The perfect end to a perfect day is what’s needed to finish up your wedding proceedings, so providing your guests with fantastic local Cotswold accommodation recommendations is a must.
From pubs rooms to 5 star hotels, our beautiful rustic barn is situated right next to some of the best places to stop over in the UK and we’ve put together a list of our favourites to make your life easier (because we know that all brides and grooms to be could do with a bit of that!).
For a small family or a few friends, Howard’s Barn is a wonderful option for Cotswold accommodation. Sleeping up to three guests in the cosy double room and single room set up, this self contained annex within a period barn conversion is ideal for those guests wanting to enjoy a bit of country life before they head back to reality.
Located within the idyllic village of Aldsworth, the lucky guests who snap up this home from home can enjoy all the historic and picturesque sites nearby before finishing up with a traditional cream tea!
A dreamy choice for big and small groups alike, Greys Court Cottages offers a selection of luxury cottages in a variety of sizes for self-catering rental.
All with private courtyard gardens and stunningly renovated interiors, it’s no wonder that these cottages are considered to be some of the finest available in the UK.
If you’re looking for Cotswold accommodation within a short drive of our lovely barn for your bridal party and Groomsmen this collection of cottages might be just what you’re after. Immaculate, traditional and within a stones throw of a fabulous local pub.
There’s nothing quite like the convenience of staying in an award-winning pub, celebrated for both it’s beautiful bedrooms (finalist for the Mr and Mrs Smith Awards) and it’s exceptionally delicious dining (Best of British Tatler Restaurant Awards) and The Wheatsheaf Inn offers just that.
Dubbed ‘A secret Tardis of coolness in the Cotswolds’ The Wheatsheaf Inn is not your average pub accommodation. With 14 bedrooms meticulously designed by Max Asknew, complete with organic, naturally scented bath salts in the bathrooms and all the modern luxuries you could hope for, you and your guests will be in the lap of luxury, enveloped in the quirky charm of a traditional coaching inn.
Indulge yourself with their divine menus, bursting with tasty dining treats made from locally sourced ingredients; Enjoy a spot of pampering in the treatment room and soak up the glorious surroundings of the Cotswold countryside.
If your guests are after something a little simpler but still great quality Cotswold accommodation, this traditional riverside Inn and restaurant is perfect. With award-winning dining and stunning views over Oxfordshire, this rustic Inn is a Cotswold explorer’s dream.
Located a mere four miles from Stone Barn, your guests can enjoy your wedding celebrations right up until the last minute and catch a cab back to their handsome bedroom in no time at all.
If your guests are making a mini holiday out of their time in the country, The Fox Inn is a great base to start from. With all the main attractions never more than twenty minutes away, you can see it all at the leisurely pace it deserves.
Getting the wedding entertainment right for your big day is a very personal thing – it’s not about booking what you think should be expected at a wedding, you’ve got to find the solution that’s right for you.
We have had the privilege of enjoying a wide variety of wedding entertainment here at Stone Barn, from classical musicians to award winning magicians, and none of them have failed to impress. It can be tough to find great, local entertainment for your wedding, especially if you’re travelling to us from outside the area and it’s not something that any couple wants to take a punt on!
The wedding entertainment you choose will have a big impact on the overall feel of your wedding day, which is why we’ve put together a list of some of our favourites on our Local Suppliers page for you to browse over.
To give you an idea of some of the fantastic wedding entertainment that is available near to our beautiful, rustic barn venue, here are just a few that some of our newly weds have hired:
Hiring a magician for your wedding day is a brilliant alternative to your average wedding entertainment and a great way to break the ice and get conversations flowing among family and friends.
Fun for all the family and wonderfully interactive, tableside magic will engage your guests in a way that a band or DJ can’t.
Enjoy close-up magic during drinks mingling, at your wedding feast or throughout the night with Darren Campbell, Wedding Industry Award-winning Magician.
Winners of the 2016 Wedding Industry Awards for most popular musicians and most popular classic musicians, The Nero String Quartet is one of the most sought after quartets in the UK and a wonderful way to add an extensive repertoire of music to your wedding day.
Offering a wide variety of music from classical Bach to Beyonce, The Nero String Quartet can play something for everyone. They even have an extensive Bollywood repertoire list available!
