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!!
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….
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.
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.
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.
James also spoke some of his vows and his speech in Italian which was a lovely touch.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
“A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose.” – Tom Wilson
It took a family visiting from Canada to introduce me to Plane Castle or Cock-a-bendy castle as the locals call it. A beautifully restored castle literally 5 minutes drive from my house/studio.
When I got there the laundry guy was just leaving and asked me if I was there for the wedding? A bit confused I dragged my camera case over the cobbled stones and met Shaun who had contacted me to arrange the shoot. Then all became clear! Shaun and his new wife Jamiela had eloped in May. Rather than have a big wedding back home, Shaun who is a huge history buff decided to use the cash to holiday in various castles in Scotland with Jamiela and his teenage daughter Alorah. An excellent idea I thought (especially as they booked me for some family photos!) and Jamiela got to wear her pretty dress for a second time. Genius!
Set amongst 3 acres the castle has been lovingly restored with a pond and many statues and features. I am told there is even a peacock but he didn’t appear whilst I was there.
We certainly had some fun exploring parts of it.
Off to the Tower
The Hecks were staying in the Medieval Tower part of the castle and as Shaun looked very dapper in his kilt I felt it was only right to take an obligatory knee up, fireside shot!
Then it was time for me to leave the Hecks holiday residence and trundle home. As I left they were planning what castle to visit next before heading back to Canada. I think Stirling Castle was winning. I, meanwhile am delighted to have discovered a castle that has literally been under my nose this whole time.
If you’re struggling to put together your schedule and don’t know how long to factor in for each element of your day then don’t worry, you are not alone!
Wedding day timings are possibly one of the hardest things to gauge, particularly if your wedding is the first large-scale event you’ve ever organised! Whilst there’s no one-size-fits-all template, I wanted to give you a rough guide of how long to allow for each part of your Big Day with some top tips sprinkled throughout!
So let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
What time you start your bridal prep and the amount of time you allow for this will ultimately depend on several factors including:
The size of your bridal party.
The complexity of your hair and makeup.
Whether you are having an individual hair and make-up artist or a team
How much you prepare in advance.
The time of your ceremony.
The distance between where you are getting ready and your ceremony location.
Whether you plan on having any photos with your bridal party prior to your ceremony.
The best starting point when it comes to working out how much time to allow is to ask the expert! If you are having your hair and makeup done professionally then ask your hair and make-up artist how long they think they will take. I asked my favourite expert Carla Haley and she said as a general rule, allow a couple of hours for bridal hair and make-up and an additional 45 to 75 minutes for each member of your wedding party).
Work back from the start of your ceremony and factor in travel, putting on your dress (this takes longer than you think so give yourself at least 30 mins!) and timings from your hair and make-up artist. This will give you a rough idea of your starting time!
Remember to factor breakfast and lunch (and of course a glass of bubbles!) into your bridal prep!
If your bridal party are doing their own hair and make-up then ask them how long they think it will take them to get ready and then double it! Overexcited bridesmaids will always take longer to get ready than they think!
Leave a margin of error of around 1 hour… This will ensure that you are ready in plenty of time and can enjoy the morning.
When it comes to your ceremony and timings there are 2 elements to consider:
Firstly, what time should everyone arrive at the ceremony?
As a general guide I usually advise the following:
Groom, Best Man / Men and Ushers – 45 minutes before the ceremony.
Guests – 30 minutes before the ceremony.
Groom’s parents – 15 minutes before the ceremony.
Mother of the Bride and Bridesmaids – 10 minutes before the ceremony.
Bride and Father of the Bride – 5 minutes before the ceremony.
Secondly, how long should you allow for your ceremony?
This will ultimately depend on whether you are having a Religious Ceremony, a Non-Religious Ceremony, or a Civil Wedding / Partnership…
Non-religious Ceremony – 20 to 45 minutes.
Civil Wedding / Partnership – 30 to 45 minutes.
Religious Ceremony – 60 to 90 minutes.
