DORSET & WEDDINGS
I cant think of any easier task then writing about Dorset & Weddings. The county of Dorset has everything that I need – With its rolling hills and sandy beaches, there is much to love. It really does have it all! I have photographed weddings for over half of my life and it is a complete joy to be a part of.
Over the last 25 years I have seen many couples come to Dorset to get married. Often the couple have some connection to this magnificent place, either having family locally or having a holiday here and have forged a relationship. Many couples come down from London because the world of Dorset is so different to a large 24 hour city. A place you can breath and relax…..peace.
Below, you will find a map of Dorset venues and some web links to my favourite venues in the county. Under that I have some stories of weddings and my favourite photos that I have taken. I have got Caroline from ‘Amazing face – Hair and make-up’ to write some tips and tricks for new brides-to-be. Honestly, Caroline is one of the most awarded wedding hair and make-up artists. It is worth reading this article just to hear her knowledge. At the bottom I discuss my favourite Dorset walks. Enjoy!
DORSET WEDDING VENUE MAP
It must be incredibly daunting looking for your Dorset wedding venue. You know that you want to get married in Dorset but have no idea of where to start. Here is a map of the area with all the best wedding venues and hotels. Underneath the map you will see some web links of some amazing hotels
DORSET WEDDING WEBSITE LINKS
King arms hotel, Christchurch – https://www.harbourhotels.co.uk/kings-arms/weddings
Sopley Mill – https://sopleymill.co.uk/weddings/
Larmer tree – https://www.larmertree.co.uk/larmer-tree-weddings
Connaught hotel – https://www.theconnaught.co.uk/weddings/
DORSET VENUE BLOGS
As a Dorset wedding photographer I have been to many of the brilliant venues. There has been loads of absolutely fantastic days and so many stories that I could tell. Here are 3 of some recent weddings in Dorset.
KINGS ARMS HOTEL
At the heart of Christchurch this hotel is incredibly lucky to be in walking distance of Christchurch priory. My favourite weddings are always with this mix of these fab wedding venues. Mixing the traditional with the modern.
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 outstandings.
Who else would I go to but Caroline Swaffield from Amazing face to give you Bride’s-to-be some hot tips on your Hair & make up. Enjoy!!
In the makeup world, it’s important to know that for everyday makeup and clubbing makeup (more importantly Instagram makeup) you will need a specialist who knows the real world of wedding makeup and hair. Your makeup will need to last into the later hours, will need to be photographed in different light scenarios and your stylist will need to make you naturally look your very best knowing that no filters will be available on the big day!
Let’s start at the beginning
Book your hair and make up artist as soon as you are engaged! Seriously, you should look at their testimonies, reviews and awards, and make sure to go right back and make sure they have loads of experience with lots of real brides. If their Insta is full of pics of themselves and not of successful weddings, then they are probably quite new and don’t yet have the experience needed for such a big day. Most of the good makeup and hair stylists are booked 1-2 years in advance on certain dates so if you do find a stylist that you love, then I recommend that you book them immediately.
Questions to ask
What brands do you use?
Are you capable of doing makeup on different ethnicities?
Can you look after mature skin? (don’t forget to book both Mums in for hair and makeup – they often get left out and are distressed they are not involved!)
Do you have a team?
Do you charge for travel and parking?
Hairwise, consider the time of year you are having your wedding in relation to your hairstyle; think about wind, rain, humidity, and an outdoor wedding if you’re having one – and don’t forget about the dancing! All of these come into play when choosing a style for your big day.
Book manicure / pedicure 2-3 days before your wedding. Lots of brides forget about this and might find it difficult at the last minute.
Start a great skincare routine to get that bridal radiance.
Buy hair accessories or veil for trial or matching hair extensions should you require them.
Have a trial or two before your wedding. This is done as soon or as late as you want – no hard rules here.
Always bring photos of hair and makeup styles you love along with you to your trials. Furthermore, colour swatches of flowers and your dress, which you should also have a picture for too.
Little things to note
Wear dressing gowns in a silky texture to avoid hair being pulled by toweling ones.
