Featured Venue: Hertford Castle

Apr 8, 2024 | Uncategorized

As a Hertfordshire wedding photographer, I’m lucky enough to have an array of great wedding venues on my doorstep. Join me on a journey through a series of blogs where I showcase some of the venues I’ve been lucky enough to work at. 

Nestled into central Hertford, is a stunning Grade I listed building, dating back to the mid-15th century. Magically hidden behind an ancient stone wall, is none other than Hertford Castle Gatehouse. With the castle being a former royal palace and the backdrop to many of Queen Elizabeth I’s childhood adventures, this historic and luxurious venue is no stranger to hosting parties and enthralling guests. Allow me to guide you through the world of Hertford Castle and share a local wedding photographer’s take (spoiler alert: trade secrets within!) on what makes this such an outstanding venue for your special day.

The Detail

Hertford Castle is available on an exclusive hire basis, meaning that there is zero chance of you having to share your wedding day with other event attendees. The castle is yours for the day, with a range of affordable packages, allowing you to celebrate with your nearest and dearest without interruptions. Located in the very heart of the town, Hertford Castle offers great transport links, being a short walk from Hertford East station and only a 30-min drive from Luton Airport for any international guests. With parking close by and local hotels at your fingertips, you can focus on planning your fairytale castle wedding without having to worry over the minor details. 

Whilst the venue itself is dry hire (meaning that anything relating to food and drink is not included), this offers a fantastic opportunity for you to dream as big or small as you wish with regard to your wedding menu. Want to contrast the quintessential British surroundings with a Mediterranean feast? Go for it! Fancy throwing yourself into the spirit of the venue and hosting a Renaissance banquet? By all means. Fish and chips washed down with a bottle of local beer? Why not? If you’re looking for a Hertfordshire wedding venue at a reasonable price, then this could just be it!

The Shots

Now, onto my favourite bit: the photography. Although, you must promise to keep what I’m about to tell you under your hat. I’m about to reveal my closely-guarded must-shoot locations within Hertford Castle so that you can add them to your list of desired shots (and dream about them from now until the big day!). The fact that they’re all in close proximity meaning that you can spend minimal time away from your guests is merely a bonus. 

Stunning spiral

The interior of Hertford Castle boasts a wonderfully romantic spiral staircase, carpeted in a vibrant scarlet and fit for kings and queens. Picture a shot of your loved one leading you up the staircase, smiling back at you as you each wonder how in the world you got so lucky. Fabulous.

Beautiful battlements

The rolling grounds of the castle lend themselves perfectly to the changing seasons, but there is one standout location for me that will always photograph fantastically, whatever the weather. I love to take couples outside and get some shots with the castle’s turrets placed dramatically in the background. This can look very storybook-esque on a clear summer’s day, or marvellous moody under autumn skies. 

Captivating conservatory

For your perfect spring or summer wedding, Hertford Castle’s Victorian conservatory is a lush location for your drinks reception and mingling with your guests. This is one of the most lovely places for me to shoot candid photos of you enjoying your day and interacting with loved ones due to the abundance of natural light. There’s nothing better than getting the perfect shot of you having a special moment with a special person, without you even realising that it was taken. Those kinds of photos are my absolute favourite and make a great little surprise when you get your album.

Ravishing reception rooms 

Whether you’re hosting an extravagant affair or an intimate gathering, you really can’t go wrong with the entertaining spaces at Hertford Castle. With a range of rooms on offer, including those in the castle’s expansive Downshire Suite, you really are spoilt for choice. The lush carpeting, classic wood panelling, and original artwork and fireplaces all make for some majestic and regal backdrops for you and your new spouse in your finery, enjoying a well-deserved celebratory drink or sharing a private chuckle in a secluded spot.

The Team

The staff can really make or break a venue and, judging by how fanatical I’ve been so far, I’m sure you already know which category Hertford Castle’s team fall into. They are nothing short of excellent in their accommodation of guests’ needs and their determination for your wedding day to run smoothly and exactly how you want it to. With statement moments like confetti throws and sparkler exits being key features of many modern weddings, you can rest assured that the castle’s team will take it in their stride and co-ordinate these moments to create the wedding (and photos!) of your dreams. 

The Summary

What’s not to love? A well-run, stunning and historic venue boasting a huge amount of photography potential and great value for money – sold! If Hertford Castle sounds like your dream venue then here’s what you need to do next:

“It’s a beautiful venue, Tim, but just not my sort of thing…”

In that case, well done for making it this far, but never fear! Your dream venue is out there. Keep your eyes peeled for my next feature location blog to see another one of my recommended Hertfordshire wedding venues for a gorgeous, stress-free wedding day. 

As always, happy wedding planning!

Tim

A newly married couple having their confetti throw at Hertford Castle . Taken by Tim Payne Photography, a Hertford wedding photoographer
A newly married couple standing on the spiral staircase in Hertford Castle . Taken by Tim Payne Photography
Bride and her bridesmaids having fun in the grounds of Hertford Castle. Taken by Tim Payne a Hertford wedding photographer
Bride and groom having their first dance at Hertford Castle. Taken by Tim Payne a Hertford wedding photographer
Bride and groom getting married in Hertford Castle.
Black and white image of a Bride and groom in the grounds of Hertford Castle.
A Bride heading to her wedding ceremony in Hertford Castle. Taken by Tim Payne Photography
A newly married couple sitting by the river in the grounds of Hertford Castle. Taken by Tim Payne Photography
Newly married Bride and groom sharing a kiss in the grounds of Hertford Castle. Taken by Tim Payne a Hertfordshire wedding photographer

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