Aynhoe Park is one of the most unique and decadent wedding venues we’ve ever come across.
Hidden in every nook, flanking each staircase and fringing every door frame, you’ll find a backdrop of surrealist art, quirky curiosities and fanciful antiques: a floating giraffe, a grinning alligator waiter, taxidermy polar bears and peacocks, a unicorn on a piano, a whole wall of vintage globes, and statues of Roman gods watching over your guests’ every move. No wonder Victor and Isabel fell in love with the Cotswold venue.
Victor and Isabel had a truly international love affair. They met at a wedding in Brazil, where Isabel was then living and Victor, from Canada, was accompanying his cousin as a plus-one. A few years later, Isabel was changing planes in London on her way to Thailand and arranged to meet Victor and his cousin. When the cousin never showed, they spent the night bar-hopping around the capital instead.
After that, they began to speak more and, a few months later, Victor flew to Amsterdam where Isabel was working. “I guess that was our first date! We started officially dating during a music festival in Iceland later that year.”
Isabel was “completely fooled” when Victor proposed in September 2017. Their amazing day started with brunch at their favourite food stall in Broadway Market and ended with a luxe staycation. “I have to confess I was a bit tipsy when he proposed and it took me a second to understand what was going on. He says I slapped him and asked what had taken him so long (ooops),” reveals Isabel.
Their wedding was a three-day affair that included clay pigeon shooting, a “cheesy but perfect” choreographed Bruno Mars first dance, a Brazilian sweet dessert bar, and DJs blasting till dawn.
Photographer: Chris Giles Photography
The Wedding Dress
Isabel wore a bespoke dress, designed from scratch by aÿa, her friend’s label in Brazil.
“I didn’t want a traditional wedding dress. I have a very talented friend who designs dresses and I told her what I had in mind. She created the design (in Brazil) and a very good friend of mine who is a fashion historian and stylist went fabric shopping in London with me.
“We found the perfect fabric – a very heavy one – which one of mother’s best friends kindly took to Brazil. She developed the dress there and if fit perfectly on the day – she is a genius!
“I changed into a Zara sequin minidress for the reception because my other dress was too heavy to jump around in! I kept in the accessories my sister’s friend had designed for me: beautiful earrings and a hair piece with semi-precious gems and a tropical vibe.
“I wanted to dance all night so I had my hair up in a messy bun, which I usually do. I didn’t have any hair or makeup trials actually! I was very relaxed and knew what would work for me.”