Make sure to prevent nasty red strap marks on shoulders and ankles by avoiding tight clothing.
Wash hair day before wedding – bridesmaids too! On the day, arrive with clean bare skin as your makeup artist will prep and prime.
A schedule rarely goes exactly to plan; don’t stress, this is normal and you will all be ready on time.
After showering, pop on your body lotions and perfume to prevent oily patches of skin.
Remember to spray your perfume last minute and walk through it as doing so avoids getting oil all over your dress.
To find out more about ‘Amazing face’ Please take a look at their website. Link below –
DORSET WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY FAVOURITES
view over Chapman pool
One of my passions is the search for peace and enjoying the sounds of the natural world. There is nothing better for the soul then sitting on a hill side looking over a view with the warm sun going down.
This, you might feel has nothing to do with the organisation of your big day but it does. Having a connection to a place is part of the journey of finding your wedding venue.
I spend lots of my time enjoying what Dorset has to offer. From the local world famous beaches to the Purbecks and the south west costal path. I am not someone who likes to sleep in and do find myself getting up before anyone else and seeing the start of the day. Below are some of my favourites and some hidden gems.
This is one of my favourite places in the world, not alone Dorset. The bay is in the Lulworth Ranges and can only be accessed on bank holidays and some weekends.
I am going to set a scene. On 26th December 2018 I got up at 5am to journey down to Lulworth cove. On my way down the weather was awful with a gentle splash of rain hitting my windscreen. It didnt look like I had chosen well but as I got to the car park at Lulworth there was a lovely red line on the horizon. There was still over an hour to sunrise so excitement was brewing. It is a good hour to get to Mupe. Firstly you have to journey up the side of the hill. When you reach the top you look over Lulworth cove. It is still dark and with torch light I walk down the side of the cliff by some 100 steps.
I can still hear the water hitting the pebbles on the beach. The sunrise at this stage is looking really good but there is still quite a walk over very muddy terrain to the gate to enter the Lulworth ranges. It is a relief when the gate opens as most of the time it is shut. When through the gate the fossil forest is right next to the cliff top. Well worth a visit. Slipping and sliding over the path for a round a mile to the steps down to Mupe bay. The view above is what I saw. The sunrise was happening as I got down to the bottom and I took some photos. Afterwards, I sat there and watches the dancing birds flying about. There was not a sign of anyone. Gorgeous
Every year since I have done the same. Even after heavy storms. It is my Christmas present to myself.
To know when you can access Mupe bay please take a look at this website –
This is the best walk for families to get together. Three routes you can take. The beach, The hill and the woodlands along the edge of Christchurch harbour. They all go to the same place but all give a different feeling. The beach is stoney and quite hard work if it has been windy. Love going down the beach at Sunset. Had this view last August. The people on the beach was my wife and my Henry. At the far end of the beach you have Mudeford Spit which has some very expensive beach huts. These are some of the most expensive sheds in the world!
When you get back to the car park it is always worth getting a cuppa in the Hikers cafe.
NEW FOREST BLOG
Thank you very much for looking at my blog on Dorset weddings. I have done a sister blog on the New forest which you might want to look at. Please follow the link below to find out more.
Thank you very much for your interest in my Dorset wedding photography. If you would like to know more please fill in the form below and I will get in contact with you as as soon as I can.
DORSET WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY TESTIMONIAL
We got in touch with Charles to take photos at our wedding. My partner and I have been blown away by how fantastic Charles has been through the whole process.
He made us feel completely at ease and comfortable with having our picture taken. We thoroughly enjoyed the pre-wedding shoot and had so much fun with Charles on the day of the wedding.
We are immensely happy with the final package of photos we have received. He got great pictures of us with our family and so many amazing moments that we were too busy to see on the day.
We would unreservedly recommended Charles to anyone for any event, especially a wedding.
MORE ABOUT ME
Thank you for looking at this blog, I do hope you have found it useful. If you would like to know more please take a look at my ‘about me’ page. Please, by all means make any comments below.