Chris & Emma’s Wedding Prep in the New Forest

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We’re heading back to The Master Builder’s next month to join Emma and Chris for their wedding day by the water-side.

They have some fun plans in place and we’ll be spending the entire day at Buckler’s Hard with them.

We met up for the first time last week in the New Forest to talk through their wedding timings and go on a wander for a little prep shoot.

As we had been to The Master Builders just a few weeks ago we decided to go for a walk in another pretty New Forest area.. revisiting where we had a quick stop-off shoot during Nicola & Ross’ wedding earlier in the year. The day had been a bit grotty but we figured this location would give us the best chance of getting a bit of sunlight!

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Nicola & Martin’s Wedding at Highcliffe Castle

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Nicola and Martin’s Mid-Week Wedding took place in Christchurch, Dorset with a ceremony and reception at Highcliffe Castle.

First of all, both the bride and groom stayed over at the Lord Bute in Highcliffe with Nicola and her bridesmaids having the luxury of getting ready in their amazingly spacious Bridal Suite. Morning preps were taken care of by the expert hair and make-up styling of Laura Mackenzie and Tara Sanger.

We managed to get through a whole day without rain but it was a very blustery day – we almost got blown away on the beach and had to abandon our shoot down there for fear of ending up on the Isle of Wight, instead taking shelter around the castle grounds.

There were some pretty details throughout the day with the wedding taking on a bit of a literary theme. We were very impressed by the brilliant cake rustled up by Nicola’s Dad. Although I got a bit stressed playing the Wed-Libs game dotted around the tables… I realised I needed to swot up on my Verbs, Adjectives and Nouns. The shame.

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Chris & Emily’s Wedding at Upton House and Sandbanks Hotel, Poole

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We’ve had a bit of a wet and unseasonal peak Summer week of weddings. All of them have been by the seaside and have either been incredibly windy or very wet. Luckily for us though, we’ve been in the company of some great couples who haven’t been afraid to get out, arm themselves with umbrellas or entire cans of Elnette to make the most of their day.

Chris and Emily’s wedding set the trend. Their day was held in Poole with a ceremony at Upton House in Upton Country Park followed by a reception at The Sandbanks Hotel.

The day started with Emily getting ready at the hotel with the help of Amazing Face taking car of hair and make-up.

A little drive away the ceremony was held at Upton Country Park followed by a short drinks reception. We made use of the excellent scope of the house for photos before the rain set in for the day.

The wedding party travelled to the Sandbanks Hotel by bus (one of my old school buses no less – the distinctive Reg plate was a dead give-away and made me chuckle. To be honest, I’m surprised it’s still road-worthy the way we used to treat it back in the day!). Sadly, plans of drinks, games and ice creams on the beach had to be reigned in a little bit as it was just too darn wet to play outside. However, armed with some umbrellas we did manage to get the Bridal Party outside for some photos during a brief respite later on in the day.

The reception room looked wonderful, full of pretty and thoughtful decorations polished off with blooms by Jennifer Poynter Flowers.

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Kirsty & Alun’s Wedding at St Nicholas Church & Harry Warren House, Studland

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On a beautiful, sunny Saturday we boarded the ferry over to Studland to join Kirsty and Alun for their wedding. They’d travelled down from London to make the most of the unbeatable views and idyllic village life in our favourite Purbeck village.

As they’d hired a cottage for the week to enjoy a bit of downtime after the wedding Kirsty and her entourage got ready here helped by hair and make-up artist, Lorraine Milligan.

Meanwhile, after a meet-up at the Bankes Arms and The Pig on the Beach Alun and his Groomsmen made his way to St Nicholas Church for the ceremony. It’s one of our favourite churches for its friendly and accommodating approach and its convenient little hidden photographer nook in a priviledged position at the front.

Kirsty and Alun’s baby girl joined them for the ceremony and even got to enjoy the confetti run before spending a chilled day with her Nanny so her Mum and Dad could party! We hope she loves looking through these photos when she’s older so she can see the part she played in the day.

After a short walk from the church guests enjoyed the sunny views of Harry Warren House in its spectacular location overlooking Old Harry Rocks, Poole Bay, Bournemouth and the Isle of Wight.

