OK so I feel a little like I’m coming out of the winter months, all “Miss Haversham” Style, dusting off my cobwebs and getting ready for the next wedding season. Although people do get married over the winter, the summer in the UK is where its at for most weddings, even though our summers are becoming less and less reliable. Finding the perfect wedding venue for your special day that honours the two of you, and also making sure its big enough, relevant enough and also takes into account your wedding photography, is a hard job! I recently had a client ask me if I had a list of some of my favourites in my years of experience. I suppose I do.. Not all of them are in the UK and its in no way a generic list of “The best places to have your wedding photography shot”. This list takes into account relevance to the couple, space, partying and a sprinkle of romance. If Im being honest, it matters not where a couple marries in the eyes of a wedding photographer, all that matters is the couple, how much in love they are, the families and friends who surround them and most importantly the dress! Ha! Only kidding! (Ok, it is a little important to me- its exciting!) Its about photographing a lovely wedding in a beautiful place… That said, lets see my list of few places- some of which Id like to have my own party in…
1. Fulham Palace– The perfect feeling of good old “London” and yet also perfectly “countryside”. The palace is nestled in a green part of Fulham near Putney and the Church on Putney Bridge is just a small walk through some woods into the Palace. SO perfect for photography, everyone outside for as long as possible, relaxed, no stress travel between venues and the most beautiful backdrop to photograph the couple in. Big Love.
2. Castle Hill Inn– Newport Rhode Island USA- Amazing views of the bay from the Lighthouse which is in the grounds of the Inn, so many nooks and crannies to take portraits in at this venue, an amazing marquee with glass sides.. a total dream to photograph.
3. In the woods. Theres something to be said for being in natural surroundings. I find that even when in the most urban of environments I’m asked to find that little bit of green to take the portraits in, so why not just have the whole wedding in the woods?! Theres so many places that will cater for this, in the UK or abroad so get googling (or ask us!) because if you really want it to happen, it will.
4. London. Aaaahhhh. London, we LOVE you. Whether its good old Chelsea Register office or Marelybone Town Hall, we love a London wedding. Urban, cool, timeless and if it means something to the couple then so worth making the effort to organise. Transport can be tough sometimes so order your Routemaster to get your guests to the reception, and don’t forget a bucket full of champagne to see them on their way!
5. Brympton House in Yeovil, Somerset. When we first shot someones wedding photography here, we were smitten as soon as we drove along the gravel driveway towards the spectacular house. Enough space for all your guests, a front lawn to die for, a back lawn to picnic on and the most romantic shabby chic wedding breakfast room. Finish it all off with marshmallows by the orangery and a dance, and you’re done.. Perfection all in one place.
6. Tuscany. Come on, don’t tell me you haven’t thought about it at least once? Choosing to get wed abroad is a risky one for the “big family” types but if you manage it carefully, it can be so rewarding. Italy’s Tuscany is one of the most beautiful places to get married, the weather, the food, the hospitality.. The Photographers (if you take us with you!) will be very happy, you’re guaranteed a set of stunning images with the backdrop of a movie…
7. A good old British pub. I did it and so many have. You’re guaranteed to have a good time, pork scratchings and all, and the older generation will be happy if they like a pint. Theres something perfectly romantic about sitting at the bar in a country pub in your wedding dress. Oxymoron maybe but perfect for the photography! We had Sausage and mash at our wedding, and beer. And everyone was happy.
8. At home. If your parents have space, and don’t mind their grass being flattened for a day or so, then stick up a teepee, marquee or whatever other contraption you’d like to party in and do it. Save a few pennies and create some new memories in an already special place. That moment when his little girl walks down the garden path towards an aisle in the same garden she played in as a child, the Dads are always happy. The Mums always end up in their own kitchen making a cuppa late at night too. We always catch them
9. Waston’s Bay, Sydney, Australia. For sea and sun lovers, its seriously one of the most beautiful places I have shot wedding photography in. Watson’s Bay hotel to get ready in, a local church , the view from the lighthouse, the beach, the park, its a photographers dream and watching the sunset on the beach, perfect for everyone at the wedding.
10. PennyHill Park in Surrey. We have a soft spot for Pennyhill. Not sure why, its just so well organised for weddings, grand rooms, wonderful grounds and secret little spots which are perfect for great portraits. All the couples we have shot there seem to be happy and we’ve loved the food!!
This is really just a small handful, we could go on forever but there’s not enough time or blogspace to do so .. Please let us know if you would like to see any more of our venues and our opinions on the photographic opportunities at them…