One of the many questions I get asked all the time is, “what’s your favourite venue that you have been to?” - & it’s actually quite complicated to answer because there is a big difference between, where I like working & where I would personally choose to get married myself. As we have discovered through our own wedding planning, we didn’t want it to feel like work at all, which is very hard when we are at weddings most weekends, & have photographed at numerous venues all over the UK. There were only two that could come close for us, & both of these are in this blog. We were originally booked at one of them, but I will save our whole wedding planning story until after our big day.
There’s plenty of venues where I love to work & would recommend, down to reasons such as - how good the light is, the decor, the grounds, the staff, the food; but I have put together my top five all rounders which have elements of me loving working there & where I could also get married too, which I think definitely make them my best picks! I have only included venues in the UK (as we all know Destination is my favourite & we would be here all day if I included that), & also only venues where I have worked! There’s plenty where I would love to shoot which are still on my bucket list!
Number 1: Aynhoe Park
I don’t know where to begin with talking about Aynhoe Park. Just go on their website & that says it all. Extraordinary interiors & beautiful grounds in Banbury, Oxfordshire. I love how unique this venue is & how everywhere looks good. It’s actually very difficult to take a ‘horrible’ photo. If it rains it doesn’t matter as you will 100% want most of your photos inside anyway! There’s room for everyone to stay for the whole weekend & party until the early hours. You even get your own butler! This is definitely my favourite venue to work at, as it’s just a photographers dream creatively & the service is second to none. It would also be my number one pick to get married at, but unfortunately we didn’t have the budget for here! Have a mooch on their website & see one of my weddings there by clicking here.
Number Two: Euridge Secret Garden Orangery
This is very bitter sweet as this is where Rob & I were booked to be married. Although we are now doing the best thing for us, this venue still has a very special place in my heart. When we first saw this venue we were both blown away & just spent most of the morning dashing about like excited headless chickens. It was like we had been transported to Italy into a secret garden which nobody knew about; whereas actually we were in Chippenham near Bath! The grounds at this venue are by far the best I have EVER SEEN. This is by far the best venue for an outdoor wedding (if it’s a nice day!). You can get married outside by the lake or in the gorgeous orangery room, both of which are totally magical. What I also love about this venue is that you can do everything yourself which means you completely make it your own, with that though, comes a lot of hard work. But it would be so so worth it as this venue is nothing short of stunning. I love it as much as Aynhoe Park, it just totally depends on the style you are after & how much planning you are willing to put in. You can see one of my weddings there which was also featured on Rock my Wedding by clicking here, & I am so excited to be back there in 2019!
Number Three: Elmore Court
Elmore Court in Gloucestershire was one of the first venues I considered for Rob & I, so I just HAD TO include it. Especially as I adored working here too! I love that it has the traditional house, but also the contemporary Gillyflower for your reception & night time party. You definitely have the best of both worlds here with lots of accommodation too. It’s beautiful & timeless with gorgeous grounds surrounding the buildings meaning the photo opportunities are endless. I also found the staff to be exceptional which I think is so important when choosing a venue. If you like to party I would highly recommend this venue as the Gillyflower has a fabulous state of the art sound system & lights! You can see one of my weddings there by clicking here, this wedding was also featured in Wedding Ideas Magazine!
Number Four: Iscoyd Park
Similar to Elmore Court, Iscoyd Park in Shropshire has the luxury of a traditional house, but also a bright white garden room for the ceremony & evening reception, & also a permanent marquee for your wedding meal! This means there’s lots of space for your guests to move around & to get a variety of photos! Another amazing feature is the grounds, as again, they are like a secret garden, with some lovely little private spots for couple photos including a piano, a swing & a lake. There’s on site accommodation too - so really what more do you need? I love working at this venue as the light in the garden room is photo perfection, as you can see in the image on the left, the colour of the walls, floor & ceiling make it perfect for bouncing light but it also gets plenty of natural light flooding in. This venue has a very elegant vibe about it but I love how you can also really make it your own. This is definitely a ‘can’t go wrong’ venue, & you can see one of my recent weddings there by clicking here. See you next year Iscoyd!
Number Five: The Dairy at Waddesdon Manor
My experience at this venue was one of my favourites, definitely down to Amy & Tom. But also this unique & gorgeous setting. The Dairy is part of the Waddesdon Manor estate in Buckinghamshire surrounded by a gorgeous waterside & gardens, perfect for photos & for your guests to enjoy sitting under the lakeside pavilions - where you can also get married! Again this venue is perfect for a lovely summers day but what I found to be my favourite element was the fact we could go to Waddesdon Manor once it had closed to take some couple portraits. This means you have a very relaxed wedding, but can also get some epic shots! Just beautiful. You can see more from this wedding & the venue by clicking here.