Finally after a year of not being able to shoot weddings because of Covid restrictions, June seems to hold out some hope of things returning to normal like this Great Barn Aynho wedding.
As I started packing my cameras, lights, umbrellas (hopefully they won’t be needed too often this season) and got into my creative headspace, I started thinking about all the beautiful weddings I shot in 2019 before anyone had heard the word ‘pandemic’, ‘masks’ or ‘social distrancing’.
The Great Barn Aynho Wedding Venue
The Stephenson family bought the property in 1985 and transformed the barns to form a Wedding and Conference venue. A Day in the Country was formed in 1988 to run corporate activities and now runs over 150 corporate events a year, whilst The Great Barn holds up to 50 weddings a year. The Great Barn consists of two interconnecting barns named after the villages on either side of them – hence The Croughton Room and The Aynho Room. They were originally the hay and grain stores for the farm.
In 1999 an extension was built to incorporate an entrance hall and facilities for the venue and The Patio Room and Boardroom were developed for breakout rooms. The Dressing Room was added in 2016 for the bride and her entourage to get ready in and offer a haven of peace during the big day. The farm itself has 250 acres of mixed arable and woodland with a herd of Red Poll beef cattle. Both the venue and the farm are still run by 3 generations of Stephensons!
The venue comprises two beautifully restored 18th century stone barns which were built in 1770 as part of The Cartwright Estate in Aynho. The Aynho Room and The Croughton Rooms are both licensed for Civil Ceremonies.
One of the very special things for me about a wedding at The Great Barn, Aynho is that its a short drive down the track next to the fields to a quiet and peaceful lake full of trout (that often leap out to everyone’s surprise!) and is surrounded by mature bull-rushes and with two bridges and a little Island. A little note, beware all photographers crossing to the island, it has been known to be the chosen nesting place of some very territorial geese which have chased me back over the bridge more than once!
The Wedding Dress
Laura’s dress was beautiful with simple straps and lace over the top and flower appliquéd on the bust and throughout the lower half of the dress, wittily complementing the upper part of the dress.. The veil was simple and flowed down to the floor.
Luke wore a dark blue suit and simple woolen tweed waistcoat with matching blue large checks.
The bride arrived in the wedding car and was proudly walked down the aisle by her father, I love the fact that I captured them sharing a glance as they entered the church.
The bridesmaids looked glorious in matching pale grey gowns, with the younger bridesmaids in white with beautiful cream roses in their hands. It was particularly special for Laura to have her big sister as her Maid of Honour.
After the ceremony Laura’s friend sang as the couple were signing the register …… a song which was very moving for everyone who was related to her. It was a lovely family moment, bringing others into the heart of this special day.
The Wedding Photographs
The sun was shining as Mr and Mrs Healey emerged from the church to a haze of confetti. It was particularly lovely to see Laura’s Grandma enjoying the day and wishing the bride and groom well before they drove away in their grey jaguar to arrive for thr champagne reception at The Great Barn and for their photo shoot by the stunning lake.
I was able to get a beautiful shot of Laura and Luke in the middle of the bridge on the lake which seemed both intimate and filmic at the same time. The bridge is framed by gorgeous trees which frame the shots perfectly and are reminiscent of a Monet painting at Giverny.
While we were getting the bride and groom couple shots, the guests were back at the barn enjoying the glorious Oxfordshire sunshine and finally heading inside towards the wedding breakfast and the speeches.
The scrummy looking three tiered wedding cake had the cream rose theme running through it with leaves cascading down the side on a slim log base.
Then it was time for everyone to head out to the dance floor for Mr and Mrs Healey’s first dance and then the party could start in earnest. I was warned there would be a confetti cannon during the first dance so I was able to capture the confetti cascading down over the very happy couple.
So that was time for me to pack up my cameras and make my surreptitious exit from this fantastic barn and leave everyone to enjoy the rest of the festivities.
Little black book of suppliers for this Great Barn Aynho Wedding
Church Ceremony Venue: St Michael’s Church Aynho https://www.aynho.org/village_life/church/
Wedding Reception Venue: The Great Barn Aynho https://www.thegreatbarn.net/
Cake: Cakes by Kit http://cakesbykit.com/
Dress: Sugar and Spice Brides http://sugarandspicebrides.co.uk/
Flowers: Posies & Presents https://www.posiesandpresents.co.uk/
DJ- Smooth Moves Events https://www.smoothmovesevents.co.uk/
Caterer: Kearney’s https://www.kearneyscatering.co.uk/
Car: The Cotswold Chauffeur https://www.thecotswoldchauffeur.co.uk/
Videographer: Tinsel Town Wedding Films https://www.tinseltownweddings.co.uk/
Photography: David Bostock Photography https://davidbostockphotography.co.uk/
To see some other Great barn Aynho Weddings on the Blog CLICK HERE
If you would like to chat about my wedding photography for your own wedding please CONTACT ME HERE
Here is my own little selection of images from Laura & Lukes’ wedding day