Marie-Anthea & David got married at South Farm in July 2021 in a beautiful garden ceremony. They were attracted to South Farm’s sustainable ethos and relaxed, rustic vibe. Their perfect day was especially long-awaited after they were forced to postpone their wedding day twice due to restrictions. When the big day came it was amazing to see them celebrating with as many of their family and friends as could possibly be there. The weather held perfectly and they had a truly beautiful celebration. Amongst many special moments, they recalled fondly how their little daughter walked down the aisle with David and ran to Marie-Anthea with delight when she saw her Mummy walk down the aisle – the joy on all their faces was beautiful to see!
Date of wedding: Sunday 4th July 2021 Time of ceremony: 2pm
How did you meet and what first attracted you to one another?
We met online initially, and first met in person on London Bridge, a perfect place for a North Londoner and South Londoner to come together. Dave almost cancelled because the Northern Line was down, but thankfully he persevered (and was only a little late). We got on really well on our first date, and realised we had a lot in common, including a love of the gym, ballet, good steak, red wine and quality peanut butter.
When was the moment you knew you found the one?
Dave: On the first date, when she talked about her arm routine. That and she had her own flat. I actually said as much to my housemate at the time after I went home by text, so I have hard evidence which I bring out for Marie-Anthea from time to time.
Marie-Anthea: It was very early on, second or third date, when we had our first cuddle and I discovered just how cuddly Dave is, despite being so muscly, and at the same time realising just how sweet and lovely he is despite being so handsome. On our third date Dave offered to come to my office at lunch time on a Monday to bring me a brownie because I was hung over, and that’s when I thought, this man is different, he is a keeper.
Popping the question – Who proposed and how? Was the date significant in any way and was it a surprise?
Dave: I proposed, on the two year anniversary of our meeting, which I thought she’d see coming given previous thinly veiled comparisons to Harry & Meghan getting engaged within two years of their meeting, but apparently it came as a complete surprise. We were at the bar of the Ivy in Covent Garden, which precluded being on one knee. This has not been forgotten. I lead into the proposal with a picture book I’d collated, a story of us, which told the tale of our first two years together. Marie-Anthea got to the end in tears, and completely ignored the small envelope with the ring in it, which I had to delicately draw her attention to…I designed the ring myself and had it made by a jeweller friend. It ended up being ready on the afternoon of the day I’d planned to propose, which is about my standard of organisation.
What was your number one goal when planning your wedding?
We wanted a relaxed affair to celebrate our finding each other with our friends and family, and as a look forward to our future together. Our wedding took place shortly after restrictions largely ended and bringing friends and family together took on even greater importance, as so many of them had been denied this for so long.
What first attracted you to your wedding venue?
South Farm is the most beautiful venue, but also relaxed, rustic and unpretentious. The incredible visual appeal of the summer house and the grounds was a really key selling point, and we prayed that the weather would hold out for us on the day so we could be married outside. In addition, the quality of food, drink, accommodation & service was very high, and South Farm’s sustainable ethos appealed to us, which much of the produce grown on site.
Tell us about the decorative touches you included in the day; how did they reflect your theme/colour scheme?
- Favours: We had guests’ names lazer cut in wood which served as a placename, but also as a keepsake to take away.
- Table plan: Marie-Anthea made this herself using supplies from Hobbycraft – a wooden board, coloured paper, wooden letters and numbers, and a few decorations. It looked great!
- Centrepieces: Marie-Anthea made ours using rustic milk jars and faux flowers which were accompanied by gold photo frames holding photos of us together, and scatter confetti in the shape of wooden hearts with our names and wedding date on.
- Flowers: We were very fortunate to have flowers left on the summer house from a wedding 2 days prior from Honeysuckle Flowers Essex, which we hadn’t planned on but which made the ceremony venue even more beautiful. Marie-Anthea’s bouquet and lapel pins for the groom’s party came from Helen from Verdila flowers, who are local in Royston. We only confirmed the wedding was definitely going ahead a couple of weeks before the big day and Helen was brilliant at accommodating us and the bouquet was absolutely spot on! Marie-Anthea loves roses and Dave likes lilies which both featured heavily.
- Cake: Cheese! Both of us unanimously agreed that wedding cakes are usually boring to eat, and we were having a dessert course in any case, while most people like cheese, including us who love cheese passionately….so we designed a cheese cake made of stacks of different cheeses which we curated from our local cheese shop in Greenwich which we assembled and decorated ourselves with burlap ribbon, edible white roses and a custom made cake topper. We were very pleased with it.
