Leanne and Nick never imagined they’d find a home from home wedding venue in South Cambridgeshire, yet South Farm’s distinctively different charm couldn’t be ignored.
Choosing your wedding venue will undoubtedly be one of the biggest decisions you’ll make as an engaged couple. For Leanne and Nick, however, the decision was an easy one after the warm and attentive welcome from the South Farm family (who doesn’t love tea and brownies?!) and witnessing for themselves, the venue’s beauty with its eclectic mix of earthy and elegant tones throughout.
Described by the couple as ‘wholesome’, newly-wed Leanne explains why the exclusive South Farm provided the perfect wedding venue to share with their families and friends…
Date of your wedding: 6thJuly 2019 Time of your ceremony: 3pm
How and when did you meet?
We met by chance in 2009 shortly after we’d both graduated. Leanne had just moved into a new house share in London, and when a Devonshire engineer came to view the last available room, Leanne and her housemates offered it to him straight away (heavily influenced by his potential abilities to fix things around the house!). This new lodger, Dave, was one of Nick’s best friends from his university days and, also, one of Nick’s best men on our wedding day! Nick helped Dave to move in, and that’s when we met. We’ve been in each other’s lives ever since!
The areas of South Farm that you used for your big day:
We decided to take a chance on the British weather and got married in The Summerhouse in the gardens at South Farm, which sit above a lovely pond. We even had some cheeky ducks as additional witnesses to our exchange of vows.
Were there any colours or themes to your day?
South Farm blends the old-style farmhouse with modern elements so well, that I decided to use this as a basis for my theme. The best phrase I can think of to describe this mix is ‘rustic elegance’. Unusually, I chose white bridesmaids dresses, but I just loved the uniqueness of this look twinned with the beautiful large wild bouquets, full of delicate colours.
How did you choose the venue?
We took a risk visiting a venue that wasn’t in either of our hometowns, but when we arrived at South Farm something felt different. After having a tour around the veggie plots, friendly farm animals and picturesque buildings, we were invited into the farmhouse for a pot of tea and some chocolate cake, where we were made to feel very welcome. South Farm really feels like a home from home, and we could see our family and friends relaxing there. The wholesomeness of South Farm gives it a character we hadn’t seen anywhere else.
How did you feel on the day?
We’d spent a year planning the day and were nervous and excited all at the same time. Seeing friends and family arriving and greeting them at the front of the venue was a special moment. After spending so long working on save the date cards, invitations and table plans, it was amazing to see everyone arriving dressed up for the day, and it really struck us that this was a unique time to have everyone from our lives together to celebrate.
Was there one, particular moment that stood out for you?
As I walked towards the aisle with my Dad, it started to rain and he said, “That’s lucky, it rained on the day me and your Mother got married, and we’ve been together for nearly 40 years!” This, coupled with seeing everyone giggling as they put their brollies up was wonderful. I was so scared about it raining on our wedding day, but it’s these things which bring out the little moments you weren’t expecting and brings people closer together. The things that don’t go quite to plan really turn into moments to treasure!
How did you choose your bridesmaids?
Natalie (MOH) Carly (Bridesmaid)
It was very easy to pick my bridesmaids. I had my sister, Natalie, as my Maid of Honour, and my best friend, Carly, whom I’ve known from the age of four years old, was my bridesmaid. In fact, we’ve all known each other for so long that the staff at South Farm thought we were all sisters! They both made the morning of the wedding so calm and I couldn’t have done it without them.
How did you pick your best men and ushers?
In the end it was too difficult to choose one best man! I’d known both Dave and Simon since university, and they have given me a huge amount of support, friendship and advice over the years. It was an honour to have them there as my best men on the day. They’ve also both had the dubious distinction of living with me for several years each so I knew they wouldn’t be short of material for speeches!
What did you wear?
I chose a dress from Sassi Holford. However, I added some unique touches by adding pockets to my dress and buttons to the full length of the back of the dress.
What are your top tips for other couples?
Make use of your hidden talents – I love baking and chose to bake our wedding cake, much to the astonishment of my family who told me to take the weight off and find a professional baker. It was risky as I’d never baked one before and on one Sunday marathon baking session my oven overheated! But I got there in the end and it was wonderful to see everyone enjoy something I had made.
Go with your heart – it’s easy to get hung up on trying to please everyone but it’s important to be authentic in your choices. Your friends and family will want to see your individual personalities come out, so being yourself and choosing details that warm your heart is important, because it will very likely make others smile too.
It’s all in the planning– I like to keep lists and Nick loves a spreadsheet, so we created a shared document which combined both to keep ourselves on track, and most importantly delegate when we were finding it tough. There are so many details to remember when planning a wedding, so it’s good to get all your ideas down in one place, no matter how small or no matter how crazy, so you don’t kick yourself for forgetting something or at least giving that out-of-the-box idea a go. It’s also worth having a set-up plan for the morning- when you take into account place settings, favours, decorations, cake, flowers, music and wider details, there’s a lot to set up in a relatively short amount of time, so get support from friends and family to share the task.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
We dusted off our backpacks and followed our hearts to the South Pacific, to spend three weeks exploring the many islands that make up the Kingdom of Tonga. It was a dream come true for us to spend some time on beautiful hide-away islands and experience being on the other side of the world. We couldn’t have asked for a better trip as our first holiday as a married couple.
Suppliers – who did you use?
Photographer: Liz Greenhaigh Photography
Liz is a fabulous photographer who put everyone at ease and made us laugh all day
Venue and catering:South Farm, Shingay, Royston, Cambridgeshire, SG8 0HR
Dress: Sassi Holford
The team helped Leanne to achieve her dream dress by adding pockets (great for secretly holding my vows), a tiny sash and buttons to the full length of the back.
Groom & Groomsmen suits:Well Suited For Men
Bridesmaid dresses:The bridesmaids wore white *Bridal “Juliet” maxi dress from the Dorothy Perkins bridal party collection.
Cake: Leanne baked her own ‘naked’ cake and a florist provided decoration.
Makeup:Makeup by Sam & Hair Styling
Sam put Leanne at ease straight away; “She is a professional makeup artist who is able to craft natural makeup”.
Flowers: Rosanna Bailey Wild Florals
Entertainment:Wedding Band – Horizon
A big thank you to Leanne and Nicholas Peppiatt for sharing their unforgettable wedding day with us.
Please note that civil ceremonies can be held in the Garden Summerhouse at South Farm between 1stMarch and 31stOctober at the discretion of the Registrars and are always dependent on the great British weather on any given day!
Couples at South Farm always have a choice of indoor ceremony spaces should there be a need to go inside due to the weather on the day.