Liz and Aleks have known each other since school and had the same circle of friends. Aleks went to university in London, but the two were reunited four years later, and have been inseparable ever since. Aleks surprised Liz with an eight-course dinner with a wine at the Lamb Inn in Burford for the proposal, while the ring (Brooker and Breeze, Wallingford) had been custom-made to Liz's specifications. When it came to organising the wedding, the couple show an enviable combination of command of detail and desire to have fun. It took them a year to organise the wedding, with plenty of help from friends and family.
Here, the bride tells us more about their special day...
The dressed showed off my waist and I felt comfortable in it. I didn't feel like I was pretending to be a princess or anything too girlie. With the boots and the dress on I felt like I looked like a bride but that I could also dance and move in it.
As we wanted boots to go with the short-cut dress, we had to find a pair that looked bridal. Luckily we found a pair with cream lace detail in America and had them shipped over.
To continue the rustic theme, we asked for meadow flowers, seed pods, twigs and even fruits such as blackberries to be included in each flower arrangement. The only ones we altered were the flowers hanging from the ceiling – these needed to be secured the night before and Keri our florist suggested foliage that would survive well. She was wonderful and understood what we wanted right from the start.
We draped muslin and fairylights with hanging flowers and candles around the barn. We wanted to ensure it had plenty of greenery which created an almost 'enchanted forest' look.
We wanted a slightly darker, twilight theme to the cake. As I'm a primary school teacher we went with an The Owl and the Pussycatthemed cake, but to personalise it the cat was based on our own pet cat Elvis and our pet parrot Izzy. We chose to move away from tradition and went for a layer of lemon drizzle and a layer of coconut.
The day ended with a 30-minute aerial display of the birds. Having the birds of prey for people to hold and the aerial display was a bit of a gamble but people absolutely loved it. Everyone got involved and wanted to hold the birds and the display had everyone enthralled. It was a bit unusual but it provided something truly memorable.
We can see the hill where our photos were taken every day on our drive in and out of work, so it had sentimental value for both of us.
Rather than the usual wedding favours we wanted to go for something a little more useful, so I created a 'wedding survival kit' – bags containing things like pain killers, teabags, mints and many other things to use during the reception or to help recover afterwards.
Birds of prey
Millets Farm Falconry
Bride's hair and make-up
Chiltern Hog Roast
Flowers and props
Keri the Florist
Nigel Chapman Photography
Wedding night accommodation
The Lamb Inn, Burford
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