The outside of Lains Barn is beautiful. You walk underneath a floral arch to enter the garden which has a covered patio area and a lawned courtyard. The building itself is L-shaped. The long corridor-like glazed byre overlooks the courtyard and is to be used as the setting for the drinks reception, extending outside if the weather permits. The large ceremony room will transform into the wedding breakfast during your drinks reception, and again into the disco to finish off the night. The alcove seating area in the main room is sure to serve as cosy spaces for your guests in the evening. This 16th century barn has the original flagstone flooring, beams and rustic features which we loved.
Details which could easily be overlooked but don’t scream perfection for me were the bridal dressing room situated at the rear and the dividers which cover the door the bride will appear from. To compensate for having no bridal suite, they have provided a room which would allow the bride and her bridesmaids to get ready in or do final touch-ups. While practical, it lacked a bit of luxury, and didn’t feel as private as it should due to its close proximity to the ceremony room. I also felt that the toilets didn’t reflect the beauty of the rest of the building, and while this isn’t a game-changer for most, I personally think it’s a shame when venues cut corners on such an essential part. When I’m hoicking up my dress to use the facilities for the umpteenth time, a little added luxury would surely be a saviour.
Lains Barn can accommodate up to 180 guests. With only around 80 on our rough guest list, that’s more than just extra leg room for our party. Keen on a cosy feel rather than a spacious one, it did feel a little too big. The front row and the ceremony table felt almost distant, which goes to show how much space there is to play with.
The staff seem attentive, willing, inspirational and very friendly. I’m not surprised that they were awarded the Best Wedding Venue award in the Guides for Brides Customer Service Awards 2016. Congratulations Lains Barn!
As you may know by now, we really had our heart set on having on-site accommodation for us and some of our guests. While there are many places nearby for us and our party to stay in, in the end we felt that we could find a venue which could tick all of our boxes.
If you have a big number and are looking for a rural setting with classic elements and a modern approach for your Oxfordshire wedding, then this restored historic barn is a truly beautiful choice and I would recommend a visit to see it for yourselves.
Read my other wedding venue reviews here
All pictures are my own.