This was my first visit to Blackwell Grange, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire. It’s a brand new venue and I must say, the attention to detail and the quality of the finish was second to none. Blackwell Grange is, and I know this phrase gets used a lot, but it IS absolutely stunning! It has that perfect blend with old and modern,with everything is catered for. There are gorgeous gardens for the summer months, with plenty of room for the kids to roam free. There is beautiful scenery in all directions….and the food was terrific!
I would love the opportunity to come back and photograph here again, because I loved it! Some venues have a certain feel which lends itself to a creating a wonderful atmosphere. Blackwell Grange has is it in spades which in turn, creates the amazing environment for great wedding photography. More like this please!!
1) Please tell me how you first met?
We first met 3 years ago. For our first date we went for a few drinks and it felt like we had known each other a lifetime after only a few hours. We haven’t looked back since that day.
2) When was it you knew they were the one?
There wasn’t really a single moment that either of us can recall. Over time we began to spend more and more time together until without realising it we couldn’t bare being apart. I then think it’s that feeling of never wanting to be apart that made us realise we were truly made for each other.
Julie: I can’t pinpoint one moment when I knew that Ian was the one, it just became apparent to me very quickly that I couldn’t be without him. Straight away from the first time I met Ian I felt like I could just be myself with him.
3) Could you give us the story of the proposal?
We got engaged in Barcelona back in January. It was Julie’s birthday and I’d planned a little get away for that reason. Truth is Id planned to propose on Barcelona’s famed cable car, in my head it’d be really romantic to get engaged while overlooking the beautiful Barcelona skyline. On the day of the planned proposal we did lots of exploring in the morning time, had lunch, took in some more attractions and then headed over to the cable cars. I had the ring in my pocket and had rehearsed what I was going to say, we arrived at the cable cars just before 5.30 local time…and it was just closing! I panicked a little, I’d told a handful of friends and family back home what I’d planned to do and they were no doubt eagerly awaiting a message of how the proposal had gone! This day was Julie’s birthday so I didn’t want to postpone until the next day so I had to think of a plan B. Earlier in the day we’d been down to Port Vell and agreed how beautiful it looked. We went out for dinner that evening and under moonlight it looked even more picturesque! So with this in mind, we finished eating and I insisted we had a late night walk down to the port again. We settled on a bench with gorgeous views and this is where I popped the question! What was said between us is something that’ll remain private and personal between us but I got the “yes” I’d been looking for! Julie still says its her best ever birthday present!
4) If you don’t mind sharing, can you tell me something quirky, funny or silly about your partner?
There’s probably loads, we know each other so well now that what would seem quirky to others is complete norm for us now! Something we do that might seem really bizarre is we sort of characterise our dog Poppy! So for example, rather than saying, “we need to take the dog for a walk”, we’ll say something like, “Poppy said she wants to go for a walk”. This only gets stranger whereby we’ll get texts from the ‘dog’ during the day! I can be sat at work and suddenly have a text saying something like “miss you daddy” (together with a dog emoji to denote its supposedly from poppy). Very weird it could be argued but it always raises a smile and is something only we share.
5) What is your perfect day together?
A perfect day to us may seem pretty to dull others! We have a cockapoo called Poppy who we love very much. A perfect day for us would likely involve taking her out somewhere, letting her have a good run around while we walk behind. We’d likely end the day with a meal out in the village pub round the corner from where we live with either a few friends or our family.
6) Apart from the obvious, what are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?
Getting all the people closest to us together. We both have friends and family who we don’t live near to, mix this with a busy work commitment and we can go very long periods of time without seeing them. To have all the people who mean so much to us together in one place is really exciting!
7) What was it that inspired you to go for the theme or the decor you chose for your wedding?
Once we had booked our wedding in November we decided that we wanted to stay away from the usual autumn colours such as burgundy or navy, which although are pretty just were not what we were imagining. We had a vision of lots of candles, fairy lights and sparkle to create a magical atmosphere especially for when the evening fell. We decided on a light pink base as it is Julie’s favourite colour with touches of rose gold for the sparkle factor, we then added some ivory to blend everything together.
8) Please tell me one thing you wish you had known at the beginning of your wedding planning process, that you could pass on to future bride’s reading this blog?
Julie: I feel the wedding planning has gone really smoothly for us and has felt very easy so all I feel is that I can do is pass on some advice from what I have found during the process. We had 10 months from engagement to wedding date and this felt the perfect amount of time to plan everything within. There was enough time to find amazing suppliers and to sort all the small details but it kept the planning exciting because the wedding really was always just weeks away as opposed to months or years.
Also many brides may, like me, spend a lot of time looking at bridal magazines, pinterest, blogs etc. but I would say just go with what you feel best suits you as a couple and your day and don’t get stressed about the small details because the most important thing is actually getting married and spending the day with all your family and friends.
9) When searching, what were you were looking for in a wedding venue?
We both were in agreement that we wanted somewhere with exclusive use therefore a barn venue seemed the perfect choice. We had a look at one close to where we live in Oxfordshire but it didn’t feel quite right.
We then viewed Blackwell Grange, it immediately felt perfect It is very close to where Julie grew up, which did play a big role in the choice and it is such a stunning venue, it’s hard not to fall in love with it straight away. We both love going out for nice meals so it was very important to us to have amazing food on our wedding day rather than just the traditional roast meal. When we saw the catering options that Galloping Gourmet could provide at Blackwell Grange we fell in love even more and immediately booked.
10) Could you tell me the process you went through when you were looking for a wedding photographer?
Finding a wedding photographer was actually one of the hardest parts of the planning! As our venue is fairly new we decided to contact the photographer who did the venue launch photos as we thought it might be good to have a photographer who knew the venue. He was booked on our wedding date, however he recommended Duncan to us. We loved Duncan’s photos and we knew we wanted to meet up to discuss our day further. When we met Duncan was very friendly and approachable and alongside his amazing photos we knew he was the one for us! Although Duncan had not been to Blackwell Grange before he explained how he would go and look around in advance, which we thought was great and filled us with confidence for the day.
We have had an pre-wedding shoot with Duncan and he made the whole process very easy and the photos that we have had back from that are absolutely stunning.
Photography | Duncan Cox Photography
Ceremony Location | Blackwell Grange
Reception Location | Blackwell Grange
Florist | The Bay Tree, Chipping Campden
Wedding DJ | Taylormade Live Band
Dress Designer | Jesus Peiro
Wedding Dress Retailer | The Bridal Boutique Warwickshire