There’s nothing quite like getting a sneaky peak into recent real weddings held here at Shustoke Barn to get a feel for what it might be like to celebrate your big day with us, so today we wanted to share with you the wonderful marriage of Matt and Kate, with gorgeous photography courtesy of the extremely talented Gareth Newstead.
There must be something pretty special about our lovely venue as Matt & Kate were not the first in their friendship group to tie the knot at Shustoke Barn! After attending their now best man’s wedding here at an earlier date, Matt & Kate had already been a part of one of our previous real weddings and so had seen how beautiful a wedding day here is. Because of this, it was inevitable that they would want to say their ‘I dos’ in our fabulous barn (it’s pretty magical here!).
“The whole team from Shustoke were, as always, amazing on the day and ensured everything run really smoothly but still really relaxed” Gareth Newstead, Wedding Photographer
Our venue is ideal for weddings both big and small, with it’s innate ability to be cosy and intimate or very grand depending on your requirements. Matt & Kate opted for an intimate affair with a selection of close family and friends there to share their day and Gareth’s style of unobtrusive, documentary style photography captured it all perfectly.
Unlike a lot of more formal wedding venues, we like our meals to be a part of the fun rather than an intermission and this lovely couple’s guests threw themselves into the enjoyment of our interactive feasts. With a joint of meat on each table and volunteer carvers to share it out, everyone had a good laugh whilst digging in to some delicious food.
“The venue is stunning even without any decoration added and they had done a great job of with all the details, flowers, cake and colours. The beautiful wooden lettering Matt & Kate used worked really well with the barn feel.”
Matt & Kate opted for a towering ‘naked’ wedding cake adorned with white and yellow roses, to keep in line with the rustic décor.
They chose to keep decorations simple, accenting with twinkling fairy lights and delicate spring bouquets, proving that the bare bones of our barn are utterly beautiful without having to go to town on all the bells and whistles.
We pride ourselves on being able to offer a venue and an experience where you and your guests can feel totally relaxed and at ease for your special day and as you can see from the photos of our real weddings, there are always big smiles all round!
We believe that your wedding day should be as individual as you are and even though Matt & Kate had previously attended their friend’s big do, there’s no denying that their wedding at Shustoke was their very own.
A fantastic time was had by all, with guests of all ages in joyous attendance – this is one wedding we won’t forget in a hurry and that will leave Matt & Kate with warm memories for the rest of their lives together.
Keep an eye on our blog page for more Shustoke real weddings!
How do you approach the tricky business of choosing the right wine for your reception and wedding breakfast? This can be a pleasurable process for wine connoisseurs, however for many others it can present a slightly daunting prospect.
Don’t panic! We are here to help.
At Cripps Barn Group we offer a list across all of our venues of top quality wines, selected with the same approach to high standards which we use to source our kitchen produce. Our focus is to provide you with the best quality wines at drinkable prices directly from the vineyards. The benefit of Cripps’ personal knowledge of where the best vineyards are to be found, and who the best winemakers are in those regions, has resulted in a selection of wines which represent some of the finest examples of their type, and which also offer truly exceptional value for money.
We are on hand throughout your wedding planning process to offer advice and guidance where required. There are opportunities to taste the range at our open days, monthly feast menu evenings and after your planning meeting. If further help is required our wine buyer is on hand to give you a call.
So, sit back, relax, let us take care of you and raise a glass to the best day of your lives!
Click here for our pre-order wine list and prices.
With your wedding planning underway, you’ve probably quickly turned your interests onto finding the perfect photographer to document your big day. This is a big one when it comes to wedding decisions and a tricky one too, as unlike your venue, or your dress, or your flower arrangements you’re not going to see the final result until after the day has been and gone, making finding your ideal match all the more important.
With a fantastic selection of Birmingham wedding photographers to choose from, you might be feeling a little stumped as how to make this important decision, but aside from loving someone’s online portfolio, there is more to it that can help.
Settle on Your Style
Knowing what style of images you absolutely love will help you to narrow down your options, so do your research by scouring the web for inspirational pics.
Find a Specialist
Being a photographer doesn’t automatically make you someone who is great at shooting weddings, so stick to Birmingham wedding photographers who specialise in the wedding industry to best results.
