Congratulations on your engagement! If you’re reading this, chances are you’re considering Dodford Manor as the venue for your special day. Nestled in the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside, Dodford Manor is an award-winning barn venue that offers a perfect blend of rustic charm and modern elegance. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about getting married at Dodford Manor, from the initial planning stages to the big day itself. Whether you’re dreaming of a grand celebration or an intimate gathering, this guide is here to help make your wedding day everything you’ve ever wanted.

About Dodford Manor

History and Background

Dodford Manor is a beautifully restored collection of barns dating back to the 1680s. The venue combines historical charm with contemporary touches, providing a stunning backdrop for your wedding. The barns were lovingly restored with great attention to detail, preserving their original character while ensuring modern comfort and convenience.

The restoration project was spearheaded by the current owners, who fell in love with the site’s potential and worked tirelessly to create a venue that would be both functional and enchanting. Each barn has its own unique story, with original features like oak beams and flagstone floors that have been carefully preserved. The result is a venue that offers both a sense of history and all the modern amenities needed for a seamless wedding experience.



Located in the heart of Northamptonshire, Dodford Manor is easily accessible from major cities like Birmingham, London, and Oxford. The venue is set amidst picturesque rolling hills and countryside, offering a serene and private setting for your wedding. Ample parking is available on-site, making it convenient for guests traveling by car.

For those traveling from further afield, Dodford Manor is just a short drive from several major motorways, including the M1 and M40. This makes it an ideal location for guests traveling from different parts of the country. Additionally, there are several train stations nearby, including Long Buckby and Northampton, which offer regular services to London and other major cities. This accessibility makes Dodford Manor a convenient choice for guests who may be flying in from other parts of the world as well.


Dodford Manor boasts several unique features that make it an ideal wedding venue. The venue offers exclusive use, ensuring your wedding day is private and uninterrupted. With its stunning oak beams, flagstone floors, and large windows, the venue provides a warm and inviting atmosphere. Additionally, Dodford Manor is fully licensed for civil ceremonies, allowing you to host both your ceremony and reception in one beautiful location.

One of the standout features of Dodford Manor is its combination of indoor and outdoor spaces. The beautifully landscaped gardens and courtyard provide a perfect setting for outdoor ceremonies, drinks receptions, and photo opportunities. Inside, the barns are equipped with state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, ensuring your event runs smoothly from start to finish. The venue also offers a bridal preparation suite, giving you a private and comfortable space to get ready on the morning of your wedding.

Planning your wedding at Dodford Manor


The first step in planning your wedding at Dodford Manor is to book a viewing appointment. This will give you the opportunity to tour the venue, meet the wedding team, and discuss your vision for the day. Once you’ve fallen in love with Dodford Manor, the next step is to secure your date with a deposit. It’s advisable to book well in advance, especially if you have a specific date in mind.

During your initial viewing, you’ll have the chance to explore the different spaces within Dodford Manor and imagine how your wedding might unfold. The experienced wedding team will be on hand to answer any questions you might have and provide insights into how other couples have used the space. Once you’re ready to book, the team will guide you through the deposit process and provide you with a detailed contract outlining all the terms and conditions. This ensures that both parties have a clear understanding of what to expect, making the planning process as smooth as possible.


When planning your wedding, consider the season in which you’d like to get married. Each season offers its own unique charm, from the vibrant colors of autumn to the fresh blooms of spring. Additionally, think about your guest count. Dodford Manor can accommodate weddings of various sizes, so it’s important to have an approximate number of guests in mind during the planning stages.

Another key consideration is your budget. Having a clear understanding of your budget from the outset will help guide many of your decisions, from the size of your guest list to the type of catering and decor you choose. It’s also important to think about the overall style and theme of your wedding. Dodford Manor’s versatile spaces can accommodate a wide range of styles, from rustic and bohemian to elegant and sophisticated. Discussing your vision with the wedding team can help you determine how best to use the different spaces within the venue to bring your dream wedding to life.

The Venue Spaces


The Oak Barn is the centerpiece of Dodford Manor. With its stunning oak beams and high ceilings, it provides a dramatic and romantic setting for your ceremony and reception. The barn can comfortably accommodate up to 170 guests for a seated dinner and up to 200 guests for the evening reception.

