“Fun and natural pics that captured the day in its true light. We loved getting to know you, and that you wanted to get to know us. You have a relaxed, cool and natural style of photography. You made us feel at ease right from the beginning, you captured us laughing so much!”
Alexia & Matt | The proposal
We actually met online! Matt even travelled 30 miles on the train with a broken leg to meet me for our first date! I remember driving home after our first date and thinking…I could spend every day with this guy and not get bored. We laughed so much on the first date…that I spat my food out at Matt mid laugh…still got a second date though, didn’t I?! The proposal was lovely and personal. Matt proposed in the Italian Gardens at The Manor House in Castle Combe, Gloucestershire. He even got down on one knee and made sure he had asked my Dad first. The best part is (he knows me so well)…he had bought me a new nail varnish the day before so I had pretty nails when we proposed knowing I’d want to take pics!
What was your Ardington House wedding inspiration?
Matt will tease me, but I always used the term “Relaxed and Romantic’! I wanted it to be beautiful, but totally relaxed…we got married outside after all. Once the formalities were done, we really wanted a party vibe and for being to have loads of fun.
We both wanted really pretty flowers. I also wanted to make sure our guests could take as many away with them as possible. I sourced some gorgeous vases for the centrepieces that my florist used and at the end of the night we gave them away to guests. Can we also take a moment to appreciate the gorgeous flowers on the temple where we got married…it felt very secret garden!
We wanted favours that guests would use or consume…in the end we went for both- a biscuit cake thingy from a Greek Cypriot bakery in North London (which was amazing…it had a nutella filling and blossom water) and the second favour was a little candle. Along with my mum, Aunties and cousins we spent a long time wrapping the favours, adding the string and the tags. We loved the way they turned out. We also had wooden names made for the place names. I loved these as the guests could take them away with them.
The Photo Booth and gin van seemed to be big hits, we had loads of compliments about these. We both loved how retro and cool the VW looked and who doesn’t love a Photo Booth?! Music was important to us both. We loved the classic rock vibe that Teenage Kicks brought. We are also suckers for 80’s music so our playlist was pretty old school.
Why choose your Ardington House in Oxfordshire for your wedding venue?
We both love old manor houses. Matt actually proposed at The Manor House in Castle Combe. We wanted to find a stately home/manor house with outside space that would be exclusively ours for the weekend. We loved that it wasn’t a hotel and the only people that would be there, would be our guests. The house has 9 bedrooms so it meant our closest family and bridal party could stay with us too. The temple and gardens sold this place to us. It is just so beautiful. We were so lucky with the weather as we all got to enjoy the last summery weekend of the year outside.
Tell us about the Pronovias wedding dress.
It’s by La Sposa from Pronovias. I got it from Mirror Mirror in Angel (North London). My dress fitter, Vanessa and her Manager, Andrea were incredible from start to finish! I tried all styles on, from modern, to fitted…and I just thought…when else do I get to wear a massive lace dress if not my wedding? So I channelled my inner Kate Middleton and went for this gorgeous dress. My favourite parts have to be the lace back, and the off the shoulder style. It was a gorgeous dress, heavy, but well worth it.
Matt wore a lovely suit from Reiss. It wasn’t your typical colour or material and we both loved it. I went shopping with the bridesmaids to choose the dresses. It was important to me that they loved the dress so I wanted them to choose it. They all agreed that they wanted a multi way dress so they could wear it in a style that suited them. I said the same for hair and makeup and told them to choose what they wanted. My view is if they felt comfortable with their hair, makeup and dress they’d have a better day, feel more special and it would shine through in all the pics too. I am so happy we chose the dresses we did, as one of the bridesmaids, Emma got pregnant after we bought the dresses, luckily we didn’t have to change the dress and it looked amazing on her 7th month bump! We joke that we had a little page boy along with us in her belly.
What advice would you give to those planning their wedding day?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. People ask if anything went wrong, and I say, I honestly don’t know, I was having way too much fun! I forgot to through my bouquet and also forgot to wear my garter, something old/borrowed and blue! It really didn’t bother me, but if these things are important to you, then write a list and make sure your bridesmaids tick it off in the morning.
Make sure you spend some time with your husband/wife after the ceremony and after that, go and have fun! I hardly saw Matt all evening, as I was too busy dancing and he was being all social. But that’s the way it should be, you have the rest of your lives together, you don’t need to be side by side all day and night. Just remember, it’s your day…do what makes you happy. Don’t worry about what other people with think either. Choose an awesome photographer (like we did!) Be super organised, it really helps with not getting stressed. But also-don’t stress, there’s no need! Don’t worry about the weather as there’s nothing you can do to change it. The most important thing is you’ll be married at the end of the day. On the day, in the moments of madness, take it all in and enjoy!
What was your biggest surprise on your wedding day?
For Matt the guitar that I got him as a wedding present. I had my Dad and Brother deliver it to where he was staying on the morning of the wedding. For Alexia it was Matt changing up our first dance song!
What song did you walk down the aisle to?
Pachelbel’s canon in D. This is the only thing I have always wanted when I thought about a wedding. I wasn’t one of those girls who planned their whole day from a young girl, but for some reason I have always wanted this song. The strange thing is, I don’t even remember hearing it when I was walking down the aisle, I think went into a little cloud.
For our first dance we chose Billy Joel’s Just the Way You Are. Sneaky Matt spoke to the band behind my back and changed it to “The way you look tonight” by Tony Bennett. It’s the song I really wanted, but we had agreed on Billy Joel as we both love Billy.
What are you most looking forward to as a married couple?
More holidays now that we have finished saving for the wedding 😉 Really though, nothing much changes. We’ve just made it legal and official that we are happy to be stuck with each other! We are both looking forward to all the fun times ahead and making even more memories!
Shout outs where shout outs due:
Make up artists: Laura Louise www.instagram.com/lauralouisemua | Florists::Nicola @ Foxgloves and Roses www.instagram.com/foxglovesandroses/ | Rings: Alexia’s: Neil Lane www.instagram.com/neillanejewelry – Matt: Justin Duance www.instagram.com/justinduancejewellery recommendation from Jonny! | Cake: Oxford Cake Company www.instagram.com/theoxfordcakeco | Catering Company: Barton House events www.bartonhouse.co.uk/events-catering | Band: Teenage kicks band www.teenagekicksband.co.uk | Photo booth: http://www.infinespirits.co.uk/
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If you are considering Ardington House, Church St, Oxon OX12 8QA for your wedding, or any venue, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and start a conversation.