The Oxfam Wedding Auction Raised an Amazing…..

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Regular readers will be more than aware of the recent Oxfam Wedding Auction and photoshoot that I curated to support the auction. The auction ended on Wednesday this week, and I’m so pleased this morning to let you all know that we raised a whopping £38,091 in bidding monies.  Considering the auction was only advertised via wedding blogs and Facebook, that’s pretty damn amazing!  That’s £38,091 that Oxfam didn’t have before, that can now go towards assisting many people much less fortunate than ourselves.  And to have been a part of that fills my heart.

This morning, I have invited Oxfam worker and the lady I worked with on this project, Kate Kellaway-Moore, to talk a little more about the success of the auction and share with us some of the feedback from both suppliers and and auction winners…

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With more than 12 million people in the Sahel region of West Africa facing a serious food crisis, funds in this area are so desperately needed and we never know when the next emergency might happen. Right now, Oxfam’s emergency teams are responding to 25 emergencies worldwide.

The funds raised will help get Oxfam experts and materials to where they’re needed; providing things like taps, toilets, soap and blankets in the aftermath of a disaster, and getting people on the ground to organise and distribute them. Simple things that save lives!

We would like to thank:

  Annabel of Love My Dress for giving it her backing and pulling together the very best wedding suppliers in the UK
  All the very generous suppliers who donated
  The very talented photo shoot team for producing inspiring images to promote the auction
  Stuff-U-Sell who built and managed the auction pages
  Everyone who blogged and wrote about it
  All the couples who bid on (and won) the items


Democratic Republic of Congo

This is Karo, carrying baby Happiness on the way to collect water from an Oxfam tap stand…

Image Credit:- Suzi O’Keefe/Oxfam

Karo & Happiness

Before Oxfam provided a water supply people would have to collect water from nearby Lake Kivu and there were lots of cases of cholera in the camp.

“As a mother it is really important to have clean water in the camp. We don’t just use water for cooking we use it for washing ourselves and cleaning our pots. We also have showers and toilets here that we can use. If I hadn’t managed to reach this camp we would have died.”


In 2010, Oxfam reached more than 500,000 people with its earthquake response programme, and 700,000 people with cholera-prevention activities.

Marie Carole is one of the 56 women who ran Oxfam’s very first community canteens…

 Image Credit: Perus/Oxfam

Haiti Canteen Project

The canteens started in March 2010 and ran for two months in some of the areas of Port-au-Prince. Oxfam supported her financially so that she could feed 80 of the most vulnerable people in her immediate community and make a small profit for herself, as a first step to regaining her own livelihood. Marie still runs a canteen and now has a small shop.

East Africa Food Crisis

“Our animals are all gone. If not for these goods we’d have to beg…”

Debie, Niger

 Image Credit: Glenn Edwards/Oxfam

East Africa Food Crisis Glenn Edwards.ashx


Zimbabwe was once the breadbasket of southern Africa. However, for a number of years, economic and political problems have compounded the impact of drought for ordinary rural communities.

Millions of people have been faced with dwindling food supplies and rocketing prices. Families have been going hungry. Even when the rains arrive, the ongoing lack of support for farmers and lack of affordable seeds and fertiliser means that the country can only meet around 25 per cent of its needs…

Image Credit: Caroline Gluck/Oxfam

Zimbabwe food crisis

But Oxfam is working with the UN’s World Food Programme to help feed more than 253,000 people in three districts of Midlands’s province, one of the most hard-hit areas of the country.

For people like Sindire Jiri these staple rations are more than welcome: “I can now feed my family. I’m so happy. We’ve only had one proper meal in the last three days. The rest of the time we’ve eaten wild fruits and vegetables that aren’t even ripe.” 


Quotes and stories from auction winners and donors.. 

Laura Koch won the Ian Stuart consultation and choice of any of his Killer Queen dresses. She lives in America and will by flying over to meet Ian! She gets married in late September this year.

