Pull on those wellies, we’re taking another trip to whimsical Hertfordshire venue, South Farm, for Clare and Toby’s magical, woodland-themed wedding. This country-inspired Jewish big day had everything from berries in the bouquet to a spot of light duck herding at the drinks reception — as you do!
There are so many divine details to drool over, from the beautiful moss, foliage and rose-heavy floral arrangements to the sublime scented candles, provided by the bride’s sister.
Fortunately, every last detail was perfectly captured in a collection of stunning images by much-loved sponsor and incredibly talented photographer Ria Mishaal.
We’re also totally head-over-heels in love with beautiful bride Clare’s drop-dead-gorgeous wintry and etherial Jenny Packham gown, paired with sparkly Jenny Packham headpieces.
Oh, and we’ve already mentioned the duck herding, but seriously, how cute are those ducks? It’s enough to make us think that every wedding should have a cheeky pen-full of feathered friends handy.
We’ll leave you with Clare now for the full report. Take it away, Clare!
How we met
Clare, the bride: We met at work. Toby was a bit hesitant about dating someone at work so we ‘courted’ for about a year before we finally became official.
A laid-back, intimate venue at South Farm, Royston
We got married at South Farm in Royston. I thought it was such a beautiful, laid back and intimate venue. Plus, I love animals so the animal enclosure sold it to me. On a more practical level it had everything we needed: rooms for the night, indoor and outdoor ceremony options and a separate room for tea and coffee.
A magical woodland theme
The theme was woodland. Our florist Dana Young did and amazing job at bringing this to life and making it feel really magical.
The invitations were quite simple and elegant but still with a woodland theme. They were from Lovat Press.
Dramatic-look hair and makeup
I needed something dramatic to go with the dress so my makeup artist recommended an aubergine eye shadow.
I was more confused about what to do with my hair. I was tempted to do hair up so that it would stay put longer but decided to keep it down as it felt more like ‘me’. The wind did give it a bit of a battering though.
A romantic Jenny Packham gown
I bought it from The Bride in St Albans. It was Jenny Packham and the style was called ‘Amour’. I knew I wanted a dress with sleeves and something floaty and romantic. I also really love wintery looks and designs. When I tried it on I felt like a snow queen – I loved it!
I also wore really subtle hair pieces from Jenny Packham. I wanted a little sparkle in my hair but nothing too bling. I bought them in a panic two days before the wedding but loved them; I was so relieved when I found them.
Sparkly Benjamin Adams heels
I fell in love with my shoes as soon as I saw them. I didn’t intend to splurge on them but, when I saw them, I couldn’t help myself. They were by Benjamin Adams and I bought them from Mirror Mirror in Islington. They were quite high and very sparkly. My dress was floaty silk and tulle and so they added a really subtle hint of glitz when I walked.
The handsome groom
Toby wore a tailored suit from Mangas in the City. It fit him so well – he looked very handsome.
A bridesmaid and two flower girls
I only had my sister. I was really quite relaxed about what she wore and neither of us wanted her to wear a typical bridesmaid dress. I wanted her to feel comfortable so I let her find something herself. She ran it by me for final approval, though.
She chose a metallic look top and skirt from Whistles. We didn’t intend it but it actually went really well with the beading on my dress.
My two nieces (my sister’s girls) were flower girls. Again, I let my sister choose what they wore and she chose the dresses from Monsoon. I loved them – they looked like little woodland fairies, again unintentionally, went with the theme.
Our music choice
For the ceremony we played Ludovico Einaudi and other classical. For signing the register we played Shipwreckers by James Yorkston.
Our first dance was to The Kinks Waterloo Sunset.
Enchanted mossy centrepieces
I had a very clear brief for the florist. I didn’t want anything fancy or over the top. I wanted it a really pretty and magical woodland theme. For the tables the florist did a beautiful arrangement of flowers and candles set in moss.
My sister’s candle company, Heartwood Candle Company, supplied amazing woodland-scented candles for all the tables. The venue smelt very nice! For the ceremony she used dried hops and ivy plus fairy light bunting.
Our fabulous photographer
Ria Mishaal was our photographer. As well as having beautiful and natural photos, she made the most amazing stop frame video story which made a lot of people cry when they watched it (in a good way!)
A Victoria sponge cake decorated with fresh flowers
I wanted something really simple: a pretty naked Victoria sponge decorated with flowers. My father, who is a bit of a cake obsessive, wanted something far more opulent. In the end I did get my way but with a few conditions from my dad!
A friend of my sister made it (Mills & Spoon). It was vanilla sponge and chocolate buttercream icing. It was decorated with pink roses. To add to the woodland theme, she created three separate tiers each standing on a tree stump toadstool.
We ended up duck herding during the drinks reception. It added a bit of hilarity to the day. It was a real ice breaker and quite hilarious. The running about in the wind did ruin my hair, though! Oh well, it was fun.
We also had garden games like giant chess and Jenga).
We had a photo booth for the evening, which was very funny. We also had DJ in the evening and, of course, some amazing Jewish dancing.
Advice to brides and grooms currently planning their wedding
One word: Pinterest! To start with, I wasn’t entirely sure about what I wanted, so I was just pinning anything I was attracted to and a trend for hair, make-up, flowers and dresses started to naturally appear.
Clare & Toby’s little white book
Photography – Ria Mishaal
Venue – South Farm
Bride’s dress – Jenny Packham
Bride’s shoes – Benjamin Adams purchased from Mirror Mirror
Groom’s suit – Mangas Tailors London
Bridesmaid’s dress – Whistles
Flower girls dresses – Monsoon
Hair + Make-up – D & D Make-up
Flowers – Dana Young Flowers
Scented candles – Heartwood Candle Company
Stationery – Lovat Press
Seating Plan birdcage — The Wedding Of My Dreams
Cake – Mills & Spoon