Childhood Sweethearts and Best Friends

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Sam and Jess had a Lincoln College Oxford Wedding followed by Oxford Thames Four Pillars Hotel wedding reception : here is their story…

How did you two meet?

We’ve always lived in the same village and went to the same high school, and vaguely knew each other before meeting properly at a youth orchestra. Our friendship grew there, meaning we saw more and more of each other at school too, and eventually, Sam plucked up the courage to tell Jess how he felt. Luckily, Jess felt the same way!

Tell us about the proposal:

It was at Bradgate Park, Leicestershire, on Christmas Eve – a raincloud arrived just in time for the question to be popped, and then went away straight after! Sam was not deterred, though, and we had a lovely winter walk afterwards, before being greeted at home by champagne from our family. It was a very special Christmas!

ruthjoyphotography_oxford_wedding (33)Sam, how did you know Jess was the one for you?

Jess has always been my best friend, the person I can trust with anything and talk to about everything. I could never imagine spending the rest of my life with anybody else!

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Jess, how did you know Sam was the one for you?

Ditto to what Sam says! Also, I missed him so much when I moved away to university, and the fact that we survived for those 4 years long distance (during which we both grew up and changed a lot!) showed our relationship was built to last.


What moment was the highlight of the wedding for you?

Jess: So difficult to pick just one…I loved watching my brother’s beautiful guitar playing and singing after we’d just signed the register, and then walking out of the church with Sam to the wedding march was very special – I think that was the first moment I properly relaxed and thought ‘we’ve done it!’

Sam: The lovely walk through the hotel grounds for our couple photographs. It was great to have a quiet half hour together to walk around, look into each other’s eyes, and let it sink in that we were finally married!ruthjoyphotography_oxford_wedding (20)

What did you enjoy most about your wedding?

Jess: Having so many of our family and friends all together to celebrate with us, and seeing all of the details we’d planned over the 18 months become reality and make such a perfect day for us.

Sam: Feeling like celebrities for the day! Everybody watching us as we walked down the aisle into the college grounds, and photographing us as our car whisked us away to the reception venue.


What advice would you give other couples planning a wedding?

Jess: As the day draws near, think carefully about the timings and make a sort of timetable of when things should be happening – particularly for the bride and bridesmaid preparations. Obviously things will go wrong on the day and you won’t completely stick to it (we ended up rushing the preparations towards the end and we had taxi mishaps!) but if you have a rough plan it does help you to relax and helps the day run more smoothly.

Sam: Think about (and book, if you can) your suppliers – flowers, car, and photography of course – as early as possible. It leaves plenty of time to amend/add things, and leaves you the time you’ll need to concentrate on the smaller things closer to the day.


Which is your favourite photograph from the day and what does it mean to you?

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Jess: I can’t possibly pick just one, I love so many! One of my favourites is where I’ve just arrived at the front and Sam is grinning at me, as that was when I finally smiled having been very nervous walking down the aisle! I also love the way the light catches our faces on the couple photos (particularly the one where we’re looking out to the water) and the one where my bridesmaids are all looking in at me with big grins, which captures our excitement really well.

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Sam: It has to be the one of us both under a willow tree during our walk around the hotel grounds for our couple shots. It captured so well the happiness we were both experiencing, and just how beautiful Jess looked in her dress.


What did you like best about having Ruth and Dave Photograph your Wedding?

Jess: They fitted in so well and were so enthusiastic and friendly, and worked tirelessly all day to capture such a complete and beautiful record of our wedding. And it was wonderful to have both of them so that I could see what Sam was up to while I was getting ready too!

Sam: Having Dave around for the groom’s preparation was great – just like having another friend around. I loved how they were so easy to get on with, being so relaxed and reassuring whilst being totally efficient and professional from the beginning until the end of their day with us.


Click here to see the Photographs


 Ruth specialises in creative documentary storytelling wedding photography. To find out if she is available for your wedding date send a message through the contact page or give Ruth a ring on 07807419140. Leicester Wedding Photographer available for weddings throughout the UK and abroad. 


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