Wedding venue review: Merriscourt

Wedding venue review: Merriscourt

Merriscourt wedding venue review

Merriscourt is one of my favourite barn wedding venues in the heart of the Cotswolds. A vast expanse of space and possibilities; complete with modern facilities, accommodation and in house catering options.

It is a ‘one stop shop’ of a wedding venue which offers freedom, creativity, transparent pricing, and above all lots of space.

home from home wedding barn venue

There’s a real sense of calm and peacefulness about the surroundings and it feels very homely. You have full reign of the whole place during the event and can also stay over in one of it’s many accommodation options.

ample grounds

The venue is actually 3 interlinking converted barns around a beautiful central courtyard with a picturesque tree, giving a wonderful focal point from each of the surrounding barns.

Facilities

This wedding venue is blessed with high beamed ceilings, Cotswold stone walls adorned with subtle tapestries, and oodles of light.

Much more than just a blank canvas, this converted barn looks like a home from home. It’s your own house party for the weekend.

With space for a ceremony, drinks reception, sit down meal and dance floor without having to turn each space around; it rightly boasts lots of space. Plus there’s no need to relocate for any element of your special day with accommodation on site too.

 

Service

I don’t think I’ve ever heard a bad comment about Merriscourt. Couples have all said how great it is and that everything is clear so there’s no second guessing when wedding planning.

It would seem that Merriscourt can’t do enough for couples and go out of their way to ensure the day couples desire.

Plus from a wedding guest point of view, the staff seamlessly usher you through each aspect of the day from room to room.

Summary

This wedding venue is a real home from home that can be adapted just how you want it with an abundance of space and options. See an inspirational French foodie’s fête wedding at Merriscourt.

WEDDING VENUE FACTS
Type of venue: barn
Find out more: http://merriscourt.com/
Location:
Merriscourt, Sarsden, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, OX7 6QX
Wedding season: year round
Guests: 150
Marquee option: n/a
Ceremony: Licensed Stone Barn
Venue hire: from £3480
Nearest church: All Saints Church, Church Road, Churchill, Chipping Norton OX7 6NU
Wedding breakfast: packages for canapes, sharing boards and bbqs. Three course meals from £36pp.
Accommodation: luxury accommodation in grounds sleeps total of 26
Wedding fairs:
 Wedding Fair around March/April time
Other things worth a mention: beautiful Bentley for hire as well

inspiration: denim

inspiration: denim

casual blues for a rustic barn wedding complete with denim stationery – embroidered denim rather than a traditional paper suite: menus on napkins, name place sleeves around milk bottle glasses, table plan labels hung on Portuguese laurels plants

See more images in our gallery and the amazing local suppliers who came together to make this shoot possible in this blog post.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

Behind the scenes: Journey to the Centre of the Earth shoot

Behind the scenes: Journey to the Centre of the Earth shoot

Here’s a look behind the scenes of one of my recent styled shoots.

I was over the moon to be approached by a beautiful local venue last year (via a great photography partner) to style their wedding venue in order to show it off in a new light and provide all involved with wonderful lifestyle imagery.

It was wonderful to work alongside Steve from Squib Photography again (we previously worked on another styled bridal shoot last year). This time we were at Oxleaze Barn and we collaborated to produce an amazing bridal styled shoot inspired by Journey to the Centre of the Earth. It was also a privilege to be able to showcase some amazing products from some fantastic local suppliers.

Theme

I always have a number of ideas swilling around inside my head that are waiting for the right venue and season to utilise a certain theme. I’d had this particular theme in mind for a while and it had evolved and I had time to mull it over a long time before I’d even visited the venue for the first time. As soon as I saw Oxleaze Barn, I noticed all the blue accents around the 1700s barn and farm, so I knew that this theme would work perfectly there.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne (published in 1864) features an expedition to Iceland and exploration through volcanic tunnels. (See some of my previous styled shoots based on other classic books.) The Icelandic edge took me to cold, icy places and this wintry theme seamlessly fitted a modern winter styled barn wedding. I especially wanted to emphasise that this wedding venue was available year round, thanks to their underfloor heating, and wanted the images to exude warmth and play on the hygge trend with a relaxed and intimate vibe. Plus it was great to have the opportunity to showcase the evergreen and expanse of their garden.

I also wanted to include nods to the book with the inclusion of volcanic rock themes through slick agate, intricate hollow geode or timeless marble.

Hanami Dream | inspiration | mood board | Journey to the Centre of the Earth | modern ethereal winter styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | agate | marble | airplants | tulle | pale blue | gold | Oxleaze Barn | Gloucestershire | October 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.uk

Styled shoot

It is really important to me that my blog creates wedding inspiration in the beautiful Cotswolds. The uniqueness of the blog comes from showcasing my own beautiful and inspirational, trend-led styled wedding shoots, collaborating with local venues and innovative wedding suppliers.

Before starting Hanami Dream in 2014, I worked for over 6 years for an international clothing brand where I planned and managed photo shoots in some fabulous locations around the world. Now I get to combine my wonderful experience with my passion for weddings whilst supporting local businesses.

A styled shoot takes almost as much time and effort to produce as a wedding day and entails bringing together everything from many different suppliers.

For me the process always starts visually. Firstly on Pinterest where I collate my thoughts, then secondly on paper where I sketch out a floor plan, each scene and how every element will come together on a tablescape. Sometimes I have an idea of a product and I search for the best local supplier to provide that item. Other times, I see something that someone has created and I file it away for the most suitable shoot in the future.

The beauty of styled shoots (versus a real life wedding) is that it is a great opportunity to be a little more extravagant and really show off what you’ve always wanted to do. You can indulge your fantasies with new trends or products that couples may not have seen yet or something really unusual.

This styled shoot was a collaboration of like minded people that created great things together but perhaps didn’t have the budget to produce this kind of work if they all worked independently.