With over 13 years experience performing at over 1000 weddings worldwide, you’re guaranteed an amazing performance.
Want to get the party started at your wedding reception? Firefly might be just what you’re after. Nothing beats the buzz of a live band playing all your favourite tunes. With Firefly, your guests won’t be able to resist hitting the dance floor for a boogie!
Select a band to suit your needs, from a 3 piece to a full 8 piece band, this is a great way to be able to get a live performance that is tailored to you and your budget.
Performing a set list that suits your tastes, with a light show and i-pod disco thrown in, you can expect a fun, electric show that you and your guests will love!
Firefly knows that every wedding is unique and as such, they don’t go by a one size fits all policy, which we love. The wedding entertainment that they provide will be as bespoke as your big day.
If there’s one thing that a bride should splash out on for her wedding, it’s hair. No matter how adept you are with your own styling, when the pressure is on for you to look your very best the last thing you want to be stressing about is whether or not your locks are going to co-operate that day!
This is where our supplier of the week, Fordham Hair Design comes in. With over 20 years experience, creating gorgeous hair for brides across Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds, Chris Fordham really knows his stuff.
Sit back and relax on your big day whilst the team at Fordham Hair Design does all the hard work for you! From stunning, tumbling down dos to intricate up styles, Chris can do it all, to perfection.
There’s nothing better than hiring a supplier for your wedding day who has a real love for what they do – it makes all the difference to the overall experience.
Chris from Fordham Hair Designs is certainly someone who has found their vocation in bridal hair styling, not just a job.
“Having always loved styling hair for weddings, I decided to set out to see if I could specialise in making a bride’s dream look come true. I’m not really sure what I expected, but I certainly didn’t think that less than 4 years later I would win the national award for ‘Bridal Hairstylist of the Year’! All for doing a job that I love as much as I do.”
Now, with 20 years in the wedding hair industry under his belt, Chris’s bridal hair-styling technique is second to none and multi-award winning! But it’s not just his hairstyling prowess that makes him such a great choice for your wedding day.
Having styled hair for a vast amount of weddings, from huge events held in grand castles to intimate country church affairs, Chris really knows his stuff when it comes to helping you keep your cool.
A great bridal hair stylist offers so much more than just a wonderful hairstyle; Chris at Fordham Hair Design will also help to make your wedding morning that little bit easier by knowing how to keep you calm and happy when things get a bit overwhelming.
The Trial Run
Every bridal hairstylist will insist on you having a trial run before the main event, which is the time when you figure out, together, exactly what style you’re going to be wearing as you walk down the aisle.
Chris is a true professional in this respect and recommends that all brides-to-be have their trial consultation 4-8 weeks prior to their wedding day.
The trial run is an absolutely crucial part of the bridal hair experience, as this is when Chris will create a hairstyle that you fall in love with.
During your time together, you’ll discuss all of your likes and dislikes and try out a variety of different looks until you find ‘the one’. Don’t forget to be a little bit open minded, as often brides will end up loving a hairstyle that they never thought to try!
Remember to bring along any accessories you have, from veils to tiaras, so that Chris can find the best way to incorporate these.
On Your Wedding Day
On the big day, the Fordham Hair Design Team will arrive at your hotel, or wherever you have decided to enjoy your bridal prep, with everything they need to create your gorgeous hairstyle.
All you need to do is bring along your accessories and make sure that your hair is dry and ideally, washed the night before rather than than morning as ‘day old hair’ is much easier to style and more likely to stay put.
Chris has a minimum booking requirement of having three people to style on the day during January, February, March, October and November and four people in all other months, so why not treat your bridesmaids or mum to a gorgeous do too?
How to Book with Fordham Hair Design
To book your big day in with Chris, all you need to do is pop him over an email with full details of your wedding including the date and venue.
Once you’ve found out he’s free for your day, you can secure your booking with a £50 non-refundable deposit.
Thinking of tying the knot in our romantic Cotswold barn? Here are a few things you should know…
We pride ourselves on the amazing food we have to offer our newly weds and their guests. So that you can see why, we hold food tastings throughout the year for you and your partner to come along and find out what’s on offer.
