Gillian and David – Strathaven Hotel

I was back again at one of my favourite venues, the Strathaven Hotel, for the wedding of the very lovely Gillian and David. I always seem to have a wonderful time at this hotel – must be the warmth and professionalism of Sheila and Malcolm who run the hotel so superbly! I have photographed just about every nook and cranny of the hotel in the past but this time I found a new location – the driveway! It was perfect for a late evening shoot with the sun setting out west and, after dinner, Gillian and David joined Mari and I for a few photos. The results were every bit as good as I hoped – I was well chuffed!

Gillian and David had a wonderful wedding and celebrated with friends and family from all over the globe. Gillian had spent eight years working in Worcester and many of her friends and colleagues made the long journey to sample some Scottish hospitality. Others had travelled from overseas and, by the looks on their faces, the far flung guests may have mistaken the opening dirge for a peculiar local custom! To much laughter the minister noted the timing issue and promised a significant improvement next time round! The congregation soon found their pitch and timing for the subsequent hymns! Well done to all of the singers.

David and Gillian are a perfect match.com couple. Nowadays more and more of the people I photograph find their perfect match this way – another incredible example of how the virtual world becomes real.  I suppose it is especially relevant that I then use the Internet to post photographs and updates of their subsequent wedding, which of course may then be seen online by the far travelled guests and other potential customers. So much of our lives seems to revolve around the Internet these days and when it is good it is a true wonder of the world – if only everything else online was capable of bringing such happiness.

Once again I found myself jacketless in beautiful weather in the gardens of the Strathaven Hotel. The weather was perfect and the gardens were in full bloom. This meant the drinks reception took place on the lawn and what a happy place it is in such conditions. Lots of laughter surrounded the group photos and I would like to thank everyone who participated for playing their part so perfectly.

With Katie off again I had my stand-in helper for the day, my wife Mari and what a grand job she did. Great thing is she’s much cheaper than Katie but don’t tell her I told you!

David and Gillian are off to Sorrento, one of the  most romantic places in Europe and I hope they have the perfect honeymoon. You had the perfect wedding! It was great to finally see little Sophia smile for me, something I couldn’t stop little Emilia doing all day. You both have lovely friends and family and my thanks go out to each and every one of them for their patience and co-operation. Special thanks go to Vicky, Rae, Norrie, Celia, John, Andy, Craig, Cecilia, David, Emilia and Sophia – you guys made sure this was a wonderful wedding for D&G. Thanks again to David and Gillian and may your marriage be blessed with everything good in life. Here are a few reminders of a truly perfect day……

David and Gillian

 

Continue reading

Claire and Paul – Crutherland House Hotel

Claire and Paul followed in the footsteps of generations of her family and married in the beautiful St Cuthbert’s church in Blantyre. Mum and dad, Marie and Kevin, had married there some thirty years previously, Grandparents many years before, and Kevin spoke warmly of how much that little chapel meant to their family. There was an historical spiritual connection with St Cuthbert’s which filled Kevin and his family with pride, and there certainly appeared to be some divine intervention from above when Father Bogan invited Claire and Paul to recite their marriage vows. Just as they started to read aloud, a wonderful golden sunlit beam shone upon them. It was breath-taking, a very magical moment. Fortunately for me I was positioned just at the right spot at the right moment and clicked away to capture this little miracle happening before me! Spiritual indeed!

Of course it was evident this marriage had been blessed from the moment I arrived at the bride’s house earlier that morning. It was such a warm and welcoming place, a sea of tranquillity, and a beautifully happy home for Claire and her bridesmaids to prepare. They were all glowing, stunningly beautiful girls, and what a pleasure it was to take their picture. Take a bow, Claire, Laura, Rebecca, and Lisa!

The guys scrubbed up well too. It’s rare now in Scotland to have a wedding with the principal men in trousers! Most wear kilts but there was something very special about this wedding with all the principals in traditional morning wear – tails and troosers! I wore the same at my wedding many years previously and it showed great taste! Take a bow, Paul, Shaun, Chris and Paul!

The guests travelled from Blantyre to the majestic Crutherland House Hotel on the outskirts of East Kilbride. Claire and Paul travelled in real style in a brand spanking new Rolls Royce Phantom. What a car! The reception was simply outstanding – the sun shone and everyone spent a couple of hours on the lawns before settling down for the speeches and dinner. A long and memorable day closed to the sounds of The Strides, and although I was long gone, I hear the late night dancing photos will be well worth a look!

