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.
We've more magical words and pictures to share too, in our storyboard galleries of lasting memories »
We were so lucky to find this lovely location and even more surprised when we booked straight away.
We had decided to spend two years planning the wedding, so with this in mind, we were in no rush - but we thought it would be fun to look at some venues for our future plans. After visiting a few locations we were very much ready to sit back and wait until we were actually ready to start booking, but then.....
We were looking for a relaxed and beautiful barn setting. Having seen a few, we knew this was the perfect location before we even got out of the car…
Tucked away in the stunning Suffolk countryside, surrounded by fields and flower meadows, lies Bateman's Barn and its fabulous ancient ruins, all surrounded by a moat - truly an island in the fields.
We could not have been happier with our wedding day at this beautiful venue.
We will always be so grateful to Nicole and John for all they did to help turn our eclectic mix of wedding day thoughts and ideas into a coherent reality.
For many years I have hacked my horse past Bateman's Barn and looked down the tree-lined, gravel drive wondering what it is hiding beyond...
When we got engaged and started planning our wedding, we had an excuse to go and find out its secrets - it didn't disappoint!
Love at first sight! My now husband and I had been to see quite a few different barn style wedding venues, but Bateman's Barn was the only one where we could actually see ourselves getting married.
We loved that we had the freedom to do pretty much as we wished with the decorations, choice of caterers and the timetable for the whole day. Every idea we had in our minds Nicole was happy to help make it work....
Bateman's 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.
This pretty venue offers a relaxed country feel with a perfect mix of all mod-cons with bags of rustic charm, plus everything you need to keep your guests comfortable and 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 Bateman's 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.
"Fantastic wedding fair yesterday, actually, easily the best we have been to - and we've been to quite a few! "
This is a heartfelt thanks to some of our 'locals we love' - our suppliers - for the amazing wedding fair which you helped us put together on Sunday 6th May. The energy, creativity and sheer joy you all brought to the day was beyond what we could have hoped for. Here are a few of the lovely messages I have received from couples who came to our fair, we think they speak for themselves.....
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.
Nicole suggested that 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.
Regional glossy EADT Suffolk Magazine featured South Elmham Hall and its owners in its April 2018 issue.
"All weddings at Bateman's Barn are green, not just because this is a working organic farm where diversification is key. It's not us being prescriptive, but just how we operate, because it's what we believe in..."
The double page article gives an insight into the bigger picture, covering everything from the farm, the Minster, the Waveney Wedding Collective and house tours through the Invitation to View scheme.
We had been looking for sometime and not yet found the right place or the right feel for our day. Then a friend suggested we take at look at a Barn venue, they had attended an evening party there and thought it was really lovely, quirky place with lots of character and charm.
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...