highcliffe castle wedding photographer

highcliffe castle wedding photographer

Highcliffe castle wedding photographer


Capturing happy memories as a Highcliffe castle wedding photographer is easy. Most bride and grooms want a castle wedding looking over the sea. This place has it all. Gorgeous ceremony room, vast banquet room that can fit all your guests and access to an amazing beach at the bottom of the garden.

For 20 years I have been doing wedding photography at Highcliffe castle. Initially it was just the ceremony room which was open for couples as over 50 years ago there was a huge fure in the castle which totally gutted the building. Over the years, they have been rebuilding and opening new rooms. Believe me if you are a couple looking for that little bit extra, this has it.


Highcliffe castle is situated on the boundary between Dorset and Hampshire on the coast. When you arrive you have this amazing stone drive to the main front door. It is one of the biggest doors you will ever see. Bridal portraits are often taken in this area before walking round to the main entrance for the wedding ceremony. Some brides come by different transport including horse and carriage and grand old cars. It must be an amazing experience coming by horse and carriage up the long drive to the entrance!

As you come round the building to the back you have the stairway to the Ceremony room. The room is floor to ceiling with windows . The room can fit 100 people, It is amazing sight seeing the bride come in through the doors and going down the isle.

If you follow round to the back entrance of the castle you see the full extent of this magnificent building and you can look down the garden towards the beach. Lot of my main group shots are taken with the castle in the background.


The architecture is Grade 1 listed and dates to the 1830’s.  Much of the stonework is Norman and Renaissance, shipped from across the channel.  It has intricate Gothic revival features and stained glass that make it appear older than it actually is.

The castle was the dream and realisation of Lord Stuart de Rothesay, a distinguished diplomat and the gardens were laid out by the infamous Capability Brown.

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.

The local council bought the property in 1977 and has slowly renovated the castle.


Bride infront of large front door at Highcliffe castle
Highcliffe castle wedding ceremony room
Dream weddings at Highcliffe castle
Bridesmaids group shot at a highcliffe castle wedding
Speeches at a wedding at a Highcliffe castle wedding
Bride and father infront of large front door at Highcliffe castle
excited brides at a Highcliffe castle wedding
Bridesmaids entering ceremony room at a Highcliffe castle wedding
Tears at a wedding at Highcliffe castle
Weddings at Highcliffe castle
First dance at a highcliffe castle wedding
Entering ceremony room at a Highcliffe castle wedding
Bride and Groom on Highcliffe castle beach
Weddings at Highcliffe castle
Highcliffe castle wedding candid group shot
letting your hair down at a wedding at Highcliffe castle


Wedding photos on Highcliffe beach

Rhinefield house Ian & Mayra

Rhinefield house Ian & Mayra

Rhinefield house / New forest

Ian & Mayra


Rhinefield house wedding’s has given me amazing memories over the years. On a personal note being best man for a good friend and professionally when helping another photographer out and he fell into the lake at the back of the hotel! That was one of the first wedding’s I ever photographed it is always great being thrown into the deep end!

As a wedding photographer you are completely spoilt for choice to where to take photos inside and outside the hotel. Rain or shine you dont have to look far.


For me, my favourite times of the year are May and end of October. Both full of colour for different reasons. In May, we have the warm long evenings with the new life on trees and on habitat. The expectation of the summer to come and time spent outside. At the end of October we have the end of the summer but generally you have one last ‘hurrah’ with some final warmth in the sun before the long evenings but you also do have the colour in the trees which October 2019 defintely didn’t disappoint. Colour in the trees was exceptional throughout the new forest. Rhinefield house wedding’s with a backdrop like that is what all bride and grooms want.


Looking back to this celebration at Rhinefield house is incredible in so many ways. The amount of fun this wedding party had was amazing. Long lost friends who hadnt seen each other for years from all over the world. No worries of social distancing or wearing a mask. Just pure fun.

Day started with the pitter patter of rain, actually it was incredibly heavy. The forecast changed very last minute so Plan B came out with some photos being inside. Weather didnt dampen anything, far from it, their personality was all over the weather as the photo above shows.

The wedding itself was at a beautiful church in Sopley, outside of Christchurch. Umbrellas were everywhere when entering the church but inside we had the warmth of candles and laughter. It was such a lovely service. My favourite memory was watching the page boy and flower girl coming up the isle with all the audience watching them. The Bride beaming behind them with an adoring father holding her arm. It was such a lovely moment which I will treasure in my memory banks.

After the service we had a quick discussion about the confetti shot which they wanted to do even with the rain pouring down and I am so glad we did as the emotion was on full view for everyone to see.


