We’re Fazackarley a wedding photographer and wedding film maker duo based in Brighton and London and covering the whole of the UK. We’ve designed this guide featuring some lovely barn weddings we’ve photographed over the years to help provide you with some ideas for your own special day.
Barn’s make for wonderful wedding venues, offering rustic charm, wonderful countryside surroundings, plenty of parking for your guests and many even offer the option for you and your guests to stay overnight on your wedding day so you can continue the celebrations over breakfast together the next day – you can also squeeze in that extra glass of fizz knowing your bed for the night is only a short walk away!
Even the best party planners can’t guarantee sunshine for your wedding day and most savvy barn venues have options for indoor and outdoor ceremonies/receptions, so even if it does bucket down on your big day your celebrations won’t be affected.
Ok, not the most thrilling topic… but nothing annoys a wedding guest more than having to park miles away from the wedding/reception or pay extortionate amounts in parking fees. The benefit of a rural location is that most barns will have an abundance of free parking on site, ideal if you have elderly guests, those with prams and buggies (or guests with very high heels!).
BARN WEDDING VENUES SUSSEX
We’ve put together a list of our favourite barn venues to provide you with a bit of inspiration, and you’ll find some useful planning and decoration ideas at the bottom of the page.
Grittenham Barn, just outside of Petworth is a really lovely stone barn, situated in a beautiful spot with gorgeous views over the South Downs. The open court yard (complete with donkeys!) is just the loveliest spot for an afternoon of celebrating in the sunshine, get the music playing and champagne flowing and you’re in for a great day.
The gardens, lake, orchard and woodland give plenty of options for gorgeous wedding photographs and the internal area of the barn is delightful whatever the weather.
We’ve a brilliant working relationship with Katherine and the staff at the barn and it’s always a pleasure to get back there, which is rather frequently actually – given that they kindly show off our work to lots of their potential couples!
Recent weddings at Grittenham Barns include Sophie and Adams wonderfully relaxed, heartfelt celebration – which was complete with an ice cream van, a pizza oven and lawn games; and Heather and Tim’s gorgeous autumn wedding day – full of gorgeous autumn details – even the donkeys had flowers on them!
Upwaltham Barn is a lovely spot for a wedding, don’t just take our word for it – they picked up the Wedding Industry Awards 2017 Award to prove it. We photographed our first wedding here about 7-8 years ago and its always a treat to go back.
Located just outside of Chichester – it’s a pretty barn wedding venue, with tons of outdoor and indoor space – ideal for a relaxed country wedding. Upwaltham is family-owned and that shines through in the friendliness of the staff, we’re always made to feel very welcome! We especially love the layout of the barns and the courtyard – it really lends itself to a relaxed atmosphere with a nice flow between indoor and outdoor sections of the day.
It’s also brilliant that you can get ready here – meaning no chance of the bride getting stuck in traffic on the way to the ceremony!
Farbridge is a classy venue – a stone’s throw from Chichester. It used to be an old dairy, and it’s been beautifully and tastefully restored to make it a great space for a celebrating.
The fact you can stay onsite is a huge bonus too – makes wedding day logistics much more relaxed! We love the mixture of indoor and outdoor space – our first wedding there was during a torrential rain storm – but we still had so many great opportunities for photos inside and the venue made sure everyone was well taken care of, so the weather was pretty inconsequential! It also has amazing outside space too, so when the sun is out we have lots more locations we can use to get incredible wedding photos.
BURY COURT BARN
Bury Court Barn is a stunning Hampshire barn wedding venue, situated on the Sussex & Surrey borders.
The venue itself is luxurious and they offer couples the option of an indoor or outdoor wedding ceremony. A stunning walled garden surrounds the barn itself, and with views across the sweeping Hampshire landscape the backdrop to your wedding photographs is guaranteed to be breathtaking.
We’ve been lucky enough to have shot quite a fair few weddings at Bury Court,like Julia and Anuar .
Want to see more of our work at Bury Court? Take a look at how Victoria & Jon celebrated their big day (Victoria’s stunning rustic headdress is not to be missed!)