And most importantly, the suppliers I used are all local to the venue. This means that for anyone planning their wedding at this venue, this look and feel is completely achievable and realistic. The images might be Pinterest worthy but they are not unattainable.

Whether it is a styled shoot or a real life wedding day, the key is that each event is personal and tailor made.

Table runner with candles and floral displays | Journey to the Centre of the Earth | modern ethereal winter styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | agate | marble | airplants | tulle | pale blue | gold | Oxleaze Barn | Gloucestershire | October 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.uk

Brief

We are very lucky to live in a beautiful part of the UK and are surrounded by some seriously talented wedding venues, professionals and suppliers. It was brilliant that so many wanted to be involved in this shoot and they certainly didn’t disappoint with the products that they provided.

They were all given the same brief of what I was trying to achieve:

volcanic rock elements to make a statement at this wintery wedding alongside grey, icy blue, gold and white accents coupled with acres of tulle and delicate airplants

I also provided them with my collated vision and ideas on my Pinterest board.

The themes I wanted to encapsulate included:

  • winter
  • modern
  • industrial
  • tactile
  • ethereal
  • delicate
  • hygge

The colour palette followed the Spring 2018 trend colours of grey, blue and lilac, alongside gold and white accents including:

  • Little Boy Blue
  • Pink Lavender
  • Ultra Violet
  • Almost Mauve

Alongside neutrals of:

  • Sailor Blue
  • Harbor Mist
  • Coconut Milk

Designs

The creative suppliers worked wonders in transforming my overflowing pot of ideas and pairing it down in to realistic and achievable products for us to showcase.

Usually each shoot starts with a muse or product that sparks the theme and everything flows from that element. For this shoot, it was some marbled concrete pots, concrete coasters, concrete letters, and concrete table numbers. Unfortunately due to ill health, the supplier wasn’t able to provide these items in the end for the shoot. However this marble look and feel was present on other elements.

  • Cake design – I wasn’t sure that a Cotswold barn wedding was the right setting for a geode cake, so marble made the perfect theme for the cake. The Pretty Cake Company never fail to impress with their spectacular cakes and exquisite replica flower sugar work. And the beauty for this shoot included 4 different tier heights and the cascade of flowers matched the real ones immaculately.
  • Stationery design – Continuing my quest to present novel alternatives to paper stationery, I initially was keen to utilise actual shards of agate for table numbers and place names. Sourcing these locally, economically and timely proved harder than first planned. Thankfully, the incredibly talented Emerald Paper Design was able to create trompe-l’œil card replicas to give the same look and feel along with her beautiful gold calligraphy. The whole suite featured geode style watercolour stationery with gold accents and a navy envelope.
  • Flowers – despite my love of flowers, I’m discovering that a lot of my briefs recently have become almost ‘anti-flowers’ (ie just foliage, paper flowers, plants in pots) and this shoot focused heavily on succulents and air plants. Succulents are certainly one of my own fascinations and I’ve even started to propagate some for my own terrarium at home. For this shoot, I wanted the bouquets to feel modern and give a contrast against all the soft tulle. I loved the use of delicate air plants (a wonderful evolution on the succulent trend) and glass suspended baubles. Plus Enchanted Floristry brought along their amazing moongate that helped encapsulate the sense of entering a volcanic tunnel.Bride looking to side in front of moongate | Journey to the Centre of the Earth | modern ethereal winter styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | agate | marble | airplants | tulle | pale blue | gold | Oxleaze Barn | Gloucestershire | October 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.uk
  • Jewellery – It was brilliant to work with We Three Kings and their pieces echoed the colours and accents incredibly.Blue engagement ring | Journey to the Centre of the Earth | modern ethereal winter styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | agate | marble | airplants | tulle | pale blue | gold | Oxleaze Barn | Gloucestershire | October 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.uk

Suppliers

It’s the little details that bring any event to life and this was made possible by the wonderful local suppliers who provided their time, services, venue and products for free. Together we showcased the amazing talent that our part of the UK has to offer the wedding industry.

Despite the snow machine not materialising and a last minute change of models, the finished result was well worth the effort again.

  • Dress – From the outset, I wanted to include a blue dress in this shoot. Ideally I wanted a bridal separate like the Sweet Caroline Norma J separates but these aren’t readily stocked in local dress supplier shops. However thanks to Fairytale Occasions we were able to demonstrate a blue dress alongside a full tactile tulle white dress.Bridesmaid looking to side in garden | Journey to the Centre of the Earth | modern ethereal winter styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | agate | marble | airplants | tulle | pale blue | gold | Oxleaze Barn | Gloucestershire | October 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.uk
  • LightingOakwood Events are an absolutely amazing company – friendly, reliable and highly sought after. Despite their really busy schedule, I was fortunate enough to involve their services again and showcase a brand new addition to their portfolio (which they sped through the design process especially for this shoot). It’s like they can read my mind! And luckily they don’t think my ideas are too crazy! I love that these displays give an industrial feel which is a great contrast with the relaxed vibe in the room.Banquet style seating | Journey to the Centre of the Earth | modern ethereal winter styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | agate | marble | airplants | tulle | pale blue | gold | Oxleaze Barn | Gloucestershire | October 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.uk

Take a look at all the fabulous suppliers that were involved in this styled shoot – Keeping it local with suppliers for the Journey to the Centre of the Earth shoot

And see more about the Journey to the Centre of the Earth shoot – Inspiration: Journey to the Centre of the Earth wedding

Marble cake with sugar succulent cascade | Journey to the Centre of the Earth | modern ethereal winter styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | agate | marble | airplants | tulle | pale blue | gold | Oxleaze Barn | Gloucestershire | October 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.uk

Please do get in touch, if you are a local venue, wedding supplier or photographer and are looking to collaborate on a styled bridal shoot in the future.

