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Guest blog: Christmas with Hall & Co.!

Have you been counting down the days to put your Christmas decorations up? We definitely have. In fact, we’ve been pinning ideas on Pinterest and decorating our café and office space since mid-November!

Maybe you’re hosting Christmas dinner or dining as a guest. Either way, here are some Christmas styling ideas for your home and office.

 

Easy-to-lay Christmas Table

Whether you love a traditional Christmas table lay or modern Hygge vibe, follow these easy steps to create the perfect setting.

Tableware

You don’t need to spend lots of new crockery, glassware and cutlery. Sometimes, the simplest tableware allows you to captivate your guests with creative centrepieces and room décor. Silverware and glass are the perfect materials to create sparkle, something everyone is likely to have. 

Create a beautiful centrepiece or window display by grabbing some Winter foliage from your local flower market; one bunch is all you need. Lay the foliage down the centre of the table, or into glass vases and lay sporadically down the table. This creates height and variation. Lay tealights throughout the foliage to create some warming Christmas lighting.

Top Tip

Winter foliage lasts a long time. It fills dead space beautifully, and the smell… Oh boy is it glorious. 

We recommend: Buy some pine from your local market or florist. Guaranteed to fill your house with that signature Christmas smell. 

 

Home & Office Decorating

Maybe you’re attending a wreath workshop, or fancy buying one from your local florist. Doors are the perfect spot to create that Festive feeling from the moment you greet your clients or your friends & family.

Some of our favourite places to shop like TK Maxx, Cox & Cox, Tonic Style & Homesense carry an eclectic collection of Winter decorations, meaning there is something for every taste at a price that won’t break your budget. Unique and beautiful, sure to bring joy when you decorate. 

Top Tip

Hit up TK Maxx for a good hour of candle browsing. They carry all sorts of candles you won’t find anywhere else. 

We recommend: Sand & Fog, Pumpkin Spice & DW Home, Winter Pine.

 

Christmas Tree

Elizabeth_Tree__JoWoodfordPhoto.jpg

Oh, Christmas tree, Oh, Christmas tree. To tinsel or not to tinsel. To tree top or not to the tree top. To buy real or buy fake…..these are just a few questions that come to mind when deciding your tree and its decorations.

Perhaps you have a treasured colour & textured assorted collection of baubles or collect different baubles from your travels. If you’d like to go for a more environmentally friendly approach, we recommend dried fruits and pine cones. These are easy to create and a fun craft activity. 

Start by placing your fairy lights on first. Next, place your larger baubles sporadically around your tree. Next, add in your medium and smaller baubles. Work your way around the tree until you feel it’s complete. Remember, don’t over think this, sometimes the most beautiful trees are those decorated with a minimalistic approach. 

Top Tip

Always step back from your tree when decorating and work systematically around your tree. 

We recommend: Cox & Cox or John Lewis for Tree decorations.


Catch our day of decorating Granary’s Christmas tree this year and our Christmas table laying Video on our YouTube channel this December: @hallandcoeventdesign. We’ll be sharing a video every day on the run up to Christmas. It’s going to get wonderfully festive!

 

Thanks for having us, Granary! 

Love, Hall & Co. X

Chocolate? Yes please!

Tomorrow marks 'World Chocolate Day 2018' and we couldn't let this very important date in the GG calendar go by without marking the occasion! ;)

 

Image courtesy of Google.com.

Image courtesy of Google.com.

Our amazing Granary suppliers and expert catering teams have provided some delicious recipes for you all to try this weekend to hit that chocolate craving! Time to get baking!

 

CHOCOLATE FONDANT

By Crown Catering Cambridge

www.crowncateringcambridge.com

50g Melted Butter
Cocoa Powder
200g Minimum 70% Chocolate
200g Chopped Butter
200g Golden Caster Sugar
4 Eggs + 4 Egg Yolks
200g Plain Flour


First get your moulds ready. Using upward strokes, heavily brush the melted butter all over the inside of the pudding mould. Place the mould in the fridge or freezer. Brush more melted butter over the chilled butter, then add a good spoonful of cocoa powder into the mould. Tap any excess cocoa back into the jar, then repeat with 1 the next mould.

