One of the most beautiful weddings I’ve photographed recently was Kate and Sam’s gorgeous Blenheim Palace wedding. There were a so many things I loved about this wedding! Blenheim Palace is a magical venue. The late afternoon light was stunning. Plus the couple were so photogenic and relaxed in front of the camera they were so much fun to photograph.

The ceremony took place at Saint Nicolas Church, a village church situated on the outskirts of Oxford in the small village of Forest Hill. This Norman church has been standing for nearly 900 years. Despite the rain, it was a lovely setting in a part of Oxford that most people don’t get a chance to visit.

A vintage Routemaster bus hired from First Choice Wedding Cars whisked the guests to the venue for the reception –this was a nice touch and ensured everyone got there safely and it meant that the good times continued to roll! The venue was the spectacular Blenheim Palace specifically the Orangery.  The venue boasts grand architecture and elegant design. Historically it was used as a store for orange trees and then as a private theatre. Now, its light and airy feel make it a perfect venues for weddings!

The Orangery overlooks the Duke of Marlborough’s private Italian Garden which is an exquisitely landscaped formal garden. Due to the rain the guests mainly stayed indoors but luckily later in the day it brightened up and I was able to get some fantastic shots of the newlyweds in front of the prestigious grand house.

One interesting detail is that Kate, the bride, is Russian. Her parents had flown over especially from Russia, along with many family members who had never met Kate’s parents before. Among the table decorations were numerous small Russian dolls which provided a reminder of Kate’s homeland and a splash of bright colour. Overall the colour theme was a light pastel one, with the flowers for bouquets provided by Jemini based in the Oxford Covered Market, and the bridesmaids dressed in a pretty pale green shade.

Bride, groom and guests had a wonderful time as the pictures show – and so did I! Here’s what Kate had to say about her photographs:

“It took us some time before choosing our photographer. I searched online for different photographers, their work and reviews. When I saw your website I really liked your work. When looking at your photos, you can definitely say that you know what you are doing. This also made my day even more special when I saw the photos. Every one that attended our wedding agrees that you are a brilliant photographer. Also you are really easy going, which made the photo shoots feel natural. For example, Sam does not do photo shoots and could feel rather uncomfortable. However, he actually really enjoyed himself during your photo shoots. He felt comfortable and confident. Also, we have recommended you to all of our friends!”



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Flowers: Jemini
Wedding car: Wedding Car Hire
Bus: First Choice
Bridesmaids Dresses & Accessories: Fresh Oxford
DJ: Regency Entertainment



  • Jordan Totney - February 23, 2017 - 10:26 am

    Lovely wedding and some amazing photos. Everything looked stunning. Congratulations to Kate and Sam and all the best to them in the future.ReplyCancel

  • Samuel Waters - February 18, 2017 - 12:30 am

    She was so happy on her wedding day! Best day ever!ReplyCancel

  • Jenny Owens - January 18, 2017 - 10:49 am

    What an amazing venue and gorgeous couple!ReplyCancel

  • Sue Ann Simon - November 15, 2016 - 3:25 pm

    WOW! Kate and Sam had the perfect wedding day at Blenheim Palace!! Beautiful photography, Rachel! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Emma Gates - November 14, 2016 - 8:14 pm

    Simply beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Michael Maurer - November 14, 2016 - 6:11 pm

    Some great shots in here, Rachel. What a stunning venue!ReplyCancel

  • Zoe Emilie - November 14, 2016 - 10:35 am

    Great set Rachel!!ReplyCancel

  • Amy-Leigh - November 14, 2016 - 10:19 am

    Lovely set of photographs Rachel!ReplyCancel

  • Kelsie - November 14, 2016 - 10:17 am

    Lovely photographs and what a beautiful venue!!ReplyCancel


It was a pleasure to photograph the wedding on Sammi and Lewis recently. One thing that really stood out about this wedding for me was the beautiful, low-key surroundings. It really was a relaxed wedding in unpretentious settings.

The couple chose to hold their ceremony in the beautiful Grade II listed 13th century St Lawrence Church in Toot Baldon, five miles south east of Oxford. Toot means ‘look out place’ in Old English. It is indeed a lovely place to enjoy the view and spend time in quiet reflection. The church was restored to Gothic Revival-style designs by the architect Henry Woodyer in 1865.

The Church is situated at the end of a long chestnut avenue and enjoys beautiful views over the South Oxfordshire countryside. It was certainly a photographer’s dream, both inside and out! Sammi and Lewis looked gorgeous as they made their vows and exchanged rings in this peaceful and idyllic historic setting.

The reception took place at Lewis’ parents’ farm situated very close to the church. I loved the rustic feel and the large marquee they had erected for the wedding. The decorations were simple, comprising mainly of flowers including exquisite peonies, and cute pompoms.

