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Oxfordshire Autumn 2018

Ideas & Inspiration


A Speech to REMEMBER

Suits You !

Suit trends for 2018-2019

Oxford Town Hall St Aldate's Oxford, OX1 1BX 01865 252195

Find us on:

Getting Started


08 Venues 12 The Savvy Brides 2019 20 Real Wedding: A Stone Barn Wedding 31 Marquees 32 Marriage Preparation 33 Say ‘I Do’ to Celebrants

Get Booking 36 Photography 38 Real Wedding: A Magical Autumn Woodland 44 Top 10 Photo Must Have! 48 Videography 49 Transport 52 Honeymoons 53 Master of Ceremonies 54 Music & Discos 56 Real Wedding: A Very Country House Affair

Dress To Impress 60 Bridal Wear 64 Your Perfect Wedding Dress 68 Ultra Violet – Pantone Colour of the Year 70 Dry Cleaners 71 Hats 72 How to Plan your Boutique Appointment 73 Post-Wedding Blues? 74 Menswear 76 Suits You! 78 Which Metal is Best for Your Wedding Band? 79 Jewellers 81 Beauty, Hair and Make-up 82 Get the Bridal Look

Design Your Day 86 Choosing Your Wedding Cake Designer 87 Cakes 88 Florists 90 Floral Fusion 92 You’ve Got Mail! 95 Venue Styling

Finishing Touches 98 A Speech to Remember

The Final Countdown 102 Pick up a Spare Guide 107 Wedding Fair Diary

GfB The Wedding Directory 2018


GET SOCIAL WITH US Wedding inspiration Exclusive competitions Real weddings Amazing offers And much more… Find us on @guidesforbrides

end Se



e f l ow er

Congratulations on your Engagement! Now comes the fun part... the wedding planning!

ag e np o s


from the Editor...

t’s an exciting time for the world of weddings Harry and Meghan’s royal celebration in May really highlighted how much couples are choosing to personalise their weddings by adding a modern twist to classic traditions. When it comes to creating your own unique celebration, we are with you every step of the way to help you find the most perfect venue and suppliers to make your day really special for you and your guests. This Oxfordshire Guide covers every area of wedding planning, with handy checklists in each section to help you keep on track. As well as top planning tips and the very best local suppliers and wedding businesses, we also have beautiful wedding inspiration in the form of real Oxfordshire weddings, flower trends for 2018/2019, new groomswear ideas and a guide to wedding dress styles. We’ve got you covered when it comes to searching online, too. Head over to to see even more suppliers from your county and the surrounding areas, and sign up for our free online Wedding Planner to access our helpful planning tools, including a personalised task list broken down month-by-month, a budget tracker, guest list and table planner. If you have any questions or wedding planning problems that need solving, just drop us a line on social media or call us on 01235 773461. We are here to help.

eddingslebrated W l a e e R t he y c see how y. t he i r da

Happy wedding planning!

All you need to p your per lan f wedding ect ” Editor Alison Hargreaves Account Managers John Maddaford Ali Moore Amy Jaremchuk Christine King Denise Huff Elaine Rough Megan Wiffen Design Claire Rowland

Features Jennifer Brookes Helena Jones Holly Lucas Isabel Hicks Administration Jackie Melotti Trudi D’Angeli Hannah Bruce Lucia Prentice Distribution Bill Hargreaves

GfB The Wedding Directory 2018

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Alison, Editor


This edition covers: Oxfordshire Other editions are available for: Berkshire/Buckinghamshire Cotswold/Wiltshire Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire Front Cover image: Photography by Simon Murdoch Photography

Guides for Brides Ltd Larkhill Farm Wantage Oxfordshire OX12 8PJ T 01235 770078 E © Guides for Brides 2018 Special thanks to David Bostock Photography for editorial images.



started om r f p l e h e l t t i s l with a ides for Bride Gu


ongratulations, you’re engaged! Now comes the exciting part: Planning your big day. But, before you get carried away with fantasies about the wedding you’ve been dreaming of, we’re here to make everything a little easier for you. From finding the perfect venue to creating the all-important guestlist, some of the biggest decisions you make will happen in the early planning stages. So, to make sure your wedding is as beautiful as you imagine it to be, we’ve created this simple checklist to help you every step of the way on your wedding planning journey. First things first, before you even think about the details, you’ll need to decide on a budget. Sit down with your partner and think practically about how much money you’re able and willing to spend on your wedding. After you’ve thought about how much cash you want to splash, it’s time for the tricky bit: Working out which lucky people get to


Our Go To Checklist Ideally 12 – 24 months in advance Decide on a budget

Choose your ideal date and time Put together your guest list Choose and book your venue

come to your wedding! This important step needs to be tackled early on in the planning process so you can start looking at which types of venues are most suitable for your guests. Once this is sorted, you can begin the search for the venue of your dreams, and even think about who you’re going to choose to be involved in the ceremony itself.

Choose and book your church, civil ceremony venue or celebrant Arrange marquee if required Look into catering options Take out insurance Choose bridesmaids, best man and ushers Start thinking about your honeymoon.

Plan your wedding your way with the Guides for Brides online wedding planner. GfB The Wedding Directory 2018


VENUES Use our Guide to help you draw up your dream short list. Then order brochures, make enquiries, arrange visits and secure your perfect venue.

Lains Barn is a magnificent restored historic Barn dating back to 1750. Lains Barn, Ardington, Wantage, Oxfordshire, OX12 7QG

Tel: 01235 832745

Beetle & Wedge Boathouse 01491 651381

Fabulous Food, Wines and Accommodation Ferry Lane, Moulsford, Oxon, OX10 9JF 8




01865 552746


SALTER’S STEAMERS Wedding Receptions on the Thames

Oxford, Henley, Windsor and other Locations

01865 243421

GfB The Wedding Directory 2018


Exclusive Oxfordshire Barn Wedding Venue • Idyllic 18th century barn • Civil Ceremony licence • Capacity 140 formal, 250 informal • Set in 250 acre estate with romantic lakes & woodland

T: 01869 810823





TAILOR MADE FOR YOU Whether you are planning a small intimate gathering or a large celebration, our packages can be tailored to suit you. To book a wedding showaround and a complimentary afternoon tea, call 01865 256421 or email

Find out more online at:

PICTURE PERFECT A B R E AT H TA K I N G R I V E R S I D E SETTING FOR YOUR WEDDING Phyllis Court is a beautiful private members club situated in an historic riverside manor, nestled 18 acers of manicured lawns on the River front. The Club, which is licensed for civil ceremonies has an expert wedding team who will ensure an outstanding occasion for you, your family and guests.

To request a brochure please call 01491 570500 or email Marlow Road, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 2HT

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If you’re feeling on edge about the cost of a wedding, don’t worry, it’s totally normal! Couples can often be too focused on prices and end up compromising on areas of their wedding that they loved at the beginning. Our savvy pointers will help you stay within your budget, keep calm and find ways to incorporate everything you want for your big day. 12

How to be a Savvy Bride 2019 Pinterest is a great way to follow trends and gather inspiration for your big day. If you don’t have it already downloading it is an absolute must. It will soon become your best friend. Pinterest allows you to pin your favourite images, build a board and even share your ideas. This is a nice way to involve your mum, bridesmaids and friends in the wedding planning process, plus it’s free!

Being organised is one of the most important elements in order to stay savvy. If you love spreadsheets, you’re going to be in your element! However, if spreadsheets are’nt your thing and you want someone to do the hard work for you, sign up for the free online Guides for Brides Wedding Planner. You can work through a checklist in the lead up, manage your suppliers and quotes, organise a guest list and table plan, all while keeping track of your budget!

It sounds cheeky but everyone does it! Have a sneak peak at other people’s weddings and see what it is you like about them and what worked well for them. The perfect place to do this is our Real Weddings section, we feature endless beautiful weddings, oozing inspiration.

’ s weddings e l p o e p r e th O

A personal touch is what makes a wedding your own. Being a DIY bride is no bad thing and can end up saving you hundreds of pounds! Friends and family are often happy to help, so why not organise a night in for you and your nearest and dearest to get creative! A massive trend this year is couples creating their own wedding website. You can add your engagement story, collect your RSVP’s, share the menu choices and order of the day, all with your guests! You don’t even need to send physical invites but ‘e-versions’ – a great way to save on stationery costs.

GfB The Wedding Directory 2018


The ultimate resource of hand picked, exclusive and exciting wedding venues worldwide, for discerning couples looking for a wedding destination beyond their imagination.

Beyond Weddings - Part of the Guides for Brides Group

The Tythe Barn La unt on, O xfo rd shi re Located in rural North Oxfordshire, this beautiful venue is simple and elegant - a gem from the past with a nod to the future. This stunning 14th Century stone and thatched structure boasts an elegantly rustic interior, which has been lovingly renovated and sympathetically restored. The barn has a wow factor that reveals all the beauty of the past, combined with a contemporary twist.


Popular for indoor as well as outdoor ceremonies, The Tythe Barn allows you to enjoy your day in one unique setting beginning with our luxurious bridal preparation room The Nook, right through to the amazing Bridal Suite - The Shepherd Hut.



