Wedding Venues

couple laugh by tree at Fanhams Hall wedding in Hertfordshire

Great Hertfordshire wedding venues to consider for your ceremonies and receptions

By | Barnet Wedding Photographers, London Wedding Photographer, Wedding Venues | No Comments

When it comes to counties with great wedding venues for both ceremonies and receptions, few can beat Hertfordshire! The sheer range of quality and choice is almost overwhelming.

Whenever we are booked for a wedding, whether that is in the home counties or central London, we always make a point of asking which other venues couples had a look at. You could call it professional curiosity, or just plain nosey, but we love to know that people value and why!

Funky photo of wedding party at Fanhams Hall Hertfordshire

As far as this post is concerned we are going to concentrate solely on venues in Hertfordshire. We will post some photos we have taken in those places, and where relevant include links to previous articles and wedding days we have featured at them.

We have no vested interest in these suggestions as we don’t pay to be on anyones recommended supplier list. So many times in initial enquiries we hear a similar story, a couple quite naturally has checked out a venues list of preferred suppliers first and then cast their net wider perhaps unconvinced at what they find. Our experience from speaking to most venues is that if you pay them per year you will be featured, which is hardly an independent recommendation! Thank you to Google for making this optional for wedding photographers and brides and grooms to be 🙂

Ok so on to our personal take on some of the lovely Hertfordshire wedding venues we have worked at, and in no particular order:

Fanhams Hall

It is a rare couple looking for quality in Hertfordshire that will not have had Fanhams Hall on their bucket list of places to consider for their wedding. We have photographed there countless times, and whatever the weather have never ever had a dull day.

Confetti throw at Fanhams Hall wedding

Both inside and outside of Fanhams has so much depth and variety in terms of locations and ambience a good photographer is spoilt for choice. From wonderful themed gardens with fountains, walls, bridges and pagodas to elegant internal stair cases and grand receptions rooms and more. Don’t take the rather boring and old fashioned wedding albums on display there as too much indication of what can be achieved! Fanhams Hall as a premier Hertfordshire wedding venue never disappoints.

super wide shot at Fanhams Hall wedding

Take a look at a recent Fanhams Hall wedding from ourselves here: Fanhams Hall Wedding Photographers, with laughter love and fun in the sun!

and here too: Another fabulous Fanhams Hall wedding day in sunny Hertfordshire

Offley Place

Offley Place is a gem of a venue lying on the border of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. It has a lovely large conservatory dedicated for the provision of wedding ceremonies, which then gets turned around during the drinks reception ready for any ensuing wedding breakfast. The grounds are nice and mature with plenty of nooks and crannies for interesting photography, and the classic 17th century manor house interiors are also pretty for extras shots, or in case of inclement weather.

wedding couple on bench at Offley Place Hertfordshire

Here’s one of our wedding days at Offley on the blog: Offley Place wedding photography. It’s not London, it’s the Hertfordshire Bedfordshire border

Groom and best man at London wedding photo

Wedding recessional photo Offley Place

Shendish Manor

Shendish manor is a very versatile wedding venue, and is able to cater to both small and large numbers of guests. The last time we were there the large scale ceremony was held outside in the grounds, and the reception inside. The hotel itself is set in 160 acres of gardens and parkland, and of course it has it’s own golf course, a bonus for those addicted to the sport! Historically there has been a manor house on the site since the 1300’s with most of todays buildings dating from the early Victorian age.

Jewish dancing at Shendish Manor wedding reception

Outdoor Jewish wedding ceremony at Shendish Manor

Of course with so many venues in Hertfordshire this can never be a truly comprehensive list, but we just wanted to highlight some of our favourites. Other locations that we regularly photograph in that are worthy consideration are: West Lodge Park, Theobalds Park, Hatfield House, Knebworth House and barn, Brockett Hall and Moor Park.

Bride and groom kiss after Shendish Manor wedding

By David Green

Bride looks out of window at her Shendish Manor wedding

Fun group shot at Lords Cricket Ground Wedding

London’s best wedding venues that are both iconic and alternative

By | Barnet Wedding Photographers, London Wedding Photographer, Wedding Venues | No Comments

We feel pretty sure many an excited pair of hands has typed the words ‘London’s best wedding venues’ into a google search looking for inspiration and ideas for their big day. I know we did! After more than ten years as wedding photographers in and around the capital we’ve worked at a huge amount of them, so we feel qualified to give something of an inside view.

