If you’re dreaming of a quintessentially English wedding with a grand old venue that oozes luxury and charm as well as offering stunning grounds for those all important photographs, then Bradfield College in West Berkshire could be just the sort of venue you’re looking for. Set in the idyllic rural village of Bradfield (just over an hour by car from London) this 19th century wedding venue offers a range of facilities catering for wedding parties of all sizes, from 40 to 260 guests.
So, what exactly do you mean by a quintessentially English wedding?
Oh good, I’m glad you asked! 😉 I believe a quintessentially English wedding is made up of a blend of the following 3 main ingredients:
- Iconic historic buildings with equally stunning grounds.
- A traditional approach to proceedings with a bit of pomp and circumstance, perhaps with a toastmaster, top hats and tails for the chaps, and encouraging guests to dress equally flamboyantly, not forgetting wedding hats!
- Luxury – think exuberant floral displays, stunning venue styling, arriving in a classic car etc.
A uniquely grand venue
Deciding on your wedding venue is quite possibly the most important decision you’ll make, as everything else centres around this one decision. Once you have found a venue with bags of character and heritage, check out the views – can you see the historic city walls, maybe the spire of a local church or chapel, or can you see sweeping views and rolling hills for miles around?
At Bradfield College you are truly spoilt as the college has a superb countryside setting and a whole host of different rooms to choose from for your wedding celebrations.
If you’re an old ‘Bradfeldian’ you have the option of getting married in the chapel with gorgeous stained glass windows and room for 300 seated guests. (So not really your typical ‘small’ college chapel then!)
Equally impressive is the recently refurbished Dining Hall with it’s high-vaulted wooden beam ceiling which also boasts beautiful stained glass windows and a feature fire place. The Dining Hall may be used for both your civil ceremony and wedding breakfast. It can seat 150 and, if you love the idea of a massive wedding party, you have the option of inviting a further 110 guests for your evening celebrations. Add a lot of candles and fairy lights and you can easily create a cosy and romantic atmosphere for a truly magical setting for your wedding day.
Alternatively, if you plan on keeping things small and intimate, you might rather choose the Warden’s room (with doors that open out onto the large and well-maintained quad) or the cosy Linnell Room with walls adorned with classic artwork, and views across the quad. Both rooms may be used for your ceremony and/or reception drinks.
Aside from the large quad, the College also has a sunken garden with a fountain which is a fantastic backdrop for your photographs.
So basically, whichever room/s you choose – and whatever the time of year too – Bradfield College is sure to wow your guests.
Wedding breakfast with a modern twist
And if you’re worried you might end up with a school dinner of sausages, mash with soggy peas and carrots, please don’t be – all the chefs are highly skilled and have a-la-carte backgrounds. The Catering Manager and Head Chef will work with you to create a tailored menu, adding modern touches to complement the traditions we all know and love. No skimping on beautifully presented and delicious food here, believe me!
Classic and timeless colour scheme
While wedding trends change every year, there’s something so classic about an ivory colour scheme and it works really well in impressive and grand venues. It’s a colour scheme that is simple, yet timeless and is both elegant and contemporary. It’s also one which works with every season, and can be blended with other more unique or quirky elements to make it truly yours. For example, you could add accent colours such as gold for a splash of luxury and green to keep things fresh and calm. Seasonal foliage in both the bouquet and venue décor works well to beautifully tie the colour palette together too.
Could this be the venue for you?
If you’re free, why not come along to the College’s wedding fair on Sunday 29th March 2020 at 11am – 3pm for a look around? More info can be found here. Would love to see you there and answer any wedding photography questions you might have! 🙂
A MASSIVE thank you to the following suppliers who brought this styled wedding shoot together:
Venue –Bradfield College
Photography – Lorna Richerby Photography
Venue styling – The Luxe Design Co
Flowers – Flowers by Helen Elizabeth
Cakes – Fabu-lous Cakes
Stationery –Grace and Bramble
Makeup – Phoebe Hayter
Hair – Calley Thatcher
Jewellery – Fenella Watson Designs
Hair Accessories – Victoria Jane Designs
Bridal wear – Bridal Indulgence
Menswear – Anthony Blay Menswear
Bride Model – Roseanna Liddiard
Groom Model – Matthew Roberts