Ian & Anna

Oakfield Gardens Wedding

Photography by Robin & Sarah

Bride and groom in beautiful gardens with evening light highlighting their faces

“We would book these guys again in an instant if we had to do it all again. From the moment we saw the first picture on their website we knew they had to be the ones.”

Ian & Anna

There’s a certain buzz that we get when we work a new, exciting wedding venue and we definitely got that buzz when Ian and Anna booked us to shoot their wedding at the glorious Oakfield Gardens near Worcester.

Ian and Anna booked us because of the honest, dynamic candid photos we love to create.  This was to be a super-relaxed and informal wedding, planned and realised as if it were their own personal music festival.  Several live bands  – including one with the groom as singer plus a spoken-word performer and a mass sing-along were part of the day.  But the setting of the venue was as much a part of their wedding plans as anything else and they wanted this shown off in the photographs with some beautiful portraits of the two of them.  This was right up our alley.   Challenge accepted!

This was an incredible day.  Not only was everyone super-friendly and relaxed, but the day just buzzed with energy.  The lack of formalities was most welcome and from our perspective, it was an absolute joy to photograph.  Enjoy the pictures…

About Oakfield Gardens

Oakfield Gardens is part of The River School – a private school situated on the north side of Worcester, near Droitwich.  It only opened for weddings in 2022 – intended to provide ongoing funding for the school.  It’s brand new as a wedding reception venue and was originally a horticultural training site but the school have maintained it ever since.  It’s varied and somewhat eclectic 9-acre site, with open fields, wooded areas, a large kitchen garden, greenhouses as well as it’s own pond and beehives!

The venue offers a variety of options for wedding receptions centred around the huge tipi and an experienced wedding planner is included as standard.  Although it’s not currently licenced for civil weddings, blessings and receptions can take place in pretty much any of the available areas.

Pete Graham
Business Manager. Oakfield Gardens

“Oakfield Gardens is located at a former horticultural experimental site – now the River School. A tiny independent school of 100 children aged between 2-16.

I was employed in May of 21 with the sole purpose of creating causal revenue for the school.  After looking at the beautiful grounds I decided to start a business using what we had. We had our first open day on Aug 14th and have turned heads with our unique open days and beautiful styled shoots. We sold out in our first year and have dates already taken for 23/24  All proceeds from any business I create goes directly to the children and the school.”

Our experience of photographing a real wedding at Oakfield Gardens

With any venue that is new to us we always do a little ‘recce’ visit a week or two before the big day.  We find this visit so useful and for a venue with such large grounds as Oakfield Gardens – almost essential.  The recce visit gives us a chance to get used to the layout of the grounds, the logistics and to introduce ourselves to the staff.  And although we don’t plan individual photos ahead of the day, having a good grasp of where everything gives us a sense of what can be achieved.

We did a recce visit to Oakfield Gardens and met up with the business manager Pete who gave us a tour of the grounds.  Pete was also working on the day itself so it was great to have a familiar face around.  He was so helpful with everything and was very much ‘hands on’ with the wedding itself  –  but this is very much a venue that does not impose itself onto the wedding or the guests.  If a well-organised lack of formality is what’s required, it’s perfect!

We did a recce visit to Oakfield Gardens and met up with the business manager Pete who gave us a tour of the grounds.  Pete was also working on the day itself so it was great to have a familiar face around.  He was so helpful with everything and was very much ‘hands on’ with the wedding itself  –  but this is very much a venue that does not impose itself onto the wedding or the guests.  If a well-organised lack of formality is what’s required, it’s perfect!

Oakfield Gardens staff carry chairs to wedding ceremony

Business manager Pete helping
set up for the ceremony!

Candid, natural photography for a relaxed, informal wedding

We were in full-on ‘documentary’ mode for the vast majority of the day.  Although we often give bits of advice on the run-up to the wedding, we don’t see it as our role to dictate what happens on the day – we really just prefer to capture the events as they happen and this is exactly what Ian and Anna wanted.  This is how we love to work –  but we also love doing the ‘couple shoot’ and of course, there was a small handful of family group photos.  It’s all part of the balanced and varied work we create for everyone.

The skies were clear, the sun hot and the guests dressed informally as Ian and Anna’s blessing ceremony took place under a huge Redwood tree.  Everyone relaxed in whatever shade they could find to the sounds of the fab ukulele band ‘Moselele’ during the afternoon drinks.  A light afternoon-tea  followed by speeches – including one of the best men singing acapella –  followed by fresh ice cream and more live music for the latter part of the afternoon.  Then it was time to take Anna and Ian off for a short time for some couple photos around the gorgeous Oakfield Gardens grounds and buildings before everyone was treated to Joe Cook’s brilliantly sharp spoken-word poetry.  In the early evening everybody joined in with a sing-along before we had Ian and Anna to ourselves again for a while in the glorious evening light bathing the grounds.  And then the evening band Ellie Jones & The Giants entertained everyone on the dancefloor.

A beautiful venue with photo opportunities galore

For the couple photos, we were spoiled for choice.  You could never use all of the photo opportunities Oakfield Gardens has to offer – there’s just too many to cover in a single wedding.  There are areas that work better at different times of the day and the environment is so rich, textured and rustic.  Oakfield Gardens really is a beautiful place for a wedding and a stunning location for photographs.

Bride and groom walk through beautiful trees at Oakfield Gardens

Supplier links for this wedding:

Venue:
Oakfield Gardens
The River School, Droitwich Road, Worcester, WR3 7ST
Tel: 07760 661 700

Planner: Lindsay at Worcestershire Wedding Planner
Anna’s dress: Brighton Belle supplied by Your Wedding Shop Cotteridge
Ian’s suit: Slaters
Catering: ASJ Catering Group
Ukulele band: Moselele
Afternoon band: Ian the groom plus friends!
Evening band: Ellie Jones & The Giants
Spoken-word poet: Joe Cook

Florals, pallets etc created by the couple
Bar, toilets, tipi and lighting all provided by Oakfield Gardens

Oakfield Gardens Wedding Photographers Robin & Sarah Gillespie

Husband and wife photographers based in the Midlands, creating natural and documentary images combined with with beautiful couple portraits.

Tags: oakfield gardens, outdoor ceremony, summer, tipi wedding, Worcestershire