Louise and Scott – Sherbrooke Castle Hotel

We’re very much back in Autumn now. The colours are changing again, the temperature is dropping and the evening light is fading fast. Next week the clocks go back to signify the end of British Summertime. Despite the changing climate, this is a very special time to get married. When the sun peaks through the clouds and falls on the rustic colours of the beech, oak, rowan and birch trees adorning the West of Scotland, there are few places I’d rather be in Autumn. The sun never rises high and the light remains golden throughout the day. It’s a warm and comforting time, a time for wholesome cooking, a time for family loving, and a time for a wee dram and a wee celebration.

Louise and Scott had the perfect celebration. They married amongst friends and family at an intimate and very touching ceremony at the majestic Sherbrooke Castle Hotel in Glasgow. The delightful Mandy Evans Ewing conducted the ceremony with expert assistance from a few very special youngsters. Louise and Scott have five exceptional kids and, to their enormous credit,  they all played the major roles in this wedding as well as anyone I’ve seen previously. Fifteen year old Jordan proudly walked his mum down the aisle. Seven year Kayla, was her mum’s perfect flower girl. Eleven year old Ben bore the rings for his dad alongside his elder brother Jamie, who, doubled up with step-brother Bradley to form one of greatest comedy double acts ever!  They delivered and performed a very funny and perfectly timed pre-dinner speech for the happy couple. They were all fantastic and the whole day turned into a wonderful family affair.

As usual the Sherbrooke Castle staff had everything timed to perfection – they always seem to host the most relaxed weddings ever. Thanks to William and his team for looking after everyone but special thanks must go to Louise and Scott for allowing me to be a part of your special day. You have a wonderful family, five exceptional kids, and I wish you many, many years of happiness ahead.  It really was a warm and comforting time, a time for family loving, and here are a few reminders of a beautiful autumn wedding……

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Nicola and Jonathan – Hilton Dunkeld House Hotel

I was fortunate to return to the Hilton Dunkeld House Hotel for the wonderful wedding of Nicola and Jonathan – two genuine soul mates, lovebirds, and best friends. It was a fantastic day amidst the splendour of one of Scotland’s finest and most elegant venues. Set in the glorious Perthshire countryside on the banks of the River Tay, few places in Scotland can match the hotel’s magnificence especially when the weather gods play ball and the day is bathed in glorious autumn sunshine. It was spectacular.

We had just kissed goodbye to the hype of Scotland’s referendum when a truly international cast gathered to celebrate Nicky and Jon’s marriage – and what an advert it was for all things Scottish. Aussie guests in kilts, the sound of the bagpipes swirling in the pure Perthshire air, the River Tay calmly meandering through the hotel gardens, and everyone enjoying the finest of Scots hospitality with just a dram or two to calm the nerves before the speeches. It hardly felt like work!

Jon and Nicky both work for the same company in the thrust of the New York financial sector. Jon hails from the Sunshine Coast in Australia and Nicky is a local Perthshire lass but they met and found romance in the “Big Apple”, many thousands of miles from their childhood homes. They share a love of travelling and brought with them friends and relatives from far flung places across the world to help celebrate their marriage. And it is to those far flung places that they return as they embark on another journey towards a new life back in Australia. They will be sadly missed by Nicky’s family here in Scotland but no doubt warmly welcomed by Jon’s family over in Oz. I liked hearing that Nicky will continue to work for her New York employer from her home in Australia – technology has helped make the world a smaller place and I’m sure Pauline and the girls will take advantage of Facetime and Skype to make sure everyone keeps in touch.

Good luck Nicky and Jon and may your life continue to be blessed with the kind of happiness you brought to your wedding. Enjoy your travels and your new life and thank you for giving me the opportunity to play a small part at your wedding. Well done to everyone involved for making it such a memorable day but special thanks go to Liz and Steve, Adam, Alex, Peter and Alison, Ross, Charlie and Tommy for your help, patience and understanding. Extra special thanks to the glamorous and beautiful Amy, Claire, Beth, Iona and Pauline – you were fantastic! Here are a few reminders of a perfect day….

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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

 

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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

 

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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……

 

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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…….

 

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