Set Up Meetings
With so much on your plate on the run up to your wedding day, it can be tempting to organise everything you can remotely, via email. This is great for the initial back and forth to get an idea of prices and what’s on offer, but if you want to find the perfect photographer for you it is essential that you set up a meeting. The personality of your chosen photographer and how you get on will make a huge difference to the overall experience and result, as having your photograph taken on such a personal day is a very intimate thing. The more comfortable you feel, the better the pics will be!
Darren is an excellent documentary wedding photographer who we have had the pleasure of dealing with many times, as he captures beautiful, candid snaps of newly weds and their family and friends here at Shustoke Barn.
The laid back approach that Darren adopts makes for wonderfully natural images, catching those intimate moments that you will treasure for a lifetime.
With wedding images good enough to be used for advertising purposes across major highstreet stores, HBA photography brings you one step closer to that picture perfect wedding you’ve always dreamed of.
Passionate about wedding photography and inundated with amazing reviews, it’s no wonder that we see these guys back at our venue time and again.
If you’re after a real expert in the field of wedding photography, look no further than David Wadley! Such a pro at weddings that he is regularly called upon to write articles on wedding photography for all the best bridal mags and professional photographic books, David is unrivalled in experience within the Birmingham and West Midlands area.
Having worked as a pro wedding photographer for 36 years, snapping an impressive 3000+ weddings, David undoubtedly knows his stuff when it comes to create that perfect wedding album,
The way that you and your wedding guests start and finish your big day plays an important role in making everything perfect from beginning to end, so finding the ideal Birmingham accommodation, whether that’s a 5* hotel, cosy B&B or luxury self catering, is essential.
Remember that some of your guests might be travelling to you from further afield, so when you’re getting ready to send out your official invites, it’s always a nice touch to offer some suggestions of fabulous local places to stay that are suitable for all budgets. Pop an extra page into the envelope with your invite with venue directions, information and accommodation options or make a page for it on your wedding website to help out your friends and family.
If you’re not local to our venue yourself or you’re unfamiliar with the best Birmingham accommodation, we’ve got you covered! Here are some of our favourites that you and your guests will love:
If you’re looking for somewhere to prepare for or wind down from the wedding day that offers some serious pampering, Lea Marston Hotel is the Birmingham accommodation for you. With it’s fully equipped health club, rejuvenating spa, 9 hole golf course and contemporary bedrooms there’s not much that this hotel doesn’t offer!
This is the perfect place for the bridal party to get ready for the day ahead or for guests looking for something a little bit special.
Offering world class luxury, this award-winning hotel is one that we couldn’t miss off our top Birmingham accommodation list.
Enveloped in over 500 acres of beautiful countryside, this is one place where you can really unwind, relax and get out of it for a while.
A wedding is such a special occasion for everyone involved that splashing out on a truly memorable hotel is totally justified (take a look at their luxury lodge that sleeps up to 8), but a bargain never hurts! The Belfry makes luxury just that little bit more affordable with some exceptional offers available for all guests.
Fancy something more home from home in the form of a gorgeous self catering cottage? We love Little Bridge Cottage and the quirky Arctic Hut that is also available to rent for the night, complete with wood, cooking equipment and a sumptuous food hamper.
Ideal for couples or groups of 5 who are looking to share, this cottage is warm, welcoming and an absolute joy to behold!
Breakfasts and packed lunches are available on request, for those who love the privacy of a self catering but don’t much fancy doing the washing up.
For simple and affordable comfort, Langley Cottage is there to welcome you with open arms after an eventful day.
The guestrooms are quaint and cosy with ensuite bathrooms, full English and Continental breakfasts are offered and a guest kitchenette gives you the choice of being able to cook and eat in, should you wish.
Your rustic barn wedding here at Shustoke Barn is bound to be pretty amazing, but we don’t want your experience with us to start on the big day itself – we want to be there for you on the run up too.
We know that planning a wedding can be quite a hefty task, particularly if you’re not all that familiar with the area and what is accessible to you, so we’re always thrilled when we’re able to set in and help out wherever possible.
