5th January 2023

Fiona & George’s Sustainable September Wedding

Photo by Rebecca Clark Photography
South Farm > News > News & Blog > Fiona & George’s Sustainable September Wedding

Fiona & George held their wedding day at South Farm last September and despite unexpected rain just before their ceremony the sun came out for their wedding photos and they enjoyed using many of the different venue spaces at our Hertfordshire wedding venue. We love how they styled their wedding using lots of sustainable touches – great inspiration for those looking for sustainable wedding ideas! Read all about their stunning wedding day on our latest blog ❤️

Date of wedding: 10 September 2022                      

Time of wedding ceremony: 14:00

Location of wedding ceremony: Old Dairy (last minute rain change!)

How and when did you first meet?
We met at Durham University in 2013 through a mutual friend on a night out, George was in the first year of his PhD and Fiona was in the last year of her undergrad. We got to know each other well when we danced together at a ceildih.

Which areas of South Farm did you use for your big day?
The ceremony was in the Old Dairy… we had hoped to use the Summer House and actually had to change 15 minutes before the ceremony due to a sudden torrential downpour! Although that was a little stressful, the Old Dairy was a lovely setting for the ceremony, and many of our guests commented that they’d never have known that wasn’t the plan all along if we hadn’t told them.

We had our drinks reception between the Old Dairy and the gardens (again, dodging the rain showers!) and used the Horse Barn for our dancing in the evening.

Which was your favourite spot for wedding photos?
Probably amongst the flowers in the garden and on the bridge over the pond by the summer house, but to be honest the whole venue is beautiful. The confetti shots at the front of the farm house are also some of our favourites.

Tell us about any special colour schemes you had for your wedding day and how you styled your big day?
We went for a blue and yellow theme; the bridesmaids wore dusty blue, and the flowers and stationery were a mix of yellow and blues… subconsciously we may have taken our inspiration from the farm house colours! We’re big fans of hiking, so picked our favourite walks for our table names and included a little story about each. We also tried to be sustainable where we could, so printed all our stationery and signage on recycled paper or cardboard, chose a meat-free menu for our guests (with no complaints, given how tasty the vegetarian and fish options were!), our favours were reusable bamboo straws, and we opted for dried flowers (which can be grown seasonally/locally and also last, so many of our friends and family now have a centrepiece at home as a keepsake!).

How did you first hear about South Farm and what made you choose our venue for your wedding day?
We started looking online for venues back during the covid lockdowns. As we mentioned sustainability was a very important factor to us both, so South Farm’s eco credentials including excellent range of vegetarian and plant-based food options, really jumped out at us. We had a virtual tour and we were already pretty certain we wanted to have our wedding there. We went to visit in person (as soon as Covid restrictions allowed!) and made the call that day. With so many amazing reviews on top of that, it was one of our easiest decisions.

Tell us some detail about your special day?
We had 80 guests for the day and another 10 joined us for the evening. As we mentioned, had a few downpours on the day… although running up to the day we’d dreaded that possibility, it genuinely made little to no difference at all on the day as we were just having such an amazing time. We also did get slightly luckier with a lovely sunny spell for our confetti shot in front of the farm house! To add a little bit of fun for our guests, we had mini-golf outdoors and a caricaturist during the evening, which both seemed to go down very well.

How did you feel on the day?
Both of us were a little nervous and we desperately wanted everyone to have a great time. Ultimately, we didn’t need to worry as the day was amazing from start to finish. The whole thing felt a little like an out of body experience, but a very enjoyable one! All the staff on the day were incredibly helpful and professional throughout; a big shout out to Erica our event manager for doing such a great job and ensuring everything little detail was taken care of.

What was your most memorable moment from your wedding?
The ceremony really stood out for us. We opted to use a humanist celebrant for our ceremony, as we’re not religious but wanted a slightly more personal touch that a civil ceremony. We had a singalong to ‘It must be love’ by Madness, performed by Fiona’s aunt and cousin, wrote our own vows and included a Celtic hand fasting (where the phrase ‘tying the knot’ originates from). Many of our guests commented on how personal and unique the ceremony felt – which was exactly what we’d hoped for.

