Getting married in a university college definitely demands a certain level of elegance and I think Laura & Pete’s big day fits the bill perfectly. Their whole wedding is very classy and sticks to a gorgeous palette of pastels. Laura’s floral Ted Baker shoes are a fun addition to her traditional bridal look and we’re loving the wild bouquets that add a pop of slightly darker colour to proceedings.
Laura The Bride: My mum passed her veil on to me (my something old!) so I knew I wanted something to match the soft vintage silk. She read about a Vera Wang sample sale and sent me off on the hunt! I took three friends and expected only to try a few on; however I found one and fell in love — the pleated tulle was beautiful! It was fitted, sleeveless but the tulle added lots of texture while being a very classic dress. My shoes were bright and colourful, from Ted Baker, and in my hair, with the veil, I wore fresh flowers to match the bouquet.
Pete wanted something classic, so wore a morning suit we hired from Moss Bros, with an ice blue tie. He wore his Brasenose College cufflinks, which his parents had bought him on his graduation. His button-hole was classic with a white rose and blue thistle detail.
My family live in Yorkshire, Pete’s live in Gosport and we live in London, and so, from the beginning, we looked for somewhere in-between. Pete studied English at Brasenose College, Oxford and when we looked into getting married there it just made sense straight away; it was so personal to him, and such a big part of his life. We were married in the Brasenose Chapel and had our Reception on the Quad and dinner in the Hall. We were able to decorate the hall and input our personal style into the venue.
The night before, I stayed with my family at the Lower Farm in Noke, a short Drive from Oxford City Center. The people who ran it were amazing; they even filmed the Bridal party leaving the venue on the go-pro and sent it to us afterwards — so personal! We spent our wedding night in the gorgeous Bath Place hotel.
We didn’t set out with a colour scheme and I changed my mind about three times; instead we just added on the flowers and colours that seemed to naturally come together. This kept the theme very traditional and classic — something which suited the beautiful college. In the end that came together as reds, pinks and greens; very soft subtle tones and rich reds. We had pheasant feathers on the tables, buttons, and used Leavers lace to cover jam-jars for candles and flowers. I used a Liberty print silk chiffon to tie to the invitations and attach to name cards, as well as using an old Oxford English dictionary to create cut-outs and additional decorations. The décor was very personal with most of it being made myself, I drove Pete mad as the flat was covered in wedding bits for months!
Instead of table names we had a different Shakespearean sonnet on each table which Pete picked. We had cut out hearts from the Oxford Dictionary on the tables with flowers in jam jars covered in lace. I used to work for a lingerie company and used lots of lace they has passed to me to use.
Pete’s brother handcrafted two roses to go on top of the cake—one brass and one bronze—giving us another personal touch to the day!
Our flowers were created and put together by Anna Hale, a close friend of one of my bridesmaids who has her own business. From the first time we sat down to discuss it all, she really interpreted exactly what we were after. She found deep red peonies, wild flowers, vintage coloured roses and coupled flowers with pheasant feathers for an organic, wilder look.
The Wedding Party
The bridesmaids wore pale green dresses from Ted Baker, with their hair pinned up with flowers in the back. The groomsmen & fathers all hired morning suits to match Pete.
The ceremony was held in the seventeenth century Brasenose chapel in the college grounds. We had Janet, my now mother-in-law read an extract from The Song of Solomon (2.10-13; 8.6-7) and a close friend, Ryan, read John Ciardi’s wonderful poem ‘Most Like An Arch’. The ceremony was held by Reynaud de la Bat Smit, who gave a very beautiful and heartfelt sermon examining the language of the vows.
We had a homemade play list put together with suggestions from my friends Winnie and Becky.
We had a smoked fish starter, Guinea fowl with dauphinoise potatoes and passion-fruit panna cotta for our main meal. Followed by late night snacks of a cheese tower and a pork pie tower—which were demolished after everyone started on the Prosecco!
The cake was from Marks and Spencer, decorated with flowers and our metal roses. We have a family tradition of using my great grandfather’s sword from his time in the Cavalry cut the cake.
A highly recommended Natalie at Natalie J Weddings. We used to work together years ago, albeit in fashion, but I have seen her in action at weddings and so was keen to get her booked. We planned our wedding in only five months, so I was lucky she was free, but she did an amazing job and we were thrilled with our pictures—it took us so long to decide our final selects, they were all so good! It was great to have someone who can make you feel so relaxed throughout the day and both Pete and I loved her photography style.