Chris Woodman Photography

An exclusive & affordable experience from a creative Basildon wedding photographer. Delivering artwork & leaving lasting impressions for generations

Essex Wedding Venue Leez Priory wows guests at outdoor wedding

Essex wedding venue Leez priory was the chosen destination for the marriage of Sally & Darren. A 16th century mansion situated near Chelmsford, purchased by it's current owners became the first country house in England to be granted a licence to conduct civil ceremonies in 1995.

Leez Priory sign
Leez Priory

It's a photographers dream with incredible landscape and well kept grounds. The lovely couple opted for an outdoor wedding under the tower & with the weather looking good, we were all set to go. I arrived an hour early to capture the beauty of the venue and to set the scene for their high-end slideshow.

The bride had been moved from her overnight residence in the cottage, (close to the main part of the mansion and a stones throw away from the ceremony location) at around 10am on the morning of the wedding. This ensures the bride and groom can't see each other & keeps things nice & traditional. The groom arrived late morning and was given the cottage on the left as you drive up to the venue to get ready with his groomsmen.

I had to balance the most important moments between the bride and groom so while the bridesmaids were getting ready, I popped down to the cottage and captured the light hearted & unusually cool atmosphere set by the groomsmen. It doesn't take too long to record this sequence of events and I was very happy with the outcome upon review.

Gucci cufflinks
Groomsmen shot 1
Groomsmen shot 2

So back with the stunning bride and her fun bridesmaids. I just got back up to the bridal suite and  Sally was in the hot seat waiting for her turn with the hairstylist whilst sipping champagne. Now, Sally was quite the opposite to Darren with expressing her emotions. She did show signs of nervousness which is great for me. We had fun all morning and I dare say the champagne helped with the nerves as we approached the big moment.

Rebecca laughing in window
bride in mirror
Bride portrait

Darren was entertaining the guests at the alter and still showing no signs of cracking under the pressure. Meanwhile the bride had made the short walk down the stairs of the bridal suite and came through the large wooden doors of the mansion arm in arm with her bridesmaids. It was a great scene and full of anticipation. We were all smiles during the blustery ceremony but it all went without a hitch.

bride with bridesmaids
Leez priory tower
Happily married

Cocktails were the order of the day immediately after they tied the knot and before I whisked the couple off for some lovely signature shots. I was literally spoilt for choice on where to take them but the centre piece was perhaps the beautiful lake near the front of the venue which just happened to be the funniest moment too. I had asked the best man to hold my flash which had an umbrella attached. The view the couple got was just a pair of legs and the flashing umbrella and I couldn't get a better natural beaming smile from the pair of them if I tried! 

Couple shot by lake

We worked our way back to the guests having fun with the garden games included in their package and up to the gorgeous room where their sit down meal was to take place. While everyone was enjoying their 3 course meal, the hard working staff at Leez Priory were busy laying down the wooden flooring outside on the grass which is where Sally & Darren's first dance took place.

There was also an eventful bouquet throwing scenario, a live singer on guitar and photo booth fun which made for a memorable day for all involved. It was a real pleasure to cover Sally and Darren's wedding at Leez Priory. I wish them all the best for the future :)

Guitar wedding singer
photo booth fun

If you're thinking of getting married at this or any other venue in the near future, take a look at my luxury wedding packages and drop me a message here if you have any questions. My blog covers other locations and fun stories so take a look here if you get a minute.

Thanks for reading guys!

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