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My favourite Wedding Venues for 2023 & 2024 in the South of England

Updated: Feb 8, 2023

I'm based in the beautiful New Forest in the south of England. I've been a wedding photographer for 7 years and have photographed hundreds of weddings in that time, mostly in Hampshire, Dorset, Surrey and Sussex. As you can imagine I have come across some stunning venues and I often get asked for my venue recommendations as a photographer. In no particular order here are my recommendations and my reasons why...

This gem of a venue is perfect for those summer weddings. You will definitely want to make use of the beautiful grounds. Ensconced in greenery, secret paths, hedges and trees adorn the estate whilst peacocks strut majestically. The most iconic feature of this venue is the stunning stage/ outdoor theatre with it's hand painted mural. Larmer tree is the perfect summer venue and if you are thinking about having a festival wedding, the stage is there already and will add grandeur to your special day. There are also plenty of arbors and a Roman temple, perfect for photos. A beautifully lit winding path makes the perfect spot for sparklers!

Situated in the picturesque Georgian market town of Lymington, Elmers Court is a beautiful wedding venue with lots of character. If you have guests coming from further afield, Elmers Court can accommodate your guests, and is perfectly located if they want to extend their weekend and explore what's on offer in the new forest and Lymington. The regal interior, features panelled walls and tall ceilings whilst outside is perfect for summer weddings. The rolling lawn provides a stunning vista of the Lymington water. Throughout the spring and summer months the gardens are abundant in beautiful vibrant flowers. Nothing is too much trouble for the staff. You're in safe hands with the excellent events and front of house team. If you need a venue to host the entire day from bridal prep to first dance, and you also need somewhere for your guests to stay, Elmers court offers all of this.

I had the pleasure of photographing one of my best friend's wedding at this truly unique venue. I was very excited, as I knew the moon gate (pictured above) would make a magical picture. The greenhouse when decorated and laid out for the reception was like nothing I have seen before. The mix of beautiful flora and stunning natural light makes this venue a gardener's dream and a photographer's paradise. If you want to see more from this wedding, it featured n the prestigious, Rock my wedding.

Parley Manor is an enchanting Georgian manor house nestled in 4 acres of parkland and located in Dorset not far from Bournemouth Airport.

If you decide to have your bridal prep on site, the venue has a beautiful cottage that will perfectly suit your needs. Completely self-contained and with all the amenities required, it makes Parley Manor a perfect venue for those wishing to have the entire wedding from start to finish in one place.

There is a great area to the side of the house which can be used for the big group shot. Just ensure that if you choose this venue, your photographer is not afraid of heights l, and is amenable to signing a waiver, as this will be required when climbing on the roof from one of the bedroom windows to achieve the perfect group shot.

The grounds are a real focal point, adorned with flowers and areas of interest such as statues, bridges and benches which make stunning photographs. There is also a cornfield on the grounds which is great for couples shots.

The area where the ceremony is held is beautifully unique with it's roman inspired columns and drapery and the whole area lets in a lot of natural light.

The marquee, where the reception is held, is great for natural light and for bouncing light later on in the evening so there is no need for your photographer to bring lots of extra cumbersome lighting equipment.

Only last year I discovered a new venue. The gardens at Rownhams House are a photographer's dream. There are so many areas of interest that would make a spectacular photography backdrop. The entire gardens e blooming with fantastic flowers in the spring time. When I photographed Tamali & Joe's wedding the venue's private wood was teaming with daffodils and so many beautiful spring flowers blossomed among the trees.

Farbridge is a beautiful venue located in in the rolling downlands of the South Downs National Park. The bridal suite is perfect for those bridal preparation pictures. Plenty of space and beautifully decorated. A private courtyard abuts the bridal suite, great for some alone time later, a couples shoot and touching father daughter moments. The main barn is where the reception takes place and is spacious and kitted out with a bar. Just off the main barn is a smaller barn where the ceremony takes place. This is often where the dance floor is situated and the low white ceilings in the smaller barn make it great for flash photography, so those first dance photos will look beautiful. To see more of this venue check out Ypur Sussex wedding magazine where my work features!

Weddings in the wood is located in the heart of the new forest. Recently the venue began holding weddings in a new location outside in the forest and I was one of the first to photograph this new location. The woodland wedding was just whimsical and reminiscent of Edward and Bella's wedding in the movie, Twilight. This one is definitely a summer venue as its main appeal is the beautiful outdoor setting of the ceremony.

Highcliffe castle has undergone restoration and a face lift over the last few years. The castle has a fairytale atheistic and is also set just above a beautiful beach. What more could you want? I have photographed few weddings at this venue, and am still struck by the beautiful ceremony room. Tall ceilings and glass window make the light ideal for photographs. The grounds are very pretty and include a mini hedge maze which is fun for the kids. The banquet room has a cozy feel and is always beautifully decorated with a separate room for the dance floor for those guests wishing to boogie the night away.

Northbrook Park is massively popular. I photographed two weddings here within the space of two weeks. This is definitely a favourite of mine as the ceremony room has the wow factor and the grounds are packed with so many beautiful locations for coupes photo. At golden hour the light hits in all the right places.

If you are considering this venue, I would definitely recommend the bridal apartment for the bridal prep as opposed to the on-site accommodation. The bridal apartment boasts a beautiful bathroom and a light an airy bedroom with a four poster bed. The on-site accommodation is great for guests but they are generally darker for photographs and the bedroom can be a squeeze, making capturing shots of the bride getting ready quite tricky.

The reception room is spacious and has plenty of room for the dance floor. There is a pretty, private garden adjacent to the reception venue and majestic peacocks roam the grounds.

In all my years photographing weddings I have never seen such spectacular grounds than the grounds at Mapperton House in Dorchester. I lucked out with this venue and this beautiful couple. The venue is a feast for the eyes, enveloped in greenery, colourful flora, and beautiful water features. On top of this there is a beautiful orangery and many stone nooks and hideaways.

The private cottage for bridal prep located on the grounds is surprisingly spacious and perfect for those bridal prep shots.

The wedding ceremony I photographed here was held in the main garden with the bride and groom saying their vows under the gazebo.

The wedding reception took place in the beautiful barn. The tall ceilings and rustic brick walls made for a spectacular venue and the large windows cast a beautiful natural light upon the reception.

Wotton house was originally the home of a botanist and arboriculture expert and that is clearly seen in the design of the spectacular gardens. This venue boasts serval gardens Grecian style temples, a cave, water features and more. In fact, there are so many features and focal points that make for gorgeous photography backdrops that I found myself spoilt for choice when I photographed this venue. The inside is equally impressive with the unforgettable library - ceremony room which is so striking owing to it's opulent pillars and arches.


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