Iain & Rachael’s Oxford Riverside Wedding was at the Oxford Town Hall and at the Isis Farmhouse by the River Thames. It was a lovely spring day with perfect weather and started with prep at the Airbnb Oxford Town Hall Apartments. With the ceremony just around the corner and Iain arriving at St Aldates Tavern just over the road no one had to go far! After the beautiful ceremony at Oxford Town Hall we walked to Salter’s Steamers on the river Thames and all got on the boat to be taken to the Isis Farmhouse. At the Farmhouse there was confetti and a wedding reception waiting with tasty food and a lovely relaxed celebration in the warm afternoon sunshine. The day finished with a Ceilidh and then a DJ and a thunderstorm just as I was leaving.
I’ll let Iain & Rachael tell you their story in their own words.
STORY, SLIDESHOW + GALLERY BELOW
When did you get engaged?
Iain and I got engaged around a year before our wedding day. Iain proposed in Bristol on a weekend away. Genuinely was not expecting it at all (Rachael).
Our families and friends are spread pretty widely – Canada being the farthest, but are also pretty distributed around the UK; Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Cornwall. We met and got together in Oxford, so it seemed a good idea to have everyone here. We even hosted a get-together at ours the night before to get the ball rolling. We’d always said ‘registry office then pub’ if we did get married. The Town Hall is a lovely venue, and the Isis is a great pub in a beautiful location, so it didn’t turn out to be that hard to make those choices.
What we wore
Iain loves a navy suit and a jazzy tie! My dress was second hand from a great shop in Reading, based on the recommendations from at least two of my hockey team. I’m not a ‘big flouncy dress’ person, but I did try one on, just in case!
Decor & Styling
We kept it pretty simple, but wanted something bright! My friend Vic’s sister in-law Ali was kind enough to do the flowers for us, to my not very precise spec and she did an amazing job, Iain’s mum and sister also filled tons of kilner jars for the venue and we let the setting do the rest.
We kept the ceremony pretty simple too, with readings from Rachael’s mum, Iain’s friend Ali. We wrote our own vows as we wanted to reflect what we want out of our relationship – growth, support, respect.
‘Pete North’s Ceilidh Band’ provided a great start to the evening, then Iain’s friends Richard and Jenny (The Wedding Bells) were our superb DJ partnership on the night. MVP on the dancefloor goes to Nell, Rachael’s 87 year old godmother.
We didn’t have a first dance (too much pressure!) but we did finish up with the Smashing Pumpkins ‘Tonight, tonight’. So many songs didn’t make our extensive Spotify list, but that one was a must.
Favourite Part of the Day
That’s a hard one. All of it really, we had a ball. Iain loved the boat, I loved the disco – you can’t beat a disco – but even just the part where we got to the Isis, mingled and chatted was lovely. Just getting to see and catch up with friends and family on such a happy occasion was amazing.
Words of Wisdom
I think we’d just say do what you want – we didn’t have a cake, bridesmaids, a first dance etc. All those things that people ask about. There is so much scope with weddings to do whatever feels like a good fit for you, and it genuinely wasn’t as stressful as I thought it would be! 🙂
I think I’ve probably mentioned everyone above – we used a lot of personal contacts. I would do a shout out to Something Old, Something New in Caversham for making the dress bit as non stressful as possible. The Isis Farmhouse and Noreen in particular were also amazing.
Did you have a Honeymoon
Mauritius – two weeks. Swimming, diving, cycling, drinking rum. And a bit of tourism.
What surprised you the most about your wedding day photography?
I would say some of the creative photos (through the window of the pub, some of us together) were so much cooler than we would have even expected. The preview video was also lovely, and set to music. It was a really special touch that totally summed up our day.
About Larissa Joice Photography
Larissa was an easy choice of wedding photographer for Iain & I. She was easy to contact, straightforward to work with and kept to our brief (natural, relaxed) but put her own take and creativity onto it. Our family and friends were all impressed by her way of working on the day, and even more impressed with the end results – the photos totally capture our day. Could not have done anything better would be our feedback. Thank you!
Oxford Riverside Wedding Isis Farmhouse