We have picked five of what we consider to be the best London wedding venues for both their iconic value, and also their quirkiness and ability to add an extra measure of “memorable” to your day.

London eye engagement photo silhouette

We have not been paid anything to favour any particular venue, or received favours in return, and what may also be obvious but is worth stating, is that what may be the “best” for one couple and their families may not be right for another. We’ve also added a sixth recommendation as a wild-card.

Of course there is nothing wrong in picking a classic London Hotel venue such as The Dorchester, Savoy or Claridges for a wedding day, or more boutique hotels such as The Goring or Brown’s. We photograph at these all the time, and they are all great in themselves. So too are dedicated venues and manor houses, golf retreats and the like around the home counties. However the focus of this article is fantastic alternatives around central London.

So here we go, in no particular order, and with our wild-card choice at the end. All photos are ours, with relevant links to previous posts by ourselves from wedding days there.

The Official London Eye

Opened on the very last day of the previous millennium, 31st December 1999, the London Eye has quickly become one of the most iconic and visited sites on the capital’s skyline. Standing at a height of 135 metres it is an unbelievably imposing piece of architecture leaning over the Thames on the Southbank. Great news is that its capsules are licensed to host civil wedding ceremonies and drinks receptions.

London Eye wedding photographers coca cola kiss photo

For a couple planning their wedding on the wheel they can expect VIP treatment and personal coordinators to look after their every need. Proceedings usually start with the wedding party assembling in the Eye Lounge across the way for some champagne and nibbles, and then when the time comes a fast track escort to their private capsule.

Bride and groom walking to their London Eye Wedding ceremony

The inside with be decorated with flowers, and registrars will be there waiting to greet you. For the first cycle of the wheel the wedding ceremony and register signing will commence. For a second cycle its time for a traditional drinks reception. We have absolutely loved every wedding we have photographed on the London Eye, and of course so have all the brides and grooms! You don’t get much more memorable than this.

Here is a recent wedding there from the blog: London Eye Wedding Photographers Time Out Recommended

London Zoo Weddings

Probably no one has photographed more London Zoo weddings than we have. One of the many great things about a big day at the zoo is that you have a choice of venues for both the ceremony and reception. For larger gatherings there is the Prince Albert Suite which can cater for between 80 to 240 guests. For a more intimate affair there’s the Mappin Pavilion for groups of between 45 to 80.

London Zoo wedding photographers couple outside Reptile House image

The catering and general service from the staff is absolutely excellent, some of the best we have ever experienced. As part of their packages your wedding party can have free time around the zoo to explore between the drinks receptions and wedding breakfasts, and you can build in extra experience such as time with meerkats, or exclusive access to the wonderful carousel. Come rain or shine there is always plenty to see, do and photograph.

London Zoo wedding at the penguin pool

Check out our latest London Zoo wedding on the blog here: London Zoo Wedding Photographers Time Out Recommended

Weddings at Lord’s Cricket Ground

Fun group shot at Lords Cricket Ground Wedding

We don’t think you necessarily have to be a cricket fan to enjoy a wedding day at one of England’s most famous and historic sporting grounds. It has everything you need for a fantastic day, from a grand and elegant ceremony in the famous Long Room, to excellent service and various locations for your drinks receptions. Guests can take a fascinating tour onsite of the history of cricket, and there are plenty of areas for photo opportunities. Depending on the size and requirements for your wedding breakfast you can have The Long Room turned around, or walk over to the nearby dedicated Thomas Lord Suite to eat and then party the night away in style.

Wedding ceremony longroom Lords

Read about our latest Lord’s Cricket Ground wedding here: Another great wedding at Lord’s Cricket Ground

Tower Bridge Weddings

Tower Bridge is probably about as iconic as you can get if you think “London.” Since it’s completion in 1894 it has come to be a symbol of the power and beauty of the capital. The wonderful news of course is that you can get both your wedding ceremony and reception on there, with a choice of  locations, all of which we have of course photographed in.

