5 Questions: Rocks & Frocks

As a Granary Supplier and friend of the barns, we recently spoke with Vanessa of Rocks & Frocks; a specialist Wedding and Events Planning company who also supply a variety of props including the ever popular light up letters. After another successful and busy year (working alongside husband and co-Director Dominic), we wanted to hear Vanessa's thoughts on current trends and how she sees the industry progressing...


Hi Vanessa! For those who are unfamiliar with R&F, what services do you offer and Which of these have proved the most popular in the last 12 months?

We provide premium aluminium 5ft light up letters and we are also wedding planners; both our light up letter hire teams and our planning teams have been super busy in the last 12 months.

Have you seen a major shift in what customers require/like with regards to your light up letters?

In the last 12 months we have have seen a definite shift from couples wanting generic words such as ‘LOVE’ or ‘MR & MRS’ on their wedding day to wanting their initials as a way to personalise their wedding further. (They also make for some great photo opportunities!).

Photography: Neal Laver

Photography: Neal Laver

Photography: Pete Denness

Photography: Pete Denness

Photography: The Granary Estates

Photography: The Granary Estates

Photography: Neal Laver

Photography: Neal Laver

As we approach 2018, what have been your favourite trends this year and which ones do you think will continue through to next year?

We love the soft metallics such as rose gold and copper especially when mixed with fresh greenery and geometric shapes – kind of industrial meets soft and sparkly!  I’m sure that a Brides love of metallics and sequins will continue into 2018 and I hope to see more of what I would call ‘loose, wild florals’ – less structured bouquets and arrangements giving a more Bohemian/1920’s feel to a Brides floral styling.

Photography: Pete Denness

Photography: Pete Denness

Do you have any stand out moments/weddings in 2017?

We’ve been to lots of great weddings this year but our stand out moment was when one of our couples held a 2 day festival wedding complete with flamingos, a hot tub bus and a 12 hour music festival the following day as the ‘wedding after party’. 

We also had a fantastic couple who wanted to hire our letters for their wedding reception saying ‘sh*t just got real’ – we thought they had a great sense of humour but unfortunately our letters were just to big for the venue space they had available – it would have definitely been a talking point for the guests!


We love having you up at the barns! What’s your favourite thing about working in our venue?

We genuinely love working at the barns and with the GG’s – we know we will always be greeted with big smiles and warm hello’s from everyone and set up is always so easy as we are all familiar with how the other works!  It’s also lovely to feel like you are part of the team working together to make that day’s wedding super special rather than just an external supplier dropping off something for the wedding – the GG’s make you feel involved which is great!

Photography: Pete Denness

Photography: Pete Denness

To see more of what Rocks & Frocks can offer, visit their website:


The GG's x

Real Weddings at The Granary Barns



Working as a florist in the wedding industry, this bride had big plans for her special day and wanted to use her incredible talents to style the barns, bringing out the rustic charm, elegance and beauty on display.

With personal touches including Rich's man cave adorned with Welsh flags, apples picked from their garden and displayed in Clare's bouquet (by florist extroadinaire and best friend Julie) to wearing her Grandma's pearls, Clare's creativity shone through. We personally loved the tables being named after different biscuits, a not so subtle nod to the groom's nickname! After looking at this array of images captured by Ben Minnaar, were sure you'll agree this autumnal wedding was a perfect reflection of this unique and happy couple...



I bought the first dress I tried on (I only tried 4 dresses in total!). I always knew that I wanted something simple and timeless and hopefully found that in the dress in wore from Heart Brides - a mobile dress company specialising in dresses under £1000). I teamed this with my Grandma's pearls and jewellery Rich had bought me for my birthday.

Rich always knew he wanted to wear a traditional morning suit so we hired a lovely navy blue one form Cadge Menswear in St.Ives.

My bridesmaids looked stunning on the day in their lace dresses from House of Fraser. I was so honoured to walk down the aisle with them.



Having worked at the barns before I knew as soon as we got engaged that this had to be the venue where we tied the knot! Luckily for me, Rich fell just as quickly in love with the barns and we didn't even need to step foot in another venue.

We received so many compliments on the venue and on how much everyone enjoyed themselves at the Barns. We had the most magical day and the barns provided the perfect, warm and friendly setting. We will always be so grateful for the part the GG's played in helping to make our day so special.

As well as catering our wedding day, Elizabeth Hall helped with the wonderful styling and decoration. We couldn't have done it without her and nothing was ever too much trouble! Elizabeth and her team are a dream to work with!



There is so much beautiful floral inspiration in autumn and I have always loved the gorgeous flower varieties, colours and textures that are available. Julie (best friend, bridesmaid and fellow florist) and I let what was in season guide our flower choices and we chose designs that we felt complimented the time of year.

Flowers were the main and most important decor for our wedding day and we had a ,lot of fun working out ways to have flowers dress the barns from the floor to the beams. Seeing it all come together on the day was incredibly special and walking down the aisle seeing all of our creations adorn the barns really was magical.



The food was incredible and being big foodies, this was such an important part of the day for us! Elizabeth and her team really are wonderful and were so helpful throughout the whole process. As well as being super delicious, the food was so beautifully styled which was a massive bonus. We can't recommend them highly enough. 



When it came to the evening, Festival Nights Band provided the music and they went down a storm! The dance floor was packed with guests of every age, all night long. They performed our first dance request beautifully and dancing to the band was one of the highlights of the whole day.



Photography was really important for us and we knew this was something we were happy to invest in for the day. 

I remember coming across Ben Minnaar's work a few years before we got engaged and have always loved his style. The way he captures those unique, candid moments is really special. I contacted Ben immediately after we booked the date and thankfully he was available! Ben (and Sam) captured the joy of the day and we have the most stunning pictures which we'll love forever more.



Catering & Styling - Elizabeth Hall Event Design

Floristry - Clare Jones Floral Design & Julie Zimmerman

Photography - Ben Minnaar Photography

Band - Festival Nights Band

Dresses - Hearts Bride & House of Fraser

Suits - Cadge Menswear

Real Weddings at The Granary Barns



When a couple take the barns and put their own personal touch on things, it makes for a unique and beautiful setting. When your brides profession is a wedding planner however, the resulting wedding is nothing short of spectacular!

