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Wedding Bouquets & Alternatives to Flowers

Why do brides carry them?

Incorporating flowers into wedding ceremonies has been seen, since Roman times, as a symbol of fertility, which meant that herbs, orange blossoms, garlic and other similar plants were included in the wedding preparations.

Both Greeks and Romans thought that their smell would keep the evil spirits away from the bride, therefore guaranteeing happiness and loyalty in the marriage. However, the exquisite combination of herbs was not carried by the bride in her hands, but, instead, worn under the form of a garland in her hair. At the end of the ceremony, the edible herbs were given to the newlyweds to eat, as they were also supposed to increase their sexual desire.

But, throughout the Victorian period, the practices changed. Queen Victoria herself carried a bouquet made of a few herbs and mostly fresh flowers, thus making fashionable the bouquet as it is known today.

The bouquet was also the bearer of a message since each flower had its own special meaning. In some parts of the world, only certain flowers were considered to bring good luck for the marriage (such as daffodils, daisies, irises, magnolias, orchids, roses), while other flowers were forbidden from being displayed in the wedding bouquet (like lavender, poppies, marigolds).

Wedding flowers - JB Moments Photography

Fresh Flowers

There is no doubt that fresh flowers are beautiful but when choosing your wedding flowers, it’s not only about picking blooms that complement your choice of wedding dress and overall wedding theme, but it’s also important to consider whether they’re even available. Here’s a list of wedding flowers by season in the UK.

While certain blooms such as roses are available all year round, most other flowers are only available during particular months and seasons. In some cases, however, it is possible to import flowers that aren’t in season from another region or country.

Wedding flowers - JB Moments Photography

Importing flowers that aren’t in season in the UK is not possible for all flowers, and can sometimes be a costly exercise, so it’s important you consult your florist to see what your best options are. Sometimes your florist may be able to suggest a flower that is very similar in appearance but won’t cost as much as it’s imported lookalike.

To help you better understand which flowers are available the month of your wedding, here is a list of some of the most popular wedding flowers based on availability by season.

Winter
December

Poinsettias, Hellebores, Winter Camellias, Muscari, Aranthera, Acacia, Phalaenopsis Orchids

Winter has officially arrived and of course, your wedding will be close to Christmas. But winter flowers are available with Winter Camellias being a perfect example. Poinsettias have gorgeous red and green foliage making them perfect for a Christmas themed wedding. Hellebores come in some 20 varieties and their small colourful blooms are perfect for adding wintery-tones and texture to your bouquet. Winter Camellias are so-called because these evergreen shrubs produce gorgeous blooms in the cold weather. They are known for their unique, paper-like petals and sturdy nature.

January

Hyacinths, Chrysanthemums, Tulips, Sunflowers, Phalaenopsis Orchids, Cymbidium Orchids

Hyacinths are flowers which people love to grow in pots and if you are growing some yourself, you can simply cut them fresh just in time for your big day. Chrysanthemums come in large or small blooms and they last for a long time. Tulips come in all sorts of varieties and colours to match and these blooms are one of the most popular wedding flowers in the UK.

February

Anemone, Delphiniums, Banksia, Bottlebrush, Calla Lilies, Roses, Lilac, Lisianthus, Protea, Narcissus 

Valentine’s Day is in February, so, if you are after red roses for your wedding you may need to place your order well in advance! Anemone sometimes called the ‘windflower,’ is a delicate flower that comes in a variety of colours, cream and classic white. This flower is particularly recognisable for its black centre. Delphiniums are tall sturdy, stalk-like flowers which are known for their vibrant shades of blue, purple, violet and pink. Banksia Bottlebrush is a red, fluffy bloom which is cylindrical in shape. It hails from Australia and is well known for its exotic appearance.

Spring
March

Marigolds, Carnations, Lily of the Valley, Queen Anne’s Lace, Paphiopedilum Orchids

Marigolds are a bright, and warm orange bloom which have a creased appearance due to the pale yellow edging on the petals. Carnations provide a very classic bridal aesthetic, and similar to Hydrangeas, these soft, fluffy white flowers look divine when mixed in with fresh white roses. Lily of the Valleys are small white flowers which appear as though they have been turned upside-down. They are delicate and sweet and can look great in a bridal bouquet or even placed in a bridal hairstyle or flower crown.

April

Spray Carnations, Forget-Me-Nots, Genistas, Oncidium Orchids, Ranunculus

Spray Carnations are a smaller version of traditional carnations, and they look great mixed among other varieties of flowers. They come in lots of different colours too. Forget-me-nots are tiny flat flowers known for their soft blue colour. Genista makes a wonderful filler with its leafless stems and masses of tiny flowers.

May

Peonies, Agapanthus, Waxflowers, Sweet Williams, Roses, Moluccella, Hydrangeas

Agapanthus is a huge flower, sometimes known as the African Lily, and its large impressive blooms are long-lasting. Waxflower is ideal for multiple uses as its small sweet-smelling flowers can be used in fillers and bouquets. Sweet William is an ideal country garden flower with so many gorgeous blooms on every stem.

Wedding flowers  - JB Moments Photography

Summer
June

Marigolds, Gloriosas, Iris, Arachnis, Viburnum, Sunflowers, Muscari, Delphiniums, Aster

Gloriosa or the ‘Glory Lily’ hails from Africa and is striking with its petals being ringed in yellow. Iris has long been a very popular flower although it’s important to remember it has a short shelf life.

