Many of the weddings I photograph are at barns and farms as my natural, romantic style is well suited to these venues. You’re spoilt for choice if you want a barn wedding in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire area and one of my favourites is Manor Farm Barn in Oxfordshire. I’ve photographed several weddings there since they opened in 2015 and I love it a little bit more each time I work there. It’s perfectly positioned in a traditional country village, with good transport links and the church right next door. If you choose to get married in church, getting yourselves and your guests from the church to the reception venue can be a little stressful, but this is completely eliminated here as the church is just a few steps aways from the Manor’s beautiful gardens where you and your guests will enjoy your drinks reception.
I had a chat with Manor Farm Barn’s Wedding Co-Ordinator Vikki Heath about her stunning venue, and also picked her brains on what couples need to consider when searching for the perfect venue for their big day.
Vikki’s family took over the farm in 1942, and it has a long and wonderful history. It is the Manor House of Marsh Gibbon and stands on an ancient site. The first dwelling was built by the monks of Grestein and over time a stone mansion has replaced this Saxon dwelling. The present house dates from the early 17th Century and there have been a few interesting additions over the last 400 years including a secret passage in the cellar (which is sadly impassable now but is thought to lead to the church) and a secret room half way up the hall chimney!
The barn was built in approximately 1592 and originally used to store crops from the surrounding farms. It was restored in 2002 and began it’s new life as a wedding venue in 2005 when Vikki and her husband Tony married in the church, and held their reception in the barn. Several family members also held their weddings there over the following years and the farm was officially lauched as a wedding venue in 2015.
The Barn was granted a civil wedding licence in 2016 giving couples the option to have their ceremony in the barn, and it quickly became clear that more space was needed so the Old Milking Parlour which adjoins the barn was converted into a lovely light space for a wet weather drinks reception, or a quiter area in the evening, with additional toilets and a large kitchen for caterers to use.
The venue was an instant success going from 4 weddings in its first full year to 28 in its third, and it’s obvious to see why it is so successful. Vikki is passionate about providing her couples with a very personal and friendly service, and for this reason never takes on more than one wedding a week. She works hard to maintain an exceptional level of service by running each wedding herself, with her husband and a small team of regular staff. Nothing is too much trouble and she will move mountains to make sure you have the day of your dreams. The result is a very friendly, family orientated atmosphere on every wedding day and the glowing reviews Vikki receives show how much her couples value her approach and hard work.