From the most incredible food spread imaginable, courtesy of our fabulous in-house chefs to all the little finishing touches you need to make your day really perfect, we can assist with it all! Your rustic barn wedding with us will be everything you hoped and dreamed, with minimal wedding planning stress.
Food is a big part of every wedding day and an important one to get right. This is why we take charge of all of the catering requirements on behalf of all of our happy couples.
We’ll take on the task of getting everything prepped, cooked, served and cleaned away for you but we’re leaving the best job for the bride and groom to be – choosing the menu.
We have so much on offer when it comes to food, whether you’re after something big and hearty like our impressive sharing feasts, elegant and dainty like our afternoon tea, or fun and informal like our delicious Baz & Fred stone baked pizzas, we’ve got something for everyone.
When it comes to selecting your menu, we would love for you to come and visit us for a fabulous feast evening in one of our sister barns in Gloucestershire.
For just £50pp you can come and indulge in a night of banquet-style eating, cooked up by our head chef, accompanied by a selection of fine wines and champagne. Be sure to book in early though, because places do go fast!
Amazing Local Suppliers
Every supplier that you choose for each aspect of your big day has an impact, so it’s a big job trying to find the right ones.
To help you out, we’ve created a comprehensive list of all of our favourite, local suppliers in the area who can make your rustic barn wedding something really special.
From wedding cake designers to the music and entertainment, you’ll find everything you need on our ‘Suppliers’ page.
We’ve created a list of nearby hotels, B&Bs, private cottages and pubs that provide wonderful rooms to suit all budgets. We’ve even listed the distance from our venue to make your life even easier!
Allow your guests to party the night away at your rustic barn wedding without having to worry about getting home. Be sure to pop some of our recommendations onto your wedding website or invites to help your friends find somewhere ideal for them.
It’s the little things that can make a huge difference on a wedding day, but often, sourcing 100s of candles and remembering the pack the fairy lights is the last thing you want to be worrying about.
If you’re hoping to having some gorgeous, ambient light at your rustic barn wedding, just ask us about our candle and fairy light packages. Want to make the most of the outdoor area too?
We’ve got three huge fire pits available for hire, to be placed in our courtyard and used for the all important marshmallow toasting as night falls.
Looking for some wedding entertainment with a twist? Then Gavin Parsons: Master Magician, might be the answer you’re after.
We’re all for entertainment that’s a little bit ‘out there’ for the fabulous weddings that we hold here at Shustoke Barn, so we more than welcome options that lean towards the edgy side.
Live music is great and in fact, works nicely alongside Gavin’s magical services too, but there’s something about the up close and personal aspect of table-side magic that really makes an impact.
Forget about awkward silences between family and friends who don’t know each other so well – table-side magic is the ultimate ice-breaker!
Wedding Entertainment with Gavin Parsons: Master Magician
If you’re leaning towards hiring a magician to entertain you and your guests on the big day, you won’t find much better than Gavin! Recently voted winner at the 2016 National Wedding Industry Awards for best wedding entertainment, it’s clear that we’re not the only ones who think so.
With the experience of hundreds of weddings under his belt, including many celebrity dos, Gavin is no stranger to performing in our beautiful barn. Specialising in close-up magic and sleight of hand, he always leaves guests amazed!
Gavin is always happy to tailor his performance to suit your wedding day requirements, so you can choose to have him mingling with guests during the meal and whilst photos are being taken or enjoy a full performance in the evening.
What to Expect
We don’t want to give too much away, because where’s the fun in that?! But what we can say is that you and your guests will really be in for a treat with Gavin’s fabulous talent.
From psychological illusions to misdirection and sleight of hand using objects borrowed from the audience, Gavin’s superb style of close-up magic is enough to leave anyone wowed.
“Gavin is a new breed of magician. With his dedication and pure commitment to magic he has been accepted as a full member of the ‘International Brotherhood of Magicians’”
Hiring Gavin is perfect if you’re wanting something that leaves your guests speechless and adds a unique element of magic and escapism to your special day.
What is Close-Up Magic?
There are lots of different styles of magic, but close-up magic is usually a winner for wedding entertainment. Also called ‘mix and mingle magic’, this is the most flexible performance style and is the ideal way to provide entertainment for everyone that feels really personal.
