We’re all feeling the heat of this scorching British summertime, so we thought that this week we’d cool things down a bit with a blog about a truly stunning winter wedding here at Cripps Barn, held in December 2016.
We know that there are plenty of brides and grooms to be out there braving a winter wedding in 2017, but wondering if they’ve made the right call setting the date during the coldest darkest months of the year. We’re here to tell you that come rain or shine, our barn and our incredible staff are no less spectacular in winter. In fact, there’s really something quite special about tying the knot on a frosty day in the Cotswolds, as Abi and Craig found out.
“The first thing we did was think about those weddings we had been to where we had really relaxed and we agreed that a barn wedding we had been to just about had the edge!
We had a quick look online and thought Cripps Barn near Bibury looked perfect so I asked my mum and dad to go and check it out for us. They loved it (and we trusted them) so we just went ahead and booked for the next available Saturday – which was a years’ time in December.” – Abi, Interview from Rock My Wedding
Abi, Craig and all of the Cripps Barn staff really threw themselves into producing an incredible day and every last detail was carefully considered, from the dress code to the decorations.
Whilst not sticking to a traditionally ‘festive’ theme, Abi worked tirelessly alongside our team and her chosen vendors to create a natural yet magical look for the whole day. With plenty of glittering, gold fairy lights throughout; lots of green and grey foliage accented with nude and ivory roses and ranunculus adorning our barn and making up gorgeous bouquets; matching grey linen on the tables and decorated terrariums the overall style was undoubtedly whimsical yet cutting edge contemporary.
Our barn is known for being the spot for relaxed, informal weddings where the bride and groom and all of their guests can let loose and have fun, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t go all out with the dress code! Abi and Craig chose to make their winter wedding a black tie event, which made for incredible photos of all involved.
With the bridesmaids in fabulous Ghost dresses and Luna Bea hair pins and the boys donning full tuxes there was no mistaking it – this was a very special occasion.
As for Abi’s wedding dress, this was quite unlike anything we’ve seen before! Meticulously created by Hermione De Paula, the sentimental detail was above and beyond, including the happy couple’s initials and meaningful words and images embroidered into the design.
“The food was AMAZING – we had giant fresh prawns and baked bread with crudites and garlic mayo to start with – so good after wedding diet! BBQ steak and potatoes for the main event and then a gorgeous caramelised tart tatin for pudding, plus pizzas later on.” – Abi, Interview from Rock My Wedding
As with all weddings here at Cripps Barn, the emphasis was on everyone having fun! Abi and Craig were 100% on board with this and so for the night’s entertainment, they went with exceptional vocals from Lucy Hope and a mini ceidlh to get everyone on the dance floor.
The story of Bonville Champagne starts at the turn of the 20th century when Alfred Bonville, in equal parts reckless and a visionary, decided to risk buying plots of land in vineyards that had been destroyed by Phylloxera* only a few years earlier. His focus was exclusively on Grand Cru vineyards and, despite the economic downturn of the 1930s, the gamble eventually paid off.
The opportunity for commercial success came in the years after 1945, when Alfred’s son Franck began to commercialise cuvées in his name. Since then the Bonville family has overseen the complete modernisation of their production, at one point selling some of their harvest to Bollinger, but always maintaining a focus on their range of amazing Champagnes.
Olivier Bonville represents the fourth generation at the helm of the operation, having taken over from his father Gilles in the 1990s. The vineyards now extend to over 20 hectares in the most sought after villages of Avize, Oger and Le Mesnil – some of the most valuable agricultural land in the world, consisting of 100% Grand Cru Chardonnay. We are delighted to offer this exceptional Champagne at all our venues.
* Phylloxera is a microscopic louse or aphid which eats the roots of vines. It was responsible for wiping out many of Europe’s vineyards in the 1850s in a devastating rampage which changed the world of wine forever. To this day almost all European vineyards are planted on American rootstock which is still immune to Phylloxera.
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.
Cripps Barn couldn’t be a more perfect venue for your child-friendly wedding. Our gorgeous barn, whilst elegant and undeniably beautiful, is charmingly rustic and we’re not afraid of having a drink or two spilled, or kids having fun and making memories to last a lifetime.
Many couples tying the knot would love to have the little people in their lives be a part of their big day, but feel unsure as to whether the day and setting would be suitable. We can safely and very proudly say for certain that here at Cripps Barn, we are more than happy to welcome children of all ages.
So now you’ve got the venue sorted, you might be wondering about some other logistics surrounding having a child-friendly wedding….
