Susan Neville Elegance, Pomp and Ceremony for an Oxford Grad Bride and her Grenadier Guard

Happy 2015 everyone! What a fabulous start to the New Year here on Love My Dress with a bevy of stunning weddings featured this year already, the lovely treats from the sponsors and have you seen the competition to win a beautiful Vicky Rowe wedding dress?

Today I’m delighted to be sharing with you the nuptials of the lovely Victoria, a Product Developer and her charming beau Rupert, a digital Designer, who at the time was an Officer in the Grenadier Guard (hence all of the soldiers!).

Victoria and Rupert were married on the 28th September , with a ceremony in the fabulous surroundings at Exeter College, Oxford (Victoria’s college at university). The day is brimming with quintessential Englishness charm and features the most adorably dressed pageboys and flowergirls (in outfits designed by the bride).  There’s also a party in a stunning bedouin tent under the stars. These gorgeous images of their day are courtesy of Oxford based Rachel Movitz.

Photography Copyright (c) 2014, Rachel Movitz

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

Ru and I met at an army dinner with the Grenadier Guards. One of my best friends from Cheltenham Ladies, Emily Knight, organised the supper with her friend from Cambridge, Mike Dobbin who is a Grenadier.

We got engaged at night time in the Tower of London around Christmas in 2012. Rupert told me that I was going to a Carol concert and then when I arrived he took me up to the battlements overlooking Tower Bridge and got down on one knee. As we were walking up the 20 steps or so to the walls, I felt Rus heart beating really quickly and was thinking that hed got incredibly unfit in the 2 months since hed been back from Afghanistan!

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

When it came to the wedding Victoria wanted to let the grandeur of the day and the surroundings come through and chose elements for the wedding to complement. In the evening they added a real party feel by having an amazingly beautifully adorned tent;

“For the wedding there was no theme really. The building itself and all of the soldiers added quite a lot of pomp and ceremony so we kept things fairly minimal otherwise.

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

Victoria bridesmaids looked stylish in dresses from Issa with shoes from the Kurt Geiger, striking bold necklaces from New Look and stoles from Dubai.

“For the flowergirl, I actually designed and made the dress and cape myself and since getting a few compliments for this and the page boys military jackets that I also made, I’ve set up a website Victoria Stevens Collection and have a couple of enquiries for 2015!”

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

Victoria wore a beautifully cut Suzanne Neville dress from The Bride boutique in St Albans;

I knew that I wanted to take my bridesmaids, Rus mother and mine to the boutique to help me choose my dress. However, before that I wanted to narrow down the selection to only dresses I liked. I went on my own and wanted to try on lace long sleeved dresses but spotted one I knew my mother would love; the dress was really structural and the lines were really clean. When I tried that one on, it looked so much nicer than the styles I would have chosen so I included it in the three dress line up for the panel and they all thought it was beautiful.

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

Victoria and Rupert chose the talented Oxford based Rachel Movitz to capture their wedding;

Rachel is both incredibly friendly and professional. She drifted seamlessly between guests during the reception and was really receptive to our desire to have as few formal photographs as possible but to capture the day as its going on. Im not a big fan of too many posed photographs as I think its important to enjoy your day rather than spending the whole day documenting it but Rachels approach was honestly flawless. I recommend her to anyone and everyone (and am probably getting very dull by doing so).”

Image taken from the couple’s engagement shoot (more images from this in the main feature bel

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

These first few images are taken from the couple’s engagement shoot at the venue ahead of the big day itself.  That dress. HOW DIVINE!

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

“I made the invitations and my friend from university, Guy Pewsey designed all of the stationery apart from that.

We had a Gin and Tonic reception rather than Champagne as something about champagne gives me headache. From the consumption levels, it appeared that everyone enjoyed that and I think it was a small quirky play on the original.

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

Victoria perfectly complemented her beautiful Suzanne Neville gown with a veil by Joyce Jackson with oh so delicate lace trimmings and fabulous Jimmy Choo shoes, blue glittery ones of course!

“I always wear the scent Kelly Caleche by Hermes and also wore Antique Pearl earrings left for me with my letter from Rupert in our dressing room”

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

“The chapel and Hall were already going to be overflowing with college silver and candles so I wanted to keep the flowers really simple so as to avoid gilding the lily! The dried flowers from The Artisan Dried Flower Company were a beautiful touch and the buttonholes were absolutely fantastic!”

