Swallows Oast Wedding Photography
Jade & Renier
A brief intro to Swallows Oast:
Situated in the East Sussex countryside of Ticehurst and originally built in the 1830s, Swallows Oast is an outstanding wedding venue with some really unique ceremony options. It's one of those places that offers that wonderful "hemmed in" feeling, you get that lovely sense of seclusion as there aren't any noticeable neighbours nearby. What's more (and it's exactly what Jade & Renier did), you can actually make use of their Glamping facilities which are in the very next field... and we're talking proper luxury tentage! You can choose a Safari style tent or a traditional Woodland Bell tent, both are very comfortable (raised beds) and there's quality showers & toilets right with you. Jade & Renier glamped out the night before their wedding day with some of their family... drinking a whole bunch of merry stuff around a camp fire. Now I know what you're thinking right now, you're wondering how an earth a wedding party can camp overnight (even if it is glamping) and look wedding fresh in the morning! This is where Swallows Oast comes genius, the bridal suit is in the absolute perfect location between where you'll be glamping and where you'll be getting married. Depending on the day, you should be able to get access the night before so that you can prepare the very ample space exactly how you want it. You'll be able to hang any suites/dresses up (and there's plenty of space to make amendments if you need to)... plus stick all your wedding gear there too. When you come back in the morning, there's a pretty awesome bath to soak in (photos below)... all before your hair & makeup people arrive - and they'll love working there too!
Swallows Oast wedding photography - ceremony options:
This is another strength for Swallows Oast! There are three main areas for your ceremony, two outdoors and one in the main barn area... and they're all fab. Jade & Renier elected for an outdoor ceremony as it was early September... I'd say that unless you're expecting bad weather, the outdoor options are a bit of a no-brainer. Firstly there's the patio area, it has a permanent gazebo in place and was the only outdoor option until the regulations changed in July 2021 (due to COVID). This means that you know longer need a solid structure above you for the ceremony to be legal (these regs became permanent in April 2022), which has opened the door to many more outdoor options. Swallows Oast now has a pretty EPIC third option, it's an intimate forrest clearing just a short walk down from the barn and it really has that whole "Narnia" thing going on. Magical. This is what Jade & Renier went for and it went down and absolute storm, particularly as the path was decorated with flowers from the Mother of the Bride's very own garden. The ceremony was conducted by a family friend (who did a sterling job) and the whole affair had such a chilled vibe, with some folk relaxing on picnic blankets. However, if you're expecting guests with mobility issues... the patio option may be the best one for you.
Drawing on Renier's South African heritage, the chef at Swallows Oast cooked up an absolute storm of a Braai - and boy was it great (of course I had some). The catering team were absolutely fantastic and the guests couldn't be happier with their food. This is where the barn area comes in, Jade & Renier's family did such an amazing job of decorating all the tables. In particular was Jade's sister Kate, who designed all the props and detail decorations herself (you can actually get her to do your wedding - click here). There's a really nice bar too, serving lots of lovely local beer/cider and some wines from the surrounding area as well. A microphone was provided for the speeches and to be honest, I always wonder when the batteries were last checked at this point as they always seems to crack and pop halfway through. Not at Swallows Oast, not on Mark's watch! Perfect clarity from start to finish. Man I love this place!
Swallows Oast wedding photography - any good for photos?
Yes. Sensational actually. Firstly, there's the sublime natural environment that is simply perfect for Swallows Oast Wedding Photography - the corn fields nearby, the venue itself, vast expanses of green fields, two huge tress with a swing... and there's a massive pond too (almost a lake) complete with its own jetty! If you get married here, your photos are gonna rock.
So what's the verdict?
I was really impressed with how easily the staff (lead by the owner, Mark) handled the guests, bride & groom... and all the little transitions between the various segments of the day. The communication between the venue and all the various teams involved was really spot on and I love the fact that Swallows Oast is a family run business, it totally shines through. I loved the fact that the barn and complex has a rich history, but with modern styling and amenities inside. If you're looking for a really great wedding venue where you fell like you've got it all to yourself and you want that countryside charm and magical feel for up to 130 people (plus evening guests) - it's definitely worth checking out.
For more info about this venue - do drop me a line! Enjoy the highlights...