Meet Inge & CJ, our wonderful bride and groom from January this year. With a background in the wedding and events industry, Inge took the opportunity (albeit with some challenges) to transform the barns in to a whimsical, moonlit forest; the perfect setting for a wedding breakfast and reception unique to herself and her husband-to-be. With tree lined walls, a canopy of twinkling lights, delicious food and wonderful friends and family, this couple made sure their special day was one to remember.

The photography, by Granary Suppliers Lina & Tom, captured the ambience of the day perfectly, making sure no detail was left unseen. We spoke with Inge about different aspects of the day, from the flowers to the first dance and how all of these touches made the day unique to them as a couple. We particularly loved their church reading and Inge's advice at the end.....we couldn't agree more. 


So I’ve never been a ‘THE dress’ kind of person - I mean I've watched my fair share of “say yes to the dress” as much as the next but I've never been one to worry about the way I personally look on the day (I’m more about the styling and the overall look and feel for everyone rather than what the dress looks like). I also had the added complication of being six months pregnant on the day and so I was never going to be able to wear whichever dress I wanted to. One thing I knew for sure though was that I would never, ever be seen dead in a Grecian style tent of a dress!

I’m a big believer that you should wear a dress which you feel fantastically fab in no matter what it looks like or what your pre-conceptions of a style may be and so I never had a set style in my head and I also didn't want a ‘too many cooks’ situation. So one Thursday just before heading off to work I took myself into town and had a browse of some nice high end high street stores and wandered into Coast. My eyes fixed onto a two piece with a blush sequinned crop and a lovely blush skirt; I tried it on and that was it! I walked out with it that day!

The skirt sat just on top of my bump and the top was gorgeously sparkly! It wasn't white, but who cared and I bought it on my own, but then I've always been a strong decision maker and I love it. I still do! The great thing about my wedding dress is that I can whop it out at any snazzy occasion either the skirt with a simple top or the top with black jeans and I get to relive a little piece of my wedding whenever needs must!



CJ was never going to be told what to wear by me and even though I tried once (or twice) I got told very firmly from the beginning not to try to tell him what to wear. He told me that if my dress was going to be a surprise so was his suit. And I'm glad it was. He picked out the most stunning blue three piece from John Lewis and when I saw him down the aisle my heart skipped a beat and I couldn't believe I was about to marry the most handsome man I had ever met.

I was told after the wedding that the size shirt they sent over was huge and way too big - a detail that was only noticed only the morning of the wedding. But Tom (from Lina and Tom) stepped in as the pro he is and helped CJ to tuck and adjust it to make sure it sat just right! Phew!



The barns was the one from day one. After working in a fair few venues in the area I had always been impressed by the professionalism and care of the Granary Girls; partner this with a venue that ticked all of our boxes and after dragging CJ along to have look we booked on the dot! We needed a venue which had the separate space for a creche (our daughter was 4 and had invited a couple of close friends so we set up a fun cinema den for them); the cleanliness and the space was spot on and the fact that we could host everything indoors made it the perfect venue for our winter wedding.

In all honesty we didn't book the barns because we wanted a barn venue or look, we booked it because it was spacious enough for us to create an indoor Narnia style forest. When we were younger we carved our names into a tree in a small forest which was half way between our childhood houses, around 12 years on it was the spot where CJ proposed and so we were adamant we would re-create this for our wedding day.

We enlisted the help of Elizabeth Hall and set about hiring in live trees to create the forest, festoon and lanterns to create a night sky and succulents and candles for the table to reconstruct a forest scene. I must say it was pretty tricky getting those trees in and out of the side doors but once it was all set up the look came together and blew us away.



As I said our priorities lay with creating a forest rather than focusing on table top decorations. Elizabeth Hall styled in some succulents for our tables but we didn't go for any floristry displays apart from my bouquet. I opted to go with the Tayler Studios for my bouquet and got a glorious winter flower arrangement from Grace. After seeing her workshop I held every trust in her that she had great style and the know how to great fantastic flower pieces. So after showing her a couple of pictures of some wintery bouquets I had in mind I left it to her to create the final piece. 

I don’t like to step anyones creativity and I like to trust the suppliers I work with and so even though she was surprised I gave her full creative control (not something most brides do) I was not disappointed and she delivered a stunning bouquet fit for a forestry winter wedding.



As a wedding planner I am of course a big believer of doing things properly and seeing everything through and although some may disagree I am in the camp that if you're going to get married it should be in a church. I am not religious and my husband isn't overly, so the decision to get married in a church wasn't a traditional or religious one. I believe that the day should be separated out into the more formal and contemplative church service to be followed by a celebration in another space and so this is why we opted for a church. Lets not forget why you're getting married. Its not to just have a huge party, wear a great dress, drink bubbly and dance. It is to make a commitment to one another to support each other, be true to each other and be a team for life and this needs to be taken seriously. 

We got married in Burwell Church which is our parish church and our vicar Eleanor was incredibly flexible and approachable through out the planning process. The most memorable moment for me was when we included a promise to our daughter and baby in utero to love and support them throughout their lives after our vows to each other. And I sobbed through the whole service. We walked out of the church to James Brown and the organist played the Game of Thrones theme tune whilst we sign the register. 

We also chose to have a reading from Kalil Gibran the Prophet which sums up our way of working our relationship perfectly:


“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.” 


There were times being a bride/wedding planner when I found it really hard to let go. I felt a huge amount of pressure to create something spectacular because of my background and my job. And I felt as though everyone would be judging me that extra bit. But just as I was considering spending an obscene amount of money on a real snow blower I had a meeting with Parris and she managed to calm me down and talk me out of feeling under pressure to perform. I found it invaluable to have the GGs to chat weddings to because they understand and could relate to what I was trying to achieve.

