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.
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.
Shona and Jon’s wedding at Wedderburn Castle
I love being a Wedderburn Castle Wedding Photographer – it’s one of my favourite wedding venues in Scotland.
Wedderburn Castle nestles in the rolling landscape of the Scottish Borders. Just 45 miles south east of Edinburgh and 15 miles west of Berwick on Tweed, it is a hidden gem of a wedding venue.
And it really is hidden – invisible from the road, you really are in your own world when you stay there.
Shona and Jon wanted their wedding to take on the style of a Country House Weekend, and Wedderburn was the perfect place for them. Built in 1770 to a design by the renowned Scottish architect Robert Adams, its most striking feature is a sweeping stone staircase that greets you as you enter, and leads to the first floor with its 5 grand reception rooms. With 12 huge and individually decorated bedrooms, it’s the perfect place for a wedding party!
Shona and Jon made full use of the space. While Bride Shona and her bridesmaids got ready in the Bridal Suite (complete with 4 poster bed!) Groom Jon and his Best Man and father were immediately below in ‘The Glorious 12th’. Bedrooms can often be crowded places to photograph during all the busy preparations, but the rooms at Wedderburn are huge!
Their ceremony was held in the Ballroom – the perfect setting for any civil, humanist, or religious service, complete with marbled columns, Georgian windows and chandeliers. Once married, they and their guests moved to the drawing room, with its huge log fire and large and comfortable sofas.
While their guests enjoyed champagne, I took Shona and Jon outside to photograph them on the grounds of the castle. The sweeping drive is one of my favourite photo locations for natural and relaxed wedding photographs, along with my obligatory photo of them leaning out of a window with a crest below them, its motto: “Remember – True To The End”
Both the Bride and Groom are vets, and two of their clients gave them wonderful, and unusual, wedding presents. One farmer gifted them the beef that was served at dinner (carved by the guests themselves) and another dairy farmer donated the cheese that was served for dessert at the wedding breakfast.
Jon had made the favours: hand-tied fishing flies mounted on a broach, and even more unusually, Shona made her own decorative wedding cake!
The evening continued with a hilarious Best Man speech, and then ceilidh dancing in the ballroom. In between the reels, guests relaxed on the sofas in the drawing room.
Auld Lang Syne brought the celebrations to a traditional Scottish finish, and the end to a wonderful day.