On a beautiful, sunny day in the middle of last year's heatwave, Claire and Ellen said "I do" at Stratton Court Barn in Oxfordshire. They decided to forgo tradition and instead did things their own way! They chose to have tacos before their ceremony served outside as their guests arrived, a Chinese tea ceremony during the wedding itself and even had team games culminating in an epic tug of war. Their wedding was truly unique! Much of the day was homemade by both the couple and their wonderfully talented friends - from the pottery vases on the tables to the hand drawn picture replicating one of their pre wedding photos! The DIY touches around the venue made the decor very personal and unique.
Claire and Ellen exchanged vows outdoors in the courtyard at Stratton Court Barn - a picture-perfect setting. The flowers provided by Signature Flowers decorated the aisle and alter beautifully and the brides carried matching bouquets. They opted for complimenting outfits in a stunning royal blue, made from the same material but each in their own unique style. Claire's parents walked both brides down the aisle and it was a truly moving moment as all four arrived at the alter. In a nod to tradition these wonderful ladies chose to surprise Claire's parents with a Chinese Tea Ceremony. Bailey, the couples wonderful dog also attended as ring bearer with his own outfit handmade by a friend! The brides had also written their own vows which were incredibly touching and there wasn't a dry eye in the house by the time they had finished!
Fun & Games!
Claire and Ellen decided against traditional wedding entertainment and instead chose to devise their own team games - the guests wedding invitations even told them to bring trainers! After rounds of charades, a quiz to find out which team knew the couple best, welly wanging the games culminated in an epic tug of war!
Time to Eat
After all that activity, everyone had certainly built up an appetite, and they were treated to a feast whilst another Chinese tradition took place. Instead of the typical 3 or 4 speeches, Claire and Ellen had asked all their guests to prepare some words about the couple and during the meal the couple went round the tables to each guest whilst these words were said and then had their own "reply" to let everyone know what each guest meant to them. It was a unique and beautiful way to include everyone in the celebration! Claire and Ellen chose to bring their favourite Harrods cakes with them from London and they were delicious! I will forever be on the hunt for that honey cake!
Afterwards, Claire and Ellen took some time to themselves for couples portraits against the backdrop of a glowing sunset.
Serenading & Jazz Lounge
Claire chose to serenade her new wife instead of having a first dance in front of their guests – an incredibly romantic gesture that brought tears to many eyes! Later on they opened up their bar area which had been transformed into an incredible jazz lounge with live performances throughout the evening.
Claire and Ellen’s wedding was truly one for the books! They chose to go against tradition and make their special day unique as they celebrated their new marriage surrounded by friends and family. What an unforgettable day it must have been!