Here are our top tips and recommendations on how to make a child-friendly wedding run smoothly:
Wedding Day Childcare
Love the idea of inviting children along to your wedding but want your parent friends to be able to let their hair down for once too? It’s no secret that whilst mums and dads lives are made much easier by being allowed to bring their babies, they would probably welcome someone taking them off their hands for a while with open arms!
You want your wedding day to be fun for the kids not just for the grown ups, so don’t settle for something as simple as a babysitter – go one step further and arrange to have a wedding crèche!
Rock Up & Play is a fabulous childcare service that provides a safe way to keep children entertained and out of the way when the grown ups need a bit of space. Choose from a full day set up, where parents can pick up and drop off the kids when needed, or event nannies and venue babysitting if there aren’t enough little ones attending to warrant a full crèche.
Want to give the kids something really magical to remember? Take a look at the offerings from The Little Top, a Cotswolds based company run by childcare experts. Treat the smalls to a beautifully decorated tent filled with games, crafts and wonder all supervised by a team of professional child carers and entertainers.
Child-Friendly Wedding Entertainment
You don’t have to hire two sets of entertainment to keep both the adults and children happy, there are options that all generations can enjoy!
Music and dancing always goes down well with everyone, but why not consider hiring a magician for some tableside magic? This up close and personal form of fun is always met with huge smiles and rave reviews from all the family and due to it’s one-on-one nature, the tricks can be tailored to suit each guest.
If you’re hiring a DJ, it’s also not a bad idea to let them know that you’re having a child-friendly wedding so they can take that into consideration and throw in a few tunes that they know the kids will love.
Consider an Early Wedding
If keeping the children happy is a top priority, it might be worth thinking about having an early afternoon wedding rather than run the risk of having cranky kids at the ceremony, later in the day. At Cripps Barn, you can begin your wedding day at 2pm so that you have the whole day ahead of you to enjoy!
Get in touch with our amazing team here at Cripps Barn to discuss your needs so we can help you figure out all the best options and how we can accommodate you and your little guests!
Capturing your big day with beautiful photographs, to cherish for many years, is something that all brides and grooms to be deem to be incredibly important and quite rightly so, but finding the perfect photographer to take on this task can be a challenge.
There’s no shortage of talented Cotswold wedding photographers around, but hiring someone who is familiar with your wedding venue can make a huge difference to the final outcome. A photographer who has had the time to really get to know a venue is always going to achieve the best shots, so when planning your wedding here at Cripps Barn, this is something that you might want to consider on your hunt for the ideal vendor.
We’re always wowed time and again by the stunning photos that come out of the weddings held in our beautiful barn and that’s not just down to the magical backdrop (although that certainly helps!), we have to give some of the credit to the spectacular, recurring Cotswold wedding photographers who we’ve had the pleasure of working with on countless occasions.
To help you find your dream photographer, we’ve put together a list of our favourites, nationwide, on our suppliers page, but we can’t help but have a soft spot for the local talent.
Here are some of our top Cotswold Wedding Photographers
“We ensure all the important moments of the day are captured from the excitement of the bridal preparations and the groomsmen pre wedding drinks, to the energy and excitement as you walk down the aisle and those rare intimate moments you have to yourself.”
There’s nothing quite like hiring a husband and wife team for capturing the romance and intimacy of your wedding in a well-balanced way, and that’s exactly what Adam Drake Photography has to offer.
With an unobtrusive approach that allows you to just go about your business and enjoy your day, Adam and wife Lucy have a reputation for being able to capture really gorgeous, candid moments between you and your loved ones.
If you fancy some posed portraits of your big day, they’re great with that too! Combining both documentary style and formal photo shoot skills with all the best equipment, they’re bound to deliver exactly what you want.
“My style of photography is relaxed, informal and fun allowing me to get the most natural and professional images. I pride myself on being able to blend in to the background and capture moments as they happen with not even the smallest of interruptions.”
Paul is one of the Cotswold wedding photographers with a true love of capturing his client’s special day, and with hundreds of weddings under his belt, you can be sure that he knows what he’s doing!
Covering a wide range of styles to suit all newly weds tastes, from contemporary to vintage, Paul has the unique skill of being able to tailor his photography to really show the personality of the couple he’s working with, which is absolutely essential when it comes to something as intimate as your wedding day.
He’s up front with his prices too, making it much easier for you to know right away if his services are within your budget. Just check out his prices page for more info.
“I’ve always enjoyed creating things either drawing on the walls at home as a toddler, making music tapes with recordings from the TV in between the tracks, film making with a Super 8 or finally taking photographs. To me they’re all linked and I get the same feeling now when I finally box an album for a client as I did when I’d finish a painting. I love the process and I love meeting people.”