#keepitlocal

Wedding venue review: Lapstone Barn

Wedding venue review: Lapstone Barn

If I was getting married again, this is the wedding venue where I’d choose to say ‘I do’! Its a brilliant compromise between a hotel and the blank canvas of a barn, which for me is the best of both worlds.

Location

Though slightly out of my normal radar, this wedding venue sits about 20 miles from Witney in the north of the Cotswolds. However it was well worth a visit to look around on such a glorious sunny day last month.

I feel really lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the country and it was wonderful to drive through such stunning countryside to get to this venue. Unfortunately, my drive was slightly longer than planned as I made the mistake of trying to find this venue from their postcode. It is much easier to find if you stick to the main roads, coming off the A44 towards Chipping Campden on the B4081. Or type ‘Lapstone Barn Wedding Venue’ in your Google maps!

There’s a lovely sense of escapism when you arrive and this venue feels like it’s completely in the middle of nowhere. Found not far from Batsford Arboretum, Dormy House and a stone’s throw away from Snowshill, with the lavender of the region echoed at the venue.

Industrial chic

This 18th century stable farm (and then a furniture shop until only last year) has recently been beautifully and breathtakingly done up to a luxurious finish. With all the class of a London venue alongside the tranquil and rural setting of the Cotswolds.

Industrial chic at it’s best and you can’t beat the backdrop and amazing scenery that this venue has to offer.

Grounds

After coming down the long drive, there’s a spacious car park out the front of this newly refurnished barn. Whilst the outside space was still a work in progress when I visited, you can still see the potential and vision that will come to life as soon as the warmer weather appears. With plans for a water feature and lavender in their courtyard and new tree being planted outside. Every aspect is being considered to provide stunning memories for your big day.

Facilities

There are two main parts to the inside of the venue, both exude a modern, classy and warm vibe.

The Stone Barn is more rustic and what you’d come to expect of a Cotswold barn venue and typically where couples choose to have their ceremonies. Then the Northwick Barn is a large industrial loft style extension where you could hold your wedding reception. But the options could also include the courtyard (which is also licensed).

Then there’s a further Tanner bar section with seating and a wood burning stove – hygge typified!

What struck me was that the venue seemed really light – both natural and artificial – with great expansive windows and doors, plus I loved the really modern light fittings.

On top of this, there are lots of places and separate areas to sit inside and outside, which would be great for people to break away during the reception or when music is playing.

Lapstone Barn offers all inclusive catering and bar packages and you can have the venue exclusively from 10am – 1am. There’s also a great area to get ready upstairs in the Hayloft where you can see your guests arriving along the drive.

Service

These new kids on the block are certainly not wet behind the ears, as they boast years of experience and an extensive list of suppliers in the wedding industry. They have worked on high-end bespoke marquee weddings and are bursting with ideas and expertise in creating stunning weddings.

They’ve got great vision and a brilliant eye for detail. They’ll even set the tables for you! So all you’re left to worry about is the decor, entertainment and getting yourself ready.

Summary

This wedding venue is a beautiful halfway house between a barn and a hotel. With the facilities of catering and a bar like a hotel, along with the charm and personalisation options of a barn.

WEDDING VENUE FACTS
Type of venue: barn
Find out more: https://www.lapstonebarn.co.uk/
Location: B4081, Chipping Campden, GL55 6UR
Wedding season: year round
Guests: 140-200
Marquee option: n/a
Ceremony: Licensed inside and courtyard from £200
Venue hire: from £1500
Nearest church: St James’ Church, Church Street, Chipping Campden GL55 6JG
Wedding breakfast: packages from £43pp
Accommodation: local hotels and b&bs
Wedding fairs: Wedding Fair and Open Day 17th March 2018
Other things worth a mention: brilliant industrial loft style barn conversion

 

Wedding venue review: Oxleaze Barn

Wedding venue review: Oxleaze Barn

Bridal party outside of the Barn | Journey to the Centre of the Earth | modern ethereal winter styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | agate | marble | airplants | tulle | pale blue | gold | Oxleaze Barn | Gloucestershire | October 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.ukLocation
Not too far off the A361 (which runs from Burford to Swindon) is a beautiful wedding barn. You’d be forgiven to thinking you were in the middle of nowhere as this wedding venue location feels so remote. There’s a wonderful quietness to the surroundings and a lovely sense of still and calmness. It really is an escape from the busy city and a chance to be immersed in the countryside to celebrate your special day in style.

Year round
Oxleaze Barn is a tucked-away Gloucestershire barn with year-round warmth, thanks to its solar panel and biomass generated underfloor heating. Built in 1702 and beautifully renovated with some stunning original features, yet adapted efficiently to provide a comfortable space and offer weddings whatever the season.

Moongate at the end of the aisle | Journey to the Centre of the Earth | modern ethereal winter styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | agate | marble | airplants | tulle | pale blue | gold | Oxleaze Barn | Gloucestershire | October 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.uk

Grounds
Tucked away in rolling Cotswold countryside, on a working farm, this wedding venue has ample parking, space for catering vans, a landscaped courtyard and firepit, along with access to a phenomenal private garden for your photographs.

Bridesmaid under arch in garden | Journey to the Centre of the Earth | modern ethereal winter styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | agate | marble | airplants | tulle | pale blue | gold | Oxleaze Barn | Gloucestershire | October 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.uk

Facilities
It’s also well equipped, with a spacious Artist’s Studio to get ready, a state of the art commercial kitchen and luxurious toilet area, plus Chiavari chairs if you want them for your wedding set up. Cotswold Event Solutions are on hand for any other furniture requests and The Watering Hole manage the bar for them. There’s only one wedding a weekend so you’ll have the time to decorate and enjoy your day without feeling rushed.

