My most recent visit to Salterns Harbour Hotel in Poole was under interesting circumstances. I was called at 10am on the morning of the wedding day and asked to act as emergency cover for a fantastic photographer who had fallen ill! I gratefully accepted and condensed the preparation that would normally start months before into 30 minutes.
Arrival at Salterns Harbourside Hotel
I memorised everything from the bride and grooms names to the schedule for the day and set off for the Dorset venue. I arrived at the hotel and was glad to find a Ellen (the bride) was friendly and completely relaxed despite the last minute change of plan. The happy bridesmaids had already had their hair and make-up done and were sipping on bubbly and playing with the very photogenic flower girl. I introduced myself, had a quick chat and let Ellen know that their wedding photography was in safe hands. I got my cameras out and started shooting.
The Groom, Best Man & Ushers Arrive
The groomsmen arrived at Salterns Hotel shortly before midday, led by Henry, the groom. I introduced myself for the second time that morning and received an equally friendly and relaxed response. Once the gents buttonholes were attached, I took them for a stroll around the marina.
Henry explained that he was looking forward to the ceremony having been with Ellen for 10 years. If there were any nerves, they didn’t show as I took some candid photos as the gents strolled along the jetty.
A short while later and I left the groomsmen so that I could set up in the ceremony room. The room has an incredible view of the harbour and large french windows let in a great deal of natural light…no need for flash on this occasion! Henry stood at the altar and shared a joke or two with the best man. The room was asked to stand and the bridesmaids and flower girl walked gracefully down the aisle. Ellen followed shortly accompanied by her father. Henry and Ellen shared a smile at the top of the aisle, Henry brushed Ellen’s hair from her face, and the ceremony continued ending with a passionate kiss at the end.
Family Photos & Newlywed Portraits
After the ceremony, the guests took the opportunity to grab a glass of bubbly and I captured a few candid shots. I invited everyone out onto the lawn for some formal photographs. I thanked the family and friends and took the bride and groom to a more secluded part of the marina where they could take a few moments to themselves before I took a few portrait photos.
Before the wedding breakfast, Henry and Ellen thanked their friends and family. The newlyweds said a short thanks and handed gifts to friends and family. Speeches were foregone and the couple let the guests know they could take a couple of hours to relax and return home to tend to pets, before returning for the cake cutting and first dance. Henry’s occupation involved digital cameras, so we had a chat about some tech. As the sun became low in the sky, it became clear that it was going to be a beautiful sunset, so I asked Henry and Ellen if they would like a few more photos of them overlooking the harbour. They said yes, of course!
Cutting the Cake & First Dance
Shortly before the cutting of the cake, one of the bridesmaids suggested a photo with the newlyweds and with bubbles. My style is more candid, as I prefer natural moments. That said, my goal is to make people happy and I decided to make it a creative challenge, with the help of their friends and some off camera flash. More friends and family started to arrive to the venue and Henry and Ellen cut the cake followed shortly after by their first dance. They smiled and swayed in front of their friends and family and they had some really nice exchanges as they danced.
The dance ended and Henry and Ellen left the dance-floor to greet the guests that were still arriving. I had a quick chat to them and thanked them for trusting a new photographer to capture their special day. I think they will be happy with the outcome…