Grand Hotel Swanage Wedding Photographs

After last year’s Grand Hotel Swanage Wedding showcase we were very exited to meet Kim and Neil to chat over their fantastical Grand Hotel Swanage wedding plans. This classical Victorian sea-side hotel wedding venue has possibly the best bay and beach view in the area.

The Grand Hotel Swanage Wedding Morning

On the morning of their Grand Hotel Swanage wedding day the bright warm sun saturated the blues of sky and sea and yellow of the sandy beach below. I joined Kim in her room, where wedding preparations were underway. The unilateral window lighting made for gorgeous silhouettes and side lit portraiture. As her bridesmaid and flower girls whirled around her from room to room Kim seemed relaxed. She was well composed and most assuredly in control of the morning’s proceedings. Flower girls were turned into little princesses and it was time for Kim to don her gorgeous lace detailed dress.

Grand Hotel Swanage beach view
Bride in gown on The Grand Hotel Swanage wedding morning
Child portrait at Grand Hotel Swanage Wedding
Bride is buttoned into her wedding dress
bride looks at sea at Grand Hotel Swanage wedding
Flowergirl in white dress with purple sash
Downstairs Murray joined Neil and his best man welcoming guests in the hotel bar. Looking back at the timestamps on our images we realised that Kim opened her first bottle of champagne at exactly the same time Neil had his first pint poured (both overlooking the sea!)

Once Kim was almost ready to descend the hotel stairs Neil headed off to Durlston Castle where he would greet further guests and wait for his bride to be. With Neil gone Kim came down accompanied by her father, bridesmaid and flower girls.

As a personal touch the hotel manager and staff greeted the bridal party and wished them luck for the day ahead.

Durlston Castle Wedding Ceremony

Neil arrived at Durlston Castle bathed in glorious sunshine shortly followed by the wedding guests. They gathered outside the Belvedere suite taking in the panoramic view from such a great vantage point.

We knew we were in safe hands seeing the lovely wedding planner Polly Smith from Blue Bay Events organisational skills at work.

As Kim arrived the wedding guests were invited to take their seats inside. The sounds of seagulls and the water below on the rocks filled the room accompanied with a cool sea breeze. The gorgeous space was filled with purple, yellow and white flowers from the exceptionally talented Charlotte Trim Florist (one of our recommended wedding suppliers). Love hearts of all types and white sashes hung from the ceiling

Bride at Durlston Castle wedding in the sun
A very close and personal civil ceremony followed with heartfelt readings. Kim’s tears of joy were as infectious as the smiles around the room. Kim and Neil were almost unable to take their eyes off each other.

wedding service at Durlston Castle, Swanage, Dorset
The Durlston Castle Belvedere brass plaque
Flower girl reading at Durlston Castle wedding ceremony
Durlston Castle wedding ceremony in the Belvedere Suite
Bride portrait at Durlston Castle wedding ceremony
Signing the register at Durlston Castle Wedding
We recognised the soft acoustic sounds of none other than Metallica playing during the signing of the register! The happy couple then lit a candle together and emerged from the Belvedere suite as husband and wife into the spectacular sunshine.

After some celebratory drinks and canopies against panoramic sea views the wedding party was invited down into the garden of the castle for some group photos. Bubbles were blown instead of confetti (seemingly more by adults than the children!)and  Kim and Neil led the way down through the Purbeck stone castle grounds and flower gardens.

wedding bubbles for children at Durlston Castle
Wedding photobomb by bride and flower girl
After some well-timed photobombing by the bride and flower girls we took the newly weds down to the huge Victorian stone globe. Neil marked the occasion by drawing a love heart slab of Purbeck stone for visitors to leave messages. We had time to create a ‘clone the bride’ photograph but given the terrain and heat we adapted to a ‘clone the groom’ photograph.