Claire and Paul are made for each other. When we met at Chatelherault last year I could tell I was in for a special treat. They both come from great families and it was such a pleasure to be asked to play a part in their special day. Grateful thanks go to Monica and Peter for their generosity, kindness and the opportunity. A huge vote of thanks to Kevin and Marie for making me feel so welcome. To Liz and Joe, Shaun, Chris, Paul, Father Bogan, Laura, Rebecca, Lisa and wee Sophie, a special thanks for doing everything so well and for looking so good. To Claire and Paul I wish you health and happiness for ever. You were a pleasure to photograph. Here are a few reminders of a truly perfect day……

Claire and Paul

 

Continue reading

The Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Final – My Front Row View

The Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Final – My Front Row View

It will go down as one of the all-time great finals. A five set gladiatorial thriller between two of the best players ever to grace the game of tennis. When Novak Djokovic met Roger Federer for the 2014 Gentlemen’s Singles title at the All England Lawn Tennis Club on Sunday, I was there. I was there in a front row seat for the greatest sporting day of my life. I was a few feet from the net and watched, mesmerised, as the final was played out on what can only be described as the greatest, most breath-taking, 3D HD experience known to man – real life!

I’ve not had much time to gather my thoughts and filter my photographs so I may add to this initial batch over the coming days but here are a few of my favourites that tell the story of an incredible afternoon. And yes, my man won!

Angela and Alan – Strathaven Hotel

I love photographing weddings at the Strathaven Hotel. It’s such a warm and welcoming place and has the added benefit of only being two minutes from my house. I love it even more when the sun shines and I get the chance to show off my happy couple against the backdrop of this Robert Adam Jnr architectural gem. But it just can’t get any better when the focus of my attention are people who are as nice as Angela and Alan. They were married on a beautiful day, watched by family and friends at the Strathaven Hotel. The weather was perfect – for regular readers I’ll say it again – yes the weather was perfect! Not too hot and not at all cold, just perfect and so was the wedding – what delay eh Angela? ;-)

Angela and Alan engaged the services of Humanist Celebrant, Catherine Owen, to conduct a very special and personal ceremony. I sometimes think of myself as an old traditionalist but the more I see and hear of the Humanist Society the more I like their style. The ceremony was held in the West Lounge which was beautifully decked in full blown regalia for the occasion and the warmth of the ceremony was a real highlight of the day for me. That and Brian’s speech! “They call us Grant and Phil but I like to think I’m more like Grant to Alan’s Phil” he said to great laughter. After the ceremony it was out on the lawn for some bubbly and a few photos before the guests sat down to a right royal banquet in the main hall and the speeches from Anne, Alan and Brian before the music and dancing took everyone towards the wee small hours.

With Katie off sunning herself in Malia I had a new glamorous assistant for the day, my wife Mari, and what a grand job she did reminding me of the wee things I’d missed,  or what I’d promised to do next, and making sure my timing was right. She was brilliant and it was almost as if she’d been practicing for years!

Angela and Alan are a perfect match. It was obvious to everyone present how much they mean to each other and I wish them all the very best for the future. I had a great laugh with their friends and family and my thanks go out to each and every one of them for their patience and co-operation. Special thanks go to Anne, Ken, Brian and Kerri, Catherine, Alana, and Megan for all your hard work and to the three boys, Daniel, John, and Jason, for keeping everyone smiling. Her are a few reminders of a truly perfect day……

 

AAGroup1

Continue reading

David & Gillian – Glasgow Riverside Pre-Wedding Shoot

David & Gillian – Glasgow Riverside Pre-Wedding Shoot

David and Gillian thought for some time about selecting an interesting location for their pre-wedding shoot and I am very glad they did. Despite Glasgow hosting Radio 1′s “Big Weekend” and the SECC hosting the Ideal Homes show, we decided to meet up on a very quiet Sunday afternoon by the Quay. It seemed everyone else thought it would be too busy! It was perfect. The sun split the sky for all of an hour and we got the perfect conditions to take pictures of a perfect couple in and around a few iconic Glasgow landmarks. I really can’t wait for D&G’s big day but here are a few favourites I took of the future Mr & Mrs in and around the sights of the Clyde…….

