I can say proudly that it’s not often that I’ll have a bad day and have to find a corner to take a moment, but one wedding day a few years ago I received a difficult email and it simply set me off. I was by the fire at Pilgrim’s Rest when I started to get emotional and flap my hands in front of my face. Amy, the weddings co-ordinator came and sat down next to me, ‘I’m sorry I know its so unprofessional!’ I kept saying, internally telling myself off for allowing this to happen but Amy was and still is to this day – so lovely and kind. Later on in the day, when the reception was about to begin, Amy Lou (little Amy) offered me one of her chocolate bars. If this doesn’t set the tone for the staff at Pilgrims Rest then I don’t know what else will.This team will go above and beyond to make sure that their weddings go as planned with upmost care and attention to detail – even if it means prying an emotional photographer with chocolate away from the crowds.
The Pilgrims Rest is full of rustic charm and historic soul – a wedding venue unlike any other. Licensed for weddings and civil ceremonies, The Pilgrims Rest is a beautiful, Grade 2*listed, 600 year old Wealden hall house offering exclusive use. With architectural features from ancient beams to linenfold doors; inglenook fireplaces to oak floors, (not to mention the witch’s marks warding off evil spirits to a secret tunnel under the vaulted Great Hall), The Pilgrims Rest is an historic gem.
I have photographed at least ten weddings at Pilgrims, with many more booked in for 2020/2021. I’ve photographed weddings in the height of summer with a giant blow up T Rex costume, weddings in the Autumn with an eerie but beautiful mist surrounding Pilgrims, super-stylish gothic weddings, Iranian weddings, easter egg hunt weddings, weddings with a touch of frost on the walls or rain on the windows..the venue although strikingly rustic in appearance will lend itself so beautifully to any wedding theme or look that you might wish for. As a photographer what I really enjoy is that it has such a solid foundation that it’s difficult to mistake it for any other venue. I know immediately what kind of basis I have to work with and when I piece the wonderful style the couples bring to the weddings with this and how the light behaves on this particular day, I know, without doubt that the photographs will document one hell of a wedding.
What is lovely about getting ready at this venue is the two distinctive dressing rooms either side of the building. One has a beautiful soft green hue and overlooks the immense Battle Abbey, whilst the other dressing room that stands above the bar has beautiful dark walls and indulgent colours that work beautifully for either Groom prep or some lovely, moody couples portraits.
The ceremony hall doubles up as the reception room. It holds around 60 seats for your guests for the day increasing to an additional 40 for your reception. Theres a fire in the ceremony hall, the bar and in the wedding breakfast room.
It really is so beautiful. If it sounds like you might like to take a visit, make a call, or see it virtually, please visit Pilgrims via this link.
You know, the last time I was at Pilgrims Amy Lou offered me some chocolate, lets hope this is a ‘thing’ now.