Natalie & Mat chose to get married in Henley-in-Arden at the very picturesque All Saints Church, Preston Bagot overlooking Mat’s family farm.
Henley-in-Arden Farm Barn – Mat & Natalie’s Wedding
The Reception was held at the fabulous newly opened Lodders Barn. There are so many gorgeous nooks and crannies at this venue, it has it all. A gorgeous pond, beautiful flowers, stunning views, ramshackle buildings, it’s a photographers dream venue!
When we arrived Natalie was very calmly adding the finishing touches to the tables in the Dining Barn at Lodders Barn. The tables were dressed with hessian & lace runners, tall candles, dainty coloured glasses, and tiny individual bottles of hand sanitiser (a sign of the times). In the corner of the huge barn was a horse…. yes, a real live horse. His name is Just Dave (great name for a horse) and he had his own dining area with a great view of the rest of the barn. The level of detail Natalie and Mat had gone into with the design and venue dressing was incredible with fresh flowers, hanging jam jars with tea lights, drapes across the barn roof, and lots of twinkly fairy lights everywhere.
Natalie along with her bridesmaids Emily, best friend, and sister Kristina along with Natalie’s mum all got ready at Natalie & Mat’s house. Also present were Natalie’s dad who was kept busy serving lasagne and drinks, Natalie’s brother, and Natalie’s very cute poodle who just had to be in the middle of everything causing the hairdresser and makeup artist to work around him (as he found the best place to capture the sun coming through the window was right in the centre of the room).
We caught up with Mat at the family farm busy writing his speech and his Best Man to help tie his tie, who had just returned from the shops having nipped out to buy a suit. Unfortunately, in his haste, the shop assistant had failed to remove the plastic security tag from under the arm so he had to put up with the discomfort of this being in situ all day! (preparation and planning…just saying)
Natalie left her house in a stunning 1928 Alvis, a Vintage soft-topped car, owned and lovingly cared for by a good friend of Mat’s father and such a stylish way for Natalie to arrive with her father at her wedding.
An Idyllic Church with Stunning Views!
According to their website, All Saints Church at Preston Bagot, a pretty sandstone church, was built in the mid-12th Century and has one of the most stunning outlooks of any church in the rural Midlands. I’m very much inclined to agree with this as the views truly are stunning across the fields of Kerry Hill sheep, looking towards the lovely picturesque town of Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire.
As the guests arrived in the lovely warm September sunshine they waited outside and socially distance chatted enjoying the sun. The two pretty Flower Girls practiced their walk up the aisle on the path and the Best Man arrived with a box of face masks (another sign of the times) and pulled his tie out of his pocket to finish getting ready. Well, there was at least 20 minutes before the ceremony was due to start! Once, John, the Minister had explained the seating arrangements, the guests sat down on the wooden pews. Mat took his place at the front with his Best Man & Groomsmen where they enjoyed a few laughs to put any nerves Mat might have had to rest.
Slightly later than planned the Bridesmaids arrived in the car park, closely followed by the Alvis carrying the bride and her father. It quickly then dawned on the Bridal Party that no-one had brought the flowers so Emily, Maid of Honour, volunteered to return to the house as quickly as possible to retrieve said flowers so that they could proceed with the Ceremony.
After their Ceremony, Natalie and Mat walked down the aisle stepping out of the church back into the warm sunshine and everyone gathered outside for a few group shots then it was over to the venue, Lodders Barn, for the celebrations to begin! Natalie and Mat left in the Alvis, with the roof down and the driver wearing a black cap, just to keep up the image!
Lodders Barn Wedding Venue
This new venue is absolutely stunning! A huge barn, formerly inhabited by horses has been transformed into a stunning huge space to allow brides & grooms to use their imagination to create a beautiful environment for their Wedding Reception. Adjacent to this barn is a smaller barn housing a bar and small stage for live entertainment. There is also a covered area behind the main bar overlooking a grassed area between the two barns with cozy casual seating, straw bails, and a metal fire pit.
Having completed a tour of Henley-in-Arden, the newlyweds were greeted by their guests to an ‘open-topped car drive through Confetti tunnel’…. A first for us and a great way to make an entrance!
Wheelbarrows & Sunflowers
Then there were the wheelbarrows filled with beers, soft drinks & ice, trays of warm canapés plus glasses of bubbly plenty to provide for everyone. We then spent some time with Natalie & Mat as golden hour approached to get some romantic photos amongst the sunflowers, especially with such amazing light in a stunning setting. We wandered around the gardens, down the lane to see the amazing panoramic view and across to the pond.
Argentinian Wedding Breakfast
With the couples Argentinian connections, the food was traditional South American with a huge wood-fuelled BBQ covered with chicken, pork, and huge steaks. The smoke and delicious smells wafted around the barns as the food chargrilled and were served with fresh salads and bread. You could see that Just Dave was enjoying the atmosphere and was happy to let the children stroke his nose. Every Wedding Reception should include a friendly, chilled out horse like Just Dave!
And the Night goes on!
After the meal and some very entertaining speeches, a mountain of desserts was displayed for guests to help themselves, then it was outside for cake cutting with a sword and live entertainment from the band. The Fire Pit was lit and the evening celebrations continued in the warm evening. This was such an amazingly well planned yet relaxed wedding and such a privilege to be a part of, thanks a million Nat & Mat!
Venue: Lodders Barn, Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire.
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