The Oak Barn’s rustic charm is complemented by modern amenities, including underfloor heating and a state-of-the-art sound system. This makes it a comfortable and practical choice for weddings year-round. The barn’s large windows and glass doors allow natural light to flood the space during the day, while in the evening, the venue’s beautiful lighting creates a warm and inviting atmosphere. Whether you’re planning a grand banquet or a more intimate dinner, the Oak Barn can be tailored to suit your needs.


The Mortain Barn is another beautiful space within Dodford Manor. Often used for the wedding breakfast, this barn features floor-to-ceiling windows that flood the space with natural light. The Mortain Barn can seat up to 140 guests and offers a cozy yet elegant atmosphere.

The Mortain Barn’s layout makes it an ideal space for dining and dancing. The barn’s neutral decor provides a perfect backdrop for a wide range of color schemes and themes, allowing you to personalize the space to match your vision. Additionally, the barn’s flexible layout means it can be easily adapted to suit your needs, whether you’re planning a traditional sit-down meal or a more relaxed buffet-style reception. The Mortain Barn also has direct access to the courtyard, making it easy for guests to move between indoor and outdoor spaces during your celebration.


For those dreaming of an outdoor wedding, Dodford Manor offers several beautiful outdoor spaces. The courtyard is perfect for a drinks reception, while the surrounding fields and gardens provide a picturesque backdrop for your photos. Outdoor ceremonies can also be arranged, allowing you to exchange vows amidst the natural beauty of the countryside.

The outdoor areas at Dodford Manor are beautifully maintained, offering a variety of settings for different parts of your wedding day. The courtyard, with its rustic stone walls and charming details, is a lovely spot for mingling and enjoying canapés and drinks. The expansive lawns and gardens provide plenty of space for guests to explore, and the surrounding countryside offers endless opportunities for stunning photographs. If you’re considering an outdoor ceremony, the venue team can help you plan every detail, from seating arrangements to contingency plans in case of inclement weather.

Ceremony Options


Dodford Manor is licensed for civil ceremonies, giving you the flexibility to have a legal ceremony on-site. Whether you prefer a traditional civil ceremony, a more relaxed symbolic ceremony, or a religious blessing, Dodford Manor can accommodate your wishes.

In addition to civil ceremonies, Dodford Manor can also host symbolic ceremonies and religious blessings. This flexibility allows you to create a ceremony that truly reflects your beliefs and values. Whether you’re planning a non-traditional ceremony with personalized vows and readings, or a religious service that incorporates your faith’s rituals and traditions, the venue team will work with you to ensure your ceremony is exactly what you’ve envisioned. They can also provide recommendations for celebrants and officiants who are familiar with the venue and can help bring your ceremony to life.


You have the option to choose between an indoor ceremony in the Oak Barn or an outdoor ceremony in the gardens. Indoor ceremonies offer the advantage of being weather-proof, while outdoor ceremonies provide a beautiful natural setting. Whichever you choose, the Dodford Manor team will ensure it is beautifully set up and runs smoothly.

When deciding between an indoor or outdoor ceremony, consider the time of year and your personal preferences. Indoor ceremonies in the Oak Barn offer a cozy and intimate setting, with the barn’s beautiful architecture providing a stunning backdrop. Outdoor ceremonies, on the other hand, allow you to take advantage of the venue’s natural beauty and enjoy the fresh air and scenic views. The venue team can help you weigh the pros and cons of each option and provide guidance on how to create a seamless transition between your ceremony and reception, regardless of the setting you choose.


Personalizing your ceremony can make it even more special and memorable. Consider writing your own vows, incorporating meaningful readings or music, and involving family and friends in the ceremony. Dodford Manor’s experienced team can help you with ideas and logistics to ensure your ceremony reflects your unique love story.

There are many ways to personalize your ceremony and make it a true reflection of your relationship. Writing your own vows is a powerful way to express your love and commitment in your own words. Including readings, poems, or songs that hold special meaning to you as a couple can also add a personal touch. Involving family and friends, whether by asking them to give a reading, perform a song, or serve as witnesses, can make your ceremony even more meaningful. The venue team can provide suggestions and logistical support to help you incorporate these personal elements into your ceremony seamlessly.

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Reception & Catering


The flexible layout of Dodford Manor allows you to create a reception that suits your style and preferences. From long banquet tables to round tables, you can choose the setup that best fits your vision. The venue also offers various options for the dance floor, bar, and entertainment areas to ensure a seamless flow throughout the evening.

