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Royal Britannia

Kate and Tim were married on Bournemouth Beach on Saturday 27th October 2012. They married at Beach Weddings Bournemouth, the only place in England and Wales where you can have your legal ceremony on the Beach, making it a truly unique venue. For them it was very important to have all their friends and family with them to be part of their wedding day yet dreamed of getting married on a Beach. Therefore Bournemouth was the perfect option. It meant guests had to travel a little way in the car but it meant that they could all be there as their was no flying involved and therefore no expensive plane tickets and their more elderly family could still join them. Better still, no crumpled wedding gown!

Kate and Tim are both police officers so had a busy summer being involved with some of the UK’s most spectacular events such as The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 London Olympics. They had been plagued with patriotism and British fever so with this in mind they chose a Great British theme for their special day. It was the last weekend of October but although it was a little chilly they had a glorious sunny day so the guests could enjoying the sand and the sea.

Kate and Tim and their guests stayed at a Hotel just a short while along the seafront so they decided to hire a Big Red London Bus to transport everyone to Beach Weddings Bournemouth to get the theme off to a Great British start.


The guests loved it as it was so unusual and an old fashioned style bus which was very nostalgic and brought back some memories for lots of the guests!

The ceremony took place in the Wedding Hut, a converted beach hut, and Kate and Tim said their vows under a beautiful driftwood arch. The Wedding Hut was decorated with very romantic and seaside themed décor with a navy and white striped table cloth with anchors, wicker storm vase candles and red, white and blue flowers. The guests were all seated in a magical marquee which was built up against the Wedding Hut and was dressed with bunting and décor all in the Great British Theme.  The sides of the marquee had window walls so there were beautiful sea views, making it all the more romantic and whimsical. The ivory linings of the marquee and the white chairs made the venue look dreamy and unlike any marquee you had ever seen before and the light flooded in on a beautiful October day.


The aisle was lined with zinc buckets of gypsophila and the chairs had wicker heat pew ends tied with red, white and blue ribbons.


The Bridesmaids all had red polka dot dresses on, in keeping with the Great British Theme and Kate made a grand entrance with her Dad to Ellie Goulding’s Your Song when the curtain was pulled back to reveal her in her beautiful gown and amazing Union Jack shoes!

The ceremony was beautiful and very emotional at times

Kate and Tim left the ceremony in a sea of bubbles (as the ceremony is on a beach, paper confetti is not permitted so couples choose real petal confetti or bubbles, so they opted for bubbles and gave bubbles to blow to each person as they left).

After the ceremony it was time for the drinks reception on the golden sands of Bournemouth Beach where the guests were greeted with an old British favourite – Pimms! Buckets and spades were put out for the children and Giant Jenga, Giant noughts and crosses and Hoopla were there to keep children and adults alike entertained! The drinks reception also gave Kate and Tim an opportunity to have their photos taken against the wonderful back drop of the sea and the Dorset coastline with Old Harry Rocks in the background.

 Then dinner was served. Being by the seaside and having a Great British Theme, the guests were treated to good old fashioned Fish and Chips served with Kilner jars filled with pickled eggs and gherkins and not forgetting the white bread for those all important chip butties! Dessert was a specially requested Eton Mess to keep in with the theme with coffee served with mini seaside rock.  Continuing the theme, each table was named after a British Olympian including the likes of Jessica Ennis,  Mark Cavendish and Paralympian  Ellie Simmonds.

Kate and Tim and their guests enjoyed a wonderful afternoon at the Beach and even managed to go for a quick paddle in the sea! They then went back to the hotel for their evening reception where yet more food and a band awaited them after a walk along the beach. Their day was magical and very unique.

We had a wonderful time being part of Kate and Tim’s wedding! It was a fun day for all. Congratulations to Tim and Kate, we wish them all the best for the future.


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2012 – This was our year!

2012 has been hugely exciting for us, marking the first season of Beach Weddings Bournemouth. It has been a tremendous year with lots of beautiful weddings and lots of wonderful couples  and their families. Being the one and only place in England and Wales that you can legally get married on the beach, we have thoroughly enjoyed getting this unique venue off to a fabulous start.  Its been hard work but we have loved every minute of it!

Image courtesy of ianH Photography

The year got off to a start with Melanie meeting Michael Underwood down on the beach to film the VT for the launch of the Daybreak competition, ‘Here comes the tide’ to win the first ever Beach Weddings Bournemouth wedding. Viewers were invited to enter the competition with the production team then shortlisting it to a final three couples. Viewers then voted for their favourite couple to win the competition.

