31st January 2020

How to start planning your dream wedding

Congratulations! You’re engaged to be married and feeling happy and excited as you are about to start planning a magical event to remember for the rest of your lives! Here at South Farm, our unique wedding venue on the borders of Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, we’ve been hearing from lots of couples this month who got engaged over the Christmas and New Year period.
Photo by Daniel Ackerley Photography
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And having hosted many beautiful weddings at our exclusive wedding venue over the years, our expert team have learnt a thing or two. We know that with all the decisions that need to be made, planning a wedding can be an overwhelming time too. We think it’s fair to say that without a venue, not much else can happen! So, we thought we’d share a few venue considerations to help you get the ball rolling….

Choosing a venue

Many of Cambridgeshire’s most popular wedding venues get booked up months, even years in advance. So, we recommend focusing on finding the venue of your dreams as your very first step!
There are many things to consider when it comes to choosing a wedding venue:

Type of ceremony

Ask yourselves; do you want a religious ceremony in a church/chapel/synagogue, or would you prefer a civil ceremony at either a registry office or licensed premises? And where do you hold your reception?

Choosing a wedding venue that will hold both your ceremony and reception will make it easier to arrange a date, as opposed to having to liaise with two different places over availability. It will also make transportation simpler too!

Location, location, location

Would you like to be close to where you live or close to family members? There may be sentimental reasons here, but this will have an impact on guests who may need to find overnight accommodation or make travel arrangements. At South Farm we have can accommodate up to 24 guests on site and we are also happy to recommend hotels and guest houses in our local area. We have great transport links too being just five miles away from our main line rail services with fast trains to central London taking just 40 minutes! We are also very close to the major road links including the M11, A10 and A1(M).

Rustic Barn Wedding
Photo by Caroline Hancox Photography

Venues that don’t cost the Earth

The demand for ethical weddings is on the rise, with two-fifths now considering sustainability when planning their big day. If you are wondering how to make your wedding sustainable, seek out venues that ‘think green’ and consciously operate in ways to reduce their environmental and ethical impacts. Did you know we even have our own Smallholding and use seasonal home-grown produce in our wedding menus!

Guest list

Every venue will have a limit on capacity and this will determine how many guests you can invite. So, coming up with an estimated guest head count at this early stage will help you in your choices.

No hidden costs

The likes of tables, chairs, linen, catering and crockery, are all essential and can come as an additional charge at some venues. As you draw up a shortlist, it’s important to be clear on what’s included, looking carefully through the pricing, so as to avoid any hidden costs.

Colours and themes

Themes and colour schemes can vary enormously and can be dependent on venue. There are, however, some venues that offer flexibility, providing a ‘blank canvas’ for you to work with, regardless of the colour and style of your dreams. South Farms’ stunning gardens and lovingly converted barn buildings provides the perfect backdrop for beautiful weddings on the Cambridgeshire / Hertfordshire borders whatever your chosen theme or colour scheme!

Photo by Tom Halliday Photography

A meal to remember

The catering – a vital component of your day which will likely be spoken about for a long time – let’s face it, we all love food and it should be a memorable part of any wedding day! It is, therefore, worth checking out the types of cuisine offered at venues. If catering is available in-house, ask for sample menus and get a feel for flexibility the venue offers with regards to menus. Talk to your venue about food tastings, how many items will you be able to try and can they help you pair the wines with the food? Better still if your venue grows their own food like South Farm does (think zero miles) talk to them about seasonal choices that may be available at the time of year you are getting married. That way you can make sure you have the freshest, homegrown food to meet the vision for your day and delight your taste buds!

Good night’s sleep for all

The last thing you want to be worrying about, after an incredible wedding day, is where your guests will retire at the end of the night. For a stress-free evening, find out if the potential wedding venues has suitable and adequate onsite accommodation. You can check out our accommodation here and don’t forget we can recommend other local accommodation options if needed.

The South Farm Difference

We’re proud that our beautiful, family-run, South Farm, is one of East Anglia’s most unique and environmentally responsible wedding venues. Surrounded by the stunning Cambridgeshire countryside, we believe we provide the perfect romantic and exclusive solution.

From the long, tree-lined countryside driveway that takes you to the picture perfect farmhouse bordering listed timber framed barns, our Barnyard of animals, to our charming collection of Romany Caravans, South Farm is filled to the brim with quirky touches that your guests are sure to love and enjoy.

Here, at South Farm, not only will you find a unique range of ceremony and reception options, but also beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces with truly stunning features, outstanding home-grown food (zero miles), and plenty of overnight accommodation for your guests…what’s not to love?

Don’t just take our word for it – take a look at our video to get a feel of our venue for yourself!

To request a brochure or make an appointment with our wonderful team at South Farm, please contact us online here, or call us on 01223 207581.


From the moment we visited South Farm we knew it was the one and we could not have picked a more perfect wedding venue for our special day. 

Kelly & Martin READ MORE

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01223 207581

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South Farm, Shingay-cum-Wendy, Royston, Hertfordshire SG8 0HR

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