 “I’m so excited and honoured to be able to meet with such a renowned designer as Ian Stuart. How perfect to have the ultimate dress for my wedding! Being able to help such a wonderful charity makes it even more special!” – Laura Koch

“I’m so glad to have had the opportunity to take part in the Oxfam Wedding Auction, it’s allowed me to raise money with my passion, swimming across the Channel or running a marathon really isn’t my style! And I’m extremely touched that the winning bride is flying from America to see me, it means a lot to me as a designer that someone would come all that way. I can’t wait to meet her.” – Ian Stuart

Ian Stuart 

Anna won the Lovedub Weddings vehicle hire. She gets married on 26th April in Oxfordshire next year… 

“I’m ridiculously pleased that we won the auction! It was a last minute decision as before seeing this auction, I’d considered transport and in particular VWs, but had put it out of mind and had planned to get a black cab! To have the opportunity to be philanthropic and get an amazing VW is beyond exciting! The one person I won’t tell is my Dad, a major VW enthusiast, who will be really surprised with what we’ve got!”

Lovedub Weddings 

Nina, from East London won her pick of any Rachel Simpson shoes. Within 10 minutes of winning the auction, she’d already emailed to say which ones she was after!

“In the throes of wedding planning, it’s easy to forget that there are thousands of people all over the world, literally living hand-to-mouth in poverty; suddenly the colour of your organza chair sashes don’t seem so important! I was absolutely delighted to win the bid for a pair of Rachel Simpson shoes and I can wear them with pride on my wedding day, knowing they have contributed to such a worthy cause…”

Image Credit: Emma Case

Rachel Simpson Shoes 

Holly won the item with the most bidders; the Jenny Packham wedding dress worth £1860…

 “Not only am I going to feel like a million dollars on our wedding day but its also amazing to know that the money I have spent will be going towards such a great cause! It’s really hard to sum up how I feel about winning the auction for this dress, I was so happy that I actually cried, ha!”

Jenny Packham 

Lauren and Lee won the Dessert Table from Crumbs Couture! For up to 250 guests. They are getting married in April 2013 at the Four Seasons in Hook…

 “Myself and lee have been together for nearly 7 years and lee proposed last September completely unexpectedly in front of my family during a short break. Since then we have been making wedding plans when we noticed an advert for the auction. When reading the auction details it became very apparent that this is not only a great opportunity at a potentially great price but a chance for some of our funds to go to a really great cause.

We are really looking forward to the cake and dessert table being a major centrepiece and talking point of the day. We have already been telling friends and family about the auction and had such a great response about it especially as the money is getting donated to Oxfam.”

Image Credit: Segerius Bruce

Crumbs Couture Sergius Bruce (1) 

Sarah won a won a couture ginger ostrich feather fan & evie purse from Britten Weddings

“I’m so thrilled to have won these items, best of all the money is going to Oxfam. As soon as I saw them I knew how perfect they would be for our 1920s inspired wedding in February. I really wanted something different instead of the traditional flower bouquet and the feather fan is fits the bill perfect and is absolutely stunning, our daughter will be carrying the bag with our rings in.”

Kristen won the Anya dress by Sassi Holford. She gets married on September 1st this year.

“I read about the Oxfam auction a while back and thought it was a fantastic idea. We’ve been quite relaxed about our wedding preparations, and I hadn’t started looking for a dress. I’ve always thought that Oxfam is a fantastic organisation doing such important work and I’ve long admired the dresses of Sassi Holford so I’m absolutely thrilled to have been lucky to win the bid for one of her dresses as part of the auction. Weddings can be such an expense and it will make my wedding extra special to know that some of the money spent on our special day is going to support such important work through Oxfam. I’m so thankful and can’t wait for the dress to arrive. I just hope my fiancée doesn’t sneak a peak big day!”

Chloe Orchin won any dress from the Vintage Wedding Dress Company up to £3000!