When planning your reception layout, consider how you want your guests to interact and move throughout the space. Long banquet tables can create a communal and convivial atmosphere, encouraging guests to mingle and converse. Round tables, on the other hand, can provide a more traditional and elegant setup. Think about the flow of the evening, from the arrival of guests and the serving of the meal to the opening of the dance floor and the end-of-night festivities. The venue team can help you design a layout that maximizes the use of the space and ensures a smooth and enjoyable experience for you and your guests.


Dodford Manor works with a selection of top-quality caterers who offer a range of delicious menu options. Whether you’re looking for a formal sit-down meal, a relaxed buffet, or a quirky food station, the caterers can tailor the menu to your tastes and dietary requirements. Tastings can be arranged to help you choose the perfect dishes for your wedding day.

Choosing the right caterer is a crucial part of planning your wedding, and Dodford Manor’s recommended caterers are experienced professionals who can provide a wide range of options. From traditional three-course meals to modern sharing platters and interactive food stations, the caterers can create a menu that reflects your tastes and preferences. They can also accommodate dietary restrictions and special requests, ensuring all your guests are well-catered for. Tastings are a great opportunity to sample different dishes, discuss presentation and service options, and finalize your menu choices. The venue team can provide recommendations and support throughout the catering planning process.


Daytime Drinks and the ‘No Corkage’ Service

One of the standout features at Dodford Manor is their ‘no corkage’ service on daytime drinks. This means you can supply your own alcohol for the daytime portion of your wedding without incurring any corkage fees. Corkage fees are charges that venues typically impose when you bring your own drinks, covering the cost of serving and handling the alcohol. By waiving these fees, Dodford Manor allows you to save money and offer your guests a selection of drinks that reflect your personal preferences.

The ‘no corkage’ service is available for the drinks served during the drinks reception and the wedding breakfast (the traditional term for the wedding meal, regardless of the time of day). This can include champagne or sparkling wine for toasts, wine for the meal, and any other beverages you wish to provide. You can bring in your preferred brands, whether it’s a favorite champagne for the toast or a particular wine that pairs perfectly with your menu.

To take advantage of this service, you’ll need to coordinate with the venue team regarding the quantity and timing of the drink deliveries. They will handle the storage and service of your beverages, ensuring they are chilled and ready to serve when needed. Additionally, they provide professional staff to serve the drinks, glassware, and everything else required to ensure a seamless experience for you and your guests.

This service is an excellent way to personalize your wedding and potentially save on costs. However, keep in mind that the ‘no corkage’ service typically applies only to the daytime drinks. For the evening reception, you may need to purchase drinks through the venue or their preferred suppliers. Be sure to discuss all the details with the Dodford Manor team to understand the full scope of their policies and make the most of this generous offering.

Decor & Styling


While Dodford Manor offers a beautiful blank canvas, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind when planning your decor. Open flames are not allowed, so consider using LED candles for a similar effect. The venue team can provide advice on suitable decor elements and help you work within any restrictions.

The decor guidelines at Dodford Manor are designed to ensure the safety and preservation of the venue while allowing you to create a beautiful and personalized setting for your wedding. In addition to the restriction on open flames, it’s important to consider the venue’s historic features and natural surroundings when planning your decor. The venue team can provide suggestions on how to enhance the space without causing damage, such as using floral arrangements, drapery, and lighting. They can also recommend vendors who are familiar with the venue and can provide decor elements that meet the guidelines. By working within these parameters, you can create a stunning and memorable atmosphere for your wedding day.


Whether you’re envisioning a rustic barn wedding, a vintage-inspired celebration, or a modern chic affair, Dodford Manor can accommodate a variety of styles. Current trends include greenery and floral installations, fairy lights, and personalized signage. Pinterest and Instagram can be great sources of inspiration for your wedding decor.

When planning your wedding decor, consider incorporating elements that reflect your personal style and the overall theme of your wedding. Rustic barn weddings often feature natural materials like wood and burlap, combined with soft lighting and floral accents. Vintage-inspired weddings might include antique furniture, lace details, and pastel color palettes. For a modern chic affair, consider sleek lines, metallic accents, and minimalist decor. Greenery and floral installations are a popular trend that can add a touch of elegance and natural beauty to any style. Fairy lights and candles can create a romantic and enchanting atmosphere, while personalized signage and details can add a unique and personal touch. The venue team can provide inspiration and advice on how to bring your vision to life within the beautiful setting of Dodford Manor.


