As a St Andrews wedding photographer, St Salvators chapel is one of my favourite buildings. Kat and Mike got married in the magnificent chapel and after some formal family photographs there, the guests made their way to the Drumoig Golf Hotel.
This was not a venue I’d been to before – but that was because they don’t really host weddings. They’d made an exception for Kat and Mike though – because her Dad had developed and built the whole place!
As he told me “21 years ago this was a barley field.” You certainly wouldn’t know if you weren’t told! And it provided some lovely locations for the photos of the two of them. And since they had connections, their two dogs were also allowed to make an appearance – in person as well as on the wedding cake.
Hilarious speeches were followed by an evening of dancing and partying….
As an Edinburgh wedding photographer, I don’t normally work on a Monday. But Americans Neal and Debbie returned to the city to celebrate their 10 year anniversary with a Vows renewal. And since they celebrated a decade on to the day and hour, I ended up being with them.
Almost everything was the same. Debbie even wore the same dress! The Rev Melville Schofield came out of retirement to renew the ceremony of a decade before, Debbie’s son Eddie walked her down the aisle once again, and Pipe Major Iain Grant provided an encore of music and entertainment.
The major difference was that instead of getting married at the tiny St Margarets Chapel within the Castle walls, they upgraded to the larger and magnificent Greyfriars Kirk.
This also gave us the chance to take some photographs at some of their favourite locations – the Greyfriars churchyard, Flodden Walk, and of course the Greyfriars Bobby.
Then we walked back to the Witchery, where they were staying (and where they’d stayed 10 years before!) This gave the opportunity for some lovely location portraits of Neal and Debbie, in the Grassmarket, the West Bow and on and off the Royal Mile.
We finally returned to their suite for celebratory champagne, and the most amazing Haggis balls and Scotch eggs.
Being an Edinburgh wedding photographer is always an amazing experience with such fantastic locations at every turn. But life is always easier when the day has been planned by Yvonne from Scottish wedding planners, Sixpence Weddings. And guess what? She organised the original wedding ten years before!
I’ve always been a travelling wedding photographer, so catching a plane to Copenhagen and a train over the bridge to Sweden was a simple journey for me to get to Lund for Lena and Tomas’ wedding.
This was an Irish/Swedish wedding and a DIY affair. There were many volunteers on the day before the wedding, erecting a borrowed marquee, setting up tables for dinner, and cooking the barbecue.
The wedding day itself was fairly similar to a Scottish wedding – the ceremony itself was conducted in English with only the vows being spoken in Swedish. There were friends singing in the church (Irish and Swedish love songs) and then Lena and Tomas and all the guests were led to the reception by musicians. It was when everyone sat down for dinner that the real difference emerged, as guests stood up to say a few words about the couple and to toast their happiness. There were 28 speeches, long and short, and a toast after each!
As can be expected, the evening carried on with more music and dancing. I think the last people left at 5am, although I was in bed a few hours before then!
I say that my job is about capturing the ‘Look of Love’ and with Lena and Tomas, and all their families and friends, this was not difficult. I’m looking forward (with the other guests) to the 10th anniversary party!
The other weekend I photographed a highlands wedding which I can’t write about, or show any photographs from! The couple asked that no photos appear anywhere on the internet, as an increasing number of my clients do nowadays.
However, since my friend Peggy was visiting from Brooklyn, New York, I decided to turn the trip north into a tour of the Highlands, and these are her and my photos. It was, of course, a typically Scottish summer, with no sun and lots of grey cloud, but Peggy seemed to love every moment!
I don’t really do landscapes. To paraphrase Joe McNally, ‘I’ve never seen a good landscape that couldn’t be improved with the inclusion of a person.” In the almost deserted Highlands, that person was Peggy!
We travelled to Lochinver (where the wedding was) via Glen Coe, Loch Ness and Ullapool, and returned via Cromarty, the Cairngorms and Braemar.
And although Peggy was keeping a sharp lookout, she didn’t see the Loch Ness Monster, or a single Haggis on the hills! To make up for the disappointment, on our return I introduced her to my favourite ‘wild’ animal, Freddy.
The weather is always important at a wedding – it dictates so much of the planning and logistics. I have a total of six weather apps on my iPhone….
Yet none of them predicted the weather at Sarah and Kilian’s St Andrews wedding. Sunshine for the bride’s arrival, raining immediately after the ceremony, sunshine again on the beach then threatening black clouds rushing towards us!
We all managed to avoid getting wet though – I have found that it very rarely rains for the whole day if you’re on the east coast of Scotland!
Sarah’s parents were also married in the magnificent St Salvator’s chapel, and her father mentioned that the last time he’d been in the Lower College Hall was to sit his finals…. And here he was giving a speech at his daughter’s wedding!
As you can imagine, I listen to lots of speeches. Whether it’s the Best Man, the Father of the Bride, or the Minister conducting the ceremony, I’ve usually heard most of what’s being said, in one form or another, before.
But Emma and William’s Scottish Borders wedding ceremony in Jedburgh’s Old Parish Church was different. It wasn’t just the lack of a central aisle, which meant I couldn’t photograph the couple as I wished to, it was what the Minister said in his address.
My own parents’ 60th wedding anniversary is looming on the horizon, and the ministers words on the meaning of love, in the long term, took on a special meaning. I’m not going to tell you what he said, as I’m going to use it myself in April next year! And I want it to remain a surprise….
After those lovely words we all made out way up to the Carfraemill Lodge Hotel, 30 minutes away. At a visit before the ceremony I’d discovered a single track road, that just 400 meters from the venue, had the most wonderful tunnel of trees. I’m a sucker for either a beach or trees, so I was happy! As were Emma and William when I showed it to them, and their subsequent pictures.
Albert and Mary travelled from Cork in Ireland to get married in Edinburgh. With just four guests, it was a small wedding – but no less joyous for that!
There were just two small hiccups: Albert mysteriously forgot how to tie his tie, and the priest got the time of the wedding wrong! So Mary, turning up on time, was forced to wait 30 minutes while the hidden gem of the Church of the Sacred Heart was readied! Mary’s father also filled the role of best-man – helping Albert and looking after the rings. I still wonder how he managed to give two, different, speeches at dinner!
After the ceremony we hailed a cab and went on a mini tour of Edinburgh before re-uniting with the guests for a celebration drink.
Albert and Mary, I hope your party this week goes as well as your wedding day!