In September 2022, Tina and James began the start of the rest of their lives by tying the knot at a stunning country house wedding venue, Ardington House in Oxfordshire. From the beautiful Holy Trinity church in Ardington, to the delicious food and special touches inspired by their connections to other countries; every detail was perfectly captured by Katie Hamilton Photography so that the memories from this magical day will last a lifetime. Read on to hear all about their wonderful love story and magical wedding day.
Where It All Began
Tina and James’ love story began in 2014 when they met through mutual friends whilst living at the same college residence at Harvard University. After a winter of getting to know each other on walks in the snow, during dining room debates and a few library study sessions, they began dating in February 2015.
After 18 months together at Harvard, James graduated and just over 3 years of long-distance love began. From San Francisco, to Boston, to Arizona they made things work with many weekend trips back and forth before they finally made a home together in Seattle in March 2020.
The day after Tina’s 25th birthday, James had a day full of surprises planned. They began with a ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island before heading to Bloedel Reserve. Here they found a bench overlooking the beautifully manicured grounds where they could look back through five years of incredible memories captured in photo albums, showcasing the life they had built together.
This was made even more special by the hot chocolates that they were sipping on from Burdick’s, which was the Massachusetts chocolatier where they had had their very first date. James stumbled his way through a half-forgotten speech before getting down on one knee to ask Tina that all-important question. James had even planned for a photographer to hide in the bushes across the pond so that this moment could be captured forever.
With James originally from the Cotswolds and Tina from New Jersey they decided to look into venues near both of their hometowns, however they quickly realised that the venues in America simply didn’t have the fairytale charm that the old country venues in rural England could offer, so they decided to celebrate in the UK. With the majority of their closest friends traveling from America for the wedding it was important for James and Tina to find a venue that could accommodate the wedding party for the whole weekend and so they found the beautiful Ardington House in Oxfordshire.
Not only does this venue offer exclusive use, making it perfect for an entire weekend stay, but it is also close to Oxford and so offers easy access to Heathrow, and it has the beautiful Holy Trinity church very close by for their ceremony. Ardington House is a private venue with formal gardens and a riverside garden marquee which makes it perfect for a quintessentially British celebration.
The wedding date was originally planned for July 2021 however the pandemic put a stop to this and 18 months of planning soon turned into 32 months! In September 2022 they finally managed to celebrate their dream wedding, and it was worth the wait. They chose a colour scheme of sage and white with gold accents, a modern yet elegant look. The all-white flowers among the greenery was something they both absolutely loved.
Tina bought a bit of their hometown with her as she wore a full A-line Louvienne dress from Lovely Bride in Seattle. She accessorised with her mum’s earrings and necklace and hair pins from Etsy. Her 5 bridesmaids matched the colour scheme beautifully in assorted dresses in the colour Moss from Kennedy Blue. James wore a grey custom three-piece suit from Men’s Warehouse and added a sage green neck tie. His 4 groomsmen wore matching suits and neckties to finish the wedding party look off perfectly.
With Tina’s family originally from Italy, they wanted to add an Italian touch. So, for their wedding favours they gave small wrapped packets of candy and chocolate-covered almonds, which is an Italian wedding tradition. They chose British inspired food that worked brilliantly with the venue's country setting, including a traditional Roast Lamb main course as one of the options. They finished the celebrations by dancing the night away to the Blue Lion Band's amazing live performance.
When asked about their favourite part of the wedding day, James and Tina couldn't choose just one. The entire day, from start to finish, was filled with so much love and joy that every moment was a cherished memory. Not just to Tina and James, but to all of their friends and family too.
Following their unforgettable wedding, James and Tina embarked on a 10-day honeymoon to Greece, exploring Athens, Santorini, and Paros. It was the perfect way to begin their journey as a married couple.
The Wedding Suppliers
- Videographer - Chestnut Productions
- Hair & Makeup - Liz Patey
- On-the-day Wedding Coordinator - Poppy Sienna
- Transport - Pearce’s Private Hire Ltd (bus for guests)
- Catering - Total Hospitality
- Florist - Foxgloves & Roses
- Cake - Hayley's Cake Studio