I struggled with the supplier relationship balance at times, and I think because I hired in industry friends to help me achieve my vision there were definitely times when the lines were blurred but having my husband to talk things through with helped me to detach myself from being a wedding planner and to just be a bride to be. Towards the end I even hired in my own wedding planner to get her to tie up loose ends for me and put an eye on everything. (Aimee I'm looking at you!) 

Being a natural control freak - as every wedding planner is - definitely helped because everything was written down and checked over. But being able to work with people I trust and who could understand my vision was most important. And couldn't have asked for a better collaboration of suppliers to pull together my wedding day.



CJ and I have a shared love of music and dancing. CJ is a very good dancer and although I like to think I'm good at dancing too there is no way I would keep up with him. But also no way that we would be able to have any ordinary first dance.

We decided not to go for a love song or anything which represented our relationship, rather a great song with a great beat that we both liked dancing to so settled on Janet Jacksons 'All Nite (Don't Stop)'. 

We then came up with a routine which was perfected and pulled together by our dance friend Bailey Francis and proceeded to pop, lock and robot our way through our first dance.



LINA AND TOM!!!!!!!! The bestest most fantastic most fabulous photography dapper duo you will ever meet. They are incredible and their awesome talent not only managed to capture some really great pictures but the feel, emotion and ambiance of the day. Getting a photographer is my number one priority for any of my couples but finding one which you connect with and who understands you is even more important. Many try to skimp on the photographer because they don't understand their fees but when you realise that this is the only lasting physical memory of your wedding day their importance starts to sink in. And getting the photos back is an unforgettable experience. Just being able to sit in your own house in your own space after the wedding with a glass of vino to relive the day is priceless. I have to say I'm not a fan of stuffy posed photos and my favourites are all the spur of the moment shots including a great one of me shaving my pits! But in all honesty they managed to capture all the little looks and the glances of our family and friends which made our day come alive on print.

Lina even bought along a pick me up snack for the adrenaline dump after the ceremony - they honestly went above and beyond and covered everything. The best money I have ever spent! 



Being a ‘Real Bride’ has made me better planner, I now understand the day from all angles and can enlist on my own experience to run the day. I wrote a blog piece after being married with my own ten top tips which you can find on my website (read the blog HERE). But in all honesty in hindsight the things I most remember are the laughs, the enormous amount of love and the feeling I had in my heart for the whole day. 

If you're planning to get married - don't forget that the most important thing that happens is that you marry the one you love. The frills and fancies are great and make for a spectacular day. But if you can walk away from it feeling fantastic and in love then it was a huge success. 

But my one top tip and wedding gripe is to make it your own! Don't get suckered into one type of theme or style if it doesn't reflect you two as a couple. You need every penny to work for you and to be spent on reflecting you, your relationship and your love. So put down the Pinterest and look deep into yourselves to find your own wedding inspiration.


Wedding Planning - Inge Louise Events

Styling - Elizabeth Hall Event Design

Catering - Cambridge Dining Company

Lighting - Pro Event Hire

Photography - Lina & Tom

Flowers - The Tayler Studios

Dress - Coast

Suits - John Lewis

Capturing the moment...

To mark 'World Photography Day', we thought what better way to celebrate than to share some of the stunning images captured at the barns over the past few years!

We're not going to say too much, we'll let the photographs do the talking..... :)

The GG's X

Conceive & Create!



'A general direction in which something is developing or changing'


Throughout the year as we welcome excited brides and grooms, same sex unions and blessings, we see a variety of styles and tastes when it comes to wedding decoration and styling. Each and every wedding is individual and unique, making our job a very exciting and happy one!

Over the past 12 months we have seen 2016/17 trends such as free-form bouquets and wild flower centre pieces, food stations, naked cakes, wooden detailing and an emphasis on pastel colour palettes.

We love and promote creativity here at the barns and love it when our couples inject their own sense of style and personality in to the big day. As with all aspects of creative avenues, trends will always come and go and come back round again, but it is what best represents you and your relationship which will make it YOUR wedding day. 

In March we played host to a group of immensely talented suppliers working in the wedding and events industry, who came together on a beautiful sunny day in Suffolk to showcase their talents and promote their services within our grounds. Using white shades against fresh, lush foliage with hints of peach tones, Jenna and Leah orchestrated a stunning shoot with beautifully executed photography to capture the atmosphere on the day. By carefully selecting particular props, flowers, foliage and colours, the team of suppliers used trends and ideas rooted in 2016 which would transition easily in to 2017, enabling the resulting images and blog to remain 'current' and as an inspiration to brides this year and in to 2018.

Here are a collection of images to inspire, excite and get those creative juices flowing! (Even Mills make an appearance!) Enjoy!


Photography by Leah Lombardi

Concept, Stationery, Planning & Co-Ordination by Wonderland Invites

Flowers by Clare Jones Floral Design

Styling by Elizabeth Hall Event Design

Cakes by Lucky & Co.

Dresses by Rembo Styling

Boutique by Lara B

Car by The Little Vintage Car Co.

Table Runner & Ribbons by Kate Cullen

Balloons by Bubblegum Balloons

Parasols by East London Parasols

Envelope Calligraphy by The Golden Letter

Envelopes by GF Smith

Hair & Make Up by Cambridge Make Up Artist

Wood Slice Favours by The Willow Workshop UK

Golf Leaf Hair Slides by Johnny Loves Rosie

Necklace by Maria Allen

Shoes & Bracelet by ASOS

To see the full blog on Rock My Wedding, follow the link below!

'Inspiration Shoot' at The Granary Barns

Happy reading!

The GG's x


Get Cracking with Christmas!

Summer only started last Wednesday but here at The Granary Estates we already have Christmas on our minds!

We are pleased to announce our 'Mixed Party Night' will take place on Friday 1st December 2017!

Enjoy a chilled glass of fizz or an ice cool beer on arrival as you make your way down to our impressive Granary Barn to start the festivities!