For just £50 per person, you can join us for a banquet-style evening of culinary delights, here at Stone Barn, accompanied by a variety of our delicious wines to help you to make those tricky meal choices for the big day.
Using only the very best ingredients, our head chef will prepare you a little bit of everything from a choice of delicate canapes, suitable for vegetarians and carnivores alike, right through to sinful desserts.
You’ll have the opportunity to sample the very best of our culinary wares whilst enjoying the stunning surroundings of your wedding day venue.
We’re fully booked for February and March, but take a look at our Feast Evenings page to view all other available dates and the menus that you’ll be getting to try out…
It’s the little things that make a big difference on your wedding day, which is why we have a few essential décor pieces on offer for you to hire directly from us and complete the ambience within our Cotswold barn venue.
Whether it’s our 3, grand fire pits that you’re after, which your guests can huddle around to toast marshmallows and play with sparklers when night falls or our impressive candle package which includes 50 Church Candles throughout the barn, 100 Night Lights adorning the tables and 10 flares outside to light the pathway in, we know just what you need to make your wedding day really special.
If you fancy adding a bit of a quirky touch to your event, we also have a selection of gorgeous vintage crockery available for use. Ideal for a modern vintage or Alice in Wonderland theme, or perhaps even to add to a ‘prohibition party’ style.
Love the idea but not sure what to do with it? How about arranging for your guests to enjoy one of our delectable afternoon teas which comes served on our vintage crockery.
Fantastic Local Suppliers
Decided that you love our Cotswold barn as your wedding venue but a bit stumped about who the best local suppliers are? With so many choices out there, it’s tough to choose and the pressure is really on to get it right.
From makeup artists to stationary printers, we’re in touch with all of the best local suppliers in the area and better yet – they’re all familiar with Stone Barn.
Hiring suppliers that understand your venue and your needs can really help things go off without a hitch, so whether you’re on the hunt for excellent taxi services or you need help finding someone to create your dream wedding cake, you need look no further than our carefully selected supplier list.
We know that weddings can be expensive, but we want you to be able to spend your day with us, even if your budget is a little tighter than expected.
To help you be able to afford everything you need for your wedding day, we offer special discounts throughout the year.
If you’re available to say your ‘I dos’ in March or November 2017, we have discounted our Cotswold barn hire by a whopping 25%! Don’t say we don’t treat you right…
Check our hire availability here to see if your perfect date is free.
Photos are wonderful, but there is something about hiring a wedding videographer to capture your big day that just can’t be beaten.
In years to come when walking down the aisle is a distant memory, having a film, beautifully cut showing all the highlights of you getting ready, the anticipation, the I dos and the raucous fun will be a real treasure.
Our supplier of the week is The Wedding Cut – a fantastic wedding videographer who has treated our wedded couples time and again to stunning footage of their Cotswold barn weddings with us.
The Wedding Cut stands out from the rest, in that they pride themselves in creating wedding films using ‘cinema style’ shooting combined with candid moments for a truly personal but incredibly high-end result.
Their unobtrusive technique will leave you feeling completely at ease, so don’t worry if you’re a bit camera shy! They’ve even gone so far as to remove the red lights from their cameras to avoid any distractions on your special day.
5 Reasons to Hire a Wedding Videographer
Considering hiring The Wedding Cut for your big day? Here’s 5 reasons why you should…
Keep The Day Alive
“We aim to capture the best details of the build up to your marriage, and the joyous reaction of friends and family on one of the most important days of your life.”
Decades from now, wouldn’t you love to be able to show your children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren what your wedding day was really like?
Photos will never become obsolete, but there’s no denying that live footage in the future. Investing in a wedding videographer to capture those once in a lifetime moments is something that you’ll always be glad you did.
Never Miss a Moment
“We specialise in capturing as much or as little of your wedding day as you would like, but always portraying the intimacy of your special day.”
A bespoke, wedding film is as unique as it gets when looking for ways to always remember your day. You’ll have a hand in deciding exactly what sort of film you would like to get out of hiring The Wedding Cut, so that it is created just as you want it to be.
You’d be amazed at the intimate moments that can be captured with you and your guests totally unaware. It’s always such a thrill for newly weds to get their film back and see all the little loving glances, laughs and tears that may have otherwise been missed.
