Oakley Court – A Beautiful Venue For A Summer Wedding
A perfect wedding for me includes an outgoing couple, a stunning venue, and fabulous gardens. Throw into the mix warm summer weather and a serene riverside setting, and I really couldn’t ask for more!
This is one of those fabulous weddings where the couple had thought of every little detail. Jackie and Aidy’s wonderful ideas, and a lively group of friends and family made for the most amazing day of celebrations in Windsor.
Oakley Court – A Brief History
The grand property was constructed for Sir Richard Hall-Say in the 1850s, reputedly in a French Chateau style to comfort his homesick young French wife.
Over the years, many colourful characters and wealthy individuals have owned the property. In 1919 one Ernest Oliver purchased the house with 60 acres for the princely sum of £27,000.
This eccentric character regularly entertained foreign diplomats. And, as a welcoming gesture he would fly the flag of the nation they represented. The huge flagpole at the front of the property still flies the union flag to this day.
From 1965 following Mr Oliver’s death, Bray Studios used the idyllic building and grounds as a film set for 14 years. During their occupancy, they shot over 200 films at Oakley Court. Most famously the Rocky Horror Show, St. Trinians and many Hammer Horror film productions were shot here.
Between 1979 and 1981 the building was transformed into a luxury hotel . Luckily, all the wonderful interior and exterior period features have been retained.
Civil Ceremony In The Glasshouse, Oakley Court
I love the dramatic Victorian glasshouse at the Oakley Court Hotel. Lush tropical plants and quirky retro decorations fill the room, beautifully illuminated by the sunlight streaming through the tall panes of glass. This combination added extra panache to this lovely intimate civil ceremony, and later in the proceedings for the wedding breakfast.
Jackie looked unbelievable as she made her way down the grand staircase in the hotel. She showed no nerves as she continued through to the aisle in the Glasshouse. The ceremony was so emotional at times, and there were few dry eyes by the end of the vows!
Champagne Reception Beside The River Thames
The congratulations soon followed as the newlyweds relaxed by the river for a well earned glass of champagne! The river provided the most romantic way to spend the next couple of hours. Periodically skippers on passing motorboats would hoot their horns to congratulate the newly married couple, and naturally each time they would wave back. Times like this remind me why I’m a wedding photographer!
As the champagne flowed, the laughter and merriment continued non-stop.
The riverside gardens of Oakley Court have been transformed since I last visited. I loved the swathes of wild flowers everywhere!
The Speeches & Evening Reception
Aidy sang with his male voice choir to kick off the evening’s entertainment. Their performance and singing voices were unbelievable! They followed this with an excellent surprise flash mob Bollywood-style dance, led by Jackie and Aidy and accompanied by about twenty of the wedding guests. There must have been some serious rehearsing in the weeks beforehand! To pull off these two superb performances so effortlessly on the day was quite the achievement!
Somehow Aidy still managed to find the energy for his first dance, then it was time for this party to fire up a notch or two. The dancing was non-stop; the fabulous dance tunes ensured everyone was in full on party mode!
My Favourite Oakley Court Wedding Photographs
Some of my favourite pictures from the day were the many wonderful candid moments; there were just so many opportunities for my camera.
But my absolute favourite shot is this floodlit pose by the fountain. I’d planned for Jackie and Aidy to venture outdoors when the evening light was perfect. Once I’d added the couple and a little atmospheric light, the image really came to life!
Aidy and I thoroughly recommend Mark to anyone who is looking for a first class photographer, following our experience of the calibre of his work and approach during our recent wedding.
We experienced a Rolls Royce service from our very first meeting, where Mark showed us examples of his work and explained his approach to the day.
We met again nearer to the day at the venue and discussed shots and backdrops in more detail. Mark’s invaluable knowledge and experience enabled us to ensure that we got the most out of our time and venue.
On the day itself, we could see that Mark is well respected by other suppliers within the wedding industry. He knew many of the other people we engaged personally, including the registrar.
Mark steered us through the proceedings with ease and provided reassurance to us when all about us seemed to be madness and we had no idea where we needed to be, or what would happen next.
Mark has a professional manner, pitched perfectly to ensure that everyone cooperates as required to get those all important wedding shots as quickly and with as little fuss as possible. The end results he produced are outstanding, providing so many fantastic pictures that it will be almost impossible to choose our favourites for our album.
Thank you Mark, for capturing our special memories of the day so perfectly. Aidy & Jackie