Place a bowl over a pan of simmering water, then slowly melt the chocolate and butter together. Remove bowl from the heat and stir until smooth. Leave to cool for about 10 mins.In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and yolks together with the sugar until thick and pale and the whisk leaves a trail Sift the flour into the eggs, then beat together Pour the melted chocolate into the egg mixture in thirds, beating well between each addition, until all the chocolate is added and the mixture is completely combined to a loose cake batter.Chill for at least 20 mins or up to the night before.


Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Place the fondants on a baking tray, then cook for 10-12 mins until the tops have formed a crust and they are starting to come away from the sides of their moulds. Remove from the oven, then leave to sit for 1 min before turning out.

 

Image courtesy of sortedfood.com.

Image courtesy of sortedfood.com.

VEGAN OREO BROWNIE

By Hall & Co. Event Design

www.hallandcoeventdesign.co.uk

5 Tablespoons Sunflower Oil
200g Dark Chocolate
170g Self-Raising Flour
3 Heaped Teaspoons Cocoa Powder
180g Golden Caster Sugar
Sea Salt
1 Vanilla Pod
230 ml Unsweetened Soya Milk
1 Packet of Oreos


Begin by melting the dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Once melted, remove from the heat and stir in the sunflower oil and soya milk. Now mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and when they're well combined, stir into the chocolate mix. Line a square baking tin roughly 20cm and put half of the mix in the tin and spread evenly to the sides. Now cover the brownie mix by laying down the Oreos, cover with the rest of the brownie mix and now with the remaining Oreos. Crush them and sprinkle over the top of the brownie, bake on 180 degrees for 20-25 minutes till the outside is cooked and the middle is still gooey.

 

Try turning this recipe into a brownie stack for your next summer BBQ! Add fresh fruits and cream to create this delicious masterpiece. Image from Hall & Co. Event Design.

Try turning this recipe into a brownie stack for your next summer BBQ! Add fresh fruits and cream to create this delicious masterpiece. Image from Hall & Co. Event Design.

WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE

The Cambridge Dining Company

www.cambridgediding.co.uk

250g Cream Cheese, 
250g Double Cream
200g White Chocolate, Melted
100g Sugar
1 Teaspoon Xantham Gum

250g Digestive Biscuits
100g Butter, Melted


Cream the Cream Cheese & Sugar together, slowly add the Double Cream whilst mixing.
Mix well until it has formed a thick mixture.
Sprinkle and fold in the Xantham Gum
Melted White Chocolate, wait until cool then fold into mixture

Mix Digestive Biscuits with Melted Butter, press down into baking tin and allow to cool (Set for approx 30 mins in the fridge)

Add Cheesecake Mixture to Biscuit Base, chill for at least a couple of hours (ideally overnight).

 

Image courtesy of Google.com.

Image courtesy of Google.com.

Hall & Co - Onwards & Upwards!

The award-winning Hall & Co. Event Design have recently under taken the task of re-branding their company, formerly known as Elizabeth Hall Event Design.

As one of our recommended suppliers, we love the creativity and energy they bring to an event; whether it be through their catering options, styling methods or the enthusiasm of their wonderful team! We asked Elizabeth Hall (Owner and founder of Hall & Co.) how the re-brand has gone and how this will continue to propel their growing business...

Why have you chosen to change your name?

It’s been on the cards for a while. Four years ago Elizabeth Hall Event Design was started as a small prop hire and styling business that I did in evenings and weekends, after a year I went full time, head first into it allowing me to offer additional services and really develop the business.

From the moment, we launched catering in the summer of 2015, the business changed direction and from Summer 2016 to summer 2017, we have grown far beyond those original plans and name. We have a full-time team of amazing and talented individuals and this new brand really represents us as a whole and our plans for the future.  

 

How did you go about changing your ‘brand’?

