matara center cotswolds

Venue Spotlight: Matara Center in the Cotswolds

Matara Center Wedding Venue Cotswolds

matara center cotswolds

Where to start? First of all in my opinion Matara Center is the most unique wedding venue in the Cotswolds. Every time I am in there I feel like I'm somewhere in Asia. It's no wonder it's a popular choice for Asian weddings, however Matara has much more to offer. There are plenty of great spots and backgrounds for photographs whether you are getting married in Summer or in Winter time. To sum up Matara offers a truly unique and breath-taking wedding experience in tranquil settings. Please see below a very helpful interview with Olivia, who is one of Matara's passionate wedding co-ordinators:

matara center wedding venue cotswolds

What is the name of your venue and where are you located?

Matara – Kingscote Nr Tetbury, in the Cotswolds.

What sort of a ceremony set up/ location do you have?

In total we have 5 ceremony spaces, a mixture of both indoor and outdoor spaces. Our most popular being the cloistered courtyard, an Asian inspired half covered space with coy carp ornamental pond.

What type of weddings do you cater for? And if their are any particular styles you feel suit your venue?

We cater for all weddings. I would say those who do choose Matara as their wedding venue have a very personal and emotional connection to the venue. We encourage our guests to use our space however they like to completely express themselves.

wedding at matara

How many guests can you cater for and in which style?

For the traditional sit down wedding breakfast we can cater for up to 150 and can go to 200 guests in the evening.

What makes your venue so special?

I believe Matara to be special in many different ways, however mostly we are a unique and quirky venue that seems to appeal to all different types of peoples. It’s a home from home, and allows people to have the space to share with their families for the most special day of their lives. At each wedding we do, many of the guests will take the time to tell me how relaxed they are when here, and I feel that each individual does take something away with them after visiting.

How far in advance should couples book?

Saturdays throughout the year are our most popular, following this couples go for a Friday. If you are lenient with dates we would always have availability, however if you wanted a Saturday in peak season e.g. June, July and August I would suggest booking at least 12-18 months in advance.

matara center wedding venue

Weddings at Matara Center

reception room at matara center

Are they any good spots for photographs?

Too many to name! Matara has 28 acres of parkland to explore, with a wild flower garden in the summer, a rose garden in full bloom May and June, beautiful cherry blossoms March through to April, and beautiful rich red acers come the autumn. Our grounds are forever changing, it would be dependent on the time of year you were getting married. Our 5 formal gardens have lots of sculptural aspects so even in the winter there are plenty of fantastic backdrops, and i have heard it’s a photographs dream venue with so many different areas to explore!

As the wedding planner/functions co ordinator at your venue what has been your biggest challenges as the co ordinator and what gives you the most enjoyment about your role at the venue.

What gives me the most enjoyment is being able to be a part, and play, a role in our brides and grooms special day. I really do feel honoured at every wedding I run. I also enjoy meeting all of the guests that come through and the different conversations and stories had throughout. To be honest I don’t feel I face many trying challenges, I would say mostly its knowing you are responsible for making the day run as smoothly as possible.

Any messages to couples you would like to convey?

Please come and visit us here at Matara, as you won’t believe it until you see it :)

matara center at night

Click on the link to see my favourite Matara wedding. If you are getting married at Matara Center or anywhere in the Cotswolds for this matter and looking for an experienced Cotswolds Wedding Photographer, please get in touch.


winter wedding at saxon barn

Winter wedding at Saxon Barn - Cotswolds Wedding Photographer

Saxon Barn Wedding

saxon barn wedding

Ema & Henry's epic Winter wedding at Saxon Barn had all that I love about weddings

"Martin was the first and only photographer we met with, after meeting with him there was no need to continue the search! We instantly felt at ease with him and LOVED the album and photographs he came along with to show his work. Martin came to our wedding venue to meet with us, a newly converted Saxon Barn in Leonard Stanley, Gloucestershire.

The fact that he fell in love with the venue as much as us confirmed to us that he was the photographer that we wanted! The photographs of our special day reflect exactly how perfect the day was and we cannot fault them. On the day Martin was the perfect balance of ensuring he got the photographs he/we wanted and leaving us and our families to enjoy the day. Would highly recommend Martin, especially for a Winter wedding as he is so clever at getting beautiful photographs in challenging light!"

Ema and Henry got married in December at the groom’s parents’ farm (Priory Farm), which is a beautiful farm in Leonard Stanley near Stroud. They had their ceremony at newly renovated Saxon barn, a stunning medieval barn next to Henry's family home. The couple chose Priory Farm and Saxon Barn, because they could totally personalise it and obviously didn't have to pay for the hire!

Bride & Groom got in touch with me in Spring and their enquiry really intrigued me. They said that there are getting married in a brand new venue and it would be the first wedding there! I really liked that idea as I love to photograph weddings at venues that I never photographed before. It was also great to know that I came recommended by Ema's friend whose wedding I photographed a few years back at Elmore Court in Gloucestershire.

The ceremony

The wedding itself was a humanist ceremony as the venue didn't have the wedding license yet. During the ceremony, they had several beautiful readings from friends and family. It was a beautiful way of involving everyone. The barn was decorated with candles and the wood burner was keeping everybody warm and cosy. To be honest with such a lovely rustic feel you don't need any decoration at all!

The reception

The reception was in a marquee in the afternoon, and they had a live band in the evening. The marquee was connected with another rustic farm building and was beautifully decorated by fairy lights. The effect was brilliant. The first dance was a romantic slow dance, and they finished off the evening with sparklers.