 

D&G25052014_42

D&G25052014_16D&G25052014_29

Continue reading

Seonaid and Alasdair – Strathaven Rankin Church and Lochside House Hotel

Seonaid and Alasdair got married in a beautiful and touching ceremony in the Rankin Church in Strathaven. It was a very special day, superbly well organised, and an absolute delight to photograph. This time even the bride warned the weatherman beforehand to be on his best behaviour and when a school teacher gives you a warning you had better take notice! “Wind to a minimum and absolutely NO rain under any circumstances. Got that?” she wrote on her Facebook page the night before. The Weatherman listened intently and paid attention to most of those instructions. No doubt hearing that Seonaid’s dad was a Head Teacher and the threat of that walk of shame and a wee seat outside the Head Teacher’s office seemed to do the trick. Of course I know from past experiences that Mr Weatherman has a wicked streak. He didn’t quite follow the first bit of Seonaid’s instructions and he huffed and he puffed with a light chilly breeze all afternoon. I’m sure the Lochside House hotel’s fine range of malt whiskies found favour with one or two guests after the big group photo outside!

Of course there were many more warm and loving photographs captured throughout this day and it was so evident that these two were just made for each other. Everything about the day was special but the 1936 Rolls Royce was a particular favourite of mine. It was spectacular! Then again so was the Lochside House hotel – a beautiful venue in Ayrshire with the most wonderfully attentive staff. Well done to all.

I would like to thank everyone for being so patient and generous with your time. Special thanks to Catherine and Ian, Morven and John, Ailidh and Andrew, David, Chris, Norman and James for all your hard work – guys it paid off big time! To Seonaid and Alasdair, I know you will have the most fantastic life together, and I hope it will forever be full of the joy and happiness I saw in you both on Thursday. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to play a small part in your special day and here are a few of my favourite photographs to remind you how special it really was………

SandA100414Group1 Continue reading

Jennifer and David at the Sherbrooke Castle Hotel!

Come and join me over the next months in a bright and colourful journey through the Scottish countryside and some of the country’s finest hotels and I will share my favourite photos as happy couples make the ultimate commitment to each other and celebrate their marriage with family and friends. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to 2014!

Last March brought an extended winter, heavy snow and the demise of many a spring tulip and daffodil. Nothing escaped the most severe winter in memory. Pity the poor animals awakening from hibernation thinking the alarm was set just a tad too early! So this March we deserved a little bit better but instead of the cold and crisp days of last year we’ve had windy and wet, wet and windy, windy and wet! Enough to ruin the most well set wedding hairstyle!

Last weekend was much the same – at one point we had four seasons in one hour! So the weather played a major part again and made my first wedding of 2014 a bit more challenging than I would have liked but what we lacked in fine weather we more than made up for it with the warmest ever welcome at one of the most joyous weddings we’ve had the pleasure to attend. Jennifer married David at the Sherbrooke Castle in Glasgow and they had a fantastic day! They laughed and joked the whole day through and they loved every minute of it! And so did their guests! They even managed to venture outside for a big group photo before the promise of a fine malt or a warm cuppa brought everyone back inside. It was a spectacular wedding! Brilliant colours and joyous smiles make for a photographer’s delight and Jennifer and David had gone to great lengths to ensure everything was perfect. They didn’t half succeed! It’s my job to notice all of the little touches and I try to capture as many as I can and add colour and detail to my view of the proceedings but there were just so many from these two. Special mention must go to Thistle Flowers for some of the finest and most intimate floral craftsmanship I’ve seen at a wedding. Truly beautiful! It was also my first trip to the Sherbrooke for a few years and what a wonderful experience it was – exceptional care and attention to detail from all staff.

Katie and I would like to pass on our thanks to everyone involved, to Angela and David (nee Alan!), Melanie, Isobel and Mitchell, Graeme, Peter and all of the guests and the staff and management of the Sherbrooke Hotel – you brought some much needed sunshine into the start of my wedding year. To the gorgeous Jen and Davie – thank you for being such a wonderful couple and I hope you have a long and happy marriage. I can’t say it any better than your guests Ruth and David – “What a fabulous day and what a gorgeous bride and groom”. Here are a few early reminders of a truly wonderful day……….

JandDGroup1

Continue reading