Working as a Hengrave Hall wedding photographer is an absolute dream, the Grade 1* listed Tudor mansion is one of the most romantic and picturesque wedding venues you could possibly find. Hengrave Hall in Suffolk is one of those places you really have to see to believe, I was speechless for a full minute when I arrived for the first time (and if you’ve met me, you know that’s quite unusual!). It’s the ideal place for me to capture some award winning wedding photos!
It’s impossible not to get excited about all the stunning (and I mean… STUNNING) decor and architecture, 350 acres of grounds, gardens, and parklands, oh and a gorgeous church just a few steps away from the main house. Whether you choose to get married in the onsite church, in the main house, or even outdoors in the garden or courtyard, you’ll be surrounded by luxury and gorgeousness all year round.
Hengrave Hall wedding photography – Harriet and Ben
Harriet and Ben chose to get married at Hengrave Hall as it’s close to where Harriet’s Mum and maternal grandparents had spent a lot of their lives. The couple, and a lot of their family and friends live in the United States, and this grand British manor house was a wonderful place to celebrate their marriage.
The venue’s wedding team made sure everything ran smoothly from start-to-finish, helping with all the little details and making the day that extra bit special. This is something that makes my job as a Hengrave Hall wedding photographer an absolute pleasure – happy, relaxed people always look great in photographs!
Now, when I say it was a hot day… I’m talking, record breaking 40-degree heat, under a bright blue sky! So, another benefit of a summer wedding at Hengrave Hall is that the thick stone walls create a beautifully cool interior!
Harriet and her lovely bridal party were all getting ready in Hengrave Hall’s Queen Elizabeth Chamber. The high ceilings, wood panelling, and natural light were an absolute dream to work in! The heraldic crests in the stained-glass windows were illuminated in the bright sunlight, and there was just the most lovely, fun and relaxed vibe as Harriet got ready with her family and friends.
The ladies were having their hair styled by Sally-Kate from Hair By Duboux and their make-up perfected by Emily Chantal Makeup. They were absolute pros, perfectly positioned in front of the beautiful natural light flooding in through the largest window – meaning I was able to capture some wonderful moments and details of getting ready. The bridesmaids and mums all sat in their matching robes chatting, reminiscing and keeping hydrated as they prepared for Harriet and Ben’s big day.
Harriet’s dress really was something to behold! Bought from Blue Bridal in Denver, Colorado, the dress was just the right length and style to allow her to move, dance and play, whilst still looking so elegant. As everyone got ready, the dress was hanging on the four-poster bed, and for a little bit of fun the bridesmaids got together and took it downstairs to the Banqueting Hall. As a Hengrave Hall wedding photographer I take every opportunity to make the most of the incredible light and period features of the venue to create beautiful, memorable photographs.
The sun was pouring through the enormous, vaulted, stained glass windows casting beautiful light onto the fabric, I was so pleased to capture this dramatic photograph of the gorgeousness!
The boys were getting ready in Hengrave Hall’s Blue Chamber, chatting and laughing away, and enjoying the pool table. Ben’s suit was a bespoke creation from Balani Custom, and the ushers’ suits were from Spier and Mackay.
Ben’s dad joined them and helped Ben with his tie, and I stood back to capture an image of them all lined up in front of the mirror – totally unposed, all concentrating hard! One of the boys gave us an impromptu digeridoo serenade, which was certainly unique and had everyone smiling!
I moved quickly back to bridal prep (which was easy to do with the rooms being fairly close together!) as Harriet was getting into her dress. Every detail had been thought of, and Harriet wore a beautiful family heirloom necklace that Ben’s mum had provided, along with earrings from David Yurman. Her shoes, from Margaux, and the hairpins Harriet and her bridesmaids wore from Sarah Vuong Bridal Jewellery, and other jewellery from Palenque, were the icing on the cake. The elegant and luxurious details of their outfits fit in perfectly with their incredible surroundings.
As guests began arriving, a space was cleared in front of the window in the Queen Elizabeth Chamber, and Harriet’s long veil was added to her hair – just stunning! Then we all had a lovely spritz of cooling spray from Emily (yes, including me) which was very welcome indeed!).
Claire from Thrive Floristry had created some stunning buttonholes, bouquets and floral displays for the day in pastel colours with incredible texture and depth provided by the addition of different types of vibrant green foliage.
As final preparations began, Imogen Mortimer from the Hengrave Hall wedding team, stepped in to help Harriet with her shoes and make sure she was feeling relaxed and happy. Honestly the venue staff are SO amazing here, it’s so nice to see how much they clearly love what they do. They take great care to make sure everyone has a wonderful day, it makes such a difference and I know was hugely appreciated.
Before I headed off to the church, I captured these emotional moments with Harriet and her dad as he saw his daughter in her wedding dress for the first time – something that will always bring a tear to my eye!