July

Lily of the Valley, Hyacinths, Tulips, Kangaroo Paws, Gypsophila, Nerine, Strelitzias

Tulips are almost never out of season and certainly never out of fashion. Strelitzias are bright orange and are unique in shape. Their pointy and geometric petals work well in a contemporary style bouquet.

August

Cornflowers, Roses, Mint, Prunus, Godetia, Hydrangeas, Phlox, Agapanthus, Bouvardia

Brides have a wonderful choice to choose from in August. Cornflowers have a fairly large head and are a distinctive blue colour. Roses are always available in lots of colours, shapes and varieties. Mint may seem like a peculiar choice, but the herb actually makes for a gorgeous bouquet filler and has the bonus of its refreshing aroma.

Autumn
September

Amaryllis, Aster, Helenium, Achillea, Cattleya Orchids, Eryngium, Spiraea, Vanda, Cosmos

Autumn is beginning, and fruit and flowers are in abundance. Amaryllis is perfect if you’re looking for something dramatic because these large trumpet-shaped flowers really make a statement. Aster also known as the Michaelmas Daisy makes a perfect filler for your bridal bouquet and bridal table. Helenium epitomizes autumn with daisy-like flowers offering the colours of the season.

October

Gladiolus, Freesias, Helleborus, Papaver, Skimmia, Tuberose, Ornithogalum, Calla Lily

Gladiolus is a traditional flower which is often used for decorating the church or reception venue. Freesias are always popular, not just because of their delicate, feminine petals, but their powerful scent is so appealing.

November

Moluccella, Gomphrena, Solidaster, Triteleia, Veronica, Lisianthus, Amazon Lilies

Moluccella from across the sea, are the Bells of Ireland and are eye-catching with their masses of flowers resembling bells. Gomphrena has the advantage of being able to be dried easily so if you want dried flowers for decoration or as a filler, the Globe Amaranth is the ideal choice. Solidaster is a soft yellow bloom which is very tiny and is a great bouquet filler. Solidaster is often mistaken for Aster.

Faux Flowers

Artificial flowers are becoming increasingly popular as a beautiful, long-lasting, and often cheaper, alternative to fresh wedding flowers.

If the tacky fake blooms you see in a pound shop spring to mind, think again! The artificial wedding flowers on the market today are high quality, great value and totally realistic in both look and feel.

Most brides do go for fresh flowers on their wedding day as the scent and natural beauty is hard to beat, but there are downsides. Firstly, they’re more expensive than artificial flowers; they’ll eventually wilt and die, and your chosen blooms may not be at their peak or even available at the time of your wedding.

In contrast, there are so many advantages to choosing artificial flowers and, with the huge leap in quality and realism, you may not notice much difference with the real thing. You can even replicate the scent with a floral perfume!

Here’s why artificial flowers might be right for your wedding:

  • You can precisely colour-match artificial flowers to any shade so they can work with your colour palette
  • Artificial bouquets are allergy-friendly so there’s no chance of a red nose and streaming eyes down the aisle
  • They don’t attract wasps or bugs so you don’t need to worry if you’re having an outdoor wedding
  • You can get the bloom varieties that you want, even if they’re out of season, and they’ll always be in peak bloom
  • Artificial wedding flowers won’t wilt or die so they’ll look perfect on the day
  • There’s a risk that real flowers could stain your dress, whereas artificial flowers won’t
  • Artificial flowers travel well, so they are ideal for destination weddings
  • You can keep your artificial flowers forever
  • They can be cheaper than fresh flowers
  • If you get good quality fakes, then your guests may not even notice you’re not using fresh!

Wedding flowers - JB Moments Photography

What if I don’t want a traditional bouquet?

The good news is that if you still want to carry something down the aisle there are loads of alternatives.

Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Paper – your favourite text, music scores, colours can be made into flowers or any other shapes you fancy to walk down the aisle. Perfect for a literary or music themed wedding.
  • Food – Foodies shouldn’t shy away from carrying something edible down the aisle, whether it’s a bundle of herbs, doughnuts (yes, doughnuts) or a single, geometric artichoke.
  • Balloons – Nothing says “celebrate” like a cloud of bright balloons. Also great for flower girls (or should that be balloon girls)!
  • Pom-poms – Showcase your crafty side with an architectural bouquet of pom-poms.
  • Brooches – You can never have too much bling, especially on your wedding day. Great for a vintage or forties inspired theme.
  • Sea Shells – Shells make a beautiful and unexpected accessory for couples saying “I do” by the sea. You can also add starfish and seahorses to continue a nautical theme.
  • Lanterns – Your wedding party can light the way with vintage lanterns (imagine how gorgeous they’d look at a nighttime ceremony).
  • Feathers – on their own or mixed in with brooches, bling or anything else.

Wedding flowers  - JB Moments Photography

Larbert East Church – Emma & Robert’s Wedding

You had me at Pivot Tables!

Emma and Robert met at work around five years ago when they started working on the same project. As soon as I met them at their pre-wedding consultation. I knew they were going to be the perfect couple to photograph. Laid back, chilled and more than a hint of fun is how I’d describe these two. It turns out the proposal itself was pretty similar. They were in the middle of decorating their kitchen/family room and had a wee chat about getting married on the sofa pulled out in the middle of the sofa and that was that!

Rain on your Wedding Day

Despite it being July and despite the weather being glorious in the run up to the wedding the weather on the big day was changing by the minute on all the weather apps. When I arrived at Larbert East Church is was absolutely bucketing it down.

