Real weddings... Zhao & Daniel | Bears & Butterflies
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Real weddings… Zhao & Daniel

Now that spring is finally here we’re really getting excited for the wedding season ahead. This wedding was one that we were at in August last year and we think you’ll agree that it’s an absolute stunner. Photographer: Naomi Kenton.

Over to Zhao and Daniel to tell you all about it…

REal weddings Zhao & DanWho proposed to who – and how?

Daniel proposed on a long weekend trip to the Maldives. He took Zhao on a boat trip to a secluded private island, and proposed during a picnic lunch on the beach.

What were your hopes and vision for your wedding day?

We wanted the day to be memorable and fun. To share as much joy as we could amongst our friends and family. Most of all, we wanted us and our guests to simply have a great time and enjoy the day.

Real weddings Zhao Daniel

Real weddings Zhao Daniel

How did you decide on your venue?

We wanted to have the wedding in Oxford where Daniel went to university. Having had the ceremony in central Oxford, Newbridge Farm was the perfect venue for our evening festivities. There was no curfew, no corkage, and it gave us the flexibility to have everything we wanted for our evening reception.

Real weddings Zhao & Dan

What was the inspiration for your décor?

We wanted to create a “midsummer night’s” theme, but also wanted to incorporate the feel of a Monet watercolour – in memory of our first holiday as a couple to Giverny in France.

How did you find and choose your suppliers?

Through a combination of recommendations, wedding fairs, online reviews, and failing all else, Google!

Real weddings Zhao & Dan

How did you both find the planning process?

Overwhelming at first. But once the major items were in place, it was fun to plan the details and the extras.

What was your favourite moment of the big day?

We both agree that the beautiful weather, the speeches and the fireworks were all highlights. Also the numerous funny stories from overnight guests at our breakfast the next day.

Real weddings Zhao Daniel

Who were your caterers?

Passion For Food helped us design a menu that wonderfully managed to incorporate our rather specific brief. The menu included several personal touches, for example a pre-dessert course that was a tribute to our two cats back in Hong Kong.

Real weddings Zhao & Dan


How did you choose your entertainment/music?

We both had a list of songs that we wanted the DJ to play, and afterwards opened it up for requests. The other entertainment was just a collection of things we thought would add to a fun atmosphere in the evening, e.g. photobooth, liquid nitrogen ice-cream, fireworks, etc.

Real weddings Zhao & Dan

What advice would you give to brides and grooms-to- be?

Get the venue and main suppliers locked down nice and early – that will lift a huge amount of stress. Hiring a full-time wedding planner can be expensive, but a much cheaper alternative is hiring an on-the-day “co-ordinator” to ensure everything runs smoothly. We used Love Laura and she was great. Although her brief was to help out on the day, she actually did loads of work getting our suppliers organized in the run-up. Finally, we were happy that we pushed the boat out and spent a little extra on some things we could have been able to do without but ultimately wanted. Even though these items pushed us 15-20% over budget in the end, it ensured that looking back we have absolutely no regrets.

Real weddings Zhao Daniel


Photographer: Naomi Kenton

Venue: Riverside Weddings, Newbridge Farm

Wedding planner: Love Laura Weddings

Florist: Martin & The Magpie

Caterers: Passion For Food

Pavillion: LPM Bohemia

Glamping: Bears & Butterflies

Real weddings Zhao & Dan