destination wedding

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

Hours and hours of planning, designing and dreaming. The amount of time that it took to reach the actual wedding day seemed unreal. I mean, who doesn’t dream of this day their entire lives? When the day is over, and the party has ended, will you be happy with the twenty minutes your photographer had with just you and your honey? Did that photographer get every dream photograph you’ve had tucked away in your mind and heart? Did they get it in just twenty minutes?

Twenty minutes, forty minutes, or anything under an hour, can fly by. Typically you’re squeezing your bride and groom portraits in right there in the middle of the wedding day. This is how we all (photographers) have to do it! We spend a lot of time creating and rearranging timelines to get the right light aligning with the right time. And when it comes down to it, that time is hardly enough to get the actual emotions you’re feeling to surface.

Why Engage Your Wedding Photographer On Day After

Document the feels

1. Don’t Miss the Feels

With a “Day After” shoot, you get to put your dream dress back on (yay for wearing it more than once!), hair and makeup can be a little more laid back, and you can finally soak in that you’re married. I have my couples think back to when they had first met, or went on their first date together. As we shoot a day or two after the wedding, a lot of beautiful emotions can come to mind. The thick and thin that they’ve been through, the REAL moments of life that they’ve faced together. After the wedding day itself they can actually focus on one another, and have someone document all of those feelings.

Don't keep your guests waiting

2. No One is Waiting

Holla! Have you noticed how wedding guests get a little cranky when there are two hours between ceremony and reception? Why are they so cranky? Maybe they’re hungry… Typically they’ve been waiting because of family formals, wedding party shots, and bride and groom portraits seem to take forever to them. It’s funny because on the photographer’s end of the deal we quickly turn into the wedding coordinator, sunglass holder, drill sergeant, and even the family counselor. Emotions are real in this moment, grandma is feeling tired and we have to move quickly. When it comes down to it, no one is having a good time and we’re all feeling it. After that, I bet you’re feeling really in love and want to take some bride and groom photos together…

Show off your destination

3. Show off that destination

Together you can climb the mountain outside your venue, walk the sand along your beach or dance around the forest. Climbing, crawling, water skiing, or flying. As photographers we crave the shot, and I’d do just about anything to get it. Don’t fear asking your photographer to do something crazy. The worst they can say is no, right? This is the place you’ve dreamed of being in. After all, this is the very place you decide to commit your lives to one another. Why wouldn’t you want to have your photographer tag along for a few hours to create epic memories in this place? Climb the mountains, walk the desert or stroll the epic city. These shots are the ones you’ll be printing and placing in your home. These are the shots people tend to drool over as well, but most importantly these are the shots of your favorite place with your favorite person. How much better does it get?

After all is said and done, asking your photographer for a day after shoot may be the best question you ask them. Especially for you destination brides. Photographers love destinations, most love exploring and they love documenting love. Pulling them all together brings a joy to the couple and the photographer and it all lasts a lifetime. Book that day after shoot, you won’t regret it.

Help finance your “day after” wedding shoot with a Honeyfund honeymoon registry.

Bio: Raised by an artist mother, Rachel Wakefield considers herself the “photo maker of the free spirited.” She loves to tell the love stories of the people she works with, especially on location shoots. For information, check out her website.

 Website: http://rachelwakefieldphotography.com/

Facebook: http://rachelwakefieldphotography.com/#

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachelwakefield/

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Book your wedding in in Surrey

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

With its rolling hills, sleepy river banks, and enchanting woodlands, it’s no wonder stunning Surrey is one of England’s most popular wedding destinations. You’ve got the best of the beautiful British countryside and a host of historic venues – all just an hour outside of London. What could be better?

Surrey’s wedding venues include grand country houses, rustic barns, majestic castles, spectacular gardens and even picturesque vineyards. There’s something for all tastes, budgets, and seasons.

Let’s kick things off with the best 10 wedding venues in Surrey:

Ten Great Wedding Venues In Surrey

1. Great Fosters

Great Fosters 16th century royal hunting lodge?

 

Fancy having your special day in a 16th century royal hunting lodge? Great Fosters, near Egham, is a venue fit for a queen with its historic red brick manor house, manicured garden,s and dramatic Saxon moat.

Choose between a number of atmospheric rooms for your ceremony and reception, as well as some beautiful outdoor options. Will it be the spacious Tithe Barn with its oak beams and private bar, the sophisticated Orangery with its lofty windows and garden views, or the intimate Garden room, accommodating 20-30 guests around its cosy fireplace? Sunny summer weddings can be held in the outdoor Archery Pavilion, with post-ceremony drinks served in the romantic gardens. And you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to photo opportunities – there’s everything from elegant fountains to dreamy lily ponds.

Add in a complimentary four-poster room for your wedding night and you couldn’t ask for much more!

2. Wotton House

Wotton House 17th century manor house

If you’re looking for a venue with serious wow factor, look no further than this amazing 17th century manor house. Long, sweeping driveways lead up to an elegant manor surrounded by no less than 13 acres of breath-taking gardens. Perfect for capturing stunning wedding photos, the gardens boast everything from a Romanesque temple and ornamental bridges to ancient trees and exotic blooms.

Wotton House offers a choice of ceremony venues, including the wood-panelled Old Library, the quintessentially English walled garden, the lively Orangery and the contemporary Evelyn Suite. You can easily accommodate up to 250 guests and they offer special room rates for guests.

Don’t miss a visit to the fairy grotto for a magical moment with your groom.

