Country Theme Wedding Photographs in Dorset
Several months back I drove over to The Chetnole Inn, in Chetnole, Dorset to meet a couple called Charlotte and Dan for their country theme wedding photographs.
Our email exchanges had led me to believe that they were a young, funky and fun-loving couple who really loved our style of photography. In the darkened bar of this oak beamed Inn I found myself mentally playing a game that went along the lines of “What happens when a BAFTA winning computer games designer and a Teacher with a penchant for cheese fall in love and plan a wedding?”.
I couldn’t quite guess before-hand. The rural meeting location gave me a clue and I’m sure cheese was going to be involved somewhere!
The answer to my question is to be found below in detail. The abstracted version is that they had planned a country theme wedding with a bunch of equally wonderful and fun-loving family and friends.
Country Theme Wedding Bridal Preparation Photographs
Arriving back at the Chetnole Inn on the country theme wedding morning the sun was shining. The old Inn had taken on a much friendlier, lighter feel. Charlotte and her bridesmaids had just managed to get hold of some iPod speakers and had the chill out music flowing across the attic room.
The bridesmaids were assigned jobs as nail technicians. They failed, fired and were re-assigned to other tasks as the hairdresser worked her magic on Charlotte. After a relatively calm couple of hours of make up, champagne and deciding which pair of shoes to wear the wedding dress was put on. We descended into the restaurant area for final preparations.
I should point out that the church was on the opposite side of the road from the pub. Me pointing at Dan across the way and saying to Charlotte “whatever you do don’t look over there” didn’t work so well!
Meanwhile the chaps were preparing themselves not far away. Ties were being tied, button holes queried and Dan’s father’s rather nice British racing green Jag furnished with Ribbons.
Charlotte quickly wrote a lovely speech on the back of four Chetnole postcards. I thought it was quite apt and donned her veil. Up until that point I had been too busy concentrating on composition to notice just how beautiful she looked. I had a minute of stunned silence.
Country Theme Wedding Ceremony Photographs
The walk over to the church brought windy motion to the dress and veil, which is always a photographer’s delight. Charlotte, her father and the bridesmaids were welcomed into St Peter’s church by the wonderful sound of Dan’s parents and friends ringing bells in the entrance.
I’ve never been to a church service where the guests had laughed and smiled so much. Even those giving the readings looked like they were having a fantastic time. I particularly loved the bright beams of natural light shafting straight through the church windows highlighting Charlotte and Dan during the service. As a surprise Dan’s brother skilfully played clarinet for the guests whilst the register was signed.
Post service the newly-weds mingled with their guest for a while. We took some couple shots in front of the beautifully textured stone walls and old wooden doors of the church.
After our last wedding in Sherborne at Sherborne Castle we couldn’t wait to visit a slightly different wedding venue in the same town - Stockbridge Farm Barn.
Country Theme Wedding Drinks Reception Photographs
Wedding confetti and a ride in a Jag later and Charlotte and Dan arrive at Stockbridge farm barn for their drinks reception. Now I know I have mentioned it before and I don’t mean to bang on about it. Stockbridge Farm Barn is such a beautiful wedding venue. Especially for a country theme wedding. Every time I see it I can’t help but be blown away by the building, inside and out.
As the sky had started to look a little threatening and the guests had munched their way through most of the yummy looking canopies we called for the group photographs. Our theory with group photographs is to keep them fun and keep them short. No bride wants to look back on her wedding day and only be able to remember an epic boring photo-shoot halfway through the day. The timing was perfect and as the guests took their places inside the barn the pitter-patter of rain could be heard outside.
Country Theme Wedding Breakfast Photographs
Inside the barn had been dressed beautifully. The tables were each named after old school computer games I remember playing as a child and the buffet lunch laid out ready. The side bar had been lovingly dressed for the country theme wedding. The bar itself put together by Dan’s family with a thoroughly selected ale and spirits.
The post meal speeches were simply lovely. As they drew to a close the musicians arrived and set up to entertain the guests. Now Dan’s brother took his turn in the spotlight and showed just how proficient he was with the clarinet. This caused my jaw to drop behind the camera as I moved in to capture the moment.
Country Theme Wedding Evening Photographs
With the bar now open and the wine flowing well it wasn’t long before the inevitable happened… cheese… not just any cheese, lots of cheese…. More cheese than you could shake a bread stick at… a selection of fabulous cheeses with home made chutneys, bread and biscuits! As we are cheese addicts we had to limit our exposure to the aromas produced from the food tables.
Now it’s quite common for children to be the first on the dance floor. In this instance they were whizzing about the floor on scooters. A new one on us, but made for some great long exposure images.
The contrast between the gentle, swaying, drifting first dance and the bouncing, singing, whirling, shape busting rest of the dancing will stay with me for a while.
One other thing that I noticed before we left that evening was that despite a long day of walking about on her damaged ankle and a good old flail on the dance floor Charlotte still looks as stunningly beautiful as she had done that morning. More noticeably was Dan stood to one side watching her dance. In that moment no one has ever looked as happy as he looked then.