Italian Villa Wedding Photographs

This is the story of Mel and Al’s sunny, spectacular wedding at three venues. The Italian Villa wedding venue, Sandbanks Beach and The Harbour Heights Hotel in Dorset. You can see more of our The Italian Villa Wedding photographs here.

Italian Villa Wedding Bridal Preparation Photographs

A warm and sunny Friday morning in June saw me arriving at Mel’s house in Bournemouth. My starting point of my day, eventually leading to The Italian Villa wedding venue.

The girls were gearing up through the stages of wedding morning preparation. As Mel had her wedding makeup applied and hair styled they whirled around her as if she was frozen in time.

The living room was the hub of activity. With bright sunshine beaming directly in from either end of a long thin room I was carefully working their silhouettes. Once fully styled the bridesmaids disappeared upstairs to don their dresses. They re-appeared looking much like Greek goddesses of fantasy films!

The wonderful flower bouquets were delivered. Champagne flowed and before I knew it there stood a stunning bride in her equally stunning dress. Mel looked amazing. The huge smile in her eyes told me two things. One, she could see how beautiful she looked. Two, she had come to the part of the day where she realised she was about to marry her soul mate!

 
Prtrait of bride in wedding veil on wedding morning

Italian Villa Wedding Groom Preparation Photographs

Al and his groomsmen readied themselves at The Haven Hotel wedding venue in Sandbanks, Poole. It’s tough being a grooms man on a wedding morning. There are the varying layers of suits to put on, ties to tie, cufflinks to link, cravats to sort and the biggest hurdle of all. What to do with the button-hole!

Mel had given Al a gift bag and letter to open in the morning. This brought a tear to his eye and relief to his face (when he found cufflinks in the gift)!

The chaps were looking the part. Exceptionally smart and well-groomed. They had time to take in the view from the balcony before heading to The Italian Villa wedding venue in Poole. One of the groomsmen bravely took on the task of filming the day. Considering he had never used the camera before he looked suitably worried.

As the guests arrived into the ceremony room Al’s two best men took his mind of the nerves. They were busy laughing and joking. After a few nervous peaks from the balcony Mel’s wedding car arrived. The bridesmaids followed her to the ceremony room.

Groom awaits bride at Italian Villa Wedding ceremony
Bridesmaids walk down aisle at Italian Villa Wedding Ceremony
Bride walks down aisle at Italian Villa Wedding ceremony

Italian Villa Wedding Ceremony Photographs

There was a rare surprise waiting for us at The Italian Villa wedding venue. The Poole Registrars were really open to photography. They were professional enough allow us to shoot through the ceremony. Meaning we could capture some particularly spectacular images of the happy couple.

Mel and Al make such a lovely couple when together. The love between them never so obvious as at their own wedding ceremony. Mel looking radiantly beautiful being walked down the aisle and Al looking like he was about to explode with joy.

With the sun beaming in from behind the ceremony was lovely. Jovial speeches (Including a particularly fantastic rendition of ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’) and friendly registers perfectly flowed with the sunny, relaxed day.

Bridesmaids in grecian bridesmaid dresses at Italian Villa wedding ceremony
Exchange of wedding rings at Italian Villa Wedding ceremony
First kiss at Italian Villa Wedding ceremony in Dorset

Italian Villa Wedding Drinks Reception Photographs

Once married and grinning from ear to ear the guests were shown from the villa into the Italian gardens into gardens. Mel and Al spent some time alone to relax.

Guests in the gardens at Italian Villa Wedding photographs
Wedding dress is adjusted by bridesmaids at Italian Villa Wedding

The Italian Villa wedding venue and Compton Acres are a visually stunning choice of venue for any wedding. The huge stone staircase leads from the villa into the spectacular gardens with water fountains, statues topiary and a mass of seasonal flowers.

After the group photographs the guests dispersed to the next venue. We were able to take a walk around the wooded valley to the rock garden and capture the couple relaxing in a such a stunning setting.

Bride in Compton Acres stone tunnel at Italian Villa Wedding Photographs
Italian Villa Wedding venue Photographs of bride and groom under archway
Bride and groom in the grotto at Italian Villa Wedding venue

As we strolled in the sunshine we passed the on-site nursery the windows. Filled with little wide-eyed faces and waving hands. “Look at the pretty princess” could be heard which put an even bigger smile on Mel’s face.

Dorset Beach Wedding Photographs

As we had time we took the wedding car down to Sandbanks beach. Mel and Al enjoyed a glass of champagne on the sand by the beautiful blue sea.

Sandbanks Beach wedding photograph in Dorset

Harbour Heights Hotel Wedding Photographs

Onto the next venue and the happy couple were greeted at the Harbour Heights Hotel wedding venue in Sandbanks, Dorset in style with champagne and a red carpet. After our last Harbour Heights Wedding we were so happy to be back at this gorgeous wedding venue.

Inside the wedding breakfast room had been set beautifully set up. The guests treated to the stunning view across Poole Harbour. The day was so clear and sunny that you could quite clearly see the silhouette of Corfe Castle in the distance!
The champagne flowed and tasty canapés disappeared. A string quartet entertained the guests as the jaw dropping panoramic view was absorbed by all. Somehow Mel and Al seemed to have time to have a chat with all of their guests before it was time to be introduced for their wedding breakfast.

Traditionally this is the only part of the day that we have to rest our feet, re-hydrate and stock up on some calories. With such a day of visual stimulus I was restless and poked my head round the corner to check on the proceedings of the wedding breakfast. One of the guests had been teaching others how to make ‘cats ears hats’ from their napkins and I was greeted by the sight of half of the guests looking like something from a Jim Henson film! I decided I had better not ask!
This was one of those times that I really have to try not to cry or curl over with laughter during the speeches. Mel even made a heartfelt speech and we couldn’t help but fall in love with the happy couple.

Back out on the sun terrace and we were treated to a visual and auditory novelty. Mel and his friends African drumming. A sound rarely heard at the Harbour Heights wedding venue. The infectious beats, dancing and audience participation was a great idea. Al even performed a drum solo for his dancing bride!

So we now know the answer to the age-old question of “what happens if you put a group of your friends in the sun with a stunning view, give them Champagne and home-brewed cider and an African drum each?”. I don’t think we have ever seen so many wedding guests singing and dancing at the same time.

Once the guests had burnt off the wedding breakfast a musician equipped with guitar set up. As the evening light hit the sea around Brownsea Island Mel and Al danced their first dance. Brides have often asked me “do people often join the wedding couple on the dance floor straight way after the first dance?”. It appears that if you include African drumming and dancing in the day then you couldn’t stop the guests boogying if you wanted too!

As we left the revellers to the night ahead the DJ had set up and was now encouraging the dancing with some classic dance tracks.

We loved working at the The Italian Villa wedding venue and always love weddings at The Haven and Harbour Heights wedding venues. We can’t wait for our next Poole Hotel wedding photographs. It is said that variety is the spice of life, Mel and Al’s big day was definitely a spicy number!

You can see what Me and Al think of our documentary wedding photography services in their Italian Villa Wedding Photographers Review.

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