Hengrave Hall wedding ceremony
I made my way to the church, which is not even a one-minute walk from the main entrance of Hengrave Hall. I introduced myself and had a look around, working out the best angles and setting up my cameras ready to capture Harriet and Ben’s wedding ceremony. I was fascinated by some of the engravings and stones near the altar which I snapped a photo of quickly on my phone and sent to my friend Dr Oliver Taylor at Bath Abbey, the only person I know who would be as excited and interested in these details as I was! He promptly replied, guessing the church location and telling me some interesting facts!
The church had masses of natural light, stained-glass windows and a beautiful alcove of candlelight. The guests were all given fans to keep them nice and cool, and Harriet didn’t keep anyone waiting as she made her way across to the church from Hengrave Hall. She walked with her dad past an incredible tree next to the church, and once again the wonderful Hengrave Hall wedding team were on hand to help make sure her dress and veil were perfect before she walked down the aisle.
Harriet walked down the short aisle towards Ben on her father’s arm, the intimate setting of the church meaning everyone had a beautiful view of their stunning ceremony, including readings from their loved ones. The altar had been covered with jars of wildflowers, where the couple lit a candle together before exchanging vows and rings. After receiving a blessing, and some rousing hymns, they made their way back out into the summer heat under a shower of confetti and love.
Weddings at Hengrave Hall
As we all arrived back at the entrance to Hengrave Hall everyone moved quickly into place for a group photo before relaxing with drinks in the shade at the side of the building. The summer heat, blue skies and bright sunlight were the perfect backdrop for some relaxed Hengrave Hall wedding photography, capturing everyone enjoying games of US vs UK Cornhole.
For their smaller, formal group portraits, I took people to the shade at the top of the stunning gardens, then snuck away with Harriet and Ben for a few photos of them as newlyweds.
We popped back into the church (another huge benefit of having everything so close together!) and I was able to use some of the beautiful light and shadows from the stained-glass windows to capture some really special moments of calm together. Then we wandered the grounds, capturing the honey-coloured stone courtyard with lovely contrast and playing with some silhouettes against the blue sky.
Their wedding breakfast was held in the Long Gallery, a bright space with white wood panelling and chandeliers, providing an elegant blank canvas that was perfectly tailored to their day. Harriet and Ben were welcomed with cheers of delight from everyone as they entered as husband and wife.
Before a delicious feast from Milsom Catering, we enjoyed some emotional and heartfelt speeches, including one from the doctor who had saved Ben’s life when he was younger, it was so lovely to see the story connected on their day.
Hengrave Hall wedding photos
After their wedding breakfast, I took Harriet and Ben to capture some more photographs of them as a couple, the softer light had a very different feel to the bright sunshine from earlier in the day, allowing me to provide them with a real depth and variety in their Hengrave Hall wedding photography.
As the sun went down, we were feeling adventurous, so had an attempt at a human pyramid (with hilarious results!) followed by throwing the bride in the air!
A few other people enjoyed this experience too, and I really think we should have informed NASA as the group achieved some incredibly impressive altitude!
Ahead of cutting their beautiful wedding cake, provided by Grace from Grace’s Baking Box, the venue team once again demonstrated their amazing flexibility and indulged my request to bring the cake outside onto the terrace. This created a beautiful moment for the couple, who stood in the gorgeous evening light and cut their cake with all their guests around them.
The party kicked off with games tables from Red and Black Casinos and the Croupier Keeley had everyone laughing, smiling and enjoying themselves. Tom Ryder the Guitarist had set up in the courtyard, entertaining everyone as they relaxed in the evening and played more games – Tom put on a brilliant show that matched the vibe of the whole day perfectly.
One thing you need to know about the groom (especially before placing any bets!), is that Ben is exceptionally good at table tennis, and a competitive tournament had started with the ushers – it was a lot of fun capturing the action, and even when I had a bright flash pointing towards him (which the boys hoped would give them the advantage) Ben was still managing to maintain his skills. Very impressive!
The evening was so relaxed, with everyone celebrating Harriet and Ben in the glorious surroundings of their wedding at Hengrave Hall.
Congratulations Harriet and Ben
At the end of the evening, I left with a really full heart knowing I had made a whole pile of new friends. Harriet and Ben are so beautifully in love, and their friends and family were the kindest people ever, the whole day was a real pleasure and treat to be part of. It was a privilege to spend an amazing day with them as their Hengrave Hall wedding photographer, and honestly don’t think it could have gone any better!
Looking for your Hengrave Hall wedding photographer?
I’d love to join you as your Hengrave Hall wedding photographer, I mean how could I possibly resist?
If you’re looking for inspiration, check out some weddings I’ve photographed across the rest of the UK, including as a Brympton House wedding photographer, and at Rockbeare Manor in Exeter. Or if you’re in the capital, have a look at this Old Royal Naval College wedding, or the incredible party I captured as a Corinithia Hotel wedding photographer!
To check my availability for your wedding day simply get in touch and Rhian, my Amazing PA will get back to you as soon as possible, so we can start planning!