Tucked away in the Oxfordshire countryside lies Aynhoe Park; probably one of the single most beautiful venues we could possibly imagine. With quirks and curiosities hidden throughout this lavish 17th century country house, you’d almost be forgiven for thinking a bold bohemian aristocrat could come strolling across the lawns at any moment. Unicorns stand playfully alongside a dazzling array of taxidermy; from cheetahs wearing sailor hats to a giraffe suspended from a bouquet of balloons and all things imaginable in between.
This gorgeous estate was the setting for what has to be one of the most stylish and stunning celebrations we have ever had the honour to be a part of. Rebecca married Craig on the 24th August, with the sun shining and all round epic photographers Craig and Eva Sanders at the helm to capture every beautiful moment as it unfolded.
“Aynhoe is honestly like nowhere else, almost a ‘see it to believe it’ place! It sounds cliche, but the second I set foot in the orangery, I knew – this is where I want to get married.”
“Aynhoe is honestly like nowhere else, almost a ‘see it to believe it’ place!” explained Rebecca. “It sounds cliche, but the second I set foot in the orangery, I knew – this is where I want to get married. We did of course look at other venues, however more just to tick a box, we both knew nowhere else would compare. There is literally something around every corner, as well as the staff, service and attention to detail being like no other! It is honestly the most magical place and it will always hold a special place in my heart!”
“Alongside the incredible aesthetics (I mean, a floating giraffe!), one of the biggest elements that was important to us was exclusivity. As my family is from Scotland and Craig’s from Yorkshire, travelling was always going to occur for either one side or both and we wanted to make sure that everyone could make the absolute most of our celebrations. We had exclusivity for 2 nights, and it was genuinely one of the best decisions we made. Arriving the day before our wedding and having the incredible staff there to attend to our every need really did take any last minute stress away. The location was also a contributing factor, we had decided early on that we didn’t want a city wedding in London, escaping the hustle and bustle made us feel we were a million miles away!”
Opting for a chic yet understated palette of blush, copper and green foliage, each stunning element of the big day complemented these themes perfectly. Rebecca’s own gorgeous dress, created by designer and firm fave of ours Berta, featured perfect plunging neckline, a glorious bold lace over a subtle blush tulle and a detachable train for optimum wow factor.
Finishing her bridal look with a swept back, bold parted low bun, antique lace trimmed veil and UN-REAL Sophia Webster ‘Chiara’ butterfly heels, Rebecca looked every inch the ultimate bride, ready to grace the covers of fashion magazines the world over. Craig looked equally stylish in his tux, paired with some fabulous Louboutin patent shoes for the perfect black tie partnership.
“Craig and I had been at the same school but 4 years apart,” Rebecca reminisces. “Craig had worked down in London since he was 18, but it so happened that he was back in Leeds one weekend. I went to uni there, was out with friends and we ended up bumping into each other in a bar! We exchanged numbers and 3 years later after having endured a long distance relationship I moved to London after uni!”
“I’ve spoken to and read so many bride’s stories about how rotten their fiances are in terms of the wedding planning and how they feel like they are going it alone. I have to admit, living in London without my mum and sisters help was initially a really daunting experience. However, I can honestly say that Craig was so into it. Particularly the food & drink decisions haha! In terms of the creative side, unfortunately Craig wasn’t getting let anywhere near that.”
Rebecca and Craig’s stationery was an utter joy to create. Blending their beautiful colour scheme of blush and copper with a classic calligraphy style and a dash of their playful personalities, each item in their bespoke suite, using our ‘confetti’ style as a base, was wonderfully suited to their surroundings, mirroring the uniquely curious nature of Aynhoe Park.
“We were visiting my family and we popped into the E.Y.i.LOVE studio one Friday evening. Jack sat with us and we literally went through everything, seeing the actual products in all their glory sealed the deal for us. Before meeting with E.Y.i.LOVE, we knew pretty much what we were looking for and one thing that was a must was copper foil!! We had decided a colour palette straight away and we just knew that blush and copper would make the perfect combination! We ended up doing a combination of the Mickdonna & Confetti collections. We wanted something contemporary but still elegant at the same time, we played around with ideas to see what worked and didn’t and ended up creating our dream stationery!”
When choosing the suppliers for their big day (with names including the ever epic Grandirosa and The Confetti Cake), Rebecca and Craig used a combination of brilliant team recommended by Aynhoe and research, research, research!
“Aynhoe have a great list of recommended suppliers, some of which we did use. However, as the venue is SO amazing I really tried to think of suppliers who would make it stand out and add little details that would add our own personal touches to the day. Research, research, research is honestly the key to finding unique suppliers. I have a newfound love for Etsy, who I think are so underrated. I got the most incredible custom wedding veil handmade and shipped from Texas from a supplier who doesn’t sell anywhere else!”
We had decided a colour palette straight away and we just knew that blush and copper would make the perfect combination! We wanted something contemporary but still elegant at the same time, we played around with ideas to seewhat worked and didn’t and ended up creating our dream stationery!
Creating such an opulent and extravagant day full of personality and heart must have been no mean feat, and beautiful bride Rebecca found her planning solace in her other half, Craig, using his skillset and interests to enhance the process and reduce stress.
“Given Craig’s line of work he is super organised, so he had a spreadsheet LITERALLY for everything and was really good keeping track of the budget etc. I do think that giving guys tasks to do and to be involved in things that could potentially interest them really does help. And also finally, help. Being able to ask for help, we didn’t opt for a wedding planner – i’m too much of a control freak and frankly I get so much more satisfaction from doing things myself. However, don’t take too much on because it really quickly does become overwhelming!”
Such an utterly stylish celebration we never did see! I always get a bit teary seeing wedding photos; the love captured here by Craig and Eva Sanders is overwhelmingly beautiful and it seems that the couple who plans together, stands together (in to die for designer shoes of course)! As they say, teamwork makes the dream work! It was an absolute joy to work alongside Craig and Rebecca and we wish them both a lifetime of love and happiness together!
- Photographer – CRAIG & EVA SANDERS PHOTOGRAPHY
- Film – BLOOMSBURY FILMS
- Planner/Stylist – Romaine at Aynhoe Park + HONEY & BLOOM WEDDINGS
- Venue – AYNHOE PARK, Banbury, Oxfordshire
- Wedding Dress – BERTA via THE WEDDING CLUB
- Veil – YOUR HEIRLOOM VEIL
- Headpiece – STUDIO ANISS
- Cake – THE CONFETTI CAKERY
- Catering – THE KITCHEN Aynhoe Park + PIZZA DREAMS + AYNHOE PARK PIMP YOUR PROSECCO bar + LADURÉE macarons
- Stationery – E.Y.I.LOVE
- Hair Stylist – AMI CASS
- Makeup Artist – SANSHEL MUA