Bride and groom by the sea with Victorian stone globe
Groom draws love heart at Durlston Castle wedding
Clone the Groom photograph at Durlston Castle

Durlston Castle wedding photograph in the flowers
After walking the path back to the garden Kim and Neil left for Corfe Castle while the guests also headed that direction in the coach unaware of their destination.

Corfe Castle Wedding Photographs

Kim and Neil were dropped in their chauffeur driven car (supplied by SJR Executive cars) at The Greyhound pub in front of the ruins of Corfe Castle. After our last wedding at Mortons House Hotel in Corfe we were so happy to be back in this gorgeous village, this time in the sunshine! After crowds of people congratulating them I took a couple of pictures with the castle behind and left them to soak up the atmosphere of the garden. We walked back through Corfe Castle village to the steam railway station.

Bride and groom next to Corfe Castle, Dorset
Bride and groom at Corfe Castle, Dorset
Swanage Railway wedding

In the meantime Murray joined the wedding guests as they were coached to the Norden station. Their wedding surprise was a steam train ride back to Swanage (not forgetting to collect Kim, Neil and I from Corfe Station).

Swanage steam railway wooden sign
Wedding guest in Steam train station waiting room
Wedding couple with corfe castle
wedding steam train and corfe castle photograph
wedding guests on Swanage steam train
Weddign couple on Swanage steam train
Swanage Victorian Pier Wedding Photographs

Once back in Swanage Neil was allowed into the steam engine and we took a walk along Swanage’s Victorian pier. As part of the restoration project you can buy a commemorative plaque and it took a couple of minutes to hunt down Kim and Neil’s (which a passing visitor kindly cleaned for us!).

Swanage victorian pier brass plaque with wedding bouquet
This time it was us who was in for a surprise. Looking back across the back drop of Swanage bay. This time the ‘photo bomber’ was a Mark 11c Hawker Hurricane (that starred in the classic 1960s film Battle of Britain). Back at The Grand Hotel, Murray and the awaiting guests were also treated to this sight as the plane flew directly past the Hotel garden twice tipping its wings!

bride and groom on victorian pier with Hawker Hurricane
Hawker Hurricane wedding fly by at The Grand Hotel
Victorian Pier Swanage Dorset wedding photograph
bride and groom on Swanage victorian pier
The Grand Hotel Swanage Wedding Reception

Returning from the sea front Neil and Kim joined their guests in The Grand Hotel Swanage wedding garden. By now the low evening sun toned the panoramic view of the beach and bay. Drinks and canapés were served and the atmosphere was lent a relaxed soundtrack by the musical stylings of wedding saxophonist Mark Pittman.

With wedding breakfast announced the guests were seated in the Grand Hotel restaurant. Neil had a slightly nervous ten minutes to check over his speech and the happy couple were welcomed into the room with a standing ovation.

wooden love heart detail at The Grand Hotel Swanage
bride and groom entrance Grand Hotel Swanage wedding

Grand Hotel Swanage Wedding Speeches

The speeches from Kim’s father, Neal and best man Stuart were expertly delivered and the culinary delights of Chef Matt Sheppard were served.

Grand Hotel Swanage wedding grooms speech
Groom's speech at Grand Hotel Swanage wedding
Kim and Neil then took to the dance floor and Mark Pitman led them through their first dance. Still smiling and laughing, still unable to take their eyes off each other Kim and Neil beautifully swirled against the backdrop of family and friends and further the beach and sea.

First Dance at Grand Hotel Swanage wedding
Lu of Iced gems of Swanage had outdone herself yet again with a gorgeous beach hut and bunting themed wedding cake with cupcakes (for the children). The cake was cut to rapturous applause and the party jukebox from The Scooby Crew was cued up for dancing.

Child wedding guest dancing at The Grand Hotel Swanage
Bride dancing with children at Grand Hotel Swanage wedding
All of the children, Kim, Neil and most of the ladies took to the dance floor to show off their moves. As we left, the Grand Hotel Swanage wedding party atmosphere was in full swing .

Groom dancing with daughter at Grand Hotel Swanage wedding


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