On Sunday we dropped into Henley Hall, just outside Ludlow and were wowed by its magnificence and the charm of its owner. Built originally in 1610 it has plenty of grandeur and character. The grounds with their ornamental bridge, stone staircases and balustrades provide fantastic photo opportunities. If you want your big day to be extra special and you are looking for a fitting back-drop then you should consider Henley Hall.
We had accepted an open invitation to attend a wedding fare being held in the hall and its extensive grounds. Given we were unlikely to ever receive a personal invitation to this or any other stately home it seemed churlish not to accept.
On arrival we quickly got introduced to Helen, who graciously showed us around as we explained to her we were training as celebrants and that we had come for a nosey. The hall is an approved venue so they have lots of grand marriages conducted by the registrar but they did hold a civil wedding celebration the previous week and they had been asked to recommend a celebrant so I suspect our intrusion was not entirely unwelcome.
A quick peruse of the wedding fare produced many awkward little moments, usually after sampling the delicious canapes and taking the expensive glossy brochure as the venders discovered we were not potential customers but were in fact gate crashers and married gate crashes at that. Everyone was very civil but you could almost see the warmth and energy drain from their eyes as they scanned the room for someone younger, single and with money to spend, to invest their charm and energy in.
Who knows, the next Henley Hall wedding fare might have a couple of celebrants giving out their own glossy brochures in between helping themselves to the odd canape.