A phenomenal and fun Dorset Castle Wedding with Treasure Island and Pirate elements

Today I am thrilled to share this phenomenal and fun Dorset Castle Wedding with Treasure Island and Pirate elements at Lulworth Castle.

Images were captured by One Thousand Words Photography.

One Thousand Words are Tom Wishart and Murray Lambert, two documentary wedding photographers working synchronously as one thousand words wedding photography.

Over the years of working together they have developed and blended their styles to provide natural timeless wedding photography.

They have a host of amazing wedding venues on their doorstep in Dorset but are often travelling to venues further afield and even abroad.

They always shoot weddings as a team of two, working without time limits, making sure no moment is missed.


The couple say of their Dorset Castle Wedding day…


How did you meet?

We both work in London, and the company JP was working for at the time was taken over in a “merger” by my company.

JP was assigned to the team helping to manage the integration, and we met one New Year’s eve in a bar as a drink after work to help destress from a long week.

JP spent the night making sarcastic comments about my dress sense, especially my furry boots – and receiving sarcasm back about wearing cowboy boots and a long duster in the city as work clothes.

That set the scene for lots of sarcasm in the office…

Tell us about your wedding theme and inspiration

There wasn’t one prevailing theme – except “Us”.

It celebrated all we hold as fun and great about each other. From the Grooms Scottish heritage, to my love of all things floral, to our love of pirate events to Treasure Island and the sea, to great food and dancing the night away with close friends.

We kept thinking what would make people smile and have fun and what would make them think: “That’s so JP & Zoya!” – and then we did it!

Tell us about the day…

So we wanted something that fitted our surroundings (Lulworth Castle in Dorset), and which spoke of us and why we were getting married.

Neither of us are very religious but we believe in family strongly, and that said, the close family which are our friends who have been a part of our lives since we met.

So whatever we did had to be a celebration of them as well.

With a nod to tradition, JP and the best men were at the Castle first, waiting for the Bridal party after a “final meal for the condemned man” down the local pub.

Whilst he  and his “longest serving” best friend waited up front with our chow chow, the other six best men waited behind the guests – as their wives comprised the bridesmaid party.

When they arrived, my younger cousins processed in first to announce the entrance of the bridesmaids – each who processed up the aisle on the arm of their husband.

This way, our closest friends got a picture of walking down the aisle together.

Another cousin followed after bearing the sign “It’s too late to run” before the third young cousin preceded me..

I entered to “A Thousand Years” and joined the JP up front, handing over the chow chow to the closest best man.

The registrar, an amazing woman who we both count as a friend more than an officiant, welcomed everyone and gave a brief speech about us.

Then the best men and bridesmaids were asked to stand for Zoya “as giving her away” to show their support – rather than a single family member.

We had both written our own vows, and these were read out before swearing on the rings for each other.

Finally, as this was a celebration of all the people we had invited to attend, all those in attendance were asked to stand to swear to support us both in our union.

The above involved lots of laughter, stumbled vows and comical noises from our pooch who seemed less than pleased to be attending the event in a kilt.

Finally, after signing the register, and the surprise factor of Zoya revealing she was taking my last name (this was decided that morning by her!), we with best men & bridesmaids danced out of the castle to “I’m a Believer” for photos on the steps and more mad fun.

We involved our dog in the ceremony because he is part of our family. However the golden rules apply – expect anything when involving pets or children.

During the wedding lunch our chow chow escaped the castle and made the staff run around outside like lunatics to get him back inside whilst we carried on celebrating.

After returning him home later that evening so he could sleep, he decided he wanted to keep partying and escaped the house we were staying at – and ran back to the castle to join back in the fun.

Scaring deer, rabbits and us a little in the process!

Were there any special touches / DIY?

Where to begin? So we designed the wedding table plan around Treasure Island and Pirate themes.

JP sketched out a Treasure Island table plan and asked an Etsy artist to recreate it professionally.

Each guest then had a cork pirate ship with their “island table” name on it, which was a particular brand of rum.

This sat in a bay of water with ruins and sackcloth to make it look rustic.

We had the map up on an artist frame for guests to find their place.

We then had empty rum bottles of each type on each table made into old-style candles, with the name of each guest in a message-in-a-bottle written on rough paper (complete with sand).