Our Christmas 2017 package includes:

Three Course Festive Menu

Selection of Coffee & Speciality Teas

Account or Cash Evening Bar

DJ & Disco

Additional upgrades including canapes and drinks packages are available to suit your budget

We have a limited number of tables available on the night so please get in touch to find out more and secure your place. If a mixed night isn't your preference, we also have dates remaining for exclusive use if you wish to have the barns all to yourself!

To book your appointment with our Events Team and take a look around our stunning grounds, please contact the office on info@thegranaryestates.co.uk or 01638 731230.

#tbt - Twenty Seventeen

We have welcomed many wonderful couples through our doors already this year, all unique and special in their own way!

From a whimsical moonlit forest to a medieval hall fit for a King, we have loved seeing each concept become a reality through the vision of our couples and their individual taste. We've even seen the iron throne take its rightful place in our barn, accompanied by the theme music from Game of Thrones - amazing! 

From New York, Scotland and even as far as Japan, we have welcomed family members, friends and happy couples from far and wide to the barns and we're only in June!

Here is a quick glance at some of the stunning moments captured at the barns so far this year...we can't wait to see what the rest of 2017 holds :)

The GG's x

INGE & CJ - 28.01.17

Photography by Lina & Tom

MELISSA & DAN - 13.04.17

Photography by Summer Love Photography

CHRIS & HARRIET - 14.04.17

Photography by Debbie Wallwork Photography

VERITY & JOE - 22.04.17

Photography by Jackson & Co Photography

Get Stuck In! #NationalVegetarianWeek

To mark the first day of 'National Vegetarian Week', we have asked one of our local, catering experts, The Cambridge Dining Company, to treat us to a tasty recipe from one of their fantastic restaurants.

The Cambridge Dining Company are part of an independent group of 7 restaurants and an event catering company based in Cambridgeshire, with one of their stunning eaterys being the historic Millworks located in the centre of Cambridge.

Working alongside the team at CDC, our friends over at Millworks have sent over a delicious salad recipe, perfect for a Summers lunch or light meal in the evening. Delish!


Feta & Pomegranate Salad with Roasted Squash & Red Onion
Serves 4 (Starter) or 2 (Main) | Difficulty: Easy


160g Feta Cheese

4 Small Red Onions

1 Butternut Squash

2 Sprigs Thyme

1 Lemon

A glug of Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

1/2 Pomegranate

Salad Leaves


Blow Torch


1. Start by blowtorching the surface of the feta until lightly charred. Place the block of feta back in the fridge to firm up.

2. Pre-heat the oven to 200 °C/180 °C Fan/Gas Mark 6. Whilst the oven heats up, peel the red onions and squash. Cut the head of the squash into 1 inch squares and cut each onion into eight wedges.

3. On a roasting tray mix together the red onion, butternut squash and thyme leaves with a glug of olive oil and salt and pepper until well coated. Roast the vegetables for around 20 minutes or until soft and caramelised.

4. To assemble, place the butternut squash, red onion and salad leaves on a plate. Top with the pomegranate seeds and a little of the pomegranate juice. Crumble over the feta cheese. Finally, make a simple dressing using equal parts lemon juice and olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve.

Thank you to Millworks for this mouth-watering recipe! Better dig out the blow torch....

The GG's x



Let's talk business!

Next week will see the second 'Business at The Barns' networking event take place here at The Granary Estates HQ in Woodditton. After the success of the first BATB in March, we cannot wait to welcome back some familiar faces and of course meet those of you attending for the first time!

With a stunning setting, endless amounts of tea & coffee and some tasty little treats just in time for elevenses, this informal event is a great way to meet local business professionals and in some cases have a catch up with work colleagues and acquaintences. 

To register and find out more information please visit the event page on Eventbrite by clicking HERE.

As a Wedding and Event Venue, we can accommodate all areas of the hospitality industry and continue to welcome newly engaged couples throughout the year as well as hosting a variety of corporate events for local businesses. The Barns are easily accessible by road and public transport, within easy reach of the A14 and A11 commuter routes for those days when you need to get away from the office and have a change of scenery.

With exclusive use for you and your guests and Wi-Fi provided throughout the venue, the conference facilities include everything you could need for a corporate event. Wireless microphones, AV equipment and event stationary are available to use with very competitive packages and a professional and dedicated Events Team on hand throughout to ensure a seamless and professional experience. 

With our enclosed, courtyard providing a beautiful outdoor space for delegates to enjoy, The Granary Barns can offer both interior and exterior space for team building days, seminars or exhibitions. Our relaxed atmosphere provides a comfortable and calm setting for your corporate function or external meeting. 

Working alongside our culinary experts, we are able to accommodate all catering for your corporate event. From an early breakfast meeting to a sit down 3-course dinner, we work with you to make sure the catering is suited to your needs and the dietary requirements of those attending.

At The Granary Estates we like to work with you to create a tailor made package specific to your unique event. To speak with a member of our team, please get in touch on 01638 731230 or email at info@thegranaryestates.co.uk. Alternatively head to our CONTACT page to fill in our simple enquiry form.



A picture is worth a thousand words...

“When people look at my pictures I want them to feel

the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.”

- Robert Frank


Hello and happy Friday everyone!

The wedding season has well and truly arrived here at The Granary Estates and as always we are loving the different set ups and personalised wedding decorations on display throughout the barns! With such a unique and flexible space, our creative couples always put their own stamp on the day and it's great to see the different trends and styling methods on display throughout the barns.

As the month of May is officially 'National Photography Month', we thought we would treat you to some beautiful images captured at the barns throughout the last year. From the beautiful Amy and her bridesmaids strolling through the Courtyard back in August, to the gorgeous Rio and Grant surrounded by a hazy, winter backdrop; these talented wedding photographers have created some truly stunning imagery that we'd love to share with you...enjoy!

The GG's x

A Barn Wedding...

Kate Gray Photography

Kate Gray Photography

Choosing your perfect wedding venue can be a difficult task when there’s so many options to choose from. Whether you can already picture your ideal setting, or you need a little helping hand, our experienced team at our luxury venue will be able to help.

