Christchurch Harbour Hotel Wedding Photographs in the Sun

We recently had the pleasure of joining Hannah and Stuart for their beautiful Christchurch Harbour Hotel wedding.

You may remember them as the fun loving couple from their hot sunny engagement photo shoot on Port Solent Beach.

Christchurch Harbour Hotel Bridal Preparation Photographs

Arriving in the morning at Christchurch Harbour Hotel we noticed that they had booked the same weather. Tthe sun was out in its full glory.

We love working at Christchurch Harbour Hotel. Not only does it provide a plethora of gorgeous areas, lighting and detail but it boasts a waterside view from its lovely open gardens. The staff were buzzing around like busy bees preparing for the day ahead. Bunting and huge pom poms were put up outside, the beach hut bar stocked. This all co-ordinated with the mint green colour theme.

Inside Mike Judd, toastmaster extraordinaire had arrived early to check on the day’s set up. we always know a wedding will run so very smoothly when Mike is on hand, we can’t recommend him enough.

Hannah and her bridesmaids were split between two of the hotel’s chic designer rooms. One set up for Hair stylist Catherine Wadey from Ott Salon to work her magic. The other for Smashbox wedding makeup artist Hayley to apply her beatifications.

Now I am more than used to the hectic tensions of a wedding morning. The whirling chaos that can ensue. However Hannah and her bridesmaids were exuding a happy calm that I was able to incorporate into the wedding photography.

The wedding flowers had been expertly created by Jules Florist. Simple yet gorgeous bouquets of peonies and gypsophila. Jules had also supplied wonderful woven table spreads for the top table and gift tables.

Wedding veil on bride at Christchurch Harbour Hotel

The bridesmaids donned their particularly beautiful 1920’s style mint green dresses, detailed with beading. They helped Hannah with her finishing touches and into her dress. I noticed that many of her wedding guests had settled themselves into the hotels sun terrace and garden.

Christchurch Harbour Hotel Wedding Groom Prep Photogs

Meanwhile Stuart, his two best men and the groomsmen walked to the local pub. I have to say that they all looked rather dapper. Stu in his grey checked suit with braces and cream tie.

Groomsmen in Christchurch

A few beers in the garden and they were back to morning duties. They checked table plans, ceremony layouts and entertained the wedding guests.

Christchurch Harbour Hotel wedding flowers
Christchurch Harbour Hotel wedding reception
Wedding guests at Christchurch Harbour Hotel

Christchurch Harbour Hotel Wedding Ceremony Photographs

After a couple of slightly nervous minutes waiting for Hannah in the ceremony room their cheeky little flower girl led the ladies down the aisle. She even flashed the registrars! Next came Hannah’s two bridesmaids. In their beautiful dresses they swept down the aisle, followed by Hannah and her father. Hannah looked breath-taking. I could tell by the look on Stu’s face that his heart had just leapt into his mouth.

Christchurch Harbour Hotel Wedding Ceremony

With bright unidirectional lighting from the sunny day outside the guests were treated to a couple of heartfelt readings and a tear jerking exchange of vows.

Christchurch Harbour Hotel Wedding Reception Photos

The newlyweds (with huge smiles) walked back down the aisle to raucous applause. Mike Judd made sure they enjoyed a glass of champagne whilst their guests descended into the gardens for the drinks reception.

With a bright blue sky and a gentle sea breeze the Pims flowed on the sun terrace. You could hear the chatter and laughter of Hannah and Stuart’s guests enjoyed themselves throughout the gardens. Croquet and giant Jenga entertained child and adult guests alike. Next we were able to gather everyone for group shots without intruding into their fun.

The layout of the gardens allowed us to capture the drinks reception from all angles. The nearby stairs and balconies provide a ‘birds eye’ panoramic view of proceedings. The spacious design is perfect for unobtrusive photography.

Bride and groom at sea Christchurch Harbour Hotel
Bride and Groom at Christchurch Harbour Hotel

Once the guests had thoroughly enjoyed the drinks reception, sun and sea Mike Judd called them in for the line-up. This tends to be a rather formal affair. In this case almost every guests had the opportunity to joke and laugh with the happy couple.

Christchurch Harbour Hotel Wedding Breakfast Photographs

A mirrored table plan greeted the guests who were then seated for wedding breakfast. The food at the Christchurch Harbour Hotel has one hell of a reputation. We could tell from the bouts of silence and humoured chatter that the wedding party approved wholeheartedly.

The speeches had Hannah and a whole host of the guests in tears. Stu’s best men saw to it that hiding behind his hands was a good option for some of the jokes! Again Mike Judd led the proceedings perfectly.

Mother of ride during speeches at Christchurch Harbour Hotel
Wedding Speeches at Christchurch Harbour Hotel
I love it when a couple choose charity wedding favours, Hannah and Stu had chosen Cancer Research UK for theirs.

Before the evening guests started to arrive Hannah and Stu cut their cake. Ar loud round of applauds from their guests echoed about the room. The stunning three tier cake dressed with mint green ribbons had been lovingly created by their niece Emma.

Christchurch Harbour Hotel Wedding Evening Photographs

Having worked at many Christchurch Harbour Hotel weddings we are familiar with the shooting style required for the evening reception room. Away from the hotels guests the private event room not only provides a dance floor and space for a band but a bar/ lounge area for those not dancing.

Posh Photo Booths had already set up ready to entertain guests with their fancy dress. Next the wedding band The Lionels  finished sound testing as the room started to fill with the guests. The evening reception room is a bit of a TARDIS. It was able to comfortable hold the 170 or so guests that now milled around the bar, table and dance floor.

By the time Hannah and Stuart took to the floor for their first dance everyone was having a great time. Hannah and Stuart gently twirled about as if they had choreographed the moment. The wedding guests needed no encouragement to join them.

The Lionels came into their own, pulling some awesome cover songs out of the bag. They made sure the dance floor was filled with shape throwing, singing and dancing guests for the rest of the evening.

As predicted Hannah and Stuart’s big day was so full of fun. The weather, Mike Judd and the Christchurch Harbour Hotel wedding staff all added.  This made the perfect wedding day, perfectly captured by ourselves, of course!

You can see what Hannah and Stuart thought of our wedding photography services in Dorset in their Christchurch Harbour Hotel Wedding Photographer Review.

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