A few minutes later and it was all blue sky and sunshine so I dashed outside to get some pictures of the churches beautiful exterior.

Wedding photographer in Falkirk - JB Moments Photography

And took the opportunity to capture the groom as well.

Wedding photographer in Falkirk - JB Moments Photography

Robert looked very smart in his own ‘Hunting Kerr’ tartan.

All the luck

Then it started raining again. I went outside armed with my bridal brollies to wait for the bride to arrive. Nobody wants a soggy bride, do they? But, luck was on Emma’s side because as she arrived with her dad and her son Josh the rain disappeared and the sun put his hat on again!

Besides, it’s considered lucky if it rains on your wedding day 🙂

Wedding photographer in Falkirk - JB Moments Photography

Emma was absolutely glowing with happiness. Josh looked very smart and unbelievably tall for his 13 years! He had the very important job of walking his mum down the aisle.

Giving his mum away!

Wedding photographer in Falkirk - JB Moments Photography

He took his job very seriously and did it with a maturity well beyond his tender years.

Wedding photographer in Falkirk - JB Moments Photography

The first look

I’m a sucker for when the groom sees his bride for the first time and Robert didn’t let me down.

Wedding photographer in Falkirk - JB Moments Photography

Excuse me whilst I go all gooey for a moment 🙂

Scout’s honour

It was a lovely service filled with love and laughter and some sage words of advice from their minister.

Emma had managed to hold it together throughout the ceremony but as she got to the church doors and saw her scouts standing in the rain to give their Leader a salute of honour the tears started flowing.

Wedding photographer in Falkirk - JB Moments Photography

Sun shine and smiles

The poor scouts might have been waiting in the rain but the sun came back out right when I needed it for the group photos and pictures of Emma and Robert in the charming church gardens.

Wedding photographer in Falkirk - JB Moments Photography
The Paparazzi have arrived!

All the guests were keen to get their pictures of the  happy couple as well so I turned the camera on them as I love getting shots of the ‘paps’ as well!

Time for cake

Emma and Robert decided a laid back reception back at their house was in keeping with their personalities and style.

Wedding photographer in Falkirk - JB Moments Photography

Emma made the tasty looking wedding cake and vanilla and chocolate cupcakes herself. The Secret Chefs  did their catering for them. It smelt and looked delicious as it was being put out.A perfect solution to ensure you are not stuck in the kitchen on your wedding day…

Domestic/Wedded Bliss

Because Emma and Robert were having their reception at home I was keen to have a bit of fun and knew they would be up for it. I had this vision of an image of them doing something really mundane and domestic whilst in their fancy wedding gear! The guests all looked a bit alarmed when I started asking Emma where the rubber gloves were!!! They quickly headed outside to the marquee!

Wedding photographer in Falkirk - JB Moments Photography

I LOVE the resulting images we captured with this one being my favourite. They were such good sports 🙂

Congratulations again Mr and Mrs Kerr. It was a real honour to capture your big day for you.

Wedding photographer in Falkirk - JB Moments Photography

Leonardo Murrayfield Hotel – Kirsty & John’s Wedding

Steve Wright’s Sunday Love Songs

As I was bombing along the M9 on my way to shoot the bridal prep of my second wedding in three days I was happily singing along to the Love Songs Show on Radio 2 (yes Radio 2 sorry, not sorry). The perfect radio station choice for a wedding day 🙂

Swipe Right for Love

Whilst my choice of radio station might not be very modern, the way Kirsty and John met was. They met on that well known dating app and met up for drinks on a Thursday night in 2016. By the Friday night Kirsty had practically moved into John’s house and on the Saturday John met Kirsty’s parents! (Sounds a bit like a Craig David Song – showing my age again!!). Kirsty’s Dad discovered that he already knew John from the drinking establishment they both frequented so that was one seal of approval gained.

When you know, you know and soon they discovered they were going to be parents and their son Leighton arrived 🙂 Shortly after he was born the couple were shopping in the Gyle and John said, ‘lets look at rings’, and that was that! Let the wedding planning commence!

All systems go

When I arrived at the Leonardo Hotel at 10am Helen and Angie from City Brides Edinburgh had already set up their chairs and supplies at the hotel room window and were ready for hair and make up action. I can honestly say I have never seen so many eyeshadow pallets lined up on one windowsill! The girls worked their magic on a four (nearly five) year old flower girl, two bridesmaids, the mother of the bride and of course the bride as well as finding time to chat to us all, sing along to songs and offer advice to the mother of the bride’s sister! They were amazing.

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

When there is so much going on in a hotel room I like to turn the pictures into black and white to keep them simple. I love how Kirsty looks like a Film Noir star in this picture.

Easy like Sunday mornings

Meanwhile the Groom, John and his Best Man Pete were having a far more relaxed time of it. Having got ready at home, John and Pete were enjoying a nice relaxing pint at the bar when I barged in and hassled them outside for some photos.

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

They had scrubbed up well in their kilts from Eight Yards kilt hire.

Leighton had a matching kilt and was his Daddy’s mini me.

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

Talk about stealing the show.

Vow Wow

Kirsty walked down the aisle on the arm of her very proud dad George. They were piped down the aisle to the beautiful sound of Highland Cathedral.  Kirsty and John had opted for a Humanist ceremony and had written their own vows which was a sweet and tender touch to the proceedings.