Banquet style seating | Journey to the Centre of the Earth | modern ethereal winter styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | agate | marble | airplants | tulle | pale blue | gold | Oxleaze Barn | Gloucestershire | October 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.uk

Service
With 4 years experience under their belts, this family run business have got the right mix of flexibility along with advice if/when couples require guidance. They offer a relaxed and friendly service partnered with a wonderful space that they are continuing to improve and evolve.

Space
This year their offering will include the expansion of additional barn space (The Milling Barn) which will give an extra area for the drinks reception and disco. In addition, they are converting a 3 double bedroom cottage for accommodation later this year.

Bride sat on Chivari chair in front of moongate wreath | Journey to the Centre of the Earth | modern ethereal winter styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | agate | marble | airplants | tulle | pale blue | gold | Oxleaze Barn | Gloucestershire | October 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.uk

Conclusion
Oxleaze Barn is certainly an up and coming venue to watch out for. Plus it seems that it is one that is responding to couples’ requirements and developing their offering.

And see how this beautiful venue looks in my Journey to the Centre of the Earth inspirational styled bridal shoot.

Close up of cake in the maze | Journey to the Centre of the Earth | modern ethereal winter styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | agate | marble | airplants | tulle | pale blue | gold | Oxleaze Barn | Gloucestershire | October 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.uk

WEDDING VENUE FACTS
Type of venue: barn
Find out more: http://www.oxleazebarn.co.uk/
Location: Filkins, Gloucestershire, GL7 3RB
Wedding season: year round
Guests: 120 in The Barn
Marquee option: marquee permitted
Ceremony: Licensed inside from £250
Venue hire: from £1000
Nearest church: St Peter’s Church, Rouses Lane, Filkins, Lechlade, Gloucestershire, GL7 3JF (0.0 miles)
Wedding breakfast: bring in own catering suppliers
Accommodation: 3 double bedroom cottage from February 2018
Wedding fairs: Open Day in February and October
Other things worth a mention: warm all year round

Inspiration: Journey to the Centre of the Earth wedding

Inspiration: Journey to the Centre of the Earth wedding

Inspired by Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne (published in 1864, featuring an expedition to Iceland with exploration through volcanic tunnels), this modern winter barn wedding shows the stunning hidden interior of volcanic rock in the form of slick agate and timeless marble.  Planned and designed by Hanami Dream and beautifully captured by Squib Photography.

Photography by Squib Photography

Acres of gentle, ethereal and floaty tulle were placed wonderfully alongside tactile sheep skin rugs and the tendrils of delicate air plants (a wonderful evolution on the succulent trend) in glass suspended baubles.

Photography by Squib Photography

The industrial style lighting pairs wonderfully with relaxed seating, exuding hygge with its intimate vibe. Set in a tucked-away Gloucestershire barn with year-round warmth thanks to its solar panel and biomass generated underfloor heating.

Photography by Squib Photography

An impressive moongate wreath backdrop surrounds the cool blue 1700s barn door, with hints of blue featured in all the details, using the Pantone Spring 2018 colours of grey, blue and lilac, alongside gold and white accents.

Photography by Squib Photography

Plus, this wedding continues the quest of Hanami Dream to present novel alternatives to paper wedding stationery – this time with name places on geode slices, along with modern script style calligraphy in gold.

Photography by Squib Photography

Oxleaze Barn was a great location for this wedding – beautifully renovated with some stunning original features, yet adapted efficiently to provide a comfortable space. It offers year-round weddings which made it perfect to showcase a winter wedding. Tucked away in rolling countryside, with a landscaped courtyard and firepit, along with access to a phenomenal private garden. The ladies got ready in the spacious Artist’s Studio before making their way across the courtyard and into the wonderfully warm barn.

Photography by Squib Photography

The ceremony took place on one side of the barn with rustic willow chandeliers hanging above the guests (from Oakwood Events). From each chandelier clear baubles hung down, all holding their own delicate air plant.

Photography by Squib Photography

The aisle was lined with Chiavari chairs covered with chiffon vertical drops (from Everything Covered), then tied up simply and elegantly with a few stems of dried lavender (courtesy of Enchanted Floristry).

Photography by Squib Photography

This led to the impressive moongate (by Enchanted Floristry) which was adorned with moss, an amazing asymmetric floral display and bedecked with lavish succulents and stunning air plants.

Photography by Squib Photography

The flowers, berries and silver green foliage were echoed around the room in the table displays, buttonhole and bouquets (all by Enchanted Floristry) which filled the room with a beautiful fragrance of eucalyptus. Florals included avalanche white roses, asparagus fern, brunia berry, eucalyptus silver dollar, eucalyptus small-leaf gum, eucalyptus baby blue, dusty miller, dried lavender, leather leaf, birch twigs (sprayed white), eryngium, sea holly and thistles. But the stars of the show were all the wonderful air-plants dotted around the barn (supplied by www.andysairplants.co.uk).

Photography by Squib Photography

The bride was dressed to impress in a mix and match bridal gown by Lilly with its dual layered style to combine an intricate, beaded tulle overlay with an elegant satin slip-dress underneath. She was escorted by her attendant in an exquisite powder blue prom dress which fitted the colour theme flawlessly. (Both dresses from Fairytale Occasions.)

Photography by Squib Photography

Their make up used shimmering iridescent colours to echo the ethereal vibe and the hair was captured in a cascading braid (exquisitely executed by Blushing Brides Hair and Make Up).

Photography by Squib Photography

Standing spectacularly tall was the four-tiered marble cake (with different tier heights) embellished with edible gold leaf (which really enhanced the grain of the marble) and a dramatic sugar flower cascade. The cake was festooned with replica air plants, ivory roses, succulents, brunia berries, thistles and dusty miller leaves which complemented the dusky green/grey marble perfectly and mirrored the real flowers seamlessly. Another masterpiece courtesy of The Pretty Cake Company.

