Crazy Bear Wedding, Oxford

This was literally a ‘crazy’ Crazy Bear wedding. Today’s wedding was not only a day in the lifetime for the lovely couple, but a totally one off wedding day to photograph for me too. Honestly it was, OMG, AWESOME! I really have to say a big thank you to the couple for asking me to document their incredible wedding, it was an honour and a real pleasure.

The ‘crazy’ bride and groom

So, let me start by introducing the fabulous couple; Kerinda and Jason. They planned a day (well Kerinda, the bride of course!) that totally reflected and celebrated their characters and relationship; fun, gregarious, elaborate, naughty, and also had their love for their family and friends at the heart of their day.

Kerinda and Jason met six years ago when Jason bought the company Kerinda part owned – was it love at first sight? No, but look at them now, not just a couple but a family. Kerinda came with a readymade family of three boys and they have added to their family with another boy and a little girl. All their children were included in their special day.

The Crazy Bear Wedding Venue and suppliers

Photography, particularly for a Crazy Bear wedding , is always a great experience. Part of the Crazy Bear chain; The Crazy Bear in Stadhampton is a stunning venue, not your traditional wedding venue, but was the perfect backdrop for Kerinda and Jason’s day. Apart from a wonderful indoor space, there is an outdoor/indoor room and plenty of space outside to have the ceremony and use for guests to mingle and chat. The hotel itself has bespoke individually designed rooms and Kerinda and Jason had a luxurious red velvet walled room, with freestanding copper bath and open shower room.

When I arrived everyone was busy getting the venue ready, the room, tables, chairs and decorations were all being styled to reflect the ‘fairy tale’ romance theme of the ‘Princess and the Frog’, complete with princess and frog ice sculptures, a fairy take book wedding cake from Choccywoccydoodah cakes of Brighton and London fame. (if you’ve never seen one of their shops a day out to Brighton to see the original shop is recommended!) All the team said they had never experienced a Crazy Bear wedding like this one.

The tables continued with the Disney theme, including the place settings and table names’ Pussy in Boots’ and Cinderella, little bottles of drinks with ‘drink me’ tags and boxes of sweets with ‘eat me’.

Kerinda asked one of her friends and fellow school mum and owner of Waterbaby Flowers to design her wedding flowers. They went to London together so Kerinda could chose the flowers she likes and Claire created a palette of deep burgundy reds, pinks and whites, with a mixture of dramatic, exotic blooms and more soft, romantic flowers, alongside scented sweet-peas, rosemary mint and eucalyptus for fragrance. The floral arrangements with pillar candles dressed the purple carpeted aisle, tables inside and out, and were finished with long feathers and a pop of bling from crystals. Kerinda had spotted a crocodile head that she liked and this was positioned in the outdoor room and dressed with flowers too.

In addition to the flowers adorning the rooms, there were lots of frogs, soft cuddly one and quirky ornaments, froggy picture books and some sweet trees to tempt both the adult-kids and children.

Bridal preparations, and the groom too

Kerinda was having her hair and makeup done in a room downstairs. Kerinda had met her ‘Milkshake’ girls originally at Glastonbury when they were working in a pop up tent turning campers into glampers.  Shelley Pengilly from the Shelly’s Salon worked together on Kerinda and the ladies hair whilst Jessica Verity did the makeup with Bobbi Brown cosmetics. But the gents weren’t forgotten today, George Talbot, The Marstor Barber, was there for shaves and hair trims to make sure all the boys looked at good as the girls.

I have to applaud Kerinda for keeping calm whilst getting herself and the children ready, because of course they wanted their mum. Eventually Kerinda need to finish off and going up to their room Kerinda put on her stunning dress, with many layers of tulle to create a flowing train, embellished with thousands of tiny crystals over lace, with the help of her older sister Collette, and of course Jimmy Choo shoes with ‘princess bling’ decorations. A small moment of calm and a sip of bubbly before the service began. The lavish bathroom and bedroom were great for Kerinda’s getting ready images.

Kerinda wore a red stoned ring that her son had bought, which she’d promise to wear on special occasions, and what better than her wedding day. At the exchanging of the rings Kerinda was going to replace this special ring with her diamond engagement ring and wedding ring. To keep all her boys happy Kerinda wore two garters – a blue Spurs and a red Arsenal!

The ‘crazy’ wedding day

At the entrance of the hotel are two large wooden sculptures of bears, but today there was also an old London red bus! The guests were greeted by two gorgeous Vegas Showgirls complete with feathers and bubbly, and were entertained by some London Buskers, that Kerinda and Jason has spotted playing at the railway station and loved their style.

The events of the wedding on the day were ushered along by Crazy Bear wedding recommended Toastmaster Simon Shirley, who was dressed in a Disney pale blue suit during the ceremony, then his traditional red suit for the wedding breakfast, then black tails for the evening.

The music during the ceremony was provided by Charlotte Campbell and the couple’s children gave the readings including ‘He’s not perfect’ by Bob Marley and an extract from ‘Winnie the Pooh’.

The guests applauded the couple as they entered the wedding breakfast and they all enjoyed a sumptuous menu and wine. The couple’s son started the speeches with a presentation on the screen that the children had made and did his own speech with was ‘****’ing incredible (if you were a guest you know Jason’s favourite word). Charlotte sung a very special version of ‘Froggy went a-courting’  to fit the story of Jason and Kerinda.

After the first speeches of the day the guests had chance to go and freshen up and change and mingle again with drinks before the evening entertainment started. The Crazy Bear team did a quick turnaround of the wedding room to create a ‘Moroccan’ style seating area and modern dance floor in front of the stage. To entertain the guests there was face painting so everyone could get sparkled! Also during this time the ‘paparazzi’ photographs arrived to ‘snap’ the guests. The evening guests arrived from the local hotels on buses organised by the couple.

Let us entertain you

The entertainment was incredible – something I’ve never experienced especially not at a wedding. The children were carefully tucked up in bed curtesy of Lemon Jelly Baby Sitters, so the mood could be turned up a few notches for the adults. The entertainment began with The Scarlet Vixens, two dancers either side of a pole dancer whose gymnastic strength and movement was totally captivating. I had to contort into my own positions so I could get some dramatic angles for my photography….seriously it was all about the photography!

This was followed by burlesque performances introduced by the Scarlet Vixens compere Loretta LeBonke, including magic and hoola-hooping! (If you leave near Reading they regularly perform at The Purple Turtle Bar)

Jason then gave his second speech of the day and the couple cut the cake before taking to the floor for their first dance to John Legends ‘All of me’.

The guests then had an amazing evening of dancing to the Ambassador Band and were joined by the Scarlet Vixen girls on the dance floor. Jason of course couldn’t resist getting in on the act and we got some great shots of him dancing with the girls, with them definitely in charge! Everyone continue to dance and party and have an amazing time celebrating Kerinda and Jason’s wedding. There was also a casino set up with every guest receiving a voucher to play. We slipped away with the couple for just a few minutes to take some dramatic evening shots of the two of them, and I particularly love the one with the ornate lampshades suspended from the ceiling.

Telling the story with images

The photographs are incredible and I cannot wait to share them with the couple, and it was such a great day working alongside videography Andy Mac, this was a Crazy Bear wedding neither of us will forget!

And as in all good Disney romances, the couple, Jason and Kerinda, lived ‘happily ever after’.

 

To see another rock ‘n’ roll wedding, check out Lyndsey Carlos Clarke’s wedding at Hampton Court House https://www.markseymourphotography.co.uk/hampton-court-house-wedding-photographer

If you would like to contact Mark to discuss your wedding photography please call on 07786 377197 or contact me here

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