How did you choose your ceremony and first dance music?
We’re very lucky to have some talented musicians in our family, so Fiona’s aunt and cousin played the flute and piano/sung at the ceremony respectively. Fiona walked down the aisle to a folk cover of ‘You make my dreams come true’ inspired by Billie Marten, and we exited to ‘You’re my best friend’ by Queen for something a little more upbeat.

We definitely agonised over the first dance choice for a little longer than we ought to have, but eventually opted for ‘You’re all I need to get by’ by Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell – which our band did an amazing rendition of.

For the evening, our band played a great mix from the 1960s through to the present day, so pretty much everyone hit the dancefloor at some point which was great fun.

How many bridesmaids did you have and how did you ask them to be your bridesmaids?
Fiona had two bridesmaids; her cousin and her sister-in-law to be, and one bridesman, her university friend. She asked them each individually over a call or meet up – it was fairly low key!

 How did you pick your best men and ushers?
George had a few friends he’d known for a very long time and it was an easy decision to have them as his best man and groomsmen. It was also nice to have his brothers-in-law on both sides of the family as groomsmen as well, the extra pairs of hands on the day were also pretty useful.

How many speeches did you have and do you have any advice for anyone giving a speech?
We had speeches 5 speeches on the day; the father of the bride, Maid of Honour, Best Man, Groom and Bride. As we added a few extra beyond the ‘traditional’ speeches, we kept each to 5 minutes though. Our advice would be keep the speeches short and snappy, and don’t feel like you have to just have the traditional ones!

What did you wear?
Fiona wore a boho style a-line dress with lots of textured lace detailing, which she got in a boutique called Treasured Brides in York (her hometown).

George wore a three-piece suit in dark navy check which he hired – we think we both brushed up pretty well in the end!

Is there anything you would have done differently?
Maybe planned a little more for if we needed to move the ceremony inside and redecorate quickly! South Farm did a great job in helping us to switch things over really fast however. Knowing the venue had a solid back up plan was in place for an indoor ceremony if needed was really good for peace of mind when the weather didn’t play ball.

 What are your top tips for other couples?
Have a good detailed document on the day and give it to all the people helping you set up, it meant everyone was ready to go and knew exactly what they were doing, it helped us get a lot done very fast! Also try to remember not to sweat the little details – the venue is just so beautiful it will look fantastic however much you do.

Where did you go/where do you plan to go on honeymoon?
We had a minimoon at a spa hotel in the UK just after the wedding, which was just the unwind we needed after the busy run up to the wedding. For our ‘main’ honeymoon we’ve planned a 5-week road trip around New Zealand – we can’t wait!

 Suppliers – who did you use?

Photographer: Rebecca Clark Photography

Videographer: N/A

Dress: Treasured Brides – York

Grooms & Groomsmen outfits:

Bridesmaid dresses: JJ’s House

Cake: Fitzbillies

Hair: Izzy Foster-Wild

Makeup: Izzy Foster-Wild

Flowers: Artisan Dried Flowers

Transport: N/A

Entertainment: Rare Groove Party Band (booked via Warble Entertainment)

Caricaturist: Vix Caricatures

 

We loved catching up with Fiona and George and hearing all about how they first met. We love how they styled their day taking inspiration from our farm house colours and South Farm’s eco features. We couldn’t be happier for them and are delighted that they choose to share the story of their beautiful, sustainable wedding day with us. 

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 countryside wedding venue, rustic wedding barns and stunning gardens. Our fantastic choice of ceremony and reception spaces is perfect for intimate weddings or larger guest numbers. There are so many gorgeous spaces to choose from and we offer exclusive use for your wedding day, guaranteeing you total privacy on your special day. What’s more, our friendly, experienced team will make sure your perfect wedding day runs perfectly to plan in our last minute wedding venue.

We had so many compliments on the venue, food and barns and everyone said South Farm is just stunning - so beautiful.

Laura READ MORE

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