Queens College, Oxford was the venue of choice for Kiwi and English couple Emily and Nick.
Weddings that take place at University Colleges always appeal to my inner geek. I think it’s the smell of antique furniture and vintage books. The majority are extraordinarily beautiful too – definitely the case at Queens College. And more often than not, they have delightful courtyards that act as wonderful sun traps – again Queens College does us proud.
They also have the most exquisite decor – oak panels, over sized floor tiles, ornate ceilings, chandeliers…
Emily used this to her advantage and went simple on the decor. Just white flowers and candelabras were all it took to make the reception room look incredible.
The lovely couple also designed and made all of the stationery – I love their blue logo incorporating the flags of their home nations.
The photography from Mister Phill, as always, captures the heart and soul of the day. After looking through the images, I guarantee you’ll feel like you were there.
Emily The Bride: I’m from New Zealand and my husband is English, but we always knew we wanted to get married where he grew up in Oxford. Finding a venue that gave us the right space (and was available on the right dates!) was a challenge but in the end we found it close to home.
Nick’s father is a fellow at Queens College in Oxford which proved to be the perfect place for our reception. We had our ceremony around the corner in the Bodleian Library. We planned for rain but in the end the day was one of the hottest of the summer! The garden and cloisters of the college were the perfect outdoor setting to enjoy it.
My dress was Ulanova by Pronovias. After numerous attempts, the girls at the store did an amazing job of finding me something that combined all of my vague wants into one amazing dress. It wasn’t what I had been picturing, but I knew it was the one. It was the first dress that’s made me feel like I was ready for the Oscars and none other could compete.
My shoes were an indulgence, sparkly Jimmy Choos, and I also found a pair of silver glitter Converse which were much needed on the dance floor!
My Bridesmaids very kindly put up with my getting overly excited and ordering two potential dresses for them on sale. The only choice they got was picking which of the two they liked. I like to think I’m not a control freak…!
We didn’t have a set colour scheme for the day, but it did end up drifting towards blue and white in the end. It was important to us that we made the day our own and so we did as much as we could, on our own. We designed the invitations and order of service ourselves, printing them online.
In terms of decoration, we wanted to keep things simple, and our venue was so beautiful it didn’t need much dressing up. We wanted to add something to the garden so I started what was affectionately dubbed “the bunting factory” which normally kicked off early on a Saturday morning. Our flowers were provided by Fabulous Flowers in Oxford, it was almost a shame to leave on our honeymoon the next day and not be able to enjoy them for longer!
Right from the beginning, we knew photos were important to us and something we knew we wanted to make room for in our budget (it came a close second to the dress and Jimmy Choos). We had seen Mister Phill’s work online and loved the relaxed style and the way he is able to capture the real feel of the day. Despite not being able to meet face to face ahead of the day, Phill chatted to us on Skype and really set us at ease. The photos have been a real highlight and bring back so many memories!
Food and drink was hugely important and luckily the staff at Queens put on a fantastic spread for us. Nick’s mother made our cake which was a real show stopper; again I was sad not to have been able to enjoy more of it!
The week leading up to the wedding was jam packed with last minute jobs and spending time with loved ones who had traveled halfway around the world to share the day with us. In the end, we think our day was perfect. I’m sure not everything went to plan, but if anything went wrong I didn’t notice and now can’t remember.
The big surprise to me was just how much fun we had on the day. Through all the planning I don’t think I ever really imagined how the day would actually feel. Of course I loved my dress, the flowers and the bunting but really, having all our friends and family around us to share our marriage and seeing them enjoying themselves was the really amazing part. It was so important to stop for a moment and savour that. One of our favourite moments was stealing away with some friends after dinner for a quiet drink under the trees just enjoying the evening. After all, that’s what it’s all about.