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Classic English Wedding at the Bodleian Library

While she originally had her sights set on a NYC rooftop wedding, it was the beauty of Oxford, England that sent this bride’s wedding plans for a complete and total loop. But with its stunning architecture and old-world charm, it’s all too easy to see why. The fabulous Stephanie Swann captured the day from start to finish you can click right here for sooooo much more!


From the Bride… With half our guests coming from a different country, we wanted our wedding to be special. NYC was the obvious choice for me being American and having lived there for 10 years. I had images of a rooftop reception with skyline views and as we visited locations across London, none seemed to stack up to my NYC dream.

Then we went to Oxford, my husband’s hometown. I was completely blown away at how incredibly beautiful the city is, and its ability to transport you through time to a place long past with its architecture and gardens. The Bodleian Library was nestled in the middle of it all, one of the oldest in Europe, with some of the most stunning architecture I have seen. It only took a minute to decide this was where we wanted to celebrate with our closest friends and family.

It was important to us to accentuate the beauty of the city so we chose a classic and timeless color palette including grey, pale yellow and creams that would compliment the surrounding architecture. Keeping with British tradition, the gentlemen wore morning suits and we held a champagne only reception (cocktail hour). But it was also important that we ensured we had some elements of New York represented. I found my dress in NY and my parents had images of vintage New York and London maps made into bookmarks for each guest.

We wanted an outdoor element to our wedding and since this can be tough in the UK, we opted to risk for a reception in the courtyard of the library before heading in for the wedding breakfast. It paid off and we enjoyed the sunshine to the sounds of a jazz trio our friends found performing in a local pub after photos in the gardens of one of the local colleges.

Including our family in our creative process was very important. Chris and I designed the stationary ourselves, my father and I constructed each program, our brother-in-law designed and made our gorgeous wedding cake and Chris’s parents and sister helped source and cover the books used as part of the table centerpieces. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing – we live in London, this is our home and part of who we are. I’m so glad we got to share our big day with our closets friends and family in such a special, beautiful place.

What advice could I give to future brides? Don’t be afraid to consider something not in your plan. The choices I made, from the location to my dress were so different from what I thought I originally wanted and I wouldn’t change them for the world. Be open to ideas and go with your heart! Get creative and include a little DIY no matter your budget – it’s nice to have everything done for you, but those special touches make the day extra special and include your friends and family in one of the important days of your life.

If your budget allows, I would also highly recommend a day-of coordinator. Our venue was very strict as it’s open to public and without the team we would have been at a loss. Not having to worry about anything the day of made my experience with the bridesmaids and mother in the morning so much more relaxing.

Photography: Stephanie Swann Weddings | Wedding Dress: Ulla Maier | Florist: Fabulous Flowers | Cake: Christopher's Brother-in-law | Stationery: Kenny McLaren | Ceremony Venue: The Oratory | Reception Venue: Bodleian Library | Shoes: Brian Atwood | Bridesmaids Dresses: Monique Lhuillier | Catering: Tapenade | Wedding Planner: Isobel Lamplough – Isobel Weddings | Hair Stylist: Katie R-Scott | Car Hire: Henley Classic Car Hire | Clutch Bag: Anya Hindmarch | DJ Entertainment: Wedding Smashers | Dance Floor And Lighting : ACDisco | Diamond Stud Earrings: Gift From Christopher To Ashley | Grey Necklace: Massimo Dutti | Groom's Morning Suit : Cad And The Dandy | Make Up Artist: Georgina Pelosi | Pendant Earrings: Alexis Bittar | Wedding/Engagement Rings: DeBeers

Monique Lhuillier is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.

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Bride Dons Floral Dress in Surrey Wedding

As if your Spring Fever weren’t at an all time high after the winter we’ve had, we’re throwing a beautiful garden wedding your way, and the bride is wearing a dress made of flowers (!!!) from Zita Elze. Believe me when I say you’re not going to want to miss a minute of this beautiful gallery from Mister Phill, and as a sweet treat for you, we’ll be back later today with a closer look at that beautiful gown!


From Mister Phill… Leanne & Ben’s English Summer wedding day traversed and encompassed rustic natural charm combined with old Hollywood style elegance and modern twists that made their day truly their own, truly one to remember; a day rich in fantastic design from beginning to end and populated by fantastic people.

The visual show-stopper of the wedding, it must be said, was Leanne’s breathtaking first wedding dress of the day – yes, she had two dresses – an astounding fresh flower and berry bodice combined with a flowing train made of Stipa grass, designed by Zita Elze. Worn by Leanne for the ceremony at St. Michael’s Church in Betchworth, Surrey, the dress was a complete surprise for all of the assembled guests and represented the first ever occasion on which a bride had worn one of Zita’s creations on her wedding day.

As Ben awaited his bride at the end of an aisle arrayed down each side with tea lights, pots of straw-light Stipa and dark green grasses interspersed with daisies (all arranged by Zita), and adorned with hand cut paper butterflies by Florrie Ann Thomas, Leanne entered the church through an entrance arched with grasses and flowers designed to echo her dress, accompanied by rustic wooden hearts and dangling bottled flowers. The wedding rings too were delivered on a wooden heart to match!