Fitzleroi Barn is wedding venue near Pulbourough, in the heart of West Sussex. The barn is over 400 years old and has spent the majority of its life being used for agriculture and farming – but it’s now a beautifully rustic wedding venue. Jessica and Hugh took over the barn for their wedding a few years ago and we were delighted to be there to photograph it. It’s a brilliant space for a wedding – the outdoor courtyard really lends itself to a relaxed day with guests chilling out for the afternoon before heading into the barn for a great evening of dancing and fun.
Rumbolds Barn near Billingshurst, is located on a farm surrounded by beautiful pasture land and oak forests. The barn is fronted by a gorgeous covered drinks patio making it idea to spend relaxed, summers afternoons enjoying canapes and drinks, before moving into the gorgeous barn for a cosy evening of dancing and entertainment.
It’s nestled in beautiful gardens with far reaching views over the surrounding countryside and we adore the lake, it’s just ideal for getting beautiful wedding photos. It’s also one of thr are venues that allows you to have an outdoor ceremony – overlooking the gorgeous lake, no less!
Jess and Chris had their wedding at Rumbolds Barn and it was just the most beautiful day. They had planned their wedding remotely – entirely from their home in Germany, and the way everything ran without a hitch just highlights how brilliantly they did, but also how wonderfully the staff at Rumbolds run things and support couples in their planning.
Brookfield Barn is a pretty new barn wedding venue near Horsham. IT’s a beautiful, big barn built a few years ago and has the most wonderful terrace outside, over looking a lovely lake and golf course – it’s the kind of venue that takes all the stress out of planning a wedding, as you can get ready, have your ceremony and reception all at the same location – minimizing travel and logistical stress – whilst maximising relaxation and fun.
Our first wedding at Brookfields was the lovely CJ & Luke’s wedding – a day crammed full of fun, golf buggies and laser clay pigeon shooting – a first for us at weddings!
BLACKSTOCK COUNTRY ESTATE
Blackstock Country Estate is a stunning Sussex wedding venue with two beautifully restored barns, views across acres of rolling countryside, landscaped terraces to host your drinks reception in style and onsite accommodation options – what more could you want from a wedding venue. Blackstocks is a licenced wedding venue so you’re able to have both your ceremony and your reception all under one roof. They also have a some beautifully furnished accommodation lodges so you can stay the night before and of your wedding if you choose.
Pangdean barn is a candidate for the award of our most visited venue – it’s just outside of Brighton and we’ve found ourselves there many, many times over the years and it always delivers a fabulous day. It’s a delightfully intimate and atmospheric function venue that offers an amazing balance of countryside setting, but with easy traffic links. Their barn is just breathtaking, with a ceiling literally covered in fairy lights.
They also have a fabulous garden for outdoor ceremonies, as well as lovely afternoon drink receptions – perfect for soaking up the sun, before an evening of dancing.
Having been to Pangdean so many times, we have a great relationship with Nikki and Michael, and all the staff at the Barn and they’re always so helpful and accommodating, ensuring everything runs flawlessly.
Our friend Matt Scott does alot of weddings at Pangdean too, and we were particularly drawn to this series of image that really capture the venues gardens, in the sun and the outdoor games you can have there.
If you are looking for a outdoorsy, rural wedding venue, that you can really put your own stamp on – Laughton Barns might be right up your street. Set a little bit outside of Lewes (one of our favourite towns!), it is surrounded by 84 acres of gorgeous grounds and has not one, but two stunning lakes.
Our first wedding at Laughton was the brilliant Victoria and Graeme’s, they truly made the venue their own with their 1920’s themed wedding – a wedding that received so much media attention, across so many international blogs and publications – it made our heads spin!
We also adore the fact you can get married outside – there is something truly special about outdoor wedding ceremonies!
THE SUSSEX BARN
The Sussex Barn is a beautiful 400 year old barn situated on a working farm in Hellingly, which is pretty close to Eastbourne. If you’re after a really characterful barn – this is the place. The layout really lends itself to relaxed summers afternoons with guests relaxing in the courtyard – with it’s stunning views over the surrounding countryside.