It’s true that many Cotswold wedding photographers can be a little samey, which is why we love David Jenkins Photography so much – he really stands out from the crowd.
With a stunning photography style, his work has been featured in many international publications such as New York Times and You & Your Wedding, so you know that the wedding photos he’ll capture for you will be of the highest standard.
Food plays a huge part in making your wedding day great, but there’s no denying that so many venues out there get this so wrong. We know how important it is to ensure that you and your guests are fed well with fantastic food to write home about, so we go out of our way to bring you truly spectacular culinary delights.
You don’t have to take our word for it though, you can enjoy the incredible offerings from our head chef at one of our fun-filled feast evenings.
For just £50 per person you and your spouse can come along to our monthly tasting banquet where you will sit alongside other happy couples and sample a wide variety of menu options.
We have something for everyone, from succulent BBQ meats to exceptional vegetarian choices and desserts like you’ve never tasted before!
Our Feast Evening takes place here at Cripps Barn or at our sister venue with a menu made up of a selection of dishes that you could have served at your wedding.
Finding the very best local suppliers to cater to your every whim on your wedding day can be tough, particularly if you’re not local to the venue yourself. The people you choose to take charge of the all-important aspects of your big day can make a huge difference to the end result, so this is something you definitely want to get right.
With so many suppliers to choose from out there, it’s easy to get yourself into a bit of a pickle with the big decisions, so we’ve made a list of all of our favourite local suppliers that regularly contribute to the spectacular weddings that we hold here at Cripps Barn.
From your wedding cake designer to the entertainment for your ceremony and reception, we’ve got it all covered.
Sometimes, outsourcing all the little bits and pieces that makes your wedding décor complete is the last thing that you want to be thinking about on the run up to your big day – the little things are often trickier to find that the big stuff! So, to make your life easier, we’ve got some finishing touches available here for you at Cripps Barn.
From fire pits on the terrace to make that outside space really impressive (and warm and toasty) for your guests to the PA system for your music, we’ve got all the things you might forget about ready and waiting for you.
Having a child-free wedding is not uncommon these days, but restricting your guest list with a ‘no kids allowed’ policy doesn’t come without it’s difficulties. It’s understandable that you might not want children around for your big day, whether that’s because you’re concerned about unwanted interruptions during the ceremony or your parent friends not being able to fully relax, but unfortunately, not being allowed to bring children along can present a quite a challenge for friends with babies and young children, or those coming from further afield.
To avoid having friends and family miss out on your big day but still get the adult zone that you’re hoping for, there is a solution! And in our local area, it comes in the form of excellent childcare providers Rock Up & Play.
Rock Up & Play is a high quality, professional childcare service with a variety of options for weddings and events in need of a helping hand. From individual event nannies to a full wedding crèche, Rock Up & Play offers a flexible service which might just solve all of your child-free wedding problems.
If you actually quite like the idea of having kids around up until a certain point on your wedding day, then a wedding crèche might well be the answer.
Providing care and fun activities for children of all ages, this is the perfect way to keep children safe and entertained whilst leaving mummy and daddy to relax!
Rock Up & Play are happy to tailor their childcare services to suit your needs, so you can decide whether you want them for certain times throughout the day (perhaps whilst you’re getting ready, during the ceremony or during the meal) or just to have them around for the duration, so parents can drop their little ones in as and when they need to.
Perhaps it’s not quite within your budget to offer childcare for all of your guests, or maybe it’s more the parents than you that feel the need for a helping hand on your wedding day. If that’s the case, Rock Up & Play can still help by providing event nannies for up to a maximum of three children per carer.
Hiring an event nanny can really take the strain off parents needing to let their hair down – they can take care of the kids during the event and even take them off to bed when night falls.
With nannies that are very experienced and fully CRB checked, your little angels will be in safe hands! This can also be a great money saving option for parents hoping to save a bit, as different families can team up to make the three child maximum.
If it’s just the night duties that you’re concerned about, Rock Up & Play has got you covered. Venue babysitting is available as a stand-alone service or to follow on from their daytime event childcare, the fully trained nannies can whisk the kiddies away to bed and leave the grown-ups to party the night away!
How to Book
If the services from Rock Up & Play sounds like the answer to all of your child-free wedding dilemmas, you can get in touch with your requirements by calling them on 01453 511677 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The wedding entertainment you choose has the potential to make a good day great, for both you and your guests, and can really help to set the right atmosphere for your wedding theme.
Whether you’re thinking classical music for a romantic setting, some lively tunes to get everyone up and dancing, a little something for the kids or even a magician for something really memorable, we know all the best wedding entertainment providers around!
