Now I know lots of you loved the First Look feature of last week where I teased you all rather cruelly with one of my favourite images from the recent Oxfam Bridal shoot so I hope that you just adore today's feature with more of the images and some of the stories behind the day. I'm very proud to be Oxfam's Wedding Ambassador and I'm very honoured to be involved with such a fabulous and worthwhile project.
One of the things that makes this shoot so incredibly special is the fact that our wonderful models are extra special - they're both having Oxfam Unwrapped wedding gift lists. This means that instead of filling their cupboards with more housey things, these couples are choosing instead to ask their guests to 'buy' goats, farming or school equipment, bike for midwives, emergency or hygiene kits, seeds or soap to people that really need the help. So if anyone deserves to be stars for the day, it's Anna & Nick and Silvia & Lek so I'm going to let Anna & Nick tell you all about the day and their thoughts & feelings about Oxfam Unwrapped in their own words...
"We having an Unwrapped list because while there is a lot we want, but nothing we need. How can you compare a flowery coaster to feeding a family for a week. We are going to have a wedding day full of fantastic food and wine - but with extravagance and indulgence, it would feel a bit empty if we couldn't give something back. I think people can be scared to veer away from tradition when it comes to weddings. We were worried about doing something too different, but also drawn to making it memorable. For us it was perfect. Our grandparents weren’t wealthy; my Grandparents in particular did not have enough to eat, growing up. We don’t take our good fortune for granted because of that. Weddings can be so lavish and indulgent, it’s about bringing some balance to that. Why does anyone give to charity? Because it makes you feel good and who doesn’t want to feel good on their wedding day?"
"We've been very impressed with Unwrapped - it looks slick and professional, and it took minutes to set the whole thing up. There is loads of choice, from school supplies at £7 to a pair of goats for £50. It means our guests can buy something small, and still buy us another gift if they really want to. This gives them flexibility and choice, as we don’t want people to feel forced into giving to charity. But it’s there, if they want to use it."
"As for the little cards you're given to put in your invitations, they're really pretty; we included them with all our invitations. They are sweet little paper hearts, with all the info your guests need. All you have to do is write your gift reference number down, it’s easy peasy and looks great."
"Most of our friends think it’s a fantastic idea, and no one had heard of it before. I only knew about the gift list, because my Dad had asked for a goat one Christmas. So my parents were really supportive and proud of us. We wanted to give people choice, and not force it on them. We have tried to do it subtly. It’s simply a case of, we don’t need lots of presents, so we want them to go to those who do."
"When we were chosen to be part of the shoot, we were over the moon. I was worried Nick wouldn’t do it, but he was as excited as me, and we were both incredibly flattered. Dressing up and having your photo taken is one of the many treats of getting married, and we were getting to do it twice! I love trying wedding dresses on, and Oxfam have some stunning dresses, so there was no chance I was going to turn this down."
"We saw Ham House from the bottom of the drive, it was jaw dropping to say the least. Our venue although beautiful is intimate rather than grand. Ham House is opulent, and really something special. I love where we are getting married, it’s a small very pretty hotel. So we will be really lucky to have photos from such contrasting locations."
"Both dresses were from top designers and you could see that in the material and the stitching. I was really impressed by the dresses that have been donated to Oxfam, and they were on a par with any I have tried on in bridal shops."
"Our highlight of the day was meeting the staff of Oxfam. A lovely down to earth bunch of people. We felt honoured, privileged and of course very flattered to be chosen. It was a day full of glamour, we just hope we get to look this good on our actual wedding day."
For more information about Oxfam Unwrapped (the gift list), Oxfam Bridal, the brand new range of favours gifts, vintage accessories and more, take a look at the website - www.oxfam.org.uk/weddings