Melanie with Michael Underwood

Frazer and Kate were announced as the winning couple and on Friday 27th April we had our first ever Beach Weddings Bournemouth wedding! No pressure with all the TV cameras, press and the hundreds of thousands of people watching at home! Our first wedding was a huge success and even the weather stayed clear for us! Congratulations Frazer and Kate.

The Daybreak wedding as it has become known was followed by an open weekend on the Saturday and Sunday to welcome all of our couples that had booked and were looking to book for the summer to come and view the venue as it was only the second time it has all been put together. All I can say is we were over whelmed by their reactions when they walked in with everyone commenting on how beautiful it all looked!

This weekend was also host to our first Baby Naming ceremony. This was a very special day, a fantastic alternative to a christening in a stunning setting. It was extra special as it was a double naming ceremony for Evie and Sebastian. Afterwards guests were treated to a champagne reception and canapes. If you would like more information about Baby naming ceremonies at Beach Weddings Bournemouth then please contact us on 01202 788271.

Each and every wedding has been truly unique and amazing to be a part of so here are some more photos of our couples from our first season. (Please forgive us for some of our amateur photography below- unfortunately we don’t have professional photos of all our couples!)

Anna and Richard who were our first couple to marry after the Daybreak wedding


Richard and Kirsty


Michelle and Adrian


Pramood and Hulya- Image courtesy of Bridle Photography


Tyrone and Gemma


Tiffany and George


Kevin and Amy


Helen and Andy


Clive and Juli

Clive and Juli were our first couple to have a vow renewal with us on the Beach. It was a little chilly on the day but it still a wonderful day enjoyed by all. The guests had Champagne afternoon tea following the ceremony and the children all enjoyed a tea party on the decking. Diana Saxby conducted a very personal and emotional ceremony which she had written just for them. If you are interested in having a vow renewal with us at Beach Weddings Bournemouth. Please contact us on 01202 788271.

Rebecca and Enzo


Jason and Christine


Michael and Bo- Image courtesy of Emma Lucy Photography


Richard and Jeanne


Carl and Debbie


Dan and Tabitha

Ros and Mark- Image courtesy of Sandie Kettle


Dan and Sophia


Jenny and Dan


Martina and Nicholas- Image courtesy of Lenka Grossmannova


Lisa and Charlie


Lee and Gemma


Amy-Jo and Jonnie


Mike and Vicky


Rajmund and Renata


Debbie and Terry


James and Denise


Chris and Ceri


Lucy and Tim


Emma and Simeon


Tracey and Andrew


Aurelie and Steve


James and Kirsten


Jenny and Graham
Kate and Tim

Congratulations to all of the couples who got married with us this year- it was an absolute honour to be a part of each and every couple’s wedding. We had such fun at every wedding! Also congratulations to Gemma and James, Sean and Ruth, Michael and Susan,  Martin and Susan and Louise and Richard who also got married with us this year but unfortunately we don’t have any photos of your weddings! Congratulations to Jon and Claire too who renewed their vows with us over the summer. Best wishes to you all for the future- keep in touch!

The icing on the cake for us this season was being shortlisted as a finalist for the Tourism Award at the Dorset Business Awards. The award recognises success and contribution to the tourism industry in Bournemouth. Unfortunately we didn’t win but after only one season we were very proud to get as far as we did and to have our achievements recognised. It was a huge pat on the back for us and we couldn’t be more pleased!

A huge thank you to Ian Hamilton who started the season with us for the wedding of Kate and Frazer and ended it with the wedding of Kate and Tim – such a pleasure to work with you so often this season.

With our first season over, we can’t wait for the second now which starts in April. The first season just flew by and we’re really missing being down on the beach! We’re now busy eagerly planning the Beach Weddings for next season- lots of exciting weddings coming up to share with you all!


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A very special Vow Renewal Ceremony


Saturday 7th July 2012 was a very special day down at Beach Weddings Bournemouth– it was our  very first Vow Renewal Ceremony. It truly was a very beautiful but equally moving and emotional day despite the horrendous weather!

Juli and Clive are a couple very much in love- you only have to see the way they look at each other to know that. They married 16 years ago on the beach in the Seychelles so it was very fitting for them to renew their vows on the beach, although unfortunately  they were not blessed with the sun which they were 16 years ago! Nonetheless, we didn’t let this get us down, and neither did they. Juli and Clive just embraced the weather, working with it and not complaining once.