Dodford Manor has a list of trusted local florists and decorators who are familiar with the venue and can help bring your vision to life. Collaborating with experienced professionals can ensure that your decor is cohesive, stunning, and perfectly suited to the venue.

Working with local florists and decorators who know Dodford Manor well can be a huge advantage when planning your wedding decor. These professionals understand the venue’s layout and features and can provide recommendations on how to make the most of the space. They can also offer insights into what works well in different seasons and weather conditions. Whether you’re looking for a simple and elegant floral arrangement or an elaborate and dramatic installation, these trusted vendors can help you create the perfect look for your wedding. The venue team can provide you with a list of recommended florists and decorators, as well as examples of their work at Dodford Manor, to help you make an informed decision.

Booking a Wedding Photographer

Planning a wedding is a monumental task, filled with countless decisions, each one as important as the next. Among these decisions, choosing the right photographer is crucial, especially if you desire candid, unposed, and natural photographs.

Understanding candid & unposed photography


Candid photography captures moments as they happen naturally, without posing or direction. This style aims to document the genuine emotions, interactions, and fleeting moments of your wedding day, creating a narrative that feels authentic and heartfelt.


Choosing a candid and unposed style ensures that your wedding photos reflect the true essence of your day. It allows you and your guests to relax and enjoy the moment, knowing that the photographer is there to capture the real emotions and interactions rather than staged poses.

Evaluating photographers


When evaluating photographers, delve deep into their portfolios. Look for consistency in their work and an evident ability to capture authentic moments. Pay attention to how they handle different lighting conditions and various parts of the day.

// My Portfolio


Arrange meetings with your top choices. This will allow you to gauge their personality and ensure you feel comfortable with them. A good rapport with your photographer is essential for natural, candid shots.

// Meet Me


Ask about their approach to candid photography. Do they blend into the background, or do they interact with guests? Understanding their method will help you determine if they align with your vision.

// My Promise

Entertainment & Music


Whether you prefer a live band, a DJ, or a mix of both, Dodford Manor can accommodate your entertainment needs. The venue has a state-of-the-art sound system and plenty of space for dancing. Be sure to discuss your preferences with the venue team to ensure everything is set up perfectly.

When planning your wedding entertainment, consider the atmosphere you want to create and the preferences of your guests. Live bands can provide a dynamic and engaging performance, with a range of musical styles to suit different tastes. DJs can offer a wider variety of music and the ability to take requests, ensuring the dance floor stays packed all night. Some couples choose to have a live band for part of the evening and a DJ for the rest, providing the best of both worlds. The venue team can provide recommendations for local bands and DJs who have experience performing at Dodford Manor, as well as advice on how to set up the sound system and dance floor to ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience for everyone.


In addition to music, consider other forms of entertainment to keep your guests entertained. Photo booths, lawn games, and even fireworks can add a fun and memorable element to your wedding. Dodford Manor’s versatile spaces can accommodate a variety of entertainment options.

Adding additional entertainment options to your wedding can help create a fun and memorable experience for your guests. Photo booths are a popular choice, providing a fun activity and a keepsake for guests to take home. Lawn games, such as croquet, giant Jenga, or bocce ball, can be a great way to entertain guests during the cocktail hour or between events. If you’re looking to create a truly memorable finale, consider arranging for a fireworks display or sparklers for a grand exit. The venue team can provide advice and recommendations for local vendors who can provide these services, as well as guidance on how to incorporate them into your wedding timeline and layout. With a variety of entertainment options, you can create a wedding celebration that is enjoyable and unforgettable for you and your guests.


Dodford Manor has connections with a variety of local entertainers, from live bands and DJs to magicians and caricature artists. These trusted professionals can help make your wedding day even more special and ensure your guests have a fantastic time.

Working with local entertainers who are familiar with Dodford Manor can help ensure your wedding entertainment is a success. These professionals understand the venue’s layout and acoustics and can provide recommendations on how to make the most of the space. Whether you’re looking for a live band that can get everyone dancing, a DJ who can keep the party going late into the night, or a unique form of entertainment like a magician or caricature artist, the venue team can provide recommendations and examples of their work. By choosing trusted and experienced entertainers, you can create a fun and engaging atmosphere that keeps your guests entertained and makes your wedding day truly special.

Accommodation & Transportation


While Dodford Manor does not offer on-site accommodation, there are several charming hotels and B&Bs nearby. The venue team can provide a list of recommended places to stay, ensuring your guests have comfortable and convenient options.