We headed outside for some portraits of the couple against the backdrop of rolling hills and fields as far as the eye can see. Another great location we took advantage of was a field of crops which added visual interest to many of the shots and made it look as if the couple had stumbled upon a secluded paradise of their own!

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The details were also what helped make this wedding very special. There were different bottles of gin on each table. The wedding cake featured edible models of the bride and groom and their two much-loved dogs. In the unpretentious style beloved of this couple, there was even a burger hut set up outside the marquee! Perfect for the munchies and for the evening guests to enjoy.

The wedding entertainment was provided by The Heat Music, a covers band who mix Soul and Pop anthems with the latest chart hits.

This was a wedding of wonderful details and an authentic style that remained true to the personalities of Sammi and Lewis. A real pleasure to photograph. Hope you enjoy photographs of their wedding as much as I enjoyed taking them!


Makeup – http://www.jg88makeup.co.uk/weddings
Hair – https://oxfordshireweddinghair.co.uk/
Cake – https://www.facebook.com/HollyMurphysCakes/
Flowers – http://www.forevergreenthame.co.uk/
Band – http://www.theheatmusic.co.uk/music/theheat.html
Evening Catering – http://www.goujonmonkey.com/




  • Niki - November 14, 2016 - 1:21 am

    It was a beautiful wedding, thank you for posting.ReplyCancel

  • Zoe - October 24, 2016 - 12:53 pm

    Gorgeous wedding, what a dream to shoot such a lovely couple! Great work 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Emma - October 24, 2016 - 12:38 pm

    Wow, this is such a nice wedding! I absolutely love the couples photos – they look so happy together and you’ve captured their emotions so beautifully.ReplyCancel

Being an Oxford wedding photographer really has its perks. One of the best is photographing at the beautiful College Chapels, steeped in history, tradition and an atmosphere of learning. I’ve photographed at so many colleges but some weddings really stand out. Alix and Chris’ was one such memorable wedding.

The ceremony took place in Hertford College Chapel. It was a meaningful venue for Alix as she studied there and couldn’t be better placed right in the heart of Oxford. The Chapel itself is traditional in its style and was built in 1908. It is known for being a quiet and serene spot despite its central location. It has a perfect acoustic, and is home to the musical life of Hertford College.

Speaking of music, for Alix’s entrance, they had the Hornpipe from Handel’s Water Music. During the ceremony, they sang the rousing anthem Jerusalem, and during the signing of the register, they had Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring, and for our exit, they had the Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, also by Handel.

Visually the colours of the wedding were corals, pinks and peonies – a stunning, bold palette which is reflected in the bouquets, table decorations, invitation cards and bridesmaids’ dresses. Alix’s favourite colour is coral and she chose the bridesmaids’ dresses as not only the perfect complement to her dress but because she knew that with the lace detailing and the V detail on the neckline, it would look very flattering on all three bridesmaids.

Alix’s gorgeous dress is an all-over lace design in ivory by Lusan Mandongus, with cap-sleeves, a deep V-neck and lace back. She customised the dress by removing the peplum detail and replacing it with a jewelled ivory belt.

For the reception, Hertford College took on a romantic atmosphere, with candles lighting the dining room during the wedding breakfast and speeches. For the first dance, the couple chose ‘Rather Be’ by Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne – a meaningful song for them that reminds them of the time that Chris proposed in 2014. The lift they’d been rehearsing was alright on the night – luckily, because one of the rehearsals at home ended with Alix on the floor!

The wedding had a very fun and playful vibe, as is apparent from the smiles all around. With just the right blend of tradition and unique twists on old favourites, Alix and Chris’ wedding was a joy to photograph and I hope they will cherish the pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Dress- Teokath

Makeup – Natasha French

Jewellery – Glitzy Secret

Flowers- The Garden

Band- Super Spokes

Cake –  Pork Pie Cake from Toppings Pies and three single-tier cakes from Cupcake Baker

Wedding Favours – Partridge & Bell

Customised Guestbook – Grandad’s Potting Shed

Stationery – Real Unique , Norma & Dorothy and Old English Company.

