The Barn at Upcote wedding photography – Janna and David

Janna and David

Cotswold wedding photography at Upcote Barn, Withington, Cheltenham. Gloucestershire.

It’s not often I start a blog with a film quote but… 1. It’s a great film (IMO) 2. It’s a great quote 3. It seems very appropriate especially to do with weddings, so here goes. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” –  Ferris Bueller. This year has been utterly amazing and busier than I could of ever imagined, so I am going to stop, look around and go back over the year to share some photos of the amazing couples I have met and the beautiful venues I have been to.

To get things rolling again, I just had to kick off with a fab wedding at the gorgeous, The Barn at Upcote. It’s a fairly new venue, one of which I had been itching to photograph for quite some time, so when I got the email from Janna and David about shooting their wedding here I was excited beyond belief. Photographers like myself thrive off new venues, it allows us to try new shots, see new things and get creative, so when the day came I couldn’t wait to get to this hidden little gem in the Cotswolds!

Start your engines…

If you have seen the movie Ferris Bueller you will know it’s about a young guy about to embark on a fun and rewarding journey (in a Ferrari) before graduating. This is the UK version a young couple, beautiful, super cool, like Ferris, an Aston Martin, a bit of dancing and a fantastic ceremony. It all starts in Cheltenham, Dave with the guys and Janna with the girls at the Hilton. The morning started with all the usual festivities, yes of course Prosecco, make-up, hair-stylists, tears, laughter and this was just the guys! In all seriousness on first arrival I was greeted by Janna’s gorgeous family, mum, dad and sisters, (and her best friend – bridesmaid) immediately I was given a warm welcome and I felt part of the furniture from the offset. I could tell it was going to be a relaxed day full of fun and emotion, oh and there was plenty that!


Let the journey begin…

When the grooms father has a gorgeous sports car you are hardly going to leave it at home, now is a proud moment to don the ribbons on the Ferrari, sorry I mean Aston Martin and deliver the bride in style. I however, lacking in the horsepower department left a little earlier to prepare for the arrival of Janna, her father and bridesmaids. The weather wasn’t quite the California weather of the movie, nope it was very British and as the day featured water (and Gin) it was perfect. Tears, raindrops and tonic water!  The guys were greeting the guests as they came down the steps that lead up to the barn, I love these steps it’s like a red carpet moment, a nice graceful walk down to the barn with a gorgeous view across the building with rolling fields in the background. Hmmm, I wonder if they have thought about some big white letter for the hillside?

Click on image to scroll through full sized versions

The script…

This part of the day is the paper work , the ‘I Do’s’ and the first kiss as a legally married couple and not to forget the beaming smiles as they walk down the aisle for the day to notch up a few gears. Now for the waterworks, the water to work and to work that water!

Let the fun beGIN!

Gin ? Gin? Gin? anyone? Okay enough of the film references, we are far from Hollywood, California, the USA full stop. We are in the leafy Cotswolds at a very english farm, in a very beautiful barn with very beautiful people and the H2o is about to flow in every sense. The rain had been playing games all day, so as you would predict, it starts when you least want it to, but who cares? They say, if you get given lemons, make GIN. So with the rain slim lining down the photographs, we postpone them until a little later on! As with every wedding breakfast come the speeches, and I am not entirely sure I have ever witnessed a wedding with so many laughs and tears in the space of an hour. But as this is a water themed day why would I of thought it any other way?

The red carpet…

Ok, so it’s not the red carpet at all, more flagstones, but just perfect and it is the moment everyone gets photographed before heading in for the dance. The rain has eased and it’s time for a good old sprinkling of confetti, a group photograph and a few formal shots. I love Upcote Barn for this, what is normally quite boring is very much the opposite here, loads of different textured backdrops, and as I love the more rustic feel you couldn’t ask for more here. They have thought about this place so well, probably not intentionally for photographers, but it’s great that it works so well for me and no doubt many others. I love the fact that it’s an intimate venue that keeps you all enclosed, all snuggled! But this place also has soooo much to offer out and around the barn too, the rolling views are amazing, where the sun sets is great, the working barn, oh, and the gardens? The gardens are gorgeous, but naturally gorgeous, very much like Janna and David, so this place is a perfect spot for this wedding… I am drifting a bit here, sorry my brain is easily side tracked, Bueller? Bueller? Bueller? Sorry! You will see the gardens below in a moment. Back to the party and time for the first dance, Janna and David were great sports and didn’t let the rain dampen the day, although I couldn’t say the same for poor Janna’s stunning dress. This was a little wet, I made a reference on the day as Janna dropped the trail of the dress down after moving for photos, it sounded like dropping wet clothes out of the washing machine, that’s how wet it was, but nonetheless we got the photos and the first dance was stunning. I love this part of the day and I’m sure as did the amazing team at Upcote did as they got a well mopped floor, just confirming women are still the best at multi-tasking!

The final scenes…

So, I sort of mentioned the gardens, you can see them below, they pretty much speak for themselves, and as they say a picture can tell and thousand words or something like that, I’ll let you decide! One photo I was determined to get was the picture of Janna and David in the barn, I can’t get enough of rustic images that contrast against something so lovely, again, no more words needed. However I do need to thank the best-man for his help and giving his arm a work out with the lighting as we got this shot right. I’m sure I didn’t take that long, or maybe that light is heavy than I thought, anyway it was a good excuse to be rewarded with a beer and homemade pizza after burning all those calories! Joking aside this was a perfect day, regardless of the rain, with a perfect couple at a perfect venue with great team looking after everyone, I for one can’t wait to return here and I am sure Janna and David will have the best memories here, hopefully immortalised by my photographic storytelling and not my literal storytelling!

I have to say a huge congratulations to Mr and Mrs Ball and that I genuinely didn’t want to leave at the end of the evening. It’s funny how you feel a connection and think you know the bride and groom like a best friend, when actually you only really meet them that day. It’s a special day that you share amazing moments with, so chose your photographer well! It’s strange how staring down a camera all day at two people, capturing them and their family and friends makes this happen…( On film/camera!)  this sounds terribly stalker like, maybe I should stop now!

Oh and for the record the Aston Martin thankfully didn’t have the same ending as the Ferrari! But the main story ended happily ever after!


The Barn at Upcote wedding photography – If you are getting married at Upcote Barn and would like me to capture your big day here or in the Cotswolds, drop me a message with a few details via my contact page. We can then discuss availability and further information about your photography requirements. I look forward to hearing from you and finding out more about your wedding plans!


The Barn at Upcote Wedding Fair 2017

I am extremely excited to be attending the Wedding Fair at The Barn at Upcote in October, I will be showcasing my work here, so please come down to see me, this amazing venue, their team as well as all the other great local supplier the Cotswolds have to offer. You won’t be disappointed.