Val & Royston married at Leez Priory in July 2021, and these are the photos. They had planned to get married in Barbados, with a ceremony photographed on the Caribbean beach, but the pandemic changed their plans. Royston had once been at an event at Leez Priory so knew it as a beautiful wedding venue. They booked the date and hired me as photographer.
Wedding photography is a real pleasure in the Grade I listed Leez Priory. The estate is primarily comprised of two parts, the main building acts as a hotel, with rooms, disco, bar, restaurant and offices for the staff. Every bit of it is photographic.
The tower then serves as the centre of the complex. In good weather ceremonies take place on the lawn before the tower, so that the photos have a great architectural backdrop. In bad weather, ceremonies either happen within the tower, up the spiral staircase to the 2nd floor, or for larger wedding parties in the main building under the timber beamed ceiling.
There are numerous spots for great photos at Leez Priory. The lake with its central fountain would usually make a great background, but it started pouring down, so Val and Royston started a “Singing in the Rain” routine with their umbrella, in front of the 16th century oak doors. I snapped away, then before I got too soaked, we ducked inside to the piano room, for a portrait before the fireplace and one at the ornate antique piano.
The giant chess board on the lawn/courtyard is also a nice place for photos, as is the main hallway at the entrance hall, where n ancient times you could ride your horse straight through to the courtyard.
It’s a beautiful Tudor Mansion and makes the perfect backdrop to the romantic photoshoots.
It started out as an Augustinian Monastery, then changed ownership and purpose in the dissolution of the monasteries (of !536-1541), when Henry VIII gifted the land and buildings to Sir Richard Rich, a man who became chancellor of the exchequer after giving evidence that condemned Thomas.
Today the former Augustinian monastery is a great Essex mansion, and a perfect wedding venue. It was designated a Grade I listed building in 1952.
In fact, Leez Priory was the first country house in the UK to be licensed to hold civil ceremonies when the law charged in 1995.
For wedding photography, Leez Priory is one of the most beautiful marriage venues in the country.