Wedding Photography at The Cowshed | Sarah & Paul
Sarah just so happens to work with one of my best friends so a strong recommendation lined us and her fiancé up for a coffee on a dreary January day. After an hour or two of just chattin’ like we’d known each other for years the decision for their wedding photography was left in their hands. It’s fair to say they had me at “hello”.
Throughout the year leading up to their special day we often caught up about the plans of their special day. They were concerned over lighting within the barn to which amongst many other things I provided help with.
I don’t ever visit venues beforehand and The Cowshed was no different. No one space looks the same on two different days where light is concerned. This is the only thing I look for when working at a venue so nothing but the day itself will help me.
Sarah & Paul chose to include a pre day setup from me in their package so I visited just two days before the wedding to capture some of the DIY work being undergone by their friends and family. I felt a little more like a wedding planner though as we discussed the correct positioning of their ceremony seating arrangement along with many more things including the construction of confetti cones and napkins.
My First Wedding at The Cowshed
Living just under an hour away from The Cowshed at Woodhall Farm meant this was my first time photographing at this beautiful Shropshire wedding venue. I love farm weddings with a rustic edge as they’re all incredible to be a part of and Lucy at The Cowshed made me feel right a home. I often venture further a field to photograph weddings and I don’t charge for the pleasure. I find it incredibly exciting actually and really relish the opportunity to shoot within new space and a new wedding adventure.
My style of wedding photography is built on a great relationship with my couples. All of my weddings are different and unique; even if I was to shoot again at the same venue like The Cowshed. Time on your wedding day is really important to me as I’m sure it is to you too? So ief I can help it I don’t really want you to miss a thing and would love you to remember as much as possible. This caring and relaxed approach to my wedding photography is the reason why so many couples recommend me. They always say it feels like a friend is taking their photographs and not a photographer.
A Cowshed Wedding Day Slideshow
This Cowshed Couple’s Kind Words
“Our wedding was just what we wanted and it wouldn’t have been the same without Adam.”
A DIY Dream Becomes Reality in Codsall
The Cowshed at Woodhall Farm is a rare wedding venue. They aren’t found often and when they are they’re seen as a bit of gem amongst the rough. You see The Cowshed is a passion project from the owner Lucy who had a dream to get married in a candle lit farm barn one day. When the time finally came for Lucy to plan her own wedding she envisioned a day at home at Woodhall Farm in The Cowshed.
Through dedication and hardwork Lucy and her family lovingly restored The Cowshed in 2015 to be the wedding venue you see today which enabled her to host her own big day. Once the toasts were announced and the dances danced on her own special day she knew other engaged brides and/or grooms would fall in love with the idea of The Cowshed just as she had.
This 18th century cowshed is the perfect blank canvas for any DIY wedding day and it’s no wonder it’s one of the favourites for when brides and/or grooms in the Midlands are looking for somewhere to stamp their personality firmly on.
The venue consists of two rooms. The main room is a huge brightly lit L shaped open plan space with exposed original wooden beams and limewashed walls. This space is the communal space where most of your wedding day will take place. You can host a massive 120 seated guests for your wedding breakfast in this cosy space whilst entertaining up to 150 evening guests later on that night. This space has the brilliance of feeling cosy but also being incredibly roomy all at the same time.
The next main space is the Dance Barn which is a more classic interpretation of a barn with concrete floors and hardly any windows. Fairy lights make this space magical as they drape all over the walls giving you the intimate vibes you’d need for a service whilst also keeping the light low for a raving dance floor party later that night. As suggested you can tie the knot in the Dance Barn with minimal light causing a candle lit type ceremony feel.
Should you not want to get married in the Dance Barn though there is always the option of a traditional wedding at a nearby church or if you’re getting married in the Summer then you can take advantage of the great outdoor ceremony space on the private island on The Cowshed estate. Don’t jump to any conclusions though it’s not that kind of island, just a small intimate bit of land between a small waterway with loads of trees and a pagoda for you to have your service under.
Other than these two main spaces their are toilet facilities and a kitchen space for you to bring in your own caterers or food for the ultimate DIY wedding breakfast.