We have two wedding venues in the Suffolk/Cambridgeshire border. Our 18th Century Granary Barn is set within stunning countryside and picturesque cornfields and offers exclusivity and space for your big day. The Granary Barns is full of character and versatility with exposed timber beams and Suffolk Flint throughout.

As well as the beautiful Granary Barns, The Polo Club in Dullingham provides the ideal wedding venue for those who would prefer a marquee or outside reception. Set within 32 acres, this venue is available for dry hire; a blank canvas waiting for you to create your dream day from scratch.

Our experienced and award-winning Events Team will help you every step of the way.

If you would like to know more about our wedding venues in Suffolk/Cambridgeshire, please get in touch!


5 Questions: Eliza May Prints

Wedding stationery can play a massive role in the overall feel and aesthetic of your big day. From the day you send out your 'Save the Dates', to the moment your guests take their seats at the wedding breakfast, the stationery can be used to compliment both the venue and your decorations. It is a chance to bring out your creative side and add those personal touches which will make the day unique to you.  

With this creative industry taking a front seat as couples look for an affordable yet 'on-trend' option, we spoke with our recommended supplier, Eliza May Prints, about how her first year in the industry has gone...

You have a number of different and equally beautiful designs available on your website. How do you find your inspiration for the different templates and do you have a particular favourite at the moment?

Thank you! I find my inspiration everywhere, it can be from nature, interiors, magazines - literally anything! I also like to keep up to date with wedding blogs to get inspiration and all the information about upcoming wedding trends. It's really hard to pick a favourite design as it changes all the time, but I do love a good floral. I've been working on lots of new collections which will be launching over the next coming months and I am really excited about them, there may be a new favourite within them but you'll have to watch this space for now! 

'Pastel Meadow'

'Pastel Meadow'

In  November last year, you won ‘Wedding Industry Newcomer of the Year’ at The Wedding Industry Awards – Congratulations! How did you start Eliza May Prints and how have you found your first year in the industry? Do you have any advice for other small start-up businesses?

Ahhh it was an amazing night held at the gorgeous barns and one I will always remember! I started Eliza May Prints last year and at the time my sister was getting married. She had asked me to put together her save the dates and invitations as I'd always been the creative type and I really enjoyed it. My sister received so many compliments on her stationery and I loved the process so much that I decided to launch it as a small business and it just took off from there. I'm so lucky that I get to do something I love every day and I get to be a part of such a special day for my lovely couples. 

My advice for small start-up businesses would be to remember where you started and look back on the achievements you've made so far. It's easy to focus on the things you haven't achieved yet and the goals you are still reaching for, but sometimes I think we forget to be proud of what we have achieved and enjoy those accomplishments, no matter how small they may be! 

Here's the lovely Eliza receiving her award at The Wedding Industry Awards last November!

Here's the lovely Eliza receiving her award at The Wedding Industry Awards last November!

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Definitely the wonderful feedback I receive from my clients - it really means the world to me! I'm very lucky to have the loveliest clients who are always so kind - one of my clients recently forwarded on some of the feedback she had received from her friends about her invitations and it was so lovely to read.

Being an organised bride (or groom!) takes a lot of dedication. Save the dates, RSVPs and table stationary are all part of the big day and can set the theme and feel of the day. In your opinion, how far in advance should couples be thinking about sending their save the dates and/or invites before the wedding day?

I always advise my couples to aim to get their invitations out at least 3 months ahead of the wedding day, but I think it depends on the time of the year. If you're getting married in Summer it's best to give your guests as much notice as possible as most people will want to book their holidays throughout the summer period. With save the dates it's nice to send them out a year in advance but this all depends on how organised you have been with securing your venue! 

'Country Charm'

'Country Charm'

What are the new trends in stationery for 2017?

I’m finding that the new trends for 2017 are very minimalist and natural. It’s all about the delicate calligraphy and neutral tones -   less is definitely more! With the pantone colour of the year being Greenery, Botanical designs are very in at the moment. Green foliage and leaves are replacing traditional florals for a relaxed rustic look. Watch this space for a brand new botanical design I’m launching soon!

Thanks Eliza! To see more of Eliza's work or to get in touch, head over to her website!


The GG's x

Spring has sprung!

If you’re getting married in 2017, we’ve highlighted some of our favourite wedding trends for your special day.

Kate Gray Photography

Kate Gray Photography

Wild Flowers
There has been a rise in couples moving away from traditional preened bouquets and table centre pieces to go for more of a ‘wild’ look. Instead of picking particular flowers, freshly cut flowers which are in season are the way forward and will look the most natural.

Ben Minnaar Photography / Clare Jones Floral Design

Ben Minnaar Photography / Clare Jones Floral Design

Cocktail Hour
What better occasion to have a happy hour than at your wedding! Some couples are replacing wine with fruit-filled, decorative cocktails made to suit everyone’s taste. Served in stunning glassware, these tasty drinks are always a hit with guests looking for something a little different.

Lottie Ettling Photography

Lottie Ettling Photography

Lighting can be used to create ambience and atmosphere at you wedding. There has been an increase in couples using hanging lighting such as lanterns, ‘Edison’ bulbs and strings of fairy lights - particularly attractive when decorating your exterior space.

Ben Minnaar Photography

Ben Minnaar Photography

Traditionally, weddings are full of subdued, pastel colours as opposed to bright ones. But in the colourful season of spring, injections of colour liven up the look and feel of your big day. Whether it’s in the tablecloths, flowers, bridesmaid’s dresses or chair backs, we love the idea of adding a bit of colour to a spring wedding.

Lina & Tom

Lina & Tom

Natural looking table decorations, place cards and seating is one of our favourite spring wedding trends. Moving away from metal seating and glass centrepieces, features made out of wood as well as trees for decoration are enhancing the feel of a natural wedding - perfect for a spring day.

The GG's x

Get on your dancing (or running) shoes...

Last Saturday the barns was filled with nostalgia, classic hits and some epic dance moves (!) as the first Soul Reunion of the year went off with a bang! This ever-popular event was in aid of our fundraising efforts as we (GG's Lynne & Mikaela) train for the mammoth 26.2 mile run around London at this years Virgin London Marathon! 