Breathtaking outdoor civil ceremonies Personal, Professional and Flexible Approach Intimate candlelit indoor weddings and receptions Wood Fired Oven Superior Quality Sound and Lighting Introducing the brand new Bridal Preparation Area and The Bride and Groom Crash Pad Attention to detail, unrivalled and unlimited support and guidance, chilled and relaxed Come and experience the freedom of The Tythe Barn WWW.THETYTHEBARN.CO.UK

TEL: 01869 321442

We love a love story All set against 30 acres of grounds, your romantic Cotswold wedding venue awaits. With a history dating back to the Middle Ages, the hotel's surroundings have an intriguing story to tell. Originally headquarters of the Knights Templar, the house and its lands have been owned by notable religious figures, lords and even kings throughout the centuries. Just a short drive from the heart of Oxford, on the banks of the River Thames, you'll discover De Vere Oxford Thames. This medieval manor and barn combines rustic charm with modern comfort to create a wedding destination like no other.

THAMES.WEDDINGS@DEVERE.COM +44 (0) 1865 334417 DEVERE.COM/OXFORDTHAMES Romantic wedding venues across the UK. View all our destinations at

Now licensed fo Weddin r g Ceremo nies about/venue-hire 18

Wedding Real

A Stone Barn Spring wedding in the Oxfordshire countryside.

Joanna &Mathew Photography Ben Wetherall Photography


oanna and Mathew met as many couples often do through work - and became a couple within the month. From then on they were inseparable, getting engaged four years later on a morning stroll through Wychwood Forest. The pair really wanted the wedding to be in Spring; the fresh bright days and pastel colours complemented their vision perfectly (plus it’s Joanna’s birthday in April - the perfect present, don’t you think?).

Their theme reflected their love of festivals. 20

After browsing Guides for Brides and doing plenty of research, Joanna and Mathew decided on Merriscourt as their wedding venue. Their ceremony took place in the Stone Barn (one of 3 rustic interlinking barns at Merriscourt) before it was transformed into the perfect space for dancing after dinner. The couple loved so much about the venue; the panoramic views across the Oxfordshire countryside, the incredible food, the opportunity to bring in your own alcohol with no corkage fee, being able to get ready on the day in the onsite pumphouse, as well as getting exclusive use of the venue for the whole weekend, allowing them to take their time decorating from Friday lunchtime with no rush to “check out” on the

M oment s Favourite part of the day: Joanna - listening to the speeches. Mathew - when the speeches were over!

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Sunday - a truly magical place to get married. On the day, Joanna wore a Suzanne Neville gown from Ellie Sanderson Bridal Boutique - the floating organza silk skirt made her feel so special. Just a shame you only get to wear it once! After a beautiful ceremony and wedding breakfast surrounded by friends and family, the party hit the dancefloor with the live band Uproar, plus a photobooth provided by Giggling Genie. The couple jetted off on the Monday following the wedding to spend a week honeymooning in sunny Barbados - a birthday to top all birthdays! GfB The Wedding Directory 2018


Silver Pear Weddings at Friars Court C l an f ie ld, Oxfordshire

Situated in beautiful Oxfordshire countryside, Friars Court is a family-run, exclusive-use wedding venue. The 17th century Cotswold stone house lies at the heart of 600 acres of gorgeous countryside. A family home since 1917, the venue offers exclusive use of this beautiful property combined with a personal wedding service from Silver Pear Weddings.

With no formulaic wedding packages or “approved-only” suppliers, couples can create a wedding that’s suited to them and their budget. Choose between the rustic 19th century “blank canvas” barn or the various marquee locations within the grounds.

Silver Pear Weddings at

Ceremony and Reception Venue 19th Century Barn and choice of Three Marquee Sites set within the grounds of a 17th Century Cotswold Stone House From 4 -150 Guests Experienced and Friendly Advice Exclusive Use preview visits by arrangement only Contact Jeffrey Cleaver 01367 810206 or ‘follow silver pear weddings on facebook and Instagram’

Friars Court, Clanfield, Oxon OX18 2SU


Plan your wedding, your way with the Guides for Brides Online Wedding Planner • Checklist • Budget Planner • Suppliers List • Guest List

GfB The Wedding Directory 2018


Gift List Inspiration

LSA Cakestand £75.00

Willow Direct Antique Wash Lidded 2 Person Hamper £105.00

Kitchen Aid from £499

LSA Edge White Wine Glasses. £42.00

must-have gifts for your wedding list

Wedgwood Vera Wang Pointilliste 4 Piece Place Setting. £80.00

Good Morning print £21.00

Emma Bridgewater Silver Toast Mugs £54.95


Apple ipad gold from £339.00

Use code GFB18 when you register your gift list at and you’ll receive a FREE Vera Wang for Wedgwood Cake Knife Set!

Distinctly Different Weddings Eynsham Hall is a magnificent Grade II listed Mansion nestled in the heart of a 3,000 acre estate. Located just 12 miles from Oxford, this stunning Jacobean-style house set within beautiful landscaped gardens with fountains and terraces present that idyllic backdrop for your big day. Whether you are looking to hold a wedding in the spring, summer, autumn or winter for a large, small, formal or more intimate event, our dedicated Wedding Specialist can tailor a package to suit you, your guests and your budget. 01993 885200

Weddings at the Bodleian Libraries

Set in the heart of the dreaming spires, the Bodleian Libraries is a historic venue steeped in romance and elegance. The Bodleian now offers the chance for couples to enjoy the magnificent rooms, whether it be an intimate ceremony or jubilant celebration, on the most magical and memorable day of their lives. E:


T: 01865 277224


#WEDDINGWEDNESDAY Every Wednesday, Guides for Brides are proud to host #WeddingWednesday on Twitter! So head on over and join the conversation, tweeting us about all things wedding by tagging @guidesforbrides and hashtagging #WeddingWednesday Find us on @guidesforbrides


Banbury Marquee Hire

Marquee Hire for a Wedding to Remember

Whether you’re planning a Wedding, garden party or family celebration, or birthday bash of a lifetime, make it an unforgettable event with Banbury Marquee Hire.

T: 01608 73 03 03


Laughtons Luxury Toilet Hire Wood Farm, Tackley, Oxon, OX5 3EN Est. 1975

Luxury mobile wedding toilets & showers

01869 331541

We cover your wedding beautifully 01295 722269

GfB The Wedding Directory 2018


MARRIAGE PREPARATION Prepare to give your marriage the best possible start! Over five evenings in a relaxed setting, the Marriage Preparation Course helps couples to develop strong foundations for a lasting marriage. These courses are relevant and helpful for any couple with or without a faith or Church background, and are run by trained and experienced couples. Call us on: 07710 576020


Say ‘I Do’ to Celebrant Ceremonies Looking to hire a celebrant for your big day? Why do brides choose to have a celebrant? Celebrants give couples freedom with their ceremony. They can create their own vows, include poems, readings and music to suit their tastes, plus it means they can choose an unregistered venue and any time of day for the ceremony. Legal ceremonies have to be done in a certain way to be legal. Can your ceremonies include religious or spiritual elements? Yes, there is nothing to stop a celebrant including religious elements or spiritual ones, such as handfasting, however all celebrants (generally non-religious) may have a view on what they are comfortable saying/performing. What’s the difference between a celebrant and a registrar? A celebrant creates a bespoke ceremony, whilst a registrar conducts the legal ceremony, being employed by the council to register the marriage. The legal ceremony occurs either in a Registry Office or in a registered venue this can happen before or after your celebrant ceremony. Fees for the legal ceremony can vary - just the 2 of you with no extras could be £50-£70, whereas 2 registrars attending at a registered venue could be as high as £720. Often it depends on the day of the week, time of day and location. Are celebrants becoming more popular? Yes, simply because they offer couples more freedom and variety, plus your celebrant makes a concerted effort to become part of the wedding team, rather than just a stranger conducting a ceremony. GfB The Wedding Directory 2018

We’ve been chatting to Erica Harley (The Ridgeway Celebrant) all about the freedom and variety that celebrants can bring to a wedding.

How do celebrants prepare for a wedding with the couple? Generally there is an initial meeting (no fee) to see if the couple are happy to book, followed by a number of meetings, either by telephone or face-to-face, to help the couple discuss the details of the ceremony, the vows, music and readings. Most celebrants will expect a deposit paid at the first meeting to save the date. Is it legally binding? The simple answer is no. Celebrant weddings are only ceremonies, so you must book a legal ceremony with a registrar as well.

Planning your Wedding? Do you want to hold it in a venue that is not registered or at a time that suits your guests? Do you feel restricted by the vows on offer? Do you have quirky, romantic ideas that you would like to include?

Then you need a Wedding Celebrant. Let me be part of your wedding team.

