Beautiful, relaxed and unobtrusive wedding and portrait photography - based in Winchester, Hampshire and covering locations across southern England and London.
RECCOMMENDED PHOTOGRAPHER AT THIS VENUE
I’m honoured to be a recommended Sopley Mill Wedding Photographer. I have had the pleasure of covering very many weddings at wonderful Sopley Mill, in every season and in all kinds of weather. As a Sopley Mill wedding photographer I think it’s a total charmer of a venue; a beautiful building surrounded by gorgeous countryside. Sopley Mill wedding venue 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.
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.
The 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 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.
Too many to list! The outdoor spaces 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.
The option of accommodation in one of the house’s private flats for the wedding couple – handy both for pre-wedding prep and as somewhere to crash when you’re finally all danced out. Plenty of other accommodation available locally with Winchester’s many hotels, and in the other direction the small market town of Alresford. Avington Park is very easy to reach, just a couple of miles from Winchester and the M3 so reachable from every direction.
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.
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.