Our Soul Reunion DJ, Richard Datson (who is also running in this years marathon) provided the tunes for the night making sure the dance-floor remained busy until the early hours :)

Working in the wedding and events industry, we are very fortunate and were able to collaborate alongside our trusted Granary Suppliers, friends of the GG's and some fantastic local businesses to put on a great prize draw on the evening. We'd like to thank the following businesses for their support and generous donations:

The Newmarket Racecourse

The Little Acre Kitchen

Thai Street Cafe


Celik's Mensroom


Back on Track Injury Clinic


The Chestnut Group

Unique Wines

We would also like to say a HUGE thank you to Rocks & Frocks for very generously donating their stunning light up 'DANCE' letters for the evening and to Elizabeth Hall Event Design who provided the 'Selfie Corner' backdrop, endless amounts of fairy lights and our favourite Soul night sequin tablecloths! Another thank you must go to Sam at Cambridge Wedding Services who, as with every Soul Reunion, provided the DJ and lighting equipment which set the mood and party atmosphere! A BIG thanks to all of you who helped make the evening such a success!

I am thrilled to announce that the Soul Reunion raised a fantastic £1700! :)

Following Saturday nights antics, we, along with Richard and Hannah, were up and out the door by 9am to start a gruelling 13 mile run - not what you need on a few hours sleep! At least we tried to look happy... ;)

Our training has been going well and as were approach the 5 week countdown, both our training and fundraising are starting to set up a gear. Even though we raised a great total on Saturday, we still need to push on and collect more money for our three charities:

The Girls Club


World Child Cancer

To make a donation to the GG's, please follow the links below :) Any donation, no matter how big or small, is much appreciated and will help many lives cope with illness or losing a loved one. During the longer training runs it can get hard and you do wonder why am I putting myself through this?! But when we remember WHY we're doing it and WHO for, it makes it all worthwhile. With every donation and message of support, we are spurred on and look forward to the challenge that awaits us on Sunday 23rd April! Bring it oooooon!

Lynne Marathon Page

Mikaela Marathon Page

GG's Lynne & Mikaela x

The Granary Estates | The Wedding Checklist

Check out our wedding checklist for the top things to look out for when choosing your wedding venue

You've recently got engaged and now you're on the look out for your all important wedding venue; the place where you will wed your one and only surrounded buy your friends and family...an important decision! We are proud to call our award-winning Granary Barns one of the best wedding venues in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, and welcome couples all year round to our luxury venue. But what do you need to consider when searching for your perfect location?

We've created an informative check-list to use as a guide when viewing potential spaces. What should you be thinking about when searching for your perfect wedding venue?

  • If you've already got a date in mind, one of the first things to check is the availability of the venue. Also make sure to check the days before and after your preferred wedding date, just in case the wedding venue or surrounding accommodation may be booked.

  • One of the most important aspects of a wedding day will be who you choose to share those special memories with. You may have already created a guest list and if so, make sure you let the venue know your estimated numbers to make sure they are able to accommodate you and your guests.

  • You don’t want to spend your wedding day worrying about timings or who is announcing the wedding breakfast! This is your day and you shouldn't have to worry about a thing! Check if there’ll be a Wedding Co-Ordinator there on the day. Here at the The Granary Estates we have an award-winning Events Team who will be with you from your very first viewing through until your first dance as a married couple, making sure the day runs smoothly and efficiently.

  • After the marriage formalities, you will be ready for a nice chilled drink and delicious meal. Enquire about the food and drink packages on offer and how the venue sources this, whether it be internal or external catering. Make sure you also find out prices of corkage and any additional charges as you don’t want to uncover these costs when it’s too late.

  • If you’re looking to decorate the wedding venue and add your own personal touch, ask what you can change, areas your are allowed to decorate and if anything is provided such as tables, chairs, cake stands etc. We have an extensive 'Prop Shop' here at The Granary Estates that includes many items/pieces of furniture which our couples may hire for the big day, easing the need to spend lots of money on items you will just use for one day.

  • If you have friends and family travelling to the venue or would like somewhere to get ready before hand, check if the venue has accommodation on site and if there’s suitable hotels nearby for your bridal suite, your guests or somewhere to spend your first night as a married couple. 

  • Check the financial schedule of payments such as the deposit amount, cancellation policy and if the prices are fixed or likely to increase. Remember if you’re booking your venue a couple of years in advance, the wedding venue could potentially increase their prices i.e. bar and drinks prices.

If you would like to talk about any of the above with our friendly team at The Granary Estates or learn more about our wedding packages, please get in touch!

01638 731230 | 07557 886447 | info@thegranaryestates.co.uk

Flower Fairies Workshop

The Flower Fairies descended on the Flint Barn on Wednesday evening to spread their floral fairy dust over the barns!

With endless amounts of eucalyptus, beautiful blooms of ranunculus and elegant stems of calla lilies, Clare and Julie transformed the barn in to a flower heaven for our thirteen wannabe florists.

The girls kicked off proceedings by introducing their new students to the array of flowers they were going to be working with and explaining how to prepare and condition the different types of flowers ready for assembly. It was a great insight in to the time and knowledge that florists use and need everyday to create the specific arrangements their customers require - a real art form!

After preparing and conditioning then came composition. As full-time florists, the two Flower Fairies made gathering the stems together look effortless and in a matter of minutes, Julie had produced a stunning bouquet of seasonal blooms and foliage.

After a lot of practice and starting again from scratch, our florists-in-training created 13 exquisite bouquets all of which the Flower Fairies were extremely impressed with! Even though everyone started with exactly the same stems, each bouquet was different to the next and equally as gorgeous :)

With their flowers tied and trimmed, Clare and Julie then walked the ladies through wrapping and finishing their bouquets, adding that final professional touch. 

The Flower Fairies were excellent teachers, always on hand to guide their students and lend a (strong) hand if the ladies needed it! A fantastic evening was had by all :) We hope that these talented ladies will continue to use all of the new skills they learnt from the evening in their  future floral endeavours and visit us at the barns again soon for the next workshop on Wednesday 3rd May!

