Real Wedding: An Elegant Oxford Library Ceremony with a Pronovias Wedding Dress
The elegant venue worked perfectly with the classic gold, ivory and white colour scheme, with the simplistic palette allowing the spectacular venue do all the talking, negating the need for dramatic decorations.
Ben and Kary invited 80 guests to celebrate with them at their winter wedding, with Kary wearing a gorgeous Pronovias wedding dress, perfectly suited to their surroundings.
Photographer | Sarah Gawler
How They Met
Kary and Ben met at university in Oxford, and used their meeting place as inspiration for their wedding day, deciding to tie the knot at <a href="http://www.hitched.co.uk/wedding-venues/the-bodleian-libraries_7031.htm" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">The Old Bodleian Library</a> in the centre of the city. <br /><br />"The stunning 15th century architecture and historical significance was irresistible as we both studied history," shares Kary.<br /><br />"The Bodleian had a strong personal resonance for us," she continues.<br /><br />"We met at university in Oxford, Ben’s family lives in the area, and I conducted my doctoral research in the Bodleian. Crucially, and practically, the Bodleian also enabled us to have our ceremony and reception under one roof which meant our guests could stay warm and dry all evening rather than traipsing around between venues in the February frost."<br /><br />"By marrying in the winter, we were able to avoid the hassle of organising outdoor <em>and</em> indoor plans as we knew that February was never going to be warm enough to celebrate outside."<br /><br /><a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/planning/venues/20-best-historic-wedding-venues/20402.html" target="_blank">READ MORE: 20 Best Historic Wedding Venues </a>
"We chose traditional vows and personalised the ceremony with a distinctive and eclectic mix of readings and speakers," shares Kary.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/planning/readings-speeches/wedding-readings-from-literature-and-books/21966.html" target="_blank">READ MORE: 23 Wedding Readings from Literature and Books</a><br /><br />"The ceremony began with a mini-lecture by our undergraduate tutor who spoke about the Bodleian’s history (some of our guests were a bit shocked by the history lesson!)"<br /><br />"The ceremony also included excerpts from Christopher Guest’s film Best in Show, readings from the famous philanderer-philosopher Betrand Russell, and some sly Inspector Morse references."<br /><br />The venue is so spectacular than Kary and Ben left it to do the talking, just adding flowers and candles.
The Wedding Colour Scheme
Kary and Ben went for a ivory, gold and white colour scheme for their wedding day. <br /><br />"We chose the colours because they are classic, elegant shades that highlighted the stone vaulting," says Ben. <br /><br /><br />
The Table Decorations and Flowers
Kary and Ben adorned the centre of the banqueting tables at their reception with tea lights and silver julep vases, domed with flowers, alongside tall glass super flute vases domed with white hydrangea, Norma Jean roses, caramel roses, and white French Tulips.<br /><br />"<a href="http://www.fabulousflowers.biz/index.php/site/contact" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Fabulous Flowers</a> lived up to their name and created the most wonderful arrangements for the day," says Kary. <br /><br /><a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/planning/essentials/wedding-table-decorations-and-centre-pieces-25-interesting-ways-to-dress-up-your-tables/22128.html" target="_blank">READ MORE: Wedding Table Decorations and Centre Pieces: 25 Interesting Ways to Dress up your Tables</a>
The Bridal Bouquet
Katy's bridal bouquet was a hand-tied combination of freesia, lily of the valley, snow flake spray roses and stephanotis. <br /><br />"The detail in the bouquet picked up the intricate lace in the wedding gown and the stems were wrapped in the same fabric as the dress," explains Kary.
The Pronovias Wedding Dress
Katy's <a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/dresses-and-style/wedding-dresses/delightful-wedding-dresses-with-sleeves/18718.html" target="_blank">sleeved wedding dress</a> was The Celandia Dress from the Atelier range by <a href="https://www.pronovias.com/gb/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Pronovias</a>, purchased from the Pronovias Boutique on New Bond Street in London.<br /><br />"It's was a satin ballgown with a sheer lace overlay on the bodice and sleeves," explains Kary.<br /><br />"It had three-quarter sleeves with sheer effect and lace details with a scalloped edge. It also had a full skirt with pockets, side pleats and a long train."
