Every now and then, one of those real weddings lands in the STG inbox that just genuinely looks like so much fun that we wish we would have been invited too!
Between the vintage funfair games, pink flamingos, glamping, bouncy castle, ice cream truck (in that order, we hope) and photobooth, as well as providing a crèche for their friends’ kids, this conscientious couple could not have put more effort into keeping their guests entertained.
Bride, Charlotte, wowed with fresh flowers in her hair and an an Alice Temperley dress fit for a boho bride (and for a quick go on the bouncy castle!).
Charlotte and Dan didn’t let the disappointment of their outdoor ceremony being rained off spoil their big day. Instead, they ran with their plan B, moving the ceremony to the barn. Forget crying babies, this couple had to contend with oinking pigs and crowing cockerels, making their Masorti ceremony all the more interesting.
Equality was also an important factor in the planning of the day. The Masorti ceremony was chosen due to its inclusivity and Charlotte delivered a speech, as did her close, female friends. Who runs the world?
In true festival style, the party went on until the early hours – a roaring success all round. Let’s hand over to Charlotte to tell us more about her and Dan’s special day.
How we met
Charlotte, the bride: Dan is my big brother Paul’s best friend. Naughty naughty…
A quirky, outdoorsy venue at South Farm in Royston, UK
We chose to get married at South Farm in Royston due to its laid-back style and country feel. It was the only venue we looked at because we knew exactly what we wanted. We aren’t into fussy formal weddings and we wanted everyone to feel relaxed and happy.
The venue is quirky yet beautiful and we had free range to personalise it which was really important to us. I grew up in the country and am quite outdoorsy and so wanted the venue to reflect that.
South Farm is not too far from London (50 minutes) but still has that rural feel. We wanted to make the wedding as stress free as possible for everyone especially seeing as were married on a Monday.
Everyone that worked at South Farm was so passionate about the venue, in particular the incredible chef Matt and our beyond amazing event organizer Becky. I could not have asked for more helpful, dedicated and lovely people to help plan the day with.
A pretty, rustic and kooky festival wedding
Dan and I don’t take ourselves too seriously and we are big kids at heart. We had vintage funfair games from The Traditional Fair Ground, duck herding from Chris Farris Events, an ice cream bike, glamping for all our friends from The Tipi Hire Company, pink plastic flamingos everywhere from Fleur de Lace, a white bouncy castle from Mr Bouncy Castle, a piñata, Mexicana photo booth from It’s The Flash Pack and my family dog Oscar on site to enjoy the celebrations.
We wanted the style to be pretty and rustic but with an element of kook.
We even brought badminton but the weather stepped in and ruined that one for us sadly. I so desperately wanted to be married outside but in true British summer style it started raining and so the ceremony was moved last minute to the barn.
The barn was equally fun though and we had the noise of pigs oinking and cockerels crowing throughout the formalities.
We started the wedding at 3pm as we have felt sometimes there is a lull when weddings start early and dinner is served ridiculously early. We wanted a punchy wedding with lots of fun activities so even if you didn’t really know anyone there were cool stuff to do.
There was no wedding planner, just me, although I had help coordinating from the wonderful Becky.
Illustrated invitations by Holly Blake
We love music and festivals and so we chose an invite designed by an amazing illustrator Holly Blake who kept to takes some inspiration from festival flyers. I cannot recommend her enough, as she just got it.
She even designed our table plan and order of service with cute illustrations of me Dan in South Farm caravans, which some of our guests slept in on site. We wanted the invites to get the guests excited and to set the tone for the day which they certainly did.
Ethereal hair and makeup
I loved my make-up and hair stylist, Ashleigh Haines who is a friend of a friend. I just wanted simple, relaxed, ethereal hair and makeup which she captured perfectly.
I had real flowers placed in my hair which I kept for days after until I started to resemble a crazy person.
We also gave out flower wreaths for the girls’ hair with the kippot.
A divine Alice Temperley dress
I can’t say I loved bridal dress shopping. Working in charity I felt weird spending so much money on a dress to wear just the once, although my lovely mother felt otherwise.
I knew I didn’t want something OTT instead I wanted my dress relaxed, boho, pretty and in keeping with the venue. I also wanted to be able to dance and go on the bouncy castle!
My super stylish friend, Bella, managed to pick out my dress in a trunk sale in Angelica Bridal in Islington in about two seconds. I put it on, there were tears and I knew it was the one.
The dress was an Alice Temperley, Chia dress and I love it. I am trying to work out other events that I can wear it too but haven’t found any yet so failing that the plan is to sell and donate the money to a charity which should hopefully ease my guilt on the price tag.
A something-borrowed veil
My cool young auntie Henri lent me her veil which I felt incredibly blessed to be able to wear on the day and I went for a simple necklace and earrings which my mum and mother in law bought me as a wedding day present.
The handsome groom
I chose Dan’s suit for him of course. It was a very cool Reiss blue suit and he looked a gazillion dollars in it. Phwoar!
Flower girls and page boys
I have too many amazing best women in my life and I didn’t want to either pick and choose or have 15 bridesmaids. So I decided against it and got my friends involved in other ways. I have two beautiful nieces who were flower girls and nephews and cousins who were page boys.
Our Parisian silk Chuppah
Our amazing florist Dana Young Flowers designed us a natural Chuppha with branches and silk from Paris. This was her first Chuppah and to us it was the most beautiful one we had ever seen.
We loved it so much we kept it in the barn for the dinner for our guests to sit beneath.
Our Masorti ceremony
We were married Masorti simply because United wouldn’t marry us at the venue. When we looked into Masorti we really liked the ethos and the equality that they advocate between men and women and the fact they are accepting of same-sex and inter-faith marriage.
