Childerley Long Barn Wedding Photographer // Poonam & Robert
A beautiful barn wedding venue near Cambridge
I loved being a Childerley Long Barn Wedding Photographer for Poonam and Robert. Childerley is such a fantastic wedding venue. It has real character and has so much space for a huge party! I’ve never seen a barn that long before… It isn’t a “long barn” it’s an “incredibly long barn!” This is a Cambridgeshire venue that would really suit those that want 100+ guests although smaller numbers would work too with their clever use of dividing curtains. I believe 320 guests is the max! Personally, my favourite part however isn’t the barn, as lovely as it is, but is the grounds behind Childerely Hall. The gardens complete with a lake and chapel, are stunning and are a dream for a wedding photographer! When we were there they also had an elephant art installation which was amazing. I know that Poonam and Robert were also really happy with the staff at Childerely too.
Poonam & Robert’s British-Asian Wedding
Poonam and Robert are one of those couples that you instantly warm to. Kind, generous and a lot of fun too. They wanted an additional professional photographer to help capture their wedding as they had 180 guests so I brought in the fabulous Salsabil Morrison to help. Thank you Salsabil!
Although both have Indian heritage, Robert and Poonam come from families with different religious backgrounds; Hindu, Sikh and Christian. I found it really fascinating how they incorporated different family/religious traditions whilst also having a non-religious ceremony. They made it their own and created an amazing celebration that had the whole barn buzzing all day. One of my favourite parts that I’d not seen before was a Milni ceremony. This is a Sikh tradition where the families of the bride and groom meet before the main ceremony. It was lovely to see the families sharing gifts and hugs even before anyone had even seen the bride and groom!
I’ll let Poonam and Robert tell the rest of their wedding story…
How did you guys meet?
We met online! I was Robert’s first online date, at the time he sent a message I was ready to take an online dating time out as I was thoroughly bored with the whole thing!
Tell me a bit about yourselves
I’ve worked in charity all my life in international development and a bit of a traveller – with work and in my free time. Robert works for an energy company and again – a huge traveller. We are both foodies and love eating out and trying new dishes. We are both ultra-competitive (any of our friends who come to our games nights know that it doesn’t matter how long we have been together, over a game of Articulate, the gloves are off!) We’re both really close to our families and love family meals followed by games after!
How did you choose your wedding venue?
We both wanted to get married in a barn-style venue and with our numbers (180) it was tricky to find somewhere that hosted a sit down for that many! We found a couple of options but they didn’t feel right – some of the venues were too dark (I like light); others had too many restrictions; others it felt very ‘business like’ when we spoke to the venue and of course it is, but it’s our wedding so we needed to feel comfortable with who we went with as it was personal to us! When we saw Childerley, we both came away sat in the car and both said ‘this is the one’ – not only was it just stunning – the barn, the grounds, the space and light which made it feel so welcoming; the owner Jocelyn was so welcoming, accommodating and we felt instantly at ease discussing and planning our day with her. From the first meeting, we were given a lot of information in a pack which was really helpful just to understand costs (other venues there seemed to be a lot of hidden extras) – at Childerley we felt we understood from the start the costs involved and because the grounds are owned by a family, not a business, there was a real vested interest to help make our day special!
What sort of experience did you want your guests to have?
We wanted our guests to eat well and have fun! This was our main priority – there were a lot of children on both sides so for us, it was less about being formal and more about having our nearest and dearest all in the same place, having a fun time and catching up with everyone!
Can you describe some of the details and stylings, did your wedding have a theme?
In keeping with the barn style, we went for log slice centrepieces with fairy lights in bottles/jars…etc. We made all the flowers out of my favourite books (origami!) for the wedding – so centrepieces, head table flowers, bouquets…etc. We had old photos of Robert and I strung up on the dance floor and all the children got activity packs: an activity book we made, colouring pencils, games, sweets…etc. which kept them entertained (weddings can be boring for children and therefore stressful for the parents – we wanted to avoid this!). We also personalised a lot of things – so wedding favours were fudge made by Robert’s dad (who hands down – makes the best fudge ever) and they were stored in miniature post office style mailing boxes – complete with airmail stamps and a compass charm. Robert and I are both travellers so felt appropriate and Robert’s dad and my grandfather worked in the post office for many years so was a nod to them.
What was your best decision during the wedding planning?
A spreadsheet with due dates for payments for the venue, registrar, cake, bar..etc. having it in one place and somewhere central to refer to rather than trawling through emails helped me to stay on top of the planning. We had an epic sheet with the to-do list broken down by month which helped too (although advice: back it up somewhere! I didn’t and my laptop died so that was stressful trying to redeem it all!).
What was the hardest decision?
Finalizing the guest list! It was tricky and at times involved difficult decisions.
What were your favourite memories of the day?
Actually getting married – I felt really present when we exchanged our vows and it absolutely hit me this event we had been planning for about 9 months was finally here! We also enjoyed getting our photos taken with Winston after the ceremony – it was great because we were both on a ‘high’ of getting married and swamped with ‘congratulations!’ which was so lovely but it was great just to get some time together straight after as Mr & Mrs. The best bit of this was because Winston’s style is so natural, most of the photos were taken of Robert and I having a natter and a giggle after the wedding!
What advice would you have for any couples planning their wedding?
Make the decisions that make you happy! It’s your wedding – not the ideal Pinterest board so make it about you both! Also, all the tiniest details don’t really matter in the end – the guests don’t know what you were planning! As long as you have someone to marry you, some food lined up and a place to dance- that’s what everyone will remember. Having ‘to-do’ things for children a lot of parents thanked us for – parents said it enabled them to have more fun knowing that their children weren’t AWOL and bored!
Superstar wedding suppliers who helped make this wedding amazing:
I’m a Norfolk Wedding Photographer who travels all over the country and beyond capturing beautiful weddings. If you’d like a Childerley Long Barn Wedding Photographer, or a wedding photographer for anywhere in the UK or further afield, please do get in touch!