Florence & Florian’s lovely Oxford garden wedding took place in July, on a hot, steamy summer day. Having arrived in Oxford the night before, relaxed and ready to go, I headed off the next morning into the gorgeous Oxfordshire countryside to Flo’s family farm, a stone’s throw from Blenheim Palace. The rustic signs signalled I’d arrived at the right place and I was welcomed by a very calm but busy family who were all getting on with their morning tasks ahead of the wedding.
Garden marquee wedding reception
The huge marquee in the garden was being decorated and tables – named after places the couple had travelled to together – were being laid, with the florist preparing the most amazing flower filled huge vases and table decorations. There was also a nod to Florian’s German heritage with decorated honey gingerbread hearts or lebkuchen for every guest. Table names were being stamped, lunch was being cooked, decorations were being hung in the barn where the dancing was to take place later, lawns were being mowed after the early heavy rain shower, children were being fed, balloons were being tied…. it was a hive of calm but industrious activity.
Flo got ready with her Granny
It was then Flo’s turn to get ready and so hair and make up started. Granny told me about her great great grandfather whose portrait hung in the sitting room. Then a wonderful gaggle of little bridesmaids arrived excited at the day ahead of them… dresses and shoes on, they eagerly awaited the bride in her wedding dress. Flo and her Granny got ready in the same room – I love the photos of them both together, such wonderful family memories that I know they love! And then I’m off, making my way to the family church some 5 mins away from the farm to capture guest arrivals at the church with the groom, Florian.
The sun’s out put your hat on
Guests are slowly crossing the road from the local pub making their way over to the church where Florian has arrived greeting guests and is ready to get married. There are hats, hats and more hats. The sun is now out and beating down on us. It’s HOT! The bridesmaids, flower girls and page boys are practising their walk in the church car park and in no time, Flo arrives with her Father. They’re greeted and start the walk in and down the aisle. And then the wedding ceremony begins. There’s some very enthusiastic singing in church and lots of guests squeezed in to participate and witness. After the readings, hymns and prayers, Florence & Florian are married! They are welcomed with lots and lots of confetti before the short drive back to the farm to start the celebrations.
Drinks and Canapés in the garden
A long line of cars follows them back and the afternoon’s celebrations begin with flowing champagne, delicious canapés and a Spanish Jamon Iberico carver. There’s so much going on all around – children everywhere, games, lots of yummy food, very animated family and friends catching up… things are buzzing along nicely. Family photos are taken in the extensive gardens after rescuing a lost relative or two, and then we get the chance to wander around the garden and farmland alone to take some gorgeous photos of Flo & Flo. As is often the case, couples don’t always get any time to catch up until this moment so there’s lots of smiles and laughter from the two of them. They’ve finally done it! Then they’re headed back to their guests and the wedding breakfast starts in a huge marquee in the garden with what seems like 200 guests. After a long dinner, there are lots of wonderful speeches and then some typical German songs sung by Florian’s parents with a chorus that everyone joins in with. The place is in uproar!! The evening ends with energetic dancing and merry making in the barn to a live band. There are guests everywhere, pockets of family and friends and children having a great time. What a way to celebrate! I left at midnight with the party still going….. Huge thanks to Flo & Flo and your families for all your hospitality. I had an absolute ball!