Polhawn Fort wedding: Maria & Tim’s colourful celebration by the sea

Bride having a piggy back with the sea and sunset behind

Polhawn Fort in Cornwall is a venue where I always really enjoy photographing – I absolutely love the contrast between the bright blue sea and skies outside, and the beautiful dark interior of the old fort. It’s always a really interesting place to photograph a wedding, so I was delighted when Maria first got in touch. We chatted on Skype for a very long time, talked a lot about the wedding plans and photography, and dangled our respective dogs in front of the webcams at each other. So I had high hopes for the wedding day, and the sense that this was definitely a little different to other weddings. It turned out to be the most colourful and wonderfully uproarious wedding weekend, and an absolute blast to photograph.

Saturday’s wedding day was an explosion of a celebration, with so much fun and laughter all day long. I loved the beautiful bright silks of the bridesmaids’ dresses, with the reds, yellows and oranges all reflected in the gloriously bright and colourful bouquets and floral arrangements. Humour played a huge part in the day. With a firm nod to Tim’s commando past, action men adorned all the tables and drunken commando figures clambered all over the brilliantly themed cake. Maria and Tim’s ceremony took place in the brightest July sunshine, with the sound of waves crashing in the background and seagulls circling overhead. It made for a brilliant contrast as everyone moved inside to the dark interior of the fort for the wedding feast, and I loved the opportunities for photography with just slivers of light creeping through the deep windows. Maria’s Italian heritage led to a lot of traditional drinking games punctuating the meal, and it was a fantastically fun afternoon to photograph. Later, guests enjoyed moving back outside to relax in the evening sunshine and enjoy the specially created Rum Bar, with some extraordinary measures being poured out by best man Mandy, while small children tested their punches on ex-commandos and the sun went down over the Cornish sea. A short refresh later, and everyone returned inside to start the party on the dance floor, with a hilariously unorthodox take on the first dance!

I returned on Sunday for the recovery barbecue – a wonderfully relaxed afternoon in the sunshine, with fresh scallops and steaks on the bbq and an ice cream van for afterwards. It was the perfect finish to the celebrations. The whole weekend was such a wonderfully joyous party to photograph – everyone was so relaxed and having such a brilliant time. I loved just moving around and capturing all the fun as it was taking place, and I hope that this is all reflected in the images.

The last word must go to Bruno, Maria and Tim’s Jack Russell. A dog with a quite wonderfully unique personality, he spent the weekend padding around amongst the wedding celebrations, hoovering up the crumbs and the attention, and snarling his own very special smile when teased – scroll down and find that photograph! Please give me more weddings with dogs…

Polhawn Fort with the sea around
Flowers outside Polhawn Fort
Black & white image of bride putting on makeup
Wedding dress hanging up with jack russell dog
Two men chatting beside some flowers
Jack Russell dog sitting next to a wedding cake
Details of a wedding cake with marine figures
A man and woman laughing
Two brothers cuddling
Bride having hair done before the wedding
Bride getting emotional before wedding
Bridesmaid wearing a yellow dress
Bride having her hair done
Wedding guests arriving at Polhawn Fort, with the sea in the background
Wedding guest greeting each other at Polhawn Fort
Groom having his buttonhole fixed
Wedding guests on the lawn at Polhawn Fort
Bride looking in the mirror during wedding preparations
Men in tuxedos with tartan trousers
Bride putting on her wedding dress
Bride drinking Prosecco whilst putting on her wedding dress
Jack Russell dog waiting for wedding ceremony
Groom and best man at outdoor wedding ceremony
Bride and bridesmaids arriving for wedding
Bride and bridesmaids walk across lawn with the sea behind
Jack Russell dog howling
Bagpiper leading bridal party across lawn for outdoor ceremony
Bride laughing with friend
Bride and groom exchanging rings
Bride waving arm in the air in celebration during marriage ceremony
Wedding guests applauding
Bride and groom exiting wedding ceremony
Bride and groom with bagpiper and sea behind
Bride and groom kiss with sunflower bouquet
Jack Russell dog standing on wedding dress
Groom and best man
Group photo of bride and wedding guests
Bride laughing with friend
Bride laughing with friend
Children lying on the grass during wedding reception
Bride and groom with long grass around them
Bride and groom with sea behind them
Wedding guest dancing to bagpiper
Action men wedding decorations
Wedding guest petting jack russell
Bride and groom enter wedding breakfast
Wedding guest toasting bride and groom
Wedding guests laughing around a table
Pretty pink coastal flowers with blue sea behind
Two small boys in wedding outfits
Wedding guest with tie around head, toasting bride and groom
Wedding guests raising glasses
Wedding guests singing song and raising glasses
A young girl cuddling an older woman
Bride and groom laughing together
Wedding guests singing animatedly
Wedding guests singing animatedly
Young boy with window light on his face
Wedding guests with hands in the air
Best man giving wedding speech
Groom with head in hands during best man's speech
Best man raising a toast
Bride and groom raising a toast
Groom talking to best man
Bride and wedding guests raising glasses
Wedding guests on the lawn at Polhawn Fort
Small girl punching ex-marines
Bridesmaid and usher at the bar
Young boys holding the train of bride's wedding dress
An action man lying face down on the grass
Wedding guests looking out to sea
Man and woman pouring drinks behind a bar
Man and woman pouring drinks at a bar
Bride being carried by piggy back
Wedding guests relaxing on the grass
Sun setting over the sea at Polhawn Fort
Young girl doing action kick
Children playing football in evening sunlight
Children playing football in evening sunlight.
Bride and groom first dance
Wedding guests cheering at first dance
Bride and groom kissing after first dance
Wedding guests dancing
Sunset over the sea at Polhawn Fort
Blue Cornish sea view
Guests relaxing on the lawn at Polhawn Fort
Guests relaxing on the lawn at Polhawn Fort
Guests relaxing on the lawn at Polhawn Fort
Two women laughing together
Scallops over a barbecue
Young boy sleeping on the grass
Beautiful blue sea view
Jack Russell snarling at owner
Jack Russell snarling at owner
Guests relaxing on the lawn at Polhawn Fort
Guest chatting around a bar
Pouring a drink of rum
Chef barbecuing steaks
Steaks on the barbecue
Children choosing ice creams
Children with ice creams
Two women with ice creams
Men throwing a tea towel at each other
Guests relaxing on the lawn at Polhawn Fort
Jack Russell eating ice cream
Man and woman kissing

Wonderful suppliers involved in this wedding:

Venue: Polhawn Fort, Cornwall

Maria’s dress: designed by Ritva Westenius and fitted by Sam Cox Bridalwear

Bridesmaid dresses: Paul Hawley, London

Caterer: Richard Crouch

Florist: Ruth at Polhawn Fort

Hairdresser: Victor Varga

Evening entertainment: The Grove Environment

Wedding cake: Divine Cakes

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