Penny's Wedding

UK Wedding Blog

Dodford Manor – Review

Located in the village of Dodford in rural Northamptonshire, Dodford Manor is one of the newest and most luxurious wedding venues to hit this region.  Currently under complete renovation, it’s due to be finished by December 2011.  Dodford Manor consists of 16th century ceremony and banqueting barns, a separate bar area, a landscaped courtyard and a covered bandstand; all of which are exclusively yours to hire for your wedding day.  The venue is available to hire for civil ceremonies, wedding receptions or both.  The Dodford village church is situated 100 yards from the Manor and is also available for ceremonies or blessings.

Dodford Manor is ideally located close to the A45 and is accessible via an exclusive driveway.  With parking available for three coaches, sixty cars and even a helipad, you really will find this venue hard to beat.  The grounds are extensive, boasting fantastic country views from every angle and exquisite photographic opportunities.  Nearby is a beautiful lake area ideal for romantic pictures.  The lake will be accessible to guests via a number of golf carts; all chauffer driven of course. 

The 16th century ceremony barn is ideal for civil ceremonies.  It will keep its original exposed stonework and oak frames adding to the romantic country chic feel.  There are two large doors on either side of the barn; these will remain but will be made entirely of glass allowing for spectacular views.  The barn is spacious and will seat one hundred and seventy guests yet clever planning allows for smaller ceremonies to achieve the intimate feel.   The plans include a mezzanine area ideal for additional seating, photographic opportunities or entertainment such as a string quartet.  There will be pools of seductive lighting emerging from the stonework contributing to the romantic atmosphere.

The ceremony barn will house a bride-get-ready room as there is currently no onsite accommodation although phase two of the redevelopment will include a bridal suite.   The bride-get-ready room, which is yours from 10am, will include a shower, sofas, a fridge and hot drink facilities for you to use at your own leisure.  A really unique aspect of this bride-get-ready room is provision for a peep hole looking directly into the ceremony room, allowing you to experience the arrival of your guests and perhaps take a cheeky peek at your soon-to-be husband.  I absolutely love this idea and it’s a real selling point for me.  As a bride, one of the things I would have loved to experience is the arrival of my guests and this genius idea achieves this. 

Even if you decide not to have your ceremony at Dodford Manor, you are still able to use all of the facilities and the barn is an ideal drinks/canapé entertainment area, especially if your day is unfortunate to encounter wet weather.  Directly adjacent to the ceremony barn will be a large enclosed courtyard area which will be fully landscaped with simple patio furniture, bay trees, candles, lavender plants and a water feature.  With the rolling countryside views complementing the courtyard, it’s a beautiful setting for a rustic English summer reception of drinks and canapés.  There is also provision for a covered bandstand which enables you with the possibility of marrying outdoors should the weather be good to you.

Following on from the courtyard is the 16th century banqueting barn, evening entertainment and bar area.  The banqueting barn is intended for the wedding breakfast and evening reception.  It has been specifically designed to allow for maximum comfort whilst regaining a chic and luxurious atmosphere.  The bar area will be separate from the main barn which will allow guests to have a quiet moment however they will not miss out on any action as the walls will be glass therefore enabling guests to still be a part of the entertainment.  The wow factor of this barn is the floor to ceiling glass doors overlooking the countryside and the local church in the distance.  Imagine dining with the sun setting in the distance.  In the evening should you wish you can close the shutters allowing the barn to be a bit cosier and intimate ready for the evening party. 

Dodford Manor work with the catering suppliers Jenkinsons and it is compulsory to use this supplier.  A comprehensive range of bespoke daytime menus are available from £33 per person with evening menus starting from just £6 per guest.  For no extra service charge or corkage you can supply your own drinks to cover the reception, meal and toast.  Dodford Manor offer free food and wine tasting nights (even providing a wine connoisseur for you to utilise) twice a year where you are able try a vast range of foods to ensure the menu you choose is enjoyable for your wedding day.

The owners are keen to promote green energy and have designed the venue with sustainable energy in mind and even importing highland cows for the fields as an added interest point.  The venue is family owned which injects the personal touch to your day not to mention an opportunity of flexibility with your requirements.  This venue will look amazing once complete and you can see the owners have put effort and attention to detail into the planning stages.  Dodford Manor is at the higher end of venue hire rates but it is competitively priced for a venue of its size, location and luxurious detailing.  As a special offer whilst the building work is ongoing, if you book before 01/12/2011 you can save a hefty amount of money. 

You will have a dedicated wedding coordinator to assist with your planning stages and with the timings of the big day itself.  They can be as involved as you wish.  If you want to do everything yourself with no additional help then this is fine but support will be available whenever you require it.  Dodford Manor is a must view venue particularly during the current build stage as it is exciting to see the development unfolding before you, but be prepared to fall in love.  For further information visit www.dodfordmanor-venue.co.uk.

Penelope x x