South Farm Wedding Photographer | Nick & Leanne
South Farm Wedding Photographer | Nick & Leanne
Those that know me, know I love a South Farm wedding. What’s not to love as soon as you enter the tree-lined drive, turn the corner and set your eyes upon the stunning farmhouse, which in the summer months is adorned with wonderful deep red roses. A true symbol of love.
Nick and Leanne also fell in love with South Farm on their very first visit and after meeting them there during a dull Spring morning, I knew this wedding was going to be just beautiful. There was to be an outdoor wedding ceremony in the summerhouse and celebrations continuing in The Tudor Barn.
The day arrived and it was overcast with a chance of a few showers. Initially this put a disappointment in the air but in reality, it became a beautiful moment. Everyone sat with umbrellas waiting for Leanne to appear in the garden and they made an appearance again during the ceremony.
I can’t say much more about this fabulous wedding as Leanne has talked about it in her own words below. I think they had the best day ever, don’t you?
In their own words
Where did you first meet?
The old-fashioned way
We met back in 2009 when Leanne had just moved into a brand-new house share after spending some time at her parents in Somerset post-graduation – the current tenants were looking for a fourth lodger, so when a Devonshire Engineer viewed the available room the rest of the tenants (Thinking of his likely ability to fix stuff) offered it to him straight away. This new lodger was Dave, one of Nick’s best friends from Uni and one of Nick’s best men on our wedding day! Nick helped Dave move in and that’s when we met – we’ve been in each other’s lives ever since!
Who popped the question and how?
Nick popped the question on a deserted beach! Nick and I love to explore different countries and especially love to see wildlife. So, we headed out to Sri Lanka to backpack around. Midway through the trip, we decided to take some down-time on Kalkuduh beach – which is pretty much deserted. Nick was acting a bit strange and was spending a lot of time near the vegetation at the back of the beach pacing about. I told him he should come and relax and that’s when he started talking to me about our relationship and how long we had been together, which confused me. Moments later Nick got down on one knee and produced a ring from out of nowhere. I was very surprised, shocked and excited, but of course, I said yes. The only living things that can bear witness are some wild beach dogs.
Wedding planning, the good, bad and fabulous
Go with your gut when it comes to choosing a venue, and first impressions really do count. 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 look around at the veggie plots, 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 and to stay as long as we needed. When you are at South Farm the venue really becomes your home and we could instantly see our friends and family relaxing there. There was a wholesomeness about the place which gave it a character we hadn’t seen anywhere else.
The things that don’t go well end up making memories to treasure! As I walked towards the aisle with my Dad it started to rain, and my Dad said, “That’s lucky, it rained on your Mum’s and my wedding and we’ve been together for 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.
Make use of your hidden talents and trust your instinct – I love baking and decided 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 so cool seeing everyone eat something homemade.
How was day through your eyes?
We’d spent a year planning the day and we were nervous and excited all at the same time. Nick – getting the venue ready in the morning was something I’d planned out with Leanne in advance, and I was very glad of that planning when the morning rolled around! 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. I was lucky to have some great support from my best men and close family who all helped out on a production line getting everything set up. Getting dressed in my suit was a special moment. After the rush of setting up in the morning, it was a very calming moment and it was great to chat and swap stories with my best men. Once dressed, I took a few moments to myself – I used the time to read a beautiful letter Leanne had written to me. It really brought home how special the day was and I couldn’t wait to see her walking down the aisle. Seeing friends and family arriving and greeting them at the front of the venue was another 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 me that this was a unique time to have everyone from our lives together to celebrate.
What was your favourite part of the day?
We just couldn’t choose it was all so special and exceeded both our expectations. Looking out at everyone gathered for the ceremony we had so many friends and family from all over the world gathered in one place for the day. Nick’s dad doing his reading was a very special moment, especially since he wrote some words himself. Jason Statham making an appearance on the dance floor – he was a hit with everyone (who knew a cardboard cut-out could be so popular!) he got left behind on the evening and the staff were having photos with him in the morning at breakfast. Our band we’re professional and the perfect energy. They really kicked the party off and the dance floor was never empty.
Any tips you learnt along the way which may be useful for other brides or what would you change?
Go with your heart – it’s easy to get hung up on trying to please everyone but you have 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 its 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. Recruit some good helpers for the day (and the morning after!) – remember that setting up for a whole wedding party takes time and don’t underestimate the effort. Delegating tasks to others makes a huge positive difference for time and stress levels so don’t hesitate to source help – this also comes in handy when clearing down after the event, which was something we hadn’t anticipated, but again our friends and family were amazing at chipping in. The only thing we would change is having more days off work before the wedding – it’s important to give yourself time so you don’t feel like the days before are a mad rush – we also made sure we took a mini-moon on the Kent coast for a couple of days directly after the wedding just so we could breathe it all in and enjoy reminiscing with family and friends over the phone.
Who were your suppliers?
Rosanna Bailey, Wild Florals https://www.wildflorals.co.uk/ her flowers took my breath away and having hover bees come down the aisle with me, made me feel like I was in an enchanted forest!!
Sam Kay, Make Up By Sam https://www.makeupbysam.co.uk/ Sam put me at ease straight away, she is a professional makeup artist who is able to craft natural makeup
Sassi Holford Dress https://sassiholford.com/ Sassi helped calm my nerves when I had my last fitting
Groom & Groomsmen suits – Well Suited For Men https://www.suited-well.co.uk/
Wedding Cake made by the bride (a naked cake which our florist decorated)
Wedding Planner – The wonderful Staff at South Farm
Thanks to Beth – Elizabeth Young Photography for second shooting with me
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