Libby & Derek’s Glorious Wedding at The Barn on The Bay in Druridge Bay
We had been waiting so long to photograph a wedding at The Barn on The Bay. It’s a unique venue with some fantastic features and we had the joy of being invited by Libby & Derek. They brought their son, Arlo to the studio for his newborn photoshoot. It was a day of Llamas, Crocs & Sunburn and one we didn’t want to leave even after our scheduled time.
The Barn on The Bay is far from a traditional wedding venue. It’s beautifully rustic and relaxed. Located in repurposed farm buildings near Druridge Bay on the Northumberland coast surrounded by Llama-filled fields. We found it on a beautifully sunny, scorching August day letting us get the most out of this very exposed location. I did think it might not have been as much fun to photograph on a bad-weather day. I don’t think it would hinder a wedding day but it would limit us.
The Farm Cottage
Libby and her bridesmaids used a farm cottage, only 50 yards from the Barn on The Bay, for their bridal prep. Libby and her girls were up for a laugh and didn’t take themselves too seriously. They wanted some girly time to get glammed up but were ready to put fun ahead of keeping their dresses spotless. Our sort of girls.
A Groom with his Hands Full
Derek comes across as a practical, organised sort of guy. But I had to question his decision to single-handedly get himself, his 2-year-old son Arlo, and their pet dog ready with no help. Arlo was his best man and he had no ushers. I can’t say he bit off more than he could chew. He managed to wrangle everything extremely well but he didn’t have a single spare minute to relax and enjoy this part of the day. Had Arlo been a typical toddler I think it would have been a nightmare. But he loved getting dressed up and listened to every word his Dad said. It also helped that Derek’s cottage was right next to the Barn. He could greet guests as he got ready. An unusual ensemble of kilts & crocs.
Arlo was Derek’s best man. I’m sure that Derek enjoyed the fact that all attention was on Arlo. He would continue to steal the show all day along with his very cute girlfriend. They were perfect little models while Dad ran around doing loads of jobs. I loved the shots of the two of them befriending the Llamas. The Llamas at the Barn on the Bay are famously photogenic. They are so curious and enjoy watching the show.
Tractor Rides and Dolphins!
So, as the weather was glorious, an outdoor wedding looking over the North Sea was on the cards. The service area wasn’t far away. Across a road and over a grassy field but the journey is made infinitely more fun in a tractor-pulled trailer.
Imagine the scene: All of the guests had just been dropped off by their tractor taxis to be greeted by a fabulous pod of dolphins. They were a good distance out but were a joy to watch as they rolled by. A rare sight but often rumoured, it will be a memory I will cherish. It was just a shame that Libby & the girls hadn’t arrived at that point.
Back at the Barn on the Bay
Let’s get this out there. Libby is a complete fruit loop. Far from a blushing bride, she was loving the child-free time. She lights up a room and is the life and soul of a party. The tractor returned to collect the girls and they turned it into a party wagon straight away. There is something special when your aisle is sand dunes. Watching Libby and her Bridesmaids make their way to the clifftops was delightful and, of course, Arlo played his part perfectly without any stage fright. He looked so proud to walk hand in hand with his Mum.
Throughout the service, Arlo continued to steal the show. One of the funniest moments was the point when he realised his mum had a split in her wedding dress and he found it quite fascinating and needed to explore it thoroughly. Outdoor weddings in Northumberland are almost as rare as Dolphins and Arlo seeing his Mums legs so we always make the most of them. We have the freedom to wander rather than be stuck in a corner. If you move around in a room you draw attention but outdoors you can get away with much more.
We can’t wait for the day when you can get married anywhere, but at the time of writing this, you can’t actually officially get married on a beach. You have to still do all the formalities at the registered building. So Derek & Libby had to hop back on the tractor with registrars & witnesses in tow back to the Barn on the Bay… sign the register and then head back to the beach for drinks.
You can’t have a cliff-top wedding and not head onto the beach. But we knew the beach was slowly disappearing as the tide came in so we stopped messing about with family groups and put the crocs to good use on the sand. We get loads of couples that promise us they will be up for getting a little adventurous, but when it comes down to it, the thought of getting cold or wet puts a stop to our fun. Libby & Derek were hardcore. They loved the outdoor life and were willing to drag their bridesmaids into the North Sea with them. Even in August, it’s bloody freezing.
We had so much fun down on the beach, but, we can never take our time at a wedding. Our tractor awaited to meet back up with the rest of the wedding guests back at the Barn on the Bay. We hoped to get a group shot with everyone before the wedding breakfast began. Everywhere was flat with no vantage points so we were lucky to have guests willing to sit on mossy walls and on the grass to help break up the heights and stop it from being a boring line. The blue skies were amazing but the sun was extremely strong and we could feel ourselves starting to sizzle. We were glad to get inside the barn for some shade.
While the posh street food by Matei Baran was served we sat outside in some shade having a laugh with the catering team. At this point, our scheduled time was done but when you are in a beautiful place with fabulous people, you are in no rush to leave, especially when they offer to feed you too.
Spooky Mist and Jet Trails
As the sun started to set we weren’t sure if we were in for a good golden hour. There was a very spooky mist lying across the fields in the distance. It was so low though that you really can’t see it much on the images. But we have to tell you it gave us the willies that night. When you pick a spot to set up for sunset images you often forget that when you finish, it will be completely dark, in a field with only your phone torch to help. Writing this makes me wonder why I don’t have a head torch?? Arlo was still full of energy and showed no sign of tiredness so we loved having him at this special moment.
We loved our day with Libby & Derek and fell in love with the Barn on the Bay. We were sweaty and sunburnt. We’d chased toddlers, seduced Llamas and dodged tractors. It had so many memorable moments that we will never forget.
We hope you like this small selection of photographs taken at the wedding.