It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the weather forecast before your wedding – as Gemma and John did for the week leading up to their wedding at Mar Hall, just outside Glasgow, so they knew what to expect! In all the many weddings I’ve photographed, there have only been two when it rained all day, without any gap in the downpour, and Gemma and John’s wedding was one of them.
When your venue is as magnificent as Mar Hall, you need to have a photo with it as a backdrop. Luckily I always have a large white golfing umbrella to hand, and so Plan B was put into operation. If you look closely, you can see white streaks at a 45 degree angle in one of the photos below – that was the rain!
Despite the weather, it was a fantastic wedding: a humanist ceremony that included a hand fasting and a breaking of a glass in accordance with Gemma’s Jewish heritage. Speeches from TWO Best Men and the Mother of the Bride, and after the first dance, a traditional Jewish Hora, with John and Gemma being hoisted aloft on chairs while everyone danced around them.
As I left, young and old were dancing, but the rain was still coming down, and even a frog decided it was better off inside than out! It was ably rescued by staff and guests as it’s moves weren’t really suited to the action on the dance floor…..
Susan and Tom got married on the wettest and coldest day of the winter – so far. But that didn’t stop either of them from grinning their heads off throughout the day! I don’t think I have a single photo of either of them when they’re not smiling or laughing. (Well, Susan did look slightly apprehensive as she walked into the ceremony with her Father, and at one point Tom did look rather embarrassed during the Best Man’s speech!)
My style of documentary wedding photography, means that I wouldn’t want to change the weather. I’m there to record what happens, not change it. And Susan and Tom knew that if you’re planning a wedding for the beginning of November, the weather will be totally unpredicatable! With that in mind, we all had warm jackets on hand, and my trusty white golfing umbrella was with me.
But, by being flexible with the timings of the day, we managed to sneak out mid-reception to get some portraits in front of the ever-impressive House for an Art Lover in Glasgow. And when the weather continued to hold (just!) we even managed to coax all their guests onto the balcony for a group photo.
In the evening, it was time to head downstairs for a night of enthusiastic ceilidh dancing – and a drive back home for me in the rain and sleet.
This was a fun day! While David and the guests travelled from the Cameron House Hotel to Luss church in a couple of cruise boats, I accompanied Rhona, her father and bridesmaids on a small speed boat – which I again shared, with David and Rhona, after their ceremony. Champagne was obviously available on both journeys!
David is Canadian, and many of his family and friends travelled all the way to Loch Lomond to join in the celebrations. If I didn’t know otherwise, I’d have thought they’d all had ceilidh lessons – but perhaps it was their enthusiasm that shone through rather than their skill! Or perhaps it was the calling from the ever wonderful ‘The Ceilidh Experience.’ Whatever, a wonderful day was had by all – me included!
Who would have thought that an abandoned cow shed would make such an amazing wedding venue? I would love to have seen the look on Meg’s face when Alex first showed it to her! But six months later, after a lot of hard work, a new roof and several coats of paint, it was ready for her to add her own decorating touches to, including flowers from Alex’s family garden.
Otherwise, it was a traditional wedding, with a church ceremony, hilarious speeches, and lots of energetic ceilidh dancing. Although it was the first time I’ve knelt in a barley field to photograph a bride and groom!
Scotland’s wet summer held off for Cheryl and Michael’s wedding on the shores of Loch Lomond, which was just as well considering many members of Michael’s family had travelled all the way from New Zealand!
Their ceremony was in the beautiful Luss church, and was followed by a reception, dinner, speaches and dancing at the Cameron House Hotel down the road.
What could possible go wrong at a meticulously planned wedding? Well – violent thunderstorms didn’t help, neither did roadworks due to something called a ‘bridge inspection.’ Nor did a chauffeur who didn’t know where he was going! To add insult to injury, with the whole wedding running late, the two coach drivers who were transporting all the guests announced that they couldn’t hang around as they had to do a school run!
Stuart and Elaine took all this in their stride, and with plenty of humour. And by the time we got back to Glenbervie House (who were totally unfazed by everyone’s late arrival) the rain had stopped and we finally got some outdoor photos.
And from then on it was an evening of celebration and dancing – as any wedding should be!
The last time I was in the Grand Central Hotel was many years ago. I remember it being cold, damp and dark, and my single room was just that – a single bed. Oh – and I was woken by the station announcements at some unearthly hour of the morning.
£20 million can bring about quite a few changes – and the hotel must now rank among the finest in Glasgow and with more history than all the others.
Carly and Gareth took advantage of the huge renovated ballroom for both their ceremony and their evening reception and dancing, while I took advantage of the wonderful locations around the hotel, from the grand staircase to the champagne bar, for some great shotes of the two of them.
Here are a few of my black and white photos of their day.