“Standing in front of a mirror having tried on a Vintage Wedding Dress Company frock at the National Wedding show, I just knew that this dress was ‘the one’. My excited entourage of girlfriends were nodding in approval and I had proper weddingy excitement for the first time since I got engaged just before Christmas. That excitement soon fizzled away after the lovely sales assistant slipped me a piece of paper with the dress price on it. It was completely out of my price range and I just couldn’t justify spending that much money on myself when I had marquees to be booking and friends and family to be feeding! I searched high and low for a second hand version, but to no avail…”


“It was only on Tuesday evening when I was getting my daily post-work fix of Love My Dress that I stumbled upon the Oxfam auction on eBay. When I read the Vintage Wedding Dress Company’s incredible offer, I couldn’t click the “bid” button fast enough. I thought about it all day on Wednesday (my mind really should have been on teaching year 9 Shakespeare) and I couldn’t get home fast enough to watch the auction unfold. When that last second ticked away and I found out that I had won, I was just thrilled. I think that everyone in the staff room at work the next day were almost as excited! A huge thank you to the amazingly generous team at the Vintage Wedding Dress Company and to Oxfam for the incredible work you do and for organising such a unique online event.

I can’t tell you how much this means to me – you’ve made this blushing bride to be very happy.”

Leigh won ‘Baby Love’ by Suzannah for her Las Vegas Wedding…

“I’m getting married on December the 14th 2012 in Las Vegas at the little church of the west so I wanted a simple 1950s style dress in keeping with the Las Vegas theme; I was looking for a smaller dress so it doesn’t take up to much room in my suitcase. The dress is beautiful and simple and was just what I was looking for. I was ecstatic when I won the dress and I feel as though the dress found me.”

Suzannah Baby Love wedding dress

Natalie won the House of Cheese 3-tier ‘cheese’ wedding cake…

“We are getting married on the 23rd of August 2013 in Cambridge. We picked the ‘cheese’ cake because Greg is an absolute cheese fiend- apparently the smellier the better! Also, Greg calls me ‘mouse’… we wanted to incorporate that into our wedding somehow so we bought little wooden mice with leather tails and could think of no more perfect use for them than as decorations on a tower of cheese!”

Thanks to the Oxfam Wedding Auction Leanna is marrying her fiancé on 18th August 2012 in Caerphilly castle wearing her dream shoes by Emmy

“I fell in love with a shoe by Emmy called Francesca after seeing it in a magazine months & months ago. I went to a shop called Luella’s boudoir in Wimbledon to try on the shoe, still adored it however as I am marrying an Australian, we are going to Australia for a celebratory party there after our UK wedding plus I was on maternity leave following the birth of our beautiful daughter last year so I just couldn’t justify Spending that much money on a pair of shoes.   

Since then I’ve periodically checked eBay to see if anyone was selling any Emmy shoes second hand as I thought any pair she makes would be stunning. I happened to check last week & saw the Oxfam wedding auction & was delighted to win the bidding for the Emmy shoes. They look stunning & will really transform my wedding day. I’m so grateful to Oxfam as I’ve ended up with a gorgeous pair of shoes I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford, plus I’ve just contributed to a really good cause as Emmy’s generosity in donating the shoe means my money has gone directly to Oxfam.

My fiancé & I actually met in Botswana as we were both living & working in Africa in 2006 & 2007 so charitable causes that help that part of the world are very important to us.”



June Pain won the “Mother-of-the-Bride personal stylist experience” from Threads Styling

“This was an impulse purchase because I need a “fairy godmother”.  My only daughter marries on 4th June 2012. Having bought an outfit I proudly displayed myself for my best friend. She doesn’t like it and said I could do better! So I now feel like a dishrag in it.

I am a tomboy farmer’s wife who doesn’t do dresses and make-up, oh and overweight too. However I still have the dream to look presentable; after all these are photos my daughter will have to look at long after I am gone.”

Carina won Aruna Seth’s Farfella shoes. She is getting married in The Priory in Christchurch followed by a rainbow-themed reception with lots of surprises for her guests and hubby too.

“I’ve lusted after Aruna’s for a VERY long time and knew that there wasn’t a hope in hell I’d ever get a pair…then this auction appeared and so I watched, purely out of interest to see how much they’d sell for. I told my fiancé about the auction (he knows how much I love the shoes!) and that was that. Then there was 5 hours left and I mentioned it again, just as he was leaving for work (he is a pilot and lives in Qatar in the Middle East, and he was leaving for his night flight) when he mentioned that he was going to bid on them to get the for me!!! Obviously he couldn’t bid as he was working so I suggested, rather sneakily that I bid in his behalf…the rest is history!”



