Rachel & Andre’s Harbour Heights Hotel Poole Wedding

After meeting with this wonderful couple for their Sandbanks Hotel engagement photographs we couldn’t wait for this day to come around. With the beautiful morning sun shining brightly Murray and I took the ferry over to Poole to meet with Andre and Rachel for their Poole wedding venue morning preparations.

Rachel, her bridesmaids and mother in law to be were in the full flow of their bustling activities at Harbour Heights Hotel wedding venue in Poole. Hair and makeup were styled, nails polished and champagne drunk. In seemingly no time at all it was time for Rachel to put on her wedding dress. The stunning vintage wedding car arrived outside just as the girls made their finishing touches and were ready to leave in style for the ceremony.

Bride prepares on wedding morning for wedding at Poole wedding venue

Meanwhile Andre and the chaps were completing their morning preparations at a slower, more determined pace. Shirt ironing, shoe polishing and car decoration were the order of the day before setting off for St Andrews church. Under the warming sun guests mingled in the churchyard. The groomsmen added button holes whilst the ushers distributed the orders of service.

Now ordinarily a groom awaits his bride for a period of about ten minutes on a wedding morning. Andre had been sat patiently for a good 40 minutes before the wedding car transporting the bridesmaids arrived at the church gates! By this point Andre’s nerves had mixed with the happy excitement we had witnessed all morning.

In a flurry of bridesmaids, flowers and well-wishers Rachel emerged from the wedding car.  Seemingly in response the wind whipped up catching her veil and dress. For a moment she looked like she was modelling at a wedding dress shoot. Once stood in the church doorway with the vicar a collective calm fell over the group.

Andre’s face lit up with the sight of Rachel walking down the aisle with her father. His huge smile then stayed for the rest of the day. One of the happiest grooms we have ever worked with.

After a traditional ceremony and readings the church bells were chiming. Rachel and Andre exited the church to a colourful cloud of the guest’s confetti.

Groom making vows in church wedding ceremony in Poole
Bride and groom kiss in blue arch church doorway

I was the greeted by the unusual sight of the best man carrying a huge standing spray of flowers down the road. Peering out from between the leaves and heads.

Murray and I followed the wedding car to Primrose Hill in Sandbanks, this viewpoint overlooking the Harbour is typically deserted. For some unknown reason (probably due to the incredibly lovely weather) there were tourists, cyclists and a couple of families who were treated to a bride and groom photo-shoot. Ordinarily an audience could put off a couple during a shoot. However (typical of weddings) all of the onlookers were particularly congratulatory, raising the mood of the day further.

Bride and groom by the sea at Poole wedding venue photograph
Bride and groom overlooking Poole wedding venue

Down the road Rachel and Andre were greeted at the Harbour Heights Hotel wedding venue in Poole by Hannah with some well-deserved glasses of champagne.

Bride admires sea views at Harbour Heights, Poole wedding venue
six tier white wedding cake with snowflake diamontes and white ribbon
White wedding cake with diamante snowflake and white ribbon
Bride inspects white wedding cake at Poole wedding venue

The guests had settled themselves on the sun terrace, with Pim’s, canapés and the stunning of across Poole harbour, Brownsea island to the Purbeck hills. It was such a clear sunny afternoon that the outline of Corfe Castle could be seen nestled in the ridge line. Such a stunning and unique vista can only be achieved by very few wedding venues in Poole.

Inside the Hytes Suite circular tables had been set out adorned with flower stands, place settings and candles. The top table sat with glorious flower sprays, set  against the Poole wedding venue’s  panoramic sea view.

White wedding flower sprays with candles at Poole wedding venue

Bride and groom at Harbour Heights Poole wedding venue

The guests took their seats. Rachel and Andre entered to a huge round of applauds and cheers. The wedding breakfast was served as their wedding pianist entertained with soothing melodies.


The speeches were a lovely mix of heart-warming sentiment and rib tickling jokes. Andre’s Best man’s speech included a toast to the happy couple with a shot cocktail that could only be described as a squashed frog. Apparently popular in South Africa - the first time we have seen one at a Poole wedding venue!

Bride laughs at wedding speeches at Harbour Heights Poole wedding venue
Bridesmaid toasts wedding speeches with a Squashed Frog Shot

The jovial mood continued. Not only did the happy couple cut the cake in front of their guests but took great delight in stuffing a piece into each other’s mouths.
Whilst the room was turned around for the evening’s festivities the guests chatted, joked and drank back on balcony whilst the sun set over the harbour. The evening light changed to a warming moody red.

View across Poole Harbour from Harbour Heights Poole wedding venue

The Poole wedding venue lights were turned on the evening guests started to arrive. Coffee and cake was served.  The number of cards, presents and entries in the guest book increased.
Groomsmen kiss the groom at Harbour Heights, Poole wedding venue
Best Man with handbag at Harbour Heights, Poole wedding venue
Throwing the bouquet at Harbour Heights Hotel, Poole wedding venue

In seemingly no time at all Rachel and Andre took to the dance floor surrounded by their guests. They had obviously been rehearsing hard and their first dance was executed beautifully. Rachael swirling and twirling around Andre before slow dancing together.

First dance at Harbour Heights Hotel, Poole wedding venue
First dance photograph at Poole wedding venue
Bride and groom take a bow after first dance at Poole wedding venue

The crowds descended onto the dance floor and that is where we left them, the stars shining bright outside as the disco lights shone inside. The perfect wedding at the perfect Poole wedding venue.

Bride dancing in evening at Harbour Heights, Poole wedding venue
Grandma dancing at Harbour Heights Hotel, Poole wedding venue

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