You may want to use your ceremony location for some group pictures and the confetti shot. If you do then remember to factor this into your timings.
Allow 1 ½ to 2 hours for your drinks reception as this will give your photographer plenty of time for your group and personal portrait shots. It will also give you enough time to mingle with your guests and enjoy your canapés and bubbles.
If you want a longer drinks reception then it is essential to your keep your guests entertained and provide plenty of drinks and canapés!
Group & Portrait Photos
The number of group photos you want will ultimately determine how long your photographer will need. However, as a general rule of thumb allow 5 minutes per group photo and at least 30 minutes for your personal portrait shots.
Make sure everything runs like clockwork by asking your photographer to scope out some potential backgrounds in advance. If they are like me they will do this anyway 😉
At your wedding photographer consultation ensure they make a list of different photos and combinations of your family and wedding party that you don’t want them to miss. Then arrange for the relevant people to gather at a designated spot right after your ceremony so that nobody goes AWOL (to the bar) when they’re needed for group shots!
Give somebody trustworthy (and someone who knows the difference between your dad and your distant uncle) the job of rounding everyone up for group photos and chasing any stragglers! This person should be the photographers best friend by the end of the group photos!
Seating your Guests
Allow up to 30 minutes for guests to move from the drinks reception to the location of your Wedding Breakfast and for them to then find their seats.
If you are planning on having a receiving line then allow an additional 40 minutes on top of this.
Designate at least a couple of your Bridesmaids or Ushers to direct guests, assist with the receiving line and speed up any loitering guests!
This is a perfect opportunity for you and your new husband/wife to steal some time together. Whether that’s using the time for a little one-on-one time or indeed to capture those couple’s shots.
Allow no more than 30 to 40 minutes for your speeches with each speaker allocated up to 10 minutes. It is important to try and stick to these timings as speeches that take any longer normally result in fidgety guests and your evening may lose momentum!
If you ask your speakers how long they think they’ll take always double it! From experience, I have never known a speech to run to time!
The best starting point when it comes to working out how much time to allocate for your Wedding Breakfast is to once again ask the expert!
Your caterers will be able to give you a guide on how long they think their service will take depending on the number of guests, choice of food, number of courses, number of catering staff and type of venue.
As a general guide allow up to 2 hours for a 3-course meal.
Once the evening reception has begun timings can often go out the window!
However, there are some key elements that need to be factored into your schedule as otherwise they can easily be forgotten in the excitement of the evening’s festivities!
I, therefore, suggest you factor in the first dance, cutting the cake and throwing the bouquet no later than 45 minutes after the end of their wedding breakfast. This will also ensure that the photographer manages to capture everything before they leave.
If you have invited evening guests ask them to turn up at least 30 minutes after your wedding breakfast. If for any reason your wedding breakfast overruns the last thing you want is to have evening guests turning up whilst people are still eating!
Each wedding is unique and timings will vary drastically between different celebrations. Use the above as a loose guide, but don’t feel like you’re doing it wrong if you want to deviate – it’s your day after all! Also, this covers lot’s of the traditional elements of a wedding and you may want to skip parts of these to suit you as a couple!
• Set the date
Start your wedding planning twelve months or more in advance to ensure you get to book the venues and suppliers of your choice at the best prices. You could save money by booking a mid-week wedding instead of a Saturday.
• Decide whether to plan your own wedding
Or enlist the help of a professional wedding planner. You could plan the wedding yourself and call on the expertise of a wedding planner or stylist their experience is often worth its weight in gold.
• Send save-the-date cards
To make sure your guests don’t book their summer holiday and miss your special day. If you are booking a photographer see if they offer engagement shoots and use a cool picture for your save the date cards.
• Set your budget
Make it realistic without going into debt and add in a contingency just in case.
• Draw up your guest list(s)
Try to make it equal and keep both families happy. Have a separate evening reception guest list if you want some work colleagues or friends of the family to come but you don’t know them well enough to invite them to the ceremony and the wedding breakfast.