Bethany, 24, won the Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium prizes and the Tammam Couture wedding dress. She gets married in May 2013.

“We were over the moon to be able to give money to such a worthy charity and be able to get stuff for our wedding too!! We decided to go for it even though our weddings a year away.

We bid on a variety of things extending our budget as it was for charity and were lucky enough to win the Cake!  I’m so happy with the Tammam dress I love the idea of the completely eco-friendly ethical fair-trade design and its beautiful! I cannot wait to try it on.”

“The auction was so exciting and had so many wonderful prizes. To be able to create an exclusive ethical dress for Oxfam was wonderful and now I can’t wait to meet the bride who won the dress and see my design come to life, knowing it has raised so much money for such a fantastic charity is amazing.”  Lucy, Designer House of Tammam

Eliza Claire etc

Helena from Heavenly Vintage Brides loved the idea of an auction to celebrate the Royal Wedding. Here she speaks about why she decided to be part of the auction and choosing her auction item.

“I once read that at the scene of a disaster or major emergency, the big three charities are always the ones to be active first, it was referring to the Red Cross, Oxfam and Christian Aid, and ever since then I have tried to support those three.

When lovely Annabel at Love My Dress first mentioned the Auction on her Blog, I thought it would be wonderful to be part of it, but then I dithered and almost missed the opportunity.  The reason being that I sell Vintage wedding dresses and the fit is so quirky that although I often get requests to sell online I don’t usually do it, as the fit with vintage dresses can be so particular and needs to be tried on. I was thinking if I gave a dress and some lovely bride bought it and it didn’t fit, I would be so sorry if she was disappointed. Then I realised (being a bit slow there) that I could give bridesmaid dresses which are a much easier fit, so I chose a little set of three lovely 50s cocktail dresses in different sizes, they are by a favourite Designer of mine called Lilli Diamond, I love the name too, it reminds me of Show girls! I hope the girls enjoy them.”


Charlotte Balbier speaks about raising £1550 for her consultation and dress package….

“When Annabel approached me about the Oxfam wedding auction I was absolutely delighted to be involved. Oxfam and charity donations are dear to my heart and Charlotte Balbier already regularly donate dresses and accessories to help raise money. The Oxfam wedding auction though really did have that extra bit of glamour and excitement surrounding it as not only were the bridal world glitterati all involved the auction was going to be such a high profile auction so this made it all extra special and exciting and I just knew it was a fantastic opportunity to help raise lot’s of money for such a worthwhile and important cause.

Watching the bids increase daily was really exciting and I am thrilled to have raised £1,550 for the Charlotte Balbier dress and experience and I can’t wait to meet my bride and spoil her rotten at her private consultation!”

Ava from the Charlotte Balbier Candy Kisses Collection...

Abby Gadd, head designer of Cherished Vintage created a piece from pieces sourced Oxfam shops. that was inspired by the Queens Jubilee – an idea born from the mind of photoshoot sytlist Tiffany Grant Riley

“I am delighted to have been part of the Oxfam Weddings auction. I am bowled over with excitement and pride at the amount raised by our Jubilee-inspired up cycled 1940s style coronet for this incredible charitable project – it was just under £382. I want to congratulate and thank our winning bidder. I hope she adores this very special piece as much as I do – it truly is a beauty.

I feel privileged to have been part of the wonderful publicity shoot organised by Annabel and executed with such aplomb by her wonderful creative team. Tiffany Grant Riley’s 1940s brief was inspirational. I loved the whole creative process – sourcing the pieces from Oxfam shops {with particular success in the Dorking branch!} and designing the jubilee-inspired 1940s headpiece from the jewel-coloured rhinestone brooches. It has been a wonderful experience – made even better by the knowledge that it has raised a great deal of money for a very important cause.”