The funniest part of the day was the speeches, especially the part involving ducks (see below). They also prepared party poppers for every guest to reveal the sex of their expected baby after the speeches – it was the first time I’ve seen that at a wedding and it was amazing to capture it. Ema and Henry's wedding was so chilled and had a fun atmosphere. Here's their epic Saxon Barn wedding!

Winter wedding at Saxon Barn

Thank you to everyone who made Ema & Henry's Winter Wedding at Saxon Barn happen:

Ceremony and Reception: Saxon Barn at Priory Farm

Hair & Makeup: Feel Good Factor

Dress: Grand Jour Bridal Boutique

Band: Tommy and the Fuse

Flowers: Fleurs de Rue

Catering: Relish Event Catering

Cotswolds Wedding Photographer: Martin Dabek Photography

If you are planning tied the knot at Saxon Barn at Priory Farm or anywhere in the Cotswolds for that matter, please get in touch. I would love to hear about your wedding plans and ideas.


matara wedding photography

Matara wedding photography - Catherine & Jonni

Matara Wedding Photography

matara wedding photography

The gorgeous Matara wedding between Catherine and Jonni was one of the most amazing events I’ve ever had the pleasure to photograph for so many reasons – not the least of which is the love shared between these two beautiful people! Their joie de vivre, along with their fun and relaxed natures, made this an exceptionally fun wedding to be part of. Not to mention the music theme that they picked for their wedding, which was a perfect choice!

Matara Wedding Photographer

Catherine looked stunning in her elegant ivory dress (fun fact – it had pockets!) from Krystle Brides in Bath. The soft and flowing skirt creating a lovely silhouette, the crossover bodice enhancing her beautiful figure with a lovely beaded belt a final touch on the glamorous ensemble. Taking pictures of Catherine was just an exercise in truly getting to know how charming she truly is – as the tiny buttons up the back of her dress were fastened, she leaned out the window with smiles and greetings! Her beauty was enhanced by the talented hairstylist Hayley Tilly and makeup by Jo from Mufumakeup.

Jonni made an exceptionally handsome groom in a rich deep blue suit that fit the day perfectly – especially when he struck a James Bond pose in the bridal portraits! As he toasted his bride, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room and yet moments later everyone was rolling with laughter. During the speeches, Jonni played a song that he had written to Catherine, which had tears in many of the guests’ eyes!

Music themed wedding in the Cotswolds

Jonni and Catherine are truly perfectly suited for each other, their wit and charm and personalities so complete that it would be hard to imagine one without the other. Their wedding reception entertainment was mostly by Just 3 Harmony trio who are friends of the couple, but Jonni played with his band for a few songs during the party.

This stunning and truly unique venue in Gloucestershire is one of my absolute favorites for weddings; it really suited the couple to hold their wedding here. It has such elegance and an eclectic personality of its own, yet it never overshadows the couples who get married here – and it would have had to work overtime to overwhelm the personalities of this unconventional and charming couple.

Each couple who marries at the Matara Centre, which is part of what makes this wedding venue so unique and special, and as we watched Jonni and Catherine plant a tree, we knew as it grew, so would their love. It was a special wedding, and a truly special couple.

If you are considering Matara wedding and you like my Matara wedding photography, please don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss your requirements.

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"We married at the Matara Centre in May. Martin did our photography and he was amazing all the way through, right from our first meeting, throughout the wedding and to putting our album together afterwards. Martin was a photo ninja, he captured the most amazing moments, was genuinely excited about the day and was a pleasure to work with. The photos we ended up with were better than we could ever have imagined. We would have no hesitation recommending Martin."   -  Catherine & Jonni

Cat & Jonni's musical theme wedding was also featured on The English Wedding Blog and Easy Weddings website.


elmore court wedding photographer

Elmore Court Wedding - Lianne & David

Elmore Court Wedding Photographer

summer wedding elmore court _31

It was my first time as Elmore Court weddind photographer for Lianne and David fun Summer Wedding. A historic venue, Elmore Court is nestled in the countryside with views that overlook the Cotswolds and the River Severn. It's truly a majestic venue, and I hope to be back there very soon.

The Court has a wonderfully eclectic mix of different architecture, from Elizabethan through to Victorian and almost all of the alterations over the years were done specifically to entertain, an intention that Elmore Court team is faithfully continuing.

It was a wonderful day, surrounded by friends and family. Luckily for Lianne and David, they're friends with the owners of the venue! That meant the day had a very close, tight knit feel about it. I was thrilled to be surrounded by such love, and it really shows through in all the photographs.

 Summer wedding at Elmore Court

Putting a spin on the traditional, Lianne's dress was a stunning calf-length number, and she looked beautiful in her make up by Kate Kelvin. One of the most special parts of the day was her daughter being the one to walk her down the aisle! It's touches like this that make me so grateful to be able to do what I do. Experiencing such lovely days, each with their own unique touches, is so gratifying.

There were more cakes than I knew what to do with at the reception! Gillyflower, designed for dining and dancing at Elmore, was host to an evening of raucous fun. Perhaps the most memorable part was the Elvis impersonator, Suspiciously Elvis.

All round, Lianne and David's day was a fantastic, lively affair and I wish them all the joy in the world for their lives together.

If you are considering wedding at Elmore Court and looking for Elmore Court wedding photographer, please don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss your wedding photography requirements.

Lianne & David

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