Erica Harley t: 07798 911734 (You need to have used a registrar for the legal bit!)



booking from p l e h le t t i l es d a i r h B t i r w fo s e d i u G


o, you’ve booked the perfect venue and popped the big question to your bridesmaids and now it’s time to snap up your favourite suppliers. This crucial stage of wedding planning can be stressful, but it’s important that you start early (ideally 9-12 months before the big day!) so you can get all of the suppliers you want. The key to booking suppliers is to know what you’re looking for, so make sure you have an idea of what you want before you get started. We recommend attending local wedding fairs to get inspired (turn to the back of the guide for local wedding fairs). The first supplier that you should think about booking is your photographer and any other supplier that can only do one wedding per day. When it comes to booking your transport, a lot of brides already have an idea of how they want to arrive at their venue. So, whether it’s a gorgeous vintage car, or a stylish limousine, there are plenty of options for you to choose from. Other key suppliers





Our Go To Checklist Ideally 9 – 12 months in advance Choose and book your photographer

Choose and book your videographer Book transport to and from the wedding Book your DJ or band

to book at this stage are your DJ or band, evening entertainment, toastmaster, videographer, and your honeymoon. Once you’ve organised all of this, it’s time to send your Save the Date cards!


Da & ise Lou

Book entertainment for the day and evening Book your toastmaster Book musicians/choir/organist for ceremony Send Save the Date cards Book the honeymoon (

Plan your wedding your way with the Guides for Brides online wedding planner. 20 - 02 - 2020

GfB The Wedding Directory 2018




07793 459404

When choosing your photographer, decide which style of photography you prefer, from relaxed to formal, as this will influence your choice.


David Bostock Photography 01865 400070 Dramatic, beautiful, perfectly timed Photography

GfB The Wedding Directory 2018


Wedding Real

A magical Autumn woodland themed wedding.

Cathie &Miki Photography Simon Murdoch Photography


fter 7 beautiful years together, nature lovers Cathie and Miki made it official,when Miki asked Cathie to marry him while on a surprise holiday to Sweden. Miki proposed whilst the couple were watching the Northern Lights on a frozen river, and Cathie described the moment as being truly magical! The couple finally tied the knot at Sutton Courtenay Church surrounded by their family and friends, before celebrating at Fison Barn at the Earth Trust, Oxfordshire. The couple opted for a Bonfire Night and nature wedding theme to complement the mulled cider, winter Pimm’s and hog roast being served to guests.

The name places and table decorations were handmade with pine cones. 38

The barn was decorated with hundreds of fairy lights and ivy, which the couple had collected just days before the wedding during a woodland walk. Cathie’s extremely talented dad crafted all the table decorations, the cake stand and the wedding ring box for his daughter’s special day. The name places and table decorations were pine cones, hand collected by the couple’s friends and family, giving it that lovely personal touch. Cathie even made her own wedding cake, adding finishing touches provided by the florist.

Cathie looked every bit the beautiful bride in her stunning A-line wedding gown with sheer sweetheart neckline by Ella Rosa, which she bought in Bicester Bridal. Miki embraced the winter theme with his dashing tweed three-piece suit. After the big day, the couple enjoyed a post-wedding trip to Center Parcs in Longleat to wind down and relax after all the excitement, before heading out to New York the week before Christmas for a romantic winter honeymoon.

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GfB The Wedding Directory 2018

39 | 07730536164 Stunning Contemporary and Reportage Images by Benjamin Wetherall



Tom Wood Photography Beautiful, elegant, unforgettable 07983 433963


The Art of Photographing Your Wedding From Start to Finish

Wedding Package - £1400 to include:

• 10 hours photographic coverage. • An engagement shoot. • All images taken on the wedding (as well as the edits) and the rights to all the files. • Edited images delivered within 7 days. • A slideshow at the reception of selected images taken throughout the wedding day.

Simon Murdoch Wedding Photography 07730621889

GfB The Wedding Directory 2018


01235 526738

Nigel Chapman Photography Award Winning Wedding Photography



Steve Cook 07825005305

0797 981 2970 01628 310 118


Natural, unobtrusive, storytelling wedding photography by a husband and wife team

0 1 8 6 9 2 2 6 2 5 5 | w w w. s a m a n d s t e v e p h o t o g r a p h y. c o m

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There’s lots to think about during your big day and you want to make sure you capture it all so you can reminisce after the wedding. Don’t miss out on these top ten photo musthaves!

GfB The Wedding Directory 2018


Mickey’s Photography 07799720183

mories e M l u f i g Beaut Capturin t a Life Time… to Las

Elizabeth Melvin Photography

“Elizabeth Melvin Photography –

for those looking for beautiful images and an enjoyable photography experience, delivered unobtrusively, with kindness, humour and infectious enthusiasm. I believe that photography should be enjoyed, rather than be seen as a necessary evil!”

Tel: 07735 454476 Elizabethmelvinphotography


Poppy Hanbury

GfB The Wedding Directory 2018



“Capturing every single moment...”



Something Borrowed Wedding Car hire

01865 559272 / 07788 677862


GfB The Wedding Directory 2018



Our new honeymoon finder is the best way to plan that perfect trip. We’re not tied to one tour operator, one hotel group or one region. Our website brings you the very best options for each honeymoon destination, so you can choose what is right for YOU. Browse by destination, flight time, month, honeymoon type, or be inspired by the top ten destinations.


HONEYMOONS NOT JUST TRAVEL I’ll turn your dream holiday into a reality... e: m: 07738050864

Struggling to find your dream honeymoon destination? Discover endless possibilities with our Guides for Brides honeymoons website: Whether you’re looking for an Italian hotspot or a hidden gem in the Bahamas, we’ll help you uncover your perfect post-wedding get away. 52

MASTER OF CEREMONIES The role of a Master of Ceremonies is ensuring that everything runs smoothly on your wedding day. They’ll make sure that everyone is in the right place and make relevant announcements, as well as ensuring that your day is running to time.

Master of Ceremonies

Patrick Bird Taking the pressure off you and ensuring your wedding celebrations go to plan. Liaising with the venue, making sure everyone is in the right place and on time for photos and speeches. I am also available before the day to help write and practice those important speeches.

M: 07836 201428 T: 01235 534094 E: GfB The Wedding Directory 2018






Ed Sheeran

Grow old with me

Tom Odell

How long will I love you

A Thousand Years

Thinking Out Loud

Song Bird

Better Together

Have I told you lately

It Must be Love

All of Me

Ellie Goulding Ed Sheeran

Jack Johnson Madness

Christina Perri Eva Cassidy

Van Morrison John Legend

Now in collaboration with

Perfect music for your wedding day

01295 738110

Banbury, Oxon

07879 695833

The Cotswold Ensemble String Quartet, Tango Quartet, String Duo Baroque Classical Romantic Ragtime Broadway Beatles & Beyond 01865 242797

Harpist Jennifer Hill 01235 511196

Wedding DJ & Lighting Hire - we bring the party!

Charters Discos Professional Wedding Disco

Beautiful music for your ceremony or reception

01993 866647

Didcot, Oxon, OX11 7JA

Marilla String Quartet & Trio Create the perfect atmosphere

Dave Seamer Disco Experienced Professional DJ Wedding Specialist 01865 407535 / 01235 519304

GfB The Wedding Directory 2018

01865 240054 55

Wedding Real

A Very Country House Wedding Affair.

Charlotte & Rory Photography Vine House Studios


xplorers Charlotte and Rory actually first met during University at a club in Manchester, and didn’t meet again until two years later when they both moved to London. After four years together, Rory proposed on a beautiful hilltop at sunset in Big Sur, California, overlooking the ocean. He had managed to find the perfect ring... with the help of his two female friends from L’Oreal! The couple decided to use natural colours throughout their day, from the wedding invitations to the gold painted figs on the tables, to the beautiful green bridesmaid dresses with white flowers to complement. They chose to get married in the Chapel of Rory’s boarding school, St Edwards, which turned out to be Charlotte’s favourite part of the day. Walking down the aisle in her gorgeous lace Provonias gown to marry the man of her dreams and listening to the beautiful readings from their closest friends and family made it so special.

An incredible dessert table. 56

The reception took place at Ardington House in Oxfordshire, and after some wonderful speeches, including a poem written by Charlotte’s sister, the guests got to sample the incredible dessert table - biscuits and sweets


Book your wedding suppliers as soon as you can, as they get booked up well in advance these days! C harlotte’s

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galore, even a cake in the shape of apples, which looked just like the real thing when cut open! Truly a work of art. Guests danced the night away to live music from Vivid (now called Vibrance), snapping pics in the photobooth and enjoying gin cocktails from a VW camper van outside. After a wonderful wedding to remember, Charlotte and Rory enjoyed a two week honeymoon together, spending the first half in Reunion for an active climbing and canyoning week, before jetting off to Mauritius for a relaxing week in the sun...with a little snorkelling and water skiing thrown in for good measure! 57

Dress to

impress om r f p l e h e l t t i s l with a ides for Bride Gu


ow that you’ve got the admin sorted, it’s finally time for the best part of planning a wedding... deciding on your bridal wear! This is the most important dress you’ll ever buy, so make it count. Whether you’ve always known want you want to wear on your big day, or if you’ve got no idea, relax and enjoy this exciting step. To begin with, start with buying your bridal gown, shoes, accessories, veil and underwear. Why not take your bridesmaids to a bridal wear shop and get their dresses at the same time? There are so many fabulous wedding dress shops, and this experience will last a lifetime. At this stage of planning, we also




Our Go To Checklist Ideally 6 – 9 months in advance Shop for your bridal gown

Buy veil, tiara and accessories Buy shoes and underwear Take your mum shopping for her outfit Choose bridesmaids dresses Buy wedding rings Book hair and makeup for the big day Dress fittings and alterations recommend encouraging your partner to get organised, however difficult that may be! Even though this can sometimes feel like a stressful step of wedding planning, make sure you choose bridal wear that makes you feel amazing. It’s your big day, after all.

