Maggie Sottero for Pretty Cambridge Summer Garden Wedding

I love this wedding, it’s got such a pretty and sweet classic vibe to the day, gorgeous bride Rachel wore a Maggie Sottero lace overlay dress, with delicate pink hued summer flowers for her bouquet and beautiful Jenny Packham shoes. Keeping her gorgeous curly hair in a very natural style, with just a pretty bit of a sparkle, it feels very authentic and true to herself.

Rachel married her love Jon at Cambridge Union Chambers with them celebrating with a laid back and fun garden party at Rectory Farm, in a mini heat wave on the 23rd July last year. Congratulations to them on their first wedding anniversary this weekend, we hope you have a great day!

These lovely images were captured by Caroline Hancox. Caroline is based in Basel in Switzerland and London and says she ‘ loves to capture moments and to record the world around me, I genuinely get excited when I press the shutter and I know that I’ve got something special inside that magic little camera box!’ Her lovely approach has resulted in these lovely personal images.

Let me hand you over to bride Rachel to tell you more about their day;

The gardens on the morning of the wedding
The bride getting ready on the morning of the wedding
The brides Jenny Packham shoes
bridesmaids getting ready
The brides pretty summer bridal bouquet sat on a wall in the garden
The Love Story

We met in London on a night out, all rather by chance. We swapped numbers, went for a drink the following week and the rest is history!

photos of the couple hanging in the marquee
View of the venue
Maggie Sottero dress hanging up in the venue
The Venue

On the morning of the wedding Rachel and the bridal party got ready at their reception venue, the pretty Rectory Farm, Cambridge.

Rectory Farm was actually the first wedding venue we went to visit and we were won over by the lovely gardens and tree lined approach to the house (even though we first saw it in a frosty February!) We also thought it was brilliant that most of our guests would be able to stay there and the outdoor pool fit in with our overall aim to make the day as fun as possible.

Our absolute top priority was for it to be a day where everyone had fun – that was a key factor in picking the reception venue as we wanted somewhere that was flexible on how we decorated, where people could stay, that allowed music to carry on for as long as possible and we could have garden games etc, the outdoor swimming pool was really just a bonus!

The Ceremony

Our ceremony was held at the Cambridge Union Society, in the debating chamber . It look us a while to find our ceremony venue but we were absolutely delighted with the Cambridge Union Society, the debating chamber is such a unique venue to get married in and was a nice link to Cambridge University where I went to Uni.

My Dad took charge of organizing the wedding car, a beautiful Rolls Royce from Peterborough Cars. It was a very special way to arrive at the ceremony, a journey with my dad that I’ll always remember – he did a great job of keeping me calm!  It was also lovely to have a few moments alone as husband and wife on the journey from the ceremony to the reception venue.

My dad walked down the aisle with me and we walked down to a piano version of Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major and we exited to Love on Top by Beyoncé.

The Dress – Maggie Sottero

Rachel wore the pretty Maggie Sottero Emma style dress, bought from Mia Sposa, London

I went shopping with my mum and one of my bridesmaids and this was one of the first dresses I tried on, I loved the detailing of lace and the capped sleeves and felt like a princess in it, it was an easy choice! I chose some Jenny Packham, navy jewel embellished heels to go with it.

Hair and Make Up

Rachel’s hair was styled by talented stylist Becks Simpson of Thairapy Freelance,  with one of my her lovely bridesmaids Natalie Wilson applying her makeup to complete her natural look for the day;

I have curly hair, which Jon really likes, so I wanted to still look like myself on the big day so I was keen to pick a hairdresser that could work with curly hair. Becks was absolutely brilliant, she understood exactly what I was after and came up with a polished version of how I would normally have my hair with a jewelled hair slide to add some glamour.

The bridesmaids all picked their own styles and we had a brilliant time all getting ready that morning with Becks managing the timings to precision to get everyone ready in time (well, 10 mins late!)

The Photography

The couple chose the lovely Caroline Hancox to capture their day;

We did Skype chats with a few photographers whose styles we liked but choosing Caroline was an easy decision as she was the most enthusiastic (I think she just really likes going to weddings!) and seemed to really get what we were after. She was very reassuring about the whole process and having the opportunity to do a practice “engagement” shoot meant we were much more relaxed on the day

The Bridesmaids

Rachel’s bridesmaid all wore full elegant length pewter dresses from Twobirds Bridesmaid the classic jersey ball gown style.