Before Wednesday's Workshop took place, we spoke with the Clare and Julie about their new joint venture and a little insight in to the life of a florist....

Why did you form ‘Flower Fairies’? 

J: Me and Clare first met working in a flower shop together (The Flower House, Cambridge) and our friendship blossomed from there. We have worked together many times over the years but have always wanted a project to work on and build together. We came up with Flower Fairies as we loved the idea of sharing our passion for flowers with others through teaching. It means we can both carry on our floristry careers and have Flower Fairies as a fun and enjoyable side project. Being best friends it doesn’t even feel like work.

What ‘floral trends’ are you loving at the moment? 

C & J: More weird and wonderful ways of displaying flowers at venues and for table decorations are becoming a trend we love. We particularly like the use of copper piping framework for ceremony backdrops teamed with geometric terrarium table centres, a way to bring some quirkiness to the floral décor. Combining this with wild, natural and overflowing bouquets incorporating lots of greenery and interesting textures is a gorgeous combination, softening the harsh angles with romantic blooms.

As full-time Florists, you both have a fantastic knowledge of flowers, an understanding of composition and an all-important creative eye! What flowers are in season at the moment and what would be your favourite way to use/display these? 

C & J: In early spring the flower markets are full of beautiful bright colours and gorgeous blooms such as tulips, anemones, ranunculus, daffodils, mimosa, hyacinths, muscari, hellebores and narcissi. We especially love the striking giant-headed ranunuclus called Cloony ranunculus, so pretty! Spring flowers are great for adding splashes of colour to any room and look lovely displayed in fun, mismatched containers such as jugs, teapots, tin cans, colourful bottles and mason jars. 

Clare, we loved having yourself and your now hubby Rich (aka Biscuit!) tie the knot here at the barns last October. As your best friend and fellow FF, Julie worked alongside you to create your stunning floral arrangements (including bouquets, button holes and garlands to drape along the beams), totally transforming the venue and putting your talents on display throughout, simply stunning! Where did the inspiration for your wedding flowers come from and how did you both find the whole experience? 

C: There is so much beautiful floral inspiration in autumn and I have always loved the gorgeous flower varieties, colours and textures that are available. We let what was in season guide our flower choices and we choose designs that we felt complimented the time of year. Flowers were the main and most important décor for our wedding and we had a lot of fun working out ways to have flowers dress the barns from the floor to the beams. 

C & J: We always really enjoy working together but on this occasion it meant so much to us both. From the planning stages months before, right down until the final finishing touches on the morning. We love bouncing ideas off each other and sharing our creativity, and to see it all come together on the day was incredibly special. Walking down the aisle together as bridesmaid and bride and seeing all our creations adorning the barns, it really was magical.

Julie what was your favourite part to work on? 

J: For me, it had to be Clare’s bridal bouquet! To create the bouquet that Clare would carry down the aisle to marry the man of her dreams was a huge honour and meant so much to me. Being best friends and fellow florists, there’s a great passion for flowers that we share and have a unique bond over. I made the bouquet with such thought and love, I even put a crab apple from her garden in there for a little piece of her home with Rich. I kept Clare’s bouquet hidden from her until she was in her dress on the morning, the moment I handed it over to her was probably my most treasured memory of our friendship to date, it was such an emotional exchange for us and I will never forget it. Also, the giant flower balls deserve a mention, they looked stunning!

Images by Ben Minnaar Photography

From wreath making to flower crowns to bouquets, you have covered many aspects of floristry in your previous workshops. What’s next on the agenda for the Flower Fairies and how can people sign up?! 

C & J: We are currently in the process of putting together bespoke packages for special occasions such as hen dos and birthdays. We love the idea of making flower crowns with hens as their afternoon entertainment before their big night out, providing not only the fun activity itself but a floral accessory to wear out too! We also run regular workshops at The Little Acre Kitchen in St Ives. Our next one is a floral foam arrangement workshop and will take place on Wednesday 22nd March. We are also delighted to announce another Flower Crown Workshop at The Granary Barns on Wednesday 17th May. For details or to book onto these classes, or for more information about private classes, email us on flowerfairiesworkshops@outlook.com.

You can also keep up to date with The Flower Fairies on their Facebook page - The Flower Fairies Workshop

The GG's x

Business at The Barns

We've all heard the saying 'Its not what you know, its who you know'...

Whether you are just starting out or running an already successful business, having a network of like minded people around you is a must! Speaking with others about your work and in turn hearing about theirs will result in a greater understanding of the profession you have chosen by learning through others. Whether it be listening to an alternative view, giving your opinion or receiving invaluable advice, these mutually beneficial relationships can lead to more business connections and therefore more success which is what, in the end, we all desire.

'Great things in business are never done by a person. They're done by a team of people.'

-Steve Jobs

We are excited to be launching our very first networking event 'Business at The Barns' next month on Thursday 9th March. This event will be an informal networking session for local business professionals, beginning just in time for elevenses! Hurray! With no presentations or speaker, we simply want to encourage local suppliers to come along and say hi...



It is also a fantastic opportunity to visit our beautiful venue and see what our venue has to offer to our corporate clients. Playing host to a variety of events, intimate meetings and large conferences in the Suffolk/Cambridgeshire border, The Granary Barns is equipped with a PA system, wireless microphones, Wi-Fi throughout and event stationery, ensuring your event is a success.   


The Granary Barns award-winning Event Team are on hand throughout the day to ensure your meeting, event or conference will run smoothly and efficiently. 

Having been renovated in 2013, the two Barns date back from the 18th Century and proudly display the original timber beams and flint walls. For an intimate meeting, The Flint Barn is a perfect choice. Alternatively, for larger numbers the main Granary Barn is a stunning backdrop for training days, exhibitions and seminars. 

After lengthly discussions and group talks, we understand how important a delicious bite to eat can be to re-energise you and your delegates. We have a list of trusted, local caterers who can cater our delegate packages to your specific requirements, whether it be a seated lunch, hot buffet or Summer BBQ.

