One of my favourite weddings from 2017 was Laura and Oliver’s gorgeous wedding, surrounded by the beautiful architecture of the Bodleian Library
Laura and Oliver got married last August in a spectacular Bodleian Library wedding – a historic building in the centre of Oxford. It was an elegant and beautiful wedding with literary touches throughout, which suited the venue perfectly. I loved shooting this Bodleian Library wedding, because it’s just so, so pretty there. The architecture is incredible, and the opportunity for photos are amazing. I’d already caught up with Laura and Oliver around Oxford for their pre-wedding shoot, which you can see here.
Laura got ready in an Air BNB, a short drive from the the wedding venue with her bridesmaids and parents. The atmosphere was so relaxed. Weddings at the Bodleian Library can’t begin until the library has closed to the many visitors who come to see it every day, so Laura and Oliver’s celebration didn’t begin until 5.30pm. This meant there was masses of time to relax and enjoy the getting ready part of the day! The girls then took a cab to the ceremony. It was still pretty busy right in the centre of the city, so there were lots of people congratulating Laura as she made her way through to the entrance to the ceremony.
And the boys…
Oliver got ready at Keble College with his groomsmen, before calling in at the Kings Arms, just opposite the library. Helping me out once again was my good friend Mike from Michael O’Sullivan Photography. He spent the afternoon with the boys as they made their preparations and enjoyed a pub lunch before the ceremony. The boys then walked the short distance to get to the ceremony.
Bodleian Library Wedding
The wedding itself was a legal ceremony in the beautiful Convocation House area of the Bodleian Library. This room is perfect for ceremonies with the in built pews and benches against the stunning sculpted walls and vaulted ceilings. The couple chose the Bodleian Library for their ceremony because they both met when studying together at Oxford University years before, so it’s a very meaningful place to them. The orders of service were designed to look like Penguin Classic books, and during the ceremony there were some lovely readings inspired by literature, taking inspiration from the venue. It was really individual and a lovely way to involve family and friends. It was such a special ceremony, and everyone was so happy to see the lovely couple exchange vows and become husband and wife.
The reception began in the Old Schools Quad where they enjoyed a drinks reception and a live band after once the couple had made their exit to a line of confetti bubbles! The Wedding Breakfast took place in Divinity Schools, perhaps one of the most famous parts of the Bodleian Library. It was amazing to see how the room had been transformed for the wedding reception, with long tables and candles to complement the incredible vaulted ceiling. They decorated the venue with beautiful seasonal flowers, and also some maths puzzles to keep their guests occupied at the tables. (Oliver studied physics when he attended Oxford, as did many of their friends, so it was a little nod to that!).
In keeping with the literary theme they had picked for the venue, each guest had a personalised Penguin Classics bookmark as a favour, along with some book shaped chocolates. Laura’s mum hand made the wedding cake, which had little books and cut outs of literary characters as cake toppers. The overall styling of the venue was absolutely stunning, and so pretty to photograph!
For dinner they had the most delicious meal, which was extremely well received by everyone! There was also pudding and a cheese course – all accompanied by plenty of wine! The couple had their first dance to Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by Frankie Valli. Laura and Oliver impressed everyone with some great choreography, and they finished off the evening with an excellent live band. The dance floor kept going strong all evening, (particularly with those who had been enjoying lots of wine with dinner!)
The most memorable part of the day was when some friends lifted the couple up onto their shoulders for one of the final dances. It was such a special moment! It’s always so much fun as a photographer when the dance floor is packed all night, as there’s so much going on to capture! I was also super excited when we had some amazing golden light for Laura and Oliver’s couples portraits, because we could really make the most of the time we had set aside for these. They are some of my favourite shots from the day!
Laura wore a gorgeous dress by Halfpenny London and Oliver wore a suit by Yardsmen. They looked so perfect together! Laura’s shoes were by Rachel Simpson, and so pretty in Ice Blue to match the other touches during the wedding. The bridesmaids wore two part outfits, with dresses from Needle and Thread adapted into light blue skirts, and tops from Monsoon Bridal. I thought all the girls looked absolutely incredible, especially with their beautiful colourful bouquets.
Laura and Oliver met at university in Oxford and have been together for years. They got in touch with me a year or so before their big day and their enquiry was so exciting. I knew it was going to be an incredible wedding at such an amazing venue.
Words of wisdom
Laura and Oliver’s biggest piece of advice for planning your wedding, is not to worry about things! There aren’t any ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ ways to do things on your wedding day. As long as you are both relaxed and enjoying your day, everyone else will be too!
Laura and Oliver’s wedding was just the happiest occasion and the most fun to photograph! Here’s their gorgeous wedding!
If you’re getting married at the Bodleian Library, get in touch, I would love to discuss your plans with you!
Venue: Bodleian Library – https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/whatson/venue-hire/weddings-and-civil-partnerships
Dress: Halfpenny London – http://www.halfpennylondon.com/
Shoes: Rachel Simpson – https://www.rachelsimpsonshoes.co.uk/
Suit: Yardsmen – https://www.yardsmen.com/
Flowers: Wild Thyme – http://www.wildthyme-florists.co.uk/
Catering: Clerkenwell Green – http://www.clerkenwellgreen.com/
Hair and Make up: Deco Dolls – http://www.decodolls.co.uk/
Brides hair comb: Liberty in Love – https://www.libertyinlove.co.uk/
Veil: Blush and Ivory – http://blushandivory.co.uk/