Fiona + Pedro | 02.06.2018


Today we’re talking to Fiona, a complete stunner of an Ellie Sanderson  real life Bride. Fiona married Pedro in a relaxed, colourful and heartwarming ceremony – their Oxford city wedding featured secret vows and seasonal blooms and just by looking at the photos you can see the joy and love radiating from everyone throughout the day. Read on to be inspired by their gorgeous day…



Team ES | Tell us about your proposal?

FionaVery low key. We discussed it and then went and bought a beautiful vintage engagement ring a few weeks later together. Pedro asked me officially in our back garden later that evening and gave me the ring. We were engaged for 6 years before getting married, as we had our 2 children in the meantime.

Team ES | Did you pick up any tips during the planning stage?

Fiona | We wanted to keep it straightforward and already knew where we wanted to get married and have the reception, so we did the actual planning in six months . As we had a short timetable, we had to make some quick decisions, but that also simplified our planning.  We also tried to work with local suppliers and people that we know which made it easy to coordinate everything. We had a spreadsheet to keep track of everything which was really helpful.


Ellie Sanderson real life bride Ellie Sanderson real life bride


Team ES | What was your wedding dress experience like?

Fiona | I went and tried a few off the peg dresses initially but wasn’t wowed by them – they didn’t fit well at all. I then went for a quick lunchtime consultation by myself with Andrea at Ellie Sanderson in Oxford and tried on 3 or 4 dresses and decided quite quickly on which dress I liked the most.  I wanted to feel elegant, but also like myself and the Jesus Peiro dress that I chose was also comfortable and easy to wear.

Team ES | Tell us what you loved most about your dress?

Fiona I loved the modern clean lines, the beautiful material, the train, the pockets….

Ellie Sanderson real life bride

Team ES | Your bold florals were stunning, how did you choose your blooms?  

Fiona | I sat down for a cup of tea with Jane Gandon from Bicycle Blooms and talked over what we wanted. We wanted to incorporate olive leaves as Pedro’s family have their own olive trees, bay leaves as part of Pedro’s surname means “bay tree” and peonies as I love them.  I also wanted seasonal, informal and colourful flowers so Jane pulled all of these ideas together for us and the results were beautiful – and also smelled amazing.

Team ES | Where did you get your wedding inspiration from?

Fiona | I read a couple of blogs, in particular Rock N Roll Bride (I also joined their Rock n Roll Bride Facebook) group and Love my Dress.

Team ES | Did you follow a theme for your wedding?

Fiona | Not intentionally, but we did want it to be informal, colourful and family friendly, as almost a quarter of our guests were children!  We had a fairly short ceremony, no allocated seating at the reception and a BBQ and buffet. Our entertainment included a magician, a wedding bouncy castle and garden games. We also had some Portuguese elements in the music, wine and flowers to represent Pedro’s family. We also ended up with a bit of a publishing theme – we both work in publishing and we found out that our florist, make-up artist, registrar, photographer and DJ also had publishing connections not only that, we made our own newspaper for the order of service and had book themed wedding cakes!


Ellie Sanderson real life bride


Team ES | Did you walk down the aisle to a particular song?

Fiona | Yes “Twin Peaks Main Theme” By Angelo Badalamenti as we are both big Twin Peaks fans. We walked out of the ceremony to “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie, as we are both fans and he once played a gig in the hall we were married in.

Team ES | What about your first dance song?

Fiona | “Into My Arms” by Nick Cave.  We only decided to do a first dance about 15 minutes before we did it, so we completely winged it!

Team ES | Most memorable moment of the day? 

Fiona | Very hard to choose, but for me it was the the ceremony as we wrote and exchanged our own secret vows!


Ellie Sanderson real life bride Ellie Sanderson real life bride


Team ES | Did you follow the something old, new, borrowed, blue tradition?

Fiona My cousin’s wife gave me a blue garter to wear that she’d worn at her wedding, so yes.

Team ES | Tips for brides to be, what one thing would you recommend?

Fiona | Not everything will be perfect, but it will be fine.

Ellie Sanderson real life bride

Team ES | What are you both up to now, did you go on honeymoon?

FionaWe went to see  Nick Cave play in Victoria Park the day after and had a night in London at a very nice hotel. We’re enjoying being married!


The Gallery



Supplier Love


Photographer: Maciek of MT Studio

Venue: Oxford Town Hall (ceremony) & The Isis Farmhouse (reception)

Catering: The Isis Farmhouse

Florist: Bicycle Blooms

Cakes: Stella’s Cakes

Entertainment: Dizzy Dean’s Magic Show and bouncy castle and garden games from Funtime Bounce  

DJ:  Our friend

Bride dress: Jesus Peiro 8002 from Ellie Sanderson (Alterations by Oxford Alterations :

Bride shoes: Carvela

Bride Jewellery: Earrings from J Crew

Wedding rings: Both from Rust Jewellery

Perfume: Stella by Stella McCartney

MUA: Guiseppa Marsala

Hair: Zaneta Lichnova –

Grooms outfit details: Tuxedo by Hugo Boss

Bridesmaids outfit details: ASOS & Simply Be

Transport: Salter’s Steamers 

Other: Wedding newspapers by Make my Newspaper



Happy Wedding Planning!

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