Steph & Tom’s classic, timeless Magdalene College wedding, with photography by Lina and Tom
Morning lovely! I’m happy to be bringing you a glorious real wedding today – it’s from last summer when the world was normal, and it’s exceptionally beautiful. I love to see these reminders of how things will be when the pandemic is over: with friends and family and togetherness and joy and love all bundled up into one huggable celebration! Steph & Tom’s day is beautiful – they enlisted our lovely friend and English Wedding member Jo at One Curious Dream to help bring everything together – and it’s fabulous!
Jo at One Curious Dream helped us to figure out what was going to make the most impact but not break the bank. We had such fun driving over to Norwich to meet her in her treasure trove warehouse and choosing all of the finishing touches for our day. Having her experience to help shape, challenge and explore our ideas made the planning process even more enjoyable and exciting. We agreed that we would put all of our effort into decorating the marquee at Barrington Hall as that was where we would spend most of the day, and to be fair Magdalene College doesn’t need much to be incredible! On the run up to the wedding, Jo and her team spent ages getting our long dining tables perfect and managing hundreds of little vases!
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How did you choose your photographer?
We came across their website and absolutely loved the relaxed style. We met up in the local pub and got to know them a bit – they helped us to feel really comfortable and get even more excited about the day!
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
They were wonderful. We’re not the most comfortable people in front of the camera but by being so discreet and friendly they captured all of the best bits without being intrusive. The range of photos taken really captured every element of the day; from the most intimate exchanges to the big formal family photos – Tom even ran alongside the punts and got some great shots!
Tell us about your venue – what made this place special for you?
We were looking for a beautiful classic location for our ceremony, and after searching far and wide decided that our local scenery was better than anything! We found Magdalene College and fell in love with its beautiful gardens and architecture. The fact that we could get married in the courtyard was incredible. We wanted to give our guests the best Cambridge experience so we decided to take everybody punting as it was a great way for people to meet each other and relax with the views! Our reception was at an old country home in the village Steph grew up in. She knew it well and loved that it felt so familial.
Did you love wearing your outfits? How was the dress / suit shopping experience?
Tom designed his suit with one of his groomsmen, John, who works for Cad & the Dandy on Savile Road. We would meet up with all of the groomsmen for fittings and had a great time putting the suits together with all of the accessories. Tom felt so comfortable in his suit and really special that it was made just for him. Steph did all of her dress shopping with her Mum, which was a lovely time to spend together. After visits to so many shops, she found a Suzanne Neville trunk show at House of Snow in Bury St Edmunds. Harriet and the team were incredible and made us amazing even when staring at ourselves in mirrors in unflattering dresses! Eventually we found “Rosa” which was everything Steph wanted – subtle detail on the fabric, narrow waist, v-neck and with a big skirt!
Did you hire a florist? Tell us about any floral amazingness
We were recommended our florist, Kat at Ivy Floral by our wedding planner Jo. After some discussions over a few cups of tea we developed a vision for a huge green leafy feature in our marquee, to really wow guests when they came in and make the most of the “outside-in” feel at Barrington Hall. She completely understood our vision and helped us to create the perfect mix of green above our heads and beautiful pale pink and champagne roses everywhere else. It brought a warm, classic and summer feel to the room that not only brought it to life, it truly delivered that ‘wow’ factor!
As cake lovers here at English Wedding we’d LOVE to know who made your cake, and how delicious it was?
Jenni at Two Little Cats Bakery. It was incredible. Went we went for our tasting, Jenni was incredibly embarrassed as her little nephew had just visited and unbeknown to her and her sister had licked the top off of the lemon meringue cupcake we were due to try! Instead she hand delivered a box of 8 cupcakes to us which kept us on a delicious buttercream high for ages! Steph thinks traditional fruit cake is delicious, but Tom isn’t keen so we created our own “fruit” cake with layers of banoffee pie, lemon meringue, cherry bakewell and spice apple crumble! It went down so well with our guests with many debating their favourite. We also had some dietary requirements for some of guests and Jenni was able to provide the same delicious selection as cupcakes. Yum!
Tell us about any special personal touches, or creative projects you made yourselves
Food was the key thing we wanted to get right on the day. We designed our own brunch canapes at Magdalene college which were incredible. We got married early, at 11am, so that we could fit in punting and food trucks in the evening, with a wedding breakfast inbetween! Because of that, the traditional canapes didn’t feel right – instead we had mini pancake stacks, sausage rolls, fruit sticks and our personal favourites mini croque monseuirs. The college kitchen were amazingly helpful! When we left Magdalene we gave everyone their own punting bags which contained emergency supllies for the journey – our favourite snacks (flapjack and haribo!), ponchos in case of rain (or food spillages!), water and importantly glasses for fizz. After the wedding breakfast, which was from Cambridge Dining Company and was amazing, we had our favourite food trucks Guerrilla Kitchen and Fired Up. Our table names were our favourite restaurants, with where we sat being our house name (home being the best restaurant in the world!)
One of our favourite personal touches was our invitations were a commissioned artwork by a local artist Naomi Davies which was a painting that showed the journey of our day. With her permission we were able to use elements of the painting to create our own order of service and menus. We now have the original painting on our wall.
Did you personalise your vows or have any wedding readings? What were they?
We rewrote the classic vows to promise to continue learning for each other, and to end each day with a laugh a smile and a kiss.
I… take you… to be my (wife/husband), my partner and teammate in life.
I will honour you by being the best I can be each day.
I promise to continue learning from you and learning for you.
I will support you; I will challenge you and I will love you for as long as we both shall live.
I will endeavour to end each day with a laugh, a smile and a kiss.
What was your first dance song? Why did you choose it?
Tom loves dance music, and Steph loves indie so we chose the Candi Stanton/Florence and the Machine song You’ve got the love. We had an 8 piece band, Blue Lion Band, who pulled it off beautifully and then went swiftly into our second song – I bet you look good on the dancefloor by Arctic Monkeys (Steph’s favourite) which was a guaranteed floor filler!
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