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

Leighton was sat with Granny Linda, who was resplendent in her pink and grey Mother of the Bride outfit from Catwalk in Falkirk.

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

But he wanted in on whatever Mummy and Daddy were doing! I think it’s lovely that one day he is going to be able to look back at the pictures and know that he was there to share in his parents special day.

Against the clock

I like to not keep my brides and grooms away from their guests too long for the formal pictures. After all it is their day I am capturing, not a portfolio building exercise for me. That said, throw in a 21 month old who is ready for a nap and those time scales get even shorter!

We had planned to go into the meadows across the road from the hotel for some dreamy shots amongst the long grasses. But… after heavy rain the day before, Kirsty’s heels were not  up for it and I didn’t want her beautiful dress to ruin. So we ended up at the side of the road….

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

But I don’t think you can tell from this picture, can you? I think it still looks like the beautiful long grass shot I envisaged.

Capturing Kirsty, John and Leighton as naturally as possible was the aim of the game and I love the shots I got of them walking with Leighton.

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

Be still my heart! What a gorgeous little family.

The Bridal Party

It’s not a wedding without photos of the bridal party and this group didn’t disappoint.

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

I loved the bridesmaids and flower girls navy dresses.

Perfect

After the speeches and a three course meal it was time for the evening guests to start arriving.

The cake was cut and Kirsty and John took to the dance floor to dance to Ed Sheeran’s Perfect as their first dance as husband and wife.

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

It was a great song choice as these two are perfect for each other and it was the perfect day.

Congratulations Mr and Mrs McRitchie xoxo

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

 

 

St. James Church, St. Andrews & The Cow Shed, Crail – Kerrie & Dom’s Wedding

The Cow Shed – Bucket List Location

I’m sure I’m not the only photographer that has a bucket list of locations they are desperate to photograph weddings at? Culzean Castle was one of my bucket list locations and I was lucky enough to shoot there last year. The Cow Shed at Crail is another. I love the fact that the barn is a blank canvas so each couple stamps their own individual look on it. As you can imagine I was delighted when Kerrie and Dominic got in touch last year looking for a photographer to capture their June 2019 wedding at the Cow Shed. Mini fist pumps all round!!!

Seven year itch?

Kerrie and Dom met seven years ago whilst out on the town in Manchester where they both  live. Six months later Dom moves in with Kerrie and the rest, as they say, is history. And how about this for a proposal? Dom proposed to Kerrie on Bonfire night at Niagra Falls!

Although the couple and their two dogs live in Manchester, Kerrie is originally from St. Andrews. The East Neuk of Fife has become a special place for them so that is where they planned their wedding 🙂

An irregular choice

Kerrie, her five bridesmaids and her mum and stepdad all got ready at Kilconquhar Castle Estate. I love it when I get to capture the bridal prep as it is just like getting ready for a night  out with your girlfriends – but with prettier dresses!

Three of Kerrie’s maids were cousins, two of which had traveled over from Canada for the event. One was her soon to be sister-in-law and her maid of honour was her best friend. When I arrived at 10am Kerry from Pretty You hair and make up had been on the case since 8am. You could feel the love and support in the room and Kerrie’s Stepdad Ron was keeping us all entertained with his tall tales.

Kerrie’s dress was a dreamy confection of lace and tulle from Morilee 

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Normally I have to get creative in a hotel room and hand the wedding dress on curtain poles or headboards but the sun was out on the estate and there were trees just outside the lodge they were all in. There were bunnies playing on that lawn behind the dress but they ran away when I started shooting!

But it was Kerrie’s shoes from Irregular Choice that stole the show for me.

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Aren’t they just amazing? I love the fact that she chose somthing so original and fun.

Once everybody was ready we had time for some pictures before I headed off to the church to find the groom. Don’t they look stunning? I loved the bouquets filled with peonies and roses as well as wildflowers.

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Get me to the church on time

St Andrews in the June sunshine is busy, St Andrews on graduation day is mobbed! But the air was full of jubilation and celebration and you couldn’t help getting swept up in it all.

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

St. James Church is a small Roman Catholic church on the seashore.

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

The inside providing a cool, reflective and calm space from the June sunshine.

As the guests started arriving to the sounds of the piper I tracked down the groom and his crew for some photos.

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

The bride was bang on time and affter a short but beautiful service the guests piled onto the coaches Kerrie & Dom had provided leaving us some time alone for formal photos in the churches gorgeous gardens.

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Like a lot of couples they weren’t keen on having their pictures taken so I kept it nice and relaxed and got them doing lots of stuff to take their minds off the fact that I was shooting them. It was great for them to have some time alone before the reception as well. If you ignore the giant third wheel in their face with a camera that is!

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Off to the farm

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

After a couple of wrong turns in my trusty mini I made it to the Cow Shed and the smell of the BBQ they were having as the wedding breakfast wafted to greet me (yum).

Kerrie and Dom had decorated the barn so beautifully it was like every barn wedding you ever imagined on Pinterest and more!

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

I set about capturing all the details but not before I’d captured the group shots and the bridal party.

Fore!

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Apart from the bride and groom (obvs.) and his sister and brother-in-law all of the other bridesmaids and groomsmen were coupled up with other people outside the bridal party but I didn’t let that get in the way of a great photo opportunity and made them all pair up and stare into each others eyes!

Kerrie and Dom had organised mini golf out on the lawn. When they told me about that at their pre-wedding consultation I just knew I had to use that for some of the bridal party shots.

