Date: 20th February 2017
Ceremony and Reception: The Ashes Barns Country House Wedding Venue, Staffordshire

The Ashes Barns and Country House is an award-winning barn wedding venue in the West Midlands, Staffordshire. It was my first time here, and I was very impressed.  Lauren and Matt had full exclusivity to this unique venue with connected barns, beautiful old victorian buildings, plus two lakes and lots of friendly cows!!  On the drive over I must have travelled through four microclimates.  First it was rain, then as I headed into the hills the hail stones started which soon made way for thick fog before the sun broke through as I descended into the Staffordshire valleys.

I made my way to meet the groom at the cottage where the couple were staying for a few days before heading off on their honeymoon.  When I arrived I was met by Harry, younger brother and usher, and Matt, both fully dressed, shoes tied, blazers on, prepared for anything and ready to go with at least 3 hours until the ceremony!! 🙂 I did the obvious thing and asked them both to dress down so I could get some photos of them getting ready this time!! Matt then cracked open a bottle of champers, with the kitchen floor getting the lions share, which was left for the best man Jack to clean up!! A true servant who would get his revenge later on during the speeches.

On the way over to The Ashes I stopped to take a photo of this amazing venue, a beautiful idilic setting, before meeting the girls in the ‘dedicated getting ready room’ in the courtyard.  Although the Ashes do not offer accommodation they certainly make up for it with extremely high quality facilities.  Plus the food, which I was lucky enough to sample, was outstanding.  In terms of gifts for his wife-to-be Matt, a true gent, had won all the brownie points by sending a shrine of items, including champers, gin, flowers, perfume and lime buns which I think were from Cornwall, or some far away land.

The colour scheme Lauren had chosen was perfection, and really suited the venue and surroundings.  The winter reds bouquet provided by The Topiary Tree Florist was simple and stunning.

We had to deal with a little bit of rain during the group and couple photos, but the bride and groom were determined not to let it affect their day in anyway.  The grounds offered great choice for portraits and the wonderful courtyard arch become a retreat for spectators sheltering from the light rain.  I’m always thankful to couples that put up with my requests to brave the elements, especially when we have limited daylight hours during the winter months.

The rest of the evening flew by and the couple surprised guests with a wonderful choreographed first dance.  Being a wedding photographer you learn a lot about the couples you work with, and it is obvious that Lauren and Matt just compliment each other in every way.  They both have their little quirky ways, but it is these little traits that make them stronger together.

Before I laid the camera to rest I joined the boys outside for a customary Cuban cigar, the perfect reward after a long days work.

Thanks again to the couple for putting up with me!! Here are a few of my favourites from this wonderful occasion.


Hair and Make Up: HoneyBlush
Venue Décor: Bride and Groom but set up by The Ashes Team
Videographers: Up Close Photography (
Florist: The Topiary Tree Florist (
Music (DJ): Sound Solutions (
Wedding Dress: Aristocrats of Chester (
Cake: Amerton Cakes (
Groom Suit – Hon Sator (
Bridesmaid dress – Chi Chi London (