Alana & Adam
“We’re so in love with all the photos, thanks so much!”
Lattenbury Hill Wedding venue is the perfect blank canvas for personalised and individual wedding. It was the perfect location for Alana & Adam’s large Jewish wedding back in the summer of 2019. This was my first wedding and Lattenbury Hill Wedding venue which is set in the middle of a family run farm close to Cambridge. Hopefully it won’t be the last! Alana & Adam were kind enough to complete a blog submission questionnaire which I’ll share below along with some of my favourite images from the day.
Why did you pick Lattenbury Hill Weddings as your venue and was there any significance to the space?
I am from Cambridge and am a huge lover of the outdoors, so I really wanted to get married somewhere with a beautiful outdoor space. Although we now live in London, we both liked the idea of getting married in Cambridge as it was near enough for our guests to drive home after the wedding if they wanted/needed to, but also just far enough away that it made sense to stay in a hotel and make a weekend of it. We encouraged our guests to do just that, by making a small event back at the venue the day after.
We were looking for something quite specific when we started our venue search. We had already fallen in love with Sperry tents so we knew we wanted a blank canvas space, to allow us the freedom to put up the Sperry tent. We wanted to create a sort of shabby-chic festival vibe and have the opportunity to be free to do what we wanted. There weren’t loads of venues that fitted our brief in the Cambridgeshire area and we quickly came across Lattenbury Hill Weddings. From the moment we set foot on Lattenbury Hill Farm we knew it was the perfect venue – the pond, the corn fields, the huge trees, the lavender and colourful flower beds, the wonky barn (we christened it that, we’re not sure if the name has stuck or not) and manicured lawns, it was just so full of character and beauty, we were immediately sold.
How did you make your wedding about you? Did you have a theme, colour scheme, or particular wedding style?
We wanted to create an intimate wedding that felt relaxed and personal, which is almost impossible when you’re having a big Jewish wedding with 250 guests. The way we managed to keep as close to this vision as possible, was to do as much as possible ourselves. This meant we did things like: make the table plan, tie string around hundreds of glass jars, spray paint 100 heinz soup tins Gold and Rose Gold, to use as flower vases; ask our Dads to build the gin bar, signage and chuppah; have my Mum make 25 mosaic table numbers, and bake 500 brownies; and finally on the week of the wedding, we roped in as many friends and family as possible to help us set up and dress the huge site – it took the best part of 6 days! Involving our friends and family in our big day was what made it so special and personal to us and we’ll be forever grateful to all those that played a part in it.
Where was your dress from – who was the designer and what was the style?
My dress was a Maggie Sottero design from Morgan Davies in Hitchin. I had found her online when I started my search and loved some of her boho styles. I was looking for a figure hugging lacy dress with a low back and saw many of her dresses online and spent a while ringing around different bridal shops trying to find the stores that sold her range. I think I went to 5 different bridal shops before I found my dress which was in the last place I had booked an appointment with. I had 2 other potential dresses but when I tried this one on which was called ‘The Caroline’ we all knew it was ‘the one’.
What did Adam wear?
Adam bought a two-piece blue suit from Suit Supply, which he matched up with a navy waistcoat from Charles Tyrwhitt. He wore a green tie and pocket square (that we’d found on a Lithuanian Etsy site), and a gold tie pin, with some brown double monk-strap shoes from Kurt Geiger. We’d done this shopping together, so his outfit on the day wasn’t a surprise, but he looked extra handsome on the day!
Did you have any individual or special touches for your ceremony? What was your favourite part of the ceremony?
We spent about 6 months planning the ceremony with our wonderful Rabbi, Hannah. We really wanted to make it our own and so this involved lots of meetings, but Hannah made it clear that aside from one or two things, everything was negotiable. So we decided that we would both circle each other at the beginning of the ceremony, write our own Ketubah text, write our own vows, and have friends and family create their own blessings for the Sheva Brachot.
We also knew from very early on that we wanted the London Sound Project – the choir I sing in, to sing throughout the ceremony, which we knew would be unique and really special and we were really excited about this. Later on in the planning process we decided to give our guests the lyrics to the song that they would be singing whilst we signed our Ketubah. The song was ‘Everywhere’ by Fleetwood Mac. This was such a memorable moment, as everyone was singing along and we got to join in too.
I think my favourite part of the ceremony was when Adam read his vows to me and I realised we had basically written the same things. I looked at our Rabbi, Hannah who had read both of our vows to check them over for us, and we shared a big giggle. One of our flower girls – one of my cousins 18-month-old twins, also made a very welcomed special moment during the ceremony, when she decided she wanted to get in on the action. She wriggled out of her seat and walked over to my Dad under the chuppah. My Dad picked her up and she watched on intently from a much better vantage point. There’s just too many great moments from the ceremony to mention them all, it was definitely both our favourite part of the day!
Entertainment – what did you have and why?
We wanted a live band who knew the Jewish wedding format and could do the Israeli dancing songs. We’d seen TOTEM at other weddings and they’d always impressed. They were great on the day and some of their musicians even joined the London Sound Project in the ceremony to add some live music to the voices, which was so great. All the musicians were incredible and I will always remember the moment they got all our guests up on their chairs singing ‘Stand by me’, very special.
Tell me about any other unusual ideas / creative touches, decor, props, details, speeches or ideas that made your wedding special to you? Are there any particularly significant stories about something that happened on or defined your wedding day?
As we were using a blank canvas venue, we had to decorate the space ourselves. I knew I wanted to hire some props for the day and came across The White Emporium when searching on google. Gemma was great, and it was really affordable to hire a load of lanterns, rugs, hoops and other item. She delivered and collected the items from the site, which was super helpful.
We both love Gin, so we wanted to have a bar dedicated to just that. Adam’s dad built the bar from pallets, sanded it down and painted it white, and it looked brilliant. Our friend Kate (@cocktailkate) is a Bartender, mixologist, drink educator and all round legend , who very generously helped us make a menu for the gin bar, with different recipes made up from all the different gins, tonics, fruit and garnishes we had stocked the bar with.
We also both love games, so we wanted to have some at the wedding. We hired some table footballs, table tennis, Giant jenga and croquet for on the lawns around the sperry tents from a company called ES Promotions. These went down a treat during the canapé reception but then also the next day when we returned to the venue for an after party with food vans and more partying.
Adam’s family are friends with the owners of Joe and Seph’s popcorn so we were lucky enough to have a popcorn bar at the wedding too. We had a large selection of flavours, so we had the savoury ones out during the canapés reception, and then whipped out the sweet flavours for the evening party. Their popcorn is just so good and our guests loved being able to help themselves throughout the day.
The feminist in both of us wanted our wedding to be as equal as possible, so when Adam smashed a glass in the ceremony, so did I. When Adam started writing his speech, so did I and when the conversations began about what our surname would be, we quickly decided we wanted to double barrel our names and both take each other’s surnames.
Any little pieces of advice you would like other future couples to benefit from your own personal experience?
Agonise less on the finer details and be more decisive because at the end of the day no one else will know the 300 other options you agonised over and you’ll enjoy yourself no matter what.
I thoroughly enjoyed photographing Alana & Adam’s wedding at Lattenbury Hill Weddings venue. There are few more photos from their wedding day below. If you’re planning your own mega wedding and like the kind photos I shoot and my approach to capturing the day then get in touch. Would be great to hear from you and see if I’m available for your big day!