Gorwell Barn Wedding

Gorwell Barn Wedding

So this week I have Tom & Amy’s magical Gorwell Barn Wedding for you. This gorgeous venue is set in the heart of the Dorset countryside close to Hardy’s monument. I have so many memories of this great day but the main thing that shone through was their connection with each other. ‘LOVE’ is such a strong and vibrant word but you could tell from the first time we met that if any couple is made for each other, it was this one. They giggled there way through the whole day. Their jaws much of ached the next day.


Meeting my couples before the big day is so important. As Tom and Amy live in London we couldn’t meet up straight away so we arranged to meet up at a gorgeous village called Powerstock. Which is where the church service was going to take place. The plan was to do a recce and do our pre wedding shoot. Powerstock is around 5 miles from Bridport and is where Tom was brought up. We spent a couple of hours all around the village and it was an absolute scream. There is to main places close to Powerstock. Eggardon Hill, which is an old fort looking over west Dorset and the common.  My favourite being below.


Gorwell Farm is found in a secluded wooded valley just 2 miles from the village of Abbotsbury and Chesil Beach. As you enter the farm the views of the Jurassic coast is outstanding. The drive down the farm lane leads to a central valley with the barn being at the forefront. It is a lovely venue with fantastic staff. Further details will be found below.


‘Has to be when Tom gave me his wrong hand when putting his ring on’

‘Hazel, the little flower girl wouldn’t stand still when doing the group shots’


“We looked long and hard to find the right person to photograph our wedding day and Charles was the perfect choice. He was a pleasure to work with, meeting us for a lovely pre-wedding shoot, helping us to plan everything out in the run-up to the big day and then providing us with a beautifully presented final set of photos once we returned from honeymoon. On the day itself he put us at ease right from the start, blending in seamlessly with our guests and other suppliers. We were really impressed at the way he worked with the bridesmaids and ushers to guide us all smoothly and very efficiently through the organised group photos but were also so pleased with his gorgeous candid shots of some really lovely moments during the day. Thank you Charles, we will treasure these photos for a long time to come!”


Dress: Cilla by LouLou bridal from Heritage Brides http://www.heritagebrides.co.uk/

Hair: Gemma Davis of Dorchester Bridal Hair https://dorchesterbridalhair.co.uk/

Suits: Moss Bros

Cars: Wedding Cars Dorset https://www.weddingcarsdorset.co/

Venue:  Gorwell Barn https://www.gorwellfarm.co.uk/the-barn/

Catering: Bea Atkinson @ Holway Farm Kitchen https://holwaykitchen.co.uk/

Flowers: Charlie Ryrie @ Real Cutflower Garden http://www.cutflowergarden.co.uk/

Band: The Fiction https://www.wedding-bands.co.uk/acts/the-fiction

Furniture/ Lighting/ Setup: Taddle Farm Tents https://taddlefarmtents.co.uk/

I do hope you like this blog. Please check out Rob and Katie’s West Dorset Wedding  Being on one of the hottest days of 2019 it made a day not for the jackets but of shade and the fizzy stuff. Darryl and Louisa’s wedding in Christchurch Priory is also worth a visit.

West Dorset Wedding

West Dorset Wedding


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This West Dorset Wedding was a complete joy from beginning to end. Being on one of the hottest days of 2019 made it a day not for the jackets but of shade and the fizzy stuff. We originally met in the beautiful West Dorset seaside town of West Bay. We walked down the scarily beautiful beach with cliffs that went for ever. From right at the start I could see that they were a very easy going couple who were ready for some fun. After walking down the beach we went up the slope to see the sunset and I got them dancing and chatting amongst the buttercups. Being a wedding photographer you do have to love watching people. I get a real thrill from it and it is probably why I have been doing it for nearly 25 years.


A couple of weeks before Kate and Rob’s big West Dorset wedding we met up at the family farm in Beaminster. With all my couples the final prep is the most important day. We sit down and go through the day and get ideas of how best to photograph it. It is also a good chance to get to know each other and get tips on what their likes and dislikes are. Rob and Kate wanted a storybook of their day with memories of their family and friends. Family was mentioned a lot in our meeting and it was clear to see that every member had an important part to play. Before leaving the farm they pointed out Gerrard’s hill  which was where they got engaged. Ideas were brewing in my head.

