A stunning Gothic castle in the heart of Twickenham

I’m a Strawberry Hill House wedding photographer with a passion for capturing real memories, and real moments, not just standing around posing all day. And whenever I’m invited to photograph a wedding at this incredible Gothic villa it’s always a thrill. Who wouldn’t want to be let loose with a camera or two in Strawberry Hill House? It’s got to be one of the most magical and photogenic wedding venues in London, and the fact it’s so close to me, tucked away in the leafy suburbia of Twickenham, is just a lovely Brucey bonus.

If you’re looking for a photographer who can make the most of this breathtakingly atmospheric setting for your wedding without wasting hours of your day lining up for cheesy posed shots, I’m your man. As much as I love a creative romantic sunset portrait, I want you to spend as much of your day as possible making tons of your own cherished memories. And then I can just fit in around you and your guests and capture all the love, tears, and joy, in stylish candid photos. I’m not a poser, and you don’t need to be either.

Whether you’re spending your whole wedding day at Strawberry Hill House or just your reception and party, get in touch as I’d love to find out more.

 

A fairy-tale wedding at Strawberry Hill House

Enjoy this gallery of highlights of Charlotte & Cristiano’s wedding day, starting at The Petersham Hotel for bridal prep, on to St Mary’s University College chapel for the ceremony, and ending at Strawberry Hill House for the reception and party on the dancefloor. That’s how I like to capture a wedding day – from start to finish.

Charlotte and Cristiano wanted a fairytale feel to their day, inspired by the “Strawberry Hill Gothic” architecture with its turrets and battlements, beautiful white walls, and elaborate decoration throughout every room of the villa. So after their ceremony we took a quick tour around the most stunning rooms so they could snuggle for some portraits, before the wedding breakfast in the Gallery, cutting the cake in the Round Room, and the first dance and dance-floor party downstairs.

But we begin at The Petersham Hotel where the bride was doing not only her bridesmaids’s hair and makeup, but her own too! So when I arrived her brother gave her a quick call to make sure they were ready for their wedding photographer to pay them a visit…

 

 

Strawberry Hill House has so much to offer

You can host your whole wedding at Strawberry Hill House if you want, not just your reception and party. The villa has two rooms suitable for the ceremony itself: the Gallery has a fan-vaulted ceiling, crimson walls and golden canopies (seen during the banquet above); or the Round Room has a more intimate feel with stunning painted glass windows (it’s where the cake is being displayed above). Then there’s a wealth of other rooms to host your champagne reception, wedding breakfast, and first dance, plus 5 acres of Grade II listed garden and woodland to spread out into.

Of course one of the biggest added benefits of choosing Strawberry Hill House is the wedding planning team at Bovingdons. They’ll look after you every step of the way, including handling the all-important catering – what’s a wedding day at a Gothic villa without an incredible banquet to feast on, fuelling you for the dancing and celebrations to come? They also take care of Fulham Palace weddings, so I know the whole team very well and they’re always on hand to make every couple’s dream day come together.

 

 

A classic English garden for your reception

After your ceremony, in good weather you can start your champagne reception outside amongst the romantic garden behind the villa. Originally designed with inspiration by the English Garden Movement, you’ll enjoy an expanse of lawn and meadow surrounded by winding paths through fragrant flowerbeds, and a grove of lime trees complete with a clearing lit by dappled sunlight, with ancient felled trees and stumps to relax by.

The original architect Horace Walpole described it as “an open grove through which you see a field which is bounded by a serpentine wood of all kind of trees and flowering shrubs and flowers”, and that serpentine wood exists to this day, lovingly recreated by the Strawberry Hill House restoration team, along with a recreation of Walpole’s extraordinary Shell Seat feature.

As a wedding photographer, there’s almost too much to choose from. Shall we make some romantic portraits of you wandering hand-in-hand through the lime grove, or into the woodland, or along the winding flowerbed paths? Or head out across the lawn to capture the view looking back towards the House as the sun sets? Or explore the House itself, finding the sunlight as it streams through a stained glass window to bathe you in ethereal rays?

 

The magical ‘Strawberry Hill Gothic’ archictecture

If the weather doesn’t work out there’s several options for taking your cocktails inside. Charlotte and Cristiano used The Library, with floor-to-ceiling bookcases packed with dusty tomes on both sides of the room, each featuring an ornate pierced Gothic arches at their top, all lit by a tall, wide, equally ornate arched window at one end topped by stained glass.

Then the first dance and party in the evening The Great Parlour downstairs, with its eye-catching cornice and elaborate fireplace, can accommodate a dance-floor and DJ booth, all lit dramatically by Effect Event.

In fact there’s not a single part of Strawberry Hill House that isn’t intricately and beautifully detailed. From the staircase to the ceilings to the window mouldings, everywhere you look is a feast for the eyes. Even the walls themselves draw you in with their rich texture and colour.

 

 

Other venues near Strawberry Hill House

To start your wedding day in relaxed style with bride and groom prep there’s a wealth of nearby hotels to choose from. I’m a frequent visitor to both Richmond Hill Hotel, and The Petersham Hotel, both in the Richmond area and around 15-20 minutes drive away.

If you’re choosing a church wedding with Strawberry Hill House for your reception, the most obvious choice for the ceremony is the St Mary’s University chapel right next door. In fact the university bought the House in 1923, but the Strawberry Hill Trust took over the 120 year lease in 2002 so they could focus on their successful restoration works.

From the chapel it’s literally a two minute walk across St Mary’s University Park at the back straight onto the ground of the House. But to really appreciate the grandeur of approaching the Gothic castle from the front, take a five minute stroll along Waldegrave Road and make your grand entrance through the main gateway in the front wall.

 

Recommended Fulham Palace wedding suppliers

Here’s some links for the venue (in case you haven’t already found it!) plus some of my favourite suppliers I can recommend for your Strawberry Hill House wedding, from bridal hair & makeup artists, to florists, to entertainers.

Strawberry Hill House Weddings | strawberryhillhouse.org.uk • Bovingdons (planning & catering) | bovingdons.co.uk • The Petersham Hotel | petershamhotel.co.ukRichmond Hill Hotel | richmondhill-hotel.co.uk • Rose & Mary Flowers (florist) | roseandmary.co.uk • Mary Jane Vaughn (florist) | maryjanevaughan.co.uk • Albert + Arthur (florist) | albertandarthur.com • Mystique Flowers (florist) | mystiqueflowers.co.uk • Kristina Gasperas (hair & makeup) | kristinagasperas.com • Carla Francesca (makeup) | Instagram • Blush + Blow (hair & makeup) | blushandblowlondon.com • The Dominos (band) | thedominos.co.uk • Daniel Mills (pianist) | http://www.danielmills.co.uk • Effect Event (event design) | effectevent.co.uk