Beautiful at every time of year, Sopley Mill is without question one of my favourite and most popular venues and I’m honoured to be a recommended Sopley Mill Wedding Photographer. I’ve had the pleasure of covering many weddings here, in every season and in all kinds of weather, and I think it’s a total charmer of a venue; a lovely red-brick building surrounded by gorgeous countryside. Sopley Mill always has that sense of being perfectly nestled away, and exclusively yours for the day. It’s handed over to couples as a blank canvas: yours to use and decorate as you wish, but in reality most couples find it needs very little as it’s such a beautiful and comfortable spot in its own right. With a number of indoor and outdoor ceremony options, including a purpose-built space under the shade of a tree, surrounded by water on either side at the far end of the island, you have every opportunity to put together the wedding of your dreams here (and be confident that it photographs wonderfully throughout the day).



A beautifully maintained 19th century water mill sat on the river Avon on the border of Hampshire & Dorset, in the small New Forest village of Sopley just north of Christchurch. Sopley Mill is made available to couples on an exclusive use basis, so no danger of anyone not involved in or invited to your wedding appearing in the background of your photos! The river runs to either side of a large lawned area which comes into its own in warmer months, with extensive views out across the beautiful water meadows. This area extends down to a paved outdoor ceremony space for those warmer months.

The mill building itself is arranged over four floors: the ground floor features a bar alongside the original mill workings and is used primarily for guest arrivals and post-ceremony drinks and canapes (when guests are not outdoors enjoying the grounds). The first floor houses a large and comfortable dressing room which the bridal party often makes use of (with large windows looking out on three aspects, so you can keep an eye on all the comings and goings). Above that is the floor with the main ceremony room, which in the evening becomes the party room with a small stage at one end, a cocktail bar at the other and dancing in between. On the top floor, the wood-beamed and vaulted-ceilinged room is the setting for the wedding breakfast.

Photo Opportunities:

Where to start? The outdoor spaces and the views beyond are a major attraction here for a Sopley Mill wedding photographer, not only in the immediate grounds but also in the very accessible sounding countryside. Backdrops of water, greenery, stonework and open spaces abound. In colder or wetter weather there are many interesting features inside the mill, notably down by the old cogs and wheels on the ground floor, by the open log fires, and up in the ceremony room I have also previously made use of the raised stage area for family group photos on days when it wasn’t possible to get outdoors. The light in the ceremony room is invariably wonderful, flooding in from large windows on three sides – I’ve never had to use flash in a ceremony. Signature shots here include the glorious sunsets Sopley Mill so often enjoys, the view along the river towards the Mill when lit up in the evening, and out on the old iron bridge which lies just upstream from Sopley Mill, in the golden early evening light.


Ample parking on site. A lift for guests operates between all the floors (except to the dressing room) but be warned it’s not the fastest, so if you have several guests who will be making use of this it’s worth giving them a bit of a head start before heading up for the ceremony or wedding breakfast. Bars on both the ground floor and second floor (party room) so the drinks service can follow you round through your day.

Other Observations:

The owners continue to invest in the mill and grounds year on year, and maintain them to a high standard. The lawns are always impeccably mown, and lots of attention is paid to floral features around the site. The recent addition of a glass-panelled decking area hanging out over the river has transformed that corner of the grounds, and provides a superb additional outdoor option for group photos (without requiring anyone to head onto the grass when it’s damp underfoot).
Sopley Church is very charming, and sits just at the top of the Mill’s driveway so combines perfectly with the Mill for couples seeking a traditional church wedding.
No confetti allowed, but I have photographed many exits to bubbles instead which works extremely well. Huge, big sky views to the West out over the water meadows which can offer the most stunning sunsets on the right day.
In warmer months guests often return outdoors in the evening, and many couples opt for some sort of mobile catering which can be parked up right by the main entrance to the mill. As the daylight starts to fade and the evening draws in, fairly lights strung up across the river and draped along the fences as a finishing touch to the look.

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Are you looking for a Sopley Mill wedding photographer?

If you are looking for a Sopley Mill wedding photographer and would like to know more about my wedding photography services, packages and prices, please do get in touch any time to discuss your plans and ask me any questions you might have; I’m only too happy to help however I can.