Rustic Sandhole Oak Barn Weddings
The Lee Brown Photography guide to Wedding Photography at Sandhole Oak Barn. Sandhole Oak Barn feels like a hidden oasis set in 400 acres of stunning Cheshire countryside. It is however conveniently located very close to the A34 Manchester Road. This makes it a perfect wedding venue in Cheshire for guests to attend, wherever they are coming from. Set at the edge of a private lake, this converted barn is a stunning venue for a wedding. Renovated with Cheshire weddings in mind, this purpose-built secluded gem makes your wedding planning super easy as someone has already thought through all of the detail on your behalf. Sandhole Oak Barn is a family-run venue that was completed in 2005. The event coordinators here is second to none and will ensure that you get your fairytale day in this beautiful location and I, as a Cheshire Wedding Photographer, will help ensure all the memories are captured in beautiful detail.
Sandhole Oak Barn is located close to Congleton, which offers excellent transport links, in the village of Hulme Walfield. It is one of the loveliest parts of Cheshire, set in a rural location by the water’s edge. Couples who wish to have a Sandhole Oak Barn wedding will have exclusive use of the venue, meaning that every person you see during your special day will be the smiling face of your nearest and dearest.
Preparing For Your Wedding
One of the most fabulous things about Sandhole Oak Barn is the option to choose the exclusive occupation of the adjacent Sandhole Farm Bed and Breakfast. The B&B has been given a silver award by EnjoyEngland.com for the high standards they maintain. It offers stylish four-star accommodation in a converted stable building. Up to 37 of your guests are welcome to stay over, and the B&B also comprises of a room dedicated to dressing the bride as well as an annexed cottage for the newlyweds. Additional visitors will find other high-quality accommodation close by.
The Bridal dressing room at Sandhole bed and breakfast is a beautiful space for the Bridal party to relax in and prepare for the big day. It can be accessed from early in the morning and allows direct access to the Bridal cottage so that you can go to and fro without being spotted. A space like this gives me ample opportunity to take some gorgeous Cheshire wedding photographs while you are having your hair and makeup done or making those final finishing touches before leaving to meet your groom. These private wedding photographs that are snapped just before the ceremony are often some of the most precious. The room offers lots of light, elegant dressing tables and copious mirrors as well as some comfy sofas to put your feet up in between pampering sessions.
The fact that so many guests are able to stay over at Sandhole bed and breakfast makes the event even more relaxed as guests are not concerned about driving home or calling a taxi. It also means that both bridal party and guests can get ready on site without any hassle of ordering cars to get to the venue. The time just prior to the ceremony is a brilliant time for me as a Sandhole Oak wedding photographer to mingle with guests and take some pre-ceremony shots, capturing the emotion and anticipation of the day.
On a practical level, Sandhole Oak Barn works brilliantly well for the flow of the day. From the Bridal dressing room through to a ceremony room which opens out onto a veranda and a small barn venue for people to relax in at any point of the day, right down to the fact that so many people can stay over and have exclusive use of the accommodation. It has been really well thought out and makes the planning and execution of your wedding day in Cheshire much more comfortable and more relaxing.
The rustic oak barn is a magnificent location for a civil wedding ceremony and gives ample opportunity for stunning Cheshire wedding photographs. There is space for up to 140 guests to attend the daytime ceremony and be seated for dinner. The most beautiful feature of the oak barn is the full-length windows that look out over the lake and having the natural light pouring in while you say ‘I do’ is a Cheshire wedding photographer’s dream! The second best feature is the beautiful grand piano that is located at one end of the room. This offers the perfect opportunity for live music during the ceremony or to be enjoyed while sipping reception drinks afterward.
Alternatively, couples who wish to be married outside can choose to have a civil ceremony in the clock tower. This gorgeous oak structure is licensed for wedding ceremonies during the summer months and provides the perfect waterside location for a romantic service. Come rain or shine, the clock tower really lends itself to spectacular wedding photography in Cheshire. These big spacious, airy venues offer some fantastic opportunities for me to take some of my best shots for your Cheshire Wedding Album. I am able to move around relatively unseen, giving me the opportunity to catch some of the more intimate moments between both you and your partner and the other happy, smiling wedding guests.
The benefit of civil ceremonies is that the structure tends to be more relaxed and there is less rigidity regarding rules when it comes to taking pictures. At Sandhole Oak Barn I have the creative freedom to take the images that I believe genuinely capture your special moments.
After Your Ceremony
After the ceremony, both you and your guests are treated to drinks alongside the most stunning scenery. The setting of Sandhole Oak Barn really lends itself to a relaxed gathering where people can chill out, chat, dance, drink or do whatever else makes them feel good following the busy wedding preparations.