Perfect for guests of all ages, Gavin will wander around in amongst your guests performing incredible tricks right before their very eyes. No hiding behind fancy props and big stage set-ups, this is street magic at it’s finest.
How to Book
As with all things wedding, it’s best not to leave booking your wedding entertainment until the last minute, particularly when booking an award-winning supplier!
If you’re looking for wedding flowers that evoke childhood memories of magical, English country gardens you need look no further than Love From Katie.
Inspired by summers spent with her grandmother as a child, Katie Griffiths has transformed her lifelong passion of beautiful blooms into a talent to be shared with the happy couples, just like you, here at Shustoke Barn on your big day.
We just love the simple, rustic style of the
arrangements that Katie creates with such fluidity and ease, which sit perfectly within the country charm of our lovely barn venues and we’re always delighted to see her back time and again.
A florist that knows your venue inside out is a real bonus when it comes to figuring out your dream wedding flowers, so if you’re thinking of tying the knot at Shustoke Barn, you couldn’t be in a safer pair of hands.
With bouquets influenced by nature and “the enchanting colours and textures of the seasons”, Katie at Love From Katie wedding flowers knows just how to bring glorious Cotswold days inside, to be a part of your celebrations, with a natural charm like none other.
Louise & Matt Cripps Barn Wedding
Flowers by Love From Katie
Using a stunning selection of Ammi, David Austin Roses, Delphiniums, Stocks, Eucalyptus, Astilbe, Wax Flower, Dahlias, Lavender and Rosemary, Louise and Matt were given the pleasure of wedding flowers they’ll never forget.
This ideal choice of blooms was the perfect addition to their relaxed, Cotswold country wedding at our Big Sister venue, Cripps Barn, in the heart of Gloucestershire.
Saying your ‘I dos’ this year? Read on for why Love From Katy might just be able to provide you with the wedding flowers of your dreams…
Flowers Tailored to You
“Listening to someone’s very own love story is the reason I love what I do and my aim is to help bring your floral dreams to life.”
Katie Griffiths doesn’t just set out to deliver any old wedding flowers – the arrangements that she creates are bespoke and unique to each and every couple.
Once you’ve made the decision to meet up with Katie and discuss your requirements, it won’t be long before the creativity starts flowing!
Inspired by your very own love story and carefully taking into account all of your preferences, Katie always manages to come up with something that you never could have quite imagined yourself.
It’s this dedication to every individual couple that enables Katie to always wow us and her clients without fail!
A True Passion for Wedding Flowers
“For me flowers have such a magical quality and I always knew it was inherent in my being to do something close to nature.”
You wedding day is a truly special event and you want every supplier that you involve to be as excited about it as you are.
Katie has a true passion for creating beautiful, floral displays and this shines through in her work, meaning that every bouquet, button hole and centrepiece is just that little bit more amazing.
Inspired by Nature
“My style is influenced by nature and the enchanting colours and textures of the seasons.”
For a deeply rural, rustic look that fits in just right at our beautiful countryside barns, being inspired by the natural world is an absolute must.
There’s something about the almost innocent displays that Katie puts together that really does transport you back to childhood summertimes.
Whether it’s an impressive, sprawling overflow adorning our chandeliers or delicate, finishing touches to your wedding cake, everything will fit in with the season of your wedding.
Planning on having a wedding cake to complete your big day? Of course you are! But did you know that this is something that you should be looking at getting ordered around 6-9 months in advance?
Often, newly engaged couples are quite shocked to discover how far in advance they need to get the ball rolling on certain things, to get the final result that they want, amongst other need-to-know bits and pieces of key information.
As a newbie to the wedding industry, there are all sorts of questions you will need answering and we frequently find that the process of getting your dream wedding cake designed and ordered is one that’s leaving you particularly stumped.
The last thing you want is to be left in the dark when it comes to wedding planning and here at Shustoke Barn, we love to do everything we can to make your day run as smoothly as possible before, during and after.
To help you get your head around sorting out that all important wedding cake, we’ve got the insider scoop from local wedding cake celebrity Ben The Cake Man…
Ben The Cake Man: Your Wedding Cake Questions, Answered
How will my cake be designed?