Special thanks must also go to Anna Morgan, who photographed Juli and Clive’s special day. She was a real trooper on the day, battling against the wind and the rain to get some great shots of the day! She even fulfilled Juli’s wish of getting all the guests outside in the rain for a group shot! Although the guests weren’t initially too keen on this idea, they did have great fun when they were out by the sea. All of the photos in this blog were taken by Anna and have really captured the fun and happiness of the day and are stunning despite the weather!

Guests fought the wind and the rain as they were walking down the prom to the Beach Weddings Bournemouth site and were rewarded with a drink in our drinks marquee as they arrived, which provided a very welcome shelter from the elements. When Juli and Clive arrived with their three daughters, there was a huge cheer! It was very clear that they were a couple very much loved and adored by their friends and family who were all very excited to be sharing this special day with them.

Despite the weather, the main marquee as always looked beautiful and you could hear the waves crashing into the shore. Baby blue blankets were laid out on the chairs for any guests who felt a little chilly. Buckets of stunning pretty pink flowers by Arcade Flowers hung on the pew ends, creating a very romantic atmosphere inside the marquee- a sensational contrast to the wild wind and rain outside.

In contrast to a wedding ceremony, Juli and Clive walked down the aisle together, hand in hand. Their two Grand-daughters were their flower girls, who scattered rose petals on the aisle as they walked down first. They were followed by Juli’s Bridesmaids who were her and Clive’s three daughters. Juli and Clive then made their way down the aisle to the Wedding Hut, walking to a classical piece of music, Sanctum.

The ceremony was conducted by Diana Saxby, a Marriage Celebrant from Grace The Day. Diana’s ceremonies are always full of promise to be touching and beautiful and true to form, it was just that. Diana had written the ceremony along with Juli’s help, making it a very personal ceremony for everyone involved. A very poignant and unique aspect of the ceremony was that Juli and Clive wanted to not only celebrate their marriage but also to give thanks to their family and friends, who have always been there for them and offered support and love over the years. Juli and Clive had a guestbook for all of their guests to sign and as part of the ceremony, Juli and Clive to write their own message in the guest book as opposed to signing the registers in a wedding ceremony. Whilst they were signing their guestbook, a live singer, Neil Scott sang Louis Armstrong’s ‘We have all the time in the world’ which Juli and Clive walked down the aisle to when they married 16 years ago. At the end of the ceremony, Juli and Clive danced down the aisle to ‘Just the way you are’ by Bruno Mars, really lifting everyone’s spirits and demonstrating their love for life.


After the ceremony it was time for a second drinks reception, whilst the Beach Weddings Bournemouth Crew prepared their Afternoon Tea.

The food our caterers Fish Face Events prepared was spectacular! Guests were treated to sandwiches filled with Award winning West country smoked salmon, tiger prawns and lemon aioli, cucumber and Dorset Ham and Westcombe Cheddar cheese. These were followed by homemade fruit scones and homemade vanilla scones served with Dorset strawberry jam and both Dorset clotted cream and Chantilly cream, homemade chocolate fudge cake and homemade Dorset apple cake. All of this was served with fresh strawberries and raspberries along with loose tea and freshly ground coffee. Delicious!

Whilst the adults enjoyed the afternoon tea, the children enjoyed their very own tea party on the decking, being treated to cheese and ham sandwiches and jam sandwiches along with a selection of crisps and biscuits. Melanie was like the Pied Piper of Bournemouth Beach when she brought this out for them! All of a sudden it went very quiet! Once the children had enjoyed their picnic, they had great fun for the rest of the afternoon, building sandcastles and playing in the sand either side of the decking.

After the afternoon tea, it was time for the speeches and to sing Happy Birthday! For today was not only a celebration of Juli and Clive’s marriage but was also to celebrate Juli’s 50th Birthday too! The singer Neil Scott took back control of the microphone and everyone joined in for a chorus of Happy Birthday. Neil then continued to sing for the rest of the afternoon and Juli and Clive danced together with everyone watching on. Juli and Clive’s guests were then encouraged to get up and dance and they danced the afternoon away! Having a live singer really does create such as special atmosphere and has the ability to get everyone up dancing and having fun.

Lit candles gave the marquee a really cosy, warm atmosphere.

Juli and Clive’s vow renewal was a very special day and one that we will never forget at Beach Weddings Bournemouth. It was a day to celebrate special memories but also a day to create special memories. We wish Juli and Clive lots of special memories to come. Thank you Juli and Clive for choosing Bournemouth Beach Weddings to be part of your special day, it was an absolute honour for everyone involved.


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Personalising your wedding ceremony

We are often asked what elements couples could add to their ceremony plans to make it a little unique and also to add some personal elements to it and this is something that we wanted to bring you some ideas for in this blog.