Here are some of our favourite wedding entertainment options that bowl us over, time and again, here at Cripps Barn:
If you’ve had visions of walking down the aisle and saying your ‘I dos’ to the wonderful sounds of a string quartet playing all your favourite tunes, this might be the one for you!
The Ardeton String Quartet puts to bed the notion that these classical instruments are reserved for classical music only and instead, they will wow your guests by performing a selection of jazz, pop and iconic film theme favourites.
Playing together for more than 15 years, this is a group that really knows their stuff and has plenty of practice providing wedding entertainment at a pretty impressive level! Having played for over 1000 happy couples across the UK in just about every sort of venue imaginable, you are guaranteed a professional attitude, service and level of skill.
With packages available from £440, depending on your requirements, The Ardeton String Quartet is a superb choice for wedding entertainment.
If you’re looking for something a little bit different to keep your guests amused throughout the night, why not consider hiring a magician to make your day just that little bit more magical?
“We are so glad Darren came along to celebrate our wedding and entertain our guests. Everyone who experienced his amazing tricks have been talking about it ever since! Mind-blowing is not the word!”
Darren Campbell is a local magician who specialises in interactive, close-up magic – perfect for getting the conversation flowing at the dinner table and bridging the gap between groups of all ages.
If you’re going for a wedding theme, having music to match is a brilliant idea to really set the ambience.
Modern vintage themes look amazing in our quirky, Cotswold barn venue so if you’re thinking of going for a retro Blitz vibe or prohibition style party, you can’t do much better than hiring a 4-piece speakeasy group to get everyone up on the dancefloor! Sweet & Lowdown are just this.
Working closely together for over 10 years with impressive performance credits under their belt and describing themselves as “a new band with an old soul”, you can expect a fun-filled night with their vast repertoire.
From jazz standards to swinging renditions of modern hits this is one band that is sure to make your wedding day memorable.
Another one of our themed favourites to really get the party started is Jamma De Samba, providing a lively, carnival style performance of vibrant rhythms played on Brazilian percussion instruments.
Choose the size of band to fit your wedding day, from a group of 6 to up to 30 musicians, evoking a huge party spirit. This is one wedding entertainment option that will really blow your socks off!
Something for the Kids
Deciding whether or not to have children at your wedding can be a difficult decision – perhaps you love the idea of having them around, but you’re also aware that friends who bring their kids might not be able to fully let their hair down or maybe you’re worried about disruptions during quiet moments.
If this sounds like a dilemma you’re facing, The Little Top is here to help!
The Little Top is wedding entertainment specifically designed to keep kids both happy and out of way, with their beautifully decorated and fully equipped tent filled with toys, games, craft activities and a team of wonderful professional childcare providers and mind-blowing entertainers.
You can even opt for the ‘sleepover service’, where the little ones can go and have a bedtime story, hot chocolate, films and a cosy place to lie down whilst mum and dad are having fun!
From just £875 you can have all of your child-related problems solved! Or if you fancy keeping them involved but just want a little something for them to do, The Little Top also provide fabulous bouncy castles and Helter Skelters from just £295.
Selecting the blooms for your big day is a real pleasure but if you’re not all that familiar with flower arranging, you might be feeling a little stumped as to where to start. No matter what you’re after, whether it’s something very grand or more rustic, classic or contemporary, Charlotte at SuperFlowers will help to guide you towards your dream bouquets.
Read on to discover how SuperFlowers can help your wedding flower dreams become a reality…
“From Bridal bouquets & button holes right through to the pew ends & reception flowers. All of course done with your style or theme in mind.”
Flowers, flowers everywhere! Your bouquet decisions don’t stop with the one you’ll be holding as you walk down the aisle. Flowers are a huge part of any wedding day, popping up everywhere from button holes to table tops.
Regardless of whether you’re in the process of choosing blooms to act as an impressive centrepiece or dainty accents and finishing touches, each and every flower will be selected with care.
Your wedding theme plays a big part in deciding on your flower colours and types, so this is something that you should consider when researching your favourites and something that Charlotte will definitely be thinking about when advising you.
“Working with the ideas you may already have, providing suggestions & inspiration that you may not of even thought of, SuperFlowers will help you realise your dream day.”
Don’t worry if you’re feeling a bit clueless about how to choose the flowers for your Cotswold wedding – Charlotte is a pro and is more than happy to help!
Before you meet up to look over options, enjoy taking time to find wonderful inspiration images to bring along with you. You could also bring swatches of fabric that you’ll be using on your big day, colour schemes and even photos of your dresses (both brides and bridesmaids), all of which will get the creativity flowing.
