Tropical Elegance at Stratton Court Barn

Written by Emma Hla
Stratton Court Barn is a beautiful countryside venue, perfect for putting your own stamp on your day – it also just happens to be one of our newest additions to the collection.

It’s found at Pool Farm, set amidst rolling Oxfordshire countryside. Once you enter the venue by the gorgeous treelined drive, the peace and quiet of the countryside will surround you and provide a gorgeous backdrop to your celebrations. Originally built in 1870, and thoughtfully refurbished, the barn has kept its rustic charm but in todays delicious styled shoot the team are showing you how to inject some tropics into your rustic setting!

Over to Karin for all the details…

Notes from Stratton Court Barn

The Inspiration

Since Stratton Court Barn’s inaugural year, 2015, I’ve done an annual photo shoot aimed at showing brides how key trends can be incorporated beautifully within the venue. There is so much more to a barn venue than hessian, jam jars and wood slices!

This year I wanted to show how an elegant urban flair – hello, Miami! – can work beautifully in a barn venue. Elegance is not just for the city! This shoot was a wonderful opportunity to showcase how perfectly a countryside venue can feature the best of both worlds: Wooden beams meet crystal chandeliers; stocks and sweet peas meet tropical proteas and cheese plants; a tailored A-line dress meets the great outdoors. The shoot was further inspired by the emerging geode trend, tying in geometric lines and golden and blush pink tones.

The popular tones of blush pink and gold were a natural choice of hues to highlight the luxe feeling. The newly finished, smaller dining room at Stratton Court Barn, The Stables – a whitewashed room with exposed beams and glass doors – was the perfect backdrop.


I am lucky enough to have the incredible Flowers by Kirsty close by and Kirsty, with sister Rebecca, took the brief and ran with it in the best possible way. From patiently applying gold leaf to succulents to marrying a perfect blend of classic English sweet peas, stocks and peonies with tropical cheese plants, proteas and anthuriums; they made each aspect of the shoot tie in with each other. Including the greenery in the ceiling! The bouquet included all of the above and carried a heavenly scent words and pictures cannot describe.


If I’m honest, I’d balked at several of the geode-inspired cakes found on Pinterest and other mood boards, but local cake supplier Batch17Bakes allied my fears and created a unique geode-themed cake, with a simply stunning geode-heart-topper.

Bridal Look

Rachel from Butterfly Bridal Boutique in Bicester chose two Essence of Australia dresses, both utterly classic and feminine. The first one (D2317) really showed off the beautiful up-do Debbie Mac created. Debbie chose a smokier eye and flawless skin to highlight model Amelie’s utterly elegant features. The A-line of the second dress (D1875) was a real showstopper billowing in the wind, particularly when Rachel paired it with a veil from Heading Up and accessories from Ivory & Co.


Richard from Something Borrowed Event Hire is the genius behind the chandeliers and ceiling swags. Each crystal was meticulously checked for flaws, before being erected and seamlessly wired up to create the warm, elegant light effect we were after.


Lemon Zest Cuisine’s head chef Nick took the brief and created a retro-inspired menu. Oh my, did it taste as good as it looks!

  • Prawn cocktail, Marie Rose Sauce, Rocket bed
  • Pork Belly, Crispy Crackling, Caramalised Apples, Herb Mashed Potatoes
  • Chocolate Pot, Clementine Syrup, Crème Fraiche
  • And for those wedding evening munchies: Selection of Moven Pick Ice Cream

Special thanks to Options Hire for use of the fantastic gold cutlery and Rosetone for the charger plates.


None of the above would’ve been possible without being beautifully captured by Dan Rayner Photography. He works quietly and with dedication, interspersed with some first-class banter. While his work is outstanding, I’ve also had the pleasure of seeing him put bride after bride at ease in front of the camera, which is why I recommend him time and again. While that is certainly not a requirement for a photo shoot, he also has an unbelievable knack of working to a time table, that my coordinator persona can’t thank him enough for!


Venue & Coordination Stratton Court Barn

Photography Dan Rayner Photography

Flowers Flowers by Kirsty

Dresses Butterfly Bridal Boutique

Lighting Something Borrowed Event Hire

Food Lemon Zest Cuisine

Hair & Make-up Debbie Mac

Cake Batch17Bakes

Cutlery Hire Options Hire

Gold Charger Hire Rosetone

Special thanks to Model Amelie.

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