Weddings are bread and butter work for many photographers but there are some venues that deserve a place on any professional’s bucket list. Here are five of the best.
The castle: If you’re a professional photographer dreaming of the ideal wedding venue in which to work, there can be no finer locations than Leeds Castle in Kent.
From the 500 acres of stunning parkland and gardens to the views towards the towers and turrets of the 900-year-old castle and, of course, the reflections in the moat, this is photography heaven no matter what your snapping style. Find out more about the location on the Visit Kent website at visitkent.co.uk/attractions/leeds-castle/8205.
The manor: Want a venue with more shot choices than you could shake a bridal bouquet at? Dorney Court in Berkshire is the place to be. This Tudor manor house is a traditional yet informal venue that boasts lots of classic leaded windows and decorative chimneys.
For outside photography, the ancient yew trees provide a stunning garden backdrop, as does the adjacent Norman church and the imposing outline of Windsor Castle. Find other photographic opportunities in Berkshire on The Beautiful South website at visitsoutheastengland.com/places-to-visit/berkshire.
The mill: Sopley Mill near Christchurch in Dorset is a stunning watermill dating back to the 18th century. It was a tenanted restaurant until 2011 but has now been opened as a spectacular wedding venue by the family that has owned it for more than 150 years.
Professional snappers in the area, such as Bournemouth Wedding Photographer Nick Rutter, frequently make the most of the views across the water meadows of Avon, especially during the warmer months. In winter, however, a Bournemouth wedding photographer is likely to be as drawn to the cosy log fires and be lured by the intimate atmosphere they help to create.
The Gothic choice: Imagine the contrast of a beautiful bride next to a gurning gargoyle or a theatrical curved stairway shot? Carlton Towers in North Yorkshire would allow your photographic imagination to run wild, offering a vast array of locations and settings. This is a wedding venue where you’re likely to find it difficult to decide on which shots to pick.
There are battlements, turrets and coats and arms, not to mention a spectacular sweeping staircase leading to the door. The clock tower is both dramatic and imposing, whilst the Gothic exterior makes it a truly unique wedding venue.
The Gherkin: Why have just one building forming the backdrop of your pictures when you could choose to have the whole of England’s capital city? London sprawls 180m below the Gherkin’s glass dome, which offers an incredible 360 degree viewpoint.
This is a photographer’s dream by night as well as by day. It is a spectacular location for sunset shots, not to mention those of twinkling stars in the night sky. If you’ve ever struggled with injecting some romance into your wedding shots, particularly at evening events when the bar seems to appeal more to guests than posing for photographs, then you have obviously never been called on to work in this particularly venue. The scene is nothing short of majestic – as long as the clouds stay away.