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!
Favourite photographs from 2017 by a Scottish Wedding Photographer
These are my favourite photographs from 2017. Not necessarily the best photographs of last year, but my own personal favourites as a Scottish wedding photographer.
At any wedding I probably spend more time in the company of the Bride and Groom than anyone else. And in that time I see the back story of the day. It’s a bit like watching a swan’s legs paddling away underwater, while above water the bird glides serenely through the water.
There’s just so much going on at any wedding that isn’t always visible to the couple and their guests and I try and observe (and photograph) as much as I can. Every wedding is unique and full of its own charms, from the fanciest affair to the smallest simple family gathering. They do share a few things in common though, such as the excitement, the planning, and, most importantly, the outpouring of expressions of joy and love, no matter how they’re expressed. A stolen kiss between the bride and groom, the wiping away of a tear at the ceremony, a child’s smile. It’s a day made up of moments and it’s those small, touching moments–moments that might never have been noticed in the whirl of the day–that I try to capture and share.
These photographs bring back so many memories for me. The ever-smiling bride, the bride surprised by the wedding organised by her mother and husband to be, and all the little details – and those who contributed them. Memories of the guests, the makers of merry, the small children, the beautiful dresses and suits, the laughter and the tears of joy. Not to mention some amazing and wonderful venues and their fantastic staff. It’s been a great year and I send much love and happiness to all these brides and grooms for 2018!
The music is from my friend Scott Matthew’s album Unlearned, available on iTunes
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 met them 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!