Mandy & Simon had a wonderfully creative and fun summer wedding with heaps of budget friendly beauty including giant balloons, pin badges and picnic baskets. This DIY extravaganza took place in South Farm in Cambridgeshire. I love the bright colour scheme but what really comes across is just how much fun everyone is having. It’s a perfect day.
Mandy The Bride: Our search area/style for a venue was huge. We didn’t have a clue what sort of wedding we both wanted and we were looking at all of London, Scotland and beyond. We rolled up at the open day at South Farm in Cambridgeshire and immediately I got the feeling that this was the place. South Farm was wonderful from the get go, the onsite Romany caravan accommodation for our guests, the camping field, the wonderful food, the fact everything is grown on site, their relaxed attitude with us, and help to accommodate anything we wanted. If that wasn’t enough they then bought out the single thing that sealed the deal… The owner Phillip rounded the corner in his very own Thai tuk tuk… Sold! We were immediately in love. Phillip took us for a ride around the vegetable gardens and orchards, stopping to pull up a squash for us en route. I was to make my entrance to our garden wedding on that tuk tuk 8 months later, bedecked with flowers and my dad! We booked the summerhouse for ceremony to take place in the gardens, thus sealing our fate with the weather, which after a drizzle and talk of hair drying the grass, turned into the most beautiful day!
We really wanted the reception to feel like a giant picnic with all our family and friends. South farm cooked up a fabulous barbeque buffet, which created such a relaxed informal feel. The wedding became such a collaborative effort with our Chef friend Henry making jars of Homemade chutney, which accompanied the food perfectly. The wedding cake was made by friend and bridesmaid Tash ( the Pirate Baker) who worked so hard to get the flavors just perfect, and even had a wooden cake topper made of us and our little cat. The relaxed feel was further enhanced by Dana Young Flowers our incredible florist. I love flowers and knew that Dana understood what we were after. I was floored on the day though, the bouquet full of blue hydrangeas, pink roses and sweet peas with bright flashes of green foliage complete with fresh Rosemary, mint and thyme, all hand tied with a striped ribbon, Looked and smelt wonderful. The rest of the flowers followed suit with a garland around the summerhouse of eucalyptus and blue hydrangeas. The bridesmaids carried bouquets full of sweet peas in every conceivable shade of pinks and purples. The buttonholes for the boys were white roses with the ladies getting bright pinks.
The DIY & Decor
It came in handy that we both have creative jobs and were able to design and make all the details for the big day. Stationery, escort cards on pin boards, chalk board signage, the biscuit named tables (we were Bourbon… Obviously), picnic baskets as table centers full of goodies including hundreds of little pin badges (made by us and our friends during a wine fuelled evening) and then there were the giant balloons…
To say we had underestimated this task is an understatement. The 3ft diameter balloons required an enormous amount of helium, much more than we had thought we would need, and we had forgotten about until there were only a few weeks to go. The helium canister itself was so heavy and needed delivery, which South Farm kindly helped us out with. When inflated if it was too hot the balloons would deflate a bit, but they also couldn’t get too cold. They couldn’t fit through a regular door so couldn’t be stored inside, they were too buoyant to be tied to a chair, so the weekend before the wedding we were making balloon weights by filling large cans full of cement!!!
On the day there were ten people in the barn inflating, tying and ribboning the 18 balloons and transporting them out to the garden where the ceremony would take place. Once in place there was quite a breeze which sent them into a spin on their two meter long ribbons. Eventually the breeze dropped, the balloons settled and they looked fabulous!
We asked our family and friends to save any tin cans they could for us, and we got hundreds of them, from sweet corn right up to dog food cans, they were all painted with a pretty chalky blue/green paint and filled by Dana with wild flowers and herbs and placed everywhere. Our guests ended up taking home armfuls of them there were so many, a couple of guests even managed to get a giant balloon home!
At Latitude 2013 we danced at The Disco Shed and said “wouldn’t it be brilliant if they did weddings”. Unbelievably they do, we booked Paddy who was beyond brilliant and turned up suited and booted with the garden shed in tow, complete with hanging baskets. To say this made our day is to not do him justice. Our guests loved the shed, we loved the shed and the shed rocked!
The dress was found whilst shopping with my mum and sister in a Scottish bridal boutique. Although not what I had thought I would go for, the huge princess skirt style was a winner, with a low lace back, high front neck with little lace cap sleeves and the huge skirt and train. It was so important for me to feel comfortable on the day and be able to move about easily given the size of the skirt and the fact I am 5’ tall, I had to make multiple trips back to Scotland to have the dress taken up. I adored wearing my dress, it made me feel incredible and it was so easy to wear. I can only describe it like wearing a t shirt with a ball gown attached to it, even better with my pair of customized Tiffany-blue Converse All Stars.
The suits were hired from Jack Bunneys. Simon had the Navy York 2 piece with tailored-made grey check waistcoat, matching (self-tie) bow tie and pocket square. The two best men, usher and the two Dads wore the Navy York 3 piece with grey check slim ties and pocket squares to match Simon’s waistcoat.
Simon bought the Grooms party typewriter key cufflinks with their initials on them as well as yellow socks. The boys could get any shoes, so long as they were brown. Simon also had a silver pocket watch to finish off the look.
We met Lina & Tom at the South Farm open day. We got on so well with them and found it was like talking to old friends. They both helped with the relaxed feel of the day, and Lina was fantastic with her advice all day long. What we want to know is how they managed not to catch one another in their photos, as they seemed to be everywhere at all times. They captured parts of the day that we otherwise wouldn’t have seen. They managed to tell our story beautifully through their relaxed photography understanding all the very important elements to us.