colour, so we bought Chinese paper lanterns in warm pinks and oranges. The table settings echo the rustic feel of the barn, with burlap table runners and pastel jam jars to hold the centerpieces. Rather than the standard wedding table numbers, we had each table named after a Cambridge University college.
The magnificent flower arrangements were created by The Manor Florist. The bridal bouquet was an arrangement of peonies, roses, stocks and astilbes of ivory, cream and pale pinks. My sister’s bridesmaid bouquet was made up of ivory peonies and rosemary. My sister and I wore pink spray roses in our hair.
The mens’ buttonholes were made of wheat and small succulents and the womens’ buttonholes for the mother of the bride and groom were made of waxflower and astilbe.
As we had a humanist wedding, we were free to tailor the ceremony in a way that would best reflect us as a couple. Arthur’s younger brother hosted the ceremony and married us, and our other siblings made translations of his speech into Chinese and French. We had our friends each say readings that were meaningful to us or that they selected themselves.
I come from a family of ping-pong champions, so we had game stations that included ping-pong tables. We also provided Molkky, a Finnish outdoor throwing game. The Manor Barn also had a trampoline that proved to be very popular with guests.
During the dinner, we heard speeches made by our fathers, the maid of honour, and the best man, and watched a surprise wedding video from Arthur’s friends as well as a poetry reading from Arthur’s younger brother. Guests entertained themselves with the photobooth and the many photo props that were hand-crafted by the maid of honour and 3D-printed by Arthur’s 3D-printing company.
As The Manor Barn, Harlton is 15 minutes south of the Cambridge city center, we had a wedding bus pick up from the Cambridge City Hotel to transport everyone to the Manor Barn. The bus was a Silver 1964 Routemaster, selected to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee in 1977.
We knew that the wedding would be a whirlwind of a day that would pass too quickly, so we wanted to invest in a great wedding photographer. John was absolutely amazing, such a professional – never intrusive and really captured the feel of the wedding and all the emotion! We are so incredibly happy with our photos.