The Wedding Breakfast and evening reception was held in a marquee next to the house where guests enjoyed food and speeches. It was a really busy day out on the water with a holiday atmosphere in the warm sunshine.

Just before the evening began we went for a little wander down to the shoreline before dancing began.

One detail we really loved from the day was Kirsty’s bridal party. Rather than opt for traditional bridesmaid styling each of the lady’s had their own bespoke hat made my Rosie Olivia Millinery which they can keep and wear again.

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Nicola & Martin’s Wedding Prep in The New Forest

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Nicola and Martin booked us up a while ago and since then we’ve had the pleasure of seeing them as guests at K & Ant’s Wedding at Sopley Mill last year and Ian’s also been working together with them over at Swash and Fold on their invites.

They’re getting married soon at Highcliffe Castle and we’ll be joining them for their whole day there.

It was nice to meet up in person again to talk through their wedding plans. After a catch-up at The White Buck in Burley we made our way to a favourite little haunt of ours – Ornamental Drive in the New Forest.

For the first time though, we crossed the road and went for a wander around the Tall Trees route. It was an almost other-worldly experience in parts. Although the light was a bit harsh as still as it hadn’t quite hit its softer Golden Hour we had fun playing with the dazzling beams and dark shadows in this magical place.

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Kirsten & Duncan’s Wedding Prep in Glastonbury

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Kirsten and Duncan are celebrating their wedding next month with a church ceremony in the village of Meare near Glastonbury followed by a back garden reception.

We headed over to Somerset last week to have a little tour, a bit of a recce and a stop off to take some prep shots in a little National Trust woodland a short drive away.

They have some great plans in place for a lovely day and are currently in the process of clearing a paddock for their marquee to be held in. We’re also keeping our fingers crossed for permission to hop into a nearby apple orchard on the day for their couple shoot which is conveniently a short hop away from their reception.

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Chris & Emily’s Wedding Prep at Sandbanks Beach

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We were rather glad we were meeting up with Chris and Emily at the weekend to escape our home. Temperatures were set at a steady 30-degrees in the office. We’d got through more Jubbly ice lollies than is healthy and spent far too much money on fans to dot around.

A sit-down to go through wedding timings with a cool shandy and air conditioning at The Sandbanks Hotel was just the ticket and a little paddle made everything much better again.

Emily and Chris braced the summer crowds for a walk on Sandbanks beach for their prep shoot as we made plans for their day in a few weeks time.

They’re getting married at Upton House before making their way back to the seaside to spend their day with family and friends overlooking the water.

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Poonam & Alastair’s Wedding at Chaffeymoor Grange

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We headed over to Chaffeymoor Grange recently to join Poonam and Alastair for one of our Short & Sweet days – taking in everything from getting ready to their meal sit down.

They and some of their close family and friends had full run of the house, staying over for a few days with the Oak Room transformed for their ceremony and wedding breakfast with gold shimmering voiles and floral decorations put together by Alastair’s mum.

Poonam was dressed in a beautiful coral and mint Sari which, as well as being extremely heavy, took a bit of expertise to get in to (especially keeping the headdress up!).

Sadly, although we arrived under blue skies, the rain swept in shortly after the ceremony meaning we weren’t able to make too much use of Chaffeymoor’s beautiful gardens. But we did manage to get out in short bursts when the rain eased for photos and for Poonam and Alastair to exchange garlands (which they weren’t allowed to do during the ceremony).

After the drinks reception we left the Bride and Groom to enjoy their day after all the guests sat down for their wedding breakfast.

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Jen & Daim’s Wedding at The Kings Arms Hotel, Christchurch

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It’s been quite a few years since we headed over to Christchurch for a wedding at The Kings Arms hotel and things have changed quite considerably.

Ceremonies are now held at the pretty Cricket Pavilion opposite the hotel and weather permitting, drinks can be enjoyed on the pitch outside.

Jen & Daim got married here and were able to enjoy a relaxed day with family and friends. The weather was nice enough to dish out the boozy lollies and savour canapés outside.

Jen got ready at the hotel with a room overlooking the Pavilion so she could spot Daim the Groom and guests arriving.

We made the most of the ruins over the road from the hotel for a shoot a little later in the day climbing the castle to capture some lovely late spring light.