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Luckily they humoured me 🙂

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

The meal was excellent and the speeches both touching and entertaining where the guests learned that one of the bridal party had once spent the night in police custody! Luckily there was no criminal record!!

As the guests enjoyed the early evening sunshine and the vista across to the North Sea the main barn was trasnformed so they could dance the night away.

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

The couple took to the floor to dance their first dance to Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Deep Blue Something. Pretty soon the guests started filling the dance floor to join the happy couple.

Congratulations Mr & Mrs Parker xoxo

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

 

 

Inchcolm Abbey – Hazel & John’s Wedding

Cutting it fine

When I met Hazel and John for their wedding photography consultation it was less than a month to go and they still didn’t have their wedding venue confirmed! Through no fault of their own, I hasten to add. They had their heart set on Inchcolm Abbey on Inchcolm Island, one of Scotland’s best-kept secrets. But, renovations to its pier were taking longer than expected and it was going to be touch and go if it would be ready in time for their mid-May wedding. Historic Scotland was doing everything they could including reserving a plan B at the beautiful Aberdour Castle.

Finally with less than a week to go Hazel got the call that it would be ready. Their dream venue was a go!

Hazels and John met about 5 years ago at work John proposed to Hazel at her birthday meal, or so they told me…according to the registrar he proposed from the back of his works van! I think I’m going to stick to my version of events as it’s more romantic.

What could possibly go wrong now?

The day of their wedding the sun was in full force and all seemed to be going well until I arrived at Hawes Pier in South Queensferry to find it jam-packed full of fire engines. What the heck? Turned out to be nothing to worry about but a routine exercise for one of the big oil tankers. Phew! I think the bride had the same panic as me when she turned up and saw all the commotion.

Then the captain of the Maid of the Forth ferry that was taking us all the island advised that there had been a gas leak at the island in the early hours of the morning and staff had been frantically setting up Aberdour Castle just in case but luckily it was all fixed in time!

Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

The ferry looked beautiful complete with white ribbons on the front and the bride was hidden away in the captain’s office before all the rest of the guests boarded.

And relax

Once the ferry got the all clear to start the 30-minute journey to Inchcolm island I could see the bride visibly relax. Finally, it was all coming together 🙂

Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Hazel looked stunning in an elegant fit and flare dress and with a hand-tied bouquet.

 Sea Legs

Once my sea legs were working there were only so many pictures I could take of the guests before they got fed up with me so I set about getting creative with the rings and the ‘nautical’ version of ‘tying the knot’.

Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Then Incholm Island came into view and wow! Stunning in the May sunshine.

Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Family Affair

It was a very intimate ceremony held in the atmospheric Chapter House room. Hazel’s daughter Isla was her bridesmaid and they said their vows in front of close family and friends.

Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

The natural light flooding into the room was a dream come true for any photographer 🙂

Show Stealer

Zac the couples young son had a very important role as Ring Security.

Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

In his mini-me version of Dad John’s kilt, he looked totally adorable. His ring briefcase came in very handy for storing his toy cars in too, once he has dispensed with the rings!

Photo opportunities galore

Before the ferry returned to take us all back to the mainland there was ample opportunity to capture some memories.

The Abbey, the gardens and even the small beach made for excellent photographs.

Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Although I think the Forth was a wee bit cold judging by Isla’s face when she tried paddling!

Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Seal of Approval

All too soon it was time to head back to the mainland. On the journey back we were treated to sunbathing seals.

Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Then it was time to disembark and for the new Mr and Mrs Bell to enjoy a lovely meal with their guests at The Hawes Inn.

Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Confetti Wedding Photography by JB Moments Photography

Fun and Alternative Confetti Options

As a photographer, I love a great confetti shot! It always results in fantastic expressions on the couples face. Be it joy, excitement or even terror!

Where does ‘Confetti’ come from?

The confetti run is a great wedding tradition that injects an extra shot of energy into your day whereby your loving guests get to launch objects at your face. Come to think of it, wedding confetti is a bit of a strange custom.

More than just a fun moment for guests to toss confetti in the air, the tradition of the confetti toss actually originates from Italy when throwing petals or rice at the happy couple was to do with the aim of bringing prosperity and fertility.

Always check beforehand your venues stance on confetti. Some don’t allow non-biodegradable confetti and some don’t allow you to throw anything that lands on the ground at all. Fear not. Below are some cool ideas for every scenario!

Rice or Bird Seed

Rice is the original and traditional form of confetti. In more recent years, however, it was discovered this can be quite damaging for birds to eat… So it’s now better to swap rice for bird seed on your big day. Imagine the cute packets of bird seed you could make up for your guests to throw. Be warned though…it gets EVERYWHERE.

Flower Petals

Whether fresh or dry, flower petals make for a bold confetti statement, especially if you have a certain colour, or many colours, in mind. Opt to match them to your wedding flowers, or go the other way and make them multi-coloured for a joyful look. For the ultimate eco confetti consider dried lavender seeds. Not only will the wind whisk them away they will smell great too!

Leaves

If your wedding has an autumnal theme or is full of foliage, you might want to consider having small leaves as your confetti. This option is more environmentally friendly than paper and cheaper than petals, while still enjoying a similar effect.

Bubbles

Another popular activity with guests (especially younger ones), is asking guests to blow bubbles during your exit. Do be careful which bubble brands you provide though as some bubble detergents can stain fabric. Keep your distance!

Sparklers

A perfect option for an evening wedding, have guests surround you and your partner with sparklers for a magical photo moment.

