I got invited to the very cosy Stratton Court Barn Wedding Venue in Oxfordshire for lunch. The sun was shining; I met lots of other wedding suppliers, had a good look around the venue, and even tried a bit of textile design with the lovely Anna from Anna Jayne Designs. During the day, I got the chance to catch up with Karin, who is so passionate about weddings and runs all the events at the barn. I asked her, what advice she would give couples looking for their dream wedding venue.
HI. I’M KARIN FROM STRATTON COURT BARN OXFORDSHIRE
I joined Stratton Court Barn Oxfordshire in January 2014. I was slightly jaded from years of co-ordinating weddings in traditional “wedding factory” venues, and so being part of such an exciting wedding venue from scratch, was very inspiring. The barn went through many renovations, we added a bridal preparation suit, and created the most magical courtyard filled with festoon lighting, seating areas, and a huge fire pit. In November 2014, Sarah & Nick were the very first couple to get married at Stratton Court Barn, it has all kicked off since then. I love weddings so much. I work very closely with the couples who get married here, and help and guide them plan their fantastic day. Here is my advice on what to look out for when choosing your wedding venue in Oxfordshire:
THINK CAREFULLY ABOUT YOUR WEDDING VIBE
I’d probably say, the biggest thing to think about is what kind of ‘vibe’ you’ll be wanting for your wedding. You may want it to be formal, or relaxed, or conventional, or glamorous, or rustic, or colourful, or simple etc…. I’d say Stratton Court Barn has a very relaxed yet stylish rustic vibe, it’s so beautiful and versatile here, while staying true to the traditional countryside setting.
THINK ABOUT THE FLOW OF YOUR WEDDING
It’s important to think about how the day will flow within your wedding venue. Lots of wedding venues may have only one or two rooms for the ceremony, drinks reception, dinner, and dance and so it’s a good idea to think about where your guests will be when other things are being set up. At Stratton Court Barn we have a bar area separate from the dining area, which means the band or DJ can easily set up while you are having your meal. And another positive is that after your meal is no rush to get your guests moving out of this space, as there is no need to transform the space into the disco. The flow of our venue has been carefully thought out, and so works really well.
KEEP PEOPLE TOGETHER AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
There is nothing worse than people spreading out too thinly at a wedding venue. To keep a great atmosphere you’ll want to keep people together, or as near to each other as much as possible. So, for example at Stratton Court Barn the disco and bar are in the same room – if people have to leave the dance floor to go to another room to get a drink, it can accidentally encourage an empty dance floor.
FIND OUT WHAT FOOD A VENUE OFFERS
The vibe you’re after will also dictate what food works best: from sharing feasts and food vans, to stunning plated meals, make sure your venue can cater for your requirements. Here at Stratton Court Barn we have a range of approved caterers, to help you have exactly the style of food you want, while ensuring every detail is seamless on the day.
COSY AND PRACTICAL OUTSIDE SPACE
Thinking about your vibe will also help you determine how important outside space is for you. Are beautiful backdrops for your group photos and opportunity to roast marshmallows by a courtyard fire pit, surrounded by festoon lights, your thing? If so, this is something you can find here.
Also see what plans your venue has in place if it rains. Here, our bar area is as large as the Main Barn itself, so this is the perfect space for drinks if the weather isn’t on our side.
AND FINALLY, MAKE SURE YOU FEEL AT HOME
Find a venue where you feel at home. The venue is such a major factor, both in terms of budget and setting, that you need to feel a hundred percent sure that you will be relaxed, comfortable and ready to enjoy your wedding once that big day arrives. Take your time and visit a venue a couple of times if you need to.
Thank you so much Karin for all your advice, and also for inviting me over to meet you. It was also so lovely to meet all the other suppliers in the wedding industry; The Online Wedding Planner,The White Emporium, The Outside Bride, Her Country Blog, Mirabella Weddings, Hitched, Kerry Poulter,Lucy Nobel, and The Vintage House That Could.
If you are interested in having your wedding at Stratton Court Barn, do get in touch with Karin, she really is such a positive person and will give you all the advice you need… for more information click here: STRATTON COURT BARN
Venue: Stratton Court Barn
Styling: Something Borrowed Event Hire
Cakes: Cherry Tree Cakerie
Food: Ross and Ross Events
Stationary: Anna Jayne Designs
Florist: Flowers by Kirsty
FOR OTHER BLOG POSTS ON WEDDINGS IN OXFORDSHIRE, CHECK OUT: 10 ALTERNATIVE WEDDING VENUES IN OXFORDSHIRE