• Book your venue(s)
The sooner you book your venues, the easier everything else will be to plan. You’ll need to book a venue for your ceremony (either a church, registry office or other licensed civil wedding venue) and a venue for your reception, for your wedding breakfast and disco or other after-dinner entertainment. Take into account seating capacity, room hire costs, catering options, indoor and outdoor settings for photographs. You could save thousands of pounds by booking out of season – many venues have fantastic winter wedding offers too.
• Appoint bridesmaids, a best man and ushers
Choose from close friends and family who are nearby ideally and, ahem, thoroughly trustworthy!
• Book your photographer and videographer
Find a wedding photographer who offers the style of photos you are looking for (traditional, contemporary, reportage style or a combination), meet with them personally, ask to see their portfolio and also a whole album from one wedding. Also, see my blog 10 things to ask your wedding photographer.
• Meet your minister/registrar
They’ll be able to answer all your questions about the ceremony.
• Book a DJ/band/entertainers
You might want to book a DJ to dance the night away or hire a live band or classical musicians for your reception. Some couples like to have a singer perform a live solo piece at their ceremony, others book magicians or celebrity lookalikes for their evening reception just to add a sense of fun!
• Book caterers if needed
If the reception venue you have booked is not doing your catering then you’ll need to consider hiring outside caterers or, if your budget is tight, catering the wedding with buffet party platters from your local supermarket.
• Book your cars
You’ll need to book one bridal car for you and the person giving you away and you may also want to book a second or third car for your mother and bridesmaids. If you want to make it easier and fun for all your family and friends – book a bus! You could get some amazing wedding photos of you and your guests atop a vintage double-decker bus!
• Book your florist
Decide how many flowers you would like and where, or if you’re on a tight budget, invest in everlasting silk flowers that can be sold on after the wedding. A combination of real and silk flowers can also work. Ask your local florist for advice.
• Book a toastmaster
You might think you don’t need a toastmaster or master of ceremonies, or be worried that having one will make your wedding day feel too formal. They’re worth their weight in gold for ensuring everything goes to plan at the right time, in the right place and with the right people. A lot of venues offer this as part of their package so be sure and check.
• Book your honeymoon
Whether you’re planning just a honeymoon or a whole wedding abroad, book it in your maiden name and use your existing passport, then change all your documents to your married name when you return.
• Take out wedding insurance
It’s not costly and could save you thousands if a supplier suddenly lets you down. It’s worth it just for peace of mind!
• Decide what kind of wedding dress you want
If you’re having a couture wedding dress made for you then you’ll need to start this process now. If you’re ordering a designer dress then allow 4-6 months and if you’re buying off-the-peg or second-hand, 4-6 weeks before should be fine for alterations if needed.
• Start your healthy eating diet and exercise programme
Whether you want to lose weight or simply tone up for your wedding day and honeymoon, there is no better time to start than now! Go to the gym together as a couple or go with a friend. You’ll never have such amazing motivation to look good again!
6 months +
If you’re planning to DIY some aspects of your wedding – such as making your own invitations, table centres, cake or favours, then you will also need to build in time for practice as well as production – just to be on the safe side! Now is the time to start.
• Order/make your wedding invitations
Don’t forget all the other wedding stationery including orders of service, place cards and thank you cards.
• Order the wedding cake
Or cupcakes or ‘cheese cake’, or have your wedding cake homemade.
• Buy your wedding shoes and accessories
Get your shoes in good time for your first dress fitting, and your tiara and veil in time for your makeup and hair trial. Choose what jewellery and any other bridal accessories you will wear.
• Book your make up artist and hairdresser
Speak to several to find the one that’s right for you, then book a hair and makeup trial complete with your tiara and veil if possible.
• Buy your bridesmaid’s dresses and suits for the groom, best man, ushers and any flower girls or page boys.
• Book the honeymoon suite
3 months +
• Have your wedding dress altered
And then don’t lose any more weight!