Love My Dress Wedding Blog, Photography Copyright © 2012, Eliza Claire + Annamarie Stepney
Beauty & Fashion Retouching by Chanelle Segerius-Bruce  at Retouch Me


“We were really excited to be asked to be involved in such an innovative idea, raising money for such a great cause alongside the elite of the wedding industry. We don’t often get the opportunity to raise money for such a worthy cause whilst making someone’s wedding day really special!”  Jo, Mandalay Wedding Stationary

“I was glued to the eBay Oxfam site, willing people to place bids!!  I am still amazed by the generosity of donations and by the number of people who went online and have helped raise so much money for an amazing cause.  I really loved being part of the Oxfam Wedding Auction and can’t wait to meet the couple who won their Wedding Cake!”  Emma Drew, Cake Maison

“I’ve bought the Hermione Harbutt hairpiece for my wedding day and I haven’t even bought my wedding dress yet but I’m sure it’ll be perfect and I also got a bargain! Along with feeling I was donating to charity. Brilliant.”  – Verity who won a Hermione Harbutt headband.

“I looked at this item for my wedding day which is next year. I love vintage items and when I saw this comb I instantly fell in love with it. I love the pearls and sparkles on it and it’s also my something old and my something new!” – Rachel who won the Connie & Dolly comb.

“I first saw this stunning hairpiece in Vogue; I fell in love with it instantly and knew it was what I wanted to wear on my wedding day. The feel for our big day will be a very relaxed garden party. I wanted my overall look to mirror this, I imagine loose curls finished off with my beautiful headband, of course I cannot give too many secrets away just incase my hubby to be happens to read this! When I saw the Oxfam Wedding Auction, I thought is was an amazing idea, there were so many wonderful things to bid on it was hard to choose, but as soon as I saw my stunning headband by Flo and Percy I knew it was the one to bid on. It’s so nice to know that the funds have gone to such a great charity too!” Adele won the ‘Shearer Headband’ by Flo and Percy

“Having watched the auction all week we believed that the items would go well beyond our budget, as we considered them rare opportunities to buy something unique. To our astonishment we were able to become winners, not knowing until the very last second as we competed with others on e-bay. The thrill of receiving the headdress in the post today, beautifully wrapped, was amazing and it looks just as I imagined it would from the photographs. We can’t wait to go for the fitting for the Stephanie Allin shrug in preparation for my daughter Sophie’s wedding in August. Thanks to Oxfam and all the supporting companies, she will look individual, unique by wearing designer accessories and at the same time we can reflect that each item has an individual story behind it by helping others around the world.”  Carol who won the Stephanie Allin shrug.

We hope you have enjoyed reading through this post this morning, and thank you so much again for all your support in this project and working to raising over £38,091 for Oxfam.

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If you are interested in how you can further support the Oxfam charity, please visit the Oxfam website.  You can also go and immerse yourself in a world of era-inspired wedding inspiration by enjoying the photoshoot that one amazing team pulled together to support this auction.

Whatever you’re up to, enjoy your Sunday folks 🙂


Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.

19 thoughts on “The Oxfam Wedding Auction Raised an Amazing…..

  1. Incredible! Well done to all of you who were involved. Something to be very proud of x
    (As an ex-Zimbabwean, I am particularly pleased that some help will be directed there).

  2. This is amazing and everyone involved should be really proud of themselves. What a result, well done all. I was in a no reception area when the bidding ended so missed out 🙁

  3. Just wonderful.
    Never have I been so glad not to win an auction – although it would have been fab to win, I am taking heart in the fact that I helped bump up the price by bidding, maybe making a little more money for a good cause.
    Well done Annabel.

  4. Wow wee – what a result – so wonderful to read about how this £ will impact positively on people who are so much less fortunate then ourselves. Truly brilliant reading on a Sunday 🙂 x

  5. Well done – you have raised the profile of Oxfam and in a world where so many of us have ‘first world problems’ this really does bring it all back down to earth. Although I annoying was at the theatre when the auction ended I couldn’t increase my bids (I should have just bid higher – I lost one thing by 13p!), I am glad that so many people got involved and so much money was raised. Bravo xx

  6. Well done to everyone who helped to organise this amazing auction. And a big thankyou to all those who bid on my veil. It will be winding its way the lucky winner at the end of this week.

  7. I’m elated that we all collectively helped to raise such an amazing amount of money to help others help themselves, an issue very close to my heart.
    Well done to everyone who took part be it through donating their time, a product or bidding. Thank you!

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