GfB The Wedding Directory 2018

Plan your wedding your way with the Guides for Brides online wedding planner.


BRIDAL WEAR See our special features on: Your Perfect Wedding Dress on P64 and How to Plan your Boutique Appointment on P72

Where brides arrive as strangers and leave as friends By Appointment Only

01869 320556

7a Deans Court, Bicester, OX26 6RD

Your dream wedding dress designed and made especially for you.

Riley Close, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 5RR email Visit us on facebook


Our new boutique is opening in Eynsham, Oxfordshire July 2018

Our collection is unique and timelessly sophisticated. From delicious French lace for the Bohemian bride or soft silks for the English Rose. Our collection is unrivalled in the Home Counties. Visit our website to book your one to one consultation.

Book your appointment today

1 Mill Street, Eynsham, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX29 4JX 1 London End, Beaconsfield Old Town, BUCKS, HP9 2HN



Sassi Holford • Charlie Brear Jesus Peiro • Suzanne Neville Augusta Jones • Savin London Made with Love

Tel: 01494 674 440


The Bridal Box Find the dress of your dreams at The Bridal Box. Exclusive bridal boutique in the heart of Oxford. Beautiful collection of bridal gowns, mother of the bride outfits and accessories.

Bridal • Bridesmaid • Menswear Justin Alexander, Maggie Sottero, Ian Stuart, Kenneth Winston, Rebecca Ingram & Sincerity. Bridesmaids dresses from Eliza & Ethan.

01993 705080 102 Corn Street, Witney, Oxon, OX28 6BU

Having been established since 1991 our Bridal Stylists have an extensive knowledge of fabrics and styles and will work together with you to find you your perfect wedding gown.

198 Banbury Road, Summertown, Oxford OX2 7BY Tel: (01865) 559272 Email:

Come and visit one of the largest bridal boutiques in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire! Bicester’s very own award winning bridal boutique offers a varied collection of stylish traditional and contemporary gowns at affordable prices

A beautiful collection of wedding dresses, including an award winning plus size range. Menswear hire also available. The Barn, 1a Hagbourne Road, Didcot, OX11 8DP

07555 977837 62

Our designers include: Stella York, Mori Lee, La Sposa, Blue by Enzoani and Beautiful by Enzoani

Call: 01869 325500 • • 15-17 Manorsfield Road, Bicester OX26 6EH

Mae Bridal is a little haven filled with vintage elegance and timeless classics that will capture the heart of any bride. In the privacy of our newly refurbished and appointment only designer boutique, prepare to fall in love all over again with our gorgeous gowns from a range of designers as well as accessories and shoes that will ensure you are styled from head to toe. Our collection of designers include Watters, Wtoo, Willowby, Ronald Joyce, Essence of Australia and White Rose. Waterloo Walk, 58-60 High Street, Witney, Oxon, OX28 6EU Phone 01993 706556

Keates of Witney Whether it is a traditional wedding or a wedding with pazzazz, we have it all. New Tweed Collection now available. Having our own stock as opposed to only using a third party or agency, not only are you able to try on various outfit combinations, but more importantly, when trying on the outfits, we are able to establish the correct fit.

When looking good matters... Quality Counts

Blossom Bridal & Occasion Wear Whether it be for your wedding, prom or ball, we have a fantastic collection of gowns in stock and available to order, in a wide range of colours and sizes. We also cater for curves. We pride ourselves in being able to provide an in-house alteration service, with experienced seamstresses on hand.

Giving you confidence... On your special day

Keates Menswear & Blossom Bridal 29 Market Square Witney Oxon OX28 6AD Tel: 01993 702259

GfB The Wedding Directory 2018


Dress by Wattersbride

One of the best things about wedding dresses is that they come in all shapes and sizes, so no matter your bridal style, there’s something to suit everyone. Here’s our guide to finding the perfect silhouette for your big day…

The A-line silhouette (so-called because the shape of the skirt looks like a capital A) is flattering on practically every body type, thanks to the fact that it’s fitted up top and flares out from the waist. The wider skirt gives you plenty of room to walk and dance without being too big, and the fitted bodice shows off your waist while skimming over your stomach. If you want something a little more fitted without graduating to a fit and flare, then a modified A-line flares out a little lower, at the hip rather than the waist.

Dress by Phil Collins Bridal

If you’re imagining a typical fairytale princess dress, then what you’re thinking of is probably a ballgown! The most voluminous wedding dress silhouette, a classic ballgown is fitted on the bodice, and flares out from the natural waist in a full skirt. This silhouette suits pear-shaped, hourglass and bigger busted brides, as it makes the most of your curves and still gives you a fairytale look; but it can also make apple shapes look wider. Taller brides will be able to pull off the large skirt, but petite brides may look swamped, so we’d recommend steering clear if you’re under 5’3”!

GfB The Wedding Directory 2018

Dress by Lyn Ashworth, Daydreamer Collection

Dress by Willowby

It’s a classic for a reason!

If you love the curve-hugging cut of the mermaid but are worried about it being unforgiving (or difficult to walk in!), then we recommend you try a gorgeous fit and flare gown. The fit and flare is also known as a trumpet silhouette, and is becoming more and more popular with brides thanks to its flattering cut. Unlike a mermaid wedding dress, the skirt on a fit and flare starts at the mid-thigh, rather than below the knee, which gives you more room to move as well as a more forgiving cut on the thigh and a more understated silhouette.



Main image & insert - Dresses by Willowby

Dress by Dando London

For a flowing Grecian style or a relaxed boho vibe, you’ll definitely be looking at a column wedding dress. As the name suggests, the skirt on a column is straight and falls away from the body, rather than being fitted, so it’s one of the most comfortable wedding dress styles to wear on the big day. This flowing style works perfectly on petite brides and apple shapes (particularly when paired with an empire line cut), but isn’t the best cut for pear-shaped brides. Not to be confused with the sheath gown, which is a sexier version of the silhouette that fits closer to the body.

Also known as a fishtail, the mermaid silhouette is closely fitted to your body and flares out from below the knee to give you that classic curvy shape. This can be a surprisingly flattering dress shape, so don’t be afraid to try one on at your boutique appointment it balances out top-heavy brides and can really highlight curvaceous figures. Petite brides will also benefit from the structure of a classic mermaid gown, but pear shapes might look more bottom heavy. Whatever your shape, this is a glamorous silhouette, so be sure to wear it with confidence and you’ll feel like you’ve walked right off the red carpet.

GEORGINA PIMM Bridal Boutique

Timeless elegance for today’s bride Our collection of designers include - Sophia Tolli, Enchanting by Mon Cheri, Snow by Annasul Y, Lusan Mandongus, Atelier Lyanna, Blue, Louise Bentley, Mother of the Bride Dynasty, Mascara and Atelier, Maids 2 Measure, Dessy Group, Little Bevan and Sophistakatie.

01993 704119

9 Corn Street, Witney Oxfordshire OX28 6DB



t e l o i V

Vibrant & Vivacious

This year, Ultra Violet has been announced as Pantone’s 2018 Colour of the Year. We’ve come up with some stunning ways you can style your day with this hot new colour trend.

Expert event planners have been raving about ceiling potential and what better way to catch the eyes of your guests than with some statement floral pieces. Weaving greenery or hanging garlands are perfect for creating a sense of wonder and enchantment. Why not try out this bold colour with a selection of succulent plants - eyecatching designs that require less water and look fresher for longer!

Jewellery Rather keep things subtle? Why not try a dash of colour with a dazzling necklace or droplet earrings.


Wedding Cake You could stick to a traditional white wedding cake with a few Ultra Violet accents, or why not challenge your cake designer with this show-stopping delight.


Flower clippings, jars and jugs have been making a big appearance on Pinterest this year - something about that rustic barn feel! Make it elegant and fill those centrepieces with delicate purple flowers, or add a bit of fun with some delicious lollipop favours in our new favourite shade. The colour of the year can’t be wrong!

DRY CLEANERS If you’re going straight on your honeymoon, remember to ask a friend or relative to drop your dress to the dry cleaners. The key to removing marks and stains is prompt action.


Wed d ing Dress Cleani n g Speci al i st Te l: 019 93 7 78510 em ail :spe c i al. to u c h@li ve . co . u k w ww.d r yc le ani ng wit ney. co . u k 6 Wesley Walk, H i g h St , W it n ey , O x fo rds hi re , OX2 8 6ZJ


The Hat Box


01865 200844 Fast tailor-made service available. Avenue 3 The Covered Market Oxford, OX2 0JB

Louise Claire Millinery Over 1200 hats and fascinators to hire or buy. Bespoke Service Available

01491 826244 36 St Mary’s Street, Wallingford, OX10 0EU

C O U T U R E M I L L I N E R Y & H AT H I R E

Unique & beautifully made Couture Millinery & Bridal Headwear. Over 1,300 fabulous Hats & Headpieces from the renowned Hilary's Hat Hire Collection. The divine Helen Moore England Wedding Collection of faux fur. We look forward to welcoming you at Robin Cottage Studio & Boutique Oxfordshire.