• Buy your wedding rings
Make sure they are both the right size and that your wedding ring will sit comfortably alongside your engagement ring if you plan to wear them together.
• Send your wedding invitations
Traditionally they are sent out 6-12 weeks before the wedding but you can send them sooner if you prefer. Include information for your guests on overnight accommodation, transport, parking and any dress code if appropriate. Include reply cards to ensure they all RSVP and ask your guests if they have any specific dietary requirements. Or use a free wedding website like www.gettingmarried.co.uk
• Order your venue décor and table decorations
Including table centrepieces and traditional wedding favours thought to bring good luck.
• Decide if you are having a gift list
Make it available to all your wedding guests (through your invitations) and your wedding website if you have one.
• Choose wedding music and readings
Your minister/registrar will be able to advise further. Or check out my wedding music blog here.
• Buy gifts for the best man, ushers and bridesmaids
And bouquets of flowers for the mothers of the bride and groom. Personalised gifts with your own message engraved make very special keepsakes.
• Arrange to have any vaccinations done
If required for your honeymoon.
• Start to plan your hen and stag parties
With the help of your best man and chief bridesmaid respectively.
1 month before
• Arrange for a final fitting of your wedding dress
And bring along your mum, sister or best friend too!
• Reconfirm the wedding arrangements with all your suppliers
Speak to them personally and make sure you have confirmation of dates, places and times in writing from them.
• Have your last nights of freedom!
And don’t do anything you wouldn’t want him/her to do… Wear L plates if you want to!
• Finalise the seating plan
And make your table planner for the reception so guests know where to sit.
• Contact any guests who have not replied to your invitation
The venue and the caterers will need to know final numbers at least 1-2 weeks before. Parents are great at helping to chase up RSVPs so rope them in to do some chasing for you!
• Arrange a date to pick up any hired suits
And make a note of when they need to be returned – give that honour to your best man.
• Write the wedding speeches
Either have it written by a professional speech writer or write from the heart, and then practice, practice, practice…
1 week before
• Have your hair trimmed and/or coloured
Then you’ll know it’s looking its best for your ‘up do’ or curls on the big day, but only do as planned in your hair trials – this is not the time to experiment with a new colour or drastic style changes!
• Pack for your honeymoon
You’re going on the holiday of a lifetime!
• Wear-in your wedding shoes
Don’t wear bridal shoes outside, but do wear them around the house to make sure they’re comfy on the day.
• Create a wedding emergency kit
Include makeup, a compact mirror and powder, lipstick, tissues etc – anything you think you might need on the day. Ask your chief bridesmaid or your mum to carry your bridal kit for you.
• Order your foreign currency for your honeymoon
And make any other last-minute arrangements.
• Buy ivory wedding umbrellas
If the weather ahead looks rainy invest in some bridal umbrellas or for a sunny day, pretty parasols. Check and see if your Photographer brings any before you buy. Some, like me, do!
• Have your beauty treatments
Go for pre-wedding and honeymoon waxing or fake tanning in good time before the big day. Get eyebrows shaped and anything else that needs attention done the week before, not the day before.
• Find your ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’
Ask your mother or grandmother for something old, the rest is easy and a silver sixpence is meant to bring good luck.
• Hand over the supplier list of contacts to a designated person
Give the list of all the wedding suppliers involved in your wedding day with their contact details and times they are meant to arrive, in case they need to be contacted, to your best man and/or chief bridesmaid and then do not give it all another thought!
The day before
• Have the day off to relax
Don’t go to work, spend the day with friends or family and don’t do anything too exhausting.
• Drop off anything you need to at the venue(s)
• Have your nails manicured
Book it for the afternoon to avoid chips and breaks.
• Try to get an early night
You’re getting married in the morning!
On your wedding day, the one thing you should try to keep in mind is that it’s not the end of your wedding planning, it’s the beginning of your marriage. So whatever may happen on the day, your marriage is what really matters most, and that’s why it will be a wonderful day you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
Happy Wedding Planning!
