Francesca & Anthony’s Caswell House Wedding

Written by Caitlin Hoare
The perfect venue for a quintessentially English countryside wedding? It can only be Caswell House.

Rustic, romantic Cotswold stone barns, two elegant wedding gowns, farmyard animal photobombs (so cute!) and an outdoor ceremony under Caswell House’s beautiful loggia – that’s what Francesca and Anthony’s September wedding was made of. It all sounds rather wonderful doesn’t it and these stunning images by Gemma Randall Photography only cement our love for this dreamy Oxfordshire wedding venue.

Notes from the Bride

Francesca says…

When we first saw Caswell House online we loved the simplicity and blank canvas of the beautiful Cotswold stone barns, and the idea of getting married outside under the gorgeous loggia. It’s tucked away enough to be perfectly private and I loved that you didn’t need to do much in the way of decoration if you didn’t want to – the venue is beautiful as it is.

The wedding party prep areas were also a big attraction – I could absolutely imagine getting ready with my girls in there and my fiancée having a couple of beers with the boys playing table football. When we visited for the first time we knew it was 100% the place for us. The whole Caswell house team were lovely, friendly and incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. And finally the accommodation is unbelievable… it’s giving me house goals! It was the perfect place to continue the celebrations with our nearest and dearest, and have an amazing breakfast altogether the morning after the big day. The total package of Caswell House is so beautiful, it was the only place we saw ourselves tying the knot.

I loved every single dress I tried on, and therein lay the problem with choosing! I knew I wanted a style of dress that I wouldn’t be able to wear on any other occasion so I was looking for a ballgown. To go with the summer time wedding, and the floral and neutral colour scheme of the venue, I chose a lightweight lace dress with some subtle sparkle in a slightly blushed tone that suited my skin tone more than white but certainly didn’t look pink. After I’d chosen that I felt sad that by not having a fitted dress, I’d be missing my chance to show off my figure (let’s face it, after the wedding I’ve eaten more and been to the gym less..) so I searched for a sample sale option that was quite different from my main dress – a simple, plain, white fishtail with a pretty belt and low cut back. It was really flattering and much easier to dance in for the evening. I justified it to myself because the cost for both was within the budget I’d set for a dress.

For the bridesmaids, I wanted a dress that they all felt confident in and that suited everyone’s shapes and skin tones, as well as fitting in with the neutral colour scheme. We all agreed people can spend a lot on bridesmaids dresses that only get worn once, so we decided to buy high street dresses and sell them on afterwards. We found these on Chi Chi London and they were perfect. The colour really suited the rest of my theme and it was easy to find ties to match the boys.

Once I’d chosen my main dress, I could picture my fiancée wearing a beige suit to match the Cotswold stone and knew it would look great on him and complement my dress nicely having seen lots of similar styles on Pinterest. Finding a suit for him was fairly straightforward and then we decided to hire the rest of the men’s suits so that we kept costs down and got something that suited everyone. We found a lovely blue suit that looked great on everyone and with the pink ties that matched the bridesmaids dresses, it tied the whole wedding party together.

We didn’t want to over-style the venue – it speaks for itself and doesn’t need it. We wanted to tie all of our decorations and colour schemes to complement the natural surroundings so we focussed on neutral tones with pretty romantic florals. I used Italian outdoor weddings as inspiration so used a lot of lights, flowers and greenery, and gold items to decorate tables and windowsills. I also created a few sections of interest, such as a balloon arch as a backdrop for photos, and lots of photos of us throughout our lives and our relationship scattered around window sills. I caught my dad looking at some of the photos of me as a child at one point in the evening and it was a special moment for us.

For me, the decor was all about reflecting Anthony and I as a couple, and amplifying the venue. I really enjoying the process of wedding planning so I sourced most of it myself from Facebook Marketplace, jumble sales and charity shops. I really enjoyed spending time creating it all myself.

Sonning Flowers were our florists and they were so helpful and really listened to what I wanted to achieve within our budget. I knew I wanted pink and ivory roses and peonies with some greenery but was otherwise a bit clueless about flowers. I gave them a mood board and Heather and the team used their expertise to suggest alternatives to out of season flowers and showed us what we could create within our budget, which all ended up beautiful.

We had a 3 tier semi naked cake made by Cakes by Mrs F which was incredible. We wanted flavours that we personally loved and that were a bit different to the norm, so we chose Biscoff, pink gin and lemon, and a chocolate and salted caramel layer. We couldn’t have our dog Teddy with us on the day, so Sarah made a lighthearted little nod to him hidden at the back of the cake too.

The catering was one of the highlights of the day. Ross and Ross Events created a meal that reflected our favourite foods: a sharing board, tapas-inspired main with a selection of our favourite desserts on each table, giving guests plenty of choice. To keep costs down we didn’t have a starter, but had canapés after the ceremony and had some nibbles on the tables during the speeches (which we chose to do before dinner so we could all enjoy the meal without the nerves!). The evening food was equally delicious and we have had so many comments from our guests about the quality of everything they ate. Finally, we had gorgeous wines and cremant supplied by the Real Wine Company, which were all lovely and paired nicely with the variety of food items we chose.

Gemma Randall Photography was our wedding photographer and was just such an amazing person to have around. She felt like a guest and friend from the first time we met. Everyone commented on not only how lovely our photos are, but also how great she was – non-intrusive but super helpful and always offering to go the extra mile to make your day even better. Most importantly though, I couldn’t have hoped for better wedding photos. She was a dream and I couldn’t recommend her highly enough.

Best part of the day

All of it! But my favourite moments were the ones that made our day truly personal: walking down the aisle with my dad, seeing all our friends faces and my fiancée at the top with my aunty (who married us). It was really emotional. Closely followed by the speeches – we had four in total (father of the bride, groom, best men and bride) all of which were so well delivered and received, everyone really enjoyed them. We received lots of lovely comments after the day about how relaxed and joyful the day was, and how the vibe was really different to a lot of weddings. I think it’s because we had so many personal touches: my aunty marrying us, the readings were classic ones rewritten by us with some jokes to reflect our relationship, we only invited people who really knew us (no parents’ old friends from 20 years ago types), our decorations were photos of us and our families etc.

From one couple to another…

Everyone says it, because it’s true. Try to enjoy every moment and take it all in because it goes by so quickly. You feel like it’s a bit of an out of body experience. Because of that, I cannot recommend getting a videographer and photographer more – people see it as an expense but it brings back so many memories and friends and family just don’t capture things the same way!

Lastly, don’t sweat the small stuff on the day – not everything will go to plan (we didn’t have the right kind of confetti, our band’s lead singer had to pull out the night before but they had a backup) but it’s all brilliant anyway… You don’t even notice those things when you’re surrounded by people you love, and who love you.


Venue Caswell House

Photographer Gemma Randall Photography

Videographer Zeus Films

Hair Jessica Short Hair & Makeup

Makeup Matt Pimm

Flowers Sonning Flowers

Dress Essense of Australia from Pure Couture

Evening Dress Mikaella from Brides of Berkhamsted

Bridesmaid Dresses Chi Chi London

Catering Ross and Ross Events

Cake Cakes by Mrs F

Grooms Suit Moss Bros

Band Live Encounter from Entertainment Nation

Mini Golf Rustic & Vintage Props

Balloons Lolly Balloons

Stationery/Table Decor Eliza May Prints

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