Tel: 01869 338387 Email: GfB The Wedding Directory 2018


How to plan for your Appointment

Can’t wait to try on wedding dresses in front of your family and friends? Having a mini freak out because you have no idea what you’re looking for? No matter how you’re feeling, finding the perfect dress should be one of the most enjoyable and memorable experiences in your wedding planning journey, and the Guides for Brides team have put together 4 top tips to help you get the most out of your wedding dress appointment. Research It’s important to make sure you’re visiting a boutique that stocks designers that you love and are also in your price range. Search online and in magazines to find styles you like before choosing which boutique to visit. Take photographs with you of the styles and details that you like and would like to try on. Dress shopping can be quite exhausting, so you don’t want a wasted trip!


Bring the Right People with You This could make or break your dress shopping experience. You can take your parents, bridesmaids, friends and even mother-in-law to be. Bring people with you who are supportive and patient. Think about whether you want honest opinions or people you can have a laugh with. Your consultant will be able to recommend dresses to suit your body and style, your friends and family can offer their opinions, but ultimately the choice is down to you.

Don’t forget Accessories If you want to incorporate accessories into your look, make sure you take them along to the appointment. You need to make sure the colour and design suit your dress so don’t

miss the opportunity to see your whole look together.

Dress the Part Whilst dress shopping provides a fun day out with your family and friends, it’s important to wear something easy to change in and out of you’ll thank us later! Try to find a nude bra and ideally strapless. Even if you’re not planning on wearing a strapless gown, you never know what you’ll be trying on when you get there. Quite often brides go into their appointment with a vision, but end up trying on something completely different. Undergarments can also change the whole look of a dress (don’t we know it ladies!) so if you plan on wearing shapewear then bring this along too.

You’ve found the perfect dress and you never want to take it off - if only we could get away with wearing wedding dresses to work eh?! Instead of hiding

your beautiful gown in the back of your wardrobe, why not try one of these postwedding dress ideas.

Frame it

Rehome it

Style it

Box it

Never want to stop looking at your dress? Nowadays brides have the opportunity to frame their dresses so they can display them forever in their homes. An eye-catching talking piece for parties, don’t you think?

Why not get your dress restyled so you can wear it again? There are many dressmakers out there who would love the challenge you could chop and change the style or even dye it to a completely different colour. We’ve even seen brides save their dresses for their daughters and get them restyled for the day perfect for a hint of vintage.

Whilst many brides choose to sell on their dresses, we love the idea of passing it on to charity. Helping others have their dream day by donating your beautiful dress will make you feel amazing.

Keep your dress safe from dust and light pollution by getting it professionally boxed. Bridal boutiques tend to offer this service and for affordable prices - a great way of keeping your dress safe for years to come.

Trash it

This super popular option is great fun and something you can do with your partner. Arrange a photo shoot with your wedding photographer and grab the paints, head to a farm or find yourself a beautiful river to dunk in. GfB The Wedding Directory 2018


MENSWEAR Decide early on whether you’d rather buy or hire your menswear. Hiring is a great option if you’re looking to save a few pennies, but getting married is a great excuse to treat yourself and purchase a made-to-measure suit.

Providing a comprehensive hire wear service for all formal occasions and offering traditional wedding clothing with a contemporary edge. Stocking one of the largest collections of tweed hire wear in the area, we can offer both purchase, hire and bespoke options to compliment this service. With our expertise in tailoring, we make sure every one of your party members are in the appropriate suit for their body shape and size. For expert friendly advice, at prices comparable to the main high street brands, why not book in for a provisional consultation to see how we can help you out with looking and feeling great on your big day. 21B Oxford Street, Woodstock, OX20 1TH T: 01993 358284


Wedding & Formal Wear Hire Wedding Parties of 4 or More and the Groom goes Free 109-113 High Street, Oxford OX1 4BT t: 01865 249491 e:

Wedding and Formal Wear Hire Wedding . Evening Highland . Royal Ascot . Masonic

Wedding Parties of 4 or More and the Groom goes Free 10 Turl Street, Oxford OX1 3DN

Tel: 01865 241848 GfB The Wedding Directory 2018


ooks l e Th 19/ 0 2 r fo 2020

If you’re picking out your menswear, bear these handy tips in mind for a sharp suit… Tailors are predicting that the next big menswear trend for 2019/2020 will be a move back to the formal tailcoat. “Traditional Morning Suits are definitely increasing once more in popularity, and we’re finding that grooms like to modify this formal outfit with contemporary twists, such as a contrasting waistcoat,” says Alex of The Cotswold Tailor.

Watch this space! 76

Buyvs Hire

It’s the age-old question; to buy or not to buy? Both buying and hiring your suits come with pros and cons, but often it’s a matter of your budget and the number of groomsmen you’re kitting out. The cost of hiring will always be lower, so if you have a large group of groomsmen or you’re on a tight budget, hiring may be a better option for you. If your budget can stretch to it, we recommend that the groom buy his suit, as it gives him the flexibility to have it altered for the perfect fit. “The most popular alteration by far is the slimming of the leg width,” says Alex of The Cotswold Tailor. “The current trend is to have a far narrower leg width and to have the trouser sat just on top of the shoe, rather than falling over the shoe to the heel as previously popular.” Other options include nipping in the waist of the jacket for a closer fit, and altering the sleeve length for a more bespoke cut. It can take as little as three additional wears to make purchasing and tailoring a suit financially viable, so bear this in mind when picking out your menswear.

True Blue It’s official - blue is taking over from grey as the suit shade of the moment. Ranging from traditional navy to royal blue and lighter pastels, blue can be more flattering to the skin tone than grey and can be paired with plenty of tie and pocket square colours. Blue tweed is proving incredibly popular, and a blue lounge suit with a contrasting waistcoat (such as green or grey) is a modern choice for stylish grooms.

Match your Maids When picking out colours for ties and pocket squares, looking to your bridesmaid dresses is a good start. This year has seen a revival in pastel greens such as mint and sage, while classic shades like navy and blush are still going strong. If you’re unsure, let your menswear supplier know your colour scheme and they’ll be able to advise you on what colour suit will be complementary.

GfB The Wedding Directory 2018


Which metal is best for your

WEDDING BAND? Why can’t I have a pure gold wedding band? Pure gold is too soft for jewellery, so it’s mixed with metal alloys to create different colours and ensure that it is hard-wearing.

metal types Platinum Hard-wearing with a cool luster, this rare metal is perfect if you’re after a durable ring that won’t lose its colour or brilliance. Despite being a more expensive choice, a platinum ring will last a lifetime and is considered the most prestigious metal for jewellery.

White Gold If you’re looking for the natural white colour of platinum without the pricetag, white gold is a great option. White gold rings use pure gold alloyed with various other white metals and are plated with rhodium to give their brilliant white colour, which does wear away over time. Replating is a simple process, which will restore your band to its former brilliance.

Palladium This white precious metal forms part of the platinum group, but can be more affordable. Popular for its hardness and natural white colour that won’t fade, palladium rings are a durable option that provide a stunning backdrop for diamonds.

Yellow Gold With its warm mixture of pure gold, copper and silver, yellow gold is once again proving a popular choice for wedding bands. The carat of yellow gold you choose will make a difference to the colour and hardness of the band, so bear this in mind when matching your wedding band to your engagement ring.

Rose Gold Rose gold includes a higher percentage of copper, giving it its red tones. An on-trend choice for wedding bands, it is surprisingly affordable and more hard-wearing than yellow or white gold. Like with yellow gold, the carat affects the colour of the ring: A higher percentage of gold will give the ring a lighter rose gold tone, while more copper will give more of a red colour.

High Bridge Jewellers

Make your own wedding rings

Specialising in Rings, Diamonds & pre-owned Jewellery

01451 810928 The High Street, Bourton-on-the-Water, Glos, GL54 2AQ 78

Other bespoke jewellery services available

Based in Chesham, Buckinghamshire

Gavin Mack Jewellery Ltd Exclusive handmade jewellery

Call 07879 046225 / 0121 4487994 or visit

We welcome you to our wedding ring boutique where we specialise in creating beautiful bespoke wedding rings to compliment your engagement ring.

Pop in for a no obligation quotation Opening times: Tuesday - Saturday 9.00 - 5.30

Engagement & Wedding ring specialists 4 Wallingford Street, Wantage, Oxfordshire, OX12 8AX 01235 772907 GfB The Wedding Directory 2018 79

For more on beauty, make-up, hair, health and fitness visit: find/wedding-health-beautyand-fitness



fm hair design abingdon 01235 532806 17 Stert Street, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 3JF

Angela McKnight Specialists in long hair dressing

07885 092949

Tao Beauty Salon 01865 249347

PROFESSIONAL HAIR AND MAKE UP ARTIST providing services to brides across Oxfordshire and Berkshire Complete wedding packages including manicures, eyelash extensions and all your beauty needs also available.

07583 371198

For all your wedding-day preparation requirements

99 St Aldates, Oxford, OX1 1BT

GfB The Wedding Directory 2018 /emmaghmua



Get the Bridal Look

Be the most beautiful you on your wedding day with our top tips from professional Hair and Makeup Artist, Emma Goodwin.

