Rosalie & Ollie dreamed of a relaxed and informal wedding day, with a homely and nostalgic feel. South Farm was the perfect location, not only because of the venue exclusivity, including a beautiful farmhouse, Tudor barn, Old Dairy and idyllic gardens; but also because of the roaming, rare-breed animals, charming Romany Caravans, and authentic Thai Tuk-Tuk – all capturing their roots and personalities in style.
South Farm, wedding venue in South Cambridgeshire, is a countryside gem and offers numerous unique and quirky features, so much so that Rosalie and Ollie visited several times in the run up to their special day. Now that they’re married they fondly call South Farm ‘home’. We asked Rosalie to tell us all about her wedding day…
Date of your wedding: Wednesday June 19, 2019 – Time of your ceremony: 3pm
How and when did you meet?
We met as children. Ollie went to school with my uncles and he stayed good friends with them as they grew up -so, he’s a close family friend. When I moved back from the US about 6 years ago, we met again.
The areas of South Farm that you used for your big day:
We used the whole venue. We stayed on site the night before so took full advantage of all accommodation, held our ceremony in the Summerhouse (despite it pouring down with rain) and had our meal and reception in the Tudor Barn.
Were there any colours or themes to your day?
Initially, we didn’t have a set theme, but our personalities shone through and we ended up having a proper nerdy wedding. Our tables were named after dinosaurs. We couldn’t agree on a name for the top table, so we had two – Velociraptor and Tyrannosaurus Rex. I walked down the aisle to the Jurassic Park theme song and our ceremony music included tracks and features from Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones and Skyrim (video game).
How did you choose the venue?
We loved the idea of getting married somewhere that felt like home – my grandparents live in a big country house with chickens and other animals running around. We found South Farm online and this sounds kind of ‘cheesy’, but it really was love at first sight. We were engaged for two years prior to getting married and visited South Farm a handful of times in the run up to our big day; we just couldn’t get enough of it. We plan to take every opportunity possible in the future to visit, as it does feel like home to us now.
How did you feel on the day?
We were both really relaxed. Expected to be anxious, especially due to the weather, but we weren’t at all bothered. We knew we wanted to have our outdoor ceremony, despite the rain, and that was that, so we really had nothing to worry about. We were relaxed about the tradition of the bride and groom not seeing each other before the wedding, because we like to do everything together. Ollie was there when I chose my dress – so there was no hiding. As long as we were together, we were content.
Tell us about your special day:
We were able to stay the night before so we could just relax and casually get ready on the day. Some of our family and close friends were also able to stay the night before with us. Everyone who stayed the night before enjoyed a full cooked breakfast in the Horse Barn the morning of the wedding, so we had a really, lovely start to our day.
After breakfast, things started to get busy. Our suppliers started arriving to set up – the flowers, cake and makeup artist arrived. Our amazing photographer and videographer showed up and began working straight away.
I helped to prepare the reception hall, while everyone got ready. I’m a control freak – I wanted to do it myself.
With just a couple hours left to get ready, I gave in and let the pampering begin! From getting my hair and makeup done – to having a foot massage from my sister and Maid of Honor, all whilst taking occasional breaks to nurse my beautiful, 8-month-old daughter.
The weather all morning-early afternoon had been lovely and sunny, but as I started to walk down the aisle, the rain started to pour. The registers agreed that we could go on with our outside wedding ceremony and so everyone was supplied with umbrellas and we went for it.
My dad and I got into the Tuk-Tuk and we pulled up to the end of the aisle. He walked me the rest of the way with a white umbrella and handed me to Ollie. Then we did it – we ‘tied the knot’!
After we were pronounced as husband and wife we planned to walk back down the aisle, but we were so caught up in the moment (and the awkward people that we are), we just wandered off! Which left everyone, especially our photographer, a bit puzzled!
We enjoyed a delicious three course meal as we listened to beautiful speeches, and our live jazz singer started the evening off. It was at this point that Ollie and I snuck away to the lake to get some pictures done.
I then pretty much danced the night away, while everyone mingled outside, enjoying the beautiful dry summer’s night that had developed.
Neither of us are night owls, so we were snuggled up in bed by midnight, ready for a great night’s sleep. We woke up the next morning to another cooked breakfast before packing up and heading home.
Was there one particular moment that stood out for you?
Right after the ceremony, when Ollie and I had wandered off, we had a moment to ourselves in the house before walking out for our confetti shot. I don’t really remember what we spoke about, but it was just us and it was nice and normal before everything else started again.
How did you choose your bridesmaids?
My bridesmaids consisted of family and close friends. Unfortunately, I couldn’t have all the girls I wanted with me as a few of them live in the US.
How did you pick your best men and ushers?
Ollie had a best woman and a best man. His best man and other two ushers were my uncles.
What did you wear?
I wore a simple white dress. It was the second dress I had actually bought.
When Ollie and I got engaged in 2017, I went out and bought a dress. It was beautiful, but between that time and the wedding I had a baby and it just didn’t work for me anymore. I became a different person, so the dress just wasn’t me. It was the polar opposite to my wedding dress.
Ollie wore a grey suit that we rented from a local shop.
What are your top tips for other couples?
I guess staying calm – it’s not that scary, not like the movies make it out to be. Relax and enjoy every single moment, because it goes SOOO quickly. Don’t worry if things don’t go to plan, because you won’t ever remember them. The best thing we did was get a videographer. He captured things we didn’t even know that were going on at the time and we were left with a movie so that we can relive the day over and over again. If you’re going to spend that extra money on anything it should be a video.
Where did you go/where do you plan to go on honeymoon?
We went to Crete in Greece for our Honeymoon. We aren’t traditional and we are very family orientated, so we rented out three villas and enjoyed two weeks away with fifteen of our family members! Both from mine and Ollie’s side.
Suppliers – who did you use?
Venue and catering: South Farm, South Farm, Shingay, Royston, Cambridgeshire, SG8 0HR
Photographer: Rafe Abrook
Videographer: Nine Embers Films (packaged deal with Rafe Abrook)
Dress: Bilbao La Sposa
Grooms outfits: James, Ely
Bridesmaid dresses: I had girls of different shapes, sizes and preferences and so I was never going to please them all with one dress and so I gave them a colour guide and a length and told them to choose their own. They all had their own unique dresses which looked great together, despite the drama.
Cake: Wisteria Cake Company
Hair: My God Mother, Sally Garfitt
Makeup: Makeup by Sam & Hair Styling
Flowers: Thyme, Ely
Entertainment: Mickey Fordola & DJ
A big thank you to Rosalie Ashby-Harris Wilkinson and Ollie Wilkinson for sharing their unforgettable wedding day with us.
For couples holding their wedding at South Farm please note that it is not always possible to stay overnight the day prior to the wedding. Please check with us for availability.
Please also note that Civil Ceremonies can be held in the Garden Summerhouse at South Farm between 1st March and 31st October at the discretion of the Registrars and are always dependent on the Great British Weather on any given day! Couples getting married at South Farm always have a choice of indoor ceremony spaces should the ceremony need to be held inside due to the weather on the day.
If you’re looking to book our countryside farm wedding venue for your magical day, get in touch with us!