Rhinefield house is a small journey into the New forest. We planned to stop on Ornamental drive to get some photos of the colour in the forest with the goregous car they were driving in. The rains stopped just in time with a glint of light coming through the trees. With cars behind me I was thankful for a bit of social distancing and was able to get a shot on the road. Time was close to 3pm by the time we arrived at the hotel and with the light completely changing outside we were able to get the group shots outside. Sun was like milk covering its cream all over its surroundings. It was one of the most incredible light that I have ever worked in.

With the couple eating I took to the garden and with evening coming on strong a mist started to develop. It was stunning!

The speeches is when everyone a part from the speakers totally relax so I focused my attention on the audience. They didnt disappoint. Emotion was on tap and loved catching it on camera.

So, we come to the first dance. Wow! There has always been a constant joke with my couples about their ‘you tube’ dance instead of the slow plod. This couple did everything including a total outfit change. The preperation they must of made with the hours of training. Doing it all together. Well done Ian & Mayra – you totally nailed it!

What a wedding. Hope you like the pictures.



Love being a Rhinefield house wedding photographer. Enjoy this short video showing my highlights.

Music by Luke Barents


For more information Rhinefield house hotel please take a look at their website


To see my front page please take a look here


To see more of my blogs from weddings close to Christchurch. Please take a look at this wedding from The Kings arms in Christchurch. 

or take a look at this small affair at the Christchurch harbour hotel

Gorwell Barn Wedding

Gorwell Barn Wedding


Magical day in ancient Dorset

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!

Tom & Amy (September 2019)


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/


Dress hanging up
The groomsmen
Bride meeting the father
powerstock church
The gorgeous flowers
The groom
Getting ready shot
The car going up to the Church
Father & Bride entering the church
Bride & Groom leaving powerstock church
West Dorset wedding
The marriage
The registry signing
gorwell barn wedding
The confetti shot at Powerstock church
gorwell barn wedding
gorwell barn wedding
gorwell barn wedding
gorwell barn wedding
gorwell barn wedding
Bride and Groom in golden light
gorwell barn wedding
The cake shot at Gorwell barn
The speeches at Gorwell barn
The Groomsmen
gorwell barn wedding


To see another wedding in the west of Dorset, please take a look at this one in Beaminster – Rob & Kate

West Dorset wedding

West Dorset Wedding

West Dorset Wedding

West Dorset Wedding

Village wedding in the heart of the Countryside

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.

pre wedding shoot in west bay


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!

‘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!’

Rob & Katie (August 2019)


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/

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

Christchurch harbour hotel wedding photos

Christchurch harbour hotel wedding photos

Christchurch Harbour Hotel Mark & Kirby

An emotional rollercoaster of a day

This Christchurch harbour hotel wedding may of been a small affair but it was full of character and emotion. The hotel was filled with laughter from the moment they arrived, reverbrating around the room. It was such a warm and friendly wedding which has stayed with me ever since.

When knocking on Kirby’s hotel door in the morning it was so peaceful. The room was full of relaxed tones and gentle laughter.

Both Mark & Kirby come from the Midlands and come to Mudeford quite a few times a year. They both have happy memories and wanted to spend their big day here instead of back home. The only guests were their close family and you could tell they loved each others company. It was quite infectious and found myself in tears of laughter through out the day. By the end of the day I felt a part of their family and found it difficult to leave.


The Christchurch Harbour hotel is a friendly place with lovely staff. The hotel is readily accessible from London Waterloo, Bournemouth Airport, or Southampton Airport. Christchurch station is a 5-minute taxi ride. The main draw to the hotel is the stunning backdrop looking over Christchurch harbour.


 ‘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. ‘


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

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

Mark & Kirby (Sept 2019

The Christchurch Priory & Kings Arms Hotel

The Christchurch Priory & Kings Arms Hotel

Christchurch Priory / Kings Arms Hotel

Darryl & Louisa


 Taking Wedding photograph’s in Christchurch is nothing without the Priory and the Kings arms Hotel. They go so well together and it is always the highlight of every year photographing there.


Since my childhood Christchurch priory has been close to my heart. When going into the church for a wedding the realisation of having such an amazing backdrop always excites and never fails to fullfill it’s potential. With its amazing architecture and it gorgeous ambience there isnt many churches that gives so much.


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.

Thank you so much for our beautiful photo’s and for being so amazing, not only on the day but on the lead up too. You really put us at ease and you were so patient. You are brilliant and we are so happy we had you as our photographer!

Darryl & Louisa (August 2019)