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Elizabeth & Simon: a classic English country wedding at Caswell House, Oxfordshire

For those of you who love peonies… today’s wedding is wonderfully pretty, romantic and set in the most deliciously landscaped venue. Elizabeth is beautiful – she told me the best thing about being married to Simon is “knowing that day in and day out you will be able to walk with your best friend and share special moments and make memories together.” Isn’t that just so romantic?

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Contact & Bookings: Carol Elizabeth Photography

Web: http://www.carol-elizabeth-photography.co.uk
Email: carol@carol-elizabeth-photography.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.elizabeth.photography.uk
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CarolEliz_Photo
Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/carolelizphotos/

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We chose specifically to have this venue as it did not need much decoration.  We only had chair sashes, strands of fairy lights in the main barn from Oakwood Events and goldfish bowls with floating peonies.

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Pre-plan but trust in others to execute it for you on the day.  You can’t be the project manager and the bridal couple at the same time!  Surround yourself with suppliers who you can trust and have a track record of delivering a professional service.   Don’t try to make sure that all of your guests’ needs are filled – that’s the job of someone else.  You are there to get married and to enjoy the day which is the culmination of all of the hard work you have put in up front.  If something goes wrong just move on and laugh, you’ll be happier for it. ~ Elizabeth & Simon

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How did you choose your photographer?

We really fell in love with Carol’s online portfolio.  We were really impressed with the clarity and quality of the photographs that she displayed.

We wanted someone who would be able to balance portraits of our guests and those moments between us that we would otherwise not remember.  Carol was really great at the initial communication and gave us a sense of professionalism which we knew would be important. 

Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!

Yes we were very happy with Carol and it was not only the stunning photos that we have as a memory of the day but the way that she was able to provide great service from the start to the end of our wedding.  We asked if it was possible for us to have a second photographer to follow the groom and the groomsmen in the morning whilst they were getting ready and helping prepare the venue in the morning.  Carol introduced John to us and he also made us feel very much at ease to the point where the banter between them during the day was very amusing! We were delighted with John’s photo composition and their styles complemented each other.

Carol gave us great coaching during our engagement photoshoot, learning to get comfortable in front of the camera and being directed by a photographer for the first time.  At the end of the day we felt more comfortable being the centre of attention which was not our normal place to be.  On our actual wedding day Carol was tireless in the way that she was able to be exactly where we needed her to be and took away any concerns that either Elizabeth or I had about our day being recorded.  We were shocked and impressed that within 2 hours of our last dance Carol had emailed us a sneak peak sample of some photos!  The photos themselves were more than we expected and we would not hesitate to recommend Carol as a wedding photographer.

Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?

Seeing them for the first time was a bit of sheer disbelief of how lucky we were with our day and each other.  We had a stunning venue and day during which we could not stop smiling.  It felt like every time we went to a new photo we were reliving our day.

Wedding venue:

Caswell House, Brize Norton, Oxfordshire.

Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?

A relaxed intimate day for each other and our guests

Your wedding style or theme:

We didn’t have a specific style or theme that we worked to but wanted to have a classic English country setting where the beauty of the venue spoke for itself. 

Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)

Mainly on the advice and recommendation of the venue once we met different suppliers at the Caswell House open day.  

What’s your top tip for saving money?

You can make the cake as part of the wedding breakfast.  We served the cake with icecream as dessert as we knew that it would be too much to have both dessert and wedding cake.  It was definitely the right decision and we had so many great comments.  

… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?

Live music, it was so much more special to have Tori Handsley adding that personal touch.  Also venue hire, the higher the quality the venue the less you will spend trying to bring it to life with decorations.

Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?

The invitations and thank you cards were designed by us and then printed from an online service.  Everything else was done simply ourselves.

Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?

Yes I did, it was the first I tried on!  When I first saw it I thought it looked beautiful but when I put it on I knew it was the one.

Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:

Oleg Cassini from David’s Bridal

Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!

Jewelry was a combination of my own and from David’s Bridal.  The wedding shoes were hot pink from Clarks – they were fun and comfortable!

And what did the groom wear? Any recommendations for tailors?

Lincoln suit with tails from Moss Bros

Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?

Pewter coloured floor length dresses from David’s Bridal.

Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?

Hire a professional, Jules Makeup Artistry & Hair Design in Witney.  She was so friendly and easy to work with before and on the day.  We had some giggles whilst getting ready which really set the tone for a relaxed day.  Jules and her assistant had to 10 ladies to work through on the day and their timing was faultless!.

Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)

Alison from Classic Flowers in Witney arranged our flowers.  We chose a combination of strong and pale pink to contrast the pewter bridesmaids dresses. 

 

The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?

We had a 3 tier cake with the top tier being gluten free.  It was pink with a spray of cascading rose petals and gold leaf.  The cakes were supplied by Cutter and Squidge in London and we chose the garden berry flavour cake (all a light sponge with a lemon and berry layers).  We chose this supplier as they were able to customise the cake for us combining 2 of their types of cakes, the exterior of one and the flavour of another.  They were able to be flexible and supply multiple additional cakes for our dessert.  They also tasted amazing!

Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?

We spent more to have live harp music from Tori Handsley.  She really impressed us with her warmth and outgoing personality at the open day, and the way that she made the music interactive for our guests.  She also took the time to lend her talents to learning a specific song for us for our ceremony.  Throughout all of the day she felt like one of our guests who made the day special.

 

Favourite supplier list for other brides and grooms:

Carol Elizabeth Photography

http://www.carol-elizabeth-photography.co.uk/

Assisted by John Mottershaw Photography 

www.johnmottershaw.com

Julie Podbery

Jules Makeup Artistry & Hair Design

www.jlspecialoccasionlooks.co.uk

Cutter and Squidge

http://cutterandsquidge.com/

Caswell House http://www.caswellhouse.co.uk/

Caswell House Indulgence

http://www.caswellhouseindulgence.co.uk/exquisite-food/

Classic Flowers

http://www.witneyflorist.co.uk/

Tori Handsley – Harpist

http://www.torishands.com/

Live Events Group

http://www.liveeventsgroup.co.uk/

Optimal Print

https://www.optimalprint.co.uk

David’s Bridal

http://www.davidsbridal.co.uk/

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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1 COMMENT
  • Carol Higgins
    3 years ago

    Thank you for sharing this gorgeous wedding – Simon and Elizabeth were a joy to photograph in such a stunning veunue!

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