I first went to Mar Lodge last year – and the second time I visited was a month later! Those two visits confirmed my view that Mar Lodge is one of the great undiscovered (by me) venues in Scotland.
Originally built as a hunting lodge for the Duke and Duchess of Fife in 1895, it unfortunately burned down in the 1990s while being renovated. The immaculate restoration has now reulted in a complex of luxury appartment with all mod-cons (with the exception of a mobile phone signal!)
It is one of the most perfect places in Scotland for a weekend party. The building itself is a wondeful backdrop to any photo. And the 29,000 hectares of beautiful Scottish countryside that make up the estate can leave no photographer at a loss for a location!
In the evening, there is the Stag Ballroom. So named for the stags antlers adorning every surface…. I didn’t count them, but there’s apparently over 1,000 of them.
And on top of all of that – the staff are just some of the most hospitable people I’ve met! Nothing is too much of a problem for them.
Here are some photos, but you can see others on my blog posts about Viki and Brian’s wedding and Fiona and Niall’s wedding.
A McGregor marrying a Campbell, in the Highlands? I knew the ancient history of the two clans, and the modern history of these particular North Berwick Campbells, since I photographed Fiona’s sister’s wedding seven years ago. So I wasn’t expecting the trouble I had been reading about in Wikipedia, that took place in the 1700’s…..
In fact, the only real confrontation to contend with was the wind, which howled down the Dee valley past Mar Lodge at some speed. But after a wet journey from Mar Lodge to Craithie Kirk (where they were married by the Queens Chaplain, surrounded by the royal flowers) the rain stopped and the sun decided to make an appearance.
By evening it was good enough to hold an impromptu football match on the front lawn, with six year old Hamish stealing the show.
It was a day with the smiliest and happiest bride and groom, of good friends and family travelling from afar and a wonderful ceilidh in the evening. I left before the BBQ the next day, but if the previous day’s party was anything to go by, I’m sure a good time was had by all!
Take one magnificent National Trust for Scotland building (Mar Lodge) and bathe it in sunshine by the river Dee, then add a skydiving bride and groom, their equally fun friends and family, and finally add in some inflateable guitars, and you’re bound to have a wonderful wedding. Oh, and there was also a surprise performance by the Ballater Pipe Band, and a ballroom decorated with over 2,400 stags heads….
These are just a very small selection of my favourite documentary wedding photographs from last year. I’ve chosen them because of the expressions on the subjects faces, whether it’s bewilderment at the fancy dress usher / parking attendant, the look of love, fun and relief between a happy couple; or just the atmosphere of the evening entertainment.
I visited several favourite venues last year (half of these photographs were taken at Wedderburn Castle!) but I’m really looking forward to visiting some new venues later this year. There’s a ‘subscribe’ button at the top right of this page if you don’t want to miss out on any of my documentary wedding photographs of 2013…..
I’d not been to Delgatie Castle, near Turiff in Aberdeenshire, before but what a delightful place it is! It was just perfect for the small intimate wedding that Mark and Kerry had planned.
The weather was perfect, with a mixture of sun and clouds, and the threatening thunderstorms never arrived.
Mark and Kerry had a few quirky surprises for everyone too – their parents were presented with ‘Olympic’ Gold Medals as a thank you, rather than the traditional bouquets, their guests’ favours were lego figurines to build and swap – and their cake topper was a warthog….
These are just a few of my favourites from their day…
As a documentary, photojournalist, wedding photographer, the weather doesn’t bother me too much. I’m there to tell the story of your day as it happens, whatever the weather. Permanent rain just causes a few logistical problems for me.
For Emma and Tim’s marriage in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Aberdeen and afterwards in Haddo House, the rain gods had answered our prayers – the only thing we couldn’t do as planned was take a group photo on the grand exterior stairs at the back of Haddo House. Rule number 1 for any wedding is to have a plan B for what to do when it rains!
While England was being flooded, Aberdeenshire basked in dry grey skies – and Emma and Tim were able to greet their guests without getting wet.
By the time for the evening events had come round everyone was under cover and away from the rain that eventually fell. Enthusiastic ceileigh dancing was the way to keep warm at this magnificent Sottish-Irish wedding!
American Laura met Scottish Matt in Losotho (in southern Africa) and the result was a wonderful wedding in rural Aberdeenshire. The weather forecast wasn’t good, but in the end everyone stayed dry (with the help of some friendly trees.)
After a service in Aboyne, everyone moved on to the magnificent Lonach Hall in Strathdon, where, after some moving speaches, an evening of energetic Ceileidh dancing followed.