Weddings at High House, Essex


Weddings at high house are indeed something different if you’re thinking about hosting your big day here. A few things immediately spring to mind when you arrive at this stunning six-acre wedding venue and that’s ‘family orientated’ & ‘homely’. There’s a good reason why it feels like this and it’s because the Hollingsbee family actually live and run High house. They knew they had something special when they hosted a family wedding for the first time back in 2010. It went so well that Bob Hollingsbee began to explore the idea of hosting many more weddings , this time opening their home up to the general public. The High House wedding venue was born in May 2015 and has since gone on to become the ‘wedding venue of the year’ for 2018 which is an awesome achievement considering the splendid competition it faces in the county of Essex.

Brides dress hanging up with the bridesmaids dresses in the bridal cottage at High House
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Chris Woodman Photography

My couple ‘Carley & Dan’ chose High house for their summer wedding in 2018 & below you’ll see a snippet of how their day unfolded in the glorious sunshine.

The bridal cottage sign on the wooden door
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Chris Woodman Photography
The wedding rings inside a white flower
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Chris Woodman Photography
The happy bridal party enjoy some champagne in the bridal cottage
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Chris Woodman Photography

Your day will start at the oak framed Orangery, which is secluded, picturesque & just a stone’s throw away from the main house. You can’t help but notice the swimming pool as you walk through the wooden door entrance. It’s a pleasant and unusual surprise for the bridal party as they begin to get wedding ready. Carley was completely down to earth and always smiling. She wore her heart on her sleeve and was very expressive with her emotions on the day , a wedding photographers dream really.

The little flower girl enjoys eating strawberries in the bridal cottage garden
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Chris Woodman Photography
An emotional bride hugs her mum as the gifts are given to the bridesmaids
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Chris Woodman Photography
The bride has her hair and makeup done in the bridal cottage
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Chris Woodman Photography
The brides back of the dress is being done up by her mum
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Chris Woodman Photography
The brides veil is being put into the brides hair by her mum and hairstylist
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Chris Woodman Photography

The wedding coordinator here is fantastic and was always on hand if Carley needed anything throughout the morning. Her Bridal party was great too and in high spirits as you might expect. We had the giving of gifts and the first look from dad, which were both very emotional before heading over to the ceremony. I had left the orangery briefly before the ceremony started so I could catch up with the groom ‘Dan’ and the groomsmen. I tend not to overshoot the men, preferring to keep it relaxed , looking for the personalities of the group and capturing the vibe.

The brides dad sees her for the first time as he enters the bridal cottage smiling
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Chris Woodman Photography
Groom sits down in the garden and smiles in his wedding suit
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Chris Woodman Photography
The groomsmen share a joke and walk in their wedding suits
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Chris Woodman Photography

There are so many places to chill at High house & I had suggested going into the ‘secret garden’, which is adjacent to the ceremony room for a few shots of the groomsmen. I love the fact that the bride is always safely hidden from view in her very own quarters. This allowed us to cover some more of the grounds without the couple seeing each other before they tied the knot. Once I knew I had what I needed from the morning, we were all set for the ceremony. High House has two options when it comes to the ceremony. You can either choose the Rustic barn, which dates back to the 1750s & is a grade-II listed building or the impressive outdoor gazebo overlooking the romantic heart-shaped lake. Carley & Dan had chosen the barn, which was perfect for them. Once Dan was safely tucked away awaiting his bride-to-be at the alter, Carley made the short walk across the iconic white bridge and began the walk down the aisle. Her mum gave her away which I thought was a lovely touch.

wedding ceremony details
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Chris Woodman Photography
Bride and her dad laugh as they walk across the white wooden bridge on their way to the ceremony
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Chris Woodman Photography
The groom looks nervous and up in the air as the bride enters the ceremony room
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Chris Woodman Photography
Mum gives bride away down the aisle
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Chris Woodman Photography
An emotional bride stands with the groom at the alter during the ceremony
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Chris Woodman Photography
The exchange of wedding rings at the alter
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Chris Woodman Photography
Wedding guests laugh during the ceremony
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Chris Woodman Photography
bride and groom kiss at the alter
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Chris Woodman Photography

The ceremony as you would imagine was emotional but they pulled through and was soon enjoying drinks and Canap├ęs in the sunshine, which usually takes place right outside the barn. It was a chilled vibe, which was exactly what they were after.

