Words from the heart, observations, experiences... our couples, their families and guests; our suppliers; the media; ourselves - we've all been reflecting on what makes Bateman's Barn South Elmham, Suffolk special to us.
Batemans Barn ticked all of our boxes and more - we have viewed several other local venues so knew what we were looking for and from the moment we arrived we both knew it was the one.
The venue offers a relaxed country feel with a perfect mix of all mod cons and a lots of rustic charm plus everything you need to keep your guests comfortable but complete freedom to make it your own.
Matt and I knew we wanted a relaxed, rustic venue and I had my heart set on a barn. We felt totally discouraged after viewing a number of venues as the barns were either too big, too expensive or came with too many restrictions. Then we came across Batemans Barn’s website and loved what we saw and arranged a viewing.
When we began the search for our wedding venue, we knew that we wanted somewhere that was bursting with charm. Typically English, cosy and inviting. Somewhere that you instantly felt comfortable and at home. As soon as we arrived at Bateman’s Barn we knew that it was the perfect venue for us.
There was never any obvious pressure to be somewhere else or to be keeping to a timetable - its like time just slowed down but somewhere quietly in the background I knew Nicole was there keeping all on track. What a brilliant decision to have our wedding at Batemans Barn.
As soon as we turned into the drive on our first visit and saw the setting we thought this could be the one.Unlike other venues we viewed, all areas of the barn, house and grounds were available and open for us to view in order to make an informed decision and Nicole suggested we take a wander through the grounds to chat further; although our minds were already made up!
We couldn't put into words how special and memorable our wedding day was, every bit was a slice of heaven. The weather was beautiful, warm sunshine allowed us to have our blessing in some of the Minster ruins, this felt so special and is something other venues just couldn't match.
We struck gold when we found Bateman’s Barn. We got very excited the first time we visited, because we could see it had everything we wanted – beautiful surroundings, lots of outdoor space, plenty of comfy places for people to sit, and a gorgeous space for the ceremony and dance floor.
Nicole’s relaxed attitude (how does she manage to be so chilled and so unbelievably efficient at the same time?!) put us at our ease straightaway. We felt like planning a wedding with Nicole wouldn’t be stressful at all.
Bateman’s Barn was the first and only venue which Katy and Simon looked around when planning their wedding.
"Even though it was a torrential thunderstorm when we first visited, we immediately knew this was the right venue for us - a beautiful barn with a marquee attached, set in the gorgeous Suffolk countryside, with friendly and helpful owners who were very supportive with helping us plan our big day!"
Mary & Ollie did things a little differently on their day… A walk across ancient deer park to the Minster ruins. Games on the lawns. A colourful ceremony in the medieval barn and a reception in the covered courtyard before a grand finale of fireworks.
“We had a wonderful day and would recommend the venue to anyone. Thanks for all your help!” From Mary icing her own cake on the very morning of her wedding, to the quirky evening band and relaxed catering, it was certainly a day to remember.
Susan Fitch at New Beginnings Florist in Bungay has worked closely with Nicole and John for many years. She loves the South Elmham island wedding venue so much in fact, that she just couldn't resist getting married here!
"Bateman's Barn is a beautiful setting for a country wedding which has been renovated to the absolute finest standard, to lend itself to the perfect wedding."
When Josi and Mike started planning their wedding, they were determined to find a venue where they would be treated as individuals, not just another couple - just another wedding.
"It was just the most amazing day and so much of that is down to you, Nicole, and John. You worked so incredibly hard to make it such a personal and smooth running day. In our opinion you are fantastic!"
Warning - May contain hero worship!
A superbly sunny day with the whole historic venue looking spectacular in the sunshine - but it was more than just the weather which was warm at Bateman's Barn that July day when Alex married his partner, Mark. "Our wedding at Bateman's was, for want of a better word, fantastic. Everyone was so welcoming. The day ran like clockwork and Nicole and her team managed to turn our wedding thoughts and dreams into a reality."
All together different weddings - Mark explains how Batemans' Barn was just the perfect Suffolk venue for his marriage to Alex.
Alice's amazing Charlie Brear wedding gown was a real show-stopper when she married Jamie at Bateman's Barn - so much so that a major wedding dress blog writer felt she just had to give the couple's whole day some online coverage.
The Suffolk wedding (a tribute to Alice's Lowestoft roots) was both 1920s and literary inspired, touching on their personalities and in the coverage, the local florist, decor providers and fish & chip van all get a mention - and Nicole, of course - "She was invaluable."
Phillipa and Keith "couldn't recommend Bateman's more highly." As well as being in awe of how Nicole ensured everything went smoothly practically without even being see, Phillipa remembers with real fondness a foraging walk with her around South Elmham Hall's ancient meadows to gather wildflowers to decorate the medieval barn.
Wedding ceremony rehearsals are all part of the package at Bateman's Barn South Elmham, but when Nicole found herself faced with a couple's set of non-English speaking, Russian relatives she soon found herself introducing a whole new sign language to make things fun and everyone feel most welcome.
This was a wedding which treated its guests to a walk to the Minster ruins too - without losing anybody. A note from Tom and Masha tells the story...