Tower Bridge wedding ceremony photo

The main venue is the North Tower Lounge, with the ability to use the walkways for yourselves and guests too. There is a special bonus for the wedding couple and their photographer, in that they can go right to the top of the tower and photograph on the parapets with it’s great views across The Tower of London and the Thames. It certainly gives me a nice dose of vertigo everytime!

Wedding couple inside Tower Bridge

You can choose the Victorian Engine Rooms for a wonderfully quirky and alternative reception too.

And from the blog here is a typical Tower Bridge wedding: Tower Bridge Wedding – The inside story

Weddings at The Gherkin

Modern chic and very tall, a wedding at The Gherkin, or 30 St Mary Axe as it is also known, is as unforgettable as the fabulous building itself. Run by Searcy’s, your ceremony will be surrounded by glass steel and incredible views of London that literally have to be seen to be believed.

London Gherkin wedding kiss black and white image

Every time we work there it feels like an honour, what it must feel like for a bride and groom must be truly incredible. Never mind that you are marrying the love of your life, just a glance out of the window at the same time is guaranteed to provoke an extra sense of awe! Impeccable service and attention to detail comes as standard there, and epic is pretty much the name of the game at The Gherkin.


Here’s an example from the blog once again: Gherkin Wedding Photographer

Well there you have our top five picks for London’s Best Wedding Venues, but we wanted to add in an outside wild-card too, because this place is so alternative and quirky it is absolutely definitely worth a look and some research in your wedding planning.

Here it is:

Islington Metal Works weddings

Tucked away behind Angel station in north London is a hidden wedding venue gem in the shape of Islington’s Metal Works. It’s not famous in the sense of the other wedding venues, but what it lacks in fame it makes up for in terms of character quirkiness and sense of fun. Surprise surprise it used to me a metal works, but now it’s a music and event venue and has great spaces for your drinks reception and wedding breakfast. Guaranteed to be memorable, we urge you to consider it if you are looking for something a little different from the norm.

Bridesmaids sit on tank again at London Islington wedding day image

Read about a typical wedding there on the link here: Islington Metal Works wedding day starting at Hampstead’s St Stephen’s church

Couple photo from Islington Metal Works wedding

couple's first dance at Islington Metalworks wedding

Well we hope that was helpful! Feel free to get in touch.

By David Green

Essenden Country Club wedding photographers couple shot

Another lovely Google review from an Essendon Country Club wedding day

By | Barnet Wedding Photographers, London Wedding Photographers, Wedding Venues | No Comments

Thank you so much Zoe and Marina for your lovely google review, after your fabulous Essendon Country Club wedding. Working on your storybook album this week 🙂

Review and full text below:

“Thank you so much to David and Joanna for capturing our special day. One of the main reasons we chose to go with David and Joanna was their ability and talent to capture the moment and use the lighting in a way we saw no one else do. Believe me we carried out our research and Big Day Weddings was our first choice. We had a great time getting to know them both and David kept us laughing all the way through the day. We highly recommend Big Day Weddings to capture your special day in the most uniquely beautiful way.”

By David Green

Couple dance and laugh at Connaught Rooms wedding reception

The grandest of days for a Grand Connaught Rooms wedding in central London

By | Barnet Wedding Photographers, London Wedding Photographer, Wedding Venues | No Comments

To say we love what we do, and the variety of what we photograph in a wedding day would be an understatement. This dramatic and culturally fascinating Grand Connaught Rooms wedding in central London was a prime example. For  start this was the second wedding in just a few months that we have photographed the happy couple at! First was a civil ceremony for close friends and family at Chelsea Old Town Hall, which was fab. This particular big day though was a traditional Persian affair honouring both sides of the families heritage and values.

Bride gets ready at Connaught Rooms London wedding prep

Groom gets ready in mirror for Connaught Rooms London wedding day

We are proud of the fact that we can shoot in a variety of styles and approaches. This particular central London wedding we would describe as traditional mixed with documentary. It was not about quirky or breaking the mould, we do plenty of those a year, it was about giving the couple and their family what THEY wanted. For a Persian ceremony the wedding table know as “Sofreh Aghd” is central and very important, so instead of bridal prep we spent the beginning of the day photographing this and the Grand Hall of the Connaught Rooms in great detail.

