I’ve had all sorts of lovely messages after my previous post about my favourite wedding venues in Dorset—but this time, it’s Hampshire’s turn. Bournemouth is pretty much on the border anyway, so it felt rude not to, especially considering how stunning places like the New Forest and the South Downs are.
So here it is, my favourite weddings in Hampshire that I’ve photographed at so far. There’s also a disturbing number of popular venues that I haven’t had the chance of photographing just yet that are either booked in for the next couple of years or I’m sure are just looming on the horizon.
A cool little venue tucked on the edge of Surrey and Hampshire, oozing with charm. You might be tricked into thinking this was just another little barn, but you would be very much mistaken. It’s usually a good sign when you venture miles from civilisation down narrow farm tracks that you’re heading for somewhere cool—and you’re certainly not let down as soon as you turn into the beautiful tree-lined driveway.
The venue itself is a cute little venue with a great flowing layout that feels perfectly sized for a medium sized wedding and with plenty of little pockets for photography opportunities and just to get away from it all.
The ceremony and dining hall has floor to ceiling windows that allow the light to pour through, as well as strung fairy lights just about everywhere. Who doesn’t love a fairy light?!
As a wedding photographer with a distinctive cinematic style, I’m obviously all about finding the perfect little corners for those candid and intimate little moments to photograph. Cain Manor allows just that—with cute details, a warm colour palette and plenty of light and shadow to play around with.
The grounds aren’t half bad either. I have a thing for nice trees and this place certainly disappoint on the tree front, with some of my absolute favourite photos taken amongst it’s rather lovely trees at Yzzy and Daniel’s wedding last year.
Cain Manor—certainly worth checking out for a rustic barn wedding vibe with a little bit of attitude.
I’ve had the pleasure of photographing at Burley Manor a whole bunch of times now—summer or winter, rain or shine. And one thing that’s really stood out to me is that this venue is an absolute belter at all times.
Plonked right in the middle of the New Forest, Burley Manor is a gorgeous manor house surrounded by just about everything you’d expect in the New Forest—ponies, oak trees, heathland and miles upon miles of open sky.
Burley Manor has done a great job of laying out the arguably large venue in a way that always feels cosy and provides plenty of privacy for weddings, thanks to its purpose built barn out the back—complete with exposed beams, wooden floors and high ceilings.
One of the major takeaways for me from Burley Manor is the food. My god, it really is something else. As a wedding photographer in Hampshire, I have the opportunity to try my fair share of wedding food at so many venues across the UK and there are only a few venues that really stand out to me. Burley Manor is one of them.
I just can’t quite get over how much of a banger Lauren and Jamie’s wedding at Burley Manor was a few years ago. Can people have more winter weddings please?!
One of my absolute favourite weddings ever was that of Rhiannon and Darren’s at the Clock Barn. It was just one of those weird days where everything just looked incredible, everything went perfectly and I got back later in the evening not quite knowing what to do with myself.
A big part of that awesomeness was because of the lovely Clock Barn, tucked in the deepest darkest depths of Hampshire and amongst some of the most breathtaking scenery you can find in Southern England. I mean, have you seen those rapeseed fields?!
It’s a pretty cool space too—with a huge cavernous hall, small and cosy off-shooting rooms and as many exposed beams as you can shake a stick at. Photo opportunities are abundant with one of the most spectacular driveways I’ve seen from any venue, as well as a cute little garden out the back of the venue.
A popular one and deservedly so. Northbrook Park is always going to have a special place in my heart after one of the most memorable weddings I’ve had the chance of shooting, back on the hottest day of 2018. What an absolute scorcher that was—so much so that I actually ended up getting my knobbly knees out wearing my smart shorts.
Nestled in a whole load of land, the house itself is absolutely gorgeous from just about every angle. The ceremony room is absolutely nuts, with beautiful white walls and enormous windows that let the light pour through.
But one of my absolute favourite parts of Northbrook park is the gang of ducks that certainly rule the roost. Keeping me on my (and most of the speakers) toes throughout the day, I just about managed to hold it together when they barged into the reception room mid-speeches for a few victory laps.
Northbrook Park, what a venue.
Now I’ve only shot at Rivervale Barn once before but I was really impressed by the sheer volume of photo opportunities for such a tiny venue. The outdoor space and structure for ceremonies is to die for, lined with gorgeous trees and with such a cool rustic vibe. The inside of the barn is much the same, reminiscent of Noah’s Ark with the sheer amount of wood on display.
There’s some great little cottages out the back which are perfect for getting ready or having moment to break away to freshen up during the day. The light in the main cottage is beautiful, with dark walls and an unbelievable amount of daylight bleaching through the door to create this incredible richness.
Kat and Jonny’s wedding at Rivervale Barn a few years ago was an absolute banger—so much so that I’ve had to make a concerted effort not to fill the top part of my portfolio from just their wedding alone.
Everyone in the area knows of Rhinefield House. It’s the daddy of the New Forest, with an enormous amount of land and some of the most stunning parts of the forest right on its doorstep.
The house itself is huge, but is laid out in just a way that doesn’t feel sprawling owing to it’s cosy little rooms and beautiful dark wood construction. The main hall really is eyeopening and from a photographers perspective, an absolute dream to shoot in. Running up the stairs to the gallery overlooking the hall is such an awesome spot for scene setting and capturing all of the action.
As part of the Hand Picked Hotels group, you know exactly what you’re getting here. A very well run hotel with incredible food in a stunning setting. Can’t go too far wrong with that.
The Back Garden
I know I said this before in my previous post about wedding venues in Dorset but the point really does still stand—getting married at home in the back garden is really quite a beautiful thing.
Off the top of my head, when I think of my top five absolute favourite weddings that I’ve ever had the joy of photographing, three of them were at the family home. What makes it so special is that it really is simply your day. It’s the one place where you feel inherently and undeniably comfortable above any other.
While a good chunk of land and/or some very accommodating neighbours goes a long way, there’s a lot you can do with not that much with just a little creativity and the right people around you. Kate and Eddie’s wedding at the family home in Hampshire last year was an absolute belter. In fact, it really does boggle the mind what they were able to achieve and makes me wonder if they should get into the events business. That barn, those styling cues and all that emotion bundled up on one unbelievable day.
If you can’t find a venue that suits you and you fancy rolling up your sleeves to create something that’s simply you, have a think about just getting married at home. You’ll be amazed what’s possible.
Finding your perfect wedding venue is a monumental task, in that you think you know exactly what you want until you actually see it. It takes some real honesty to admit that a venue isn’t quite right and to go venue searching with a completely open mind. I’ve had countless numbers of wedding clients say that the venue isn’t what they initially wanted but they just fell in love with it.
I’d recommend just going and visiting just about every cool venue that ticks the obvious boxes and don’t eliminate any before you’ve really experienced them. And if in doubt, go completely off-piste and don’t book a venue at all.
Getting married outside is becoming less and less restricted, and it’s not uncommon to have family members or family friends with a whole load of land to do whatever you like with. There are so many options out there and you don’t just have to opt for the obvious hotel down the road because they happen to be running a summer promotion.
Clear your head, go visit and do what feels right.