I have probably photographed at most of the popular Cambridge wedding venues over the years and I have always been struck by the sheer variety of options available. In the city itself there are the hotels and of course the Cambridge Colleges and these are intermingled with a liberal spattering of halls, stately homes and estates as well as numerous conference and event venues. Heading more out of town there are a number of “farm” type venues as well as numerous medieval restored barns (I do love the craftsmanship of an oak framed building!) with varying degrees of rustic homeliness and also a number of meadows, gardens and communal spaces just perfect for quintessential English marquee receptions.
So, for the planning bride and overwhelmed groom who are going to get married in the Cambridge area this presents a relatively bewildering choice. Each type of venue has it’s own particular pros and cons and you will need to think carefully about what is important to you. What type of venue suits your style and also the feel of the wedding you want? To a certain extent this decision might well be preceded by the decision as to whether you would like a church or civil ceremony and also the potential logistics of getting from the ceremony to the reception. You will also need to look carefully at the capacity of each of the venues dependant upon the number of people you are intending to invite – will they also need overnight accommodation? Some locations have this all set up on site whilst at others it will be a case of “carriages at midnight”.
To hopefully help out further I have listed some of my favourite venues below with a link to some further information about them written from a bit of an insider’s view. I obviously look at a venue in a very different way to a potential bride and groom; I’m not particularly interested in the seating capacity or the stability of the marquee floor – I am much more concerned with the potential quality of the light, the amount of available space to work in and the variety of locations to shoot in. I think it can also be quite difficult when you are viewing a venue to imagine how it might look set up for a wedding and how the space might potentially be used – hopefully some of the included photographs will be illuminating in this respect as well!