Photography by Squib Photography

The other half of the barn was laid for a banquet style wedding reception, complete with grey galley shade loft-style chandeliers (from Oakwood Events) above solid wooden tables and benches (crafted by Cotswold Event Solutions) lined up in front of the roaring open fire. The beautiful heart cut outs in the tables echoed the ceremony thrones and, for extra comfort, sheep skin rugs (from The Witney Blanket Hall) were placed over the benches for a luxurious feel.

Photography by Squib Photography

Wedding stationery (designed by Emerald Paper Design) embraced the geode style with a watercolour invitation with gold accents, an information card, an RSVP card and an RSVP envelope all tied together with gold thread and a little monogrammed tag. The menu was in the same style as the invitation with exquisite gold calligraphy.

Photography by Squib Photography

Guests could find their tables by referring to the geode style table plan tabs with gold accents mounted on a rustic pale blue barn door. At the table, the geode style watercolour place names had gold edging and modern calligraphy to represent slices of agate. (All by Emerald Paper Design.)

Photography by Squib Photography

Down the centre of the tables ran swathes of pale blue organza table runners (from Everything Covered) for a light and airy feel. Topped with exquisite floral displays (by Enchanted Floristry), along with modern gold cutlery, plain clear champagne coupé glasses, plain clear glass candlesticks with 32cm tapered white candles, along with blue glass bottle vases and glass salt bowls (all from Vintage Gold China) giving a simple, striking and delicate tablescape.

Photography by Squib Photography

The gorgeous ladies wore stylish jewellery (by We Three Kings) including an 18ct yellow gold, tear drop pearl and half carat, old cut diamond earrings with a matching pendant by the bride. The wedding ring was 18ct yellow gold with scattered, flush set diamonds. Whilst the bridesmaid wore an 18ct yellow gold pendant with three, coloured, fine quality sapphires and a selection of 18ct yellow gold and coloured sapphires stacking rings.

Photography by Squib Photography

The magnificent expanse of the picturesque garden provided a fantastic backdrop (including a great maze-like area) and the evergreen emphasised how wonderful the outside space is regardless of the season.

Photography by Squib Photography

It’s the little details that bring any event to life and this was made possible by the wonderful local suppliers who provided their time, services, venue and products for free. Together we have showcased the amazing talent that our part of the UK has to offer the wedding industry.

Take a look at the fabulous suppliers that were involved in this styled shoot – Keeping it local with suppliers for the Journey to the Centre of the Earth shoot

And take a glimpse behind the scenes at the how the theme and designs came to life – Behind the scenes: Journey to the Centre of the Earth shoot

#keepitlocal

Planning & Design | Hanami Dream | www.hanamidream.co.uk
Photographer | Squib Photography | www.squibphotography.co.uk
Location | Oxleaze Barn | www.oxleazebarn.co.uk
Models | Sophie and Elodie
Hair & Make up | Blushing Brides www.blushingbrideshairandmakeup.com
Furniture | Cotswold Event Solutions | www.facebook.com/CotswoldEventSolutions/
Stationery | Emerald Paper Design | www.emeraldpaperdesign.com
Florist | Enchanted Floristry | www.enchantedfloristry.co.uk (with airplants from www.andysairplants.co.uk)
Chair covers and table runners | Everything Covered | www.everything-covered.co.uk
Bridal dress and bridesmaid dress | Fairytale Occasions | www.fairytaleoccasions.co.uk
Lighting | Oakwood Events | www.oakwoodevents.co.uk
Cake | The Pretty Cake Company | www.theprettycakecompany.com
Bar | The Watering Hole | www.thewateringholeeventbars.co.uk
Jewellery | We Three Kings | www.wtkgallery.co.uk
Cutlery, glasses, candlesticks, candles, glass bowls | Vintage Gold China | www.vintagegoldchina.com
Rugs and throws | Witney Blanket Hall | www.witneyblankethall.co.uk

Keeping it local with suppliers for the Journey to the Centre of the Earth shoot

Keeping it local with suppliers for the Journey to the Centre of the Earth shoot

Inspired by Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne, this modern winter barn wedding shows the stunning hidden interior of volcanic rock in the form of slick agate and timeless marble. Acres of gentle, ethereal and floaty tulle were placed wonderfully alongside tactile sheep skin rugs and the tendrils of delicate air plants (a wonderful evolution on the succulent trend) in glass suspended baubles.

Photography by Squib Photography

It’s the little details that bring any event to life and this was made possible by the wonderful local suppliers who provided their time, services, venue and products for free. Together we have showcased the amazing talent that our part of the UK has to offer the wedding industry.

Thanks to all these wonderful suppliers #keepitlocal


Photographer Squib Photography

I’m Steven, a full time professional photographer who set up Squib Photography in 2002 and is lucky enough to photograph some beautiful weddings in the Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds. I also cover pretty much the rest of the UK and have even been lucky enough to be booked to cover some destinations recently overseas.

After completing my studies at Oxford Brookes University I started Squib Photography and have photographed in excess of 450 weddings to date. I like to provide a professional, yet flexible service offering a mixture of formal and reportage photography to perfectly capture the atmosphere of a wedding day.

Every wedding is important to me and I will strive to tell the story of the day using natural light and little posing as possible. I do so in a relaxed, informal way so the couple can enjoy those special moments and leave me to document that for them.

I am always open to new ideas, input from couples and understand that every wedding day is very different, so will always work carefully with them to make sure you receive a personalized, bespoke service.

Hanami Dream | inspiration | mood board | Journey to the Centre of the Earth | modern ethereal winter styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | agate | marble | airplants | tulle | pale blue | gold | Oxleaze Barn | Gloucestershire | October 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.uk

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Location – Oxleaze Barn


At Oxleaze Barn we endeavour to offer a venue and service that is relaxed, friendly and flexible. Oxleaze is a family run business located on a working farm surrounded by Cotswold countryside. The Barn is a beautifully renovated grain store dating back to 1702. Whilst we have maintained its original features which give it such rustic charm, we have adapted it to run as an efficient event space.

