Can I just say? Intimate weddings are frickin’ amazing. Hands down the best thing to happen to weddings since doughnut walls. And definitely my favourite thing to come out of Lockdown (except Tiger King, obviously). Because with venues closed and big guestlists forbidden, small, intimate weddings suddenly became the norm. And now I’m pleased to say they’re here to stay.
And what’s not to love?! Celebrating your love in a way that’s right for you, surrounded by the people that really matter. Going with the flow, spending quality time with every guest. Actually enjoying your day! And on a sunny summer’s day in Oxford, that’s exactly what Jon and Ronja did.
They’d sorted out all the pesky ‘legal stuff’ separately, completely freeing themselves up to have the wedding day they really wanted. In fact, their whole day was basically an ‘intimate wedding’ advert. So let’s have a little look together at their incredible day. And I’ll show all the best things about having an intimate wedding.
You know that easy-breezy morning feeling you get on a holiday abroad? Padding your way past the pool to the buffet, sipping coffee in the sun without a care in the world. That was how the morning of Jon and Ronja’s wedding felt.
They’d booked an Airbnb on the outskirts of Oxford as their venue. So with the exception of a few suppliers putting on the finishing touches, we had the place all to ourselves. While Jon chatted in the sunshine with friends and family, Ronja was upstairs getting ready.
And let me tell you, she was the picture of a chilled-out bride! No stress or nerves, just super calm, super happy, and buzzing for the day. And this is a huge advantage of intimate weddings. Because you’re not feeling nervous about saying ‘I do’ in front of a hundred people. Or worried about whether you’ll make it to the venue on time. You’re just looking forward to seeing all your favourite humans, and excited to be marrying the love of your life.
Intimate weddings are a vibe, not a style. You’re choosing to have a more relaxed, intimate day. But it’s still allowed to be drop-dead gorgeous. And let’s be real, if you’re not feeding a hundred people, you can free up a lot more money for the styling pot!
Ronja set the tone for the day with a slinky, relaxed Iris slip dress from Halfpenny London, paired with the completely dreamy Issa shrug. The understated elegance of the dress, the modern and playful shrug, and the delicate white flowers in her twisted bun were all perfect for the relaxed and romantic atmosphere of the day. And of course, the bouquet was out of this world. An absolute explosion of colour and life that tied in her bridal look with the rest of the styling.
When she’d finished getting ready, we invited her parents in for a ‘first look’. And when they opened their eyes, it was simply magic. A moment of pure joy, overwhelming pride and excitement. It was a moment I know Ronja will never forget.
And this is what having an intimate wedding is all about. It’s about strippng away all the spectacle and traditions, so that you can truly savour the unforgettable moments like this.
Jon and Ronja had a beautiful outdoor ceremony in the sundrenched garden, led by one of their closest friends. Between the golden Cotswolds stone, the lavender overflowing from the flower beds and the warm summer sun, it felt like we could be in the south of France. And I loved the arch behind the altar too, decorated with the most spectacularly colourful florals. It was all just so peaceful, so pretty, and so completely romantic.
And the ceremony itself was perfect. The way Jon and Ronja looked at each other, the depth of love and affection shining through in their personally-written vows…they’re one of those couples who are just obviously made for each other, you know? And having a close friend do the ceremony made it all the more special. Someone who knew them, knew their love story, who’s invested in their happiness. It was how all wedding ceremonies should be.
When the ceremony was over, Jon and Ronja walked through a cloud of bubbles glinting rainbows in the sun. The look in their eyes, the happiness in their faces…as I said, perfect.
The wedding reception was loads of fun and super chilled. There wasn’t a seating plan, or anything too formal, we all just snacked on cheese and biscuits, had nibbles and hung out together in the garden with the venue’s 5 cats.
And with only 30 guests (35 including the cats), Jon and Ronja could spend as much time with every guest as they liked. There was none of this ‘doing the rounds’ you get at a bigger wedding, making sure they spent at least a bit of time with every guest. They were just spending time with everyone, laughing and joking in the sunshine and soaking it all in together as a couple.
After some hilarious and heartfelt speeches in the garden, I left Jon and Ronja to spend some more time with their guests and went scouting around for the perfect golden hour spot.
I always love the couple’s portraits session of a wedding day. Because whether you’ve got a handful of guests or a hundred, those precious few minutes together away from the crowds will be among your favourites of the day. You get to be intimate, be silly, talk about your future, dance, kiss, cuddle. You basically get to be a married couple by yourselves for the first time in your lives.
We were in the middle of a residential area, so I won’t lie, it was pretty slim pickings for golden hour shoot locations! But you know what? All you need is a field, a setting sun and a whole lotta love! I found the field, the sun was doing its thing, and Jon and Ronja brought the love. Suffice to say, these guys are generally just the best people in the world.
What I loved most about Jon and Ronja’s wedding was how welcoming they were. I was immediately made to feel like one of the family from the moment I arrived. And after an evening dancing with them under the stars, I really did feel like one of the family when I left! The whole day felt like a really special family get-together, and I felt so incredibly privileged to be a part of it.
However big or small your wedding is, it’s important to me as your wedding photographer that we have an awesome relationship. I want you to feel comfortable to be yourselves around me, let loose, have fun, and enjoy your day without ever feeling like you have to put on a show for the camera. I want to be a family member who takes photos.
If you love my work and think we might be the perfect fit, let’s have a chat and find out. Get in touch today and let’s get to know each other.
Venue: Lyne House Air BnB
Flowers: Fabulous Flowers Oxford
Wedding Dress: Halfpenny London
Wedding Hair: Zaneta Lichnova (Kevon murphy salon cowely road)
Macaroon Tower: The march hare bakery
November 22, 2022