Beach Balls

Bear with me here, I haven’t lost the plot. If you don’t want confetti but still want a playful exit photo, consider having guests throw beach balls around as your photos are taken. It’s a great way for guests to have fun, especially if enjoying a beach or summer wedding. Too weird? How about glittery pom poms or helium balloons in your colour scheme instead?

Ribbon Wands

Again if you don’t want (or can’t have) anything thrown at your wedding consider lengths of ribbon tied to sticks that guests can twirl at you as you exit. Would look beautiful in the photos.

Popcorn

Yep, as well as a tasty snack popcorn, can be used as confetti. Great if you are having a movie-themed wedding.

 

One rule to remember if you want epic confetti photos is the more the better, no matter what kind of confetti you use. So go big or go home!

 

 

 

What to do if it rains on your Wedding Day

How to Prepare for a Rainy Wedding Day

Living in Scotland we are used to seeing all four seasons in one day, whatever month of the year! But whether a drizzle or a downpour, rain is no reason to give up hope on your wedding day. Stormy weather is nobody’s ideal wedding forecast, but unfortunately, it’s the only real part of the day you can’t control. Prepping for a rainy wedding day in advance will save you a headache in the future.

Any couple having an outdoor wedding ceremony should confirm a weather backup plan in their venue contract—whether it’s an indoor room, a covered outdoor area or a last-minute tent setup. That way, if the forecast spontaneously calls for rain on your wedding day, you’ll have something to fall back on—and no reason to panic. However, if you forgot to make a plan B from the start, here’s how to pull off a fabulous affair no matter what.

Talk to Your Venue and Suppliers

You planned an outdoor wedding, but your only weather prep was crossing your fingers and praying to the rain gods—now it’s supposed to rain on your wedding day. Call your venue coordinator and find out your options. Do they have another protected space on-site where you could relocate? If you were planning an outdoor ceremony and an indoor reception, can they help transform the indoor space for both the ceremony and reception? (If you go with this plan, ask them how long it’ll take to flip the room. A good team should get the job done in about an hour while you and your guests enjoy drinks and hors-d’oeuvres at another spot at the venue.)

Another option, if your budget and venue allow, is to rent a tent last minute. The site manager might even be able to refer you to a rental company they’ve worked with before. Speak to your photographer and make sure they have a plan B for indoor group shots and/or bridal portraits in the rain.

Embrace It

Get ready to roll with the punches and welcome the weather—rain on your wedding day is actually considered good luck! If the rain brings wind and chilly temperatures too, arrange for heat lamps, offer blankets and make sure there’s plenty of hot coffee, tea, cider or cocoa. Provide enough umbrellas and rain boots for your guests—or, at the very least, for your wedding party. Plan a playful rainy photo session with your wedding party holding cute umbrellas and wearing colourful rain boots. Or sneak away with your soon-to-be spouse for a  romantic kiss under a shared umbrella. First, find out if any of your vendors can supply these sorts of props. For example, I bring 4/5 wedding umbrellas with me to every wedding – just in case. No luck? You can get super cheap fleece blankets or towels from Ikea and umbrellas from Amazon or eBay.

You’re Allowed to Be Upset (for a Little Bit)

Rain or shine, this is true of all weddings: No matter how beautiful your floral arrangements, elaborate your reception amenities or terrible your weather luck is, your guests will feed off your mood. If the forecast makes you flustered, upset and anxious, you’re allowed to let your frustration out (I know, it sucks), but don’t let it weigh you down for the whole celebration. Your guests can sense all your tense and negative energy, so the sooner you can get past it and be your own source of sunshine, the more fun both you and your guests will have—I promise.

Think you’re the only one whose nuptials got caught in the rain? Search for Rainy Day Wedding Photos on Pinterest—they’ll convince you everything will be okay.

Wedding Photographer Stirling - JB Moments Photography
Two minutes later the heavens opened – but look at that cool sky!

Remember a Wedding is a Party, not a Performance. If at the end of the day you are married to the one you love, then everything went perfectly.

Happy Planning!
Jenny @ JB Moments Photography

How to spot Wedding Scammers

JB Moments Photography - Scottish Wedding PhotographerHow to spot scam wedding photographers

It saddens me that I’m even writing this. However, ever since I have been business I see at least one post a month (sometimes more) from couples on wedding social media sites that have been let down by their wedding ‘photographer’. Scamming couples planning for their big day has become so prevalent there are even Facebook groups that are dedicated to stopping these criminals such as Scottish Wedding Scammers and Wedding Scammers Don’t Let Them Win. Both good places to start if not sure about a supplier but be warned, reading about people’s wedding plans being shattered doesn’t make for pleasant viewing.

A wedding is such a memorable and important moment for brides, grooms, their families, friends and relatives. The organisation of such an event requires elaborate planning and preparation, as well as interviewing, hiring and coordinating several suppliers to make it a success. The most common complaint from scam victims, according to the reports in the media, is for vendors who look like legitimate businesses and service providers but either, never deliver the service or do not deliver it in a way that is consistent with expectations. While the latter could be subjective and due to multiple reasons, the former is a pure form of scam.

Today I will be sharing some ideas that, with a bit of homework, might help you spot a scammer.