Capture The Emotion
“Our passion is to produce a quality production, beautifully edited and presented. We have the vision to capture the emotion of your day.”
Hiring a wedding videographer, like those at The Wedding Cut, is a great way to take the pressure off needing to orchestrate the specific shots you want and instead, just allowing the pros to use their expertise to capture the true essence of your big day.
Instead of having to rely on someone snapping at the perfect time, your wedding videographer will be on hand to film an ongoing sequence of events that can later be cut to create a truly emotional and personal film.
Hiring a team who really know their stuff when it comes to the edit is key, as this is where the magic really happens.
OK, so perhaps not the most conventional reason ever to want to hire a wedding videographer, but there’s no denying that bloopers are often the best part of a film, particularly one that features your family and friends!
This might not be something that your wedding videographer automatically includes, but you can ask for it and you can bet your bottom dollar that they won’t be short of material!
Don’t Miss Out
One of the perils of being the bride or groom is that when your wedding day comes around, you may find that you’re so overwhelmed with emotions, meeting and greeting and being pulled here there and everywhere by all of your guests that once the day is done, you kind of feel as though you missed the whole thing!
This is when couples really regret having not hired a wedding videographer, as this gives them the chance to relive the big day and catch up on all the little things they missed. You can’t be everywhere at once, but a film crew can capture a lot, so that you can enjoy some of the little things at a later date.
The way that you choose to decorate our beloved barn can really make your big day unique and the flowers that you choose to adorn the walls, ceilings and tables with play a big part in that. We love seeing all of the gorgeous arrangements that local florists come up with, alongside the bride and groom, and we’re particularly huge fans of the absolutely beautiful wild flower bouquets created by Go Wild Flowers – this week’s featured supplier!
Beth at Go Wild Flowers always delivers nothing short of the dream selection of seasonal blooms, wedding after wedding, and we never cease to be amazed at how individual yet unmistakably beautiful every arrangement she puts together is.
In a rustic barn like ours, rustic flowers work an absolute treat filling each room with bursts of colour and life that you can only find in the Cotswold countryside.
Your Wedding Flowers: The Process
Selecting which flowers to have for your wedding day can be a tough job. How can you even begin to decide when all the options look so lovely?! And what can you do with them after? Here are some things to take into account:
First thing’s first, as with all things wedding you must put your budget at the forefront. Figure out the amount that you are able to spend and create your flower arrangements around that.
Beth at Go Wild Flowers will be more than happy to discuss all of your options with you and come up with something that you love but won’t break the bank.
If you’re going with a theme for your wedding, you’d be amazed at how much this can (or should) affect your flower choices.
You might not have a clue where to start, but your florist will, so when you meet up be sure to bring along any mood boards, colours or photo inspiration that you have used to put together other aspects of your big day. You want your blooms to accent everything perfectly.
Your Wedding Dress
It’s not a bad idea to have decided upon your wedding dress before moving onto the flowers, as your bouquet should match it, not overpower it. Yours and your bridesmaid’s dresses will also help you to select the best colour blooms for your wedding.
Order in Good Time
Don’t leave booking your florist until the last minute! You’re going to want to have everything sorted in this area at least 6 weeks before your wedding day and the more time you give you florist, the more time they’ll have to make sure that they can get all the flowers you want.
Trust Your Florist
One of the biggest mistakes that a bride and groom can make is to not trust their vendors. If you’ve taken the time to select a supplier that you think is brilliant then feel comfortable in handing over some of the decision making to them. Trust us, you’re in good hands with Go Wild Flowers!
Whilst it’s a great idea to input your own ideas and voice your opinions, remember who the pro is here! It takes real skill to design a flawless flower arrangement, so have a little faith.
Recycle Your Blooms
After you’ve put so much time, money and effort into selecting your wedding flowers, it would be such a shame to ditch them all! You can only take so many bouquets home with you, so consider handing some out to your guests to take away with them at the end of the night as a thank you, or donate them to a local hospice or elderly home as a good deed via Floral Angels.
Every bride-to-be wants beautiful wedding makeup for her big day and it often becomes a pretty high priority as soon as the question gets popped. As one of the top ranking searches on Pinterest for newly engaged brides, we know that getting your wedding makeup right is something that is worthy of a lot of time and attention.