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

Victoria’s father Timothy Lee gave her away. The choir processed into the church singing Vivaldi’s Gloria and Victoria and her father entered to Toccata from symphony number 5, Widor”

The Claritones played during the service alongside the 12 strong choir (I was a choral scholar at Oriel College so quite a few of my friends sang in the choir). They performed Cantique de Jean Racine by Faure during the signing of the register and The Claritones accompanied them.

The organ scholar at Oriel and a close friend of mine, Andrew Furniss, played the organ throughout the service. We then had the Grenadier Core of Drums perform during the reception and The Swinging Little Big Band for the night time dancing”

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

“It was a very traditional wedding, so no tailoring to the service, but we had 2 Readings “Song of Solomon 8: 6-7 and ‘Cinderella’ by Roald Dahl (abridged), this went down so, so well. Guy Pewsey and Joe Fraser who did the reading, split it into narrator and character parts and the whole church was laughing. Our Vicar Megan Daffern even managed to include a reference to it in her sermon which was quite a commendable feat!”

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

“My favourite bit of other peoples’weddings is always the moment the groom, who has been trying to keep facing towards the altar, sees the bride for the first time so that bit was special for me. Apart from that, I loved all of the moments where my friends were contributing, it made the day really personal. Finally it was great to look around and catch my parents or Ru’s bursting out laughing when talking to our friends.” 

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

Rupert wore very smart top hat and tails from tailor Roger Gustavson in Bow, with a Thomas Pink tie. His best man and groomsmen looked very dapper in their own morning dress.

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

“Sue at The Red House Cake Company made us a three tiered chocolate, vanilla and coffee cake with chocolate cigarillos around the entire outside and red berries on the top and scatter over the cakes. It was a work of art.”

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

“In the evening we also had a decorated bedouin tent from Oasis Events which was really extraordinary. Not only did it look beautiful but their team of assembly guys was out of this worldsuper efficient and really polite and lovely to deal with.

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

For the first dance The Swinging Little Big Band played but I cant for the life of me remember what, only that it was a lively one!

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

Words of Wedded Wisdom

“This may not be good advice for everyone but here goes!  We focussed all of our time and money on things that are experiences rather than objects. No-one noticed a lack of flowers, favours or ribbons but everyone remembers the core of drums and the music. Your dress is explicitly excluded from this rule.

Think about how you feel at weddings…it’s irritating if there are long stretches of nothing while people have their photographs taken and it’s unsettling not to know where you’re supposed to be. Ensure that people are entertained, fed and watered and crucially, herded.

Ushers; Have loads of them. The guys at our wedding were phenomenal (if any of you ever read this I mean it and we truly appreciated it no end). They worked so hard to make the day seem seamless.

Marry someone in the military. I didn’t have to do a thing in terms of logistics while Rupert was scheduling arrival times, deliveries and who knows what else!

One tiny thing I’d do differently…we underestimated how long it takes to move everyone into sitting down for supper so the schedule lagged a bit and we missed some of the time the band should have been performing in the evening (I didn’t realise this one at the time though!)”

rachel movitz photography, suzanne neville, oxford university weddings

A completely beautiful, stylish day of love, laughter and friendship and some brilliant words of wedded wisdom. Huge congratulations and thanks go to Victoria and Rupert for sharing your day with us and to Rachel Movitz for the beautiful photography.

Congratulations too, to all of you that are newly engaged and to those of you getting married this year. I cannot wait to see what 2015 brings, I just know you have some beautiful, romantic celebrations in the planning (do tell us!). You can follow Love My Dress on TwitterFacebook and Instagram too for lots of inspiration to help you along the way!

Happy New Year,

Rebecca x

 

Photographer – Rachel Movitz
Venue – Exeter College, Oxford
Bedouin Tent – Oasis Events
Wedding Dress – Suzanne NevilleThe Bride, St Albans
Veil – Joyce Jackson
Shoes – Jimmy Choo
Bride’s Scent/Perfume – Kelly Caleche by Hermes
Grooms Suit – Roger Gustavson + Tie – Thomas Pink
Bridesmaid’s Dresses – Issa
Bridesmaid’s Shoes – Kurt Geiger
Bridesmaid’s Necklaces – New Look
Flower girl and Pageboys attire – Victoria Stevens Collection
Florist – The Artisan Dried Flower Company
Stationery – Guy Pewsey
Cake – The Red House Cake Company
Entertainment – The Claritones + The Swinging Little Big Band
Hair Stylist – Anne Veck
Makeup Artist – Ali Wicksteed 

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