The Wedding Day in Ferndown, Hampreston and Stapehill
I came to be the wedding photographer for Ellie and James’ wedding down in Dorset simply because James is the son of Steve – who is often my second photographer when I require one at weddings. So it was one of those rare occasions where I was meeting the bride and groom for the first time on the wedding day itself.
Bridal Preparations in Ferndown, Dorset
I spent the evening before the wedding at a hotel in Bournemouth. So I was suitably fresh and ready when I arrived to document Ellie’s bridal preparations in Ferndown, which is about 8 miles outside of Bournemouth.
When I arrived, the bridal party were sat down enjoying an appetizing full English breakfast, prepared by Barry the father-of-the-bride, which looked and smelled delicious – and had my stomach rumbling before I even started.
Whilst they finished off breakfast I was able to associate myself with the family’s pet dogs, who were taking a very inquisitive interested in this stranger who had turned up with a number of cameras hanging from him.
It would be fair to say that Ellie and her bridesmaids Sophie, Aimee, Robyn and Debbie looked amazing – and that was even before the bridal hair and make-up had even started! Ellie had decided she was going to be both bride and hairdresser for the day – carefully watched by mother-of-the-bride and actual hairdresser Carole. This meant everyone was in good hands!
Make-up duties fell to bridesmaid Robyn, herself a talented makeup artist and whose work you can see more of at www.facebook.com/RobynFosterMakeupArt/ So it was very much a bridal party bridal preparations kind of wedding morning.
Ellie was helped into her stunning wedding dress, from Anya Bridal Couture at www.anyabridal.co.uk/, by her mother, and she looked every inch the beautiful and glamorous bride.
Of course, with so much going on it was fantastic for me, as a documentary wedding photographer, as I love to photograph all those natural moments and genuine emotions. Remaining as unobtrusive as possible I’m able to capture the real wedding morning story.
Arriving at All Saints Church, Hampreston
The beautiful All Saints Church in the village of Hampreston is set at the end of a long drive and amongst leafy green trees – most certainly a stunning setting for a traditional English country wedding. Parts of the church date back to the early 15th century – giving an air of history and tradition to a wedding ceremony.
When I arrived, James was waiting nervously for his bride to arrive. In a stylish checkered steel blue suit, he looked every inch the handsome groom. After a quick run through with the Reverend Everton McLeod about the usual do’s and don’t’s it was back outside for the arrival of the bride.
The bridesmaids and flowers were already outside, awaiting Ellie’s arrival and what a stunning bridal party they made, in beautiful pink dresses. Ellie soon arrived, driven in style by her brother Ben.
When Ellie laid eyes on the bridal party, the emotion of the day caught up with her and there were a few tears shed, but these were quickly dried up and bridesmaid Robyn ensured the brides makeup was still immaculate for entering the church.
With everyone composed, it was then time to fall in line and head into the church for the traditional wedding ceremony to begin.
A Fun Wedding Ceremony of Laughter and Smiles
As wedding ceremonies go this one was definitely a fun and amusing one, which was very much down to Reverend McLeod’s entertaining and interactive approach to marrying a couple. The laughs were also helped by the groom’s eagerness to marry his beautiful bride, who jumped in with his “I Do” way ahead of schedule.
The interior of All Saints Church in Hampreston, is a beautiful wedding setting with its traditional font, communion rails and oak benches. The walls are lined with historic monuments, with one bust set within a classical framework of a Corinthian Order that dates back to 1630. Add to this an impressive stained glass window beyond the alter and you a light and airy church interior that is a joy to shoot wedding photography within.
After the wedding ceremony, it was a chance for guests to mingle and congratulate the happy couple. It also gave me a chance to take the couple off to a quieter part of the church grounds to take some portraits of them, before we then headed off for the wedding reception.
A Backyard Wedding Marquee in Stapehill, Dorset
Ellie and James were fortunate enough to have a friend who owned a delightful tree-lined meadow in Stapehill which made for a fantastic backyard styled marquee wedding venue. With hand crafted and rustic decorations throughout, crafted by the talented wedding planners Loubear and Tops at www.loubearandtops.co.uk/ it was without doubt a beautiful rural setting for the bride and groom’s wedding reception.
The wedding toasts and speeches were the usual mixture of amusing stories, kind tributes and touching moments, followed by a beautiful wedding buffet spread, prepared by family friend Laura.
Fed and watered it was then an opportunity for guests to take advantage of the beautiful rural Dorset setting before the evening celebrations began.
Hog Roasts, Dry Ice and Romantic First Dances
As late afternoon drew in, the gorgeous smell of a Hog Roast, cooked and deliciously prepared by the family run Hog Roast BBQ at http://www.hogroastbbq.com wafted across the meadow – setting tummies rumbling again.
However, what really captured the attention, particularly of some of the younger wedding guests, was the pig’s head. “Is it still alive?” “I’m sure it just blinked” and “He’s smiling he must be happy” were a number of comments overheard.
As the bride and groom welcomed the evening guests, it was time for the party to start to get going, as they say. Behind the decks and MC for the afternoon and evening festivities was the highly personable Iggy Davis of the award-winning Iggy Wedding DJ at www.iggyweddingdj.com who did a fantastic job of keeping everyone entertained with wedding games and great tunes.
When it came to the couple’s first dance, dry ice filled the dancefloor. As the couple swayed romantically within it, there wasn’t a dry eye in the marquee.
What a wonderful Dorset wedding it was. And I’m sure you’ll agree it looked amazing from start to finish, as a small selection of Ellie and James wedding photos show.
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Dorset Wedding Photography
Hampreston & Stapehill Wedding Photography Credits
- Wedding Photography: Darren Lehane Wedding Photography
- Hairdressing: By Bride
- Makeup: Robyn Foster
- Wedding Dress: Anya Bridal Couture
- Brides Shoes: Next
- Bridesmaids & Flower Girl’s Dresses: Monsoon & Ebay
- Groomsmen Suits: Moss Bros
- Wedding Rings: H Samuels
- Wedding Car: Bride’s Brother
- Flowers: Mel (family friend)
- Wedding Planners & Decoration: Loubear & Tops
- Church: All Saints Hampreston and Stapehill
- Wedding Reception: Stapehill (friend’s private field)
- Catering: Laura (family friend)
- DJ: Iggy Wedding DJ
*If you were involved in this wedding and would like a credit, please do message me and I’ll happily oblige with a credit.
Dorset Wedding Photographer
Are you getting married at All Saints Church in Hampreston, Dorset? Or perhaps you enjoyed my natural and unposed approach to wedding photography and think I’d be a great fit for your wedding plans?
Then I’d love to hear from you have and have a non obligatory chat with you.