Lesley-Anne and Craig – The Strathaven Hotel

Lesley-Anne and Craig – The Strathaven Hotel

I first met Lesley-Anne and Craig at New Lanark back in February and we had a fantastic pre-wedding photo shoot at a wonderful old venue. I knew then we were in for a special day at their July wedding and I was not disappointed! Back in February, Lesley-Anne and Craig told me how they had contemplated booking the New Lanark hotel for the big day but the Strathaven Hotel won them over – as it does for many couples. Great choice you two and I am always so glad to get to work there.

Lesley-Anne is a primary school teacher and she put her organisational and creative skills to great use for her wedding. Everything was meticulously planned to perfection with the whole day running like clockwork. She had loads of personal touches but perhaps the nicest came from the involvement of two family friends. Both the minister and the piper played important roles in the ceremonial aspects of the day and, as family friends, they were also welcomed as guests at the wedding. I waxed lyrical about Gordon’s piping. Probably too much, I know, but I have a love of traditional Scots music and his playing was as good as anything I have heard at the annual Celtic Connections festival. Get out there and let everyone hear you Gordon!

It was a warm afternoon in Strathaven and I often get a little hot under the collar on the warmer days but if you ever want to please all of your guests for all of the time, then take a leaf out of this little book of wedding tips – hire the ice-cream stall Lesley-Anne and Craig provided on the lawn of the hotel. Set it up under a huge umbrella and serve delicious traditional Italian ice cream – now that makes for the perfect chillout zone for guests and photographers!

The hotel was resplendent (as usual) on a beautiful day for Lesley-Anne and Craig. All of your hard work paid off and I hope you will now get a chance to relax on your honeymoon and enjoy Vegas. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to play a small part in your special day and here are a few wonderful memories of a day of fun and laughter and love………

 

Craig and Lesley-Anne
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Elaine and Archie – The Strathaven Hotel

Elaine and Archie – The Strathaven Hotel

The sun shone for Elaine and Archie who were married at a beautiful ceremony at my favourite venue –  the Strathaven Hotel. It was a glorious day where guests gathered on the lawn with pre and post match tipples, and everyone was relaxed and laid back and enjoyed every moment. The day was meticulously planned by Elaine and she even managed to deliver a beautiful surprise for Archie just after the main dinner course. Guests were joined by “SOS”, a group of Secret Opera Singers who expertly played the roles of cooks and waitresses eager for a chance in the limelight to show off their singing talents. And what talents they had – they brought the house down and Nessun Dorma has seldom sounded better!

Elaine and Archie met at a Rotary meeting at the Strathaven Hotel three years ago and Archie delivered a truly heartfelt speech about how their relationship has grown since then and his undying love for Elaine. It was almost too much for brother-in –law, Ted, whose impeccably timed call for Archie to “sit doon, you’ve said enough” came before Archie had even finished his first sentence! It was both very touching and very funny. The whole day was a roaring success with Derek and Lockie (aka Deringer) providing the night time entertainment. When I left around 9 the music was in full swing and the dance floor looked like it was the place to be.

No doubt Elaine and Archie will be off somewhere very special on honeymoon! You had a perfect wedding and I was delighted to play my small part!  Here are a few reminders of a perfect day for you both………

 

Elaine and Archie
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Graduation Balls

Graduation Balls

It’s been fun meeting the future over the past couple of weeks. We are slap bang in the middle of graduation season and I’ve had the good fortune to photograph a few of tomorrow’s financiers, legal eagles and business leaders at a number of graduation balls. All photos are online and downloadable so drop me an email to gerry@gmwphoto.co.uk, tell me which event you attended and I will send you the link.

Graduation Ball
Graduation Ball
Graduation Ball

Fiona and Chris – Rankin Church and The Strathaven Hotel

Fiona and Chris – Rankin Church and The Strathaven Hotel

Mari said I write too much on my blog entries. “People just want to see the photos and not read your ramblings” she says every time I post a new entry. My stock answer is “Ok I’ll cut back next time – I promise” and then I start typing! Maybe she has a point. I appear to have turned my rambling into a habit and maybe I should let the pictures do the talking! Maybe next time!

Ladies and Gentlemen I have great pleasure in introducing you to…….Fiona and Chris who were married in a beautiful ceremony at the Rankin Church in Strathaven before hosting a reception at the nearby Strathaven Hotel.  The Rev Shaw Paterson conducted the service and he reminded the bride and groom and his congregation of the expectation that true love should grow even stronger over time. I think everyone was struggling to think how these two could ever be more in love!

You all know by now that the Strathaven Hotel means a lot to me. I got married here myself many moons ago and I always love to return. Sheila and Malcolm run the hotel so superbly and everything runs like clockwork! According to Fiona’s dad, Fiona and clockwork are two words not normally associated with each other but on her wedding day everything went to plan and we had the perfect day. Fiona’s dad John also brought a unique style to the traditional father of the bride role and entertained his guests with a very lovely slide presentation of Fiona’s life to date. Well done John! Fiona’s family, and especially her mum Linda, are artistic gems –  together they created the bridesmaids dresses, floral displays, orders of service, favours, place names and all of the wedding finery! It was a job very well done!

