Great Fosters wedding photographers
Great Fosters wedding photography
Great Fosters Hotel, Stroude Road, Egham, Surrey TW20 9UR Phone: 01784 433822
Great Fosters is a magnificent Grade l listed 16th Century mansion which along with its Tithe Barn and all set in 50 acres of beautiful gardens make it a truly wonderful Surrey wedding venue.
A Brief History of Great Fosters
Built around 1550 Great Fosters has been associated with people of considerable importance with strong links to the monarchy and there is a rich and well documented history. The site of Great Fosters sits on the original Manor of Imworth whose Saxon moat, which still surrounds it today dates a round 500 AD.
Some interesting historical aspects include the fact that Henry Vlll used it as a hunting lodge as did his daughter Elizabeth and above the main porch you can see an original Queen Elizabeth l royal crest dated 1598. Indeed there are also Anne Boleyn crests in the Anne Boleyn room.
In 1818 Great Fosters was sold to a Dr Furnivall, one of whose partners was Sir John Chapman, one of the 300 original founders of The Royal College of Surgeons and a forward looking 'modern thinker' in the treatment of mental illness. Great Fosters then became a lunatic asylum and it's believed that King George lll was treated here.
In 1918 Great Fosters became involved in poultry production, the demand for which boomed after the First World War and it is also during this period, with the commissioning of the architect WH Romaine -Walker, famous for his work on the Tate Gallery in the 1930's, that much of house was changed to the building that remains today.
With a new owner in 1930, more restoration and additions were made and so the house became a hotel and in 1931 due to the fact that the Dining Room was not deemed sufficient for the number of guests, the Tithe Barn, which dates from 1390 was dismantled from Ewell Manor in Malden and painstakingly rebuilt at Great Fosters at a cost then of £4,000.
Interestingly the front of Great Fosters was used for the opening sequence to the popular 1950's TV comedy Whack-O! with Jimmy Edwards and was also used in the 1958 'A Night to Remember', a film about the Titanic. Famous guests also include Charlie Chaplain and Orson Welles.
Great Fosters wedding photography opportunities
For the newlywed couple and their wedding photographers Great Fosters provides an absolute wealth of wonderful wedding photography opportunities both inside and out in the beautiful grounds, the latter depending naturally being affected by the season and prevailing weather conditions.
Fascinating historical rooms
The grand drive up to the front door and porch, the latter of which is dated by Queen Elizabeth the 1st's arms of 1598 provides some natural photographic opportunities as does the very solid oak front door with its wicket (door within a door) allowing only one person in at a time. Then you are inside the Great Hall, with its wonderfully ornate plasterwork ceiling which has an incredibly rich and unusual colour built up over time from the smoke of the log fires over so many years of use, as this was the original Dining Hall.
If time allows then a quick walk over to the left takes you to the Anne Boleyn Room with its 16th Century ceiling Queen Anne Boleyn emblems.
A door from the Great Hall takes you via a wonderful rare oak staircase to The Tapestry Room, the perfect place for the Bride to get ready helped by her Bridesmaids and later for the newlyweds to retire to after the wedding day celebrations have ended.
This room was originally the drawing room and on the walls hang early 17th century Flemish tapestries and there are many other notable features such as the Jacobean carved wooden chimneypiece and the carved mantle piece depicting the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The room and the ensuite bathroom provide many atmospheric wedding photography opportunities and a quick look out through the stone mullion windows (all the windows at Great Fosters are the same style) and you are transferred from the relative dark and heaviness of the room to the delightful green of the beautifully laid out gardens below especially the parterre or through the windows at the front of the house and you can see guests as they arrive along the drive.
There are several other notable rooms that offer more photographic opportunities such as the elegant Queen Anne Suite with its four poster bed and walnut doors, the beautiful Italian Room with its rich red damask covered walls, Panel ll with its king size four poster bed and stunning wall panelling or the genteel Nursery with its beautiful ceilings.
Wedding ceremony rooms
You can choose from a number of options for holding your wedding ceremony at Great Fosters:
The Orangery is great for larger wedding parties, with lots of natural light flooding in from the tall arched window and plenty of room to work in.
It allows your wedding photographers to capture all the details and emotions of your marriage ceremony. With a capacity of up to 160 seated guests this can be enhanced to 200 if the adjacent conservatory is used as well.
If you would like this and more but with the added excitement of being outside then there is the lovely Archery Pavilion and lawn which will accommodate up to 200 wedding guests, but obviously this is only in the warm months and an indoors option has to be available too in case of inclement weather.
Further marriage ceremony rooms include The Clarence Room, which has a capacity of up to 50 seated guests and offers floor to ceiling windows on the one side and a view overlooking a walled garden; and The Garden Room, perfect for the more intimate wedding ceremony can accommodate up to 30 guests and has direct access to the terrace and gardens as well lovely views over the parterres.
After the wedding service celebratory drinks are served in in the Painted Hall that sits in between The Orangery and the Tithe Barn.
And then, weather permitting, guests move out on to the terrace or the Magnolia lawn and gardens.
These all offer great opportunities for some informal wedding photographs of family and friends congratulating the happy couple, relaxing over a drink and canapé or two and having a catch up before the wedding breakfast.
Beautiful grounds and gardens
Group wedding pictures can be taken on the terrace or on one of the lawns and for the popular everyone at the wedding picture, either from a window on the first floor overlooking the terrace or looking down onto the sunken rose garden are easy options.
There are plenty of opportunities for some beautiful romantic wedding pictures of the newlywed couple and because the wedding day goes so quickly it's a good idea to plan out what ones are preferred and can be completed in the time. Often with full days weddings we will take the couple off for a short time in between drinks and the wedding breakfast and then again later after say the wedding speeches.
As well as the drive and courtyard the front of the building and the various rooms inside are all options for a quick romantic tour.
The popular places to go are into and around the parterre, which consists of formal gardens of clipped yew hedges as well as a pretty knot garden, created in the Arts and Craft style that was popular in the 1920s.
Then along the luscious green lawns and the various stone and gravel paths....out to the Saxon moat where there is now a little romantic oak moat seat.
Then up onto the lovely Japanese bridge covered in wisteria with the fountain below....
...and finally along through the sunken circular rose garden, all of which are truly stunning in the spring to summer months. In the autumn and winter months whilst the flower are not in bloom, the backdrop is still beautiful and lovely wedding pictures are there to be taken.
Dining and entertainment
For the wedding breakfast many of the rooms mentioned that were used for the wedding ceremony are changed over, however, for larger weddings the Tithe Barn becomes the centre of the evening and night time celebrations and festivities.
With its comforting open fire, its old exposed English oak beams and its minstrel gallery above the head table, it makes a truly atmospheric setting for fine dining along with the all important wedding speeches.
Later when the area is turned around for the dancing, guests are lead into the adjoining Painted Hall for further drinks.
It's worth noting that this very same barn was visited by Queen Mary in 1931 and was the venue for the Ascot Ball attended by the Prince of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of York.
Professionally run and managed with the highest level of service, Great Fosters is a wonderful place to get married at and a stunning Surrey wedding venue to photograph.
Great Fosters wedding photographer testimonials
Great Fosters Hotel, Stroude Road, Egham, Surrey TW20 9UR Phone: 01784 433822
Call us on 0203 397 7549 to check our availability for your Great Fosters Hotel wedding, to book a meeting or to have a chat. Or alternatively, just send us an email