On a rather wet day in January I met Becky & Blaine for their engagement shoot in Oxford. We started the shoot just around the corner from their home near Iffley Lock on the River Thames and ended at The Natural History Museum in central Oxford. If you have never been there you really should. An engagement shoot at the Oxford natural History Museum is my idea of heaven. There are dinosaur fossils and so many interesting things to see. It is a VERY cool place and we had a really lovely time. Becky & Blaine were a tad nervous about being in front of the camera and the engagement shoot really helped them relax and let me know that photography wasn’t something they should stress about at all on their wedding day.
The wedding day itself was a couple of months later in March at Exeter College Chapel with the Harry Potter themed wedding reception at Dorchester on Thames Village Hall. You can read all about it by scrolling down to the end of their engagement and wedding gallery below. It’s very kindly told in their own words … there’s mention of Harry Potter themed table decorations and ring book and a dragon wedding cake. Totally worth a read!
Becky, what do you love about Blaine?
His sense of humour and playfulness and how caring he is.
Blaine, what do you love about Becky?
I love the way she makes me feel special and how playful she is.
We met at Reading University in 2011 where we both studying Biomedical Sciences. The first time we met I didn’t really like Blaine – he stole my frisbee! A few months later we were re-introduced by the best man (James) as James and I performed in a duo together as part of a singer-songwriter society at uni. We started seeing each other shortly after and bonded over a love of all things geeky. When we finished uni, I was offered a PhD at Oxford and Blaine had a job he loved in Reading. So we moved to Oxford where I was studying at Exeter College and after 3 years together Blaine proposed in the beautiful Exeter College gardens at sunset, we got married 2 years later.
The venues we chose
We wanted to get married at Exeter College Chapel as it’s an absolutely beautiful church and the College holds a special place in our hearts. As the church is private, only students or staff are allowed to be married there which made it all the more special for us. We wanted a very DIY reception that we could entirely make our own so we found the beautiful Dorchester-on-Thames Village Hall just outside of Oxford. It had everything we needed and we could decorate it how we liked and use the caterers we liked. It was also perfect as there a number of beautiful little hotels directly next to the Village Hall which meant all our guests could easily stay nearby.
What we wore
Blaine had always wanted to wear a morning suit but he wanted something with a modern twist and we found a suit hire company called Suitors who supply all manner of suits in a wide range of colours. Blaine chose a royal blue morning suit and we were really impressed by the choice of colours and styles of cravats and waistcoats so we could choose something that perfectly fit in with our colour scheme. I found my dress in a small local bridal shop and actually went dress shopping with Blaine as he is my best friend and my mum and bridesmaids were all dotted across the globe. I struggled to find something with straps so I bought a beautiful dress and the bridal shop altered the top so that it was exactly what I wanted. I loved the cathedral length train, veil and gloves in my outfit. For my shoes, I new I wanted a pair of shoes from ‘Shoes of Prey’ as I was able to design exactly what I wanted and I love my pink glittery heels. They’re the most comfy shoes I’ve ever owned. I managed to wear them all day and still dance into the night. For my bridesmaids I knew I wanted them in multi-way dresses as, since they were all scattered around the country and one was living in Dubai, they suit all shapes and sizes and I wouldn’t have to worry about lots of alterations. I found gorgeous pale lilac multi-way dresses in Wed2B and managed to get them for a bargain.
Decor & Styling
We didn’t want a set colour scheme as such so we chose multi-coloured florals as our basis for decorations. We went with hundreds of metres of bunting and fairy lights with lots of candles and tea-lights. We decided we didn’t want separate tables so we had long banqueting style tables instead so everyone could easily talk to each other and we didn’t have to split up families or friendship groups. We made most of the decorations including all the signs, table names, orders of service, invitations, table runners and I made metres and metres of bunting. We wanted the wedding to really reflect us and our personality so we had little touches that reflected our nerdy obsessions like Harry Potter table names, Harry Potter ring book and our dragon cake! For my bouquets I knew I wanted something really romantic but also had a bit of drama so I chose deep pinks, purples and blue and had a gorgeous deep pink satin ribbon trailing from my bouquet. Everyone commented on how beautiful they were and I was so impressed by the work of the florist.
We fell in love with the choir when we went to a service so it was really important to us to have them be a part of our ceremony. On the day, the choir were amazing and I will never forget them singing I Was Glad by Hubert Parry. It was made even more special by the fact that Hubert Parry went to Exeter College! My most special moment was when I started walking down the aisle to Blaine’s favourite song, Clair de Lune, and seeing the faces of all of our friends and loved ones. For Blaine, his most special moment was when we turned and saw me walking down the aisle and I was smiling back at him and he stopped being nervous. A great moment was also while my mum was doing a reading and her hat nearly caught on fire!
Entertainment & Music
We had Luke as our DJ for the evening and he was amazing. The lighting he provided was beautiful and he played all the music we wanted. He was really professional and we highly recommend him.
Our first dance song was really special for both of us. We both Gilmore Girls fans and the song we chose is Reflecting Light by Sam Philips which is the song played when Lorelai and Luke have their first dance together. It’s such a personal song for both of us and we both always dance whenever we hear it.
Our favourite part of the day
Blaine’s favourite part of the day was our drive together in a vintage car from the ceremony to the reception with just us two. It was a lovely moment of quiet to savour that we’d really gotten married. My favourite part of the day was our couples photos together. It was so nice to be together, just the two of us, and it was really fun running around the centre of Oxford town full of tourists.
Words of Wisdom
Blaine – make sure you have someone in the wedding party who knows exactly what is supposed to be happening and when. Our bridal party were great and made sure everything was sorted on the day.
Becky – have the day YOU want. Don’t let anyone pressure you into inviting certain people or doing things a certain way. It’s your marriage so make sure it is exactly what you want.
Blaine’s parent’s very generously paid for our accommodation. We went to Normandy for a week and then to Paris for 3 days. We had the best time and absolutely loved Paris. We want to go back for our first anniversary.
We loved working with Larissa. We both hate having our photo taken and she made us feel completely at ease. She blended into the background on the day and took some amazing photos of us and our guests when we weren’t even looking. We fell in love with her soft romantic style of photography from her online albums and we absolutely adore our engagement and wedding photos.
A postscript by the photographer – I am a self professed geek also. I love Harry Potter, Star Trek, Game of Thrones, board games and all such things. If you have a geeky wedding planned I would totally love to hear about it. \m/(><)\m/
Village Hall – Dorchester-on-Thames Village Hall
Food – Soleluna Pizzas
Cake – Black Cherry Cake Company
DJ – Luke D
Transport – Nostalgia Travel
Shoes – Shoes of Prey
Dress and accessories – The Bridal Box, Designer: Nieves, White One
Necklace – Denise Jewelry Designs
Bridesmaid dresses – Wed2B
Suits – Suitors
Flowers – The Garden
Make-up & Hair – Lucy Beesley Bridal