As a luxury wedding planner, I have the enviable task of exploring beautiful venues to seek out the real gems, just like Stratton Court Barn. I work with all my couples to ensure they get exactly what they want to house the day of their dreams. The perfect venue is stunning, has personality and radiates relaxed luxury. But it is also truly flexible, allowing the couple to make it their own, for their unique day.
I love Stratton Court Barn in North Oxfordshire. A superbly located licensed venue, 10 minutes from Bicester train station and yet in a gorgeous rural location. You can’t hear anything here – it really is welly country! This comfortable luxury barn is surrounded by the most beautiful grounds. Everything has been done up to really high standards – it took my breath away. A beautiful space, but also a blank canvas to project your own personal style onto.
I spoke to Karin from Stratton Court Barn about the venue’s flexibility to cater for larger and for more intimate weddings, and how couples can really make the fantastic space their own.
So, talk me through the venue Karin…
“Our stunning barn has two connecting rooms – one set up for the ceremony and another room with a bar area. There is also an additional lounge space and upstairs is a bridal preparation room as well. It has still got the beams, armchairs, sofas and so on…
I’m so spoiled working here because the owner is constantly putting more and more effort into the surroundings. There is the courtyard out the front which is such a good space for socialising, and for drinks and a fire pit. Then there is the reception lawn, the formal rose garden and the lake.”
Your space is really flexible – it is great for a big party, but also lends itself to intimate micro weddings. Tell us about that?
“Our capacity is 80 people seated for a ceremony and traditional long table meal, or 90 on round tables. In terms of the evening though, we’re all about a big party! We’ve capacity for about 150 in the evening.
For a smaller, intimate wedding we start off with the ceremony in the main barn or outside. Then we move to the bar area, or in summer we can be outside. At micro weddings, we do one long banquet table. Our barn is not too big, so with one long table down the middle you can still fill the entire barn, while giving that wonderful, intimate feel.”
Is Stratton Court Barn a ‘blank canvas’ venue that people can really make their own?
“Absolutely and we encourage that as well. You can dress the barn up even more, with fairy lights in the ceiling or down the walls, or drapes and so on if you want to go all out. But even just dressed simply, it still looks stunning.”
One of the things that got me on your radar was your flexible catering options – what are those?
“We have got six approved caterers to choose from – all doing amazing things ranging from afternoon tea to the full formal sit-down meal. They offer different styles of food and cater to different budgets, because all couples have different priorities.”
Top tips to think about when searching for your venue:
- First impressions matter. How accessible is the venue for your guests? But also, what will their first impressions be when they arrive? Stratton Court Barn has a gorgeous long drive, which gives it that rural, countryside, glamour factor.
- Look inside and outside. You might be planning a wedding at a different time of year from when you look around. Think about the outside space – and also your options for wet weather, even if you are planning a summer wedding. Some venues like Stratton Court Barn even allow for you to have your ceremony outside – everyone will be keeping an eye on the weather in the week building up to your wedding to make that last minute call if it will be indoors or outside.
- Can you make it your own? Find out what the venue will and won’t let you do in terms of decoration and entertainment. Make sure they can accommodate the special touches that are most important to you.
- How flexible is the venue? What spaces do you have access to and how can you use them to suit your wedding size, style and weather? How much choice do you have in terms of catering and other suppliers?
Find out more about Stratton Court Barn or contact Karin at www.strattoncourtbarn.co.uk