3. Gate Street Barn

Gate Street Barn working barn with licensed wedding venue

For something a little more rustic, you’ll love the relaxed vibe at Gate Street Barn near Guildford. Nestled among picturesque fields of organic cattle, this secluded working farm is home to a fully licensed barn that can hold up to 130 guests. It’s the ideal place for brides who want to bring their own unique style to their big day as you can enjoy free reign when it comes to decorating the barn. Think of it as a blank canvas and let your imagination run wild!

You’ll also find fantastic accommodation on site. Indulge in some luxury in the comfortable Farmhouse or give glamping a try in the unique Hayloft and Shepherd’s Hut.

4. Botleys Mansion

Botley Mansion magnificent Palladian mansion

Impress your guests by choosing this magnificent Palladian mansion as the setting for your wedding. With more than a hint of the Mr. Darcy about it, this grand venue can accommodate up to 380 guests within its 56 acres. From the opulent chandeliers to the impressive fountains, Botleys Mansion is all about elegance and luxury.

Choose from a selection of beautiful rooms. Dine under the stars in the Atrium with its gorgeous glass roof, dance up a storm in the Fountain Wing with its sparkling dance floor, or keep things intimate in the Green Room with its gleaming wooden floors and tall windows. Outside, you’ll find pampered lawns, romantic gardens, and parkland as far as the eye can see. When the sun goes down, round things off with a fireworks display to really make your day go with a bang!

5. Barnett Hill

Barnett Hill tranquil Surrey manor house

If you’re planning a small wedding where you can really treat your guests, Grade II-listed Barnett Hill could be the Surrey venue for you. Offering luxurious weddings for up to 80 guests, this tranquil manor house is set among 26 acres of beautiful gardens and woodland. While not far from Guildford, you’ll feel like you’ve arrived in your own little piece of English country heaven. The venue is renowned for its fine dining, making it a hit with foodie couples.

When the festivities are over, the manor has 59 luxurious rooms for your guests – as well as an indulgent bridal suite for you newlyweds!

6. Cain Manor

Cain Manor with Elizabethan charm

For a wedding venue with stunning views, look no further than historic Cain Manor. Packed with Elizabethan charm, it boasts jaw-dropping views out across the North Downs National Park. The manor perfectly blends period character, such as stained glass windows and oak beams, with contemporary interior design and those amazing woodland surroundings.

Choose between the tasteful Music Room, which can seat up to 120 guests, and the more intimate Library with its open log fires. If the sun shines, take your guests out to the Courtyard Garden to admire the views with their champagne. And for the icing on your (wedding) cake, the bridal suite is out of this world.

7. Farnham Castle

Farnham Castle fairy-tale castle that has hosted royals

Fulfill your childhood dreams with a wedding in a fairy-tale castle used to host many a royal party. Farnham Castle dates all the way back to the 12th century, bringing a captivating sense of history to your day.

Step back in time with a ceremony in one of the castle’s two serene chapels or the romantic Lantern Hall. Then celebrate your nuptials in the lavish Great Hall with its opulent décor and spacious dance floor. There’s plenty of contemporary style and comfort alongside your historic charm here.

8. Hartsfield Manor

Hartsfield Manor

Stately Hartsfield Manor provides a picture-perfect wedding backdrop. Think 19th-century Victorian grandeur, mature gardens, and 16 acres of gorgeous countryside surroundings. Crammed with period features from imposing fireplaces to elegant chandeliers, it brings an authentic historic touch to your special day.

Accommodating up to 120 guests in a choice of rooms, this glorious manor is known for laying on special extras. Expect red carpet entrances, bespoke menus and your own Master of Ceremonies.

9. Ramster Hall

Ramster Hall with English country garden

If you’re dreaming of an English country garden theme, idyllic Ramster Hall is home to some of Surrey’s most magical gardens. Manicured lawns and spectacular award-winning flowerbeds come together to create an unbeatable wedding setting. Inside, you can choose from a variety of 17th-century function rooms, from the Long Room with its wooden beams and spacious dining area, to the Drawing Room with its cozy seats and roaring fires.

Whatever the weather (this is the UK after all!), make sure you get plenty of photos in those unbelievable gardens.

10. Northbrook Park

Northbrook Park palatial ivy-clad 18th-century manor

Embrace your noble side with a wedding in this majestic manor house. Northbrook Park boasts a palatial ivy-clad 18th-century manor set amongst a whopping 120 acres of Surrey countryside. Peacocks wander the sublime gardens, while inside it’s all dazzling chandeliers and marble floors.

Choose between the stunning Vine Room, which seats up to 120 guests, or the enormous glass-roofed Orangery, which can happily accommodate 250 guests. Rooms open out onto shady terraces and those gorgeous gardens. You’ll also find ten upmarket self-catering cottages, the Mews, on-site to accommodate your guests.

Filled with inspiration for your Surrey wedding? Who’d have thought such glorious countryside was sitting pretty just outside of London!

Looking for creative ways to make your Surrey wedding a reality? Consider a Honeyfund honeymoon registry.

Photo cover image

All other images courtesy of Murray Clarke

Bio: An award-winning wedding photographer, Murray Clarke shoots weddings across Surrey, the UK, and abroad. His goal is to combine artistic reportage with the natural and contemporary style of portraiture that captures the emotion of a beautiful wedding. He prides himself on telling a couple’s stories through the lens.

Recognized among the UK’s Top 50 Wedding Photographers for both 2016 and 2017, his work regularly appears in national magazines and numerous international wedding blogs across the web,

Please get in touch with Murray Clarke after viewing his website portfolio.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/murrayclarkephotography/

Twitter https://twitter.com/murraywedding

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