This beautiful Grade II listed building is situated at the highest point of Richmond Park, the largest Royal Park in London. I fell in love with this venue back in September 2018 when I photographed Naomi and Jakub’s London Wedding. The classic Georgian architecture combined with the perfectly landscaped gardens, provide an abundance of inspirational backdrops for wedding photos. As a Pembroke Lodge Wedding Photographer, I can promise you, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Documenting Weddings at this Georgian House in Richmond
Pre Wedding Prep
Presently, Pembroke Lodge doesn’t have any accommodation on site but the are some fantastic hotels nearby which have beautiful suites to get ready in on the morning of your wedding. The Petersham is a charming Victorian Hotel situated near the Sawyer Hill entrance to Richmond Park. They have a stunning penthouse suite overlooking the river – the perfect room for bridesmaids or groomsmen to get ready in. As it’s located a short walk from Richmond Hill, I’d recommend scheduling some time for portraits before the ceremony to make the most of those views overlooking the Terrace Gardens and the River Thames.
Alternatively, The Richmond Hill Hotel is a traditional Georgian building with a stunning modern interior. The interesting decor allows for lots of creative photo opportunities and the use of textures, plants and shiny surfaces are great for photographing details. The offer two large suites which have plenty of space for members of the wedding party and lots of natural light…perfect for hair and make up.
Having two luxury hotels just a stones throw away from the venue means you and your partner can get ready in separate venues without the risk of bumping into each other.
Getting Married at Pembroke Lodge
When it comes to tying the knot at this magnificent wedding venue, there are two suites available both with their own dedicated outdoor ceremony areas. The Russell Suite, situated on the first floor of the venue, is full of character and original features with stunning views of the park. It leads to the Woodland Garden which is licensed for outdoor ceremonies and seats up to 70 people making it perfect for intimate weddings.
The Belvedere suite can accommodate up to 140 people and has been designed in the same classic style, in keeping with the traditional Georgian Architecture. Guests can enjoy stunning views of the Thames Valley to the west and there’s a large terrace for guests to enjoy cocktails in the evening whilst watching the sunset.
Photographing wedding ceremonies at this venue is a dream! The white interior reflects the natural light coming in from the large windows giving the images a bright and airy feel at any time of year. I rarely use off camera flash or video lights during a ceremony but it’s definitely not required at this gorgeous venue. The windows are west facing which means you don’t have to worry about guests sitting in bright sunshine or, from a photography perspective, uneven dappled light on a bright, summers day.
For those looking to have a church ceremony, St Mary Magdalene is a beautiful Grade II listed church located a few minutes away, in the heart of Richmond. There’s also a Catholic church called St Mary’s which is situated just a short drive from the venue in Twickenham.
Taking Group Photos in Richmond Park
As a Pembroke Lodge wedding photographer, I’ve got some favourite spots to photograph family formals on a wedding day. It’s worth bearing in mind, Richmond Park has beautiful grounds but you do require a license to shoot there. There are, however, some lovely areas around the venue that are accessible throughout the day.
One of my favourite spots is just to the side of the venue where guests enter the Belvedere suite. It’s got open shade which is perfect for combatting the harsh midday sun and the ivy climbing up the white walls creates a beautifully simple background. If you’ve hired the Belvedere suite, the terrace is another great place for portraits. The views of the Thames Valley create a stunning backdrop but it’s worth waiting until later in the day when the light is much softer.
Portraits of the Bride and Groom at London Mansion
I tend to break up couple photos throughout the day. Shooting in different lighting conditions enables me to create a wide variety of portraits and it also means you’re not away from your guests for too long. One of my favourite spots is the elegant entrance to Pembroke Lodge framed with pretty purple Wisteria. This area is open to the public so it can get a little busy during the day but I’m usually able to spend five or ten minutes capturing some photos of the newlyweds. There are often two weddings happening on the same day, so it’s worth liaising with the co-ordinator to schedule a time to ensure you don’t bump into another bride.
Just a short walk from the venue is a vibrant rose garden which is a place to shoot if you want to add some colour to your wedding portraits. The final shoot of the day tends to be scheduled around golden hour to make the most of that heavenly light. In my opinion, the best place for evening photos at Richmond park is at King Henry’s Mound, where you can soak up the magnificent views whilst watching the sunset. If you’re lucky, you may even spot some deer!
Documenting Wedding Receptions at Pembroke Lodge
In the summer months, I rarely find the need for artificial light during the speeches because the suites at Pembroke Lodge are flooded with gorgeous, natural light all throughout the day. There’s plenty of room to manoeuvre through the tables allowing me to capture all the best moments using different angles and perspectives. I like to use flash during the first dance to highlight the couple and create a cinematic feel. The pillars around the Belvedere suite are especially good at disguising light stands!
If you’re looking for a Pembroke Lodge wedding photographer, I’d love to hear from you.