dorset wedding venues

HAYLEY + MARIANNE - A LONDON ENGAGEMENT SHOOT

HAYLEY + MARIANNE - A LONDON ENGAGEMENT SHOOT

Anyone else a little tired from all this heat and humidity yet..? I’ve had to escape the house where there doesn’t seem to be any air, and I’ve come to favourite little place in town, Café Thrive. I love it here for the coffee and the munchies. Good stuff for veggies and vegans like moi.

These two beauties contacted me last year about their beach wedding, sending me a message through my Instagram page; I was walking along the beach with Rob at the time and just happened to be right by the Bournemouth Beach Weddings hut, so I replied with a selfie and we hit off instantly. Needless to say, they booked me for their big day and we’ve become awesome friends since. When I met up with Hayley + Marianne at their fabulous beach venue for the open day last September, we talked through everything and they told me that they were looking for an engagement shoot, but felt nervous about it being all posed and corny. Pish posh! No such thing with me. We decided on a complete contrast to their actual wedding, opting for an urban adventure instead.

Marianne has a brother who lives in Hackney, I’ve always wanted to explore Shoreditch, it was a match made in heaven!

They’re such a fun couple; always giggling away together, total couple goals and unbelievably cute together. They loved the idea of using lots of colour and as it happens, Shoreditch is jam-packed with murals and street art. We all met at Liverpool Street Station, had a very chilled out day just exploring the area, chatting, having a cheeky strawberry iced daiquiri and making the most of the sunshine and colour on all the walls. It also happened to be June 1st - the first day of International Pride Month. So we basically lived our gay unicorn fantasy, chasing rainbows around Shoreditch, The Nomadic Community Gardens and Boxpark.

I literally cannot wait for their wedding in September, I know it’s going to be so much fun and full of laughter.

Check out the photos below, just a selection of my faves from our day together. And if you’re thinking you might like to have an engagement shoot before your big day, something a little like this one, I’m definitely game for it, so get in touch and tell me all about your plans!

Until next time,

R x

Bournemouth Wedding Photography - The BIC | Chloe+Adam

Bournemouth Wedding Photography - The BIC | Chloe+Adam

I’ve known Adam for a while now through working at the Bournemouth International Centre and had the great pleasure of meeting his beautiful fiancée (now wife), Chloe, when we all got together last summer at Flirt Cafe for a pot of tea and cake.

The Salterns Hotel Wedding Photography | Lucy+Lewis

The Salterns Hotel Wedding Photography | Lucy+Lewis

I love meeting my couples for the first time; it's a little bit like going on a first date, where you're filled with a few nerves and excitement. 

Meeting Lucy and Lewis was a fun evening. The coffee shop we'd agreed to meet at shut shortly after we arrived, so we spent another ten minutes trying to find an alternative place to sit and chat. Luckily there was a fish and chips shop nearby that was open, so we grabbed some cheesy chips and a cuppa (who said I wasn't classy?!) and laid the world to rights. 

It was pretty obvious that we would get along and that working together would just be the best. 

The Italian Villa Wedding Photography | Tom+Lizzy

When Tom and Lizzy asked me to be their wedding photographer I was so happy, and then they told me the day would be at The Italian Villa and I was over the moon!

Wedding season 2018 is officially on!

To say I wasn't nervous (excited nervous) would have been a lie, in fact, I think I get as nervous as the couple themselves. I've been looking forward to this moment for so long now, that when the day actually came to be, it was very surreal. It was fabulous! The sun was shining - someone had heard my prayer - and it was a true spring wedding. The setting couldn't have been more perfect; The Italian Villa is a dream venue for most couples and local Dorset wedding photographers alike. 

When I started in wedding photography I created a wish list, and this was right up there with the best of them. The Italian Villa and Compton Acres were the first place my husband and I visited after moving down to Bournemouth 11 years ago. I know exactly why couples love the idea of having their wedding there, it is pretty spectacular. The gardens are gorgeous at any time of year, but particularly in the spring and summer when they are alive and in bloom. 