- Table names: Wooden table numbers from good old Hobbycraft. There was a lot of wood and natural fibres in the decorations in keeping with the rustic glam theme.
- Any other venue décor: The order of the day sign was put together by Marie-Anthea, using her extensive collection of power tools and an old pallet! The pallet was cut down into equal strips, sanded and put together, and then Marie-Anthea wrote the timetable down with a black marker. It came together really well!
- Catering options: 3 course wedding breakfast (starter was salmon cheesecake, main was rump of lamb, dessert was chocolate delice). Followed by tea/coffee and petit fours, then the cheese cake which was served with assorted crackers, grapes and chutney), and finally a hog roast in the evening to fuel the dancing!
What did you wear and how did you accessorise?
Marie-Anthea: I was lucky to find an off the rack dress by Signature Collection, which fitted perfectly and needed hardly any alterations, which saved a lot of money (total cost came in under £1000). Shoes were a nude high heeled sandal by Jimmy Choo. I wore just a jewelled hair pin in my hair, no veil. Small pearl ear-rings and a pearl necklace, with two simple, delicate layered gold chains, one of which bears my daughter’s initial which I wear all the time.
Dave: Navy Hugo Boss suit bought especially for the day, Ted Baker floral pattern shirt with pink tie and pocket square (in keeping with the wedding colours!) It ended up being such a small wedding with so many guests not being to travel to attend that we decided to not have Groomsmen so it was easy to stand out.
How did you feel when you first saw yourself on the big day?
Marie-Anthea : I did my own hair and make up so I was relieved that the practice runs I had yielded a decent result on the day!
How did you entertain your guests?
We had a live pianist during the dinner, Tim Balnaves. It went down well, with lots of guests putting in requests.
How did you both feel on the day?
Apprehensive about going ahead with some restrictions in place and family absent due to travel restrictions. Relieved to have finally got there through the pandemic with as many of our friends and family as we did. Nervous that the weather would force us indoors, but ultimately thrilled and gratified to be able to celebrate in the way we wanted, after having had to postpone twice.
What parts stood out for you the most?
Dave: Walking down the aisle with our daughter Emilia, then seeing Marie-Anthea make her entrance, and knowing at last that we were going to have the wedding we’d dreamed of.
Marie-Anthea: My entrance to the ceremony, seeing all our guests waiting for us at last, and Emilia shouting ‘Mama!’ and running up to me to give me a big hug (and getting chocolate slobber on my dress at the same time)
Can you recall any funny stories or unusual anecdotes from the day
Emilia upstaging the grooms speech by stealing my microphone and babbling into it
The DJ playing traditional Greek music, bringing the bride’s mother to the dance floor!
And the after party in the Romany caravans!
Who made your day extra special and how?
Our parents, for helping look after Emilia and giving us space and time to enjoy our day together.
Where did you go on Honeymoon?
Lefkada, in Greece, for a week, for a well earned rest, and the opportunity to teach Emilia to swim.
What is your top wedding planning tip?
It was difficult to arrange hen & stag nights in the run up to our wedding for obvious reasons, but Marie-Anthea was given a surprise hen night by a group of her close friends, which really helped set her up for the day and bring some enjoyment back to the process which had been lost due to all the Covid uncertainty. Taking some time amid the stress of wedding planning to remind yourselves why you’re doing it is thoroughly recommended!
Venue – South Farm
Photographer – Rafe Abrook
Bride’s dress (seamstress) – Greenwich Sewing Atelier/Inguna Murniece
Wedding cake – The Cheese Board, Greenwich
Flowers – Verdila Flowers / Honeysuckle Flowers
Entertainment – Tim’s Wedding Piano – Tim Balnaves
Entertainment – Gary Custerson (DJ)
Engagement Ring – Daniel Derby
We loved hearing all about how Marie-Anthea and Dave finally had the wonderful, happy and relaxed day they dreamt of in the presence of their friends and family, despite a roller coaster of restrictions and having to postpone their wedding day twice. It is clear from their words and their amazing wedding photos how happy and relaxed they both were on their wedding day and it is a real treat to hear how they met and the story of their day!
If you are looking to book your dream wedding day please get in touch. We’d love to hear all about your wedding plans and to show you around our barn wedding venue and stunning gardens. We have a fantastic choice of ceremony and reception spaces whether you are looking for a large or small wedding day. We offer exclusive use for your wedding day and our flexible, professional team will make sure your perfect wedding day runs exactly to plan in your dream UK wedding venue.