It’s important to stay true to yourself - after all, your wedding guests are coming to see you. If you normally wear minimal makeup on a day-to-day basis you might want to continue that, or you may want to wow your guests with a full face. If you’re struggling to make a decision, seek advice from a qualified make-up artist - they will be able to create a look that complements your features. 82

It is essential that you feel completely comfortable with the make-up artist you choose. Make sure the make-up artist takes on board all the requirements you have and be open to their advice. Everyone’s lips are pigmented differently, so the colour can look different on different people’s lips useful to bear this in mind.

It’s great to get inspiration from the internet - Pinterest and Instagram. You may like a certain lip style that you can explain just by showing a picture. Taking pictures is really useful for your artist so they can try and recreate the look. “I’m always happy to receive as many pictures as necessary and to work with my client to achieve the desired look and style,” said Emma.

HOW CAN BRIDES IMPROVE THEIR SKINCARE? It’s a good idea to have monthly facials leading up to the wedding starting 6-8 months beforehand. This can improve your skin’s hydration and give you that wedding day glow.

WHAT CAN BRIDES EXPECT FROM THEIR MAKEUP TRIAL? Brides can expect a professional but relaxed atmosphere, full of discussion about what they like and don’t like. Once we’ve established a rough idea of the look the bride wants we start the trial. Throughout the trial we review each aspect such as the eyes, lips and skin coverage to find a final look. Sometimes make-up artists do one eye one way and the other eye another way, so you can see which you like best. It’s important you leave the trial feeling happy and comfortable with the final look. It’s also important for brides to wear their make-up at home for a few hours to see how it lasts and how it looks several hours later, as different products work differently on skin types.

“I offer skincare consultations to all our brides, which includes a skin analysis and plan to work out how to improve their skin before the wedding,” said Emma. One of the most important things is that you drink plenty of water during the build up and throughout the day. WHAT ARE THE UP AND COMING BRIDAL TRENDS THIS YEAR? 2018 is the year of the glossy lip. We adore the lipstick and lip-gloss combo and it looks lovely with big lashes. Individual eyelash extensions that last 3 weeks are really popular and adds that extra wow factor to the final look.

TOP TIP You should book your bridal makeup trial 6-8 weeks beforehand so that it’s fresh in yours and your make-up artist’s mind. GfB The Wedding Directory 2018



your day om r f p l e h e l t t i s l e d a i r h t B i r w o f s e d i Gu


he big day is getting closer, so it’s time to begin organising the personal touches. These suppliers are the ones who are going to make your wedding day feel special to you, and help you bring your vision to life. This is a great time to think about booking your florist. From white winter florals, to bright summer pastels, there are so many beautiful options for your wedding flowers, so choosing the right florist is a big decision. It’s also time to choose your wedding cake, which means one thing, cake tastings! Most couples have a great time choosing their perfect cake, so make sure to prioritise this fun step. Whilst we’re thinking about food, we recommend organising your menu at this time. With 8 weeks to go you can finally send out your invitations! Manage your RSVPs online with a personal wedding website:




Our Go To Checklist Ideally 3 – 9 months in advance Order your invitations and other stationery Choose and book your florist Choose and book your cake maker Book venue decorations Book a photo or video booth for guests Book wedding night accommodation

Me g a

& Ha r r

We d d


Choose readings, poems, vows and hymns


Agree Order of Service with Vicar/Registrar/Celebrant

i ng

Decide on a menu and choose wines Send out invitations

es p Kin dly R


GfB The Wedding Directory 2018

Plan your wedding your way with the Guides for Brides online wedding planner.



WEDDING CAKE DESIGNER Choosing your wedding cake designer can be surprisingly complicated – after all, creating a cake masterpiece to match a couple’s style, budget and tastes can be harder than you’d think! Be Sure They Match Your Style These days, there are wedding cakes to match every couple’s style, from traditional tiers in royal icing to intricate sugar flower creations and rustic naked cakes to modern drip designs in new flavours. When looking at your local wedding cake bakers, be sure to look through plenty of pictures on their portfolio, not just one or two, to be sure that they have experience making the kind of cake that will suit your wedding style. This is particularly important when it comes to complicated sugar work or custom designs!

Bear Distance in Mind We generally recommend looking locally for your wedding cake, as transportation costs (and potential complications) can easily start to mount up the further afield you go. Wedding fairs are a great place to meet potential cake designers, especially if they’re taking place at your chosen wedding venue. This way you can see examples of their work,


taste any samples, and chat to the designer in person in a low-pressure environment.

Check Availability and Reviews Before you get your heart set on a certain designer, it’s always worth checking out two things: their availability and online reviews. Many designers will have testimonials on their website, but it’s better to take a look at a more impartial source for reviews (such as Guides for Brides!) to be sure that you’re getting the full picture. Once you’re happy with your designer’s reviews, you’ll need to check their calendar or drop them a line to see if they’re available on your date before you start discussing prices and styles. We recommend choosing your designer around 6 months in advance, but if you’re marrying in peak season or on a weekend, you may want to start the search earlier than this, as good suppliers will get booked up quickly.


Consultations and Tastings Before you book your wedding cake designer, you may want to visit them for a consultation or tasting. As exciting as this is, be sure you have the major details sorted (such as the venue, date, flowers and budget) before you visit your designer,

as all these elements may affect your chosen style. Take inspirational images of cake styles you like, along with details of your flowers and colour scheme, with you on the day to help your supplier get an idea of what you’re looking for.

Oxfordshire’s Leading Wedding and Celebration Cake Makers for over 25 Years 123-127 Avenue Four The Covered Market Oxford OX1 3DZ Tel: 01865 248691 13 Bridge Street Banbury, OX16 5PN Tel: 01295 270447

Beautiful & Delicious bespoke wedding cakes 07870 500919

GfB The Wedding Directory 2018



Guides for Brides FabFlowers Advert 70mmx50mm.pdf 1 6/15/2018 12:00:47 PM

LARK RISE FLOWERS Beautiful Designer Floristry

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Professionally qualified florists

Available for venue consultation

Dedicated Wedding Team

Experienced CY in the latest designs and trends CMY







Classic Flowers Specialist Wedding Florist Flowers are loves truest language 109b Corn Street, Witney, Oxon, OX28 6AU 01993 703301

Passion for Flowers

Stunning contemporary & traditional floral designs

01235 868669 Meadow House, Ebbs Lane, East Hanney, OX12 0HL

Flower Workshop Beautifully designed flowers for all occasions Tel: 01865 739182

Freemans Flowers Beautiful flowers for your wedding 01235 814479 137 Brasenose Road, Didcot, Oxon, OX11 7BP

GfB The Wedding Directory 2018


Stay on trend with these fabulous floral tips for 2019 weddings and beyond…


fter Pantone announced that their Colour of the Year 2018 was Ultra Violet, purple has definitely become the colour of the moment. Deep, rich purples have always been a popular choice for wedding colours, but brides are now favouring pretty pastel purples for their flowers. Think shades of lilac, lavender and hyacinth and you can’t go wrong! Pastels are still popular for weddings of all seasons, but we recommend using brighter shades as accents for a modern touch. “I like to add a colour pop like cerise, peach or orange to pastel wedding flowers,” says florist Penny Chong of Penny Blossoms. This colour pop instantly lifts the bouquet, brings it to life and reflects the bride’s personality perfectly.”


All flower images by © Incandescent Photography

Perfect Peonies Big blooms like peonies, hydrangeas and garden roses will continue to be popular into 2019. Peonies have been the bloom of choice for many seasons now, but Meghan Markle’s choice to feature them heavily in her wedding will continue the trend well into 2019. If you love this fabulous flower, bear in mind that in the commercial flower world, peonies come into season in mid May till early September.

Foliage and Greenery

Image © Adobe Stock

Whilst Greenery was Pantone Colour of the Year 2017, it is still very much in demand with brides wanting a more natural look. There is a growing trend for foliage-only bouquets, as well as foliage arches and tablescapes with an emphasis on texture and the various shades of green. “As outdoor wedding ceremonies become more popular and more brides want the ‘one with nature’ look, foliage and greenery are definitely here to stay,” says Penny.

On a Budget First things first - be realistic about your budget! The incredible floral designs you see on Pinterest are likely to be expensive, be prepared to compromise, work with your florist to choose alternative designs and flowers. There are plenty of ways you can get great wedding flowers on a limited budget - it’s all about being creative! Choose one luxury bloom, such as a blousy rose or peony, as the focal flower, then select cheaper filler flowers, or place potted herbs or seasonal flowering plants on the tables. For a quirky take on favours, place flowers in shot glasses and label them with the guests’ names. The options are endless with the right florist! GfB The Wedding Directory 2018

Think Seasonal While there are some flowers that are available all year round, such as roses, freesias, chrysanthemum, and carnations, we always recommend choosing seasonal flowers for your wedding. They’re in their prime, will cost less and are more available than off-season blooms. 91

l i a M t o Yo u’v e g Save the Date

You’ve chosen the perfect date to tie the knot and now it’s time to make sure everyone you want to share it with can be there with you. Send save the dates six to eight months before the big day.

