Lovingly restored, Hanbury Barns, previously known as Hanbury Wedding Barn is an amazing place to celebrate your wedding and begin married life! This family-run wedding venue situated in the Staffordshire countryside, in the heart of the National Forest was the ambitious project of ex-photographer Adrian and his family who decided to buy Parsons Brake Farm which had been neglected for a while and turn it into the fabulous Hanbury Barns, keeping most of the original features. I photographed the very first wedding there a couple of years ago as the brand new wedding venue was just finishing phase 1 of its renovation plans and am a recommended wedding photographer for Hanbury Barns. I’ve since revisited the wedding venue to provide my relaxed style of wedding photography services to several couples on their special day and I’m always excited to see the latest changes and additions to this beautiful venue.
Everything from the rustic brick barns to the outdoor space has had nice touches added here and there. For example, the newest barn called Eland is the biggest of the three wedding barns so it took the longest to finish. Throughout Hanbury Barns, there are handcrafted light fittings and landscaping which have been designed by the family’s previous owners and often fitted by them! I think this attention to detail truly makes Hanbury Barns feel like a wedding venue which is carefully and lovingly managed by the family-run team behind it.
Let me take you on a tour, room by room, to tell you just how Hanbury Barns is the perfect place for your wedding photography as well as a wonderful venue to share your perfect day with your friends and family…
Hanbury Barns has a dedicated bridal prep room in a separate building which is the perfect location for brides to get their hair and make-up done and put on their wedding dress. The room is spacious and filled with natural light (which will definitely please your make-up artist and photographer). Another appealing aspect about this room for a wedding photographer like myself is that the space is completely painted in a fresh, clean white. This means that there are no bold or clashing colours reflected onto your skin tones which can be an issue when editing photos. That’s something you might not have considered when thinking about wedding photography! On one side of the room, there are 4 high chairs with mirrors and lights for make-up and hair plus a bathroom with a shower. There is also a sitting area with a coffee and tea station or if you prefer, there is a fridge to keep your fizz nicely chilled. To me, it has the look and feel of a luxurious, high-end yet intimate salon and is a pretty special place for any bride to be pampered in and start her wedding day.
The Red Barn is a stunning ceremony room, ideal for wedding celebrations of all sizes. The clever L shape design allows for several configurations which can accommodate both intimate and large gatherings. The mix of red bricks, exposed timber frames and stones on the floor is a combination of materials that gives a classy look, full of rustic charm. It really characterises any Hanbury Barns Photography. The end of the room has an elevated floor to make sure every guest gets a good view of the happy couple wherever they are sitting. Natural light enters from both sides of the room as well as the ceiling which always makes your wedding photographer happy.
This particular barn was the last one to be added to the Hanbury Barns set-up. The Eland barn is the largest barn in the venue and is used as the wedding breakfast barn. Adrian and his team have done an incredible job converting the barn into a large reception room which can sit 200 people and has plenty of space for the approved catering of Hanbury Barns to set up. Not only that but there is an impressive large window to let plenty of natural light in. Again, this makes me as a wedding photographer very happy because it means that more time can be spent easily capturing the true emotions and moments with your guests without having to constantly adjust settings on my camera. This fills up a couple’s photo album with a selection of natural and relaxed photography which is in keeping with my style.
Lots of natural light often means lots of windows, but the team at Hanbury Barns have cleverly hidden the nearby car park with panels covered with greenery which blends into the exceptionally green surroundings and creates a relaxed countryside atmosphere inside the barn instead of views of multiple car bonnets and wheels.
A Hanbury Barns wedding means that you haven’t just got one wedding barn to use for your celebration, you’ve got 3 wedding barns! The Woodend Barn is built and decorated in the same style as the red brick ceremony barn with exposed brickwork and oak beams, creating a smart cohesion between spaces. Once more, it gives a rustic backdrop to your photography, if that’s the look you want for your wedding day.
There is a set of two large French doors leading to the courtyard letting more of that handy natural light in – I can’t stress enough how important this can be for excellent and focused wedding photography! Just outside there is a spacious courtyard which is ideal for the drinks reception and it’s also a great place for group photos with your family and wedding guests amongst the magnificent surroundings of this wedding venue.
In the evening the Woodend Barn transforms into the party room and there is the option to have the french doors open to allow easy access to the outside space and gives the guests the opportunity to dance the night away under the stars.
I love photographing ceremonies outdoors and Hanbury Barns is licenced for couples who want to exchange their vows in their outdoor wedding pavilion overlooking the lake and nearby National Forest. I think giving couples the option to get married like this, in the greenery of the Staffordshire Countryside accompanied by the sounds of local wildlife – birds singing and chirping, bees buzzing – always brings a bit of Je ne sais quoi to the celebration and general atmosphere.
The team at Hanbury Barns have Sustainability and Wildlife at the heart of their operations and they are planning to create two dedicated ecological preserves as part of this ethos. These will provide excellent and protected environments for the local bird and amphibian life. In addition to this, the owners have planted new hedgerows for smaller mammals to enjoy and shelter in. Being environmentally conscious in all aspects of the business is something which is growing in the wedding industry and it’s amazing to see that Hanbury Barns is making this a reality, not only investing time and money into the barns themselves but also their natural and magnificent surroundings.
I went back recently to Hanbury Barns for their Spring Open Day and I was delighted to see that the venue has now received the last accommodation pod. It took some time but hey, they were hand-built off-site, one by one before being shifted to their final location!
There are now 15 pods, all with en-suite bathrooms in two different locations. All the pods have blackout blinds, seating areas, towels, shower gel and shampoo, in case you forget yours.
There are also tea and coffee facilities and you’ll be provided with a light continental breakfast. In other words: Croissants!
You’ll find the nine Quad pods near the main entrance including:
1 Deluxe Pod
2 wheelchair-friendly pods
6 Quad pods
The Deluxe pod is ideal for the happy couple and has a kind size bed
Two of the pods are wheelchair friendly with only one bedroom and have wet rooms. There is plenty of space around the bed for navigation.
The six quad pods have each 2 bedrooms. One with a double and the other one with twin beds. Ideal for a family or 2 couples who don’t mind sharing.
The six double pods are placed along the lake. They are, in my opinion, the best ones as there is only one bedroom with a double bed and they feel more spacious. Also, who doesn’t like to wake-up by a lake?
Hanbury Barns is a versatile venue and is an excellent choice for weddings at any time of the year. You can use the multiple spaces – both indoor and outdoor – in multiple ways. The Family run venue has personal touches everywhere and the team are often on hand to help and act as a wedding coordinator if needed. It’s a fabulous place to start married life and if you book this Staffordshire based venue you will have exclusive use and plenty to look forward to!
Thomas Demol Photographie
I’m a wedding photographer based in Manchester and photographing weddings throughout the North West of England. I’m a recommended photographer at Hanbury Barns…
Check out my Hanbury Barns Portfolio. There will be many more added in 2022.