The menu was rolled up and cradled on glued shell holders we created using shells we’d collected from various beaches. Instructions on how to find their place were written on a chalkboard.

We added questionnaires for wedding guests to use on each table for a bit of fun throughout the speeches.

The confetti was collected from roses in our own garden over several seasons and dried, then cut up for guests to use. Biodegradable and also smelling of home!

We also personalised and designed two pirate flags which were hung outside the castle, to greet guests.

We also designed chalkboard signs for instructions throughout the ceremony, drinks tokens to take to the bar as a 1st drink from the wedding couple, and “save my drink I’m dancing” tokens.

Prior to the wedding, I and my wife designed and put together Best Men and Bridesmaids packs, presented at get togethers for the wedding parties.

These were themed for the guys (kilts and formal outfits as well as cigars, miniature rum bottles etc …).

For the bridesmaids, blue small suitcase style boxes contained individual champagne glasses, bubbly, confetti and other girlie things. These could be seen in photos from the morning of the wedding.

We created a pirate “Log Book” for recording guests’ birthdays and special days, and for the pirate ceremony, created the Pirate Codex for the pirate Captain to use (and hide the script of the event).

I personally created my wife’s pirate tricorn for the event, as a special wedding present.

We also wrote our own vows, and that is a project all to itself!

My sister in law planned a complete surprise event at the wedding breakfast, and managed to keep quiet a complete flashmob of the wedding guests into dancing and singing “Uptown Funk”.

Despite needing to practice this at the wedding party’s accommodation unbeknownst to the Bride and Groom who were getting ready.

What was your favourite part of the wedding?

From me, the groom – seeing my wife-to-be walk in looking beautiful beyond words in her wedding dress.

What is the one thing you wish you’d know about planning a wedding before you began?

To take breaks from the planning, and stop to enjoy the fact we were getting married. Sometimes it got lost amongst all the planning!

Do you have any advice for future brides and grooms?

Remember it’s all about you both.

Whether you want a traditional white wedding or a sky diving event hurtling to the earth as you say “I do”, the day has to be a celebration of you both.

It’s a commitment, a promise and a celebration of you coming together, so even the little things need to done right.

And remember, you have people to rely on – friends, family etc … who will love to be involved. If you don’t, they will only go and plan some random surprise themselves, so it’s safer to keep them busy!

And research. Research, research, research.

There is a ton of material in the ether about all sorts of weddings. Pinterest, social media to get ideas and inspiration from.


Take a look at a cinematic look of this Dorset Castle Wedding ….

Dorset Castle Wedding Film – Zoya & JP – Mills Films


Dorset Castle Wedding Suppliers

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Lulworth Castle

Photography: One Thousand Words

Videographer: Mills Films

Officiant: Joanne Dugdale from Dorset Registrars

Wedding Dress – Untamed Love by Charlotte BalbierAnn Louise Bridal

Shoes – Custom painted converse in the style of our wedding invitations from Etsy –  MatitasArt shop

Jewellery – pearls – from Groom to Bride on the day of the wedding

Hair: Laura MacKenzie –  Dorset

Make Up: Tara Sanger –  Dorset

Groomswear: Scottish Queen Cameron’s Highlanders colours, in family Formal kilt and Groom wear  (Our Chow Chow complimented in a Cameron kilt as well)

Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal

Cake: Verity’s Cakes

Flowers: Clair Lythgoe

Stationery: Designed and printed in Kyiv – Ukraine, the Bride’s hometown

Caterers: Beale’s Gourmet

Wedding Planner: We planned the wedding ourselves with huge help and support from Sarah Longman, the wedding co-ordinator at Lulworth CastleBand: The Cover-Up

Other Entertainment: Melo “Jack” Sparrow as Captain Jack who officiated over the pirate 2nd wedding ceremony of the day

Reception Decor/Props: Linen & Lace

Transport: Dorset DubHire

Photo Booth: Click-it Photobooth

Furniture hire: dp marquees


To Contact One Thousand Words

Website – https://www.onethousandwords.co.uk/

Email – mail@onethousandwords.co.uk

Phone – 07949 182953

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UK Wedding Blogger with an eclectic style based in Glasgow

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