At this point, I like to take the bride and groom off for a 20 minutes stroll around the grounds. Not only does this give the bride and groom chance to take a breath and have a chat about their day so far, but it also gives me the opportunity to snap some natural and relaxed pictures of the married couple. I do of course understand that the happy couple are keen to get back to their guests, so I keep this bit short. I also try to stand back. The idea is not to get a set of posed portraits, but to capture the natural joy and happiness that is reflected in the faces of the bride and groom after they have just said ‘I do’.
There are a few things the bride and groom can do at this point in proceedings to make for some fabulous Cheshire wedding photographs. Arranging for confetti to be thrown is always good fun and captures lots of smiling and laughing faces. Live music is also a great way of bringing lots of atmosphere to the post-ceremony drinks, we might even get some people dancing early on in the celebrations!
Prior to the wedding breakfast, this is when I will take the photographs for your formal wedding portraits, should you require them. I do try and keep this short and suggest that you choose a maximum of 10 shots. You may wish to let me know in advance who you want to have in each picture. For example, you may want one of the bride’s family, one of the groom’s family, one of the bridesmaids, one of the groomsmen and various other combinations. I will do my best to gather people together in a jovial manner while keeping the session short and efficient. After that, you and your guests will be whisked away to enjoy a beautiful wedding breakfast.
Your Wedding Breakfast
Sandhole Oak Barn uses the very experienced and award-winning Top Table as their guest caterer. You will have worked with them to choose and taste the food prior to the day so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the fruits of their labour. Sandhole Oak Barn are happy to provide a bespoke service to reflect your requirements for your wedding day. You may choose a formal sit-down wedding breakfast, a chilled-out afternoon tea or a raucous barbecue. The choice is yours, but the food is sure to be delicious. The venue also offers a wide selection of fine wines and guest ales at prices that you would find in the pub. You also have the choice to take your own wine for a small fee if you wish to.
I will usually stop snapping your wedding photographs while you and your guests are eating, as these pictures may be less than flattering! As soon as the meal is over, however, and people begin to mingle, I will be back in the fray capturing each of the special moments. I will, of course, be there for the speeches as well, whether you choose to hold them before the meal to clear the nerves before eating, or after the meal in the traditional manner. The speeches are one of my favourite parts of the day, and I can capture some fantastic expressions as the guests listen and enjoy intently.
Best Spots For Photography
At Sandhole Oak Barn for wedding photographs I am spoilt for choice when it comes to opportunities but here are some of my favourites:
- Standing on the paved area at the shores of the lake overlooking the stunning Cheshire countryside.
- Drinks on the veranda
- Photographs in and around the clock tower, as this is such a picturesque part of the venue.
- Sunsets over the lake
- Ceremonies in the oak barn with the sunlight flooding in.
The oak barn can be transformed into a fantastic party space for up to 180 guests. The venue offers a wooden dance floor with underfloor heating for chilly evenings as well as a licensed bar that includes a selection of real ales. There is a top quality stereo system and AV equipment for your own music. Alternatively, a band, DJ, singer or live musicians are all great choices to provide your guests with a party atmosphere.
One of the brilliant things about the oak barn are the French doors that open out onto a spacious and atmospheric veranda. From the veranda, you can enjoy your drinks with views of the surrounding countryside. In the evening the outdoor space is transformed into a magical oasis that is decked out with fairy lights and stylish furniture. You and your guests can sit and watch the sunset over the lake. This really is a special place to get married.
The photographs at an evening party allow me to capture the jubilant expressions of people who are really letting their hair down. This is an excellent opportunity for me to photograph some of the personalities on the dance floor. As well as being the time that I take those all-important cake cutting and first dance photographs, the evening is also a time when I like to take the bride and groom out for another stroll around the grounds.
The evening has a different kind of vibe and allows me to take a different style of wedding photograph. The lighting is different, and you might feel a bit more relaxed. I will watch you walk and chat from a distance and take a few pictures that really capture the moment. You can then get back to your party guests and enjoy the rest of your evening before tumbling back into your very own bridal cottage. Alternatively, the small barn is available all day for guests to relax in prior to the ceremony or to continue partying after-hours in your own private space.
Sandhole Oak Barn really does have it all, but in particular, I love this venue for the fact that the bridal party have exclusive use all day, and the fact that the surrounding scenery is just so stunning. It is hard to take a bad picture when the area lends itself to such beautiful photographs.
Thanks so much for reading this guide to wedding photography at Sandhole Oak Barn. I have to say that it’s one of my very favourite rustic wedding venues in Cheshire and I’m very lucky to visit a few times every year. If you’re considering Sandhole Oak Barn for your wedding, do go and visit, you won’t be disappointed.
How can you get in touch with Sandhole Oak Barn about weddings?
Email – [email protected]
Call via – 01260 224215
Website – www.sandholeoakbarn-weddings.co.uk
Address – Manchester Road (A34), Hulme Walfield, Congleton, Cheshire CW12 2JH.
Instagram – @sandholeoakbarn
Which Registry Office do we need to contact about our wedding?
Macclesfield Registry Office – 01270 375140