West bay pre wedding shoot


Due to living on the other side of Dorset it was important to leave with plenty of time to spare. The idea was to walk up Gerrard’s hill before the festivities got underway and take some photographs from the top. Good intentions sometimes get the best of you. The hill was an absolute killer and although being a fit man it soon came clear that sweating was going to be an issue! It was all worth it though as the view from the top was outstanding. The early mist was still in the air and the beauty of the valley was apparent.

When making it back to the farm things were definitely shifting at pace and Rob and the boys were getting the marquee ready. It was a good opportunity to get into my finer clothes and take in what was happening. It soon came to leaving the farm to join the girls at the Ollerod Hotel in town. The Ollerod was a beautiful place to stage the getting ready for the wedding and would definitely recommend it. The peace in the girls room was lovely. There was no nerves on show just enjoyment of each others company. The stunning Gillion Million dress was on the back of the  wardrobe door. The fan was on at full pelt which was cooling the gorgeous Lavender Blue flowers.


Looking back at a wedding can become quite distant but this West dorset wedding was so much fun and have so many good memories of the day. The clear highlight was the amazing 111 year old Rover Tourer which had been in the family for 80 years. Until the wedding it was in one of the barns and was brought out of retirement for the day. It had a new splash of paint and a complete overhaul. The joy in the families faces watching kids playing with the horn was clear to see. The other memory was the speeches. Never laughed so much!

Enjoy the pics! Definitely check out Mark & Kirby’s Christchurch Harbour hotel wedding day or Darryl’s and Louisa Magical day

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‘Charles was our photographer for our wedding in Beaminster in August 2019 and we couldn’t recommend him more highly. From a fun filled pre-wedding shoot on the beach at West Bay, mapping out our plans for the event, co-ordinating the shots on the day itself and finally sending us our amazing pack of photos so quickly afterwards, Charles did everything possible to make our day run smoothly and make us feel at ease throughout. We now have a fabulous set of photographs which capture the highlights and emotions of our day perfectly. Thank you Charles!’


Flowers – Lavender Blue http://lavenderblueflowers.com/

Marquee – The Marquee Hire Company https://themarqueehirecompany.com/

Food – Fossil Foods https://www.fossilfoodcatering.co.uk/

Wedding Dress – Gillian Million http://www.gillianmillion.com/

Cocktails – https://www.cocktailarts.co.uk/

Catering Equipment – https://www.southwesteventhire.co.uk/


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Mark & Kirby’s big day at the Christchurch harbour hotel

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Mark & Kirby’s big day at the Christchurch harbour hotel may of been a small affair but it was full of character and emotion. The hotel was filled with laughter from the moment they all arrived and went up quite a few levels before I left in the early evening.

When I knocked on Kirby’s hotel door in the morning I wasn’t sure if I had gone to the wrong door as it was so peaceful. I went into a room full of relaxed tones and gentle laughter.

Both Mark & Kirby come from the Midlands and they come to Mudeford quite a few times a year with their family. As the day went on you could feel it was all a part of their holidays and loved each others company. It was such a joyful day that in the end when my work was done I really found it difficult to leave.


 ‘The story that comes to mind is thinking I had lost my dad’s sixpence (past through his family) on Avon beach only to find it in the bedroom when I went to put my pyjamas on! Thank god I went back in the room. ‘


‘Thank you so much for everything, Charles. We are so pleased with the pictures you captured of our special day; they truly document the day in its entirety and we can see the story behind each image. From initial contact through to receipt of our photos, the service you provided was first class. You are a lovely, talented man who made us feel totally at ease. We consider ourselves so lucky that we found you as we could not have asked for better! ‘


The Christchurch Harbour hotel is a fantastic hotel with lovely staff. The hotel is readily accessible from London Waterloo (2hrs by train to Christchurch station), Bournemouth Airport (15 mins by car), or Southampton Airport (35 minutes by car or 30 minutes by train to Christchurch train station). Christchurch station is a 5-minute taxi ride. You can also alight at Hinton Admiral station (5 minutes by car) or New Milton station (15 minutes by car).

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Dress – Wed2b ‘Amore’ https://www.wed2b.co.uk/amore

Suit – Mark Darcy https://marcdarcy.co.uk

Flowers – https://www.angelk.co.uk/

Hair and Makeup – https://jennydmakeup.co.uk/

Famous pink pj’s! https://www.thewhitecompany.com/uk/

Rings – https://www.diamond-heaven.co.uk

Cake – https://www.facebook.com/JJCelebrationCakes/

Invitations and place cards – Tree of Hearts – https://www.treeofhearts.co.uk/

Doughnuts – Krispy Kreme – https://www.krispykreme.co.uk

Doughnut bags – https://m.facebook.com/ballardcrafts/

The Hotel – https://www.harbourhotels.co.uk/christchurch

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The Christchurch Priory & Kings Arms Hotel

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Thank you for looking at my blog. If you haven’t seen my work before I am a Dorset wedding photographer based in Christchurch. This wedding at Christchurch Priory & Kings Arms Hotel just shows why I have been doing Wedding photography for over 20 years. It is all about the pure joy that couples shows through out the day. What is there not to like!

