Today we’ve got such a beautiful wedding to share with you guys, but we’re even more excited than usual.

Because not only did Liat & Ed marry in one of our very favourite English wedding venues, (Aynhoe Park), but their day was captured by a photographer who we’ve been (big!) fans of for a long time, Sarah Gawler.

Processional Photo | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 44

Aynhoe Park, a country house wedding venue in Oxfordshire, that’s equal parts elegant and eccentric (check out this shoot we featured last year), was the perfect backdrop for this couple who wanted something light, airy, outdoorsy and natural.

In keeping with the whimsical feel of their venue, Liat & Ed (with the help of Nerissa & Eve and Euphoric Flowers) created a day that was filled with fun, pretty, and personal touches.

Geronimo-style balloons, blooms and berries were accented with keys and apples for a quirky, mis-matched feel of pink and green hues. While special tributes were made to those who could not be present, and the women in Liat & Ed’s families.

Classic style, a unique venue, creative decor, and a beautiful ceremony; this wedding is such a fab example of how to have an impossibly elegant celebration, with heaps of personality too!

Wedding Day Snapshot

Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog

Our Love Story

We met at London Zoo at a mutual friend’s birthday party, went on our first date that week, and have been together ever since.

The friends, a couple, still maintain it was a setup…

Our wedding in three words? Elegant, light filled and nature inspired. 

Bride Getting Ready | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 19

Beautiful Bride | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 21

Pretty Wedding Stationery | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 5  Wedding Rings | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 6

Jimmy Choo Wedding Shoes | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 4

Bouquet Charm | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 76

The Inspiration

In an ideal world we would have got married in the woods.

British weather being what it is, we tried to keep everything as natural and light and airy as possible, from the venue to the colours and decor.

Aynhoe Park Wedding | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 1  Groom in Navy | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 10

Bridesmaid Bouquet | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 48

Candid Bridesmaid Picture | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 74

The Attire

My dress was a beautifully cut gown with a lace overlay by Suzanne Neville and my maids wore blush chiffon dresses by Coast. The flowers were mostly dahlias, roses and hydrangeas. 

Ed had a suit made bespoke for him by Dress 2 Kill, London and his groomsmen wore navy suits with matching blush ties and pocket squares.

Bridesmaids in Blush | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 73

Fan Wedding Programs | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 9  Unique Wedding Venue | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 11

The Venue

It was not at all traditional. We wanted somewhere we and our families could stay, and somewhere we could have everyone back the next day for a picnic and games. But country hotels tend to be stuffy and traditional.

We wanted somewhere fun, unique, in the countryside and with a boutiquey feel. The taxidermy polar bears inside and giant statues outside did the trick.

We also wanted lots of light, so the Georgian style house was perfect, and somewhere that would be full of light if we had to get married indoors because of the weather.

The beautiful orangery with its huge windows and white statues was perfect for that.

Cocktail Jars | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 14

Chalkboard Menu | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 12  Outdoor Cocktail Station | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 13

Berries and Blooms | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 17

Ceremony Arch | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 51

Cute Flower Girl | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 31  Adorable Page Boys | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 29

First Look Picture | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 34

The Ceremony

We had a celebrant marry us, which meant we could have a say in the wording, the readings – everything really.

She lives in my hometown of Henley so we could meet her and discuss it with her before hand – an option you don’t really get if you’re not having a religious wedding and opt for a registrar.

The words were therefore very personal. And there was a moment when we were saying our I dos when the sun finally came out and shone brightly on us – I hadn’t noticed at the time but everyone commented on it and you can spot it in the ceremony photos!

Bridesmaids and Flower Girl | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 38  Wedding Vows | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 40

Ring Cushion | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 39

Candle Lighting | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 41  Unity Candle | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 35

Favourite Moments

The ceremony was the best part of the day. Because it had been spitting with rain in the morning we couldn’t have chairs on the grass otherwise they might sink into the ground.

I was adamant we would have the ceremony outdoors against a lot of advice, but it ended up being really special – everyone stood up and gathered close during the ceremony.

So it ended up feeling a lot like how I’d always envisioned getting married – very casual, in the woods or on the beach, surrounded by our closest friends and family.

Otherwise, my brother’s reading, which was great, and my dad’s speech – he’s been dreading doing it pretty much since I was born, and turns out he’s a natural public speaker.

Doing a speech myself – like my dad, I was terrified, but it felt good to tell all my closest friends and family how much it meant to have them there and what Ed means to me.

