The Bridal Barn is the perfect place to host the ultimate Tolkien-inspired wedding. It’s set within 100 acres of hills and has a backdrop of woodland as far as the eye can see. There are a few different spaces that you can get married at the Bridal Barn, there’s a choice of two barns, a tipi and in the woodland. Caroline and Oli chose the woodland for their beautiful outdoor ceremony and it couldn’t have been more perfect or more fitting for their wedding. A large part of the reason Caroline and Oli chose the Bridal Barn at Claverly is because of the surrounding woodland so it made complete sense that this would be the setting for their ceremony.
Humanist Ceremony at the Bridal Barn
Caroline and Oli chose to have a humanist ceremony in the woodland. Humanist ceremonies are simply non-religious, personalised ceremonies that are written especially for each couple. I’m a big fan of them myself (we had this when we got married!), it’s always wonderful hearing so much detail about a couple’s story so far and from a photography perspective they’re great because you always get much bigger reactions, laughter and happy tears. Currently humanist ceremonies are legally binding in England and Wales so it does add a bit of admin into the equation if you’d like to go down this route, it’s usually a case of just nipping to the registry office a few days before your wedding to get the paperwork signed. One of my couples even did the legal bit on their honeymoon which I really liked the idea of! This does, however also give you more freedom, you can have a humanist ceremony wherever you like (as long as you have permission from the land-owner!), including your back garden or, as in Caroline and Oli’s case, a woodland clearing, the possibilities are endless!
Tolkien-inspired wedding details
I was so impressed by how much thought and effort Caroline and Oli had put into their wedding details! I was very excited about every little detail from their EPIC woodland-Tolkien wedding cake that looked more realistic than the wooden base it was on, to the stunning Alex Monroe Jewellery to the up-cycled doors that they needed to hire a van to get to the venue. The wedding cake by Jenny The Wedding Cake was one of the best I’ve ever seen, a hobbit hut, sat on a log, with moss, toadstools, ivy and fern, with the star of the show, their dog, Delphi, peeking out of the hobbit hut. I think Caroline and Oli almost didn’t want to cut the cake because it looked TOO good to eat, take a bow, Jenny!
I hadn’t heard of Alex Monroe Jewellery before Caroline and Oli’s wedding so I think my jaw hit the floor when Caroline showed me her gorgeous pieces that she had for the wedding. I knew when she handed them over for me to photograph during prep that I needed to take them up to the woodland to photograph them with the pinecones and ferns. Thanks to Caroline I’m now following Alex Monroe Jewellery on Instagram and want every single thing they sell, if you haven’t heard of them, go and take a look!
Kelly from Country Foxes did their amazing styling for the day and created the bouquets. I always love working with Kelly, she’s such a lovely human and I know when she’s in charge of styling it’s all going to look amazing! Caroline and Oli’s day was no exception, Kelly’s attention to detail is a thing of beauty, there was no single thing out of place. I make no secret of my love of flowers, my wedding packages are actually named after flowers, Caroline tentatively told me she was planning to have no flowers in her wedding bouquet and I knew it was going to look amazing because Kelly was doing her bouquet! I was proved right when I saw Caroline’s beautiful wild, green bouquet the morning of her wedding, I love flowers but Carolines bouquet was right up my street!
Couple Portraits in the woodland
We ventured further into the woodland for Caroline and Oli’s couple portraits, there was a little area that had the MOST beautiful light and bluebells carpeting the woodland floor. If I’ve photographed you before you’ll know that I get excited about good light and I think this day topped every single expectation I had, Caroline and Oli looked like an absolute vision in the good light, right next to the bluebells. I always take couples away from their guests for this part of the day because it’s weird when people watch and it’s nice to get away from it all and have a little breather. I drove us up to this spot that Caroline and Oli had walked through before on one of their visits to the Bridal Barn and I was NOT disappointed. I always ask my couples if there’s any area they particularly like at a venue and when Caroline mentioned there was a spot with bluebells I couldn’t have been happier, I knew it was going to look incredible and I was right! I’d done an engagement shoot with Caroline and Oli previously so I knew they were brilliant in front of the camera and they did even better on their wedding day (adrenaline and booze helps!). This all ended in us getting what are undeniably some of my favourite shots of 2022!
I love shooting weddings at the Bridal Barn, it is without doubt one of my favourite Shropshire venues. If you’re planning your wedding at the Bridal Barn and you love these photographs them drop me a message, I’d love to be there to photograph your day!
Venue: Bridal Barn
Dress: Daughter of Simone from Coco + Kate
Bridal Alterations: Stitched Up
Jewellery: Alex Monroe
Headpiece: Magela Accessories
Venue Dressing: Country Foxes
Make up: SJM Beauty
Cake: Jenny the wedding cake