Bride and groom walk through London park after Connaught Rooms wedding

Very convenient for the Connaught Rooms on Great Queen Street is the fact that the Kingsway Hall Hotel is next door and this is where the couple got ready separately for their special day. For a Persian wedding the prep photos are about the finished result and not the process itself as would be normal for reportage coverage.

Bride and groom on stairs at London Connaught Rooms wedding day

So although much of the events are quite controlled and “staged”, for experienced documentary photographers like ourselves there is plenty of unscripted emotion and action from bride groom and guests to keep us very busy for the entire eleven hours!

Persian wedding ceremony exchange of rings Connaught Rooms London

We estimated about three hundred and fifty guests, so a fairly large affair but something the Grand Connaught Rooms is designed for. It’s history dates from about 1774 and it has hosted a great many large and prestigious events in its time.

Persian wedding kiss London Connaught Rooms ceremony

Once all the day guests were assembled around the wedding table and the string quartet began to play bride and dad made their grand entrance and the wedding ceremony began in earnest.

Bride and groom laughing in London Park near Grand Connaught Rooms

After that out came the drinks and canapés for the guests, and for me (David) a very large amount of formal photographs around the”Sofreh Aghd”. This was a traditional affair though and this was the brief. So many people had travelled form far and wide to attend it was important for the family to document that. I know a lot of photographers who would have palpitations at the thought, but I had a good time with the guests and that shows in the final result.

Bride groom and wedding car outside the Grand Connaught Rooms London

Typical for England it was on and off a pretty rainy day, so although much of the action took place indoors we had a twenty five minute time slot to get some shots nearby in a local park. I went with the couple in their lovely vintage car but we spent twenty minutes of our time in traffic! I made that five minutes in the park really count though 🙂 During this time Joanna busied herself capturing the action in and around the drinks reception.

Tossing the bouquet at Connaught Rooms wedding reception

The wedding breakfast at this De Vere owned and run location was a particular grand and lavish affair. And what followed were some more Persian traditions after speeches and first dance. I particularly enjoyed the wedding cake celebration, also known as the Persian knife dance.

First dance atGrand Connaught Rooms wedding image 2

This involves various guests dancing with the cake knife in front of the couple and accepting money (a kind of bribe if you like) in order to give the knife back so the couple can actually cut their cake. Most amusing as nobody gave them the knife for quite some time. Then we had a famous Persian singer make a surprise guest appearance, and lots of very exuberant dancing late late into the night.

String quartet plays at Connaught Rooms wedding reception

Image wise I’ve put a couple of personal favourites in here, the couple stealing a kiss while they practised their wedding dance, and the groom on the phone in the park telling the car driver “get us back quick!” while myself and the bride share a little joke.

A grand day all round at The Grand Connaught Rooms.

By David Green

Google review for Big Day Weddings London photographers

Another fantastic Google review just in, Dickens Inn St Katherine Dock & Tower Bridge

By | London venues and events, Wedding Venues | No Comments

It is such a lovely email to receive when we get a notification from Google that says there’s another 5 star review on the web. This one from Amy and Heechan’s wedding at Dickens Inn St Katherine Dock and Tower Bridge came in just yesterday. Thank you so much, it’s one greatest of the rewards of being a wedding photographer. It’s appeared on both Google and Hitched, and here it is:

“For other couples waiting for their wedding ceremony out there, we think we did the “hard job” of researching photographers for you. Just go straight to the website and message Joanna and David. Thank you so much both of you for your prompt replies from the beginning to considerate phone calls to build up to what was simply a dream come true! Your dedication, enthusiasm, creativity, attention to detail, knowledge of the area around the ceremony, stamina, patience seen in each of the thousand pictures blew our mind away. The ones you chose to put effects into were perfect! We particularly loved the way you both had ideas around the venue/surroundings and took turns to take leads – please keep this up the photos say the same! Thank you for all your hard work we really appreciate them and shame we can’t give anything more than 5 out of 5. All the very best, Heechan and Amy”