Wedding Recessional | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 43

The Music

We had a duo playing swing/jazz music on violins for the wedding procession and drinks reception, with a live band and DJ in the evening.

First dance was Ho Hey by the Lumineers – we were not particularly elegant dancers and may have jumped around quite a bit in the chorus, but we had fun!

Bridal Portraits | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 89

Bride & Groom | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 88

The Photography

All of Sarah’s photographs are incredibly beautiful of course, but also filled with light and softness – also helps that she is an incredibly great person.

Strapless Wedding Dress | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 90

Candid Wedding Picture | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 91

Unique Wedding Photo | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 86

Paper Straws | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 47  Pimms Cocktail Hour | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 45

Personalised Cocktail Jars | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 49

The Refreshments

For the cocktail hour we had Pimms, Champagne and elderflower fizz with canapés (Tuna Sashimi, Wasabi Mayo and Pickled Pink Ginger; Monkfish Ceviche, Pink Peppercorn and Shallot Vinaigrette; Mini Cornish Crab Cakes, Saffron Aioli; Macadamia Crusted Chicken Strips, Pineapple Salsa)

Then a sit down dinner of Devonshire Crab, Crayfish and Asparagus Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Dressing, Duo of Lamb, Confit Shoulder and Honey Roast Rack, Boulangère Potatoes, Summer Peas, Beans and Baby Carrots, Tarragon Beurre Blanc. 

For dessert, a Cocktail of Roasted Madagascan Vanilla Pannacotta, Pink Prosecco Jelly, Crushed Raspberry Sorbet. 

The cake was a two tier ombre cake of pink and green topped with flowers – Part white chocolate meringue buttercream victoria sponge, part rose cake with raspberry meringue buttercream and lemon curd.

Later we had wood fire pizza for a midnight snack. 

Photobooth Props | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 50  Outdoor Flower Arrangements | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 46

Geronimo Balloon Wedding Decor | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 69

Chivari Chairs Wedding Decor | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 65  Sweet Wedding Flowers | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 55

Quirky Wedding Flowers | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 64

The Decor & Details

We had popcorn favours to represent the snack we first shared together the day we met at the zoo and a table of sweet treats from our local sweet shop.

Decorations to the entrance hall included a small tree on which we hung photographs of relatives on their own wedding days.

The place cards on the tables were green apples with personalised name tags. “The table names were all maiden names of the women in our families. It was a nice way to remember them particularly as my aunt and my mother couldn’t be there.”

Pink and Green Wedding | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 68

Teacup Wedding | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 61  Quirky Wedding Venue | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 67

Apple Escort Cards | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 70

Card Table | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 84  Seating Plan | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 82

Travel Themed Wedding Postcards | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 83

Advice for Other Couples

The day after the wedding we had a picnic and games on the house grounds and invited everyone – if you can do anything similar I would definitely recommend it as it’s a lovely chance to catch up with people you might not have had the chance to on the wedding day when it’s so hectic.

A lot of people stayed over near the venue as well, so it was easy for many to join for a few hours and the kids loved it.

Wedding Cake | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 71

Wedding Meringues | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 79  Sweet Table | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 80

The Honeymoon

We left for honeymoon the evening after the wedding – it was great to escape straight away and stay on a high!

We went on safari in South Africa, Chitwa Chitwa, and then to the Seychelles for two weeks – it was a real adventure followed by some seriously relaxing quality time, perfect. 

Cutting the Cake | Elegant & Whimsical Wedding | Sarah Gawler Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 92

Isn’t it wonderful? Did you spot that unique ring cushion? And have you read Liat’s rundown of the catering? Wow, it made us hungry at the mere thought of it! (Pretty jealous at the sound of that honeymoon too!)

Thanks so much to the amazing Sarah Gawler, and the lovely Liat & Ed for sharing their whimsical wedding with us.

Be inspired by more Chic + Unique Wedding Days

Photographer: Sarah Gawler / Venue: Aynhoe Park / Bride’s Dress: Suzanne Neville / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Groom’s Attire: Dress 2 Kill / Groom's Shoes: Loake / Bridesmaid Dresses: Coast / Planner/Stylist: Nerissa & Eve / Flowers: Euphoric Flowers / Videography: Jeff Wood Visuals / Cake Baker: Ceri Olofson / Invitations & Stationery: Pirrip Press / Ceremony Musicians: The Gypsy Pearls / Band: Super Crazy