A Locally Sourced & Relaxed Wedding: Kelly & James

“Love, laughter, friends & family” said Kelly when I asked her about her wedding theme. “Through all the help and support we had leading up to the day, we knew this would be our ‘theme’. It was important to us to make sure everyone enjoyed themselves. For us, it wasn’t about having a particular style or colour running through the flowers – it was just about being true to us as a couple and a family.”

Kelly & James were married at Braziers Park School in Oxfordshire, “I guess the inspiration for the day was making it about us and the things that are important to us which is basically family, friends and good food,” Kelly continued. “I am a big believer in things happening for a reason and so many things leading up to our wedding seemed like they were meant to be and felt so right!”

“We had been to see various wedding venues and just didn’t ‘click’ with them, as soon as we left Braziers Park, James and I could both immediately could see the day happening there. The fact that it was so close to where we first kissed made it even more special. We had been to some other stunning venues but felt like we were on a bit of a conveyor belt and that we wouldn’t have much of an opportunity to do things the way that we wanted.”

“At the beginning of the year of my best friends recently chose to become a wedding celebrant and offered to hold our ceremony for us. It was absolutely perfect and we felt very honoured that she was able to do it for us. It made the whole experience so personal.”

The bride wore a stunning Linea Raffaelli wedding gown which she bought second hand from a friend and customised by adding antique lace straps. “When we decided to get married my now Sister-in-law mentioned that a friend had a dress for sale,” Kelly explained. “I had seen a picture but wasn’t sure it was right for me but thought I should go along and try it as everyone said you should try all styles. When I tried it on I was really surprised how much I loved it as it was nothing like the image of the dress I thought I would wear. The dress was originally strapless but with 3 young children I just wasn’t sure it would work, so chose to have straps added. I met with a lovely local dressmaker and worked with her to choose the style of strap. I now think the antique lace straps made the dress and I love the fact that I was able to make it my own with it being a 2nd hand dress! I vowed to make the most of being in my dress as you only get to wear it once and said right from the start I wouldn’t be precious about wearing it. With the bonfires and camping it was a good job! I even ended up sleeping in it in our tent!”

After the ceremony, the wedding guests were treated to a delicious meal of local produce. “James works in the catering industry, running a local restaurant – which is actually where we met, so the food on the day was really important to us. Right from the start we wanted a meal that was relaxed, could be shared, and passed around to get our guests chatting. We wanted to move away from the formal fussy sit down. We chose to have 3 long tables rather than a number of tables as we loved the idea of a banquet/feast! We were fortunate enough that his boss helped us with the catering and put on an amazing spread of food, not only in the day but also the evening with large roast joints of pork on the open fire, chicken & lentil dahl & falafel flatbreads.”

The evening was rounded off with a campfire, dancing to an all girl rockabilly band and finally many of the guests camping over night! “We chose to have the band that we did after a recommendation when we had said we didn’t want to have a typical ‘wedding band’. It was great to have something different and I’m pretty sure all our guests loved them too! The camping was a big thing for us as well, most venues that you go to have to come to an end at some point and the camping allowed us to carry on with friends to the early hours of the morning.”

“The things that were truly important to James and I were keeping the day simple and about the things that we love and enjoy,” the bride concluded. “We wanted our guests to feel relaxed and we weren’t fixed on keeping in traditions for traditions sake. We thought about the things that were important to us i.e. rings as a symbol or our commitment and my Dad proudly walking me down the aisle and ignored the things that weren’t like cutting a cake or having a head table. It’s amazing the amount of people that look at you strangely when you say you’re not having those things. If I could give anyone getting married advice it would be to keep to what you want and don’t worry about what other people think. We just really wanted to have the most amount of fun possible with all the people we like spending time with.”

Isn’t this just utterly wonderful! Just the kind of wedding I’d love to attend. Thank you so much to Kelly & James and their fabulous photographer Joanna Millington for sharing this with us today.

Supporting Cast:

Photography Credit: Joanna Millington Photography
Venue: Braziers Park School
Bride’s Dress: Linea Raffaelli
Bride’s Shoes: Kurt Geiger
Groom’s Outfit: Reiss
Flowers: Cherubs Flowers & DIY (archway)
Hair:Make Up:
Band: The Jolenes
Stationery: Butterscotch Design (friend)


  1. Sam

    Absolutely stunning wedding! I never comment on these blogs usually, but I thought the simplicity of this was so beautiful. As a bride to be myself I’ve found it really hard not to get caught up in all the wedding ‘must haves’ and high price tags that come with them all. I think the couple were confident enough to stand their ground and create an amazing day for them and their family to enjoy without all the frills. I feel really inspired by it! Like I should take a step back and re-evaluate my wedding and what’s important to us. Lovely wedding. Love the dress too 🙂 Congratulations! xx

  2. Wow! It’s so good to see these pics again and re-live what was a totally beautiful and amazing day. I am the friend of Kelly and James who was also the Celebrant (a complete honour to be asked!). Joanna Millington captures the spirit of the day perfectly. It was romantic, wonderfully relaxed and truly reflected who these gorgeous people are. Magical day in every way! Thank you so much for featuring it 🙂 x

  3. Wonderful, just how a wedding should be unique, personal and full of meaning. Great advice about going with what is right for you, people always love events full of personality and character and you always feel happier and relaxed doing things that are true to your own priorities and values. Fantastic! How about featuring more details about the content of ceremonies so that brides to be can think about what they’d like?

  4. Kelly

    It’s funny to see our wedding day on here and to hear such lovely comments from people – for us it was just the most perfect day. It’s nice to have a tribute to all the people that helped make the day so special. A big thank you to Christabel Saunders for holding our ceremony and making it truly personal. (I should have added her to the supporting cast!). 🙂

  5. Sama Goldie

    Ahem. I love this wedding- I want this wedding! Trying so hard to find a relaxed, rustic venue like this in Kent where people can mingle under festoon lights and help themselves to a beer from a wheelbarrow. Bliss 🙂

  6. I love to work with cream & green such fresh colours…I loved the simple bouquets too and the photography. Its a shame it never stays that mild up here in Manchester as I am sure we would have plenty of weddings like this… Pretty very pretty

  7. Lucy

    What a beautiful wedding. They all look blissfully happy! The bride and the bridesmaid pic melted my heart!

  8. Rosie

    This is just lovely. It looks as though it just ‘fell’ together in a perfect and special way. I particularly love how the dress suits the venue so well…excellent photography as well!

  9. I think this is one of the loveliest weddings I’ve ever seen, there’s not one bit I don’t like about it – so natural, relaxed and down-to-earth 🙂

  10. River

    Love this one. Lovely place to get married, it’s really pretty. Nice photography too! 🙂

  11. Lauren

    ahhh what a beautiful wedding…you all look like you had a fabulous time…so happy and relaxed. I especially love the photo of the bride and the little flower girl. Its amazing how a photograph can capture such perfect moments 🙂

    A little random question for Kelly…
    Just wondering if you may be able to find out where one of your guests/wedding party got her dress from (image description alcock 134, middle photo 11 lines from bottom!)
    The lady second from left is wearing the most beautiful taupe dress with floaty sleeves and lots of sequins. It would be perfect for a charity ball I’m organising in March.

    If you could let me know I would be very grateful.
    Thank-u xx

  12. Amy Mckenzie

    These pictures are absolutely stunning. You all look like you had the most wonderful day!
    Kelly, where did you find those beautiful antique lace straps? They really made the dress and I am looking for some similar x


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