So, to get us started you may have heard of the Unity Candle Ceremony which as long been a tradition seen in marriages of all types and has a very simple yet symbolic meaning.  Traditionally in this kind of ceremony there would be a single candle (the unity candle) which would be lit by the bride and groom from their own single candles and it so symbolise the joining of the two lives together as one.  Family and friends can also be invited to join in the lighting ceremony although its quite a personal thing and involving the bride and groom seems to be  a really beautiful idea.  Words can be said at this time by the person who is conducting your ceremony.

Couple lighting a unity candle during a candle ceremony

A more recent unity ceremony has developed with the use of sand rather than candles.  This ceremony is seen as a celebration that is usually two to three minutes in length and is a meaningful symbolic joining of two lives.  The couple will ceremoniously pour various colours of sand from separate containers into one which is known as the unity vase thus joining the sand together as one.  We think this would work perfectly as part of a Beach Wedding here on Bournemouth Beach – what better way to celebrate the fact that you are getting married on the beach – the sand could be so symbolic as part of your day especially if you have a love of the sea and the beach.

Couple during their sand ceremony placing sand into the unity vase

Sand from a sand ceremony – beautiful to keep

Another ceremony you could incorporate is a handfasting ceremony whereby a the right hands of the bride and groom are bound together with cord or ribbon or a ceremonial shawl worn by the celebrant during the ceremony.  The wedding guests can also join in with this ceremony and be invited to tie a knot / ribbon around the clasped hands of the couple.  The ceremony is to symbolise the binding together which the couple will do when making their vows together.  Handfasting is often done a year beforehand at the engagement of the couple or when the couple agree to marry.   There are many different types of handfasting ceremony and these alternatives should be discussed with the person who is conducting your ceremony for you. There are differing thoughts as to the history of this ceremony – people believe that it may have Pagan beginnings but there are now many thoughts and ways to incorporate this into your ceremony and can also be accompanied with bespoke words written for you to complement  your ceremony.  It holds much significance and there are special verses which the celebrant speaks at this point in the ceremony.

“Tying  the knot” with a handfasting ceremony

Image courtesy of

And what about adding in “jumping of the broom” during the recessional.  This is a ritual from African culture but quite widely used in the USA at wedding ceremonies and now spanning all cultures.  The belief is that you are starting a new beginning with your partner (similar to the carrying of the bride over the threshold) and your problems are literally “swept away” as you jump over the broom into your new life as husband and wife.  Simple to incorporate into your ceremony but steeped in history and very symbolic.  This tradition calls for the jumping of the bride and groom together, hand in hand.  It is also a good way of involving all the guests as the Celebrant will usually call out to everyone to count “1, 2, 3….jump together. Jump!”  so that way it calls for the support of all the guests representing community and a sign of unity.  It can be used in same sex marriages and mixed race marriage to symbolise the sweeping away of prejudices and old traditions.  This could be a really appropriate ceremony to incorporate for second marriages.

Jumping the broom on the exit of the bride and groom from the ceremony

Image courtesy of

There are also many others way you can symbolise your wedding ceremony including a wine ceremony (the sharing of a wine goblet by the bride and groom to symbolise the “cup of life” ), exchange or roses (romantic ceremony and roses can be dried and preserved for future memories) , joining of flowers to make a family bouquet and many more.  Whilst your legal wedding ceremony must be performed at Beach Weddings Bournemouth by a Registrar from Bournemouth Registry Office you can also make some further choices for a further ceremony after this performed by a civil celebrant and we recommend the services of and work closely with Diana Saxby of who is a fully trained Celebrant and can provide you with a very personal service and discuss incorporating some special elements into your very special day to make it exactly as you would like it to be.

Diana comments that “the sand ceremony is one of my favourites as it symbolises the uniting of two souls and two lives.  Its especially good if families are combining and there are children involved as they can participate with the pouring of sand and they feel involved and the reminder of their involvement each time they look at the sand vessel afterwards.  Coloured sands are particularly good for this as are beautifully shaped vessels which can be sealed and kept as lasting momentos.  The vessel can be engraved with the date of the wedding and names of the Bride and Groom.  This ceremony would work particularly well at Beach Weddings Bournemouth.  The candle unity ceremony may prove difficult with candles blowing out on occasions especially for beach weddings.  I can also recommend a Tasting The Four Elements Ceremony.  This refers to “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, in health” and four different tasting elements are used usually in different wine goblets.  Lemon, vinegar, cayenne pepper and honey and can hold great importance within a wedding ceremony”

Diana Saxby can be contacted at and thank you to Diana for her contribution to this article

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