Coltsfoot Country Retreat Hertfordshire wedding | James & Jude

May 25, 2020
Confetti at St Mary's church in Cheshunt

IF YOU’RE PLANNING A WEDDING AT COLTSFOOT COUNTRY RETREAT IN HERTFORDSHIRE, YOU’LL LOVE THIS WEDDING FOR IDEAS!

James and Jude had a church wedding followed by a reception at Coltsfoot Country Retreat, which is a traditional barn in Hertfordshire with a rustic vibe. It was a fabulously fun wedding … despite torrential rain in the afternoon!

James and Jude booked me last minute so it was a whirlwind to plan their photography. But they dreamed of largely natural photos and were very easy-going, which made it a cinch for me to fit in and simply get on with capturing their day.

There was fun at every corner. Bright sunflowers, knitted flower pew ends, a red London bus, hula hoops, silly hats, plentiful cheese, throw your head back laughter … the list goes on! So I had just as much fun capturing the day as everyone else did celebrating it!

Wedding dress hanging in bride's childhood bedroom
Emerald earrings and edge of lace veil
Bride and bridesmaids in matching PJs
Bride having her make-up done
Bride having her hair done
Bride's parents getting ready
Bride checking her hair in the mirror surrounded by bridesmaids
Bridesmaids buttoning up bride's dress
Best man cleaning wedding shoes
Groom ironing wedding shirt
Purple wedding cufflinks
Best man helping groom with cufflinks
Best man helping groom with his tie

The ceremony

The ceremony was a church service in Jude’s parents’ local church, St Mary’s in Cheshunt.

My favourite bit of the ceremony was being able to capture the register signing as it actually happened. There’s usually a very strict ‘no photos’ rule while the register is out. But this time I had free rein to carry on. And, rather than challenging a dark dingy corner with a messy noticeboard background to a dual, the setting and light were gorgeous. Even the vicar thoughtfully stood to one side of the table so I could get a good angle. Happy me!

Lamp detail at St Mary's church in Cheshunt
St Mary's church in Cheshunt
Daisies at St Mary's church in Cheshunt
Flowers, knitted pew ends and wedding order of service at St Mary's church in Cheshunt
Best Man teasing groom at St Mary's church in Cheshunt
Bride getting out of car at St Mary's church in Cheshunt
Bride arriving at St Mary's church in Cheshunt
Wedding guest arriving late at St Mary's church in Cheshunt
Mother of the bride saying hello to groom at St Mary's church in Cheshunt
Bride and her dad walking down the aisle at St Mary's church in Cheshunt
Bride and groom during wedding readings at St Mary's church in Cheshunt
Couple exchanging wedding rings at St Mary's church in Cheshunt
Bride and groom hug after getting married at St Mary's church in Cheshunt
Bride and groom hug after getting married at St Mary's church in Cheshunt
Bride and groom just married at St Mary's church in Cheshunt
Singing hymns at St Mary's church in Cheshunt
Signing the marriage register at St Mary's church in Cheshunt
Witness signing the register at St Mary's church in Cheshunt
Couple leaving St Mary's church in Cheshunt
Bride and groom walking down aisle at St Mary's church in Cheshunt
Confetti at St Mary's church in Cheshunt
Wedding guests outside St Mary's church in Cheshunt
Bride and groom laughing on old fashioned bus

Why Coltsfoot Country Retreat is a great place to get married

Coltsfoot Country Retreat has a really laid-back vibe and is one of the best places for a wedding in Hertfordshire.

Everything is set around a central courtyard, keeping everyone and everything close to hand, making the day feel intimate. And there are lots of rustic buildings on the grounds that are perfect for portraits and group photos.

It’s unusual for a UK barn wedding venue too. It’s light, bright and airy inside, which helps hugely with capturing radiant and relaxed documentary photos.

Coltsfoot Country Retreat in Datchworth, Hertfordshire
Wedding at Coltsfoot Country Retreat
Bride and flower girl doing hula hoop at Coltsfoot Country Retreat
Drinks reception at Coltsfoot Country Retreat
Vicar laughing with bride's dad during drinks reception at Coltsfoot Country Retreat
Wedding guests completing fingerprint guest book at Coltsfoot Country Retreat
Wedding guests chatting during drinks reception at Coltsfoot Country Retreat
Baby sleeping at Coltsfoot Country Retreat
Flower girl wearing top hat that covers her entire head at Coltsfoot Country Retreat

The reception

James and Jude’s plan A: Enjoy champagne and garden games on the lawn.

But Mother N didn’t get the memo.

Thankfully, we just made it through a bit of hula-hooping (yep, Jude is a pro hooper!) and the group photos, before torrential rain set in for a couple of hours and everyone headed inside.

Happily, and handily, the rain stopped by the time the roast dinner had been devoured and the speeches made. So the (very competitive) giant Jenga challenges and hula contests resumed outside until it was too dark to see.

One thing that really caught my attention amongst the decor was the personalised polaroid placenames. James and Jude thoughtfully made these for each guest. They went down a storm, really helping to pass the time while everyone found their seats. The looks of surprise and joy on people’s faces while discovering, sharing and laughing over the memories the pictures brought back were amazing to capture. It made me consciously remember why I do this job. Photos are gold!

The barn set for dinner at Coltsfoot Country Retreat
Rustic dinner table decorations at Coltsfoot Country Retreat
Polaroid place names and homemade sloe gin favours at Coltsfoot Country Retreat
Bright top table flowers with sunflowers at Coltsfoot Country Retreat
Rabbit eating grass at Coltsfoot Country Retreat
Wedding guests comparing polaroid photo table place names at Coltsfoot Country Retreat
Wedding guests looking at polaroid photo table place names at Coltsfoot Country Retreat
Bride and groom taking their seats for dinner at Coltsfoot Country Retreat
Bride laughing at dad's speech at Coltsfoot Country Retreat
Father of bride making speech at Coltsfoot Country Retreat
Groom standing up to make speech at Coltsfoot Country Retreat
Groom hugging bride during speech at Coltsfoot Country Retreat
Groom talking to bride during wedding speech at Coltsfoot Country Retreat
Wedding guests laughing at photo booth props at Coltsfoot Country Retreat
Bride and groom posing in photo booth at Coltsfoot Country Retreat
Bride and groom cutting cake at Coltsfoot Country Retreat
Bride and groom's first dance at Coltsfoot Country Retreat
Bride dancing with purple top hat on

Advice for planning your wedding at Coltsfoot Country Retreat

Having photographed a rainy wedding at Coltsfoot, my best piece of advice is to have a wet-weather back-up plan. In particular, be flexible about when you do any portraits and group photos to take advantage of the dry spells. With guests sheltering inside, there’s not much room left to set-up and take group photos. So you’ll definitely need a way to do them outside or after dinner when some tables can be moved.

Apart from that, it’s a cracking venue. It’s neutral enough to work with whatever colour palette you choose. It has a laid-back vibe. And there’s a variety of photogenic backgrounds. All incredible ingredients for capturing relaxed wedding photos.

If you’re planning a wedding at Coltsfoot Country Retreat, pleeeease get in touch! I’d love to shoot there again!

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