Invitations Sorted

Time to fill in your guests with all the important details from location to timings and dress code. The invite can capture your wedding theme and get guests excited for what’s to come.


Stationery: You’ve Got Mail

Get your guests excited for the big by sharing a plan of the day including Order of Service, menus, place cards, table nos. and timings.

Friday 12 June 20XX St Helen’s Church

On the Big Day Post wedding thank You

Please go to our website for more online Stationery suppliers: wedding-stationery

GfB The Wedding Directory 2018

Thank your guests for their thoughtful cards, presents and wishes with a picture of the happy couple and a meaningful note.


The fun, quick and easy way to plan your wedding Swipe right for ‘I do’ Swipe left for ‘I don’t’ powered by the award winning website



EDG GILT Events E Tel: 01993 852816

Wedding & Event Decor Specialists

“Gilt-Edge”your Wedding With Us We are bespoke Venue Decorators that can transform your special day in to Spectacular Occaision

Contact Us Today for a free consultation

GfB The Wedding Directory 2018




touches om r f p l e le h rides t t i l a with ides for B Gu


ou’ve sorted out all the big things and it’s time to focus on the finishing touches. It’s often said that it’s the little details that make a wedding stand out from the crowd, so spend a little time organising the things that you’ve left until last.Whether it’s gifts for the bridal party and parents, or confirming the details with your suppliers, this is a wonderful opportunity to get a touch more organised. To start with, why not organise your table plan for the wedding breakfast, or write a speech that won’t leave a dry eye in the house? Whilst you’re putting the last little bits together, a lot of brides choose to have a trial run of their makeup during this time. This is a great way to ensure that your bridal look is exactly what you envisaged. We also encourage making sure that all your balances




Our Go To Checklist Ideally 1 – 3 months in advance Gifts for parents and bridal party Decide table plan (Using our online wedding planner)

Buy cake boxes, confetti, sparklers and cameras Write and practice speeches

are paid before your wedding day. No couple wants to spend their wedding day worrying about money.

Cut / colour hair, and trial run of style Trial run of make up and fake tan Confirm details of flower booking Check plans for hen and stag nights Confirm timings for transport Email all other suppliers to confirm plans Make sure all balances are paid Plan your wedding your way with the Guides for Brides online wedding planner.

GfB The Wedding Directory 2018


h c e e r e p b S m e m A to Re

There’s nothing worse than getting those pre-speech jitters. Emotions are running high and you want the happy couple to be weeping with joy, not the other way around. We’ve come up with some great ideas to get you prepped and ready to give them a speech to remember.

ive o g t ed ask dingn e d e e b the we v ’ u yo h at So c pee anic! a s P

’t Don

Be Prepared Some people are happy to leave the speech writing to the last minute - it’s easy, so they say. The couple will be expecting a beautiful speech, no matter what style you go for, and to avoid any disappointment on their part writing your speech in advance is the best idea. We’d suggest giving yourself a couple of weeks at least, leaving you plenty of time to make edits.

Go for Humour If the thought of pouring your heart out for all the guests to see fills you with dread, go for comedy instead. It’s a sure fire way to get everyone on side right from the beginning, leaving you the chance at the end of your speech for all the fluffy stuff. 98

Make a Game Give the guests something to do during the speeches - Bingo! Sitting through a whole bunch of speeches for that long can sometimes get a little tiring, especially for the little guests, so why not give them a bingo sheet with some key phrases to listen out for; ‘I’m so proud’, ‘best day of my life’, ‘the stag do’ get the idea. Even a comedy prize for the winner will go down a storm.

Rope in the Mates If you’d prefer to have a little support in the speech, why not ask the couple if you can give the speech with another close friend or

family member. You could rope in a whole group of friends to help you out if you like. People have given speeches as pairs (which can be great for comedy value) and even written songs for the occasion. There are plenty of videos out there of barbershop quartets, dance-offs, rap battles - you name it, it can be done! GfB The Wedding Directory 2018

Record a Video Depending how much time you have on your hands, you could let the video do the talking. It’s a nice way of allowing you to relax on the day knowing you’ve created something they’ll remember forever. Just make sure you organise a projector for the occasion. 99

The final

countdown m o r f p l he e l t t i s l e d a i r h t B i w or f s e d i Gu


our wedding is drawing near and excitement is in the air. You’ve spent so long organising every little detail and making sure that this day will be everything you dreamed it to be, and now it’s time to make sure everything is good to go. Some couples find the last week the most stressful, but try to relax and enjoy every single moment. Use this time as an opportunity to ensure that you have everything you’ll need with you on the day. No bride wants to spend her wedding morning frantically searching for her veil, so spend some time making sure that everything is accounted for. It’s also a wonderful time to arrange some time together before you say “I do”.




Our Go To Checklist The final week Sort some “getting ready” provisions

Arrange time together Collect hired menswear

Make sure outfits are ready Arrange someone to return hired items Pack a “going away” bag Manicure and Pedicure Rehearsal for church wedding Brief best man, bridesmaids and ushers Enjoy your day!

Thank you for using Guides for Brides. Don’t forget to leave a review for the companies you choose. GfB The Wedding Directory 2018


Need a spare copy of this Guide? Pick one up from any of these Oxfordshire wedding businesses.

Beauty, Hair & Make-up Alison Clare Hair Studio 83 Vineyard Abingdon OX14 3PG 01235 555311

Forresters 4 Hair 2-4 Ock Street Abingdon OX14 5AW 01235 536100

A Step Ahead 2 56 St Marys Street Wallingford OX10 0EL 01491 832323

Hidden Beauty 8 Middle Row Chipping Norton OX7 5NH 01608 643862

Belle Hair & Beauty Bell House Bicester OX26 6JQ 01869 253636

Indigo Beauty Rooms TFD Health & Fitness T2 Southern Unit Grove OX12 9FA 07891 496684

Coco Hair & Beauty Courtney House 2 Lechlade Road Faringdon SN7 8AQ 07711 055559 Creations Hair & Beauty 6ab Milton Park Milton OX14 4RR 01235 831200 Emma Goodwin Hair & Makeup Rear of 81 High Street Entrance off of Castle Street Wallingford OX10 0BX 07583 371198 FM Hair Design 17 Stert Street Abingdon OX14 3JF 01235 532806


Maze Hair 11 Friday Court North Street Thame OX9 3GA 01844 218215 Philip Day Hairdressing 10a Mill Street Wantage OX12 9AQ 01235 760000 Refresh Hair Design 44 Wantage Road Didcot OX11 0BT 01235 818391 Segais Hair & Beauty 180 Broadway Didcot OX11 8RN 01235 223826

Segais Hair & Beauty 6 Grove Street Wantage OX12 7AA 01235 225522

Tao Beauty Salon 99 St. Aldates Oxford OX1 1BT 01865 249347

Style & Sophistication 3 The Pound Cholsey OX10 9NS 01491 651890

The House of Beauty & Wellbeing 1a Hagbourne Road, Didcot, OX11 8DP 07583 371198

Tangled Hair & Beauty Unit 6 Stanford Business Court High street Stanford in the Vale SN7 8LH 01367 718844

Tri Beauty Carriage House School Road Ardington OX12 8PQ 01235 834643

Bridal Wear 21 Dresses 21 Horton View Banbury OX16 9HW 01295 701161

Bridal Reloved 19 St Mary’s Street Wallingford OX10 0EW 01491 826699

Anna McDonald Bridal Gallery 24 Upper High Street Thame OX9 3EX 01844 214190

Butterfly Bridal Boutique 7A Deans Court Bicester OX26 6RD 01869 320556

Banbury Bridal 53 Parson Street Banbury OX16 5NB 01295 254621

Caroline Jane Couture 33a High Street Witney OX28 6HP 01993 772059

Bicester Bridal 15-17 Manorsfield Road Bicester OX26 6EH 01869 325500

Ellie Sanderson Bridal Boutique 1 Mill Street Eynsham OX29 4JX 01494 674440

Blossom Bridal 29 Market Square Witney OX28 6AD 01993 702259

We thank all these businesses for their support. Georgina Pimm Bridal Boutique 9 Corn Street Witney OX28 6DB 01993 704119 Mae Bridal Unit 4 Waterloo Walk Witney OX28 6EU 01993 706556

Special Touch Dry Cleaning 6 Wesley Walk High Street Witney OX28 6ZJ 01993 778510 The Bridal Barn The Barn Hagbourne Road Didcot OX11 8DP 07540 999865

Fitness & Weight Loss Ka Fitness 8-10 Grove Street Wantage OX12 7AA 01235 763333


tfd Health & Fitness Grove Technology Park Downsview Road Grove OX12 9FA 01235 772995

Bizzie Lizzie Flower Shop 6 Upper High Street Thame OX9 3ER 01844 212970

Flowers by Kirsty The Old Dairy Home Farm Ardington OX12 8PD 07966 666036

Charlton Park Garden Centre Charlton Road Wantage OX12 8EP 01235 772700

Flower Workshop 5 Besselsleigh Road Wootton Abingdon OX13 6DN 01865 739182

Discos & DJ’s

Classic Flowers 109b Corn Street Witney OX28 6AU 01993 703301

Freemans Flowers 137 Brasenose Road Didcot OX11 7BP 01235 814479

Dave Seamer Discos 46 Magdalen Road Oxford OX4 1RB 01865 240054

Fabulous Flowers 63 Banbury Road Oxford OX2 6PG 01865 511811

Jason’s Flowers 9 Elms Parade Botley OX2 9LG 01865 242923

Event Styling

Fabulous Flowers 9a Bridge Street Abingdon OX14 3HN 01235 520346

Jason’s Flowers 43 High Street Witney OX28 6HP 01993 702108

Ferry Lane Florist Norfolk House Ferry Lane Goring-on-Thames RG8 9DX 01491 871982