1. Consistency

Every photographer has a pretty unique photography style which not only defines him or her as an artist but which also differentiates them from other photographers. You should be able to see consistency in the work of a photographer either in person or on their website. Try to browse through the photographs of at least three to five weddings by a certain photographer to truly get a grasp of their style. Make sure they’re all similar. If you see inconsistency, then it may be cause for concern that the images themselves have been taken by other photographers and placed on a website to simply populate it.

2. Websites

While many businesses do not have websites alarm bells might trigger if you only see a photographer’s work solely through Facebook.

Photography is a visual art, and photographs are meant to be shared and displayed. A legitimate business is expected to have an online presence, especially one marketing photography services. Being unable to visit the website of the business you are considering is a red flag. (note they may not be a scammer but could be a newly-started, and not-yet-established business – if in doubt ask).

If you are able to locate and visit the website; look for contact info. Legitimate businesses want people to find them online and contact them in order to establish a professional relationship with them. While you browse through the website, pay attention to broken URL links or incomplete web pages. It could be a sign of website design made up on the fly, or one where not much attention was paid to detail. Any business owner who cares about the user experience and its own online presence would maintain and keep its website functional and updated.

Again, make sure it is all consistent with everything else you see the photographer display on other media sites and that all the details match up.

3. Business Details

While as a sole trader you are not necessarily required to be listed under Companies House, if the company claims to be a Limited company, go onto the Companies House website and check them out.

Again, while not mandatory, most professional photographers will belong to a governing body, mine, for example, is the SWPP (Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers). This information is clearly stated on my website, please feel free to contact them to find out more about me. Again, they will list the given address of my business; make sure all these details match up to who the photographer claims to be.

The second biggest element in this section I believe, would be business insurance. I for one am insured through Aaduki Multimedia Insurance for Photographers. Believe it or not, some wedding venues ask suppliers such as myself to show insurance details before they allowing you on the premises. It is always a good idea to ask to see your photographers fall back plans and insurance certificates.

For example:

On the day, I will have my camera which has two memory card slots backing up photographs straight away. If there is an issue with my first camera, I have a second camera ready and waiting. Once home, the images are placed onto separate hard drives so again everything is backed up. Everything is then,  sent to the cloud to be backed up again in case my house gets set on fire, floods, etc (you get the picture!)… I would rather prevent any issues than create them, or destroy your day.

4. Contracts

First of all, make sure you are offered one! A contract should be in place to protect you both. It should also provide a recorded note of what you have both agreed to. Please always read contracts/terms and conditions fully, and query anything you’re not sure about.

5. Location Location Location

Most wedding photographers work with local clients and shoot on locations close to their homes. For example, I’m based in Central Scotland and if all you could see in my portfolio were white sandy beaches from Florida or the Bahamas and no local landscape or venues. You would have to ask the question: “why have no local couples ever hired this photographer?”

You should at least expect to see some local landmarks or venues in your area if you are looking to hire a local wedding photographer. There might be legitimate reasons as to why there are no portfolio images from your area. So, when in doubt, ask questions. Legitimate business owners would not see a problem in providing you with a reasonable explanation.

6. Venue Information

If the wedding photographer you are looking at has photographed at as many weddings as claimed on their website. He or she should not have a problem naming a few of the most recent venues he or she worked on. Most photographers spend between 4 – 10 hours on location, so would be difficult to forget it. You could even go ask your chosen venue (if it is one the photographer has been to) for an impartial opinion.

Having done your homework

Most scammers are looking for a quick “hit and run” before they are detected and shut down by authorities. They don’t usually spend years laying down their scam. In many cases, they are often sloppy and can be easily spotted if you know what to look for.

Finally, please, please, please take out wedding insurance!  Considering how much we all pay for one day this is a simple and cheap way to protect yourself. Use comparison websites to find the best deal for you with policies starting from as little as £20. Then even if you have done all your homework and have been let down for whatever reason, you will at least have something to help you through this time as you change plans and work around the situation. For example, think of all the dress shops that have gone bankrupt recently.

As my gran always used to say if it feels too good to be true than it probably is. Let’s be honest most of us are good people and just want to do the best we can. It’s a shame the 0.0001% of people wreck it for others. Never ever feel pushed into a decision and always ask questions. All legitimate businesses will be more than happy to answer your queries.

Happy Planning!
Jenny @ JB Moments Photography

JB Moments Photography - Scottish Wedding Photographer

The Vu, Bathgate – Christine & James’ Wedding

“And all along I believed I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more”

Christina Perri – A Thousand Years

It wasn’t quite a thousand years Christine and James waited to get married but seventeen years and two children later can feel like a really long time!

They met seventeen years ago at the gym and about seven years later James asked Christine to marry him. They started planning a wedding but six months later discovered they were pregnant with their daughter Neive. So the wedding got put on the back burner and then life got in the way.

Christine was looking at the venue The Vu on social media earlier this year when a last minute date popped up as a cancellation. As it was James’ birthday she sent it to him as a joke thinking he’d never go for it. But he did! By the time they phoned up another couple had already booked it so they thought that was that. Twelve hours later the venue called them back. The other couple had pulled out as they felt it was too short notice – did they want it? Christine and James rose to the challenge. IT WAS ON!!!

A Family Affair

In the intervening years, Christine and James also had a son, Jude and he looked super smart in his matching kilt.

Wedding Photographer near Edinburgh - JB Moments Photography

Neive meanwhile looked beautiful as one of her mum’s bridesmaids.

Wedding Photographer near Edinburgh - JB Moments Photography

Christine looked absolutely stunning in a fit and flare dress with a plunging back set off with a long sparkly veil and pastel roses bouquet.

