Melissa Cortina, 29, married Joseph Swithenbank, 28, at Oriel College Chapel, Oxford, in September 2012. She says:

Kate Hopewell Smith

We chose Oriel because it was my home for several years while I was finishing my doctorate. Joe and I spent most of our time in the city when we were dating and thought it would be nice to share our world with our family and friends.

The vibe we were going for was elegant, but with a vintage feel. I loved the idea of walking up a candlelit aisle so we lined the chapel with ivory candles placed in hurricane lanterns with white rose petals.

Our venues were so beautiful that they didn't need much decoration. We had our formal dinner in Oriel's dining hall and our evening reception in the Bodleian Library. It's one of our favourite places and the stunning medieval interior provided the perfect backdrop for us to work with.

We named the tables after places in Paris, where we now live. I made each of the signs and put them in silver frames to match the votive candles. We also had vases filled with roses, dahlias and hydrangeas to complement Oriel's collection of silverware.

We sourced lots of local goodies, such as delicious gingerbread from Grasmere (we got engaged there), and arranged a series of events over the weekend, including a pub-crawl and the obligatory punting trip.

My top tip: Make sure you plan a day that reflects you both - and be organised! Put the time in early on and you'll be able to relax.

Photography by Kate Hopewell-Smith;