For more useful info like this please sign up to my monthly wedding newsletter here.
“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it family: whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” – Jane Howard
I first heard about Simone and Alexander’s wedding when Simone put a plea out on Facebook on one of the wedding groups. Her gran was ill and as a result, she was downsizing her big planned wedding next year into something more intimate this year to hopefully ensure she could be there.
I had the date free and wanted to help.
And I’m pleased to say Simone’s gran and grandad were there to witness the happy occasion.
Family is really important to this pair and they wanted their two kids Macie and Hugo to play a big part in the whole day.
Hugo was the worlds cutest pageboy and he led the bridal procession with the help of his granny. In matching tartan to his Daddy and the groomsmen no less.
Then came his big sister as a beautiful flower girl leading in Simone’s four bridesmaids. They wore soft grey dresses and had wrist corsages instead of bouquets. I thought this was a genius idea to keep their hands free.
The wedding ceremony took place in the beautiful Drummond Room at the Stirling Office. The last time I was there was for Neil and Raymond’s wedding and their pictures now grace the official Stirling Council wedding site 🙂
After the ceremony, the new Mr & Mrs Podmore headed off with Hugo and Macie in their big white stretch limo to the Stirling Court Hotel on the University grounds.
We were due a storm that evening so the air was humid and muggy but Simone and Alexander were proper troopers during their photos.
Once back inside you could see all the thoughtful touches Simone had worked hard on whilst planning the wedding. Alex’s mum was sadly no longer with them. So Simone had set up a charming memory table so she could be there in spirit. Both Alex and his dad mentioned her in their heartfelt speeches as well.
But she didn’t stop there. Their wedding cake was in keeping with the sparkly theme of the day from the front…
But from the back…
Simone had incorporated a tribute to Alex’s football team. Now that is relationship goals right there! (goals – see what I did!!).
Congratulations Mr and Mrs Podmore and your beautiful family.
I have been photographing Rorie, Charlene and John’s son since his Naming Ceremony so I was delighted when Charlene and John booked me to capture their wedding for them. I also captured John’s youngest sisters wedding and his brother-in-law’s mum’s wedding. You could say I’m becoming the family photographer!
Cinderella you shall go to the wedding!
Charlene got ready at the lovely Banner’s House Hotel in Markinch. With her mum and bridesmaid Carissa (who was a total star by the way!).
Her bouquet was full of beautiful roses and summer flowers including my faves peonies. It smelt as gorgeous as it looked and was created by the incredibly talented Wedding Florist. It was a perfect complement to Charlene’s dress with all its intricate lace detail from Innate Bridals in Dundee.
There was something missing though…in all the excitement of getting ready Charlene had forgotten to pack one rather essential item of her outfit. Her wedding shoes. Luckily she had a knight in shining armour in the form of her soon to be brother-in-law Graeme. He dashed off back to her house to pick them up for her. Proving his ‘best man’ credentials!
The ceremony and reception were held at the Gilvenbank Hotel in Glenrothes. It was here I found the rather nervous Groom along with his two best men. His brother and his son Callum. All looking super smart in their kilts from The Kilt Company.
When the bride arrived her Dad, who is normally wheelchair bound, walked her down the aisle. There weren’t many dry eyes left in the room after that.
The celebrant Lorna Finlay conducted Charlene and John’s wedding, having previously been the celebrant at Rorie’s Naming Ceremony (see once this family like you…).
The couple had put their own personal spin on the ceremony including red Aftershock in the quaich! John only managed a few sips before Charlene necked the rest (probably because she was thirsty in all that heat – ahem).
When I’d met with Charlene and John at their consultation their one request was no cheesy pictures (see what I did there!). So I kept their formal pictures nice and natural.
It was also the day that England was playing Sweden for a place in the world cup semi-final and so John was very keen to finish the photos and cheer on Sweden (only I, an English photographer could end up at a Fife wedding on the day of such an important footy match! Still, I had the last laugh when England won. Until they had the last laugh when Croatia knocked us out of the Semis a few days later. Ho Hum).
