Tom & Leanne’s rustic and romantic barn wedding at Dodmoor House

October 14, 2013

Our very first couple to book for 2013, Tom and Leanne, had a late summer wedding at Dodmoor House, a pretty barn wedding venue in Northamptonshire.

I’d been hoping Mother Nature would break a trend and give us a dry day. Every wedding we’d photographed at Dodmoor House until this one had been properly wet. *finally* we got to enjoy the venue on a beautiful sunny day. Yay!


About Tom & Leanne

Tom and Leanne were our first couple to book for 2013. Super organised they are. They’re also very sweet; always holding hands and smiling at each other.

Family is an important part of their lives. I could tell by how big the hugs were as everyone arrived. The type of hug where the other person is still there when you let go.

They were single minded in their determination to have the wedding they dreamed of; working all the hours they could so that they could have exactly what they wanted.

The thing they wanted most from their wedding photography was to have some nice pictures of the two of them together. Like many of us they don’t have many pictures together as a couple as one or the other of them is always taking the photo.

So they wanted to spend plenty of time creating some in the pretty country lanes and by the canalside. Thank goodness we had that lovely weather!


Tom & Leanne’s wedding style

Rustic romance sums up Tom and Leanne’s wedding style.

Tom and Leanne wisely chose decor that suited the setting so that everything looked cohesive.

They used a classically pretty pale pink as the basis of their colour scheme. Lots of romantic roses, glowing candlelight, flower crowns and Leanne’s tulle & lace dress had a dreamy feel. The girliness was tempered with greens and whites which worked great with the outdoor feel of the courtyard and the striking brickwork.

There were lots of little touches with vintage bottles, love quote signs, gypsophilia garlands, wicker baskets, jam pot favours and loose petals and pearls. It took quite a while to photograph it all!


Tom & Leanne’s wedding photography

Abby and I arrived, a little over-excited about the good weather, to a hive of activity. The Dodmoor team, Portfolio Events and Anna from Julie Anna Flowers were working hard together to get the barns decorated and looking stunning.

I was happy to find that everything was going to be ready early enough for Abby and I to photograph all the little details before the ceremony. Sometimes we can be spread too thinly to do all of the portraits, group photos, documentary coverage of the drinks reception and details justice during a one hour drinks reception, so being able to get those detail shots early made for a nicely balanced story.

I started on photographing Leanne’s outfit, while Abby set to work taking some photos of the venue, then together we worked through the set up in the barns. We were like yo-yos popping back and forth between photographing the details and getting photos of Leanne and her very gorgeous flower girls as they were getting ready.


Once Leanne was ready we joined Tom and all the guests gathering ready for the start of the ceremony.


The barn was set up with a traditional long aisle. Leanne’s flower girls coming in was an adorable moment and I love the look of pride on Tom’s face as Leanne walked down the aisle.


I love to look for photographs that will remind a couple of how they felt when things happened or of things that were said. At this point the Ceremonies Officer teasingly suggested that Tom and Leanne could hold hands as they looked so nervous! The laughter dissipated the nerves and then it was smiles all round. Listening is as important as seeing in wedding photography.


The party started as soon as everyone came out of the ceremony.

All the guests were clamoring to take photos of each other with Tom and Leanne, the beers and bubbles went down a treat and the confetti was thrown with much enthusiasm!

The atmosphere was tinged with a little heartache because Leanne’s Mum wasn’t there to share the day but she was certainly there in spirit through Leanne’s tributes to her. In a bittersweet way the sadness brought everyone together and made the occasion something to cherish all the more.

It was certainly a particularly joyous atmosphere and there was a lot of shared happiness for Tom and Leanne.


The speeches were short and sweet, as all good speeches should be, and packed a punch with lots of laughter.


Leanne made a speech as she wanted to personally thank the people closest to her for their unwavering love and support, to wish her Nan a very happy birthday and to propose a poignant toast to her late Mum. The latter was heart wrenching but everyone’s arms were powerfully outstretched as they toasted to her. They meant that toast.


We struck lucky with the timing of the cake cutting and first dance because we had just enough time beforehand to get a few twilight portraits as a storm came through. So we got the dramatic sky we wanted for the portraits and then headed in for the evening party just as it began to rain.


Tips for couples planning a similar wedding

  1. If you’re planning a lot of detail in your styling be sure to let your photographer know so that they can plan a way to capture it all. It takes time to shoot details well but time is a scarce resource for wedding photographers
  2. Be sure to tell your wedding photographer what you really want to get from your photography. Establish priorities and more importantly explain why those are your priorities. This will help your photographer to create pictures that are meaningful and personal
  3. Work with your photographer to ensure you allocate the right amount of time to your Bride & Groom portraits. It will differ venue by venue because some locations will be spread out and take time to walk from spot to spot while others will be more compact and take less time
  4. Let your photographer know who will be making a speech, especially if you’re straying from tradition. If they know in advance who the speakers will be they can make sure they’re in a good spot to capture each one

Are you planning a wedding at Dodmoor House?

Then grab a cuppa and get comfy! I’ve got lots of Dodmoor House info and photos for you!

You might like to check out this page about the things that make Dodmoor House so special for wedding photos. You can explore pinch some decor ideas from other weddings I’ve photographed at Dodmoor House from there too.

And if you like the look of all that, send me a message with a few details about your plans so far and I’ll send you a copy of my wedding photography brochure. I’m looking forward to hearing from you. *waits patiently*


  1. Mum on October 16, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    What a stunning set of photographs of such a very pretty, elegant wedding. Love all the pictures, especially the one of Leanne and her four little bridesmaids, bouquets waving away. Brilliant. Well done.xx

  2. Sarah Vivienne on October 16, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Thank you Mum! It was such a pretty and lovely wedding to photograph. Lots of fun. I’m pleased you like them. I know you’ll tell me if you don’t! xx

  3. Dawn on October 24, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Just like to say that the photo’s for Tom and Leanne Evison’s wedding at Dodmoor House were superb. You would expect to see the likes of these in every wedding catalogue. A job well done with complete expertise and the feeling of a best friend by your side.

  4. Sarah Vivienne on October 25, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Hi Dawn – thank you so much for such a lovely comment! It’s really lovely of you to take the time to say. You made my day; thank you!

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