We loved all the Jewish traditions as did our friends too as most of them had never been to a Jewish ceremony so we made an order of service so that they could follow what was going on.
I loved the end of the service when Dan smashed the glass and the music started. Everyone went mad and ran over to us to give us hugs and kisses. It was overwhelming but beautiful and the love and energy we felt at that moment was like nothing else either of us have ever experienced.
No longer A Little Lost
The walk down the aisle was hilarious because it all went wrong and I ended up missing my cue in the music after I’d stepped out and then I had to go back and start again. It was a bit of a disaster but also typical of Dan, me and everyone was laughing including me which was a great and silly start to the day.
The song we came down to (twice) was Arthur Russell, A Little Lost. The song sums us up as we were a little lost before we found each other and plus as two diagnosed dyspraxics we do spend most of the time actually lost.
A live band, DJ and some talented friends
Dan and I love music and so the playlist was picked by us (mainly Dan). It was a mix of our favourite bands and we kept it cool and soulful.
We didn’t go for a traditional wedding band and instead were lucky enough to have The Turbans, an awesome band, play for us. Everyone went mad for them and they made the atmosphere electric. They collect the best musicians from all over the world and you can tell how passionate they are about their music which is infectious.
Our friend Debo of The Floor Show DJ-ed later a mix of old school hip hop, garage, pop -basically all songs we love. We are music snobs and so cheesy wedding music was never going to be our thing.
My beautiful friend Rachel is a singer and so she teamed up with her boyfriend Christian, my uncle Simmy and my other heavenly voiced friend Hannah to sing a few of Dan and my favourite songs acoustically by Sufjan Stevens, Bon Ivor etc.
Rachel even played the xylophone which I didn’t even know she could do until then, not sure she did either. They were amazing and we were so grateful to hear people from all aspects of our lives come together and play for us as a group.
A last dance followed by a festival party
We didn’t do a first dance (too cringe). Although we had a last song which was Home by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros. After the wedding the ‘young folk’ went back to the tents for our very own festival after party which, for some, went on until the sun came up.
Natural and wild flowers
Dana Young designed the flowers with my mum as I am clueless. We went for natural and wild. Dana grows all her flowers in her garden and so it felt extra special that they grew just for us.
A photographer that became a friend
Kristian Leven was the only photographer we wanted. We loved his cool, stylish, laid back style. He was honestly the nicest guy and he felt like a friend on our wedding day rather than a supplier. We went for natural pictures rather than staged and were delighted with the final photos.
We didn’t go for a formal video but we had a hand-held camera floating around for our friends to shoot with. My brother Paul, director at AtMotion videography has vowed he will edit for us. Still waiting, Paulie…
You had us at chocolate peanut butter torte
We wanted the food to be served in the middle of the table for everyone to take themselves. The in-house chef, Matt, honestly made the best food I have ever eaten in my life. I just wish I had eaten more on the day but I was overwhelmed.
We didn’t go for a traditional cake as we had such great desserts we didn’t really see the point. The chocolate peanut butter torte a la Matt was hands down better than any wedding cake.
We chose to have a table plan but no seating plan which felt more relaxed and informal so guests didn’t feel chained to their seat all night and could move around and mingle freely.
Speeches… including the bride’s speech!
Of course I made a speech – I was never going to be a silent bride. I also find it weird that women don’t really speak at weddings and so my two gorgeous friends Liv and Pip made a speech as well as Dan, his best man Matt and my dad.
Dan’s speech went on for 20 minutes and I know I may be biased but all the speeches were unbelievable.
Significant family dates
We didn’t know at the time, but we became engaged on my grandma Shirley and grandpa Harry’s wedding anniversary and the only day that South Farm had available for our wedding day was on my grandma Hadassah’s birthday.
She was always the life and soul of every party and was loved by all so I felt that being married on her birthday was a tribute to her. Dan also wore my grandfather Joe’s tallis and I my engagement ring was Dan’s grandma Lillie’s so our grandparents were all involved in day one way or another which was very important to me.
We had framed vintage photos of both our parents and grandparents on their wedding days on a table in the reception for the guests to look at.
Crèche for kids
A lot of Dan’s pals have kiddies who we wanted there, but we also wanted the parents to enjoy the day. We hired a professional crèche service to babysit and put sleepy little ones to bed so the parents could let loose a bit. Stephanie and her team of Safe & Sound Event Childcare were a G-dsend!
Advice to brides and grooms currently planning their wedding
I wish I would have taken the advice of others not to stress, but that’s easier said than done. My advice to others would be that you are never going to have a wedding that pleases everyone, so do what we did, and just please yourselves!
If you guys are loving the day, then everyone else will. Things went so wrong throughout the day (totally my fault for over planning) but that’s life isn’t it? I think people get bogged down by perfection and forget that a wedding is just a huge party all about happiness, fun and a celebration of love!
Charlotte & Dan’s little white book
Photographer – Kristian Leven
Videographer – AtMotion
Venue – South Farm
Bride’s dress – Alice Temperley dress bought at Angelica Bridal
Bride’s shoes – John Lewis low heels and Superga trainers
Hair + Make-up – Ashleigh Haines
Groom’s attire – Reiss
Flowers – Dana Young Flowers
Invitation – Holly Blake
Band – The Turbans
DJ – Debo of The Floor Show
Vintage funfair games – The Traditional Fair Ground
Duck herding – Chris Farris Events
Glamping – The Tipi Hire Company
Pink plastic flamingos – Fleur de Lace
Bouncy castle – Mr Bouncy Castle
Mexicana photo booth – It’s The Flash Pack
Creche for kids – Safe & Sound Event Childcare