Real Wedding: A Beautiful Sailcloth Marquee Wedding in the Heart of the Cambridgeshire countryside
Photography by Elsie Loves Photography
This is one of the most memorable weddings I have planned. There were so many lovely, touching moments throughout the wedding and I learnt so much about the heart-warming Polish Wedding Traditions that K & D incorporated into their day - memories to cherish for a lifetime!
Authors Bio: Vivienne May Weddings was founded and created by Kerrie May. With over 8 years of experience in the luxury wedding & event industry, Kerrie has worked at some of the UK’s most iconic venues alongside a selection of renowned industry professionals and worked with a selection of high-net worth couples.
Kerrie is a UK Wedding Planner and has a distinctive reputation amongst her fellow luxury wedding professionals. Her wealth of experience, industry knowledge and unrivalled passion for bringing her clients vision to life is what drives her to plan impeccably designed, style-led and perfectly co-ordinated weddings, with romance at it’s heart.
The couple chose Horsley Hale Farm, a beautiful, serene setting to host their wedding weekend in the heart of the Cambridgeshire countryside. Described as an "Oasis in the Fens", Horsley Hale Farm is a sustainable wedding venue set across six acres of stunning fields, lake, gardens, woodlands: the perfect retreat for nature lovers. The couple stayed onsite in the charming safari lodges whilst their guests enjoyed giant bell tents and yurts (complete with chandeliers!)
The morning of the wedding was full of laughter, pampering (and a glass of two of Champagne!) The Bridesmaids wore Mix Bridal and they looked absolutely stunning! They had an absolute expert on hand for their hair and makeup; Amba Logan.
The bride wore a breath-taking Justin Alexander gown from my good friends at Courtyard Bridal whilst the Groom and Groomsmen wore suave Ted Baker suits.
The Sailcloth Marquee
The sailcloth marquee provided by County Marquees was the perfect canvas to allow the couple to bring their vision to life. Filled with crossback chairs, a stage, dancefloor and luxury seating area filled with Chesterfield Sofas and ornate arm chairs, every aspect of their day was a true reflection of the couple. I absolutely love Sailcloth Marquees, they are a complete blank canvas which allows every wedding hosted in one completely bespoke and it is a large enough space to have different areas that can be used all day long.
The super-talented florist was Bridget at Wild Rosamund who filled the marquee with real trees, delicately wrapped around the main poles and a garland that hung above the dancefloor, intertwining with a vintage light display.
The table displays were picture-perfect. A balance of delicate greenery with a pop of colour, the centrepieces were filled with lilies, hydrangeas, thistles, roses and cornflowers to add that pop of blue/purple. The displays were surrounded by brass vintage candlesticks with pure white taper candles – a lovely elegant touch.
A Surprising Arrival
After their ceremony, they arrived in a spectacular manner – by boat! The guests were made to believe they were arriving via a different entrance to the drinks reception area but when they turned around they saw the Groom rowing a boat with the Bride onboard!
The caterers were Cheeky Burger and provided the most delicious food throughout the day! Ran by Husband and Wife team; Sebastien and Marta, Sebastien appeared on MasterChef Professionals and is a classically trained French chef whilst Marta is a huge burger lover!
The drinks reception included a selection of mouth-watering canapes, from mini hot dogs with a mustard drizzle, to cauliflower and truffle oil hot soup mini pots, to pulled beef in Polish gravy served on mini toasted brioche bun, there was something for everyone to indulge in.
For the 5 course wedding breakfast, the guests enjoyed a traditional Polish soup, followed by Polish herring served with green apple, pickle, onion salad. The main course was Places po Wegiersku (a crispy, golden brown potato pancake on a bed of beef stew and served with sour cream and green onions (absolutely delicious if I do say so myself), then the meal ended with an appetizing Szarlotka (a Polish apple cake with whipped cream on the side).
The evening food was a delicious buffet including a selection of Polish ham, Polish sausages, smoked cheese and Russian salad – a favourite of the couple
Polish Wedding Traditions
There were so many touching moments throughout the day and I loved learning so much about Polish wedding traditions. There were a few standout moments for me and the first was just after the couple arrived at Horsley Hale Farm. Both the Bride and Groom had to drink a glass of champagne each in one gulp and then threw them behind their back. If the glasses break, it is considered good luck and that they will live a long, happy life together!
The Welcome Greeting Ceremony, whereby the couple were handed beautifully decorated bread, with a sprinkling of salt, by their parents (also known as The Bread & Salt Blessing). The symbolism behind this tradition is that the parents are hoping that their children will never be in hunger or in need, whereas the salt reminds the couple that they must learn to cope with life’s struggles when they are confronted by difficulties.
After this, the father of the bride provided the couple with two shot glasses. One had Vodka in, whilst the other had water (this is considered the couple’s first wedding toast). The bride choose first between the two glasses without knowing which is which. According to tradition, the partner who ends up drinking the Vodka is said to become the dominant partner in the relationship. Can you guess who got the vodka? That’s right, the Bride!
The Evening Entertainment
The evening guests arrived through a festoon lit walkway and had a mini tour of the beautiful grounds (complete with a welcome drink and nibbles along the way), before they headed into the marquee. Outside the marquee was an open fire with haybales and cosy shawls for the guests to snuggle up and enjoy whilst sipping on indulgent hot chocolate.
The KopiKats Band had the guests on the dancefloor throughout the day and long into the night. They performed as a Jazz Trio by the lake for the drinks reception, providing smooth, soulful tones, then in the evening they performed a selection of fun, energizing sets that keep the guests on the dancefloor all evening.
A Spectacular Ending
As the evening drew to a close, the guests formed an illuminating sparkler tunnel which led them to the lake to watch a surprise firework display by Alchemy Fireworks. A picture-perfect way to end a picture-perfect day.
Check out the talented team below:
Wedding Planner & On-the-Day Management: Vivienne May Weddings │ Photographer: Elsie Loves Photography │ Venue: Horsley Hale Farm │ Marquee: County Marquees │ Hair & Makeup: Amba Logan │ Flowers: Wild Rosamund │ Caterer: Cheeky Burger │ Furniture: Hall & Co Prop Shop │ Tableware: Allens Hire │ Band: The KopiKats │ Fireworks: Alchemy Fireworks │ Bridal Gown: Justin Alexander from Courtyard Bridal Boutique │ Groom & Groomsmen Suits: Ted Baker │ Bridesmaid Dresses: Mix Bridal