The rain cleared in time for Michelle and Ben’s rustic chic outdoor wedding. This loved-up couple used Rome as inspiration and added a few travelling touches to their theme!

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The proposal

Michelle and Ben knew each other at school, but it wasn’t until six years later when they were in a club in Oxford that they finally got together. Ben proposed during a three-night break to Rome for their second anniversary. “The day before our anniversary we had a romantic dinner and afterwards walked to the Spanish Steps,” remembers Michelle. “We sat on the top step and Ben told me how much he loved me and proposed. I was extremely surprised and burst into tears when I found
out he had asked for my dad’s permission too.”

The bride’s outfit

Michelle looked beautiful in her Jim Hjelm dress from The Bridal Box in Summertown. The full- length, taffeta gown had an open back with a flower on the waist, which was decorated with crystals and pearls. “I didn’t want taffeta, A-line or loads of netting, but the lovely owner of the boutique picked out a dress for me with all those things! I remained open minded and when I tried it on I was completely overwhelmed with shock and love – it was perfect,” says Michelle. While originally adamant that she didn’t want a veil, after trying one on, Michelle quickly changed her mind. The beautiful floor-length veil was fully lined with crystals, and the bride accessorised it with a hair band decorated with crystals and mother-of-pearl flowers. Sparkly Kurt Geiger peep toe heels completed the look.

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The groom’s outfit

Ben hired a morning suit from Shepherd and Woodward in Oxford. “He looked so handsome and happy,” smiles Michelle.

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The bridesmaids

Michelle’s two bridesmaids wore floor-length, olive Dessy gowns with gold heels from Dune.

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The ceremony

This outdoor ceremony took place at the Manor House Hotel. “Thankfully the rain passed before the ceremony,” recalls Michelle. “It was when Ben was saying his promises to me that the sun suddenly appeared.”

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The reception

The speeches took place before the wedding breakfast as Ben was incredibly nervous, and each of the three speeches had the whole room laughing. Guests were then served a three course meal consisting of a prosciutto salad, tenderloin pork with chive mash and delicious white chocolate mousse with a passion fruit sorbet. The happy couple decided on a rustic chic theme with references to Rome. The table plan was a map of the romantic city, and the tables were named after landmarks there – guests were even given bottles of Limoncello as wedding favours! Every element of the wedding had an elegant feel and was given a rustic touch by adding twine or hessian. To bring the outdoors in, tree trunk slices were placed in the middle of the tables, topped with flower centrepieces and covered with tea lights. Large bark lanterns were also set up for the evening. As well as a DJ, Michelle decided to entertain guests by making fun ‘how well do you know Michelle and Ben’ quiz cards. Guests were asked to fill them in during the wedding breakfast and everyone on the winning table won a free drink. The couple also chose to have an alternative guest book – they left bowls of sticky glittery hearts and stars so guests could decorate their messages.

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The honeymoon

Michelle and Ben decided to visit the States, taking in all the fabulous sights of Las Vegas, LA, and Orlando.

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