History, heritage and a handful of outstanding country houses...
I’m Allister Freeman, an established Wiltshire wedding photographer with many years’ experience of weddings in Wiltshire, the UK and Europe. My photography has led me to photographing couples across a variety of cultures and faiths and in all kinds of interesting locations – from the traditional to the downright quirky and everything in between.
What’s the first picture that comes to your mind when you think of Wiltshire? For me, it’s summer solstice at Stonehenge. One of the wonders of the world, Stonehenge puts Wiltshire on the world map. But, being a World Heritage site isn’t the only thing that makes this county one worth visiting, or choosing for your wedding. I have spent a lot of my wedding photography career in Wiltshire, the county that boasts beauty and grandeur to make anyone biased.
To travel through Wiltshire is to travel through time. 9 miles from Stonehenge sits Salisbury. Though it’s the county’s only city, it certainly doesn’t let the historical nature of the county down, with it’s 13th century Cathedral (that happens to house the original copy of the Magna Carta). Romans, Normans, and Saxons have all left their mark on Salisbury – you’ll walk the streets in a winding medieval grid, and on a weekend, arrive at a thriving Wiltshire marketplace that has held regular markets since the 1200s. Not to mention, you’ll find a selection of England’s grandest houses and manors within Salisbury or close by, offering real wedding venue competition with those in within Wiltshire’s neighbouring counties, Hampshire and Dorset.
Salisbury is often referred to as ‘The city in the countryside’, as it is surrounded entirely by the stunning rural landscape that is the signature of Britain. And outside of the city spires, in villages and lost down country roads are nestled plenty of picturesque places to hold your wedding ceremony and reception, from grand houses to quaint private barns.
I have to take a moment to mention Castle Coombe, it’s a wedding photographer’s dream - a village so quintessentially British, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a period drama (it’s not surprising that it has been the backdrop to a few!). Burrowed at the foot of the Cotswolds, the village has been remarked upon as one of the most beautiful in England.
I have been fortunate to have already been commissioned as a Wiltshire wedding photographer in the village, most notably at the Manor House Hotel, a perfect choice for any couple looking for a wide open space for a large wedding party of guests. With the choice of the open air pavilion, or one of the many impressive high-ceiling ornate suites, you’re spoilt for choice for a canvas on which to design your day. And the beauty of it? Whether an indoor or outdoor wedding, whether a bright and elegant suite ceremony, or a cosy intimate reception in the drawing room by a roaring fire, you’ll always have a breathtaking view over the Cotswolds as your wedding photography backdrop.
If you’re looking for something a little more intimate and private for your Wiltshire wedding day, I have to recommend some of the stunning barns you can find in the region, some so remote and hidden they’re hard to find! Wick Bottom Barn on the outskirts of Marlborough is one of these ‘best kept secret’ venues in Wiltshire, and one that deserves mention, the epitome of rustic charm – beautiful little stone buildings, and a long candlelit barn, dramatically romantic with few windows to let the light in. A venue like this is a find for a couple that want to create a truly intimate experience, but it’s a tricky one for most wedding photographers to capture. Thankfully, these low lighting venue are where I my photo creating skills thrive, and capturing the personality of this property is a privilege.
Choosing to hold your wedding in Wiltshire means you’re going to want to choose a wedding photographer and a photographic style that really lends itself to showcasing everything the rural landscape has to offer. It’s the combination of you, your guests and your venue that tell the whole story of your wedding day, and this is what I do when I photograph a wedding – tell your story. This style is often called ‘Reportage’ or ‘Documentary wedding photography'. My job as a wedding photographer is to get into the heart of the action, and capture the natural human moments that make the day so special, a wedding in Wiltshire doesn’t need posing, or
Choose Wiltshire for your wedding and invite your guests to stand in the midst of history, with Great British countryside all around them. This dreamy county is a treasure chest of locations, whether you’re inviting the masses, or keeping it small and select. I’ve already told some beautiful stories whilst commissioned as a Wiltshire wedding photographer, but I always welcome the opportunity to go back, with my camera at the ready.