I knew I didn’t want “Elizabeth” in it anymore, so it was then just working out how far we wanted to move from the rest of the name…turns out not that far. We had established a reputation and won some awards under the original name, so it didn’t make sense to have a complete change and name it something like golden pineapple or elegant events. Also, any of this style of name suggestions just weren’t us.

“Event Design” remained as it’s us in a nutshell and encompasses all of our service elements, and “Hall & Co” represents not only Dom & I but also everyone in our team.

2017_11_07_Hall_&_Co_Evening_Food_6108-min.jpg
2017_11_07_Hall_&_Co_Canapes_6226 (1)-min.jpg
Image by Jackson & Co.

Image by Jackson & Co.

Did you have a logo idea in mind?

We wanted something bold and timeless with a clean look and the flexibility to look good on everything from the website to vans, aprons and stationary.

Square logo.png

How does this represent your company?

Our strapline has always been “Fresh. Imaginative. Personal.” and this needed to come across in the branding.

We’ve kept it understated and fuss free with a nod to the team behind the finished product. Our new colours and the imagery used throughout the website and new brand materials, really represent our style and the style of weddings and events that we love to be a part of.

Image by Sarah Brookes Photography

Image by Sarah Brookes Photography

Who did you task to work on the re-brand? 

After receiving some ideas from external designers we decided to take on the task of re-branding in house as we are lucky enough to have Cara, a former stationary designer, as an event manager.

As a team we all looked at the internal and external perception of who we are as a brand, different logo designs and discussed colours that best represented our style. 

Cara took the lead and instantly came up with logo ideas that were more “us”, we are so glad we went down this route and feel like really have an end product that truly reflects who we are.

We see you also have a shiny, new website...:)

Also designed and built by Cara! We love our new website and will be continuing to add new sections to it over the coming months. We are currently working on our prop catalogue and a look book section to give everyone lots of inspiration.  Our blog will be a key feature as well used to document what we are working on, industry trends and beautiful weddings.

In terms of branding and design we wanted the website to have a fresh new look with clean lines, new images and bold black fonts.

www.hallandcoeventdesign.co.uk

How has using social media helped your business?

We love a boomerang! Instagram is our jam and we love it! We have left the old Elizabeth Hall Event Design account up and as it was but with a message to come and see our new one. We wanted to start fresh with Instagram but not delete all the old images and comments. We are committed to only posting images of work that we have contributed to and use it as a mini portfolio.

The team Instagram page is still live and we have big plans for it in the new year, along with our Pinterest account and a new YouTube account. Follow the team Instagram feed for behind the scenes snippets, 4.00am van loads, over caffeinated ramblings and dog spam. 

Facebook & Twitter roll along, we aren’t really fans of these two platforms, but realise that not everyone is a passionate about Instagram as we are.

@hallandcoeventdesign

Has it been hard to leave EHED behind?

No! It’s not who we are anymore and this new stage really represents the company and the team as we continue to grow.

What does 2018 hold for Hall & Co.?

Cara is still very busy on branding materials, all of which should be finished in the new year.

For the kitchen, 2018 means expanded facilities and we will also be adding additional members to the kitchen team.

We are also renovating the showroom, meeting room & tasting room to reflect our new style (and the need for more storage). Once complete we will be holding two open days to showcase the new branding, our décor hire catalogue and of course food samples!

Image by Sarah Brookes Photography

Image by Sarah Brookes Photography

We love the re-brand and can't wait to see what 2018 holds for this talented and professional team! Check out their new website by clicking HERE!