We only have one wedding a weekend to ensure you have the time to decorate and enjoy your day without feeling rushed. The Watering Hole manage the bar exclusively and can offer a variety of drinks packages and a cash bar to suit your requirements. We have a list of recommended suppliers with whom we work closely, but you are not obliged to use them, and can choose your own caterer.

Oxleaze Barn comprises of The Barn and The Milling Barn. The ceremony and the wedding breakfast take place in The Barn. The Milling Barn is available for the drinks reception and dancing. The Barn opens onto a stunning landscaped courtyard and fire pit, with a wide garden gate available for late night street food vans.

Photography by Squib Photography

 

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Hair & Make up – Blushing Brides

Blushing Brides Hair and Makeup, Hair and Makeup Artists are based in Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds.

With Blushing Brides you make one booking and get two artists working for you, two artists with individual skills, ideas and experience.

We are firm believers that with specialists who have honed their individual skills over many years you get a superior experience, the look you have always wanted and better value for money.

Lauren (Makeup Artist) and Laura (Hair Stylist) have many years experience working for brides and bridal parties, we bring all this to help you achieve the most beautiful look for your special day. Far better, we believe, than one person pushing themselves to do both.

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FurnitureCotswold Event Solutions

Photography by Squib Photographyfacebook logo@CotwoldEventSolutions


Stationery – Emerald Paper Design


Emerald Paper Design is a wedding stationery and modern calligraphy studio based in Cheltenham, UK. We specialise in bespoke watercolours, illustrations and calligraphy to create stationery you and your guests will love. Whether you are looking for something modern, something floral, or something completely different, we can help create something with an individual touch.

Photography by Squib Photography

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Florist – Enchanted Floristry

Enchanted Floristry is an innovative, bespoke high quality floral designer. Highly talented, incredibly passionate and driven by a complete love of flowers. Along with training by top floristry schools and an impressive array of qualifications, is her eye for detail and creative new ideas.

Operating out of a beautiful Shepherd’s hut and workshop in rural Oxfordshire, Enchanted Floristry creates and produces incredible customised floral designs with the WOW factor for weddings.

Their impressive moongate, a freestanding 2 metre high wreath, provides a spectacular backdrop for your ceremony and can be dressed to suit the theme, season and colours of your wedding.

Photography by Squib Photography

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All the Air plants were supplied by Andy’s Air Plants
Photography by Squib Photography

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Chair covers and table runners – Everything Covered


Chiffon Vertical Drops for Chivari chairs and Organza Table Runners.

Ellie Tanner is a venue stylist who started out in the industry in 2005 with chocolate fountains and soon found her passion for beautiful wedding decor.  She has built up many years of experience working with many various venues around the South West, transforming venues into memorable and stunning weddings and providing excellent customer service to couples.

Photography by Squib Photography
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Dresses – Fairytale Occasions

Our quaint little bridal boutique is based in Highworth, Swindon, Wiltshire and we currently stock designer wedding dresses, prom dresses & a full accessory collection.

We aim to make the whole experience of finding and purchasing your dream dress relaxed and stress free, whether it be a wedding or prom dress. We offer a friendly service in a relaxed atmosphere for all our customers and operate an appointment system to ensure that everyone receives an exclusive one-to-one service to help build your dream look.

Photography by Squib Photography

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Lighting – Oakwood Events

Oakwood Events supplies stunning lighting for stylish couples. We design and install lighting schemes for barn weddings using fairy lights, festoon lights, bare bulbs, paper lanterns, chandeliers, drapes, uplighting, bunting and dance floor lighting.

Lighting is a unique addition to your wedding and can be used to highlight features like beams or stone walls, change the atmosphere between day and night or make a colour or design statement to match your theme. We pride ourselves on top quality design, professional installation and amazing features; explore our Pinterest boards for inspiration and to see how our lighting adds wow factor to barn weddings.

See your wedding in a different light!

Photography by Squib Photography

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Cake – The Pretty Cake Company

Pretty Cake Company logo

The Pretty Cake Company offers a friendly, personal and bespoke wedding cake design service to produce breath taking wedding cakes that will be remembered for years to come. Our aim is to produce a wedding cake that is individual to the bride and groom – always focusing on the attention to detail that makes all the difference. We have over 10 years of experience in designing and creating wedding cakes and work closely with numerous prestigious wedding venues in Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and The Cotswolds.  We will work with you and take your ideas and inspirations in order to create a truly memorable wedding cake. We pride ourselves on using the finest quality and freshest ingredients available.

Unlike many other cake companies, we now specialise only in wedding cakes, as this is our true passion.  Now we are able to focus on keeping up to date with current bridal trends and ensuring that our clients receive expert advice in the wedding cake field.

Clients are guaranteed a friendly, efficient service where quality is never compromised. Consultations by appointment only. We are based in Minster Lovell, Witney, West Oxfordshire and can deliver to a wide area.

Photography by Squib Photography

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Bar – The Watering Hole


The Watering Hole Events offers a range of superb mobile bars, including the latest edition – the ‘Edison Light’ bar – creating the perfect atmosphere for any event. We have a wealth of experience in the industry, with our event cocktail bars and staff attending a multitude of functions, including: weddings, corporate functions, and milestone birthday parties all across the UK – particularly focussed around Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire and Birmingham.

A range of your favourite cocktails can be chosen, along with real ales, cider and lager on tap. We can also arrange your daytime drinks package, which includes welcome drinks as your guests arrive, a toast drink and table wine, chilled and served, until the evening cash or free-bar opens.

Our event teams recycle all bar waste, from glass bottles to plastic cups, at every event. So you can continue to enjoy your party with a “green” conscience. Every event is unique, exclusive and exciting, so we believe that every bar service should reflect just that!

