Dean & Sarah’s wedding at Dodford Manor
Dodford Manor is one of my most regular wedding venues and one that I love working at. It’s a series of converted barns with open fields and big skies as far as the eye can see. Dean and Sarah chose a May wedding so the trees were bursting into life and the surrounding fields were full of zingy yellow rapeseed; a beautiful sight. It’s an enchanting location where you can leave the rest of the world outside and enjoy the tranquillity of being nestled in the countryside. And for all its interesting features, it’s a wonderfully unassuming venue which makes it ideal for a relaxed wedding.
The thing that struck me most about Dean and Sarah’s wedding was its’ authenticity. Everything they planned, from start to finish, was totally them. The wedding itself was classic and had all the traditions you’d expect but the surroundings and civil ceremony brought an informal feel to the day. The details were in soft muted colours; pretty and understated. That allowed Dean and Sarah to shine above all else. The palpable sense of Dean and Sarah’s natures and emotions made it an intimate and inclusive day that was about the guests as much as them.
For a photographer who loves to people watch it was a dream! I loved photographing their families and friends coming together, the interactions between people and all the generations enjoying the day in their own way. The bridesmaids doing each other’s hair in the morning, big hugs when friends see each for the first time in ages, laughter dissipating nerves during the ceremony, kids being kids, cringing grimaces during the Best Man’s speech … I love all the ‘real’ bits and there was plenty of that for the taking.
Sarah got ready with her Mum, Bridesmaids and Flower Girls at Staverton Park Hotel in Daventry.
It was a wet and windy start to the day but by the time everyone started arriving for the ceremony the rain had cleared and it stayed dry for the rest of the day. So jammy!
Dean and Sarah had a civil wedding ceremony in the Mortain barn…
Dean and Sarah kept their list of group photos fairly short so there was plenty of time for me to capture their drinks reception. It was too cold to be outside for long so most people enjoyed the warmth of the barn. Those walls are several inches thick and definitely keep the wind out! The light in there is divine so that worked brilliantly for the photos.
The gallery in the Mortain barn is ideal for taking a photo of all the wedding guests. It takes a bit of corralling to get everyone together but if you don’t mind waiting then it’s a lovely photo to have. The best time is either right after the ceremony before people start to wander off or just before dinner when you need to gather everyone back together anyway.
The stone walls outside the Mortain barn make a perfect background for smaller groups. They provide shelter from the wind so it’s a great spot for portraits as well.
Dinner & Speeches
Dinner, speeches and the evening party took place in the Oak Barn. Those big windows provide not only a lovely view during dinner but great light for your photos too!
Are you planning a wedding at Dodford Manor?
You might like to see some of the others weddings we’ve photographed at Dodford Church and Dodford Manor. If you like what you see, we’d love to hear from you.