We had also planned to get some family pictures with Rorie and Calum, especially as Rorie looked so cute in his matching kilt. But he’d been ill the week before and coupled with the extremely hot temperatures the wee fella was a bit overwhelmed by it all. I did still manage to catch a super cute snuggle with his mummy.
Dance the night away
After the speeches and meal, it was time to cut the cake and get their dancing shoes on.
As I left classic 90’s tunes were filling the dance floor and the bar was running dry of red aftershock. The true signs of a good party!
I wasn’t prepared for the reaction when we walked into the Ghillie Dhu. We just looked at each other and said what do we do now!
The groom Paul admitted to me during a quick chat at the reception. That for me summed up Melanie and Paul as a couple. Gorgeously humble. When I met them before the wedding for their pre-wedding consultation it was all about getting pictures of the venue and their respective boys (Mel has two sons Tom and Harry. Paul has one son Aiden who has given them a grandson Oscar with his partner Rebecca). Not about pictures of them.
They had put a lot of thought into their wedding so it would be just perfect for them. An intimate ceremony and meal with their immediate family and closest friends followed by a big party in the evening to celebrate with everyone they cared about.
A Most Beautiful Day for a Wedding
The sun shone brightly and Prestonfield House looked her absolute best. The gardens were manicured to perfection and the attentive staff were as smart as ever.
The Groom arrived with the guests and if he was nervous it wasn’t showing.
One of the pictures Melanie had specifically asked for was all the boys walking towards Prestonfield House in their kilts. Even little Oscar at just one and a half co-operated!
Melanie arrived with her close friend and bridesmaid almost bang on time in a white London Taxi.
She looked absolutely stunning in an elegant fit and flare dress from Kavelle and timeless bouquet from the florists, Snapdragon who also supplied the buttonholes and the most amazing centrepiece for the private dining table in the hotel.
A Ceremony filled with love
I am a sucker for the groom’s first look at his bride and Paul didn’t let me down. He literally looked as if his breath had been taken away as Melanie walked towards him.
What I found really sweet was how excited Mel’s youngest was. He couldn’t wait to see his mum in her wedding dress and he got up to study Paul and Mel’s faces as they said their vows and become husband and wife.
Short but Sweet
Melanie and Paul had been very clear with me that they wanted plenty of time alone to enjoy their time with their guests. They didn’t want to be spending hours taking pictures. I totally get that and one of the things I pride myself on is client satisfaction. It is their day – not an excuse to build my portfolio!
We still had a bit of fun though. Mel insisted on showing Paul and me her fabulous sparkly heels and hot pink pedicure so I knew I had to capture that.
Then I left them to enjoy their bubbles in the sunshine before heading to their opulent private dining room for a sumptuous feast.
The happy couple were holding their reception in the Ghillie Dhu in the centre of Edinburgh. The auditorium with its vaulted ceilings is the perfect setting to party the night away.
Let them eat Cake
I have to give a special mention to the cake or rather cakes.
How gorgeous do they look?
Guests were greeted as they started arriving with Prosecco or Peroni and before too long the bride and groom were en route.
They were greeted by a standing ovation of cheering, clapping and whistling.
If I could just have your attention, please
Soon it was time for the speeches. Paul got a bit emotional as he talked about his and Mel’s journey and their families becoming one.
But it was the Best Man Davey that outdid himself. Paul and Davey knew each other before they were born as their mums were firm friends and their families are totally intertwined. The only difference they seemed to have was football and whilst Davey is a Rangers fan he undertook a great sacrifice to prove to Paul how much his friendship meant…
He wanted me to destroy these pictures but unfortunately for him, they are part of the wedding gallery!
The formalities over the ceilidh band kicked into action and for the next couple of hours, the dance floor was full of happy people swirling and turning.