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Jewellery – We Three Kings

We Three Kings was established by Bill and Nicola Maddocksin 1995 and is situated in a 17th Century listed building in the Cotswold market town of Witney, Oxfordshire. The gallery workshop in Bridge Street is where Bill and Nicola Maddocks design and make beautiful pieces of jewellery at the bench. They offer a specialist jewellery service, their bespoke designs allow them to tailor the design and materials to suit your style and budget.

Working closely with other specialist trades enables them to offer hand engraving and an assortment of other services including CAD, casting, plating and stone cutting of the highest quality. We Three Kings also offer to service and repair your jewellery whether it is a general check-up or complete overhaul.

Bill is a goldsmith working in residence within the gallery and is happy to discuss design ideas. Appointments are free and you are not committing yourself until you are happy with the design and the price. After that a deposit is required if you decide to have the piece made up. It takes approximately six to eight weeks after designing to create the finished piece.

They work in gold, silver and platinum and can source practically any stones you require from the highest quality diamonds to semi-precious stones and beads. It is also possible to remodel existing pieces of jewellery. Bill can melt and reuse old gold if it has a sentimental value and old stones can be cleaned and reused to create a new unique piece.

They make jewellery for all types of occasions and appreciate it can sometimes be difficult for customers to be confident when having a piece made as a surprise so they offer a service where you can present a sketch in a box allowing the design and materials to evolve so the final piece is exactly what you want. Another option is to choose a stone which can be given in a presentation box and you can come in and design the piece together.

Photography by Squib Photography

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Cutlery, glasses, candlesticks, candles, glass bowls – Vintage Gold China

Vintage Gold China logo

Vintage Gold China is a boutique vintage china and gold cutlery hire company based in Gloucestershire. We specialise in hiring elegant, fine china, bronze candlesticks and genuine vintage gold cutlery. From small tea parties, village hall get-togethers, hen party evenings, showy dinner parties, wedding breakfast or celebrating your golden wedding anniversary, Vintage Gold China will help you create the perfect, glamourous vintage setting.

With access to our beautiful collection of elegant tableware consisting of quality vintage English fine bone china, French porcelain, vintage bronze gold cutlery, Victorian style glass dessert plates, bronze and glass candlesticks and many styles of votive – you will find all the tableware accessories you need to tastefully style your event. We can also supply luxury table linens from our sister company, Table to Dine For.

We supply to events in the Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Avon and Wiltshire areas.  For weddings, parties and events, contact us for your tailored quote.

Photography by Squib Photography

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Rugs and throws – The Witney Blanket Hall

Witney Blanket Hall was built in 1721 by the Company of Blanket Makers. For over 120 years, every blanket woven in the town came to the Hall to be weighed and measured, and upstairs in the Great Room the Company set the Rules for the Trade. After 1845 the New Mills established their own measuring, and the redundant Blanket Hall became variously a Brewery, a Lemonade Factory, Engineering Shop, Office of births marriages and deaths, Dancing School, and latterly, a distinctive gentleman’s house. During most of its history, the Hall is also where many of the town’s Public Meetings took place, the death of Kings solemnly commemorated and the birth of Princes celebrated with great feasts. In the 18th Century, the Hall housed the town’s Fire Pump. In 2015, the Hall reopened its doors to reveal this illustrious past and offer woollen blankets and throws, coffee pies and assemblies, both commercial and cultural. Visitors are always welcome and are invited to come and find out more about the infamous Witney Blankets.

The Pie Shop offers its famous pies and platters, as well as tea, coffee and cakes. We are licenced so wine and Blanket Hall Beer are always available. The Hall can also be open outside hours by arrangement and is often available for hire by Companies and Societies.

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Take a look at a behind the scenes look at the briefs that were given to these fabulous suppliers and how the Journey to the Centre of the Earth theme came to life with their designs and products.

Inspiration: icelandic rock

Inspiration: icelandic rock

Inspired by Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne, this modern winter barn wedding shows the stunning hidden interior of volcanic rock in the form of slick agate and timeless marble. Acres of gentle, ethereal and floaty tulle were placed wonderfully alongside tactile sheep skin rugs and the tendrils of delicate air plants (a wonderful evolution on the succulent trend) in glass suspended baubles.Hanami Dream | inspiration | mood board | Journey to the Centre of the Earth | modern ethereal winter styled bridal shoot by Hanami Dream | agate | marble | airplants | tulle | pale blue | gold | Oxleaze Barn | Gloucestershire | October 2017 | Photography by Squib Photography www.squibphotography.co.uk

See more images in our gallery and the amazing local suppliers who came together to make this shoot possible in this blog post.

Photography by Squib Photography

Inspiration: festival wedding

Inspiration: festival wedding

This festival wedding was a real break from tradition – full of alternative ideas for couples to get inspiration for their big day. It showcased an abundance of hanging greenery and was really tactile using different materials such as denim, macrame, paper, wood and terracotta details.

The colour palette had a 70s vibe full of Fall 2017 colours of a pale blue Bluebell, a soft Copper Tan coral, Navy Peony blue, brown and white. It was planned and designed by Hanami Dream and fantastically captured by Cat Stephens Photography.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

On Sunday 17th September 2017, Cogges Manor Farm held a festival styled Wedding Open Day that Hanami Dream helped to organise. But this was not a traditional wedding fair – the Barn was dressed as if it were a real wedding.

Think dream catcher favours, festoon and ribbon drape lighting, oversized letter lighting, paper flowers, food van, chill out area and fire bowl. It was a different take from the norm to provide options and open people’s eyes to the huge spectrum of ideas to bring their dream to life.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

For example, there weren’t any real flowers at this wedding. They were either paper flowers or house plants showing couples that they can achieve this look by making (or borrowing) things themselves – this is great for any diy wedding couples.

Plus, all the stationery was embroidered on to denim rather than traditional paper – menus were on the napkins, name places were sleeves around the milk bottle glasses, table plan labels were hung on Portuguese laurels plants.

