An Oxford Registry Office Wedding and elopement portraits

bride glances back over her shoulder as she walks with her husband through oxford after their registry office wedding

Lucy and Danny live in Switzerland now but there was only one place they would go to get married in the UK: Oxford, where they met whilst doing their PhDs. I adore capturing small weddings so thrilled to have the pleasure of photographing Lucy and Danny’s Oxford Registry Office wedding, a beautiful and intimate city elopement, before their bigger celebration later in the week.

Why an Oxford Registry Office wedding?

This Oxford Registry Office wedding was actually the first of two weddings they had in one week (to each other both times!) Their Oxford Registry Office wedding was on the Tuesday, with their bigger Davenport House wedding on the Saturday (you can see how that went down here.) 

This is because they wanted a celebrant-led ceremony for their big wedding day, and these aren’t currently legal in England. To make sure they were husband and wife in the eyes of the law as well as their loved ones, they chose to keep their legal ceremony a low-key, intimate affair. Their Oxford Registry Office wedding was so low-key, in fact, we didn’t take any photos of it, as we wanted to keep focus on the ceremony that was happening later in the week.

bride and groom lean against railings with bicycles with radcliffe cinema oxford in background

A low-key city elopement

When I say Lucy and Danny’s Oxford Registry Office wedding was small, I mean the guestlist was 4 people: both of their parents. 

family wedding group photo at small intimate wedding at Lincoln College Oxford

They celebrated with bubbles afterwards in The Williams Room, a historic boardroom in Lincoln College. As Lucy and Danny currently live in Switzerland, moments when all 6 of them are together in a room is quite rare, so being there to capture this intimate gathering was even more special. 

group of wedding guests toast the marriage at Lincoln College

Oxford University wedding portraits

Afterwards, we went for a walk around the grounds of Oxford University, and in particular Lincoln College, which is where Lucy and Danny originally met. Located in the heart of the city, it’s a beautifully picturesque college (their library is one of the most beautiful in the whole university!) 

First off we took some shots against the dense, ivy-clad walls before grabbing a couple of pictures in front of the historic buildings. Both provided a beautiful backdrop for group portraits.  

Then it was time for Lucy and Danny’s parents to bid their farewell, as we embarked upon some solo shots. Strolling around Lincoln College’s iconic quad, we made the most of the stunning arches and covered walkways and played with light and shadow to create some beautiful portraits. We were also lucky enough to bump into one of the members of staff who remembered Lucy and Danny from their PhDs, which was a wonderful addition to the day and a really wholesome memory to have been able to immortalise!

Incredible Nadine Merabi wedding suit

Ok, I know you’ve been itching to know more about it – and every single day since I shot this back in May, I’ve wanted to talk to someone about it. So let’s get into it: Lucy’s incredible Nadine Merabi suit.

With a gorgeous wedding dress, cape and personalised embroidered veil planned for their wedding on Saturday, Lucy opted for a sleek, chic city bride look for their Oxford Registry Office wedding. The sophisticated white blazer featured contrasting satin lapels and giant pearls lining the silhouette, which she paired with crisp flared suit trousers. It was a real statement bridal outfit that was perfect for walking around Oxford in* – and one I’m totally obsessed with, to boot!

*This isn’t to say that you can’t wear a full wedding dress for an elopement or city wedding, by the way – they also look amazing! 

Intimate Oxford wedding portraits

After shooting at Lincoln College following their Oxford Registry Office wedding, I took Lucy and Danny on a stroll around Oxford for some more portraits. It’s a city filled with so many beautiful buildings, we could have spent all day walking around! 

A small city wedding is the perfect opportunity to spend some time as just the two of you, focusing on the reason you’re getting married: because you’re madly in love. Without any peer pressure, logistical stress or timing constraints, you can fully lean in to loving each other with wild abandon.

In particular what I love about these intimate Oxford wedding portraits is that we got a mix of everything that makes the city so unique: historic architecture, gorgeous manicured gardens, and the buzz and vibrancy of the other Oxonians going about their days.

Considering a small city wedding?

Being asked to shoot any weddings is a privilege I will never take for granted, but shooting a small city wedding is extra special because it’s so intimate. A small city wedding is always bursting full of charm and character, but without some of the stress that can come with a bigger one. It allows a total focus on romance, and gives you free reign to do exactly what you want. 

wide shot of bride and groom stood together on oxford street with bicycles rushing past creating a blurred effect

I love photographing small city weddings – you can find out more about how I approach them here. So if you’re planning a small city wedding and you’re looking for someone to shoot it, then I’d love to chat! Please do get in touch; I can’t wait to hear from you already…

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