dorset wedding venues

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

Hygge Inspired Autumn/Winter Wedding

I feel very blessed to know and work alongside some fantastic people; local wedding suppliers who get me and my aesthetic.  It's one of the things I love most about my job. 

This week we brought to life a Scandinavian/Hygge inspired wedding shoot at the East Cliff Cottage Hotel in Bournemouth (you may have seen my first attempt at a Facebook live video).  It's a lovely little place, tucked just behind the main east cliff road, perfectly suited to this style of shoot, and would be an ideal location for an intimate wedding reception. 

A few years ago, Rob and I took a holiday in Copenhagen and instantly fell in love with the city, the people, their immense style and their way of life.  Last month, we flew out to Stockholm to continue our new found Scandinavian obsession, and the same feelings came flooding back.  It was clear what I wanted to do with out next collaborative shoot, and I knew just the right people to be involved in it. 

I delved into my copy of 'The Little Book of Hygge' and read up on the Hygge manifesto.  It has ten points, which cover the basics to what Hygge is all about. 

  1. Atmosphere - Turn down the lights.
  2. Presence - Be here now. Turn of the phones.
  3. Pleasure - Coffee, chocolate, cookies, cakes, candy. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!
  4. Equality - 'We' over 'me'. Share the tasks and the airtime.
  5. Gratitude - Take it in. This might be as good as it gets. 
  6. Harmony - It's not a competition. We already like you. There is no need to brag about your achievements. 
  7. Comfort - Get comfy. Take a break. It's all about relaxation. 
  8. Truce - No drama. Let's discuss politics another day. 
  9. Togetherness - Build relationships and narratives. 'Do you remember the time we...?'
  10. Shelter - This is your tribe. This is a place of peace and security.

I'm pretty sure these points can be applied to literally every aspect of your life, including your wedding.  My hope from this post is that you can take some inspiration from our combined effort, and apply it to your autumn/winter weddings, wherever you have them.  We also wanted to show you that there is so much more scope out there for styling your autumn/winter wedding - it doesn't all have to be about red, silver and white.  

There is so much choice out there and available to us nowadays, it's so easy to forget or look passed the things we already have.  

Incorporate items you have at home.  

Most of this shoot was pieced together using things we all had in our own homes, and they came together perfectly.  You don't need to spend thousands of pounds on things you will never use again.  Why be wasteful when you already have everything you need.  Or at least buy something you will re-use or keep for the future.  

None of your guests will care an iota about the money you've spent/not spent on your wedding day - it's your wedding, not theirs!  What they will care about is how much love you've put into it and how much fun everyone else is having, the atmosphere on the day, the general feeling of love and togetherness everyone has on the day.  Believe me, I've been at weddings where I've felt part of the family and I've been at those where you feel very isolated.  You don't want it to be the latter. 

Okay, that's enough from me for now.  

Here's some suppliers you might want to be a part of your day. 

  1. For perfect venue decor and styling - http://www.lovebydesignweddings.co.uk
  2. For stunning floral arragements - http://www.with-love-from.co.uk
  3. For beautiful wedding cakes - http://www.thesweetsuitedorset.co.uk
  4. And for modern and relaxed wedding photography - ME!! ;)

Until next time,

R x