Chris Woodman Photography

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

Wedding days at the Fennes in Essex are special. Find out why here!

Wedding days at the Fennes are always a special occasion so I thought i'd share with you why I love it so much as an Essex wedding photographer. I often get asked what my favourite location is and it's hard to give a definitive answer because every venue offers something different which makes my job incredibly interesting. I do feel that if I had a top 10 list though, the Fennes in Braintree would definitely feature.

I'd like to give you my take on the venue and guide you through some of the reasons for it's popularity amongst couples, photographers and visitors alike. I know that I like to read about what others have to say about something before I make my mind up so I hope this can help someone out there that may be still be undecided on their dream location.

Now, one thing that really hits you as you drive down the path to the venue is the stunning Georgian manor house surrounded by immaculate lawn. It really is a postcard scene right from the beginning. It's actually built on 100 acres of land so your photo opportunities are almost endless.  You'll usually find even the most active child worn out come the evening celebrations - kids love it here which is always a plus for what can be a long day for them.


If you were to drive along this path and stop where I have taken this image (above), you would see a gorgeous white wooden bridge crossing some water with a fountain to finish. It doesn't matter what time of year you get married, it's always a part of the Fennes that looks amazing and produces wonderful images for the album.


There are multiple shots you can have from this bridge and one of the most popular ones is having the couple stand in the middle and include the fountain through the plant life. It makes a great cover image don't you think?

So let's talk a little more about the interior because you really are spoilt for choice when you enter through the grand doorway and into the hall. On the immediate left as you walk in, you're greeted with a well furnished and well thought through room which is normally one of the areas that guests like to congregate in on arrival. You can have some fun in here with your photographer and again it offers ample opportunities to capture those special moments.


If you were to look across the hall way from where the bride & groom are seated in this image (above), you'd be peering into a room just as beautifully designed and offering equal amounts of charm. Nice big windows, tall ceilings and relevant furniture in keeping with the north Essex countryside venue. I have to say that although this bride below looks stunning on her own, it took some doing to get the area clear to capture such a shot. People loved this room for it's airiness and space and were pretty reluctant to vacate it on request but we got there :). It's a room you simply can't ignore!


Moving on from this room and further down the hallway, you come to a lovely stairway. It leads to the guest rooms upstairs where you'll more than likely stay if you choose this venue for your wedding day. Again the options present themselves for some more nice photos here.


Here's a sneak peek of the room I stood in which is facing the stairway (below). I love it! So we have a red room, a yellow room and now a blue room. Can you see the white door at the back of the room on the left hand side?.... well this would take you back through to the red room that I showed you earlier so it's all nicely linked.


Right, let's say you went upstairs out of curiosity (let's face it - we all would wouldn't we?) - you'll see another example of the great use of space that the Fennes offers with this long mirror and a chaise longue that is crying out to be photographed with you on it!


Just along the way from here are the rooms that the brides either choose to get ready in or stay the night before. I have to say that amongst all the lovely chaos and people coming and going, it still feels like there's space to enjoy the whole experience. 


The image (above) is the first part to the bridal room where many choose to have their hair and makeup done. You can see that a large mirror faces the lady on the chair and behind her there is another large window with amazing views of the grounds. There's plenty of room in this area to feasibly get your bridal party in and ready but linked onto this room and to the seated ladies left is where the brides can get ready on their own if they wish - well, maybe with a little help from mum!.


The view you see here (above) is literally right next to the bridesmaid sitting on the chair. Only a small doorway separates the 2 areas but it's a gorgeous bright room with lots of mirrors.


And now you see what the rest of the room looks like from behind the bride at the window. Lot's of potential for sure!

So what about the groom then? Where would he be getting ready while all this is going on? Well, you could of course stay completely off site if that's what you wanted to do but lets say the bride and groom wanted to stay the night before the big day. The groom would find himself in what I would describe as a small cottage of his own. My picture (below) hopefully demonstrates just how close the grooms residence would be to the main venue should this be your option.


It's a much smaller and quieter area for the groom to get ready in but not lacking any of the charm which is present throughout the whole grounds.


Here we see what the cottage looks like from a vantage point of the main residence. Now there really isn't too much to it on the inside. We have a 4 poster bed, a lavish bath area, an additional on-suite bathroom and it's nicely furnished as you would expect. It's definitely darker on the inside compared to the bright rooms where the bridal party will be but it doesn't take away from it in the slightest. Hopefully you can get some sort of idea of the room in the background from the following images.


Now let's say that you're both ready, the groom is waiting in the ceremony room (which i'll show you in a bit), and the bride would come down those stairs we saw earlier and past them into the area we now see in the image below. It has a lovely red carpet and the staff do a great job to conceal the bride from any prying eyes by using the curtains you see front and back. The other nice thing about this room is that the staff actually allow you to do your confetti moments in here with your guests either side. Ideal if it's raining!


So the bride walks through these curtains and into the ceremony room (below). I have chosen to show you the ceremony room as it would look after the actual ceremony and complete ready to go for your sit down meal. To the left of the image would be where the registrars would be with the nervous groom and you would have chairs left and right of the room. You can just see the opening at the back of the image where the bride would walk through. She would carry on walking past the guests and down the middle until she joined up with the groom just a short way from the windows that run the whole length of the room.


From here, we have several relaxing areas for your guests to enjoy the day. The first image would be the area closest to the ceremony room if you opened the doors straight after getting married. The second is a view of the side of the main building where you also have a seating area and again, we have a closer view of that seating area in the third image.


One of the last areas i'd like to let you know about (and I shouldn't condone the use of it), but everyone seems to be drawn to this large tree stump (below) that really is a stones throw from the main entrance to the venue. I turned around and caught this cheeky little chap jumping up and down on it but I've seen some amazing bride and groom shots done really well that features this stump so it's worth taking a look.


I thought I better show you guys the inside of the reception room before I go to complete my tour. There's plenty more to see and i'm sure you'll find more if you go visit for yourself but I hope  this can give you some idea of what it's like before you even book a showing at the Fennes. 


The view from here looks onto the ceremony room that I showed you earlier. Once the curtains are pulled back, it reveals quite a nice sized dance floor for you to dance the night away. To the left and just out of shot we have the DJ box spinning the tunes. As a possible option, you could even have a bouncy castle (indoors) for the kids to spend their remaining energy on in the next room which you can't quite see from my image. So there you have it - as far as weddings in Essex goes, the Fennes in Braintree should be on your list of possibilities for all that it offers.

There are of course a multitude of options available to you and if you're stuck for where to look next, I have a few more ideas for you to get started here in my previous blog about wedding fayres. You can get all kinds of ideas at a wedding fayre from table decor to Seat covers.

All the images from this blog have been my own so I don't infringe on other photographers work. I understand there are plenty of options available to you regarding the wedding photography but please take a look at what I offer as well as other established Essex Photographers so you get a good idea of what is out there. A good photographer will capture your day just the way you imagined it!  

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