Every little detail counts when it comes to your wedding flowers. We love seeing simple, rustic containers being used to hold amazing bouquets such as old wooden crates, wheelbarrows and watering cans.
“Charlotte will work with you and create the flowers for your big day. From simple & classic to trendy & modern, she will translate your ideas and turn them into reality.”
Forget what you know about flowers: the arrangements that will be made for your Cotswold wedding will be totally unique and designed to suit your own, individual tastes and requirements.
Let your imagination run wild with possibilities for your wedding flowers – if classic isn’t your thing, you’ll be blown away by the contemporary options available with SuperFlowers! Looking for something simple but striking – Charlotte will know just what to do.
With flowers to suit all occasions and budgets, SuperFlowers has something for everyone. Have fun getting involved in the decision making process and create wonderful flower arrangements that work perfectly for you.
Wedding guests coming from near and far are probably going to need somewhere to stay when your big day draws to a close, so it’s a good idea to either book some accommodation on their behalf (if you’re feeling generous!) or at least offer some fantastic, local options for them to choose from.
The last thing you want getting in the way of your loved ones being able to make it to your wedding day is them not having anywhere to stay, so start thinking about this as soon as you book your venue.
We’ve got loads of fabulous accommodation really close to Cripps Barn, so as long as you book ahead, your guests will be sorted. Even if you end up with some friends needing a place to stay who haven’t booked in anywhere, they can always take advantage of camping at Cripps Barn, as no booking is necessary.
Looking for the perfect accommodation for your guests? Here are some of our favourite options:
For friends and family happy to splash out (or who you feel like treating), Barnsley House is a fantastic option. Only 3 miles from Cripps Barn, nestled away in the heart of the Cotswolds, this beautiful country house complete with landscaped gardens, spa and even a cinema is the height of luxury.
If you’re looking for somewhere really special to get ready before you walk down the aisle, or for you and your spouse to stay in after you’ve said ‘I do’, this is somewhere well worth considering.
There’s no denying that it is on the pricey side though, so perhaps not ideal for low budgets.
For guests in need of something a little more affordable but still full of charm, The Fleece offers accommodation in a lovely 300 year old, grade II listed building, only 8 miles away from Cripps Barn.
Newly done up to include a fresh, modern style but not without the enthralling history that you can only expect from a Cotswold abode, The Fleece is ideal for your guests looking for 5* accommodation without the hefty price tag.
We love Hesters Barn for excellent value for money accommodation, only 3 miles away. For only £50pppn or £80 for a single person, you can expect all the homely comforts of a luxurious countryside cottage with a continental breakfast included.
Situated right next to the historic centre of Cirencester, complete with a 12th century church, famous stained glass windows and excellent shopping, this is a great place for your guests to stay if they’re hoping to turn your wedding day into an excuse for a mini getaway.
If you’ve already attended one of our lavish tasting evenings on the run up to your wedding day, here at Cripps Barn, you’ll already be familiar with the delight that is The New Inn.
Offering absolutely stunning rooms that exude real individual character from £110, your guests won’t be disappointed with their stay in this 16th century gem.
The food is impeccable too, offering traditional Cotswold dining to please all palettes. After a brilliant deal? The New Inn offer fantastic packages for multiple night stays with dinner and breakfast included.
If you or your guests are after something a little more private, there are loads of excellent self-catering cottages and apartments to choose from nearby.
For very large groups, Greyhound Barn couldn’t be a better choice, sleeping up to 16 people in a former Hop brewery.
With a large, fully fitted kitchen and ensuite bathrooms, this makes the dream space for sharing. Oh, and it’s only 1 mile away from Cripps Barn, so they can enjoy a late night ramble getting back their once your wedding reception has reached an end.
If you’re looking for something secluded and utterly gorgeous, look no further than Calcot Peak. This glorious barn conversion is everything you could possibly want and more, located only 4 miles away from our venue.
Simply, yet elegantly furnished with wonderful, rural views of the Cotswold countryside this is the definition of tranquillity and the perfect accommodation for 4 of your guests.
We’re very aware that weddings can be expensive, not just for the happy couple putting the event on, but for your guests too. With this in mind, it’s good to acknowledge the fact that not everyone is going to be able to afford to drop an extra £100 on a room for a night, but we wouldn’t want that to be the cause of your friends and family not being able to join you on your special day.
Guests are welcome to set up their tents at any time from noon on the day of your wedding and are invited to stay until 10am the following day.
Whilst facilities are limited (it’s nothing fancy, just a field that we’re happy to share), campers will be able to use the disabled and baby-changing toilets in the entrance lobby and have access to a water pipe and bonfire area.