Cripps Barn Wedding in the Cotswolds nr Cheltenham - Gloucestershire
From our base here in Cheltenham, the delightful Cotswold wedding venue of Cripps Barn in Gloucestershire is only a stones throw, and has to be pretty much one of my favourite barn venues for miles and as a Cotswold wedding photographer, that was perfect.
Both Chris, Becca and their nearest and dearest spent the night before "the big day" at the very cosy New Inn pub tucked away in the Cotswold village of Coln St Aldwyns which is perfect for bride and groom preps. The village is about 40 minutes away from the Spa town of Cheltenham heading towards Cirencester and about 10 minutes up the road from Cripps Barn itself. They even have a rather cool blue Bentley that can take you from the New Inn to the barn, which is perfect!
I arrived at the pub a few hours before the ceremony to capture some getting ready shots, which is definitely the best way to kick off the day and for me to ease in and start telling the story of how the day started. I find that everyone soon gets very comfortable after hearing the shutter of my camera a few times and then they start to relax, oblivious to the fact that I am then in "Ninja" mode, sneaking around grabbing lovely candid shots.
The day started off with a few good downpours but with everyone on a high, no one really noticed. Its quite rare for it to rain non stop all day and a few dark over cast patches can really give you something quite special with big dramatic sky's and stunning B&W moody photos.
The barn was decorated with vibrant orange/red roses and lit with candles and it all looked completely fairytale as Becca came down the aisle with her very proud dad. As I would expect, Chris literally had an ear to ear smile as Becca looked so flipping stunning.
True to form, after the ceremony the rain had stopped so we could grab a few family shots outside around the trees in the gardens while champagne and canapés were being served to their guests. True to form, as everyone went inside for the wedding breakfast it started to rain.
Later in the afternoon the dark clouds parted and we had a very beautiful sunset. It meant that the three of us could head out side and into the fields and have a play around to get some nice artsy shots. As the sun sunk below the horizon the legendary Cripps Barn fire pit was lit so we he headed from the field to the pit to warm up a bit. The happy couple looked pretty cosy having a cuddle so I dropped down and took a few shots through the flames. It was pretty funny as one of the big flaming logs rolled down the pile and I had the shot lined up. Aways one to make a sacrifice, I got the shot and rolled out the way (yes I even impressed myself with that Ninja move). After the happy couple downed a couple of Sambuca shots around the fire pit, they had the courage to hit the dance floor for their first dance.
Evening entertainment was utterly brilliant! Everyone knows that I really do love a good band as the energy is usually first class and gets everyone on the dance floor all night long. However, on this occasion the DJ setup was the guests taking it in turn DJ'ing at the decks all with their own stage names such as Feet Wrong (Pete Tong). It was so awesome to see guests getting up to do their set all under the watchful eye of Stick it On. No one left the floor and I witnessed some shapes being thrown that I had never seen the like of before... ever.
After dark the stars eventually came out so Becca, Chris and I went back outside and under the trees into the little wooded glade at Cripps and grabbed a couple of nice parting shots. Its always nice to finish with a couple of romantic pics and is a lovely way to end the story of any gorgeous day.
As usual, I love to touch on the food and service of the venues that I visit and I always love coming back into the Cotswolds for the divine food at Cripps. From what I hear, the food at Cripps Barn is also available at the New Inn and that is where they hold their tasting evenings for their weddings. The staff at Cripps and also at the New Inn are very attentive and you will always be in good hands. For me as a supplier, I am looked after and regularly asked if I require hydration, which goes a long way in my book especially when Im in the zone and working my socks off.
For any camera geeks out there, I used 2 Nikon Professional D4 cameras and a couple of Nikon SB910 flashes for off camera flash work. My lenses of choice were Nikon 24mm 1.4, 85 1.4 and a 105 macro for close ups detail shots. Additional information and work can be seen over here at Jon Harper Wedding Photography.
In September 2017 I am back at Cripps Barn for two Cotswold weddings back to back and I really can't wait. Until then, should I have a hankering for some of their mighty fine food I think I might have to leave Cheltenham and head to the New Inn which is certainly one of the perks go living here in Gloucestershire.