I now pronounce you man and wife

It was a short but memorable service. At one point Neive got emotionally as her parents finally tied the knot and as I gave her my emergency hanky I noticed all the other bridesmaids getting a shot of it. Quite a lot of glassy eyes in the building.

Wedding Photographer near Edinburgh - JB Moments Photography

Baby, it’s cold outside

Christine and James were very fortunate with the weather for a late October wedding. It was beautiful blue skies and little puffy white clouds. It was also only about three degrees and bitterly cold.

Undeterred the happy couple braved the weather for some formal photos on The Vu’s famous jetty.

Wedding Photographer near Edinburgh - JB Moments Photography

It was my first time shooting at this venue and having checked it out beforehand I had such plans for pictures of Christine and James and their kids walking by the reservoir and the bridal party in the pagoda. Ahhhh such plans! The Baltic weather stopped us in our tracks, well if I’m honest the bride (what a trouper) and myself were up for it but the kids point-blank refused to stay outside any longer than absolutely necessary!

The pictures of the new Mr & Mrs on the jetty were worth the cold weather though!

Wedding Photographer near Edinburgh - JB Moments Photography
Hold me – for warmth!
A Sensible Plan B

Being a premier wedding venue there was a plan B and Hannah the wedding coordinator suggested the slate wall back inside the room we had the service. Coordinators like Hannah are worth their weight in gold. She was so helpful all day 🙂

Wedding Photographer near Edinburgh - JB Moments Photography

The wall was the perfect backdrop for this stunning couple.

Wedding Photographer near Edinburgh - JB Moments Photography

A Sparkling Evening

After the speeches and the meal, we braved the weather again armed with some sparklers.

Wedding Photographer near Edinburgh - JB Moments Photography
Baby, you’re a firework!

Then all too soon it was time for the cake cutting and first dance and time for me to take my leave. You would never have known this wedding had been organised so quickly and as my last wedding of the year, it certainly didn’t disappoint.

Wedding Photographer near Edinburgh - JB Moments Photography

Congratulations Mr and Mrs Welsh and to all the other wonderful couples I’ve shot this year.

Bring on the 2019 weddings!

 

 

Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh – Pamela and James’ Wedding

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”

– Audrey Hepburn

When Mr JB and I lived in Edinburgh we had a flat with no garden. As the Royal Botanic Gardens were a stone’s throw from where we lived they were a beautiful respite in a bustling city, a place to walk on a Sunday morning and feed the fat squirrels, somewhere we would joke was our ‘backyard’. They are a magical place that we have very fond memories of. Hence, I was delighted when Pamela and James booked me to photograph their wedding there.

James and Pamela met in a bar in Edinburgh whilst out with their respective friends. Pamela wasn’t too keen on giving James her mobile number so the cunning devil stole it! Three years later and James proposed in Greece which Pamela said was just in time as she thought it was never going to happen. The proposal itself took two attempts as the first time Pamela thought James was trying to steal her Panini!!

Umbrella Excitement!

James is Scottish and Pamela is Italian and when I went to her room at the Inverleith Hotel to capture some of the bridal prep I had my wedding umbrellas with me, just in case. I was greeted at the door by two gorgeous, very animated Italian ladies that were clearly very excited about something! When Pamela realised I was completely confused she translated that they were very happy that I had brought wedding umbrellas as it looked overcast and they were thinking they might have to go out and buy some! As it turned out we didn’t need them – but you never know in Scotland….

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

Pamela looked absolutely radiant. As they had chosen the garden venue she had gone with a stunning floral crown in her hair and the overall effect once she had her dress on was off an ethereal goddess. James was a very lucky guy.

In the Garden

I left Pamela in her maids’ good hands to get to the Caledonian Hall, the wedding venue they had chosen inside the Gardens. Pamela and James picked the venue as they too love coming to the Gardens in their downtime and once they realised they could get married there nowhere else came close for consideration.

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

The Groom and his Best Man arrived resplendent in Stewart Tartan. As the guests arrived they were played in by Davie Christie on his violin.

The Ceremony

As half the guests were Italian the service was conducted by the registrar and one of the couples friends who is an interpreter for a living. She also interpreted the two readings the couples had chosen and all the speeches. I think it all sounded more romantic in Italian.

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

James also spoke some of his vows and his speech in Italian which was a lovely touch.

Bellissimo

The gardens looked so beautiful in all their autumnal splendour. The new Mr and Mrs Stewart were so photogenic. I could have spent hours walking them around the garden taking pictures. In fact, I nearly broke my own rules which are to get the couple back to their party and guests as soon as possible.

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

Their favourite parts of the Gardens included the Rock Garden and the Chinese Garden. I made sure we got lots of great pictures in those places.

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

Confetti? Who needs it!

Due to strict conservation rules, the guests weren’t allowed to throw confetti in the gardens. But who needs confetti when you have leaves!

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

Alice in Wonderland

The couple had chosen Alice in Wonderland characters for their seating plan and with glass candelabras, lots of flowers and a naked wedding cake the Caledonian Hall looked absolutely magical.

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

The Maid of Honour kicked off the speeches. I can honestly say was the most beautiful speech I’ve heard all year. The Italian translation sounded even more poetic.

After the speeches, I bade them farewell before they tucked into the wedding breakfast and then started dancing the evening away. At the end of the night, they were serving the guests pizza. I just hope nobody tried to steal the Bride’s slice!