The idea of being involved in the wedding cake design process appeals to some and seriously daunts others, so what can you really expect when it comes to the creating side of things? The long and short of it is, it’s totally up to you! You can collaborate with Ben The Cake Man to create something that is totally unique or base your choices on his existing designs.
If you would like to have a hand in the designing, you don’t actually need to know anything about cakes or even have any firm ideas about what you want the structure of the cake to look like. Ben recommends that you bring in any images, colour samples and material swatches that you love so that together, you can draw inspiration from those.
Will there be enough for all my guests?
One point about wedding cakes that leaves brides and grooms confused is will the wedding cake actually be big enough for everyone to have a slice?
The proportions of wedding cakes vary enormously, from the ultimate centrepieces to much more modest sizes and as you might imagine, the cost matches accordingly.
“If you have a large number of wedding guests, but have a limited budget, plain iced cutting cakes can be supplied to increase the number of portions and help reduce cost.”
This is great advice for those of you keen to have enough wedding cake to give all your family and friends a piece, without the expense of having an extra large cake created.
A cutting cake is a sheet cake, that tastes exactly the same as the showpiece but without all the decoration and tiers. With this, you can opt for a smaller wedding cake that acts as the ‘display piece’ but still make sure there’s plenty to go around.
When should I order my cake?
As mentioned above, getting the timing right when ordering your cake is crucial. Leave it too late and you may have to start making other plans!
You should aim to get your final cake order in around 6-9 months before the big day, so in line with your wedding dress too! Designing, baking and creating a beautiful wedding cake is very time consuming and talented chefs like Ben The Cake Man are in high demand, meaning that time slots are scarce.
How much will my cake cost?
The cost of your wedding cake will depend entirely on the design choices you make, so it’s impossible to offer a price list.
If you’re concerned about staying within your budget, don’t be afraid to speak up and let Ben know what your limits are so that he can create something for you with this in mind.
Clients can email me with as much information as possible about their preferences so that I can then offer an initial quote or a guide price.
I have priced the cakes in my gallery to give an idea of costs for different styles and size.
If you are happy with the approximate costing, it’s important that you reserve the date you need you cake by and I ask for a £100 non-returnable deposit to do this, which is deducted from the final cake price.
Want Ben The Cake Man to design and create your bespoke wedding cake? You can get in touch via his website (just make sure it’s sooner, rather than later!).
There’s a reason why all brides want a gang of girls by their side on the big day – there’s a lot to take on during the course of a wedding and being a bridesmaid is not a job to be sniffed at!
Bridesmaid duties vary from wedding to wedding, of course, but there are some responsibilities that come up again and again, so if you’ve been asked to be a bridesmaid or you’re getting ready to ask your besties to fill the position, it’s a good idea to know what it is you/they are signing up for.
Bridesmaid Duties & Responsibilities On The Wedding Day
Be Present & Correct
Rule number 1 – do not (I repeat, do NOT) be late! There’s a good chance that you’re going to have to be somewhere very early for you to all get ready together, as even late afternoon weddings have alarmingly early start times with the hair and makeup artist. This must be taken into account when figuring out sleeping arrangements for the night before and/or travel to the ‘prep destination’ on the day. Late bridesmaids = a seriously stressed out bride. Don’t be that friend.
Running Last Minute Errands
Has there ever been a bride in the history of the world who hasn’t realised that they’ve forgotten something at the very last minute? I don’t think so. However, on the big day, the last thing she is going to want to (or be able to) do is run around like a headless chicken, trying to get things sorted. If you’ve been nominated as bridesmaid, it’s down to you to be the fixer. Be prepared to do all sorts, from dashing out to pick up snacks to getting on the phone to vendors or meeting the ceremony officiant. The title of ‘Bridesmaid’ covers a broad spectrum!
Watch Out for Wardrobe Malfunctions
One of the many hats you’ll have to don as bridesmaid is stylist, so keep an eye on the bride all day and night so that you’re ready to jump to the rescue when she needs a veil adjustment, lipstick re-application or dress altering. She’s going to be pretty overwhelmed and pre-occupied, so there probably won’t be much chance for her to check herself out in the mirror. Be a good bridesmaid and make sure that she’s looking her best for all those wedding photos.
