How to make the most of a large wedding venue in your photos

I’m such a lucky duck to have so many amazing country house wedding venues within a bouquet’s toss of home. Places like Boughton House, Fawsley Hall, Holdenby House, Kelmarsh Hall…  I love them all.

It’s a dream to photograph weddings at these venues. They’re bursting with amazing architecture, gorgeous gardens and sprawling grounds. Which means I’m never short of inspiration.

I won’t list the potential photos because I’m sure you’ve got that covered for both of us. So let’s just say it’s an insatiable list.

And the fact you just might have been in an unrealistic optimistic frame of mind when you thought about all the possible places you could have photos… well, that won’t stop you from having a jolly good go at ticking it all off.

Because this is your home for the day. You want to remember every tiny thing about it. You want photos everywhere.

But there’s just one problem…


Because you don’t want to spend all day posing. There’s champagne to drink, doughnuts to devour, sack races to win…

Bride and groom walking through field with church in shot

So, how are you going to get the max out of your venue in your photos?

Six steps to make the most of your wedding venue in your photos

1. Mix up your formal photo locations

Remember I’ll show off your venue in your natural photos as well as your formal ones. That means we can cover more ground by doing your group photos and portraits in places that won’t make an appearance elsewhere in the day, like during your ceremony, drinks reception, or dinner.

2. Create drinks reception ‘zones’

Guests often naturally congregate in one spot, which makes it tricky to use a variety of backgrounds. But you can encourage everyone to move around and spread out by designating different areas for different things; like a games area, a drinks station, a music base, a snack corner…

3. Transform the transitional areas

Even the alleys, corridors and walkways tend to be photogenic in country house wedding venues. So rather than just (literally) pass them by, why not allow them into your photos by throwing confetti, tossing your bouquet or greeting guests as you go?

4. Give your photographer a break

While you enjoy dinner, I’ll take time out to go for a walk, explore your venue, and photograph things that catch my eye along the way. It’s super special to have sprawling country house gardens to yourself, with no-one else around to disturb the peace – or get in your photos.

5. Plan your portraits like a pro

You have two options. 1) Channel Anneka Rice, race from place to place, and see how many locations you can unlock in under 30 minutes. Or 2) Plan two or three short sessions through the course of the day, each in a different location.

6. Throw out the rule book

Who says you shouldn’t see each other before the ceremony? Or that portraits have to be done on the wedding day? If tradition isn’t important to you, open up even more possibilities with a parting portrait at night, a first look, or a day-after photoshoot.

Couple walking under arch carved with decorative family crests

But of course, whatever you do, be practical. Your guests won’t thank you for a half-mile hike in their best shoes for the group pics nor will your caterers appreciate the chaos of serving dinner at the furthest point from the kitchen!

Want to know what it’s like to have me capture your wedding?

Find out more about how I’ll fit photography into your wedding (rather than your wedding into the photography).

Or find out what past couples say about their experience

Want to read more photography-related venue guides?