Ben wore a grey Armani suit and he and his groomsmen sported boutonnière designed to match Leanne’s bodice. Leanne’s bridesmaids wore slate gowns from Twobirds and held bouquets of yellow Aram lilies and Stipa grass.

After the ceremony, the newly-weds joined their guests at Leanne’s family home for the reception. An architecturally stunning stretch tent supplied by The Stretch Tent Company accommodated the wedding breakfast and evening party, providing shade from the English summer heat whilst capturing cool breezes through its open sides (it also served well in keeping everyone sheltered from a passing British summer storm!)

The tent was decorated with a clean, modern air to it, crisp white linens accompanied by silver dinnerware, adorned with tealights, flowers and bunches of gooseberries on the top table to extend and interweave the natural organic flavor of the afternoon’s ceremony into the evening’s celebrations. The open sided construction of the tent allowed the party to extend into the family garden where guests could relax on beanbags and in rattan chairs.

Between ceremony and reception, Leanne changed into her second dress of the day, an utterly stunning, figure hugging Old Hollywood style Pronovias gown. Ben’s expression of amazement and admiration, as he watched Leanne descend the stairs in this second outfit, was priceless!

The meal served at the wedding breakfast was of Leanne & Ben’s design, centered around a particular shared enjoyment of eating at Nandos. The culinary theme was commensurately interpreted, created and delivered by Purple Grape Catering. Baked beans with toasted soldiers, fish fingers with tartar sauce and macaroni and cheese pots served as appetizers and were followed by chicken breast marinated in Peri-Peri sauce and accompanied by chips, crunchy coleslaw, spicy rice and macho peas for the main course (with a vegetarian option of grilled Halloumi and mushrooms). The main course elements were delivered in large bowls to each table to enhance the sharing experience of the day. A lottery ticket was placed in a teacup for each guest to chance their fortune that weekend. Chocolate and raspberry pots, Eton Mess, Crème Brûlée topped with popping candy, Tiramisu and chilled rice pudding topped with fresh fruit compote were offered on a specially set aside table as a dessert selection for each guest to choose which took their fancy.

A beautiful wedding cake by Ceri Olfoson was designed to complement in style Leanne’s first wedding dress of the day.

The day was topped off with a resounding evening party that saw guests dancing into the night.

Photography: Mister Phill | Videography: From The Hip | Floral Design: Zita Elze | Cake: Olofson Design | Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Bridesmaids Dresses: Twobirds | Groom's Attire: Armani | Bride's Family Home: The Stretch Tent Company | Butterfly Decorations: Florrie Ann Thomas | Church: St. Michael’s Church, Betchworth, Surrey | Evening Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Event Planning & Catering: Purple Grape Catering | Floral Wedding Dress: Zita Elze | Hair & Make-up: Beauty Call

ZITA ELZE is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.

Romantic British Wedding at Brocket Hall

“Epitomizes English glamour and elegance” is guaranteed to pull me in every single time, and this time, I was floored. Blown away by the beauty that is this wedding from Anushe Low. The shoes, the gown, that warm, beautiful light, it’s like someone bottled up my dreams and gave me the best present ever… in the form of a highlight film from reellovefilms!


From Reellovefilms… Well, what a wedding this was! Wall to wall beautiful… Susie and Stuart were married at the elegant and lovely Brocket Hall, UK, and it was clear right from the start that they had made a huge effort on their wedding….it looked completely amazing. Everything from the flowers by Jamie Aston, Susie’s Jenny Packham dress and Jimmy Choo shoes and Stuarts dapper Stuart Lamprell suit had been chosen to compliment the elegant, timeless and beautiful surroundings…it really was a good looking day! Brocket Hall epitomises English glamour and elegance; frescos on the ceilings, gilded details, lawns and lakes…serene.

Susie had an amazing team getting her get ready, not that she needs much help…with Severin Hubert on hair and Sarah Brock on make up, and what a job they did. Lots of music accompanied the day with the amazing Steve Christie on Piano and the equally amazing Matt Maurice kicking the evening party off….complete with Xylobands!

As well as this wedding just looking so beautiful, there was more to it than that…Stuart and Susie are an incredibly warm, happy, fun, caring and genuine couple, who made our job filming them so easy on the day. They were surrounded by so many people who thought the world of them and you could just feel the happiness on the day. This is what made the wedding truly a great one…we loved every minute and wish you both so much happiness in your future together xx

Photography: Anushe Low | Cinematography: Reellovefilms | Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham | Floral Design: Jamie Aston | Cake: The Parlour By Creightons | Stationery: Kate Ruth Romey | Ceremony Venue: Brocket Hall | Reception Venue: Brocket Hall | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids Dresses: Jim Hjelm | Make Up: Sarah Brock | Hair Stylist: Severin Hubert | DJ: Matt Maurice | Band: The Honeymooners | Grooms Attire: Stuart Lamprell | Grooms Shoes: Gucci | Brides Jewellery: Annoushka | Feather Shrug: Jenny Packham | Hair Piece: Chanel | Photo Booth: The Mighty Booth | Pianist: Steve Christie | Wedding Stationary: Kate Ruth Romey | Xylobands: The Events Factory | Xylobands: The Events Factory

Hayley Paige and Jim Hjelm Occasions are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. JLM Couture, Inc and Reel Love Films are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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