Laura & Matt – Caswell House
I love exploring the UK and the wedding venues that it has to offer. I had the privilege of photographing Laura and Matt’s wedding at the beautiful Caswell House in Oxfordshire just before Christmas and it did not disappoint. The house, barns and grounds sit far back from the main road and are surrounded by parkland, rolling fields and even a moat so you feel like there’s no one really around. It definitely feels ‘exclusive’ as the website describes. And the winter sunshine showed it off perfectly with its landscaped gardens and Cotswold stone; I hope you agree with me that it’s a stunning venue and quintessentially English.
The ladies got ready in the Coach House and the atmosphere was cheery and upbeat which helped relax everybody into the day. Matt earned himself some serious brownie points with the gifts that were presented to Laura as she was getting ready – from a handmade bauble with a mini Lego Laura and Matt inside it to a large customised bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk with Laura’s married name emblazoned on it. Brilliant! I was impressed when Laura told me a month after the wedding that she still hasn’t tucked into it – that’s some serious self-control.
The wedding service was held at the very old (dating back to the 1100s), very grand and very beautiful Burford Church which looked lovely with its Christmas trees, fairy lights and the winter sun pouring through its windows. I love church weddings at Christmas as often the hymns chosen tend to be carols which are my absolute favourite and yes, I do sing loudly behind the viewfinder of my camera! After some brisk family photos (it was rather chilly) and the confetti tunnel, we sped off to Caswell House to meet the newly weds for their couple photos in the garden. As the sun was beginning to set, the light was to die for and we managed to make the most of it before it was time to join the rest of the wedding party inside for drinks and canapés.
Laura and Matt were very good at including their guests to be pro-active in making the wedding a fun event. They welcomed everyone to their wedding breakfast seat with a shot of Baileys which went down a treat. The kids at the wedding had Christmas chocolate reindeer favours which were definitely a highlight for them and even the babies got cuddly reindeer teddies. Everyone was encouraged to write their ‘guest book message’ on a white bauble and hang it on the Christmas tree so that in years to come, Matt and Laura’s own Christmas tree would be decorated with wedding wishes from their loved ones. And to add some hilarity to dinner, they appointed a Pie Master at each table whose responsibility it was to dish out the main meal (obviously pie) and wear a rather fetching customised apron all evening. All of these things got everyone in the party mood and it wasn’t long before crazy shapes were being thrown on the dance floor to celebrate the happy couple. What a gorgeous, fun and festive wedding to capture, enjoy!