The Grooms Threads

Jon wore a bespoke three piece navy blue suit from Dress to Kill The groomsmen were all free to wear their own navy suits but they all wore the same ties, from TM Lewin.

The Flowers

We worked with lovely Heidi Appleyard Floral design for our flowers. I found picking the flowers really difficult until I had found the bridesmaids dresses and my dress and then it all came together. I knew I wanted roses but I didn’t want it to be too pink and girly and Heidi was great at suggesting colours and combinations. I was blown away by the bouquets on the day and we were lucky that the ceremony venue was so unique that it didn’t need a lot of extra decorations beyond the pillars at the end of the aisle and some bay trees that my mum sourced.

The Cake

The couple had a stunning cake made by Jill, Rachel’s mum;

My mum made the cake, including all the decorative sugar work flowers on the top and it looked AMAZING! The bottom tier was a fruit cake made to my gran’s recipe, the middle tier was chocolate sponge and the top tier was lemon sponge. We couldn’t believe how amazing it looked, she absolutely exceeded our expectations and we still have the flowers from the top, they are decorating our mantel piece at home.

Our absolute top priority was for it to be a day where everyone had fun – that was a key factor in picking the reception venue as we wanted somewhere that was flexible on how we decorated, where people could stay and that allowed music to carry on for as long as possible.

Wedding Rings

The couple’s wedding rings are from Jade Jewellers in Hatton Garden which is where Jon bought Rachel’s engagement ring from too.

The Food

Our caterers were Cambridge Dining Company  who were absolutely amazing and we had many compliments on the quality of the food.


We had  Fun House as our band for the evening and the singer Devon was really brilliant, interacting with the guests and keeping everyone dancing – she even got involved in a dance off in the middle of one of the sets, executing a very impressive worm to cheers from everyone!


We did a lot of the stationary ourselves (the save the dates, order of services, menus, table numbers and table plans etc) We wanted to personalize the tables so named them after our favourite holiday destinations with pictures of us there and some text about why they were special to us on each table.

The Honeymoon

We went on mini moon a few days after the wedding to Dartmouth for a few days of relaxing by the seaside which was lovely – Jon organized it as a surprise.

We then went on our proper honeymoon in the November to South Africa and Mauritius and had a brilliant time for 3 weeks touring around Cape Town, the wine regions, the garden route, on safari and then relaxing by the beach.

First Dance

Yes, we danced to Kodaline’s “The One”, the lyrics were absolutely perfect and one of our lovely friends is a dance teacher who taught us a few moves before the big day which was great for keeping the nerves down when all eyes were on us!

Favourite Moment

That’s a difficult one as it was all great. I actually really enjoyed the ceremony itself more than I thought I would, it was so exciting seeing each other for the first time and saying the vows in front of all our friends and family was really special.

I wouldn’t do a thing differently, it was an absolutely perfect day and we are still getting compliments from friends and family about how great a time they all had, even the weather surpassed itself (at 27 degrees!)

Advice from the Bride

Make a plan and a thorough to do list! Focus on picking suppliers as early as possible so there are no last minute panics.

I love this wedding for its perfect mix of traditional and modern wedding style its, relaxed, elegant and fun. Huge congratulations to Rachel and Jon, wishing you both a fantastic first wedding anniversary this weekend and thanks for sharing your day with us.

Thanks also go to lovely Caroline Hancox whose gorgeous photography captured the day perfectly too.

With love

Photographer – Caroline Hancox | Venue – Rectory Farm | Ceremony – Cambridge Union Society | Bridal Desiger – Maggie Sottero | Bridal Boutique – Mia Sposa| Brides Shoes – Jenny Packham | Hair – Becks Simpson | Bridesmaids Dresses –  Twobirds Bridesmaid| Groom’s Suit – Dress to Kill | Grooms Tie –  TM Lewin | Floristry – Heidi Appleyard | Entertainment – Fun House Band | Catering – Cambridge Dining Company |  Transport –  Peterborough Cars | Rings – Jade |

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