The evening and wedding breakfast was held in the Kings Priory next to the hotel where folks enjoyed a playlist boogie and drinks into the evening.

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Emma & Ben’s Wedding at The Master Builders

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Emma and Ben’s wedding was held at The Master Builders at the weekend. It was a double ceremony bonanza. All hopes were placed on the main ceremony, conducted by their friend, being held outside. Immediately after this, the marriage was made legal by visiting Registrars and a second, smaller ceremony held inside the venue.

Despite quite a downpour near where Emma was getting ready in the morning, the weather luckily held off over Buckler’s Hard and Plan A was put into place!

Whilst the second ceremony took place many of of the guests enjoyed a drinks reception outside, shortly followed by the Bride and Groom.

Being keen skiers there was a bit of a summer alpine theme to the day with sledges propping up flower pots and old skis making up the frame for the seating plan. Guests were also treated to hot chocolate and cake early on in the day, with speeches held in the early evening.

Dinner was served in a large marquee and we were impressed with how much space there was, previously only ever attending weddings there held inside.

For the evening reception guests gathered back indoors and danced the night away to the tunes of Atlantica.

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Ross & Nicola’s Church & Barn Wedding at Barford Park, Salisbury

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Settle down with a cup of tea and a slice of cake ready to look through the photos from Ross & Nicola’s wedding day last week. It’s a biggy (so you’ll be pleased of some refreshments) but there’s a point in this post where you’ll definitely be drooling after cake.

The day was action-packed, taking in three beautiful venues and a whole host of wonderful, thoughtful details. We knew there would be plenty in store and we had a sneak preview of what was planned as Ian helped design the wedding stationery with his Swash and Fold hat on, including invites from the day (for which I cut out (what felt like) a million records on a rotary cutter… but that’s another story, which you can read about, here).

We were lucky enough to start our 12-hour day at The Pig in Brockenhurst. This is one of our favourite places and it always has such a beautiful atmosphere and we can’t think of a better place to start a wedding day. We know we’re due to shoot more bridal preps later in the year at The Pig on The Beach in Studland but if anyone’s thinking of having a wedding here… you know… here’s the Contact Us page 😉

It was lovely to work alongside the very talented ladies, Caroline and Elke from Amazing Face, who did a superb job on hair and Nicola’s make-up. And the ever reliable Dorset Dub Hire provided the transport in their VW Campers.

Ross and Nicola got married at the very pretty St Michael and All Angels Church in Hinton Admiral and their ceremony took place in the late morning, leaving plenty of time to enjoy their reception at Barford Park in Downton near Salisbury.

Guests were transported between the two venues by a vintage double decker bus and it was here Ian and I split up, with Ian following the bridal party on their request to take in a few photos with the Campers in the New Forest whilst I enjoyed the sing-a-longs on the bus.

We were at Barford Park at the start of this month for the wedding of Georgia and Toby and when we first went to check out the venue with them it was clear this was a venue suited to those keen on a DIY wedding. Being a blank canvas there really are no rules on what can be achieved.

We can’t think of many other places where the Groom could have scope to utilise their skills and build not one, but two performance stages; one for the band and another for an open mic stage for all their musical friends to entertain guests later on in the day.

Food-wise we were very lucky to work for the first time with catering company, Ginger. We were extremely impressed by the laid-back but extremely organised skills of this caterer and they were a pleasure to work alongside.

And if guests weren’t full enough from the Ginger’s delicious food and Wood-Fired pizza from an Airstream in the evening the very impressive Naked Cake was baked by Great British Bake Off winner, Frances Quinn.

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Clem and Ben’s Wedding Prep Shoot at Upton Country Park, Poole

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We are very pleased to be heading back to Harry Warren House a couple of times this year. The venue took a little time out of the wedding world to let their land rest but we sure did miss it whilst it had a bit of a sabbatical.

Clem and Ben’s wedding is going to take place there and they have a super day planned. Their ceremony is being held at the pretty little St Nicholas Church in Studland with their reception being held in a marquee at Harry Warren.

We met up for the first time in person after only previously Skype-ing to have a proper catch-up over the Easter weekend. Clem’s family live in Upton and she had the great idea of meeting their for their prep shoot. It’s somewhere we frequent often walking our dog, but looking at it with photographer eyes for the first time, it has lots more scope for many more visits.

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