Hedingham Castle is one of those wedding venues that's particularly inspiring for a photographer of my style. Situated in Essex, very close to the Suffolk border, the castle boasts a beautiful house and immaculate gardens but the part I particularly love is the wonderful Norman Keep: more about that below.
Hedingham Castle's medieval history and candlelit Banqueting Hall would make the perfect venue for winter weddings as well as summer.
I am lucky enough to photograph weddings at many beautiful and unique venues throughout Italy, the UK and sometimes into other European countries but every now and again, a place really stands out as being something a little different. Hedingham Castle is definitely in that category and I look forward to returning there for other weddings.
According to Hedingham Castle's own literature, the Norman Keep is 110 feet high and was built around 1140. You can get married in the Banqueting Hall which can be viewed from the Minstrel's Gallery which circles the Banqueting Hall one floor up. Imagine the photographic opportunities from such a vantage point. The light levels in the Banqueting Hall are exceptionally low but a good professional photographer should be capable of magical results in there, and importantly, without blasting everyone unnecessarily with flash!
A wedding venue that offers beautiful rooms in which to prepare, a short walk to your ceremony venue and a quick hop back to your reception location can take the stress out of your day in so many ways. You don't have to consider transport and the costs involved. Your guests can rest at ease knowing that they only have to find one place and they can potentially stay-over.
Also, your photographer can relax, knowing that they don't have to dash off early to find good parking spots ahead of the Bride! A winning idea all round.
The Castle is made up of the Main House, The Cottage and The Lodge. All are available for hire for your wedding weekend and each has its own unique history.
The Bridal Suite in the Main House is a brilliant size and looks onto the main garden and lake. Perfect.
"After a recommendation from a friend, we arrived at Hedingham castle on a rainy day in October. Although the weather couldn't have been worse, the venue was so special that after our first look we decided to book it for our wedding the following summer! With both the historic castle keep and the beautiful Georgian house available to celebrate in, we planned the wedding of our dreams with help from the wonderful team of staff. They were a pleasure to work with and offered guidance and support from start to finish."
Chris & Natasha Married at Hedingham Castle, September 2011
Hedingham Castle provides the photographer with lots of different back-drops, architecture and interesting 'light' environments for variety. For couples who like their photographer to 'create' images, it's perfect. After the ceremony, enjoy the space surrounding the Keep before heading back over the footbridge to the main house and the stunning gardens. If your wedding party is large you have the option of a marquee too.
So many plus points to this great venue but again, purely from a wedding photographer's point of view, I must mention the wonderful light in the main house's lounge. A beautiful staircase brings you down into the lounge which gave me the opportunity to photograph from several angles.
The two photographs here on the right were taken within seconds of each other and illustrate exactly what I mean. I was so lucky to have time to photograph the Bride alone in this lovely room and also with her Bridesmaids and Flower Girls afterwards.
So, Hedingham Castle is a great option for being self-contained, a wonderfully historic and very unique ceremony venue, stunning light in the main house and then there's also the garden. Look left - what more can I say! You'll have lots of options to personalise your big day and you can take it from me that your chosen photographer will be over the moon and won't want to go home at the end of the day!
Finally, just to say that Hedingham haven't paid me to write this! In fact, I told them how much I loved their venue and asked if they would be happy to recommend me. They were very happy to do so but requested a commission per wedding. I turned down their offer as I strongly believe that wedding services should be recommended on merit and not as a result of the commission that they're prepared to pay.