  • Zo Taylor - October 18, 2016 - 5:33 pm

    A beautiful set Rachel, the chapel looks gorgeous! xReplyCancel

  • Aaron - October 18, 2016 - 4:05 pm

    Such a beautiful comprehensive collection of photos! Gorgeous storytelling and perfect presentation/editing .Love it!ReplyCancel

  • Genevieve ( Miss Gen ) - October 18, 2016 - 3:52 pm

    This is so cute! love the tandem bikeReplyCancel

I’ve photographed a number of weddings in recent years in which the bride was not wearing a traditional white (or ivory) wedding dress. It’s lovely to see brides being more confident about making a break with tradition, expressing their own personal style or sometimes for cultural or religious reasons. With any wedding, what’s important is that the bride feels and looks her best, and is wearing an outfit that reflects who she is as a woman about to embark on this life-changing journey. I had a lot of fun photographing the wonderful wedding of Annie and Ed. Her pale blue wedding dress not only looked amazing but had a family story behind it, too. Her dress was hand-made by her mother and she walked herself down the aisle. The style clearly reflects a woman who revels in both her independence and close ties with family. Annie teamed the handmade dress with a silk coat that had been made for her in Nepal. The look was finished with a coordinating waistcoat worn by Ed, and you have a very special and memorable day for the couple and all their guests. The picture below is from Sarah and Nigel’s wedding. The couple’s origins are in Hong Kong, and they wanted to honour cultural tradition by having a traditional tea ceremony be part of their wedding day. A costume change was required and Sarah donned this beautiful red number instead just for this portion of the day. Cate and Layla’s wedding made a break from tradition. The brides plumped for a complementary green and purple colour combination, tied in with matching purple bouquets. The choices were flattering and elegant to both brides individually and as a couple. They looked really fantastic and it was a bold and brilliant choice. Another bold style choice was from Vanda, whose wedding to Terry a couple of years ago remains one of the most unique I have ever shot! What made it so visually appealing was the incredible red and pink dress Vanda wore which she coordinated a vintage lace veil. She looked so full of joy and was positively brimming with confidence. No wonder she looked so happy – she made the dress herself. Anjala and David’s wedding was one with a cultural element, as the couple wanted to honour Anjala’s Indian background – and David’s English one. Anjala wore a gorgeous navy blue embroidered salwar kameez and David wore a top hat, a nod to English traditions. Aparna and Janos actually had two ceremonies as part of their day’s celebration, with both bride and groom changing outfits for the Hindu ceremony. Aparna wore a red and gold sari, and Janos a traditional sherwani, both complete with the floral garland known as varmala. Something as bold as a colourful wedding dress will have your friends and family talking about your wedding for years to come! It will always stand out in their minds. Also what’s lovely is that you can wear your ‘wedding’ dress time and time again at parties, anniversary bashes or any other special events. If this is the dress that you’ve fallen in love with, or even made yourself, then why not get more than one wear out of it?

I am feverish with excitement waiting for wedding season 2016 to begin! I can’t wait for an end to the wet, gloomy, cold days and the start of long summer’s evenings that melt into balmy nights; as well as ice creams, Pimms, aimless walks in the countryside punctuated by picnics; beach trips, glamping, festivals and of course, more wonderful weddings to shoot!

Looking back on last summer’s weddings, I came across the lovely Emily and Simon’s August 2015 wedding, they had their ceremony at the Convocation House in the Bodleian  Library and the reception at Cherwell Boat House, Oxford. The Cherwell Boat House is a uniquely quirky wedding venue and lays claim to some interesting history too. The River Cherwell was home to the very first ‘pleasure punts’ in the 1860s because of its ideal setting, being shallow, slow moving and relatively free of other traffic. Punting was considered terribly befitting for the gentle entertainment of young ladies studying at the all-female Oxford colleges.

Times have changed, but the charm and history of the place remain. Now the boat house has a well-deserved reputation as a premier wedding venue with a twist where guests can still enjoy Pimms and punting as part of the day’s celebrations. The marquee accommodates between 20 – 125 guests in a variety of formats. The restaurant seats up to 75 guests and offers a fine dining experience. Emily and Simon opted for the marquee, which they decorated with punting made from African fabrics that Emily has imported and sells in her own Etsy shop, The Elephant Fabric Company.

I found that the activity of punting was a great way of capturing some great candid shots, which I absolutely love to do. I am passionate about documentary photography as I really enjoy people-watching and being able to capture the moments that make each wedding special. I aim to portray the wonderful candid smiles and interactions between people that make a wedding day beautiful. While guests were getting in and out of boats, catching up on gossip, enjoying a drink or taking their own shots of the day’s activities, I was there to capture their sunny smiles and delight.

It is standard for wedding photographers to take posed, formal shots of each guest with the couple, but I find this can look very staid and samey if it is all you’re doing! I prefer to create images of everyone having fun and enjoying the rare occasion of family and friends coming together for a joyful celebration of love. I hope that my candid shots continue to inspire Emily and Simon, and their guests, to relive their wedding day over and over again, and recall the great things that happened on that day.

  • Jordan - February 27, 2017 - 6:11 pm

    Congratulations! These photographs are amazing, very stunning outfits and venue. wish you all the best!ReplyCancel