Dan and Rosie met at Oxford University. Dan was the organist at the Chapel and accompanied the choir which Rosie conducted, so they worked closely together for three years, even composing music together. It was not until the last day of Rosie’s first year at university that they finally got together.
“It sounds cheesy, but it was the best thing that’s ever happened to me – Dan is my best friend and I’ve never felt so comfortable being myself with anybody before or since meeting him.”
“The venue was the perfect place for both of us – we first met in the Chapel where we had our marriage ceremony, so it was a place of huge significance for us. The bride usually marries in her home church, and this felt like ‘home’ for me. We also knew that we would be able to hold the reception in the same place, making the most of the beautiful landscaped gardens of St Hugh’s. We knew that we wanted to hold our reception in a place where it would almost feel like we were outside (without having to contend with bad weather), so we chose a room with huge glass doors that slid back to reveal views of the lawns.”
“We wanted a relaxed, summery feel, and the pastel colours that we chose for our flowers as well as the mismatched vintage china really brightened up the room and looked beautiful. We kept the actual decoration of the room fairly minimal, as the tables were bursting with colour, and it drew the attention to the gorgeous centre pieces that we had on each table. Our flowers were Piano Roses combined with more structured sweet avalanche Roses, Stocks, Lisianthus, Blue Veronica and Eucalyptus leaves. We kept the vases simple, choosing vintage-style mason jars alongside sleek glass cube vases which allowed the flowers to speak for themselves. My engagement ring is a sapphire, so also wove a mid-blue into my bouquet as well as my bridesmaid’s, and tied the colour in with the bridesmaid’s dress and the groom’s tie and pocket square.”
“Tea played a large part at the reception – we both drink far too much tea and have quite a collection of different flavours, so we wanted to incorporate this into the day. It took quite a while to work out how we were going to organise it, but we wanted all of our guests to have a variety of teas to choose from. We bought little cream gift boxes from John Lewis and filled them with individually-wrapped teabags that we picked out from the selection at the Twinings Tea Shop in London. The wrappings were multi-coloured and looked gorgeous in the little boxes, and we managed to keep it a surprise from our guests until the afternoon tea – people really loved being able to pick out their own individual flavour. We also tied in the ‘tea’ theme by having our table names as different teas that are favourites of ours (this also worked really well as we were able to match some guests to a table named after a tea they really love, so it felt more personal and didn’t go unnoticed!).”
“My husband is a musician and we met through our love of music, so we wanted to tie this in to our day too. We hired a grand piano and had a pianist playing throughout the afternoon tea, playing old classics such as ‘As Time Goes By’. It was a really special touch and was really atmospheric during the reception. We also had a very subtle nod to music in our wedding cake; we had little musical notes piped in amongst the swirls on the icing. We didn’t want them to jump out when you looked at the cake, but we were both happy knowing that they were there.”
“The best memory I have, though – and Dan and I agree on this – was leaving in a rickshaw. We were taken on a full journey around Oxford, where we were able to stop for photographs so we have some beautiful shots that are really unusual, and it was also a chance for us to spend some time alone together for the first time that day. As we rode through town loads of people called out congratulations to us and waved, and it really made our day extra special – the perfect ending to a wonderful day.”
“Finding a wedding dress was a bit of a nightmare for me. Being very short, I had to find a dress that wouldn’t make me look as wide as I am tall, which was no mean feat! I chose about four versions of ‘the dress’ in total – from a sparkly, frothy dress to a very fitted, vintage-style gown, but when I put ‘my’ dress on, even after months of searching, I felt excited. I think the fact that I kept looking even after I thought I’d found ‘the one’ meant that I still wasn’t happy with it, and I’m really glad I went for my gut feeling and went for just one last appointment! I was so happy with the dress that I bought it there and then – it combined everything I was looking for and I felt really beautiful in it.”
I had a whole mix of emotions when organising my wedding, but I look back on it extremely fondly! At times it was a challenge – there were so many meetings with different suppliers, so many different choices to make, and so many disappointing dress appointments – but overall it was a wonderful experience, and the good outweighs the not-so-good! The satisfaction of finding the supplier who is just right or of finding that perfect decoration for your venue is a really great feeling, and I loved seeing it all come together. It took me almost a year in total (during which time I actually planned two weddings – we were originally planning on a winter wedding!) but it does feel weird not having anything to plan now!
Rosie’s Three Top Tips:
1) Accept help when it’s offered – by the time the wedding comes around you will be grateful for it, particularly when everything suddenly needs doing!
2) Stick to your guns. If there’s something you really want, do everything within your power to make it happen, even if it means trekking across central London to find obscure little tea shops two weeks before the wedding! You will notice it on the day, and it’ll feel like a little triumph – so don’t let people talk you out of it!
3) Something is bound to go awry on the day, but don’t let it faze you. In the end, what’s important is that you’re getting married to the person you love, and everything else pales into insignificance on the day itself.
Dress – Maggie Sottero ‘Nora’ (bought at From This Moment Bridal, Surrey), Veil – Rainbow Club ‘Intrigue’ (single tier, Chapel length, raw edge), Shoes – Rainbow Club ‘Cheryl’ (these can be dyed by the company even after they’ve been worn so I will be able to wear them again), Flowers – Joanna Carter Contemporary Flowers (http://www.