It was a relaxed and informal open day showcasing a truly personal wedding option – not a cookie cutter approach at all. Take a look at some of the testimonials from the day.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

Cogges Manor Farm was the ideal location for this wedding as it offers the perfect blank canvas to add personalised details. It is nestled in the lovely market town of Witney and offers two stunning seventeenth century barns as well as a beautiful walled garden, stunning grounds and an impressive Manor House as a remarkable backdrop.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

The festival vibe was hailed from the entrance with impressive towering festival flags (from Event Flag Hire) – signalling the way to the party.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

Couples walked in to the Wheat Barn down a tree lined aisle. The vintage mismatched chairs (courtesy of Linda’s Vintage Hire) were beautifully decorated with macramé chair coverings (from MacrAmy’s Macrame) and the Portuguese Laurels (kindly provided by Bampton Garden Plants) guided the way right to where the ceremony would take place under a stunning macramé backdrop (wonderfully created by MacrAmy’s Macrame) and framed by two beautiful olive trees (also from Bampton Garden Plants).

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

One side of the barn was decorated as a seating area to enjoy a sumptuous wedding breakfast. The vintage tables and chairs (from Linda’s Vintage Hire) were laid out below an impressive array of trailing plants in spectacular hanging macramé holders (from MacrAmy’s Macrame) and under spectacular festoon lighting (from Oakwood Events).

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

They were set with denim napkins (gorgeously embroidered by Little Pickle Creations) containing the menu, mini macramé favours (from MacrAmy’s Macrame), milk bottles (from Mabel & Rose) acting as drinking glasses with an embroidered denim name place (by Little Pickle Creations), placed inside were stripy straws (from Little Cherry), plus amazing natural biodegradable tableware (also from Little Cherry) – a perfect accompaniment to our street food reception.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

The tables were also decorated with more terracotta pot plants and impressive paper flowers (from Pretty Big Flowers) that lit up for an incredible atmosphere.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

The delicious ombre ruffle cake (by The Cake Element Bakery) echoed the colours of the denim stationery and sat beautiful on a vintage barrel (from Mabel & Rose) and amongst a display of framed absent friend photographs, crates and potted plants. The wonderful props from Mabel & Rose really brought the place to life and were dotted around adding features to every area including the bar which had a vintage tin bath and giant wooden barrels.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

The other half of the barn was dedicated to the entertainment and dance floor – lit to accompany a party – including an impressive 7 square metre lit paper flower wall (constructed by Pretty Big Flowers).

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

Over the dance floor hung a white chandelier adorned with coral and denim ribbons and a 4-point drape star that flowed to the dance floor (from Oakwood Events), along with 4ft tall light up LOVE letters (wonderfully contributed by Gilt Edge Events).

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

There was also a chill out area complete with a comfy brown leather sofa, bales of hay as well as more vintage chairs (from Linda’s Vintage Hire). These were strewn with gorgeous lambswool wide-herringbone throws in mandarin and azure (from The Witney Blanket Hall).

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

Outside the party continued with a firepit to sit around, garden games and chalk boards highlighting the events of the day.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

On top of all this, there was delicious food to try (courtesy of Goujon Monkey) such as beer battered cod, Cajun breaded chicken and deep-fried brie, along with paprika dusted chips. Plus, cake tasting from The Cake Element Bakery, drinks from Firkin Mobile Bars, live music from Joely Rendle and Natalya Williams, owl ring bearer from J.E.T. Falconry, a fashion show from Rosie Red Corsetry, plus two workshops on how to make some of the décor that was on display, expertly delivered by MacrAmy’s Macrame and Pretty Big Flowers.

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

There was a real festival vibe with macramé, hanging plants, dream catcher favours, festoon and ribbon drape lighting, oversized letter lighting, paper flowers, food van, chill out area and fire bowl.

Thank you to all the wonderful suppliers that made this such an amazing wedding open day. It was lovely to meet excited couples in the midst of wedding planning – all the best with your special days!

Photography by Cat Stephens Photography

It’s the little details that bring any event to life and this was made possible by the wonderful local suppliers who provided their time, services, venue and products for free. Together we have showcased the amazing talent that our part of the UK has to offer the wedding industry.

Take a look at the fabulous suppliers that were involved in this styled shoot – Keeping it local with suppliers for the Festival shoot

And take a glimpse behind the scenes at the how the theme and designs came to life – Behind the scenes: Festival shoot

#keepitlocal

Planning & Design | Hanami Dream | www.hanamidream.co.uk
Photographer | Cat Stephens Photography | https://www.catstephensphotography.com
Location | Cogges Manor Farm | www.cogges.org.uk
Tree hire | Bampton Garden Plants | https://www.bamptongardenplants.co.uk/
Flag hire | Event Flag Hire | https://eventflaghire.co.uk/
LOVE light up letters | Gilt Edge Events | https://www.giltedgeevents.co.uk/
Food van | Goujon Monkey | http://www.goujonmonkey.com/
Chairs & tables | Linda’s Vintage Hire | www.lindasvintagehire.co.uk
Cutlery & crockery | Little Cherry | https://www.littlecherry.co.uk/
Stationery | Little Pickle Creations | http://www.littlepickle-creations.com
Props | Mabel & Rose | http://www.mabelandrose.com/
Macrame | MacrAmy’s Macrame | https://www.facebook.com/MacrAmysMacrame
Lighting | Oakwood Events | www.oakwoodevents.co.uk
Paper flowers | Pretty Big Flowers | https://prettybigflowers.com
Cake | The Cake Element Bakery | http://www.cakeelementbakery.co.uk/
Blankets | The Witney Blanket Hall | http://www.witneyblankethall.co.uk/
Delivery | Global 360 International Freight Forwarders | http://www.globalthreesixty.co.uk/