Weddings at Hedingham Castle


Weddings at Hedingham castle are always a pleasure no matter what the weather. I’ve photographed this incredibly beautiful wedding venue in the rain and the sunshine & it really doesn’t matter what the big man up stairs delivers on your big day, it’ll be an epic celebration regardless.

The history from this place will blow your mind too. It’s a 900 year old Norman keep, widely considered to be the most well kept in England and now run by Jason Lindsay and wife Demetra. You’ll see them from time to time especially on open days so pop along , they’re lovely people!

An image of the bridal cottage at Hedingham castle

You’ll start your day in one of the cute cottages not far from the entrance. The bridal cottage being the further of the 2 away, so the bride can maintain a low profile until the ceremony. It’s nice how it works because nobody has a reason to head towards this cottage unless you’re part of the bridal party so it’s exclusive!

A picture of the bride under her veil
The brides wedding dress hanging up on the wall
The bride and her bridesmaids laughing together

The groom has a place to get ready in as well. His cottage is right next to the entrance and plenty far enough away from the ladies getting ready.

It’s a fairly long walk up the winding path to the castle itself so it’s recommended that you get driven to the top and dropped off. Lewis (groom) arrived early on the day in his vintage E-type jag (007 style) so we got some fantastic shots by the house that sits opposite the castle. The bride will always be driven from her cottage up to the castle entrance so it’s handy if you do get rain on the day.

The groom in his wedding car
The groom with his groomsmen and his wedding cars laughing together

I like to actually ride with the bride to the castle because you capture those nervous moments with dad right before they take the walk down the aisle. You can see how much fun Maxine (bride) had with her dad during this journey below.

The bride sees her father for the first time in her wedding dress
The father of the bride walks his daughter to the wedding car
The bride and her father laugh in the wedding car on the way to the castle

Once you’re inside, you’ll be faced with a winding staircase that’ll certainly keep you fit. The guests will be seated at this point in the stunning ceremony room. High ceilings, huge archways and candle lit for a taste of how it might have been in the old days. Couples get the option of either having the shutters closed so this adds more mood to the room, or have the shutters open and let a touch more daylight in. Either way, it’s one of the grandest ceremony rooms in Essex!

The Bride and her father walk into the castle arm in arm
The emotional groom sees his bride for the first time at the alter
The bride sings from the hymn book during the wedding service
The maid of honour looks toward the bride during the wedding service
The bride cries at the alter during the wedding service
The bride and groom light candles during the wedding service
The bride and groom kiss at the alter
The wedding guests clap for the bride and groom as they become husband and wife

Once married, the guests exit the room and the couples are taken up to the
gallery overlooking the ceremony room. This is the only time you’re allowed access to this area on the day and it’ll be just the bride and groom with their photographer at this stage. You do get some nice photographs up here so it’s worth the visit.

A black and white portrait of the groom in the foreground and the bride in the background in the castle

Now on this particular wedding, Maxine & Lewis had hired birds. I’m not talking the female kind either. These were the feathered kind! Owls, hawks & Kestrels graced the castle grounds and flew overhead as the wedding guests looked on in amazement. It was actually a lovely touch and at the right time too.

The bride and groom enjoying holding birds of prey in the grounds of the castle

We were expecting rain at that time but as it was, we had glorious sunshine and blue skies. Honestly, is it worth even checking the weather these days? I think I’d rather just look up and see what’s happening. It seems more accurate somehow, but anyway, the weather was kind, the birds were great and the atmosphere was all smiles and it made my job very enjoyable!

The confetti is thrown over the bride and groom
Fun group shots with friends and family

Another option available to you is do you fancy having the whole day in the
castle? Or do you head on over to the house where they have a nice marquee waiting to host the reception? I’ve covered both choices before now and they offer very different moods depending on what you want to go for. If you stay in the castle, you’ll head down to the basement (ground floor) for your reception. Brides often have to go through here when they are dropped off in their car to get to the ceremony room. It’s dark, warmly lit and more akin to what you might expect during a castle banquet. The first dance and evening celebrations take place on the floor above the banquet area where there’s a bar and some nice mood lighting.

Finger prints are added to a memory tree by the wedding guests as a gift to the couple
The wedding reception details

The Marquee on the other hand is bright, airy & spacious with a modern feel to it.It has a dedicated dance area that’s curtained off until after the speeches.

Maxine & Lewis opted for the use of the house as well as the marquee to celebrate their day. Guests usually gather in the main room with the beautiful wooden staircase for champagne & canapés, often spilling out onto the perfectly pruned garden at the back of the house should the weather be kind enough.

The nice weather continued long enough for me to shoot all their group shots outside with the house as a wonderful backdrop. Guests were called for their meals shortly after we had got what we needed and then we heard the patter of raindrops that did make me smile a little.

The speeches from the top table

Maxine was a bit of a planner and this paid off because the entertainment she had put together had everyone on their feet and laughing. They had things such as pass the parcel and drinking games after the meal that were enjoyed by all.

Drinking games with the bride and her wedding guests
Fun shot of the bride and groom laughing cutting their wedding cake

Even with the sounds of rain on the marquee, we ventured outside to get some evening shots. I thought the outside of the castle, up the stairs and right outside the entrance made for an interesting way to finish my coverage and I wasn’t wrong.

Bride and groom dancing for the their first dance
Another images of Bride and groom dancing for the their first dance
The wedding party dancing to the live band on the dance floor

With a little magic using my flash behind the couple, we ended on a cool memory for the couple to treasure.

The bride and groom holding each other outside the castle at night

If you’re thinking of hiring this wonderful wedding venue for your big day, there’s nothing quite like this experience in Essex so you’ll certainly not be disappointed.

There you have it. Weddings at Hedingham Castle are emotional, spectacular and make you feel like you’re part of it’s impressive history for the day. I hope you enjoyed my tour through words and pictures. I have other blogs on the go that highlight wedding venues from London, Surrey, Essex and more if you’re interested. Click here to read on!
Until next time , take care guys

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