Confetti is thrown over the bride and groom as they walk past their guests
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Chris Woodman Photography
wedding guests enjoy drinks and canapes
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Chris Woodman Photography
Father of the bride and the bride and groom kiss their baby
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Chris Woodman Photography

When the time came to seat for the meals, the guests made their way across the bridge and back towards the main house where they have their elegant marquee. This marquee is capable of holding up to 120 people for the wedding breakfast & 150 overall for the reception. Carley & Dan chose the buffet style self-service option, which was setup just outside the entrance to the marquee and it worked really well. I had ceased the opportunity to take the couple away from the hustle & bustle after they had eaten. I find couples really appreciate 5 minutes to themselves to recompose & prepare for the second part of the day. However, this was no ordinary 5 minutes away from the guests as High House continues to wow its customers with a spectacular vineyard. Located amongst the rolling meadows of the Essex countryside, the vineyard (known as the Althorne Estate) was planted in 2017 and provides a gorgeous setting for couples to enjoy.

wedding table details at high house wedding venue
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Chris Woodman Photography
Wedding breakfast tables setup
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Chris Woodman Photography
The wedding cake
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Chris Woodman Photography
The wedding buffet is served to guests outside
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Chris Woodman Photography
The bride and groom share a joke in the gardens
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Chris Woodman Photography
The bride and groom walk away from the camera and through the gardens
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Chris Woodman Photography
The bride and groom laugh and walk through the vineyards at high house
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Chris Woodman Photography

The speeches were next up so I had to get the couple back to join the celebrations. We had a pretty wild set of guests so I knew this was going to be fun and it didn’t disappoint. Everyone doing a speech joined the couple at the top table and began telling stories to amuse the crowd. The reactions were more than I could have hoped for , in fact I was spoilt for choice as friends and family alike reminisced over old times. It really brought home just how popular Carley & Dan were.

The bride and groom enter the wedding reception as guests cheers
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Chris Woodman Photography
The top table share a joke during the speeches
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Chris Woodman Photography
The bride gets emotional during the speeches
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Chris Woodman Photography

After the speeches, the guests rolled out onto the decking at the back of the marquee, which has wonderful views of the lake and surrounding countryside. It’s a great way to sip on your favourite tipple and let your meal go down!

The throwing of the bouquet
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Chris Woodman Photography
3 young children sit posing for the camera
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Chris Woodman Photography

High house has yet another surprise to start off the evening celebrations with their dance floor reveal. Your party area is concealed behind curtains, which lifts up once the bride and groom are in place for their first dance. It’s a unique experience to have your guests waiting in anticipation on the other side of those curtains. The dance area takes on a starry night feel with the walls covered in black sparkly cloth. The guests were soon joining the couple and dancing the night away. It was a lovely end to a very enjoyable wedding day.

The curtain raises to reveal the bride and groom on the dance floor
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Chris Woodman Photography
The guests cheers as the bride and groom start their first dance
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Chris Woodman Photography
The bride and groom dance during their first dance
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Chris Woodman Photography
The bride and groom hug during their first dance
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Chris Woodman Photography

I hope I’ve given you some insight into why Weddings at High House , winner of the prestigious ‘something different’ award really deserves this label. I love going back to this place and look forward to visiting many mores times in 2019.

The bride gets emotional during their first dance
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Chris Woodman Photography
The bride cries during their first dance
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Chris Woodman Photography
The mother of the bride dances with her daughter
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Chris Woodman Photography

If you enjoyed reading through this blog, you might like some of the other places I’ve covered. Take a look HERE for more inspiration for your wedding day and get in touch if you have any questions for me. I love hearing about what couples are planning for their big day :).

Until next time, have a wonderful day!


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