City of dreaming lovers

Sarah O'Rourke, 27, married Toby Cross, 30, at St Aloysius Church, Oxford, with a reception at Wadham College and the Oxford Union, on 6th August 2016.

Sarah and Toby had almost crossed paths a number of times – Sarah had even been to Toby's house – before they finally met in Oxford at a friend's birthday party. Their first proper date was in the Jericho bar, where they connected over their shared love of music, and romance soon blossomed going out to fairs and for pizza. It was just after Sarah's birthday, on a trip out to a Warwickshire stately home, that Toby proposed in the Rose Garden – and they celebrated their engagement with dinner at a Marco Pierre White restaurant. “I was very shocked and not expecting it at all,” says Sarah. It took the couple about a year and half to organise the wedding as Sarah was finishing a postgraduate course, and unusually, there were three locations: St Aloysius for the ceremony, Wadham College for the wedding breakfast, and the Oxford Union for music and dancing. While the evening's entertainment was easy to sort out, the church and college were a little trickier – but they got there in the end. Here, Sarah tells us more about their big day...

City of dreaming lovers: Image 1
My family are Catholic and it was very important to have a Catholic wedding. We also loved the central location and St Aloysius was a church I went to when I was younger.


City of dreaming lovers: Image 2aToby definitely enjoyed trying on different suits! In the end we decided on the colour and style together.

City of dreaming lovers: Image 2 I tried on quite a lot of dresses, and as I am tall, I found that a fitted one was necessary as the big ones made me look very big! I loved the vintage feel to the gown and it was so sparkly too.


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Toby booked a rickshaw for us to get from the church to the dinner. It was a complete surprise and one of my favourite parts of the day! I loved how Toby and I had some private time in Oxford in our wedding gear – it was very special.


City of dreaming lovers: Image 4aFor the bouquets, I wanted a vintage look with plenty of foliage; I had white roses and baby's breath.

City of dreaming lovers: Image 4 For the reception, we created lace table runners and large jars with flowers in, with lots of candles and lavender. We didn't really need to decorate the dinner room as it's very grand.


City of dreaming lovers: Image 5
My mother went to Wadham College and it was such a privilege to be able to celebrate our wedding in an Oxford college. We loved how big and light it was.


City of dreaming lovers: Image 6aToby's mum is an amazing baker and she and Toby's sister Josie made the cake. It was just beautiful. We didn't manage to have any unfortunately as we were too busy partying with our guests!

City of dreaming lovers: Image 6 Having Oxford as our setting made the day amazing. The college was very special as it's not open to the public, but the Oxford Union was a great venue and this is open to anyone. We'd really recommend them.


City of dreaming lovers: Image 7
We had a ceilidh band for entertainment, which was the best part of the day. It went so well. People loved having something to get them dancing.


Sarah and Toby's contact book

Bride's dress
Anna McDonald

Bridesmaids' dresses

Bridesmaids' hair

Ceremony venue

Wonder Booth


Evening venue
Oxford Union

Extra catering
White Rabbit Pizza

Groom's suit

Dale Stephens Photography

Reception venue and catering

Oxon pedals

Wedding night accommodation


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