A Smiling Bride – Fenton Tower Wedding Photography

Fenton Tower Wedding Photographer

Fenton Tower, sitting on a hill above North Berwick in East Lothian, is a beautiful place to get married. A a magnificent, fortified 16th Century tower, it has been restored to a high level of luxury.

Add a beautiful, smiling, laughing bride, her handsome groom, their cute 18 month old some, and mix them with their family and guests in this romantic venue and you’re bound to have lovely photos!

You can see more photos on Rosie and Tom’s gallery page on my main web site.























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Archerfield Wedding Photography

Archerfield Wedding Photographer

The Waterfront at Archerfield is a luxury Scottish wedding venue, nestled on the Archerfield Estate on the coast of East Lothian overlooking the Firth of Forth and Fidra Island, just outside North Berwick. I love local weddings and being an Archerfield wedding photographer, and it’s hardly a long drive from my home in Dunbar to North Berwick and the Bride’s house.

As I arrived, Ashling was getting ready in a rather non-traditional way – with a glass of Bucks Fizz and a bacon butty! It was literally the first photograph I took. I always approve of Bride’s eating something before the ceremony, as there’s usually quite a time gap between getting the dress on and the first canapés.

Ashling’s father drove her to Dirleton Kirk in his prized Audi TT (a car he then trusted Groom Adam with for the drive to Archerfield) where she was met by her piper for her entrance to the church.

Incidentally, the 17th century Dirleton Kirk was the location of one of my first weddings I photographed digitally (as opposed to with film) way back in 2003!

After the service the ushers organised the guests into two lines so that the newly married couple could be covered in confetti as they left. This is an essential job for ushers, as people don’t seem to realise how close you need to be to throw confetti! It really doesn’t travel very far….

On arrival at the Archerfield Estate we stopped at the end of the Archerfield House driveway for a quick photo before heading down to the Waterside and more photos on the coastline and in the woods.

The weather at this point was nice enough for the guests to be able to stand outside drinking champagne before moving inside for the speeches. The Waterfront is a huge space, capable of seating 200 guests and always looks fantastic with its star filled ceiling. With a great PA system everyone could laugh at the Best Man’s speech, and Adam’s embarrassment!

One of my favourite photos of the day (along with Ashling and her bacon butty) was taken between the meal and the first dance. It had begun to rain and one couple took shelter in an upturned boat that was part of the garden décor. You can’t escape my lenses, no matter what the weather!

The first dance was a sedate affair, but as soon as it was over Ashling held court on the dance floor – in a style that was definitely not sedate!

Here are just a few of the over 300 photos from that special day I delivered to the happy couple, Ashling and Adam.

PS I haven’t mentioned the cake – the most unusual wedding cake I have ever seen! Two caterpillars – don’t ask!

Award winning photo of a bride eating a bacon butty before putting her dress on.

Archerfield House wedding photography

Destination Wedding Photographer

Destination Wedding Photographer in Scotland and Ireland

As well as being a Scotland wedding photographer, I am also a destination wedding photographer. I have photographed weddings in France, Italy, Sweden and The Bahamas, and last year it was Ireland’s turn.

When I first heard about Jamie and Justin’s wedding I had to enlist the help of Google maps. It turns out that Ballyvaughan is a small town on the west coast of Ireland, half way between Shannon and Galway. They and most of their guests stayed at Gregans Castle Hotel and the ceremony would be in Newtown Castle. a rather unique 16th century tower house.

All of the guests flew in from the United States (where I had first met Albert, their Best Man) and the wedding weekend was three days of celebrating and partying as everyone made the most of the long journey!

Newtown Castle’s unique shape – a cylinder rising from a pyramidical base – and the number of guests, meant that for the first time I photographed a wedding from almost directly above, as the guests were split between two floors. I spent the ceremony quietly stepping up and down a steep circular staircase between the floors to get the best angles!

Amazingly, the weather on the west coast of Ireland was kind to us. Apparently October is one of the drier months in that area, and the sun came out just before the ceremony and stayed out all day. So I took Jamie and Justin for a short walk after the ceremony, allowing them to finally have a chat with each other as a married couple, away from their guests. I caught Justin looking at the ring on his finger – from experience I can tell you that it really does feel odd when you first start wearing a ring and I am always on the look out for a reaction to it.

From their we made our way back to the hotel and more photos in the splendid grounds with their autumn colours.

And then the party began – with laughter, drinks and cigars outside, and later some emotional speeches and some rather crazy dancing into the small hours.

There was one other aspect to the wedding that was unique for me. When Albert, the Best Man, told me his role at the wedding of his two friends I rather cheekily asked if they had booked a wedding photographer yet. Not only had they not got a wedding photographer, Albert hadn’t yet got them a wedding present. So this was the first wedding I have photographed where I was also a wedding present!