This was a lovely wedding in August 2019. The original weather forcast wasn’t looking good. Which I was really gutted as we had such plans for the day. As the day got nearer the forecast got better and better and when the day came it was nearly perfect. Beautiful sunny skies with a bit of a keen breeze. In the mid afternoon the wind calmed down and the skies got a lovely milkiness as if it was in the golden hour. I was getting as giddy as a school boy. Loved every minute of it.

The below images are my ‘storybook’ of the day. So many memories that the couple will treasure for years to come. Please click on an image to increase the size.

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Have a look at Christchurch Priory website – https://www.christchurchpriory.org

To find out more about the Kings Arms Hotel in Christchurch please take a look at their website – https://www.harbourhotels.co.uk/kings-arms

To see more of my work Here is a link to my home page – https://charlesthornephotography.co.uk

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Weddings at Highcliffe Castle

[pp_gallery id=”2415″ style-id=”55a4a2ba-323c-4b6a-a111-cacba456eb94″]Thank you very much for looking at my Blog.  This wedding at Highclife castle has to be one of my highlights of last year. 2018, was full of gorgeous days and this day was no exception. From beginning to end the sun was shining at Highcliffe castle with the grounds looking absolutely stunning. If you have a tick list for your big day this will cross all your wishes and more. It is quite easy to understand why so many couples have their weddings at Highcliffe Castle.


History of the Castle

If you dont know the history of Highcliffe castle it is amazing in itself. It was built in the 1800’s and was the realisation of one man’s fantasy, that of Lord Stuart de Rothesay. While serving as the diplomatic advisor in Paris he had a large amount of medieval French masonry shipped across the Channel to Steamer Point. The Castle has been described as the most important surviving house of the Romantic and Picturesque style of architecture. Britannica define this style as “having the aesthetic quality existing between the sublime and the beautiful with irregularity, asymmetry and interesting textures.”

This style flourished at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. The castle played host to many important guests during its glittering heyday with royalty from France, Germany, Holland, Spain, Greece, Italy, Sweden and Norway visiting which amounted to six Kings, ten Queens, ten Princes and twelve Princesses visiting.

In the last century the property slowly came out of favour and there was an awful fire at the property just over 50 years ago. The local council bought the property in 1977 and has slowly renovated the castle.

When I started doing weddings at Highcliffe Castle, some 20 years ago, it was just a shell with the main wedding hall the only working room. Over the last 10 years with the help of lottery funds the castle has slowly come back to life. It is now something to behold.

Weddings at Highcliffe Castle

This couple came from Boston in the USA to marry at the castle with Dan’s family living close by. It was a big fairy-tale wedding with castles, horse and carriages, a great hall and loads of love and laughter. Hope you like looking through the pictures and please come back soon to see more.


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To find out more about Highcliffe castle please take a look at their website –

Highcliffe Castle homepage

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Christchurch Harbour Hotel / Christchurch

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Thank you very much for looking at my Blog.  If you haven’t looked at my work before I am a qualified wedding photographer in Christchurch, Dorset. This was a fabulous wedding at the Christchurch harbour hotel in Christchurch. Such a lovely venue looking over Mudeford harbour. We were blessed with gorgeous weather. I was with them for 4 hours and this was from getting ready to Cutting of the cake. We were able to get down to Avon beach and have some time on our own.

The Christchurch harbour hotel is an idyllic 67-room boutique hotel and luxury spa, positioned right on the water’s edge of tranquil, picturesque Christchurch Harbour. It’s home to two outstanding restaurants, and minutes from the beach. It was fully renovated in 2017 and it is great for the small to medium size weddings. From the photographers perspective you have a fantastic lawn for group photographs and a great patio area for candid and reportage. The staff are great and always helpful. I have been coming here for many years and look forward to going again later in the year.

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To find out more about Christchurch harbour Hotel please take a look at their website –


Please fill in the form below to show your interest in my work-

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I do hope you like this Blog I do hope to hear from you soon.