We hope to see you at the barns very soon. If you would like to attend 'Business at The Barns', please follow the link below to book your free place:



Guest Blog: Elizabeth Hall

As the cold wind blew, no snow fell and bells were rung, time for our Elizabeth Hall events team flew by in the mix of festivities and weddings this past December. Catering and styling for two weddings the week before Christmas and for three during Christmas and New Year, our team worked closely with the Granary Girls to give that extra sparkle on our five bride and groom’s special day.


Elizabeth and her husband, Dominic, took their team of waitresses and chefs to set up camp at The Granary Estates on the 10th of December right through to the moment the clock stuck midnight on New Year. From lantern installations to 3 course meals, the team were multitasking in the kitchen, juggling their canape trays and of course, boomeranging for Instagram.



Katie first came to us with inquiries about our chiffon draping she had seen at Granary. With or without fairy light’s, the simplistic white drapes give the barns an elegant touch against the flint paved walls and decadent chandeliers.

Photography by James McGrillis Photography



Going for a fun & interactive roast dinner sharing board, where one guest from each table was welcomed with a surprise apron on their seat and asked to carve, Rachel & Gavin wanted to bring in their own reared meat to serve to their party of 80. Fairy lights draped in the Flint Barn across the beams giving that starry night light during the evening.

Photography by Neal Laver Photography



With silver sparkle sequin table cloths and a candle lit corridor amongst a hot chocolate station with marshmallows to roast over Granary’s outside fire pit, Kayleigh & Gavin went for a cosy winter atmosphere with slippers available to rest those dancing feet!

Photography by Terri Brice Wedding & Portrait Photography



After a winter inspired 3 course meal, mince pies followed along with a tea & coffee station. Emma and Jamie wanted a relaxed and fun evening food option, and so we circulated with our canape trays with mini beef sliders and mac n cheese bites, which did not last long!

Photography by Scotts of Cambridge



‘LOVE’ letters spread across the back wall of the barns enhancing the already romantic ambience as Chantal & James had their first dance together on Granary’s very own black and white styled chequered dance floor.

Photography by Chris Brudenell Photography



What a way to send off 2016 and dive into 2017 with glitz and glam, and a confetti canon for extra measure supplied by Granary. Starting the night with canapes and a Mediterranean inspired antipasti board, the guests were captivated by Sophie & Ross’ glamorous décor and the anticipation in the count down to the new year.

Photography by Peter Oliver Photography


The Granary Estates holds up to 180 guests in its stunning main barn, equipped with LED lighting and a bar to help get your martini glasses on. Up to 88 guests can experience the true beauty of an intimate wedding ceremony held in the flint barn. With rustic wooden beams cascading above and around the barns and a courtyard great for group photos, it truly is a beautiful venue and we couldn’t be happier to work with the venue and the Granary Girls.

Elizabeth & Jo x

Elizabeth Hall Event Design

Party at The Polo Club

Back in January 2016 my sister, Zoe, kindly reminded me that it was the year of her 30th (as if I didn’t know!) and it was my duty to organise her ‘best birthday yet’ in December. I greatly accepted and took on this challenge. 

When putting pen to paper, the first venue that came to mind was The Polo Club. I know what you’re thinking… why would you not chose the barns? Simply because it was already booked! But weirdly enough, I don’t think my ideas would have fitted in as well as it did down in the pavilion. With maximum numbers of 50, I wanted a more intimate setting with the space to get creative. 

Zoe and I are very similar and we both love the same things so I knew theming her party wasn’t an issue. Suggestions were made, but I wanted to do the opposite to all things Christmassy for that time of year. Following a trip to California earlier in the year, where we cruised along the west coast, we have since dreamed of going back to LA but unfortunately my budget didn’t stretch to get her there so I went with the next best thing and brought ‘Cali’ to Suffolk! 

Pinterest soon became my best friend and massively helped in blowing budgets out of proportion! Luckily I have creative friends and family in which we made a DIY Bar and DJ booth out of wooden pallets, numerous purchases on Ebay for hanging decorations and the expertise of Lynne Datson’s illustration skills for the finer details. Those that helped, saw my vision and helped me bring it to life (thank you again)! 

Having the flexibility to gain access the day before to set up was a massive bonus. The family were roped in and starting pulling everything together that had amalgamated in boxes under the bed! 

To create a Palm Springs vibe in the middle of winter, I did need to call upon the assistance of some trusty suppliers. 

I used the services of the award-winning Elizabeth Hall Event Design for her endless festoon lighting, trademark rose-gold sequin table cloths and cocktail-shaker-extraordinaire bar staff! Any excuse to visit her at Little Acre Kitchen in St Ives to eat and sample bespoke cocktails! She even advised me to select quirky glassware that I hired in from CMA to finish the drink! 

Along with putting up fairy lighting outside, I needed some accessories to complete the look, so I called upon Rocks n Frocks Ltd who I hired ten Flamingos from to line my entrance as the guests walked in, setting the theme! 

Cambridge Wedding Services started and finished the party with a minimalistic setup (as requested), an infamous disco ball, an exceptional DJ, Tom Stedman, to blast out some tunes, and Sam finished off the room with uplighters enhancing the atmosphere. A real finishing touch! 

Cake is a huge tradition within our family, and a much loved treat, so finding a tasty show stopper was a priority. Two Little Cats Bakery have been to the barns delivering mouth-watering cakes over the summers, so it was my chance to send Jenni my brief and watch her bring the cake to life. Vibrant, moist, and a real statement to the party. I couldn’t have asked for anything more! 

Before arriving at her dream party, I called on the amazing Charlotte Shaw to make the birthday girl feel fabulous! Zoe looked amazing and The Polo Club was the perfect location. I had the exclusivity, space and the freedom to create, in my mind, what was the perfect party...

The hardest thing about organising Zoe’s birthday was keeping it all a surprise from her, but it was all worth it to see her face when she walked into Palm Springs with all her family and friends to celebrate her 30th! No pressure for mine Zoe… ;)

GG Mikaela x