Wedding photography at Louise and Chris’s celebrations at Mar Lodge, Braemar, Scottish Highlands
I love being a Mar Lodge wedding photographer – and my job is made easier by a happy smiling couple like Louise and Chris. The venue is perhaps beast known for hosting the BBC’s Autumn, Winter and Spring Watch, and there’s plenty of wildlife to look at on the 29,000 hectare estate. Mar Lodge itself is a relatively recent building (it was rebuilt after a disastrous fire in 1991) nestled in the Dee Valley and just a few miles from Braemar and the Queen’s highland home at Balmoral.
Weddings at Mar Lodge benefit from amazing scenery outside, as well as fantastic interior decor. There’s even a ballroom decorated with 2,500 stag antlers, some dating back to Victorian times.
Louise and Chris are outdoors people, and their day started with a run up the local hillside – for them and all their guests! It was handicapped, so everyone arrived at the top at more or less the same time. Luckily no injuries were suffered, and by the time I arrived everyone was busy getting ready into their finery. Louise’s Mum gave her away at a simple ceremony in the spacious Drawing Room, and then everyone proceeded outside to stand in the sun for the champagne reception.
Dinner, speeches and dancing followed in the Stag Ballroom, and as I left I was sure there would be some sore heads in the morning. Perhaps another run up the hill side would be a cure!
Music at your wedding
Some people rehearse their first dance, others cringe at the thought of performing in front of their family and guests. Here’s a list from The Washington Post of the most popular wedding songs in America in case you need inspiration.
Interesting to see that Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ tops the list!
At my own wedding, we had a surprise appearance by Scott Matthew who sang Annie’s Song by John Denver as you’ve never heard it before. YouTube have him singing it live, and sounding just like it did at our small reception. He followed it with his version of Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance with Somebody (number 5 on the list of popular songs above),= but again sounding completely different from the original.
Of course, the most popular wedding song in Scotland comes at the end of the night, not the beginning! It has to be ‘500 miles’ by The Pretenders
If you want to hear more of Scott Matthew, he’s on iTunes and no doubt on Spotify too. He also has a website.
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.