Recent memories & stories
Not every wedding I photograph is here. Many couples choose not to have their photos and stories published for the public to see.
But here are a few from the past couple of years that I love to remember.
Emily and Rob
Broxmouth Courtyard is new venue in East Lothian, which openied this year (2023.)
But what a place to get married! A lovely mix of restored buildings and new ones, all placed around a cobbled courtyard.
Emily and Rob were both able to get ready at the venue, making my life a lot easier. Emily and her bridesmaids had a huge dressing room, with perhaps the largest mirror I've ever seen!
The ceremony took place in the Stables Courtyard building, with one whole wall mostly replaced with glass, and with high ceilings and exposed stonework.
Afterwards the couple were piped out into the courtyard through a blizzard of bubbles.
Broxmouth is a large estate and provides lots of fantastic locations for couple photos - even if the weather is threatening rain.
I'm pretty sure Emily and Rob had a fantastic day - they couldn't stop smiling - and Broxmouth Courtyard certainly contributed to that!
Val and Laurence
Another small short notice wedding in January, this time in the Borders. I'd been contacted by Val and Laurence about photographing their wedding just before Christmas, and by New Year I was booked for their mid-January wedding.
They are both Americans from New York State, and they and 12 of their friends flew over to Scotland for their ceremony, conducted by a childhood friend of Laurence.
A church ceremony in Ayton (the first church I've attended that has not been on Google maps!) was followed by entertainment and meal at the nearby Allanton Inn - but not before I'd snuck off with the newly -weds for a quick photo session on the freezing day.
At my suggestion, they'd hired my favourite piper, Pipe Major Iain Grant, who is not just a piper! He is also a superb entertainer, and gave an impromptu 'Address to the Haggis' when he saw the Allanton Inn's canapé Haggis balls!
Much laughter was had as he threatened to run off with Val, with his catchline "Have you ever kissed a hairy piper?"
All in all, a wonderful small wedding that was a delight to photograph.
Leslie and Michael
I've photographed smaller wedding, but none at such short notice... From my responding to a Facebook enquiry, to being booked, to photographing their wedding was only 3 days!
Luckily, as always, I was prepared. My batteries were charged and my memory cards were empty. All I had to do was drive to the wedding.
Since their ceremony was at 4pm (when it's dark in January) we decided to do the 'couple portraits' before the ceremony, and headed to Alloa Tower to take some informal photos of the two of them.
The church was in walking distance of their flat and their six guests were waiting as we arrived.
And then, after a simple service, it was down the road to their favourite restaurant for champagne and and fabulous food.
The short notice of their wedding was because Leslie, who is American, and Michael wee waiting for Home Office permission to get married. Two days after the wedding she flew back to the States to go back to work at the school she teaches at - and to apply for a Spousal Visa so that in 5 months time (hopefully) she can return to Scotland, and Michael, permanently.
Kat and Samarth
Ravensheugh log cabin is one of favourite venues as a wedding photographer in East Lothian. It's an open canvas to be filled with your own theme for your wedding.
Kat and Samarth had an outdoor wedding, with the famous Bass Rock in the background, then while the guests enjoyed their drinks I took them down to the near empty Ravensheugh beach for some photos of just the two of them.
It was a mixed culture wedding, and was totally enlivened by the addition of an Indian drummer and a DJ who played some of their favourite Indian music - to which there was enthusiastic dancing!
The speeches were heartfelt, even if the Samarth's brother's speech was a little revealing! (Not too revealing - everyone had a good laugh!)
The weather held, the atmosphere was great, and I have to say, the samosas were fantastic!
Ben and Maria
Welcome to a typical day in the life of a wedding photographer! I was only booked for Ben and Maria’s wedding at short notice, so had no chance to meet them before their big day.
I’d also never been to their venue, Glenskirlie Castle, before, so turned up an hour earlier than usual to have a scout around.
Lastly, it was June in Scotland, so the day was full of heavy rain showers and 40mph gusts of wind!
After many, many weddings over the years, none of this upset me - it just presented a few extra challenges!
Luckily the rain stopped twice, giving me an opportunity to take a big group photograph of everyone, and later, to sneak off with the happy couple for some informal portraits.
There were the usual classic moments too - Maria is Peruvian and had to translate her mother's speech, much to her embarrassment! And the dancing was enthusiastic - and wild.
I also took some black and white photographs at the wedding. You can see my blog post about them here.
Katie and Robert
Katie and Robert had always planned to have a wedding on her family farm. Her father had kept a section of a field next to the farmyard free of crops, and prepared it for a large marquee to be erected. And then Covid struck….
When the first relaxation of lockdown began, they edited their plans. Now it was a small wedding with just family and close friends, and all outdoors.
The ceremony was in the Dutch barn, complete with a combine as a backdrop, and the reception was in the garden. A large gazebo provided protection in case of bad weather.
They’d asked me to photograph their wedding because I’d photographed Robert’s sister’s wedding a couple of years before, and it was great to see Alex and Andreas again, along with their new child.
So, a small wedding, but no less joyous or loving. A lovely way for me to spend a Saturday, photographing a lovely group of people intent on celebrating Katie and Robert’s day, and future, despite the rather odd pandemic situation.
Padraig and Mhairi
Padraig and Mhairi’s wedding was a Scottish/Irish one, and based in three locations. Mhairi got ready at her parent’s house (where she’d grown up) and they got married in the Catholic church in Dunbar.
Then it was of to the log cabin on the cliffs above Ravensheugh Beach where a grand tipi and mobile kitchen and bar had been set up.
The beach is one of my favourites in East Lothian (although, to be fair, all the beaches in East Lothian are stunning!) and is perfect for some loving photos of any bride and groom (even in the rain, as in the main photo on the home page.)
It there was a colour code at the wedding it was yellow – Mhairi’s nail polish perfectly matched the colour of her Converse shoes! I love it when a bride wears something comfortable on her feet, rather than expensive designer shoes. (And here’s a tip – wear shoes that you can dance comfortably in!)
Unusually for me there was a celebrity at the wedding (Padraig’s employer.) At their request I’ve posted no photos of him on the web. But look carefully at the group photo….
I stayed until the last dance (Auld Lang Syne, surrounded by all their guests) and got plenty of photos of the raucous and drunken dancing, and the general bonhomie of everyone there!
Jonathon and Lindsay
One of my favourite photographs of the year was taken at Jonathon and Lindsay’s wedding at The Marine Hotel in North Berwick. It is of Lindsay being piped in to the hotel, and the sound was just too much for the six year old flower girl, who has her fingers in her ears at this important moment!
Lindsay grew up in North Berwick, got ready at the family home, and was transported to the hotel in an old Volkswagen minibus.
The hotel hosts many weddings each year, and are very used to making sure everything runs smoothly, which of course it did. The only problem was when one of my cameras stopped auto-focussing just as Lindsay and her father entered the ceremony room. Luckily, muscle memory from years of using manual focus lenses meant it was just an inconvenience rather than a disaster!
The Marine Hotel’s location overlooking the Firth of Forth meant that it makes sense to walk across the golf course and onto the beach. With North Berwick Law and the iconic Bass Rock as a background, I was the perfect place to photograph Lindsay and Jonathon as a newly married couple. They even took their shoes off and went for a paddle! (Jonathon also admitted that he’d gone for a swim before breakfast!)
Then it was back to the hotel for the reception, champagne, hilarious speeches, dinner and of course, dancing the night away!