The groom, Tom, and his troupe were smart AF in their royal blue suits and Lizzy looked magnificent in her dress. Seriously, the dress was stunning! I'm a big fan of simplicity and elegance, and their day was all of that and some more. Little details like the bicycle themed cake topper, favours and those stunning classic bikes near the top table were a very sweet detail to match their love for biking. Tables weren't number, but named after places they'd visited together. 

I'm usually all about the documentary angle on wedding photography, and their day was definitely captured true to this approach, but being in this venue made me want to step out of my comfort zone and try some more classically posed shots, I mean, you just have to! To not take a shot in the grotto would be foolish.

After dinner, we all headed downstairs to the Sienna Bar, where Echo Tape (formerly Marc and the Wild Things), their band for the evening, were set up ready to rock the party. Two tables of Tom+Lizzy's friends in particular, were a wedding photographer's dream. Necking a tray of shots, lunging in time to the music and basically having a bloody good time! I had a cheeky G&T and hit the sweet stand on my way out, and was pretty sad to leave. It was a truly great day! 

Here's a selection of my favourites from the day, I hope you enjoy. And if you're planning your wedding, I'd love to hear from you. 

Until next time,

R x

Hitched | Richard+Helen - New Year's Eve - Gorwell Barn

I often feel like I'm passed my best when it comes to partying on New Year's Eve, but when you get the offer of being the photographer for a wedding on New Year's Eve, do you turn it down?  HELL NO!!

I'll start off by saying that Richard and Helen are the coolest - as in 'cool as a cucumber' - couple I've come across to date. Nothing phases them or stresses them out, which helped in making the day so bloody enjoyable.

I got to their house a little earlier than planned, which gave me time to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee (a real rarity on a wedding day for me). Usually when I arrive for the bridal prep, the finishing touches are being applied, but today, the make-up was only just starting to go on. It was great to be able to relax and get to know Helen's family a little bit before heading out for the ceremony.

The weather forecast wasn't ideal and would probably send a million bride's heads spinning, but true to her style, Helen wasn't bothered. We'd spoken about it and she was prepared with her umbrellas. You know when a couple really want this day, because they're ready for anything. On the way up to Gorwell Barn, we had all the weather; rain lashing down, wind, thunder and lightning, and the ribbons on the cars took a good battering.

When we arrived I couldn't believe my eyes, the barn was seriously stunning. The tables were understated and elegantly decorated, ready for their afternoon tea reception (I'm a real sucker for a vintage china tea cup), with the most amazing halos hanging above them. The halos were made with seasonal foliage and dotted with simple white flowers -- just amazing!

A beautiful and touching ceremony later and they're hitched!

Barrels stood handsomely with stacks of mince pies, a bar with real ales, and plenty of gin, hot chocolate and mulled cider for guests to enjoy. It really was perfect. A wedding breakfast followed, with a beautifully understated afternoon tea. I even got a stand for myself and so much tea, which always makes me happy *wink wink*. 

After everyone had eaten and just before the cake was cut, we got our sparkler game on, and had a spin on the shot roulette. This lot know how to party, and why the hell not, it's New Year's Eve y'all!

The cake was cut - which the bride made with her own fair hands - and it was time to bust some moves. First dance was amazing, with music from the best band I've seen at a wedding before -  KOAST - you must check them out if you're planning on having a band at your wedding! Their version of Miley Cyrus' - 'Malibu' had all the feels.  And to top off the day, we had freshly made stone-baked pizza from Jalopy Pizza - well worth staying on for!  

So yeah, that's pretty much it for this particular wedding. Enjoy this extended preview of images from the day that was Richard+Helen's amazing New Year's Eve wedding. 

If you're planning your special day and would like me to capture your story, please get in touch for a chat. 

Until next time,

R x