The first wedding we photographed here was for the wonderful Jess and Chris – having grown up in Hellingly, it was the obvious choice for Jess to get married, she adorned the barn with lots of beautiful DIY details and literally miles of bunting.
BARN WEDDING VENUES SURREY
BARN WEDDING DECORATIONS
Most barns will allow you to add your own decorations and customization to the venue so you can really make your wedding your own – ideal if you’re a more creative type.
Flowers & hanging decorations
Depending on the size of your budget the best option is to hire a professional florist to help you design and decorate your wedding venue. A lot of venues will insist that you hire an insured professional if you want to hang any decorations above head height so it’s worth checking with them what restrictions they might have before you get too far into your planning. Not only this but do you really want to be up a ladder on the morning of your wedding day? Sometimes it just makes life a bit easier to hire in a professional!
With table decorations you’ve really got the opportunity to show some creative flair or perhaps you’d like to keep things classy and understated? Rustic barn wedding venues are already so full of charm that you can go as fancy or simple as you like when it comes to decor!
Something we’ve noticed in recent years is couples are thinking about the smell of their venue as much as the visuals to really create a sensual feast for their guests. In recent years we’ve seen a lot of couples opting for subtle scented candles and fragrant long lasting foliage such as eucalyptus. And of course if you are worried about being bothered by wasps at your summer wedding then why not consider a citronella scented candle!
Lighting your wedding barn can be very much down to they type of venue you have hired. Many of the more high end barns will have carefully considered lighting options, with up or down lighters to light the venue and fairy or festoon lighting to create a bit of atmosphere. Some smaller barn wedding venues, however, provide basic lighting options and you are able to add to this with your own candles and fairy lights.
This is your chance to really make your wedding your own and is often the reason many of our couples choose to host their wedding at barn!
Here are a few of our favourite barn wedding decorations:
- Homemade preserves for each of your guests which can be served with your afternoon wedding cream tea
- Jam jar flowers ( an oldie but a goodie! – try charity shops if you are trying to keep your budget down)
- Sweetie tables (who doesn’t love a bit of pic n mix at a wedding!)
- Homemade love potions (a bit of non-alcoholic booze in a tiny bottle is sure to charm your guests!)
- Vintage suitcases
- Homemade lavender pillows
We’ve photographed some fantastic barn weddings where couples have made their own outdoor party games with coconut shy’s, welly throwing and hook a duck, along with play zones to keep children entertained – bubble mixture also always goes down a treat and can look lovely in your wedding photos!
TIPS FOR PLANNING A RUSTIC BARN WEDDING
A lot of barn’s offer onsite accommodation, offering you the opportunity to stay over the night before your wedding, maybe with some of your main wedding party so you can all get ready together and start the celebrations early. If budget allows it’s lovely for your close friends and family to stay over on the night of your wedding so you can all have breakfast together the next day. Chances are you’ll still be high on the vibes from your wedding and will love to relive all the joy and happenings with your nearest the dearest.
Nominate some of your wedding party to help out on the day
Trust us, if you can let some of your friends and family help out on your wedding day you are likely to have a much better time. Jobs to allocate can be:
- Helping put the final touches to decorations
- Hanging signs
- Laying out your wedding dress, suit, shoes, jewellery etc for your photographers to take pictures of when they arrive
- Keeping on top of clearing away any bags, empty glasses and food packaging away from your wedding prep room so no one trips or sits in any leftover food in their wedding finery!
- Greeting the florist and ensuring all the bouquets and buttonholes get to the right people
- Being on hand to assist elderly or disabled guests
- Setting up garden games
- Helping photographers find all the relevant family and friends during the group photos
- Learn how to attach a buttonhole (nothing causing more panic and fiddling than a group of groomsmen trying to put on their buttonholes before the ceremony!)
Make full use of your venue’s planning team
If your venue offers a planning service then make as much use of them as you can. They want your day to be success as much as you do so take some of the pressure off yourself and let them help make your dream wedding a reality.