Jemini 1-2 The Covered Market Oxford OX1 3DU 01865 242726

Proposals Bridal Studio 102 Corn Street Witney OX28 6BU 01993 705080

Cakes The Cake Shop 13 Bridge Street Banbury OX16 5PN 01295 270447

The Bridal Box 198 Banbury Road Summertown OX2 7BY 01865 559272

The Cake Shop 123- 127 Avenue Four The Covered Market Oxford OX1 3DZ 01865 248691

The Wedding Emporium Banbury Upton Lodge Buildings Astrop Road Banbury OX17 2PJ 07969 728751

GfB The Wedding Directory 2018


Keri The Florist 1 Ayres Yard Station Road Wallingford OX10 0JZ 01491 838005 Penny Blossoms 6 Stort Close Didcot OX11 7UR 07723 586994

Pollen of Woodstock 16 High Street Woodstock OX20 1TF 01993 810888 Signature Flowers 20 Market Square Bicester OX26 6AD 01869 253572

Gift List

John Lewis Oxford 101 Westgate Oxford OX1 1PB 01865 268342

Honeymoon Great Experience Travel Waterloo Walk High Street Witney OX28 6EU 01993 627815

Menswear Domino Formal Hire 10 The Buttermarket Thame OX9 3EW 01844 217566

Shepherd & Woodward 109-113 High Street Oxford OX1 4BT 01865 249491

Henry’s Of Banbury 52 High Street Banbury OX16 7LH 01295 251044

The Cotswold Tailor 21b Oxford Street Woodstock OX20 1TH 01993 358284

Moss Hire Unit U17 Westgate Centre Oxford OX1 1PE 01865 202051

Walters of Oxford 10 Turl Street Oxford OX1 3DN 01865 241848

Mother of Lucy the Bride Louise Claire Millinery Bowler Millinery & 36 St Mary’s Street Wallingford OX10 0EU 01491 826244

The Hat Box Avenue 3 Covered Market Oxford OX1 3DY 01865 200844

Jewellers Coleman & Coleman 27 Market Place Wantage OX12 8AE 01235 762401 Lover’s Rock Diamonds Manor Farm Buildings Weston Road Watlington OX49 5RU 07917 347022

Peter Casey Jewellery Ltd 4 Wallingford Street Wantage OX12 8AX 01235 772907

Hilary’s Hat Hire Robin Cottage Studio 24 The Lane, May’s Close Fritwell OX27 7QW 01869 338387

Tourist Information Bicester Tourist Info Unit 86a Bicester Village Pringle Drive Bicester OX26 6WD 01869 369055

Wallingford Town Information Centre Town Hall Market Place Wallingford OX10 0EG 01491 826972

Michael Jones Jeweller 79-80 High Street Banbury OX16 5JG 01295 263540



Exeter Hall Oxford Road Kidlington OX5 1AB 01865 373691

Malmaison Oxford 3 Oxford Castle Oxford OX1 1AY 01865 268400

Badgemore Park Golf Club Henley on Thames RG9 4NR 01491 637302

Fison Barn Earth Trust Hill Farm Little Wittenham OX14 4QZ 01865 409429

Best Western Banbury House Hotel Oxford Road Banbury OX16 9AH 01295 259361

Hawkwell House Hotel Church Way Iffley Village Oxford OX4 4DZ 01865 749988

Mercure Banbury Whately Hall Horse Fair Banbury Cross Banbury OX16 0AN 01295 253261

Bicester Hotel Golf and Spa Chesterton OX26 1TE 01869 241204

Heythrop Park The Drive, Enstone Chipping Norton OX7 5UE 01608 673497

Ardington House Church Street Ardington OX12 8QA 01235 821566

Cherwell Boathouse Bardwell Road Oxford OX2 6ST 01865 552746 Cherwell Edge Golf Club Chacombe OX17 2EN 01295 711591 Cotswold Lodge Hotel 66A Banbury Road Oxford OX2 6JP 01865 512121

Jurys Inn Oxford Godstow Road Oxford OX2 8AL 07950 861797 Kingswell Hotel Reading Road Harwell OX11 0LZ 01235 833043

Lains Barn Grove Park Drive Ardington OX12 7QG De Vere Oxford Thames Hotel 01235 821460 Henley Road Littlebury Hotel Sandford on Thames Kings End Oxford Bicester OX4 4GX OX26 6DR 01865 334444 01869 252595 Eynsham Hall Macdonald Randolph North Leigh Hotel Witney Beaumont Street OX29 6PN Oxford 01993 885203 OX1 2LN 01865 256400 GfB The Wedding Directory 2018

Mercure Thame Lambert Arms London Road Aston Rowant Thame OX49 5SQ 01844 351496 Merriscourt Sarsden Chipping Norton OX7 6QX 01865 658585 Middle Aston House Middle Aston OX25 5PT 01869 340361 Milton Hill House Milton Hill Abingdon OX13 6AF 01235 825720 Oxford Town Hall Oxford City Council St. Aldates Oxford OX1 1BX 01865 252793 Oxford Witney Hotel Ducklington Lane Witney OX28 4EX 01993 779777

Phyllis Court Phyllis Court Drive Marlow Road Henley RG9 2HT 01491 570500 Principal Oxford Spires Hotel Abingdon Road Oxford OX1 4PS 01865 324 324 Salters Steamers Folly Bridge Oxford OX1 4LA 01865 243421 Steventon House Hotel Milton Hill OX13 6AB 01235 831223 Sudbury House Hotel 56 London Street Faringdon SN7 8AA 01367 245345 The Bear Hotel Market Place Wantage OX12 8AB 01235 766366 The Bear Hotel Park Street Woodstock OX16 9SZ 0344 8799143 The Beetle & Wedge Boathouse Ferry Lane Moulsford Wallingford OX10 9JF 01491 651381


The Bell at Hampton Poyle 11 Oxford Road Hampton Poyle Kidlington OX5 2QD 01865 376242 The Blue Boar 28 Market Square Witney OX28 6BH 01993 776353

The Holt Hotel Oxford Road Steeple Aston OX25 5QQ 01869 340259

The Westwood Hotel Hinksey Hill Oxford OX1 5BG 01865 735408

The Lamb At Buckland Lamb Lane Buckland SN7 8QN 01367 870484

Worton Hall Cassington OX29 4SU 01865 882644

The Bodleian Libraries Broad Street Oxford OX1 3BG 01865 277224

The Manor Country House Hotel Northampton Road Weston-on-the-Green OX25 3QL 01869 350621

The Chesterton Hotel Chesterton Road Chesterton OX26 1UE 01869 326550

The Oxford Belfry Hotel London Road Milton Common OX9 2JW 01844 277514

The Crazy Bear Hotel Bear Lane Stadhampton OX44 7UR 01865 890714

The Oxfordshire Rycote Lane Milton Common Thame OX9 2PU 01844 277 668

The Crown & Thistle Bridge Street Abingdon OX14 3HS 01235 522556

The Plough at Clanfield Bourton Road Clanfield OX18 2RB 01367 810222

The Dog House Hotel Frilford Heath Faringdon Road Abingdon OX13 6QJ 01865 390830

The Red Lion Hotel Hart Street Henley-on-Thames RG9 2AR 01491 572161

The George Hotel High Street Wallingford OX10 0BS 01491 836665

The Spread Eagle Hotel 16-17 Cornmarket Thame OX9 2BW 01844 213661

The Great Barn Upper Aynho Grounds Aynho Banbury OX17 3AY 01869 810823

The Tythe Barn Manor Farm Charbridge Lane Bicester OX26 4SR 01869 321442


Wroxton House Hotel Wroxton St. Mary OX15 6QB 01295 730777


27 August 2018 02 September 2018 16 September 2018 23 September 2018 07 October 2018 14 October 2018 21 October 2018

Eynsham Hall, North Leigh The Great Barn, Aynho Milton Hill House, Milton Hill The Crazy Bear Hotel, Stadhampton Heythrop Park, Enstone The Tythe Barn, Launton Lains Barn, Ardington

to save time on the day and claim your free VIB goody bag

Celebrate Your Special Day With Us! The perfect wedding venue to make your dreams come true. 01235 825720 Milton Hill, Abingdon, Steventon, Oxfordshire, OX13 6AF

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Guides for Brides - Oxfordshire Wedding Planning Guide - Autumn 2018  

The latest edition of the Oxfordshire Wedding Magazine is now available, bringing you the latest wedding venues, suppliers and planning tips...

Guides for Brides - Oxfordshire Wedding Planning Guide - Autumn 2018  

The latest edition of the Oxfordshire Wedding Magazine is now available, bringing you the latest wedding venues, suppliers and planning tips...