We’re really lucky to have some incredible wedding makeup artists and hairstylists within a stone’s throw of our lovely Cotswold Barn, so if you’re thinking of celebrating your big day with us, you won’t be without the talent!
Whether you’re hiring a pro to make you look your very best or planning on going it alone, it all starts with the right skin prep.
Prepping your skin for the perfect bridal makeup is almost as important as the makeup application itself, so on the run up to your wedding day don’t forget to give your face a little pampering! Fantastic skincare is always a must if you’re after flawless makeup and this becomes even more important as your wedding day approaches.
Find products that work wonderfully on your skin and don’t switch anything up just before the big day as you never know how your skin will react! Exfoliate once or twice a week for optimal moisturiser absorption and smooth makeup application and don’t forget to drink lots of water – staying well hydrated will help to keep your face looking fresh, as well as plumping out any fine lines.
Your skin prep will also extend to the day itself, when creating the perfect base before applying foundation comes into play.
With over 10 years experience under her belt, Cotswold makeup artist Emily Tarrant says that if there was one makeup product that she would suggest everyone invests in, it would be a great primer.
“After applying your moisturiser, put a pea sized amount of primer onto your fingers and dot across your forehead, down your t-zone and chin area.
Blend the primer evenly over your face using your fingers until your skin feels even and dry to the touch.
Avoid putting primer on the eye area or just use the left over the pat gently over the eye area.
Wait for a minute then apply your foundation/tinted moisturiser in your usual way.”
If you’re thinking of going DIY with your wedding makeup, why not treat yourself to a one-to-one hair and/or makeup lesson with the fabulous Lips & Locks from just £50?
Suitable for both beginners and those more adept with hair and makeup, this could make an excellent alternative to your usual hen do as well – get your girls to come along for a day of learning skills to last a lifetime, that can be put to good use on your wedding day (and many nights out to come!).
Love Your Wedding Makeup Artist
Amazing wedding makeup isn’t just about skill, you’ve got to love your chosen makeup artist too! When you’re trying to decide who to hire for your special day, take into account whether or not you get along. You’re going to be sharing a very special and emotional day with this person (or team of people!), so you’re going to want to feel as comfortable as possible.
The extensive team of 650 makeup artists and hairstylists at MACH management pride themselves on this, saying:
“It’s not only about Make-up & Hair, its also about personality, intuition and style that our Elite Team bring to the wedding industry.”
A great hair and makeup artist won’t just stop at making sure that you look great, they want you to feel great too, as we all know that true beauty shines from the inside out! Having someone who is experienced in working with brides is a real plus because they’ll know all the ins and outs of a wedding day and know how to keep you calm and on schedule, even when the pressure is on.
Deciding upon your dream wedding cake can be a challenge – they’re all so delicious, how are you supposed to choose?!
Of all the things you have on your wedding planning ‘to do’ list, picking out a wedding cake has got to be one of the most fun (did someone say tastings?), but as with all aspects of wedding organisation it does have the potential to be a little overwhelming.
If you’re going for the wedding cake tradition, you might be wondering what the process of getting the cake you want actually is. Fortunately for you, we’ve got all the answers you need!
The Wedding Cake: Everything You Need to Know
Know Your Budget
As with everything wedding-related, it’s a good idea to enter into making the decision about your wedding cake with a clear budget in mind. Figure our what you’re comfortable spending and try to stick with it to avoid unnecessary stress down the line. Don’t be afraid to let the baker know what your financial restrictions are as it’s likely that they’ll be more than happy to help figure out something that you love and can afford.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that your wedding cake is one of those last minute things that you can throw together – it’s not. You should actually be looking at meeting up with your chosen cake designer around 6 months before your wedding, to allow plenty of time for the design work and creation.
Get What You Want!
You can’t please everyone, so don’t try. There are endless varieties of cake flavours to choose from so if you want to go for something unusual that you know you love, do it! If you know you want a chocolate cake or a red velvet, great! Wedding cakes don’t have to be white. Remember that there are no rules here, it’s your wedding day so as long as you’re happy with the wedding cake that’s all that really matters!