And after a short pause in the proceedings for everyone to refuel with a carvery after all that energetic dancing, it was up to the DJ to make sure he filled the dancefloor as much as the band did. But not before the bride and groom had their first dance.
As I left the party was really getting going as people prepared to dance into the wee small hours.
A truly beautiful day for a truly beautiful couple. Congratulations to the new Mr and Mrs Hoenigmann.
Planning my Scottish Wedding @planningmyscottishwedding
Rock my Wedding @rockmywedding
Luxury Scottish Wedding @luxuryscottishwedding
You may well be more tech-savvy than me but I just discovered a really cool new feature on Instagram. Well, it’s new to me! As well as businesses and individuals you can follow hashtags. I know, right! Those you follow appear in your feed just like the businesses and individuals. Sweet! Here are some of the ones I love to follow.
I hope some of these help with your wedding planning, or at least give you hours of enjoyment scrolling through pretty pictures when you should be doing something else!
Oh and before I forget a couple more for you:
JB Moments Photography (come on, I had to!) @jb_moments_photography
“Competition is a good thing; it forces us to do our best.” Nancy Pearcey
I was at my first wedding exhibition at the beginning of the year. I’d worked hard on my stand, thought about my giveaways, competitions and offers. I had enough flyers to paper the inside of the stadium we were exhibiting at. Unfortunately, it snowed heavily all weekend and the predicted footfall never materialised. That left all the suppliers a LOT of time to network with each other. There were more photographers exhibiting than any other supplier and a few of them guarded their work and price lists ferociously refusing to chat or share information. The majority, however, were blooming lovely people. 🙂
One older chap who’d been in the wedding photography business for double-digit years came over for a chat. Not only was he really complimentary about my work, he also reassured me that I was doing well for my first year of trading (compared to his own first year) and offered me some helpful tips for a wedding venue I was shooting for the first time the following weekend. Later on my way out of the stadium, my mini got stuck in the snow and he helped push me free!
Did he have anything to gain by helping a newbie like that? No. Was he worried I was going to steal his clients? No. We are based in totally different locations, with very different styles and price points.
As I drove home, carefully in the snow, I reflected on how different this exchange was to some in my previous life as a banker. There you had to be mindful of office politics at every meeting and watch out for people looking to undermine, blame or usurp you at every turn. Yes, people would help you, but often it was for their own gain (so they could add Mentor to their CV for example!). Now before you think I am bank bashing I suspect all large blue chip companies are the same.
Since I have become self-employed I view the world differently. People that really are my competition (as in they could get the gig rather than me, instead of they might get a bigger bonus or promotion over me) have in the main been utterly amazing. Facebook groups of like-minded photographers will happily share their tricks and techniques, provide constructive criticism on your images and even be a virtual shoulder to cry on when the going gets tough. Several photographers I’ve reached out to individually for have been nothing but kind (shout out to you Red Peacock Photography!). Photographers will share their work actively on Social Media. This enables other photographers (like me) to take inspiration, work hard to push the envelope even further to delight my clients and gain confidence that my work is totally on a par (or better 😉 ).
The rise in wedding suppliers has unfortunately also led to the rise in wedding scammers. It breaks my heart when I read peoples accounts of pictures of their wedding not being delivered, or with key moments missed, or blurry images, the list is endless. I don’t class these people as my competitors, they are criminals. They give professionals like myself and my competition a bad rep. I am heartened by how quickly we respond to couples in these situations. Offering advice and sometimes free reshoots.
Sometimes though, couples are complaining about how long their professional is taking to get their pictures to them. Or not staying in contact regularly. Or just being downright rude! That’s when I take great pride in the service I offer. My customers get regular contact from me. I quote 4 weeks for wedding images to be delivered but usually get them out the week after the wedding. With a sneak peak the day after the wedding. I aim to surprise and delight my customers at each interaction and my customer reviews and testimonies certainly reflect that.
So here’s to all my fellow photographers! For working hard to capture memories and for inspiring me to be the best I can possibly be.