Ask any Hertfordshire wedding photographer and they’ll tell you that they love shooting wedding photography at The Grove in Watford.  This former home of the Earls of Clarendon and weekend retreat for Queen Victoria, is an impressive 18th century mansion is set in 300 acres of stunning Hertfordshire countryside.  Today, it stands as an award winning 5-star luxury retreat with an awarding winning spa, championship golf course (it hosted the 2016 British Masters) and award-winning restaurants.  So, the perfect place for a wedding. 

The fizz of excitement starts when you enter The Grove through their palatial gates and along the sweeping driveway.  As a regular wedding photographer at The Grove, I still get a buzz every time I arrive and get my first glimpse of the house and gardens.

Natural wedding photography at The Grove in Watford

The Grove are licensed to hold both marriage and civil ceremonies in several spaces both inside and out.  Their event spaces offer great flexibility so can cater from small intimate weddings to large lavish affairs and everything in between.

The largest of their spaces is Amber.  Catering for up to 400 guests it’s the perfect space for large and Asian weddings.  Bright and airy it has direct access to the beautiful gardens through its floor to ceiling French windows that flood the space with natural light (giving us Grove wedding photographers lots of additional light to play with to create beautiful images) A blank canvas for you to dress in the theme of your wedding, Amber also has an adjoining green room that can act as a preparation area for their bride and groom and for any wedding entertainers/suppliers.

The Cedar Suite is a beautifully designed room that is flooded with natural light.  Its floor to ceiling windows provides a stunning backdrop over the gardens.  It looks like a room from a design magazine.  The Cedar Suite has its own access to a private terrace that overlook the beautiful gardens, the perfect place for reception drinks.  Up to 130 guests can be accommodated in this unique space so it’s ideal for medium sized weddings.  It also offers additional flexibility as it can be divided into three separate rooms and then opened back out to one allowing you to create specific areas on your wedding day. 

The contemporary Ivory Rooms allow you to celebrate your wedding in style.  This flexible space can be broken down into five smaller rooms and kept as one room that can accommodate up to 120 guests.  So is ideal for small and medium sized weddings.  Again, flooded with natural daylight the Ivory rooms offer direct access to The Grove’s formal gardens, allowing weddings to blend the indoor and outdoor spaces.  And with a private entrance you feel totally secluded from the rest of the hotel. 

When I shoot wedding photography at The Grove in Watford, I love capturing evening receptions in The Potting Shed.  Perfect for smaller weddings the Potting Shed can accommodate up to 84 guests.  Situated in The Grove’s stunning Victorian Walled Garden, you can add a marquee for additional space and create a beautiful alfresco garden wedding vibe.

The Cinamon is a contemporary room ideal for smaller and medium sized weddings.  Light and airy it has its own private entrance, terrace and access to the gardens.  It links to Amber, so can also be used as a green room or preparation area for larger celebrations. 

Silk and Ochre work perfectly together, these two smaller rooms can be adjoined or used separately depending on how many guests you need to accommodate at small and intimate weddings.  Situated in the contemporary West Wing, they, like all of The Grove’s Rooms, are flooded with natural light and enjoy gorgeous views of the gardens. 

Experienced The Grove in Watford wedding photographer

You can also choose to have an outdoor wedding in the beautiful gardens and grounds at The Grove.  When I shoot wedding photography at The Grove in Watford, I love it when my couples choose an outdoor ceremony in the Sunken Garden.  The wedding ceremony happens in the centre with guests seated in a circular shape around them.  Creating a wonderfully intimate atmosphere that’s so perfect for a romantic outdoor wedding ceremony. 

And with 300 acres of beautiful rolling parkland with tranquil lakes, avenues of trees and natural woodland.  I am spoilt for choice when it comes to having beautiful backdrops when I photograph my couples and their guests. 

As I said before, The Grove has award winning restaurants so it won’t surprise you to learn that when it comes to wedding food they never fail to impress.  Their team of chefs combine delicious flavours, fresh ingredients and stunning presentation.  They offer everything from gourmet buffets to three course meals and can cater for all dietary requirements.  They also partner with carefully selected kosher caterers and specialist Asian caterer ‘Madhu’s’ who they work with for larger events. 