Consider Your Options
You don’t have to go with traditional. In fact, you don’t have to have a big wedding cake at all! Most cake designers also offer cupcakes, macaroons, roulades and all the other wonderful desserts that you can think of. You could always get a mix of both if you wanted, or have a small wedding cake and a large sheet cake hidden away to feed to all of your guests – this will be exactly the same cake, just without all the fancy decoration; a much cheaper way to feed a hall full of people!
Need inspiration? Here are some fabulous cakes from our favourite local suppliers, in and around Cheltenham:
Going for a Great Gatsby style wedding? How about having a wedding cake decorated to look like a beautiful 1920s Tiffany lamp, like this stunning example by Storyteller Cakes.
Have fun with your design and collaborate with your cake designer to come up with something really unique and creative, that works perfectly with your wedding theme.
Not a fan of royal icing? Then maybe buttercream is for you! This beautiful cake by Hannah Hickman is ideal for a wedding in our lovely barn, thanks to it’s wonderfully rustic appearance.
Keep the decoration in the same vein, with real (or perhaps edible) flowers, leaves and other, delicate, outdoorsy additions.
The ‘Naked Cake’ was the biggest cake fashion last year and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere! We can totally see why, can’t you? We love this amazing feat created by Storyteller Cakes.
Skip the icing altogether, or go for a light smattering, and enjoy the look of a bare sponge with filling oozing out – yum! Decorate with berries, flowers and a dusting of icing sugar for a really beautiful, photo-worthy finish.
Skip the cake and go for an alternative! Here we have some dainty, pink macaroons by Cake Daydreams that just exude elegance. Perhaps you and your guests would prefer a selection of tasty treats rather than a big slice of something, making this an excellent option.
Cover a side table in an abundance of delicate bits and pieces for a magical tea party feel or a continental vibe.
Wedding planning can be overwhelming and sometimes, you just need a little break from it all to get your bridal energy back on track! You’ll have heard of a Honeymoon, no doubt (and maybe even booked it!) but how about indulging in a ‘Me Moon’ before the big day?
A Me Moon is a, quite frankly, genius idea that every bride to be should consider an essential when figuring out the wedding budget. Reduce stress, clear your mind to make way for better decisions and give yourself a short break from your fiancé – absence makes the heart grow fonder, and all that!
Love the idea of splurging on a Me Moon? We say go for it! Here are our top reasons why you definitely should (just in case you need a hand pitching…)
It’s a little known fact that the run up to the wedding can encourage even the closest of couples to row more than usual. With the pressure on, money concerns and so many decisions to make (and agree upon) it’s no wonder that brides and grooms to be feel the strain.
The last thing you want is to be in a grump with your beloved by the time the big day arrives, so take the opportunity to de-stress and unwind on your Me Moon. Getting away from it all – partners included – can be really helpful when it comes to managing your relationship as well as the wedding planning. Take a break, just for a few days, and you’ll come back feeling more refreshed, loved up and ready to take on the wedding world more than ever.
You don’t have to spend your Me Moon lounging around on a beach (although that does sound tempting…), you could be super-productive and kill two birds with one stone, by taking this time out as an opportunity to kick-start your pre-wedding fitness regime.
There are loads of fitness-based mini breaks out there, from yoga retreats to military style boot camp, so if you think you could do with a hand jumping into action, or shedding those last few pounds, this could be a great way to do it.
Top Up Your Tan
Getting a good fake tan can be the same price as getting a cheap flight these days, so why not skip the sunbeds and go for the real thing instead?
Unless you’re lucky enough to live year-round in a hot climate, getting a fake tan before the wedding day is high on the list of priorities for many brides out there, but you can’t get a better tan than the kind you get from actually spending a few days in the sun. Save your pennies for a short holiday instead of blowing it all at the salon.
Catch up on Beauty Sleep
It’s tough to shake all those wedding thoughts from your mind, and as soon as you lay your head down on the pillow to sleep seems to be when your mind wants to get into it the most!
Both you and your partner could do with catching up on some beauty sleep before the big day (there is no better treatment for beautiful skin and hair after all!), so why not give yourselves a break by getting away from it all. If you’re going on your Me Moon without your spouse, you’ll get the pleasure of spending a few nights in a hotel and your other half will get your lovely bed all to themselves! Win-win.