The Pronovias Wedding Dress
"I was looking for a dress with enough presence to hold its own in such a grand venue, that would make me feel great and that was appropriate for February," explains Kary.<br /><br />"After trying on a number of striking gowns, it was my parents’ reaction to this one that sealed the deal."<br /><br />Kary accessorised her dress with a cathedral length veil, antique pearl earrings and a pearl and diamante tiara.<br /><br />"I borrowed the tiara from Ben’s family," she continues.<br /><br />"Ben’s sister and step-sisters wore it for their weddings and I was deeply moved that his step-mother suggested I wear it too."<br /><br /><a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/dresses-and-style/shoes-and-accessories/10-best-tiaras-for-your-wedding-day/21727.html" target="_blank">READ MORE: 10 Best Tiaras for your Wedding Day</a>
The Bridesmaid Dress
"Having just one bridesmaid – my sister – made everything so easy!" says Kary.<br /><br />"She chose a structured gown by Taylor Runhof in the most beautiful deep blue satin that complemented my engagement and wedding rings and also my mother’s dress."<br /><br />"We accessorised her look with simple jewellery and sparkly heels. She looked absolutely gorgeous on the day of the wedding."<br /><br /><a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/dresses-and-style/bridesmaids-flowergirls/29-beautiful-blue-bridesmaids-dresses/19618.html" target="_blank">READ MORE: Beautiful Blue Bridesmaid Dresses</a>
The Groom's Suit
Ben kept in classic it a suave black suit from Buckleigh of London.
The Wedding Stationery
"Our invitations were from Oscar de la Renta for Paperless Post, and featured a gold lace design on heavy white card," says Kary.<br /><br />"The gold in the stationary coordinated with the golden stone in the Bodleian and the lace picked up on my wedding gown. The best thing about using Paperless Post was that we could send electronic save the dates by email that matched our printed invitations. The programme for the day, seating plan and table stationery all followed the same design."<br /><br />You may notice on the invite that Ben and Kary's wedding started in the evening - a nod to Kary's American heritage, where it's traditional for weddings to be evening affairs rather than an all day soiree, as is common in the UK.
The White and Gold Wedding Cake
The lace on the invitations was also reflected on Kary and Ben's wedding cake. <br /><br />"Rachel Mansell from <a href="http://www.cakebyrachel.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Cake by Rache</a>l made us the most outstanding cake. The cake had 4 round tiers with various flavours: chocolate fudge cake, red velvet cake, and Victoria sponge," says Kary.<br /><br />"Each tier was decorated with delicate gold lace to match our wedding stationary and pick up the lace on my dress and the cake was topped with fresh flowers from Fabulous Flowers that echoed the bridal bouquet."<br /><br /><a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/planning/cakes/30-incredibly-beautiful-gold-wedding-cakes/21730.html" target="_blank">READ MORE: Incredibly Beautiful Gold Wedding Cakes</a>
The First Dance
Kary and Ben had their first dance to Nobody Does it Better, originally performed by Carly Simon.<br /><br />"It’s a timeless love song with great lyrics, but I suspect Ben actually chose it to have a Roger Moore moment," reveals Kary.<br /><br />"It’s the theme to the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me, and Ben insists that Roger Moore is one of the finest men who has ever lived."<br /><br /><a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/planning/entertainment/revealed-the-most-popular-first-dance-choices-for-2017/22352.html" target="_blank">READ MORE: The Most Popular First Dance Songs for 2017</a>
Planning Advice for Brides-to-Be
"Winter is a great time to get married," advises Kary.<br /><br />"It’s easier to secure your preferred suppliers, your event isn’t at the mercy of the weather because you can expect it be too cold/wet/miserable to hold it outside, and your guests are unlikely to be double-booked with another wedding."