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Butley Priory: A Breathtaking 700 year old Suffolk Wedding Venue

Updated: Jan 21

Butley Priory is a 700-year-old, breathtaking building, dating back to the Augustinian Period. The venue is hidden in the middle of the Suffolk and Essex Coast and Heaths, buried amongst the dense forest. The last few winding miles toward the venue feel like you are surely lost.

And then you take a small tree-lined track. You follow it down and behold, the Priory emerges.


The Priory sits in all its splendour. Often, you find some venues (seemingly gorgeous on Google) subtly tainted by backgrounds, visible commercial units, or unsightly car parks and staff entrances. But no, Butler Priory does not disappoint. It feels like a little slice of heaven. It feels private and wholesome. It's not too large and overbearing, it's just right.

As I stepped inside the venue, I was immediately greeted by Libby, the wedding coordinator, and given a quick brief. The florist, Lauren (of Beige & Bloom) was already hard at work. The bouquets were all lined up at the entrance of the venue and she was busy installing intricate details and a statement piece. I was early and ahead of schedule, so I started by taking some drone shots whilst the front of the venue and its surroundings were quiet and undisturbed. I marvelled at the rolling countryside and views from the tiny screen of my drone controller, knowing that Ausra and Oliver would love seeing the venue in all of its glory once they received their wedding photos and video.

Butley Priory Wedding Venue Suffolk

White and blue bouquets out the front of Butley Priory Suffolk Wedding Venue

Close up of bridal bouquet white and blue ribbon at Butley Priory

6 white and blue bridal party bouquets

front view of Butley Priory Suffolk Wedding Venue

Rear arial view of butley priory suffolk wedding venue

I stopped gawking at the Priory and made my way up the several flights of stairs to greet Ausra and her bridal party. The hair and makeup Artists had Ausra positioned perfectly, facing the light from the large, central window. Bubbles were on hand and the atmosphere was chilled out.

Ausra's dress was hanging gracefully in the centre of the honeymoon suite. Complete with a large modern bath overlooking the extensive gardens, the suite was perfect.

The dress was a combination design. Ausra found her 'one', made by Tatiana Porembova Bridal - and then she made it her own.

wedding dress hanging from butley priory chandelier

close up reflection of bride getting ready at butley priory

wide angle of a bride getting ready at burley priory

artistic flat lay of the bridal details and invitation suite

bridal handbag sunglasses and perfume

bride having makeup done at butley priory

finishing touches of brides hair on her wedding day

elegant bridal details flat lay

close up of brides engagement ring

I left the girls to their pampering session and croissants and went to find the boys. Butley Priory boasts spacious on-site accommodation (Butley Abbey Farmhouse, Butley Priory Cottage and Paddy's Cottage) which is very handy for those travelling from out of town.

Oliver was busy getting ready at the Butley Abbey Farmhouse, a few minutes walk from the main Priory. I greeted the boys who were tackling a bottle of Single Malt Scotch Whisky and had the card games flowing.

A wedding venue from a distance

Playing cards on a table

A reflection of a groom getting ready

A man putting his cufflinks on

Groomsmen putting on a button hole

Whisky being poured and playing cards on a table

I headed back to the bridal party to catch some pre-dress moments.

Ausra was well ahead of schedule, as she and Oliver had planned a first look in the grounds of Butley Priory ahead of their other guests arriving. Once Ausra was ready, we got Oliver into position and he waited for his bride to tap him on the shoulder.

Wedding stationary on a chair

Brides and bridesmaids with Prosecco

Bride and bridesmaids posing in gowns

Bride putting on her shoes

After Oliver and Ausra's first look, we were able to do some couples photos, the family portrait and bridesmaid and groomsmen photos before the ceremony and before guests began arriving. It was important to Ausra and Oliver that they had plenty of time post-ceremony to mingle and enjoy their celebrations, without needing to dart off for group photos for extended periods. I really enjoyed working with them on this timeline, and it was great to do group photos without immediate and important family members disappearing off to the bar!

As the ceremony time drew nearer, Ausra headed back upstairs. Although she and Oliver had already seen each-other, as had their close family, she still wanted to keep the dress a surprise for the rest of the guest-list. We took the opportunity to capture some fun imagery that really showed off Ausra's personality.

Yes, prosecco in the bath was a first for me. But I loved it. On a traditional wedding day timeline, often, time slips away before the ceremony. I've watched many a bride sad that they were unable to have a moment for themselves, their dress, their whole look that they spent months envisioning. Ausra and Oliver's timeline allowed for each moment to be captured in a relaxed and authentic way and allowed time for Ausra and me to document her Bride-Self in the best way.

We set up the video cameras and waited for Ausra and her bridesmaids to enter the ceremony room. It was filled with gorgeous guests all dressed in the best. Ausra's father gave her away, and the ceremony was beautiful. The doors to the ceremony room were open, filling the space with light and a warm summer breeze.

Ausra and Oliver enjoyed canapes in the gardens, with giant Jenga and bubbles for the kids. There was a cocktail bar outside and the vibe was just right. After a long confetti line and enjoying some time with guests, we stole away to the front of the property for some post-ceremony alone time. A chance for Oliver and Ausra to walk and talk as newlyweds.

Ausra and Oliver had a delicious 3-course meal - the ceremony room had been transformed into a banqueting hall and the long tables were set up immaculately. It's clear that Weddings at Butley Priory run smoothly and the staff are on the ball the whole day.

Ausra and Oliver chose to split up their speeches having a few between each course. It was lovely to be apart of and I felt immersed in the words that were shared by themselves, and their family.

The evening presented more cocktails in the garden whilst the room was once again transformed into a dancefloor, complete with a live band. We took an evening walk with Oliver and Ausra to burn off some dinner, take advantage of the sunset and let them have a breather after the intensity of food and emotional speeches. Once back in the room, Ausra showed off her evening dress ready to party the night away with her new Husband, and their closest friends and family.


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