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A seaside celebration wedding for Claire and Reece Turvill

PUBLISHED: 17:04 26 February 2014 | UPDATED: 17:04 26 February 2014

Claire and Reece. COPYRIGHT - Reid Photography MK5 8ATT

Claire and Reece. COPYRIGHT - Reid Photography MK5 8ATT

Reid Photography MK5 8ATT

In their daily lives, Claire and Reece Turvill help make other people’s wedding dreams come true, but when it came to their own big day they gave themselves just over two months to get it planned, explains the bride

The boys in blue! Reece and his ushers . COPYRIGHT - Reid Photography MK5 8ATTThe boys in blue! Reece and his ushers . COPYRIGHT - Reid Photography MK5 8ATT

The Couple: Claire (nee Osborne) & Reece Turvill

The Venue: Ceremony and reception at the Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa

Photography: Reid Photography


Both Reece and I have our own businesses within the Wedding Industry - Wedding Stationery (invitestationery.com), and Honeymoons & Weddings specialising in Sri Lanka & Maldives (invitetoparadise.com). So with both of us living weddings every day we ended up delaying getting married for nine years! However in the spring of 2013 we made the decision to tie the knot, and after having lunch at the Christchurch Harbour Hotel we decided to see if they had any last minute availability. They had a slot free in 11 weeks time so we booked it!

Previously both Reece and I had been in stressful jobs in Sri Lanka - designing lingerie, fashion trend forecasts, and organising exhibitions all around the world, so we had plenty of experience in planning major events. Getting a wedding together in 11 weeks sounded fine to us - others thought we were mad!

Having travelled the world and stayed in some amazing hotels, we had high expectations for our venue. We wanted a modern stylish venue, with amazing views, great food, brilliant customer service, and a spa to relax in. The Christchurch Harbour Hotel and Spa was the first hotel we looked at, and we didn’t need to look any further.

After designing some beach hut invitations, we decided to give our wedding a seaside theme including peep boards (which we made ourselves) and beach balls. In fact we made nearly everything for the wedding ourselves - from the lavender flower centre pieces, bridesmaid bouquets and button holes (made with my grandad’s old buttons!) through to the table plan, menus and hand-stitched name tags.

I wanted to make my own dress, but as I had no time, I found a dress from Coast that was the right shape and then I used my own sewing skills to add my own detail. I also did the same with my shoes. I bought a plain base then I decorated the shoes with lace, and Swarovski crystal and bead droplets that were given to me by my ballet teacher Pat Britton, they were from her mother-in-law’s wedding dress which was nearly 100 years old!

The colours we choose for the wedding were all pretty pastel shades which echoed the seaside theme. The bridesmaids and flower girls were in shades of peach, the groom and ushers were in pale blue suits and the table decorations were peach, lavender and yellow. I wanted all the girls’ outfits to be ballet inspired so I had the flower girls in ballet shoes that I hand decorated.

When the day arrived we were blessed with spectacular weather – I loved walking down the aisle seeing all our friends and family together. Afterwards we enjoyed a superb wedding breakfast of smoked ham hock terrine followed by chicken breast with spicy chorizo, sun blushed tomato and basil and finishing with a refreshing lemon posset with popping candy strawberries and shortbread. Our cake was a three tier chocolate fudge cake with ivory icing. We wanted the design to be plain but textured, so went for a blossom design with hundreds of tiny flowers on the top and bottom tier in pastel yellow.

After some very touching speeches we pushed back the tables and the fun began with a great live band Vida Soul, followed by our own silent disco so we could dance the night away all hysterically laughing.

Our wedding day couldn’t have been better – we had a stunning venue, the sun shone and we have some beautiful photos to remind us of the day.

Our top tip

Don’t panic! We planned our wedding in just 11 weeks. Choosing the right venue for you is key. As long as you stay organised, and make quick decisions you will be fine.

Our Honeymoon

For our honeymoon we bent the rules a little as we had our main honeymoon before the wedding! We went back to Sri Lanka for two weeks and explored a few places we hadn’t previously got to when we lived there for three years. This included a countrywide tour taking in a Leopard Safari in Yala, exploring in the Cultural Triangle and also relaxing on the stunning and mainly undiscovered beaches of Sri Lanka’s east coast. We topped it off with few nights seeing friends in our old stomping ground Colombo. Then after the wedding we had a lovely one week ‘mini-moon’ down in St Ives Cornwall.


The Details

Photography: Reid Photography 01908 666374 / 07801 752224 reidphotography.co.uk

Venue: The Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa 01202 483434 christchurch-harbour-hotel.co.uk

Dress: Coast which Claire then added her own details to

Accessories: John Lewis

Bridesmaids’ Dresses: A mixture from Reiss, Simply Be & Monsoon

Hair & Make-up: Root 66 (Reece’s godfather)

Groom’s outfit: Ted Baker & Next

Stationery: Invite Stationery invitestationery.com

Flowers: Invite Stationery for centre pieces, button holes and bridesmaids’ bouquets. Bridal Bouquet and Flower Girls Bouquets: Jules The Creative Florist, Mudeford 01425 275757 julesflorist.co.uk

Cake: Hockleys (01604 881 551). Claire’s cousin Lynn Watson then decorated it

Venue Dresser: Invite Stationery invitestationery.com

Entertainment: Vida Soul vidasoul@hotmail.co.uk - a fantastic local band who also supplied our DJ


Want to read about other local weddings to get inspiration for your big day? Order your copy of Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire Bride Magazine from Buyamag for free plus 99p for postage. Go to buyamag.co.uk/bride

Local Wedding Events

2 March: Wedding Fair - Upton House, Poole. More details: 01202 262753

2 March: Spring Country Wedding Show, The Hub, Verwood; More details: Wendy 07427 162282

9 March: Eco Wedding Fayre, The Green House Hotel, Bournemouth; More details: Heidi 01803 860758 (theweddingshow.co.uk)

15 March: Wedding Fair, Summer Lodge Hotel & Spa, Evershot (11am- 4pm). More details: 01935 482000 (summerlodgehotel.co.uk)

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