When planning accommodation for your wedding guests, consider the variety of options available in the surrounding area. From charming bed and breakfasts to luxurious hotels, there are accommodations to suit different tastes and budgets. The venue team can provide recommendations for nearby accommodations that offer excellent service and convenience for your guests. They can also provide information on group booking discounts and transportation options, making it easier for your guests to travel to and from the venue. By providing a range of accommodation options, you can ensure that your guests have a comfortable and enjoyable stay during your wedding celebration.


Dodford Manor offers ample parking for guests, as well as easy access for coaches and other transportation options. Consider arranging transportation for guests who may not want to drive, such as shuttle buses or taxis, to ensure everyone can enjoy the celebration safely.

Providing transportation options for your guests can help ensure that everyone arrives at Dodford Manor safely and on time. Consider arranging for shuttle buses or minibusses to transport guests from local hotels to the venue, especially if you have a large number of out-of-town guests. This can also be a convenient option for guests who may not want to drive after the celebration. The venue’s ample parking facilities can accommodate cars, coaches, and other transportation options, making it easy for guests to arrive and depart. Providing clear information on parking and transportation in your wedding invitations or website can help guests plan their travel arrangements and ensure a smooth and stress-free experience.

Guest Experience


Ensuring your guests have a comfortable and enjoyable experience is key to a successful wedding. Consider providing welcome bags with essentials, setting up a lounge area for those who need a break from dancing, and offering plenty of refreshments throughout the day.

Creating a welcoming and enjoyable experience for your guests can help make your wedding day memorable for everyone. Welcome bags can include items like bottled water, snacks, a map of the area, and a schedule of events, helping guests feel informed and appreciated. Setting up a comfortable lounge area with seating and soft lighting can provide a relaxing space for guests to take a break from dancing and socializing. Providing plenty of refreshments, such as water stations, non-alcoholic beverages, and late-night snacks, can keep guests comfortable and energized throughout the celebration. By paying attention to these details, you can ensure that your guests feel well-cared for and enjoy every moment of your wedding day.


Adding special touches and providing wedding favors can make your guests feel appreciated. Consider personalized favors that reflect your personality or wedding theme, such as custom-made candles, mini bottles of local spirits, or handmade soaps.

Wedding favors are a wonderful way to thank your guests for being part of your special day. Personalized favors can add a unique and thoughtful touch, making guests feel valued and appreciated. Consider favors that reflect your personal interests or the theme of your wedding, such as custom-made candles, mini bottles of locally produced spirits, or handmade soaps with a personalized label. Other popular favor ideas include edible treats, such as cookies or chocolates, and small plants or succulents that guests can take home and enjoy. Providing a display table for favors or placing them at each guest’s seat can add a decorative element to your reception and ensure that guests receive their gifts.


Instead of a traditional guest book, consider creative alternatives like a photo guest book, a wishing tree, or a custom piece of art that guests can sign. These unique ideas can serve as wonderful keepsakes and add an interactive element to your wedding.

Creating a unique and interactive guest book can provide a memorable keepsake from your wedding day. A photo guest book, where guests can take instant photos and leave messages, can be a fun and engaging option. A wishing tree, where guests write their well wishes on tags and hang them on a tree, can create a beautiful display and a lasting memory. Custom pieces of art, such as a canvas or wooden sign that guests can sign, can become a cherished piece of home decor. Other creative ideas include a puzzle where guests sign individual pieces, a globe for guests to mark places they have traveled from, or a quilt where guests can write messages on fabric squares. These unique guest book ideas can add a personal and interactive element to your wedding and provide a lasting memento of your special day.


Dodford Manor offers a beautiful and versatile setting for your dream wedding. With its stunning location, exceptional service, and a range of customizable options, you can create a wedding day that reflects your unique style and love story. The experienced team at Dodford Manor is dedicated to helping you every step of the way, ensuring your wedding is a day to remember.

By choosing Dodford Manor for your wedding, you are selecting a venue that combines natural beauty, historic charm, and modern amenities. The flexibility and support provided by the venue team can help you bring your vision to life, creating a celebration that is truly personal and memorable. From the ceremony and reception to the decor, entertainment, and guest experience, every aspect of your wedding can be tailored to suit your preferences and style. The venue’s commitment to excellence and attention to detail ensures that your wedding day will be a seamless and unforgettable experience.

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