 

 

Mar Lodge wedding photographer

Bride and Groom photographed by a Mar Lodge wedding photographer in the Scottish Highlands

Wedding photography at Louise and Chris’s celebrations at Mar Lodge, Braemar, Scottish Highlands

I love being a Mar Lodge wedding photographer – and my job is made easier by a happy smiling couple like Louise and Chris. The venue is perhaps beast known for hosting the BBC’s Autumn, Winter and Spring Watch, and there’s plenty of wildlife to look at on the 29,000 hectare estate. Mar Lodge itself is a relatively recent building (it was rebuilt after a disastrous fire in 1991) nestled in the Dee Valley and just a few miles from Braemar and the Queen’s highland home at Balmoral.

Weddings at Mar Lodge benefit from amazing scenery outside, as well as fantastic interior decor. There’s even a ballroom decorated with 2,500 stag antlers, some dating back to Victorian times.

Louise and Chris are outdoors people, and their day started with a run up the local hillside – for them and all their guests! It was handicapped, so everyone arrived at the top at more or less the same time. Luckily no injuries were suffered, and by the time I arrived everyone was busy getting ready into their finery. Louise’s Mum gave her away at a simple ceremony in the spacious Drawing Room, and then everyone proceeded outside to stand in the sun for the champagne reception.

Dinner, speeches and dancing followed in the Stag Ballroom, and as I left I was sure there would be some sore heads in the morning. Perhaps another run up the hill side would be a cure!

 

 

First Dance

Music at your wedding

Some people rehearse their first dance, others cringe at the thought of performing in front of their family and guests. Here’s a list from The Washington Post of the most popular wedding songs in America in case you need inspiration.

Interesting to see that Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ tops the list!

At my own wedding, we had a surprise appearance by Scott Matthew who sang Annie’s Song by John Denver as you’ve never heard it before. YouTube have him singing it live, and sounding just like it did at our small reception.  He followed it with his version of  Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance with Somebody (number 5 on the list of popular songs above),= but again sounding completely different from the original.

Of course, the most popular wedding song in Scotland comes at the end of the night, not the beginning! It has to be ‘500 miles’ by The Pretenders

If you want to hear more of Scott Matthew, he’s on iTunes and no doubt on Spotify too. He also has a website.

Fenton Tower wedding photographer

Being a Fenton Tower wedding photographer is always a wonderful experience for me. Situated just outside North Berwick, but within easy reach of Edinburgh for guests travelling from afar, it’s main modern claim to fame is that it was used as the location for Archie’s Castle in the BBC TV series Balamory, and has just won the 2017 Lux wedding awards as the Best East Lothian Wedding Venue.

With it’s huge hall, romantic bedrooms, a dining room with vaulted ceilings, and extensive grounds, it’s the perfect place for a small intimate wedding such as Shelley and Greg’s nuptials.

I’m assuming that when the castle was built in the 14th century and they decided on it’s strategic site atop a hill, they weren’t thinking about the wind, weddings and wedding photography! It can be the breeziest venue I shoot at, although, to be honest, there are so many good locations to use in the grounds that I can normally find a sheltered spot! And here’s a tip: always get your subjects to face into the wind so that their hair, veil and dress blow away from them!

Shelley and Greg’s marriage was on such a windy day. I almost got strangled by my own tie as I stepped out of my car…. But it was also a day full of surprises, not least for the Bride! Shelley was kept totally in the dark about the weekend, as the whole wedding was organised by Greg and Shelley’s Mum!

The Bride and Groom’s two young daughters nearly stole the limelight. Their excitement and smiles were only matched by their parents – in fact it was smiles all round for the whole wedding party.

After their ceremony I whisked the newly weds outside for some quick photos with the Tower in the background, and then it was back inside for some more formal photos in the warmth of the Great Hall.

I left them after the speeches, and about to eat from an amazing menu prepared by Katriona  and Lyndsay from Feast who always seem to be slaving away in the kitchen while I’m working as a Fenton Tower wedding photographer.


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Kellie Castle Wedding Photographer

I’d never been to the wonderful Kellie Castle before – but that’s not a problem for me. I just turned up over an hour early and met the National Trust Scotland organisers and had a tour while we compared timetables for the day.
Kellie Castle is a jewel hidden in the Kingdom of Fife. Originally buit in the 14th century, it was extensively modernised by the artistic and famous Lorimer family. It’s a perfect, romantic place to get married, and a perfect location for your wedding photographs. It’s gardens in particular, with their ‘Arts and Crafts’ herbacious borders and fruit and vegetable gardens, provide the perfect spot for an outdoor reception.
Alex and Andreas got ready in the picturesque Scottish fishing village of Pittenwean before travelling to the castle. They got married in the magnificent hall, and then held their reception outdoors in the gardens, filled with spring time flowers.