My Favourite Venues & Locations Pt1
I’ve been living in Surrey now for over 10 years – nearly as long as I’ve been a Wedding Photographer Surrey. It wasn’t the reason I moved away from London – in fact I was nervous about re-locating because I’d already had a good amount of success photographing weddings in London and the surrounding areas and in some ways it was (or at least it felt like it at the time) hard to imagine almost starting up again in a new area. As it turned out there wasn’t anything to worry about and I’ve been photographing more gorgeous weddings in London than ever. By the time I settled in Godalming I’d already kind of hit the ground running and I’ve been a busy wedding photographer since, and never looked back.
I’ve always liked to go against the trends a little, and it’s suited me really well. For example, it can seem like everyone is a destination wedding photographer these days – I’m just not. I’ve been asked to travel, and it’s true that I used to move around a fair bit, but in actual fact I think I prefer to keep it relatively local to where I live.
And that’s more liberating than you might think.
Keeping it local fits well with my family – if I’m not too far from home then I’m not stressed, and I’m more in the moment. I sometimes think of other photographers travelling in and out of the big city, or up and down the motorway, and I’ve done it to death, so I know it’s not for me. It’s OK that it’s OK for them, but it’s not for me. Keeping it local (and when I say Local I don’t just mean my village! – I mean Surrey, Hampshire, Sussex, and Dorset) means that I can really focus my business and creativity, and because I’ve built up my business this way it has generally meant that I’m working with the venues that recommend me. I’ve purposefully kept the list small so that I can not spread myself too thin, so to speak.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s not that I don’t or won’t travel. If it’s the right wedding – if your story has to be told by me and everything fits, then I just have to pack a bag and get into it. Sometimes it’s not my choice. Sometimes it’s the universe. And for the record, no – I don’t only shoot the venues featured here! That would be ridiculous!
My 3 top venues are also among the closest to me – I live a stone’s throw from Loseley Park, and really just around the corner from Gate Street Barn and Ramster Hall. I can’t have a favourite! – I really do love these three venues for the fact that they offer something different. Something special, and now it’s gone beyond just being the photographer at the venue. The venues have become a part of me by now too. They’re part of my story, and I get to see how important a sense of story and place is to the couples who get married there.
It’s a lovely big circle of life thing – and I work super hard to make sure that I can focus on this way of working.
One of the joys of being a Wedding Photographer Surrey has been the opportunity to easily get to some amazing and beautiful venues. I’ve been lucky in that my style of photography really fits into these often typically English country houses and barns, and is adaptable to garden parties, golf clubs, and all sorts of other spaces. I still really love being invited to a glamorous London Wedding, location hopping and ending up at a favourite pub. One day I can be at Loseley Park in Guildford, and the next I’m at Foxhills, then on to a pub in North London the following weekend.
Godalming, where I live now, is a superb base point enabling me to get around much of the South East and into Sussex, Dorset, Devon, and in fact all over the UK. I’m a stone’s throw from the Hampshire borders where I tend to shoot quite a lot. Northbrook Park is a regular haunt – I’ve had some amazing times there and seen some awesome weddings. It’s always been a place of big ceremony and the space lends itself to being a great, intimate location to party. We’ve had fireworks, Nigerian festival, Chinese Lanterns, and some of the best live music in the business. If Northbrook Park is not yet on your list, then why not?!
Being a Wedding Photographer at Cain Manor, Botleys Mansion, and Notley Abbey is quite simply a real joy. These Bijou venues are something really special. Again, a really private and focussed space, and rustic charm all the way. Notley Abbey is my favourite of the three, maybe only because I haven’t shot there as much as I’d like, but even so, just the drive up towards Botleys Mansion is worth the ticket price alone!
Wedding Photographer Surrey
There are a few Barns around the Surrey area catering to particularly stylish brides and grooms. Gate Street Barn is easily one of the standout venues. Everything about Gate Street Barn just fits. It’s perfect. It’s the most gorgeous place to look at and set in some lovely grounds. You can have a vintage wedding or a black tie event. Always stylish and great fun when the party kicks off in the evening.
Loseley Park is the other venue right at the top of my list of favourites.
You can get married in the great hall of the house, an historical building, the ultimate country house with hundreds of years of stories to tell. Photos in the drawing room, a big group shot outside the front of the building… The gardens are an astonishing plethora of well maintained formal spaces and architecture, helped along by an amazing team of professional gardeners. When you’re having your photos here there’s literally no part of it that isn’t a stunning vista or backdrop. Loseley is the epitome of country house high-end.
Then there’s the Tythe Barn at Loseley too. You get the barn wedding as well as everything else! The barn itself has it’s own history and story to tell, and set in the lawns of the main house it is the ultimate party venue. There’s something really special at work here too, and I haven’t quite been able to put my finger on it.
It’s a feeling, or a leveller, or something, but every wedding I’ve been a part of a Loseley Park has been ‘The One to Remember’…
I know, I know…. They can’t all be ‘The Wedding to Remember’ but there’s something about the space or the location, or the history, that just seems to really effect people, and it happens every time. Maybe it’s the freedom, maybe it’s the excellent catering from Caper & Berry. Maybe it’s just magical!
I live just around the corner from Loseley, and I’ve been working closely with the team there for almost as long as I’ve been a wedding photographer in Surrey. I’m in the ideal position to become known as their primary photographer, and it’s great to know that I’m trusted as someone they will happily recommend to their clients. Although I can’t physically photograph every wedding that is held there, I do get to be a part of a lot of Loseley weddings. We’ve worked hard to make sure that every bride & groom get the best wedding experience known to man – if they’re getting married at Loseley it better be amazing!
It’s different every time.
Wedding Photographer Surrey
Thankfully, having such a reputation has also meant that I’ve been able to find and develop relationships with a handful of other exclusive venues in the area.
There are loads of other Surrey Wedding venues that I haven’t mentioned here, but I’ll be posting some more portfolio pages over the next couple of weeks. Special mention should go to Wasing Park (It’s unbelievably great) and Ramster Hall – a venue I very nearly got married in myself and another venue who graciously recommend me to their clients. It’s one of my favourite places in the whole world and if being wedding photographer Surrey means that I get to photograph weddings in this fantastic place, then that’s good with me
Jason Leaman Photography is currently taking bookings for 2018 & 2019 – we’d love to hear from you if you’re getting married.
Please contact us here, and let us know all about your plans.
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