, is a beautiful and unique wedding venue situated near Margate. Between 1290 and 1400 Salmestone Grange served as a rural retreat for the abbot and monks of St Augustine's Abbey at Canterbury and remains one of the best preserved and interesting examples of monastic granges in Europe. The beautiful chapel, featuring stunning stain-glassed windows, was consecrated in 1326. The grange is now privately owned.
A lovely gravel driveway, enclosed by trees, gives you the first glimpse of the beautiful grange which features a cloistered central courtyard. The grange is surrounded by lovely gardens and offers lots of opportunities for wedding photography. Both religious and civil ceremonies can be catered for. There is charming accomodation available (which sleeps up to 14 people in 3 apartments) and a lovely bridal suite.
I drove through an absolutely torrential downpour to reach Cassie and Ben's wedding in June 2010 and I was planning on having to shoot the entire wedding inside. But just as I pulled into the driveway of Salmestone Grange the rain stopped and the post-storm light was absolutely amazing - phew! I started with some location and detail shots around the venue (including the rudest wedding cake I've ever seen) and then joined Cassie and her bridesmaids during the final stages of their preparations. I'd been warned that the father-of-the-bride might get quite emotional and, sure enough, on seeing how lovely Cassie looked the tears started. I then joined Ben and the boys for a few shots and then walked with Cassie and her entourage to the chapel. The chapel is very dark so you need really good kit - ideally prime lenses coupled with a camera that gives great results at high ISO settings. After the ceremony and signing of the register everyone popped outside for drinks and then I whisked Cassie and Ben around the grounds for their bride and groom portrait session. They were up for everything and willingly posed in the middle of an area of weeds - which gave absolutely spectacular results. We then joined all the guests at the front of the Grange for group shots and followed this with candids. I then shot the speeches, which took place before the meal, and departed as food was served.