The Japanese Gardens – Eilidh and Mark’s Wedding
Watashi wa anata ga saisho ni dēto, kisushita hito janai kamo shiremasen ga, anata no saigo no hito ni naritai desu.
I may not be your first date, kiss, or love, but I want to be your last.
Mr JB and I first met Mark about 20 years ago when he moved in across the street from us. We became firm friends. We celebrated good times, commiserated over bad times, and watched Mark’s first two kids grow from babies to the lovely young adults they are today.
In 2019 BC (before Covid), Mark was in the process of extracting himself from a challenging situation that was taking its toll on him. We walked our dogs together in the morning and during those walks, we put the world to rights as you do. Gradually the name Eilidh kept appearing in the conversation, someone he would regularly see on his evening dog walks with her dog. I noticed that when he was talking about Eilidh he seemed brighter.
Eilidh and Mark became friends, sharing common interests and struggles. Eventually when they were both able their friendship became more. Fast forward a bit and Mark moved in with Eilidh (just around the corner so not too far away). Eilidh became our friend and neighbour too. Fast forward a little bit more and the couple brought baby Thea into the world. Those who follow my socials will know that Thea is probably the most photographed wee girl on the planet, I can’t stop taking her picture. She will probably hate me by the time she is eighteen!!
Put A Ring On It
With Mark’s two big kids happily welcoming Eilidh into the fold and baby Thea on the way. Mark took Eilidh and Thea to one of their favourite spots in Keswick for a romantic weekend. Ignoring the pouring rain and the fact that Eilidh was heavily pregnant and needing a pee, Mark popped the question. It was a complete surprise to Eilidh but she managed to hold onto her bladder and say yes!
Friends With Benefits
I often share pictures of the weddings I shoot with Mark and Eilidh and after I’d shown them my first wedding at the Japanese Gardens near Dollar they went to visit and fell in love with it themselves. I was honoured when they wanted to book me to take the pictures but as my friends I wanted the photography to be our wedding gift. Having captured many weddings in my photography career I was also able to suggest a few other wedding suppliers I trusted as well.
The day of the wedding was finally here and the weather was keeping us guessing. Would it rain or not? Not that this mattered to Eilidh when I arrived to capture bridal prep, she was grinning from ear to ear (and I don’t think she lost that smile all day).
Carla Haley MUA is my go-to make-up artist for any photo shoot I do, but we’d never worked a wedding together before so I was delighted she was free for Eilidh and Mark’s wedding.
Go big or go home! Natalie the hairdresser made sure that Eilidh’s hair would have volume all day.
Little Miss Thea had been napping the whole time I was there. Just before I had to head to the venue she woke up. I asked Carla to pretend to put some makeup on her. I’m not sure how into it she was!
I headed to the venue to get some pre-wedding images of Mark.
He’d scrubbed up rather well and was looking very dapper in his new kilt. It’s not very often he gets to have pictures with his kids now they are adults so I was determined to take some of them all dressed up in their wedding outfits.
I’ve known these kids since they were tiny and it is just wonderful to see how well they have turned out. Mark definitely had every right to be the proud dad.
Although sometimes it makes me feel very old how much they’ve grown up now!
The guests were encouraged down to just outside the traditional Azumaya where the ceremony was being held. The weather was still holding. A few spots of rain perhaps so I had my trusty wedding brollies handy for the bride arriving.
Look at those smiles. As Eilidh was walked through the gardens by her very proud dad she looked absolutely stunning in her wedding dress from One of a Kind and her beautiful dried flower bouquet with matching hairpiece from Florence and Flowers she looked just perfect. And the umbrella, well that was a just-in-case precaution.
Mark allowed himself a few sneak peeks as she walked up. Then had to look away for fear of getting too emotional.
Love and Laughter
The ceremony was conducted by one of my fave humanists Lucy Black so I knew it was going to be good. But knowing the couple getting married really well added an extra dimension which I hadn’t been prepared to get so emotional at. Included in their very personal ceremony was a candle-lighting ritual, and two wonderful readings from friends.
As well as a traditional handfasting ceremony. To ‘tie the knot’.
Time for Tea
Then it was off to the traditional Tea Drinking House in the gardens to sign the official paperwork. Also, an excuse for me to capture Mark and Eilidh and all three of the kids after they had witnessed the legal part of the marriage.
And also an excuse to get very cute pictures of Miss Thea walking back to the wedding guests with her newly married mum and dad.
Time for the group shots but not before I captured the jubilant new Mr & Mrs.
Even better the rain looked like it was going to hold off completely. Result!
There was time for a selfie with Lucy before she had to leave.
And as Mr JB and I were guests as well, I did something I never usually do and came out from behind the camera.
Spoilt for Choice
At the Japanese Gardens everywhere you turn there are beautiful spots for images. the hardest part is stopping and letting my couple get back to their guests.
Eilidh was also wearing a fantasically long veil. Whenever I see a long veil I get very excited. I get very excited because it means I can capture images like this.
Weddings at the Japanese Gardens are always relaxed affairs usually with a BBQ rather than a sit down meal. Mark’s great love (other than Eilidh and the kids) is pizza so they organised the Woodfired Guys and their mobile pizza van. Delicious!
They had also organised a drinks truck that was very popular with the guests.
More Hand Gestures
If you thought Mark’s walk was funny in one of the images earlier on you should see the ones I captured of Mike during the speeches. Mike is Mark’s oldest friend and as a result had all the dirt on him!
Then it was time to cut the cake.
Miss Thea, who had been incredible all day considering she is only one, had changed into her PJs by this point. I’m not going to lie, quite a few of us were jealous of her for that.
And then it was time for a sparkler exit.
I love this candid shot of them in black and white, I think they look like movie stars or something.
Capturing people’s wedding days is a huge honour for me. Getting to capture great mates weddings – absolutely priceless.
Congratulations again Mr and Mrs Court xXx