A New Dawn

    Devon sunrise

    I’ve been pretty quiet on the news front of late - well haven’t we all!  Since the excitement of the Roadmap announcement, it has just been a case of ‘digging in’, waiting for the roll-out of the vaccinations to take effect, and watching with bated breath to see if the numbers on the daily graphs fell.

    Immediately after the announcement, I was flat out re-arranging dates for our existing couples - some of whom have moved at least twice before - and taking enquiries for new couples desperate to come and have a look around.  However, with all the paperwork complete, a strange sort of limbo has descended as we all try to contain our excitement at the prospect of being able to get out and about again and anticipate a fabulous summer ahead.

     

    Catmint

    This afternoon I have been down at the Barn planting Nepeta, or ‘catmint’ as it is more often known, and that’s given me the chance to reflect on what a very strange couple of years we have had!

     

    Sunrise over Harefield Barn March 2019

    The photo above was taken exactly two years ago today, a beautiful crisp morning, much as it was today.  At that point, we were in a similar sort of limbo as now, because we were gearing up to our very first ‘paid’ wedding! Having had our own daughter and son-in-law’s celebrations at Harefield Barn in the previous December, we were confident that the basics were all in place…. and worked.  However Hettie and Sam weren’t bothered that there was no paving on the terrace, The Clock House wasn’t built, and there was no glass in the porch!

    Between the December and March we had continued to beaver away to get things finished, knowing we had three lovely couples all booked in for that month, and trusting that we would deliver on our promises.  So it was, that we found ourselves just a week away from the first wedding celebrations.  We had prepared everything we could possibly think of, but sadly we couldn’t do much about the atrocious weather forecast!

    In the end, our first couple, Paul and Nicole, managed to grab just a few photos outside, George and Laura had an indoor ceremony with confetti and photos outside,  and just a week later it was hot enough for Amy and Mark to hold their ceremony and drinks on the terrace.  And that was the start of our amazing first season.

    Paul & Nicole March 2019
    Paul and Nicole - 16th March 2019
    George and Laura March 1029
    George and Laura - 23rd March 2019

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Amy and Mark March 2019
    Amy and Mark - 30th March 2019

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    If I said everything went perfectly, I would be telling ‘porky pies’, but we learnt quickly, and always found a way around the little glitches that came up.  If someone asked me what my over-riding emotion was over that year, I’m not entirely sure I could pin it down to less than three; huge relief that we hadn’t made the worst investment of our lives, sheer joy that we were able to share our beautiful location and building with so many people, and utter exhaustion after several years of stress and hard work!

    We took off on holiday to Cyprus for a well-earned break, feeling pretty satisfied at a successful year, and with enough bookings in the diary for 2020 to give us confidence in our ability to take our new business forward.  What is it they say about ‘pride coming before a fall’? 2020 could not have been more different, stressful or strange, as we all struggled to make the best of a situation no-one could have planned or prepared for.  Or at least we thought we had prepared a little by paying for Business Interruption Insurance only to find that our insurers were one of the companies who managed to wriggle out of paying on wording technicalities - enough said!

    It has been a trying time, but it has been truly heartening to see everyone involved in the wedding industry come together as a group under such difficult circumstances.  We have shared experiences, found ways of doing things, and learnt business skills we hadn’t realised we needed, and I’m sure that wonderful spirit will catapult us successfully into a very busy few years!

    All I would say is that if you, or someone you know, is planning to get married in the next few years, get that planning hat on and get things booked!  So many couples have had to postpone their weddings that the knock-on effect will last for some time, and I, for one, can’t wait to get back to the happy days of that first summer …roll on June!

    Amy and Mark - 30th March 2019

    First of all we would like to start off by saying we had the most amazing Wedding Day, it was everything we'd dreamed and considering we did it all within 8 months, it was most certainly the best day of our lives so thank you very much for letting us have Harefield Barn for our special day. You were a wonderful help and always there via email or phone if ever we needed you and you allowed us to bring our friends and family to visit Harefield Barn on numerous occasions before the wedding so they could share the excitement with us so thank you for this, it was much appreciated.

    So where do we start with the venue; it was the most amazing and beautiful venue with incredible views and we were so lucky with the weather for our special day - it was the cherry on top. The venue has everything you need, from a room for the Bride and Bridal party to get ready in, to the bar with a cosy log burner built in (perfect for those winter/colder months). It has an outdoor fire pit which was also lovely for the evening of our wedding and lots of our guests were very happy to have had this. Harefield has all of the amenities you could possibly need and is the perfect location for a barn wedding. It's the perfect venue if you want a DIY wedding in a rustic, but modern place. Truly beautiful and we couldn't have wished for any better - the views are to die for 😊 The venue/surroundings had SOOO many compliments from all of our guests and everyone loved it just as much as we did! Debbie also has a lot of decorations on offer to hire which is very useful if there's anything you've forgotten. On every occasion we went to view the venue and on the weekend of our own wedding, it was always very clean and tidy and it has such a welcoming atmosphere. 

    I would recommend this venue to anyone, it is truly beautiful, with great owners and magnificent place to get married!

    Amy and Mark xx