The GG's x

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!

www.elizamayprints.com

The GG's x

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 & STEPHEN - 12TH DECEMBER 2016

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

 

RACHAEL & GAVIN - 17TH DECEMBER 2016

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

 

KAYLEIGH & NATHAN - 22ND DECEMBER 2016

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

 

EMMA & JAMIE - 28TH DECEMBER 2016

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

 

CHANTAL & JAMES - 29TH DECEMBER 2016

‘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

 

SOPHIE & ROSS - 31ST DECEMBER 2016

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

5 Questions: Lina & Tom

Lina & Tom are two extremely talented individuals who join forces to create a dynamic photography team - being a married couple themselves they know all that a wedding day has to throw at the newlyweds! With a stunning portfolio of work from The Granary Barns alone, Lina & Tom integrate themselves in to the wedding day so as not to distract from the couple or the festivities, but to make sure they are there to capture every special moment and memory. This creative couple are a Granary favourite and are one of our trusted, local suppliers and we can't recommend them enough!

We spoke with Lina & Tom to find out more about what it is to be wedding photographers and what it is like to work at our venue...

1. How did you become Wedding Photographers? Was it a career you had both dreamed of pursuing?

Lina: Like a lot of people, we originally were on different career paths when the thought of pursuing wedding photography really grabbed us. I'd worked in theatre for ten years, in various roles such as in a theatrical agency and producing shows, before taking more administrative/programming roles, yet I was a keen amateur with a camera. Tom was a Graphic Designer doing bits of photography on the side and when I saw his talent, the agent in me took him on! I had been to a lot of weddings as I have a big family (10 times a bridesmaid!) and we decided we would love to focus on these magical occasions. With the timely engagements of two sets of friends, resulting in us shooting our first weddings as official photographers, that kicked it all off and this is now our eighth year.  

2. As photographers, what is your favourite part of the day and why?

Lina: We're hopeless romantics and tend to scoot around weddings cooing at everything, but the moment our couple lock eyes on each other for the first time is just magical, you can feel the buzz in the room and we get goosebumps all the time, even eight years on. With there being two of us there, we can get it from both angles so the couple can see each others reactions.

3. How do you find it working with your partner? Are there pros and cons? :)

Lina: The great thing about us working together is the telepathy we have, we seem to always know what each other is thinking, shooting, planning...and this is definitely a big part of our work. It's also pretty good to spend all day with your favourite person, if I did this on my own I don't think we'd ever see each other. It also means when its all getting too much, we know how each other is feeling. There are cons of course, sometimes it can get tense in the office if we disagree on something or we are just working all hours - we have to remind each other we are a couple first and business partners second. It's hard to make time for dates in the wedding season!

Tom: I love it! I get to work with my best friend, and we can read each others minds which is really rather handy! Working in the same office every day for long hours can be interesting but I can escape on the bike for some 'me' time! She's the boss ;)

4. You have shot many weddings at the barns. What are your favourite locations around the barns and why?

Lina: The Granary Barns are without a doubt a favourite venue as we not only enjoy the location but we know we are always working with lovely people :) It's hard to pinpoint where we really love, there is so much to choose from but the main barn itself is very special and looks especially awesome when the party gets started. We do also like the driveway of the house next door which comes into its own at a particular time of the day...

5. Give us 3 words to describe working at The Granary Estates...

Fun, friendly and fabulous!

Thank you Lina & Tom! To see more of their beautiful photography, click through to Lina & Tom's website: www.linaandtom.com

The GG's x

 

 

5 Questions: Pete Denness Photography

One of our recommended suppliers, Pete Denness, has become a firm favourite with our newly engaged couples seeking a photographer to capture their special day. With Pete's ability to capture all aspects of the wedding from the moment a groom sees his bride for the first time, to whisking the newly-weds away for a quiet moment in our beautiful grounds, Pete is there at every stage to shoot those unique moments which turn in to memories to cherish. Pete is one photographer who will stay until the party finishes and has become a good friend and supporter to our team at the Granary Estates.

We recently caught up with Pete to find out more about what it is to be a wedding photographer and how he feels about working at our venue...

1. What's your favourite thing about working at The Granary Estates? (Apart from working with The GG's of course...)

I love working at The Granary Estates as there are so many great spots for photos! The grounds always look immaculate and in the Summer there are some beautiful cornfields just behind the Granary Cottage.