Be First on the Dance Floor
Take a deep breath and put on your dancing shoes – it’s down to you to get the party moving! It can take some time for guests to warm up to the idea of letting loose and having fun, especially early in the night before the drinks have really had a chance to get flowing, so help people out and allow them to take their cues from you.
The bride and groom will most likely have a first dance, but as soon as she gives you the signal, go ahead and join them! You may want to plan ahead and pair up with one of the groomsmen, or even go one step further and co-ordinate some sort of dance routine for a bridesmaid flash mob! However you do it, just be the first.
Meet & Greet
It’s likely that the bride is going to want you to be with her in the receiving line to meet and greet guests, so even if you have no idea who anyone is, just go with the flow. You may even have to go one step further and wander around introducing lonely guests to each other, directing friends and family to the bar/toilet and getting people to do as they’re told (wedding book signings/everyone sitting down for speeches/getting involved in games etc). If you’re not normally much of a social butterfly, now’s the time to break that habit. You’re going to be a go-to gal and that’s all there is to it!
Provide Emotional Support
Possibly the most important bridesmaid duty of the day is to provide unwavering, emotional support. Even the most loved up couples get nervous and tearful on their wedding day and it’s down to you to help the bride keep it together! Give lots of hugs and reassuring words and be with her every step of the way. It’s an emotional time, so be prepared for a blub or two – tissues anyone?
Getting to be father of the bride is a wonderful thing – your little girl is all grown up and getting married to the love of her life and she wants you there to celebrate with her. But hang on, that also means that you have to give a speech…
For many, the thought public speaking is a bit of a nightmare, especially at such an emotional event but as you may have already discovered, what the bride wants the bride gets, especially from her daddy.
If you thought that your duties ended at walking her down the aisle, think again! As father of the bride, you’ll be the first to deliver your speech after the ceremony. If you’re struggling with what to say and how to say it, don’t panic, we’ve got you covered…
Father of the Bride Tips for a Flawless Speech
So first thing’s first: before we get into how best to give your speech, you’d better write something! Sitting down to write a speech for such a momentous occasion is considerably easier said than done, but the last thing you want to do is wing it on the day, so it’s time to get your thinking cap on and sooner, rather than later.
To make your life just that little bit less stressful, we’ve outlined the key parts that you’ll need to get down on paper to pull together a great father of the bride speech.
Don’t assume that everyone will know who you are – they should, but they might not! To avoid any confusion and to ease into your speech gently, introduce yourself (and maybe crack a joke while you’re at it).
As the first up to give a speech at the reception, it’s a nice idea to welcome all the guests present and to thank them all for coming. After all, you may well have had a hand in funding the wedding so you’re well within your rights to do so!
The bride – your daughter. How the year’s have flown by! The little girl that you remember, so vividly, bouncing on your knee is now a grown woman and a beautiful bride. Share some memories that you have (if they’re ones she hasn’t heard before, even better!) and feel free to come equipped with some funny baby photos too. This is a great time in your speech to pull out a few tear jerkers, but don’t shy away from interjecting comedy too.
Here’s hoping that you do, genuinely, love your new son in law! Regardless of any creeping jealousy of the new man in your baby girl’s life, now is the time to formally welcome him into the family. Say a few kind words and avoid going too close to the bone with jokes!
As a man of the world, it’s a nice idea to offer the newly weds some invaluable, marital advice – if you have any to give.
End your speech on a high by toasting the happy couple and wishing them all the love and luck in the world!
Make It Great
So now you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to fine tune that marvellous father of the bride speech and deliver it perfectly. Here’s how:
Hold The Booze
You won’t be the first father of the bride ever to feel the need to have a stiff drink before getting up there to deliver his speech, just don’t overdo it! One or two to steady your nerves is fine, but save the celebratory drinks for later in the night.
Timing is Everything
It’s important to get the length of your speech just right, to avoid going on for way too long or to make the whole thing feel very rushed. Try to keep the entire speech at around 7 minutes, if you can, for a happy medium.
Keep it Clean
Throwing in a joke or two is fine, but for God’s sake keep it clean! No bride wants to hear lewd jokes coming from her dad on her wedding day and it’s a bad idea to say anything that might offend or upset anyone. Keep it loving and supportive – leave the harder stuff to the best man!