Beautiful, relaxed and unobtrusive wedding and portrait photography - based in Winchester, Hampshire and covering locations across southern England and London.
Southdowns Manor is a beautiful, striking wedding venue tucked deep in the countryside on the edge of the South Downs national park. Despite having a lot of history as a building it’s actually a relatively new venue, having undergone a huge refurbishment and renovation programme about a decade ago. The eye-catching art-deco style function space complete with sweeping glass corridor complements the older, main manor house.
I was one of the very first photographers through the door upon its completion, attending and photographing their official launch party. Since that time I’ve been fortunate to return on various occasions as a Southdowns Manor wedding photographer for some absolutely wonderful weddings, and every time I do I always seem to discover something new.
Southdowns Manor is an exclusive-use wedding venue located in a quiet rural setting on the edge of the South Downs national park. The quaint market town of Petersfield sits a few miles to the South. Travel east and you’ll soon reach Midhurst, and on every side you’ll enjoy gorgeous rolling countryside. After undergoing a huge refurbishment programme (so everything still looks nice and shiny and new) Southdowns Manor wedding venue now offers a complete wedding celebration option with a beautiful bridal suite and several further guest bedrooms available, meaning that the couple and their favoured friends and relatives can party long into the night. And even through the next day too should you wish.
Southdowns Manor’s lovely landscaped gardens look out over open countryside to the rolling hills of the South Downs, and have a number of lovely features including a gazebo, terrace, mature trees and old stonework. It is very well set up for an outdoor ceremony – see the purpose-built space to the side of the building – with a stunning backdrop.
Indoors, Southdowns Manor has a number of reception rooms which have been laid out in such a way that a wedding day flows quite naturally from one stage to the rest. Arriving guests are greeted in the comfortable bar and lounge after passing through the impressive lobby. In the heart of the Manor sits the ceremony room, with large windows looking out over the gardens. This room also features a bar which comes into play for the evening celebrations, as beyond this room is the large, drape-ceilinged ballroom. A particular advantage of this arrangement is that clever use of curtains and screens means that one part of the venue can be in use for one part of the day whilst the next is already in the process of being set up, meaning far less disruption for the wedding party. Alternatively, the space can be opened up fully to reveal a much larger dining or celebration space depending on the size of the wedding.
The other major plus-point here is the upstairs accommodation, in particular the beautifully appointed bridal suite at one end of the corridor, and at the other the dressing room; both excellent options for those pre-ceremony getting ready shots. In between, a series of bedrooms available to guests – handy for getting ready earlier in the day and for getting your head down at the other end of the celebrations.
There are so many possibilities for a Southdowns Manor wedding photographer both indoors and out. The Manor itself has a very striking frontage; a more traditional house on one side gives way to sweeping, almost art-deco architecture on the other, with a curved, tiled corridor offering a lot of photographic interest. The wide sweeping views across to the South Downs are a big attraction; you’re deep in farming country here and there’s barely another building out there to interrupt the view. In and around Southdowns Manor’s landscaped grounds there are plenty of flowers and grasses, mature trees and stonework, and charming little country lanes.
Inside, the aforementioned dressing room and bridal suite offer lots of options as people get ready, and the smart and comfortable bar area is great for guests arriving and candid photos of everyone enjoying themselves. The impressive lobby makes a big first impression too.
One of the other things that I like at Southdowns Manor from a wedding photographer’s perspective is the attention to detail in things like furniture, arched doorways and so on. Ornate sofas, chaises longue and dressing screens are dotted around and definitely enhance an image.
Despite being deep into the countryside Southdowns Manor is straightforward to find (as long as people can follow basic instructions!) and sits just 10 minutes from the A3 (M) so is easy to get to from many directions. Loads of parking and outdoor space. Indoors, all of the action takes place on the ground floor (unless you are staying in or using one of the rooms upstairs) and accessibility is very good.
On a wet wedding day, it’s perfectly possible to photograph (smaller) groups indoors with a nice backdrop, particularly in the bar area, and there are lots of lovely features which lend themselves to indoor couple portraits too.
The in-house catering team have a very extensive repertoire. The ceremony room is lined with very large picture windows which look out over the gardens. This faces to the East, so unless you have a morning ceremony you shouldn’t have strong sunlight shining through and casting awkward shadows.
If you are looking for a Southdowns Manor 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.