This is the wedding of Sarah and Chris who got married at Stratton Court Barn, near Bicester in Oxfordshire. A gorgeously relaxed and summery vibe ran throughout the day and represented the couple perfectly. Cue plentiful foliage, a soft, neutral colour palette of whites and greens, and some lovely little nods to the natural world, Chris is an ecologist after all!
We looked at a few venues in late 2018, having got engaged in October of that year. We wanted it to be local to us in Oxford. As we drove up to Stratton Court Barn, our first wedding venue to visit, we both loved the quiet country setting; it has a lovely balance of feeling ‘away from it all’ whilst actually being really well connected. We wanted somewhere that felt warm and welcoming, and Stratton Court absolutely captured this relaxed atmosphere.
Meeting Karin sealed the deal for us both, as within 5 minutes of talking to her about the process of planning and the wedding itself, it became abundantly clear how much she loved weddings, and how organised and committed she is to helping every couple create a wonderful day. We talked about booking it on the drive home as we both loved it so much!
We wanted our choices to compliment the relaxed feel of our countryside venue. Early on in the planning my mum booked a trip to a department store in Ireland (I’m from Northern Ireland) for a bit of fun over Christmas, and I ended up walking out of that trip with my dress! McElhinney’s is where my mum got her wedding dress too, which was a nice coincidence!
Like her, I ended up going for a two piece (it seemed to suit me better, perhaps because I am so short!). It was a boho style with a beaded bodice and flowing skirt. As soon as I put it on, it just felt right and was also part of a samples sale, which was another plus! I did however splurge on soft blush pink suede heels from L’Autre Chose… I didn’t feel the dress needed much jewellery, but did get a pair of silver cuff earrings designed by local Hazel de Silva Jewellery; it now means I think back to the wedding every time I wear them, which is lovely. It was also such a treat to have hair and make up done by Sarah Yeo, who was just wonderful.
My husband Chris has never been one for dark or sombre colours, and so he went for a green summer tweed, which suited him really well along with a yellow tie (he was very pleased this was covered in subtle butterflies, given he is an ecologist!). My sister, my bridesmaid, wore a lovely floaty off the shoulder dress from the brilliant brand Rewritten and Chris’s best man, Adam, wore a dark blue suit, toning in with Chris a bit by wearing the same tie. We deliberately didn’t want to feel too tied to matching colours, fashion, etc, finding that colours that compliment one another felt a bit more relaxed.
I think everything stemmed from wanting everyone to have a good time celebrating with us! We didn’t want anything to feel restrictive and looked to the venue and its setting for inspiration. We made the most of the lovely stone walls of the barn with lots of fresh flowers and greenery, and fire pits and fairy lights to make the most of the beautiful outdoor courtyard into the evening too.
Flowers by Kirsty are the most wonderful florists! We visited Kirsty to chat about ideas, and she was so kind and considerate of everything throughout the whole process. Kirsty and Bex supplied everything from amazing tall arrangements for the ceremony/reception to flowers for my hair and the cake! Not only was I awe-struck by seeing the beautiful set up for the ceremony, but I can still remember the most amazingly fresh, floral scent too.
Catering felt like a really important part of the celebrations for us, and for our guests too I hope! Cakes by Kit provided the most delicious 3 tier cake. It was beautiful too, with fruit, shortbread hearts and flowers as decoration. The Wild Oven with their incredible wood-fired oven catered everything from nibbles with drinks through the meal to wood-fired pizzas and marshmallow-brownie s’more bites in the evening! The drinks reception was beautifully organised by Karin and her team, and the wedding breakfast felt just perfect too; we went for sharing boards and a mixture of fresh and chargrilled dishes that I think really suited a summer wedding. Madda Events‘ cocktail van was a central feature of the evening entertainment, with delicious cocktails that I think went down well!
We also had The Vents performing during the drinks reception and in the evening, which really added to the fun, relaxed atmosphere.
We met with Monika from MT Studio to discuss photography for the day, which was something we had both been a little nervous about, both being fairly camera shy most of the time! Monika immediately put us at ease, showing us examples of her work and asking about us and what we wanted. She was so supportive and encouraging, and I really love the beautiful mixture of natural shots of us, our guests and tiny but important details. We felt so relaxed with her and I still love looking through the album!
Best part of the day
I know it’s a cliché, but it’s impossible to decide on one alone! Everything from the surreal excitement of the ceremony to having an amazing time with our loved ones and pausing for brief moments together to just drink it all in; it was all brilliant. We wouldn’t change a thing!
From one couple to another…
Quite a few people advised us to find a few moments to pause and take it all in, as the day passes by in a flash. I would echo that completely. Another suggestion which might be helpful is that although there is a lot of organisation in a wedding, with great suppliers and a proactive approach, things can come together fairly quickly! It was 9 months for us between getting engaged and our wedding day, and we are so grateful to everyone who helped us to have such a fantastic wedding day
Venue Stratton Court Barn
Photographer MT Studio
Bride’s Dress ‘Melina Dress’ by Mori Lee/Madeline Garner
Bride’s Shoes L’Autre Chose
Bride’s Earrings Hazel deSilva
Hair + Makeup Sarah Yeo
Groom + Best Man’s Suits Moss Bros
Bridesmaid Dress Rewritten
Invites + Signs Warren Day Designs
Flowers Flowers by Kirsty
Lighting Something Borrowed Event Hire
Band The Vents
Caterer The Wild Oven
Cocktail Van Madda Events
Cake Cakes by Kit
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