The Grove in Watford have lots of accommodation for you and your guests to stay over.  A selection of stylish rooms and suites including family rooms are available.  There are luxury rooms in the Mansion that are steeped in royal history along with some contemporary and stylish rooms in the West Wing.  The Grove have a selection of individually designed suites that are ideal for bridal preparation and as a honeymoon suite.  Your wedding planner will agree a favourable rate for your guests. 

Storytelling wedding photography at The Grove in Watford

The Grove in Watford have a very experienced wedding team.  Their planners will help you with organising your day by guiding you through every decision.  They offer three easy to understand wedding packages, Pure Simplicity, Pure Elegance and Pure Indulgence so you know up front precisely what you can expect and won’t be hit with any unexpected costs after the wedding day.    

Booking your wedding with The Grove in Watford really is placing it in safe and experienced hands allowing you to get on with enjoying your day. 

So, if you’re thinking of getting married at The Grove in Watford, I hope this blog has been useful to you.  And if you’re looking for an experience The Grove wedding photographer then feel free to get in touch.

I’d love to hear about your wedding plans…

The Grove Wedding of Iris and Andrew; a wedding in Wonderland
Iris, originally from Hong Kong, first met Andrew 6 years ago where they both worked as architects.

They were recommended to look at my photography by their chosen venue, The Grove in Watford. In additional to a traditional church wedding the couple had planned a fairytale Alice in Wonderland themed reception for sixteen of their closest family and friends.

I arrived at their cottage in Watford in good time to be greeted by the bride and her best friends and was ushered into the lounge where Yandis was finishing Iris’s makeup and hair.

The lounge was adorned with large fuchsia and baby pink paper balls both hanging delicately from the ceiling and around the walls, and there in the centre of the lounge was the beautiful dress designed and made by Lusan Mandongus and purchased from The Wedding Wardrobe in Kennington Road, Waterloo.

I could sense immediately that Iris had gone to great lengths to focus on every detail of her special day when I glimpsed the hand made invitation that read

“ Iris & Andrew Invite you to join them thru the looking glass and down the isle to the wonderland of marriage“

Even her shoes had been adorned with that extra touch; ‘I’ ‘Do’ had been painted on to the individual soles.

Once she had slipped into her wedding gown the next step was to add the exquisite jewelry and bridal tiara all made by Glitzy Secrets.

With the lounge dappled in beautiful light I was able to take the most natural and beautiful documentary bridal photographs and once finished I could see outside her chauffer standing next to the highly polished Windsor Blue Rolls Royce waiting to transport her and her father to the catholic church; The Holy Rood, where Father Paul McAleenan would join their hands in marriage.

Iris began the decent down the isle to the waiting Andrew and with just 16 guests looking on. Thanks to a very compliant priest I was able to get many documentary wedding photographs of their small but beautiful ceremony. Her best friend Hannah sung Avia Maria.

After the short ceremony it was back in the waiting car and a short drive to the five star Spa hotel The Grove.

Once all the guests had arrived the couple held a traditional Chinese Tea ceremony held in the Garden Room room that also held the most fantastic cake I have ever seen, made by Choccywoccydoodah, it was made to match their Alice in Wonderland theme.

Details were everywhere you turned from the wishing tree, the very English teacups to the old copies of Lewis Carroll’s books, with the centrepiece being The Mad Hatters hat and his pocket watch.

With the advantage of The Grove’s beautiful gardens as my backdrop, I decided to take advantage of the soft light and photograph both the small family groups and then the beautiful bridal portraits for their wedding album, whilst their guests enjoyed ice cream and canapés all washed down with ice-cold bubbly champagne.

After mingling with their friends for the reception a little later they were all invited into the Donneraile room where the wedding breakfast would be served. Again the attention to detail could be seen every which way you turned, including the most amazing favor boxes, the Alice in Wonderland playing cards and the hand tied menu’s with ‘eat me’ messages.

Iris now wearing a beautiful bonnet and Andrew a Mad Hatters Hat, were announced to their guests where they enjoyed a beautiful meal served by the staff at The Grove and music by harpist Isabella.

After dinner they retired back to the Garden room where they took their first dance.

Their entire wedding was captured in a reportage and documentary style enabling the couple to enjoy their wedding day whilst I captured them and their guests engaged in enjoying the experience of this very magical day.

Alice in Wonderland themed wedding at The Grove
Alice in Wonderland at The Grove Hotel

Please call or e.mail Mark Seymour Photography to discuss your reportage wedding photography