On Good Friday I had the pleasure of being the wedding photographer for the gorgeous couple Sammy & Simon at the stunning Shushstoke barn: https://www.crippsshustoke.com just outside of Birmingham.
It had been a very wet week and we were all praying for just a little bit of good weather for the day. We were in luck and had just a couple of hours when Sammy could travel to the venue from her Mums house, have their wedding ceremony then 20 mins of photographs outside in the pretty courtyard and front are before the heavens opened for the rest of the day. I consider us all very lucky to have had this time.
Sammy is a real chatterbox and had lots to say about her wedding. When asked how they met, Sammy answered: Si and I met on the Tinder app, we both liked the look of each other and started talking about all things silly like tea, gin and house music! After little while of chatting, we met for a drink at the Little Owl Pub (one of the names of our wedding breakfast tables). I can remember sitting outside in my car thinking “why on earth am I doing this, I am so nervous”. I walked in and Si was waiting outside for me, we hadn’t spoke on the phone only via text and I was literally blown away by his incredibly strong Northern accent and gorgeous blue eyes and dimples. We spoke all night long chatting and laughing, it felt so easy and like I had known him forever.
The Proposal-It was the day before my birthday, I had gone out for lunch and gin cocktails with my friends and Si and my daughter Amber who was 4 at the time picked me up and we were heading home. Si and Amber in the car were a little quiet and acting strange, but I didn’t take much notice. Anyway, we got home to our little cottage and Si and Amber had spent all afternoon decorating the kitchen with rope style bunting with lots of pictures of us three since we first met on these cute little wooden pegs. The kitchen was all lit with Yankee wedding candles, red roses, champagne on ice and Si got down on one knee with a ring and told me how much I meant to him and how he wants to spent the rest of our lives as Mr and Mrs. Amber had a pretend plastic ring on her finger and was shouting very excitedly “say yes mommy, say yes”.
I was speechless, felt ridiculously emotional and shocked – when my brain finally popped itself into gear I cried “yes, of course”. The whole kitchen looked simply gorgeous, filled with memories hanging from the beams, music, candles and my two favourite people smiling from ear to ear! They had spent all afternoon doing it and they were being quiet as Si was certain Amber would tell me and she said she couldn’t speak as she was too excited!
I asked Sammy ‘How did you find your wedding venue, and what made you go for it?’
Not long after the proposal we had been looking online at different wedding venues and from attending other wedding we had a pretty good idea of what we liked. We both love period building, especially barns and cottages – those beautiful features such as beams, open fires and exposed brickwork are simply magnificent. We started looking online for barns in the West Midlands area, we were surprised with how many there are and how different and striking they all are. We had a couple of viewings at other barns but we were really keen to have the dancefloor in the same area as the main part and the bar nearby, we also really wanted it to be exclusive.
We drove up to the Shustoke Farm Barns on a fresh September morning, the striking red brickwork literally took our breath away! I could see Si’s face smiling and we gave each other that look of – wow! The events manager was lovely, showed us around the venue, shared the history, catering style, how the logistics could work (as a events professional by trade, I had a million questions which she answered and they had thought of everything). When we walked into the main part of the barn, it felt very much like a church, the vaulted ceiling, the light coming through the beautiful arch doors and the underfloor heating made everything feel so warm and cosy. The venue was set up for a ceremony and it looked so beautiful, we were considering a church wedding but the venue literally felt perfect to have it all in one place. We both looked at each other with the biggest grins on our faces and said “when can we book!”.
I asked ‘What was the most exciting part of your wedding?’ and Sammy answered
Ohh this is a tricky one as we had so many, in the morning at my mom’s house with my bridal party watching everything unfold was pretty exciting and putting on my dress made me feel so giddy. Also when we had just got married and we walked back down the aisle holding hands with all our family and friends watching on – at the moment, I could have burst!
The day was so beautiful, everything ran so smoothly, even the weather didn’t play up until we had got our big group shots. Everything went to plan, the suppliers were incredible, the venue had outstanding attention to detail and the day just flowed. It went so quickly though but I’m so glad we have the amazing photographs and video so we can cherish and relive the moments.
It was honestly the best day of our lives, we could feel the love from our family and friends bouncing off every single barn beam! If we could do it again we would, over and over again! Simply amazing and memories we will cherish forever!
Thank you so much to Sammy And Simon for choosing me to be their wedding photographer at Shushtoke Barns