2. What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is getting to meet new people and see them being happy.

3. Do you have any 'stand out moments' whilst working at The Granary Barns?

One wedding that really stands out this year was Justin and Toni's. With their familys being Chinese and German the wedding involved some really interesting traditions. These included a tea ceremony, a log cutting with a giant saw and the bride being kidnapped by the mask wearing groomsmen!

A less fortunate memory was of me falling backwards down a 5ft nettle filled ditch. Fortunately the couple had their backs to me...

4. If you could give couples getting married one piece of advice, from the point of view of a wedding photographer, what would it be?

Some of the best natural shots I take are toward the end of the night when everyone is up dancing. Check what time your photographer will stay until if you don't want to miss out.

5.       Give us 3 words to describe working at The Granary Estates…

Always a pleasure!

Visit Pete's website to see more examples of his stunning work:

www.petedenness.com

The GG's x

Rustic Recipe

Hello everyone!

For those of you that don't know, it's the meat lovers favourite time of year; it's British Sausage Week! Hooray!

One of our fantastic recommended caterers, Dine By EH, has created this mouth watering Winter warmer dish for you to try as the nights draw in, Winter creeps up and home cooked comfort food is top of the list.

Is it dinner time yet.....?

 

AUTUMN SAUSAGE HASH

Serves 4

 

Ingredients

8 Newmarket sausages

Half a butternut squash

200g Cavolo Nero, shredded

4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon

300g new potatoes

4 duck eggs

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

25g butter

 

Salsa verde ingredients

Handful of soft herbs (chives, basil & marjoram)

1 clove garlic 

Zest of half a lemon

Tablespoon of capers

100ml extra virgin olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

 

Salsa verde recipe

Blitz all ingredients together in a food processor, adding salt & pepper at the end to taste

 

Hash recipe

Make your salsa verde and set to one side.

Gently fry sausages in a small amount of olive oil, once coloured place in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes at 180.

Dice squash into 1cm cubes, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt & pepper.

Roast squash for 20-25mins at 180, or until tender.

While the squash is roasting, quarter new potatoes, boil in salted water for 15 minutes, or until cooked.

Slice & fry the bacon in a large frying pan.

In the same pan add the cooked, drained new potatoes, butternut squash & butter

Fry for 2-3 minutes, until potatoes are golden brown

Add in shredded cavolo nero and set to one side over a low heat 

Fry duck eggs in a separate pan

 

Divide the hash & eggs between four plates and drizzle with salsa verde

Paul Cook - Filming at The Barns

At The Granary Estates we build fantastic relationships with our suppliers as we work alongside one another to achieve the highest standards and the perfect wedding day. One of our 'Recommended Suppliers' Paul Cook is an outstanding Videographer who has now worked at our venue many times, producing stunning work, capturing our couples special day for them to treasure forever. Since shooting our Launch Night in March 2013, he has continued to support The Granary Estates and has become a trusted friend in the industry. 

In August, Paul was back at the barns to shoot the lovely Emma and Dave's big day. Here, Paul describes his thoughts on the day and gives us an insight in to how he executes his work, from the very first meeting to the end product.  

 

1. How do you approach working at the barns? Are there aspects of the venue that are hard/easy to film in? What do you like about the barns?


When you get to a venue for the first time there’s always 101 different things that you have to work out in the first 5 minutes; “where is the ceremony room, where can I store my equipment safely, can I store my equipment safely, which part of the venue will be best for couple shots, who do I direct these questions to?”. When I worked at the Granary Barns for the first time way back on the venue’s opening night, most of these were either obvious as soon as I walked inside, or answered within a matter of minutes by their super friendly and helpful team. Now that I’ve shot weddings and events at the barns on several occasions, I feel right at home as soon as I step inside. This is so important because it leaves me plenty of time to start shooting immediately, meaning more coverage of the couple’s big day, more time to get the best shots and sometimes even grab a glass of water before everything gets going!

