David and Marie-Anthea first met online and decided to meet in person on London Bridge – the perfect location for a north and south Londoner to come together. Marie-Anthea says, “Dave almost cancelled because the Northern Line was down, but thankfully he persevered.” She adds, “We realised we shared a lot in common, including a love for the gym, ballet, good steak, red wine and good-quality peanut butter.”
Early in their relationship, the couple had realised that they’d found the one. Marie-Anthea comments, “Dave offered to come to my office at lunchtime on a Monday to bring me a brownie because I was hungover, and that’s when I realised he was a keeper.”
David proposed on the couple’s second anniversary, which was a complete surprise for Marie-Anthea. He says, “We were having a drink in the bar at The Ivy Market Grill in Covent Garden at the time, and I led into the proposal with a picture book I’d created. Inside, the images told our love story and the tale of our first two years together.”
Marie-Anthea was in tears at the lovely gesture and ignored the small envelope, which had the ring inside that David had designed. After opening the envelope, she was completely shocked and, of course, said yes!
With the number of beautiful venues around Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, picking a wedding venue can be difficult. David and Marie-Anthea searched around to find a location to match their rustic-styled wedding and came across South Farm in Royston. Surrounded by expansive gardens, the venue is a family-run property nestled in 20 acres of beautiful countryside. The bride says, "South Farm is the most beautiful venue, which provides a relaxed and unpretentious setting. The team's sustainable ethos appealed to us, as they grow lots of produce on-site, and the accommodation, summer house and grounds were also a real selling point!"
The couple wanted a relaxed wedding surrounded by friends and family – this became even more important as the day took place shortly after Covid-19 restrictions lifted.
The lovebirds opted for rustic stationery to keep their theme consistent throughout the day and had an order-of-the-day design on an old pallet.
The centrepieces consisted of rustic milk jars, faux flowers, wooden table names and gold photo frames with images of the couple. At each setting was a laser-cut place name to help guests find their seats, which doubled up as favours.
The bride's bouquet, designed by Verdila Flowers, looked beautiful on the day and included roses and lilies. She says, "We only confirmed the wedding was going ahead a couple of weeks before the big day, and the florist was so was brilliant at accommodating us!"
The pair were very fortunate to have some flowers created by Honeysuckle Flowers left from a previous wedding, making the ceremony area even more beautiful.
For the wedding breakfast, the venue served a three-course meal with salmon cheesecake for starter, a rump of lamb for main and a chocolate delice for dessert. The couple had a hog roast in the evening to keep anyone from going hungry.
Guests loved the three-tiered cheese board with assorted crackers, grapes and chutney on the side. The bride says, “We’re really passionate about cheese like most people and used different types from a local company.” She adds. “We assembled and decorated it ourselves with burlap ribbon, edible white roses and a custom made cake topper – we loved the results!”
Every bride wants to look extra special on their wedding day, and finding that dream dress is the foundation of every bridal look. Marie-Anthea found an off-the-rack dress, which fitted perfectly and needed hardly any alterations. She accessorised her look with nude high heels, a hairpin, pearl earrings and a pearl necklace that featured their daughter's initials.
The groom looked dapper in a navy suit with a floral shirt, a pink tie and pocket square, which matched the couple's light pink and navy blue colour scheme. The bride says, "It ended up being such a small wedding with so many guests not being able to attend, so we decided not to have groomsmen."
The bride's closest friends organised a surprise hen night, which brought some enjoyment back into the planning process something that had been lost due to all the uncertainties caused by the pandemic.
After postponing the day twice, David and Marie-Anthea were so relieved to finally get married after worrying that the day might not go ahead. She says, "We were thrilled and grateful to be able to celebrate the way we'd planned."
A pianist played some beautiful music throughout the wedding breakfast, which created such a great atmosphere that added to the emotion on the day. The musician was a big hit with guests who asked for song requests.
A part that stood out the most to David was walking down the aisle with their daughter Emilia and seeing his bride-to-be make her grand entrance. Marie-Anthea comments, "Seeing our guests waiting for us when I entered was so special, especially when Emilia shouted 'Mama' and ran up to give me a big hug."
A funny moment was when the couple's daughter upstaged the groom's speech by stealing my microphone and babbling into it, which made everyone laugh. The bride says, "Our parents made the day even more special by helping to look after Emilia as it gave us both space to enjoy the day."
After their dream wedding ended, the couple travelled to Lefkada in Greece for a week to relax and look back at the day. The bride says, "It was a well-earned rest and gave us a great opportunity to teach Emilia to swim!"