As a wedding photographer we often get asked “What do you think is the best wedding venue?”. The answer to this is a little complicated as the interpretation of ‘best’ can be very personal!
For me personally, what makes a great wedding venue are the standards they offer. I like venues whereby the natural DNA of the location takes guests on a journey and provides them with a truly memorable experience. It's my opinion that the grounds of a venue and the way in which they are kept set a tone for the wedding day. The staff and their approach has such a bearing on the day, so when an experienced team look after a wedding it is enhanced tremendously!
The food is also important, not only the quality but the way in which it is presented on the plate and brought to the table! There are so many elements that make a good wedding venue that when this question is asked the response is always difficult.
There is a venue that ticks all of the above boxes and many more and that is Knowsley Hall.
Knowsley Hall is situated in Prescot and a stones throw away from our studio. In fact, this venue is probably the closest wedding venue to our location!
Once you arrive at the gates of Knowsley Hall prepare yourself for quite possibly the longest driveway you have ever experienced! As you drive down the private road with fields either side filled with sheep, you quickly forget that just moments earlier you were in a residential part of Merseyside.
Then out of the blue appears the Grade II listed hall, a magnificent stately home with an impressive staircase and a stunning presence.
At this point you are completely isolated from the outside world and at home within these private, exclusive grounds.
The fact that this venue is exclusive is a massive attraction. There are similar venues which offer a comparable style to Knowsley Hall but are not exclusive, so you can have other events or members of the public walking around whilst your wedding is taking place. Personally, if I were getting married at a stately home wedding venue, the fact that the entire affair is centred around our special day instantly sells the venue to me!
Before you park the car and go inside the main entrance, take the time to admire the building from the front. From the decorative eagles on the entrance through to the sculptures and details on the main building. These steps are usually the location we use for the main group photos.
Once through the doors you will be mesmerised by the historic furniture, stunning decoration and masterpiece wall hung paintings.
Directly opposite the main entrance there are some doors that lead to the rear entrance and once outside on the terrace you are greeted by meticulously kept lawns and gardens.
In the summer, your drinks reception can be held here which makes natural shots of your guests very easy to capture. The grounds at the rear also offer many spots for photos, including a lake, gardens and even architectural spots with roman style pillars.
The grounds are fantastic for wedding photography and wedding film and it's always a nice problem to have when there are so many options to choose from.
Upon retuning inside you will notice a grand staircase. This is one of my favourite sections of the venue and if you plan on getting ready at the venue it makes for a lovely natural shot of the bride and whoever is giving her away en route to the ceremony. The natural light is brilliant here and lends itself to wedding photos.
There are too many rooms to mention individually of which you and your guests have access to, but there is a lounge section and in the winter the wood fuelled fire is lit and makes for a perfect snug for any of your wedding guests who are seeking a little refuge from the hustle and bustle of the wedding day.
As you explore the venue you will notice some historic furniture which have details of the collection they are from or clues towards it's past. Peppered throughout the venue are photographs of dignitaries, royalty and the Lord & Lady of the estate. All of which contribute to the atmosphere of the setting.
The Stucco Ballroom is where your wedding ceremony will be held if you choose a civil ceremony at Knowsley Hall. There are large windows at both ends of this room, making the natural lighting perfect for wedding photos during the ceremony. The happy couple plus all guests have a good amount of light. The decor and detail in this room is elevated by the natural light with the natural colours and lighting providing a picture perfect backdrop to your ideal ceremony.
The space in which your wedding breakfast and speeches are held is stunning. The architecture and detail in this room is beyond belief and the moment your guests are brought into this space for the meal is very special. To see and hear the reactions as they walk into this space never gets old. Even after visiting the venue countless times, to still walk into this space when fully dressed takes your breath away.
Once your guests are seated the wedding team co ordinate a moment which adds to the drama of the day and provides a great photo or video opportunity.
For the first time as a married couple, you will be announced into the room from behind the huge authentic ornate double doors, walking through your guests as they cheer to welcome you and celebrate the moment.
The top table is positioned in front of large windows and there are further windows to the side allowing plenty of light for your speeches. Notably there are blinds on these windows so for weddings in the summer months we can control the light if during the speeches it's a little harsh.
I also like the fact that the venue have an in house PA, giving your speakers during the wedding speeches the option of using a microphone. This may seem to be a simple offering but it is one that not all venues offer and demonstrates the thoughtfulness of the team at Knowsley Hall.
Once the wedding breakfast and speeches are complete, your guests will be ushered back to the Stucco Ballroom where your band, DJ, Dance Floor, Photobooth, Ice Sculpture etc will have already been set up, allowing a seamless transition from daytime to evening. This is a situation not all venues offer, as many wedding venues don’t have the luxury of independent spaces for day and night so a turnaround is usually required. This would traditionally mean your guests spending time in a bar area whilst the wedding team turn the space around and your suppliers set up. This isn’t the case at Knowsley Hall and the experience for your guests is only further maximised.
The room may look a little small if you have over one hundred guests and it can get a little cramped, however in my opinion this adds to the atmosphere of the evening celebrations.
Throughout the day, there is the opportunity for the couple to freshen up in the suites and rooms available on site. There are a number of rooms available at the venue, giving the option for key members of the party to stay the evening.
Once freshened up, there are countless opportunities for sunset images and these can be done at the front or rear of the venue, with both offering stunning backdrops and at times magical light.
Your wedding photography and videography coverage usually ends just after the first dance. First dance is usually scheduled for circa 8.30 and we stay for about an hour after this. This gives us the opportunity to cover your evening guests, the final formalities such as the cake cutting and dances plus some of your evening entertainment.
Most occasions we are booked for wedding photography and videography we are also booked for our Photo Booth or Selfie Mirror . These are traditionally set up in one of the entrance halls, perfect for your guests as they arrive and explore the Hall during the evening.
Knowsley Hall undoubtedly offers one of the best wedding experiences amongst the vast choice you have with wedding venues. The staff go above and beyond and the level of service is very high, almost unparalleled. The food is exceptional with a focus on locally sourced ingredients, most recently a Pheasant Mini Pizza was on the evening menu which was both a talking point and super tasty!
We have put together a selection of images we have shot previously at Knowsley Hall within this blog, however we would always recommend viewing a full wedding gallery from the venue. Please get in contact if you would like to request this, alternatively you can arrange an appointment at our studio which is located about a 10 minute drive from Knowsley Hall.
For more information about the services we can provide for your special day, call us on 0151 708 7077 or email us at email@example.com
To view our fleet of wedding cars available for hire, you can visit us here