With two days pre-wedding to enable you to setup all of your decorations this gives you some breathing room which conventional venues can’t offer. The Cowshed also boasts a no corkage fee which means you’re welcome to bring along your own alcohol for no extra cost saving you and your guests a lot of money throughout the day. Should you wish to have a conventional bar then there are a number of local suppliers who can operate this for you for little upfront cost providing a tailored selection of drinks to suit anyone’s needs.
The Cowshed is the ultimate DIY wedding venue and allowing you to customise everything from the ground up. Tables and chairs are even an additional cost. But at such a small cost of £3,500 though it can enable you to have your dream wedding day at a fraction of the average cost.
How this Cowshed Wedding Day Unfolded
Up early; I met Sarah, her bridesmaids and her parents at Boningale Manor before we were due to head off to The Cowshed. Boningale is a B&B just a stones throw away from the Cowshed. With no on site accommodation you’re left picking between places local to find your base for the big day.
I always love arriving in the morning as it allows the parents and bridesmaids to see how I work and usually results in them being a lot comfier during photographs later whether it be candid or groups. One of the bridesmaids even helped me hang Sarah’s wedding dress on a barn door for a great contrasting photograph.
Heading down Wood Road I arrived at the Cowshed. It was all pretty relaxed with Paul just putting the final touches to his bowtie and the decor for the day. This is the thing about a DIY wedding. There’s no wedding minions for you to pass jobs off to, you set yourself up and if something needs doing like hanging coats up for people then you normally end up doing it yourself or passing this on to a Groomsmen, Ushers or Bridesmaids as part of their role. If it not planned to a tee it can be a little painful throughout the day as you may get interrupted to be asked where this is and where that has been put but it can also present a real sense of accomplishment for you as you look back and think, we did that.
From here, the day seemed to all just role quickly through. Before we knew it the Shropshire registrars were there and it was the legal service and Sarah & Paul were exchanging rings in the Dance Barn. They then exited the service to their guests throwing confetti over them.
Soon after reception drinks and canapés followed. When Paul hadn’t managed to get one of Village Coffee’s famous mini burger canapés I went on a hunt for them! Retrieving the last few from the caterers in the kitchen, I presented them and was greeted with absolute jubilation from Paul. Just one of the small ways I want to give my brides and grooms the best day possible.
Following my timing advice the meal and speeches just finished in time for the evening guests arriving at Woodhall Farm which then meant the music could begin in the Dance Barn. With lots more people to fill up the new dance floor space it was one hell of a night and I was able to capture all manor of photographs.
To say I had fun at this Cowshed wedding day would be a little bit of an understatement. This was my last wedding of 2018 so apart from my complete love of Sarah & Paul as a couple I was also super excited to put the “icing on the cake” to a fantastic year. I laughed, a lot, chatted with guests, a lot, danced, badly, and just had a completely incredible time at this lovely wedding.
Photographing a Rustic Wedding on a Farm
With it’s original architectural features, it’s rural charm and the chance to do your wedding, your way it’s no wonder so many people including myself love The Cowshed. For me photographically it’s a joy to work here. I love the informality of it all. There are no designated areas or pre setup spaces to take the family formal group portraits or the couples portraits. So a day being a wedding photographer at The Cowshed could go in any direction.
Some may want to use the working farm as a backdrop whilst others may want to wander through nature and explore the forest covered island. Immediately outside of the Cowshed is a perfect grass courtyard so if your day is none stop then there is a close by spot for the photography to take place.
As the sun sets on this farm the character changes and with nothing around for miles there is a real rural atmosphere to your wedding day. Your evening guests will be guided from the large car park through a mini forest with festoon lighting draped along the path to direct. This space is great to capture some evening photographs whilst also allowing the newlyweds time away from the bustling party atmosphere.
Wedding Photography at The Cowshed at Woodhall Farm
Planning a wedding at The Cowshed at Woodhall Farm?
I loved being a wedding photographer at The Cowshed and would love to return. Why not give me a shout?
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