Creating a Wedding Venue through a pandemic

It was late November 2019 and we had just witnessed our old barn collapse, brought down by the heavy snow that had nestled onto its roof, the wind was howling around us, we looked at each other and decided we needed to take action and transform this ramshackle, dangerous building into a beautiful Welsh stone barn ready to make happy memories for us and everyone who visits her.

Over the years at our glamping site we have had approximately 10 marriage proposals, many say how our gorgeous home with its beautiful views is just pure romance, a special little gem, so that was the thought behind the barn, a little wedding venue in the heart of the Welsh countryside. Perfect for romantic, intimate weddings.

Hollyhollows wedding venue beforeHollyhollows wedding venue now

But that was the easy part, who knew that a few months down the line everything would stop for a global pandemic.

At first things started well, we had a builder, building inspections paid for, an architect had completed the drawings, and the barn had been demolished and cleared from the site, all that remained was its old Welsh stone that was going to be used for the rebuild.

The foundations were dug and laid and we even had the imprint of Elvis, our cockerel’s feet in the cement where he decided to have a stroll. A lasting impression forever. But then Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister declared a National lockdown. Tools went down and everyone left site.

No one knew for how long lockdown would be, or when the builders would be back. Days went into weeks and weeks into months, it was a total of nearly 6 months before work restarted. Despondency had turned to excitement, excited to hear noise again, the cement mixer churning around, the chatter from the builders, the dancing around each other due to social distancing rules, the nods. Thankfully, lots of materials like wood, had been brought before lockdown which was a blessing because they were now in short supply.

But the sheer joy when the building frames went up, next the roof went on, it was starting to take shape. Then the stonemason began restoring the beautiful Welsh stone, choosing the perfect shapes for the walls, cementing in between the stone, showing its beauty. Stonemasonry is a dying skill, which is such a shame, it’s such an art. At this point, we were so behind schedule but we didn’t care it was just nice to have a building again and less of a building site.

Summer came and our Glamping season was in full swing, we had hoped the build would be finished at this point, but no and we couldn’t apologise enough to our guests at the state we were in. But we have the most amazing guests, who were so lovely and impressed at what was being built, many had returned to us year after year and had seen it at its worse.

Autumn arrived and the pandemic was taking hold again another lockdown was looming, we only had the one stonemason on site a couple of days a week, so work was slow. Then it stopped completely, this time lockdown was shorter than the last one but it was over winter which meant more delays, not just because of the lockdown but because of the weather. “You can’t cement when it’s wet”, that’s what we kept being told. By now the build had been going for 17 months, a year behind schedule. We had lost hope that it would be finished before our glamping season was due to restart again, but we couldn’t give up, we wouldn’t give up we were too invested both in time and money, in bringing our dream alive.

Then In a blink of an eye it was there, like a beautiful phoenix rising from the ashes. We had our beautiful venue. With its stunning Welsh stone walls and picture frame windows which look out onto the stunning landscape of the valley, it was more than we could have hoped for.

Wedding Barn Venue
Wedding venue picture window

The main room has a beautiful wooden floor where you can dance the night away whilst the glitter ball sends sparkles across the room. Cream voile curtains frame the windows and double glass doors lead you out onto a raised decked area where you can sit and sip champagne whilst watching the sunset at the end of the day.

Wedding venue watch the sunset

There’s a fully working kitchen, with a view watching the sheep scratching their backs on an old tractor which all that is remaining is its frame. And then a cloakroom and toilet, with its handmade washbasins and cloak hooks and its very sweet sheep hooks holding up oval mirrors to make sure you look absolutely fabulous on your day. It simply was a dream come true.

Now every wedding venue needs some pictures and a website, we really didn’t have much idea where to start so I scrolled through social media and found a local florist,, well let’s face it if a florist doesn’t know anything about wedding shoots then who dose? The florist knew a photographer the rest they say is history.

How about an outdoor wedding

One warm sunny Sunday evening in July 2021 our shoot commenced. The theme was ‘ A vintage Country Wedding’. It was an evening shoot to catch the late golden rays. We were so lucky with the weather, it was just perfect. The giddiness of the couple, the excitement of the whole team , the laughter, the giggles, the walking, my gosh we walked, walked to find great shots and great places for wedding photos, because here at Hollyhollows, that’s our venue, everywhere is a stunning backdrop for the perfect picture, an instagramable venue because these days that’s a thing. 5 hours later the shoot was done, we were exhausted and excited because the photos looked stunningly beautiful. Our venue was alive and waiting for those beautiful brides, grooms and guests to enjoy and completely fall in love with our little gem of a place.

With thanks to @leanneserendipity @traceywilliamsphoto @bakedbymeg @malimacs @bridalrelovedshrewsbury @tomandjess

How about an outdoor wedding
How about an outdoor wedding