The venue layout is brilliant; it’s picturesque yet practical, which lends itself perfectly to filming a wedding there. The way that the long walkway gets you from the Flint Barn to the Granary Barn is as fuss-free as it gets. No stairs, no awkward doors and plenty of space to move with or without equipment. The fact it is lit from just one side with the big, spacious windows looking out on to the garden is also just right giving a much more flattering light inside. The central garden and courtyard area is always a lovely place to shoot, with a great mix of shaded and sunny areas, and a nice amount of space for guests to spread out. It makes shooting the reception drinks and mingling much easier than a lot of venues where you find yourself squished into a corner trying to film in a tight space! The freedom to move around the garden means being able to approach it more creatively and this is where I’ll often get the camera gimbal out to shoot some nice, smooth moving footage of the day. The other thing that is always a treat when I shoot there is it’s surrounding fields and gardens. All throughout the year there is somewhere the photographer and myself can take the bride and groom for some really special couple shots. At Dave and Emma’s Wedding we were blessed with some beautiful summer evening light across the fields and through the trees so we made the most of it and captured some really beautiful moments.


2. What was your favourite thing about Emma and Dave’s wedding?


Emma and Dave’s wedding has to be one of the happiest wedding days I’ve filmed. Ever! The family and friends were all so welcoming and helpful and the couple were so smiley and excited all day it made our job easy peasy! When it came to editing, it was a challenge to decide on the best material for the highlights film – almost every shot had a big beaming smile or genuine moment of laughter.


3. How do you make the end product a ‘Paul Cook Production’? Do you have a ‘style’ or do you tend to let the couples and there personalities effect the editing process?


A lot of the style and look of my wedding films is about how we shoot it. It is always best to get it as perfect as possible in-camera and only make small tweaks and adjustments in editing. We shoot in a fly-on-the-wall, docu-style with a cinematic look. We achieve that by shooting on small but very high-end cameras so that we can capture a wedding in the highest possible quality whilst still being mobile, flexible and adaptable. Once we’ve shot everything on the day and get into the editing process, the rest of the style and look of the wedding film is created. This is mainly about editing pace (which is often determined partly by music choices made by the couple) and the colour grade. I like to give my wedding films a realistic look and feel with a good dose of filmic quality. The most important thing is getting the film to look ‘right’ and by this I mean make sure the colours of skin and clothing are accurate. Every bride will know exactly what tone of white or cream her dress is, so it’s important to try and retain that in the film!
Every cameraman and editor has their own style, things they like and don’t like, and I think the key to creating the best possible film is finding the right balance between what I think it should look like and what the couple want it to look and feel like. From the first meeting where we grab a coffee and chat about everything, I always make notes of the couple’s likes & dislikes. I ask lots of questions (some which seem trivial at the time!) to make sure myself and my second shooter can approach the big day with a clear idea of what we need. I like to pride myself on making wedding films as unique as the couple themselves. I only shoot around 10-15 weddings per year (despite getting close to 100 enquiries yearly) and that’s because I always like to give myself the time to focus on each wedding project on it’s own. I never edit 2 wedding films simultaneously because I think it’s important to stay focused on just one couple and one wedding day at a time.

 

Here is Emma and Dave's highlights video shot by Paul. To see more of Paul's incredible work, visit his website www.paulcookfilm.com 

The GG's x

40 Days to go.

We are now on countdown to our festive season here at The Granary Estates and thinking about all things sparkly! We have just ordered our stunning 18ft Christmas tree and booked in the fabulous Tolly (Tolly's Flowers) to dress our show stopping tree :)

The Granary Barn

The Granary Barn

For those of you who are yet to book your Christmas Party venue, we have the following limited dates available:

  • Tuesday 6th December 2016
  • Wednesday 7th December 2016
  • Tuesday 13th December 2016
  • Wednesday 14th December 2016
  • Monday 19th December 2016
THE tree.

THE tree.

The Flint Barn

The Flint Barn

For more information on our remaining Christmas dates, please call our little elves in The Estates Office on 01638 731230.

Only 40 days until December and the festivities can begin!!!! 

The GG's x