If you are a regular reader of The Oxford Wedding Blog, or of my Instagram feed, you’ll know that I’m constantly on the look out for local wedding venues and suppliers, that offer something a bit different in Oxfordshire. I feel like Oxford can sometimes be a bit low on offering the less traditional couple ideas for their wedding. So with this in mind, I decided to organise a shoot based on the theme ‘urban rock bride’ as this doesn’t only celebrate the non-traditional bride, but it also shows how Oxford isn’t all about cobbled streets and a city of dreaming spires, it has a great music scene and the Cowley road celebrates some epic graffiti art.
INDEPENDANT OXFORD – THE MODELS
The first thing I did once I had this idea was to get in touch with Anna Munday and Rosie Jacobs from Independent Oxford.
Independent Oxford is a guide to Oxford’s indi businesses. They are all about supporting, shopping local, and do an amazing job at keeping all of us indi businesses in Oxford chatting with each other by providing meet ups, photography walks, workshops and talks.
So I approached them with the concept of this wedding shoot, proposed the idea of collaborating with them, and asked them to be the face of the project. I squealed with excitement when they said yes!
“We love the fact that you can plan a big day, using purely local suppliers, who are so invested in what they do and want to share it with you. Independent businesses thrive on community and collaboration and this shoot is a wonderful way to showcase people working together to create something extra special. We hope that it encourages people to explore local more and also see the high quality of indies right on their doorstep!”
THE WEDDING VENUE – TAP SOCIAL
The shoot was held at Tap Social, which is a large warehouse at the back of an industrial estate that has a bar, brewery and community space inside. It couldn’t have been more perfect for this shoot, and it really makes it the perfect wedding venue for those looking for something unconventional. They can cater for a relaxed street food style wedding, or for a fancy pants Michelin star style wedding, that’s how flexible they are! This is definitely a venue which has the ethos of your day, your way, stamped all over it, and I feel like Oxford has been waiting for a place like this for some time.
“We haven’t advertised our space as a wedding venue, but couples have been drawn to us as they are increasingly looking for something a bit different to have on their wedding day. Also, we are so close to the city many couples are opting to have a traditional ceremony in the beautiful city centre, then come back here to kick back and have a relaxed dinner followed by a big party. We have the space to host 150 guests and couples seem to really like the relaxed vibe we have going on.”
The Tap Social was created from a passion for good beer and social justice, and the guys who run it provide training for people who’ve recently been released from prison. They are seriously passionate about giving opportunities to those in the criminal justice system. You can read more about their story over on: TAP SOCIAL MOVEMENT
BICYCLE BLOOMS AND THE FLOWERS
Jane from Bicycle Blooms is just adorable. She has a fantastic vision and is a real team player, going above and beyond to make things look just right. Her concept of mixing pretty flowers with the rustic colours of autumn, created a stunning fusion of colour. She explained that she was influenced by what she sees around her at this time of year, in the gardens, hedgerows and flower markets, plus the venue and the choice of accessories to be worn by Anna and Rosie.
“The flowers include chrysanthemums which come in to their own at this time of year with a greater number of varieties and colours, combined with berries to reflect the hedgerows and gardens and add some colour – rose hips and hypericum berries – Autumnal shades for the foliage used – bronze, orange, yellow, burgundy to reflect the trees in Autumn, with a mix of seed heads – teasels, scabious and clematis – to add texture, shape and interest, and the roses and astilbe to soften it and add a pop of colour.”
Jane runs a shop just off the Cowley Road and her emphasis is on seasonal flowers, and berries and foliage that reflects the year.
HAIR AND MAKE UP
THE WEDDING DRESSES
What I love about this shoot is mixing the traditional wedding dress with a number of non-traditional accessories and it working really well.
THE WEDDING CAKE
Oh the cake… the beautiful semi-naked cake with edible gold leaf by Louise from Lulu’s Little Oxford Kitchen. The bottom tier of the cake was a classic Victoria sandwich with vanilla buttercream and homemade strawberry jam. The top tier was a zingy lemon sponge made with fresh lemon juice and zest, sandwiched together with a lemon buttercream. The flowers adorning the cake were specifically matched to the wedding bouquet and enhanced the overall dramatic style of the shoot.
“Although I have been making cakes for many years I officially launched Lulu’s Little Oxford Kitchen in the Spring of this year. After very many requests to make wedding and celebration cakes it was a small step to make the business official. My cakes are always made from scratch using only the best quality ingredients to create design led, individual and specific cakes for each unique celebration.”
It was such an amazing day, and a wonderful experience to be collaborating with so many like minded creatives. I hope those of you who are planning your alternative wedding in Oxford are inspired by this shoot and excited to get in touch with some very creative local suppliers. If you were interested in researching other alternative wedding venues, then this post will definitely interest you: 10 AMAZING AND ALTERNATIVE WEDDING VENUES IN OXFORDSHIRE
OXFORD WEDDING SUPPLIERS
VENUE – Tap Social
MODELS – Independent Oxford. Also check out the blog post they’ve written on the shoot: AN ALTERNATIVE WEDDING SHOOT WITH PHILIPPA JAMES PHOTOGRAPHY
PHOTOGRAPHER – Philippa James Photography
MAKE UP – Claire Moroney
HAIR – Kenny’s Hair Boutique
CAKE – Lulu’s Little Oxford Kitchen
DRESSES – Maudika Bridal
FLOWERS – Bicycle Blooms
RING – Payne + Son