I have a huge soft spot for a Cotswolds wedding, because it’s the part of the world I was married in, too. The beautiful countryside has a particular enchantment, and it certainly cast its spell on today’s lovely couple – particularly our bride, who grew up in Australia, but wanted a quintessentially rural English wedding.
Come with me to the wedding of Sasha, a governance professional, and Ollie, a finance guru, who were married on the 19 September 2019 at Oxleaze Barn on the Oxfordshire/Gloucestershire border; a family run organic farm and celebration space, surrounded by beautiful gardens.
Images by The Shannons Photography
“Our venue was a quaint little barn on a farm. Having grown up in Australia, I have always wanted a quintessentially English wedding, just like in a period BBC drama! I liked the idea of a relaxed and rustic style wedding.”
Sasha’s exquisitely crafted bridal separates were by Halfpenny London, and she chose a simple slip dress with spaghetti straps, over which she wore a dreamy long skirt of embroidered floral lace and tulle.
“Halfpenny London is a really beautiful boutique with gorgeous fabrics. The girls working there are lovely, too. I was looking for something a bit hippy/boho. I loved the low back on the slip, and I especially loved the Spanish embroidered skirt.”
Pink heels were from L.K. Bennett, and Bex Standing-Smith from By Jodie Hair & Make-up Artist Team took care of Sasha’s pretty hair and make-up. A veil borrowed from a friend was added to her loose, boho waves, along with fresh flowers.
Sasha’s four bridesmaids each wore a different design dress by super-cool label Rewritten, in their luscious ‘Forest’ shade, which they accessorised with their own shoes and jewellery, as well as flowers in their hair.
The couple’s ceremony was held in the sunny walled courtyard just outside the venue’s barn, and the top of the aisle was decorated with a gorgeous circular arbour, decorated with ferns and moss.
To the sounds of Pachelbel’s Canon in D, played by her friend Dee Dee on the violin, Sasha walked down the aisle together with her dad.
“Ollie and I met two weeks before I was about to be deported out of the country due to my visa coming to an end! We had a whirlwind romance before I had to leave, but Ollie followed me around the globe, first to Greece and then to Sydney, Australia, where I’m from.”
Ollie wore a smartly tailored navy blue suit from Suitsupply, which he wore with braces over his shirt, and a green polka dot tie to complement the bridesmaids’ dresses.
“Eventually, I moved back to England, and he locked me in by proposing 2 years later whilst on a 2-week trek through Sweden. We were engaged for just over a year before the wedding.”
The couple’s civil ceremony was conducted by Siobhan O’Brien from Oxfordshire County Council, and they exchanged rings they’d made with bespoke jeweller Roz, of Rosalyn’s Emporium.
“They take only a day to make in her workshop, and it was such a fun and intimate way to prepare our rings.”
There were sweet readings, too; Bob Marley’s He’s Not Perfect (with the pronouns altered to ‘she’) and a short extract from The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath.
“There were so many favourite parts of the day! Walking down the aisle is a classic favourite, but it was really amazing. Also, all of our guests chanting the word ‘Gorka’ over and over again to get us to kiss for up to 30 seconds (a Russian tradition, as my entire family is Russian).”
There were showers of colourful confetti, and afterwards, guests enjoyed drinks outside whilst Sasha, Ollie and their wedding party took advantage of that magical golden autumn light for some group and couples shots together.
Sasha and her bridesmaids carried spectacular, wild bouquets filled with lots of greenery, pops of autumnal orange, and beautiful pink roses, waxflowers, and meadow grasses. These, and all of the floral arrangements were by Teapots & Tiaras.
“I asked them to put something wild and whimsical together, and they did exactly that. The flowers were fresh, local and gorgeous.”
I love how everything has been so gorgeously and joyfully captured by London-based husband and wife photography duo, The Shannons Photography.
“I was just browsing their website, and loved the candid and relaxed nature of their photos. On the day they were absolutely fab! They managed to get some really gorgeous, intimate shots without being intrusive in the slightest.”
“Many of the guests have commented on how great they were, and the photos are stunning, I would definitely recommend them.”
Teapots & Tiaras also made the order of the day signage, table numbers, and a pretty, rustic table plan with vintage wooden stepladders and crates filled with potted plants, jars and lanterns with fairylights, candles and flowers.
“We had foliage hanging from the beams in the barn, which were prepared by Ollie’s grandparents.”
Tables were laid with crisp white cloths, and adorned with garlands of greenery, little vases of colourful blooms, and candles. Alice Wright, AKA The Cotswold Calligrapher hand lettered the elegant place cards in English and Russian.
“Our favours were Werther’s Originals! This is what Ollie originally proposed to me with as a joke. He put one in the ring box, got down on one knee and proposed. Needless to say, I was a mixed bag of emotions when he opened the ring box!”
Greens Catering served a delicious wedding feast, which concluded with a tiered savoury cheese ‘cake’, alongside an array of sweet treats baked by family and friends.
For their first dance to kick off the evening festivities, Sasha and Ollie treated their loved ones to a choreographed salsa dance, which was followed by live music from party band 29 Fingers.
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“Everyone will tell you not to stress but you will inevitably be stressed, so don’t stress about being stressed!”
“Once it’s over there is a bittersweet feeling of relief and sadness that you can’t do it all over again. So, drink it in, laugh lots, hug and kiss as many people as possible, and dance, dance, dance until your feet fall off. Be thankful for all of the love and support you receive.”
Sasha and Ollie, what a dreamy day! Thanks so much for letting us relive it with you, and many thanks to photographers The Shannons for the lovely way they captured it all. You can see more of their work on our pages, right here.
Lots of love,
Credits & Thanks
- Photography - The Shannons Photography
- Venue - Oxleaze Barn
- Sasha's Dress - Halfpenny London + Veil - Borrowed from a friend + Shoes - L.K. Bennett
- Hair + Make-up Artist - Bex Standing-Smith from By Jodie Hair & Make-up Artist Team
- Ollie's Suit - Suitsupply
- Bridesmaids' Dresses - Rewritten
- Rings - Rosalyn's Emporium
- Florist + Table Numbers + Order of the Day + Table Plan - Teapots & Tiaras
- Place Cards - The Cotswold Calligrapher
- Catering + Cheese Cake - Greens Catering
- Entertainment - 29 Fingers