Chris and Fiona were introduced to each other by best man Freddie. They met when both were at university in Aberdeen and they share a passion for the great outdoors. They climb Scotland’s munros and  mountains and spend their spare time walking across our great countryside. The cake holds a clue to their passion for climbing! I met them for a pre-wedding shoot a few months back and the rain poured down for the entire session. Despite the wet weather we managed to get some great photos – I assume something they learned to cope with at the summit of Scotland’s hills! They thoroughly deserved the beautiful weather we subsequently got for the wedding!

Chris and Fiona are off to Poland on honeymoon, no doubt scaling great heights again! You had a perfect wedding and I was delighted to play my small part!  Here are a few reminders of a perfect day as you reached the base station on your journey so far. Keep going onwards and upwards towards the summit where the Rev Paterson says you will find even greater depths to the love you have for each other……

Fiona and Chris

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Carol and George – The Carnbooth House Hotel

Carol and George – The Carnbooth House Hotel

It seems the sun always shines on the Carnbooth House Hotel ! The last time I was here it was a glorious day and it was no different for Carol and George. Every wedding should be like this! The bluebells were out in force in the Carnbooth gardens and Carol’s colour choice was just the perfect match for the surroundings. Everything was beautifully co-ordinated for one of the most intimate weddings I have had the pleasure to attend. Carol and George were married in the drawing room in front of a very small family group. I got to chat with all of them over the course of the afternoon and what a lovely time they had.

Carol and George have known each other for many years. They worked together and were employed in the same team but romance blossomed a couple of years ago when Carol moved to another team in another office and George realised he couldn’t be without her. Zoë Lyons conducted a very personal and moving ceremony which included a few lovely stories about the happy couple. They each expressed the many things they love about each other and I found out that George is even prepared to use the Debenhams EK car park just because it suits Carol’s shopping habits – true love indeed!

Carol and George had an absolutely brilliant wedding day. The sun shone, and the springtime colours and blossoms made it all the more spectacular and it was such a pleasure to be asked to play a part in their special day. Grateful thanks go to John and the team at the Carnbooth for their kindness and hospitality. A special mention to all of the guests but in particular to Tom, Fiona and Iain, thanks for your help and your patience. To Carol and George I wish you all the luck in the world and every good wish for a long and happy marriage. Here are a few reminders of a truly perfect day……

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Karon and Peter – The Loch Lomond Arms Hotel, Luss

Karon and Peter – The Loch Lomond Arms Hotel, Luss

I was back again on the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond on a beautiful spring day for the spectacular wedding of an old friend and neighbour Peter to Karon. This time I returned to the Loch Lomond Arms, a wonderfully tasteful boutique hotel set atop the main street in the village of Luss. It was sensational! A beautiful ceremony in the hotel marquee was followed by a day of celebration and laughter in the gardens of the hotel.  After the ceremony we walked down to Luss Pier to catch a few photos with Ben Lomond as the backdrop – you won’t find many better or more photogenic locations in Scotland. The village attracts tourists from all over the globe and on a day like Karon and Peter’s wedding day, when the sun shone brightly, the tourists were out in force to wish the happy couple lots of good wishes. Karon and Peter were beaming as they walked through the town and everyone stopped to offer their congratulations.

The guest list also looked like a global gathering with family and friends travelling from far flung places like South Africa and Dubai for the celebrations. And boy did they celebrate! When the first dance from the magnificent Nightfly kicked in we got a taste of the out and out party that was to follow – a brilliant rendition of Pharrell’s “Happy” brought the whole bridal party bouncing on to the dance floor and it never stopped!

Karon was a picture of happiness all day and she loved every minute of it. She looked fabulous and glamorous in her dress from the wonderful team at Ederra Bridal Studio in Blantyre.

The Loch Lomond Arms was the subject of a recent multi million pound refurbishment and it looks good in its new clothes. I was here just after it opened and you get the sense that it’s now firmly established as one of Scotland’s finest wedding venues. Val and her team could not have been more helpful – they really look after every fine detail and many thanks for finding me some ladders!.

My very best wishes go to Peter and Karon and the three kids, Amy, Lewis, and Laura. You all looked beautiful and handsome and I hope you enjoyed the day as much as everyone else. I hope you will all continue to be blessed with good luck and an ability to pick a winner!  It was an emotional day for everyone involved and it was to your great credit that you included your past with your future – it was lovely to see some very special old faces, especially those who travelled the longest distance. Of course there were some things better left in the past – I am still recovering from Neil’s Athens story! 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 Amy, Laura, Lewis, Neil, Murray and Neil for your help, patience and understanding. Extra special thanks to Peter and Karon – you were fantastic! Here are a few reminders of your perfect day by yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes…………

 

Karon and Peter

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Lisa and Ross – The Lochside House Hotel

Lisa and Ross – The Lochside House Hotel

I first met Lisa when she was a bridesmaid to Claire at her wedding to Paul at the Crutherland House Hotel last year. It was a very special wedding and I took it as a great endorsement when Lisa subsequently asked me to photograph her wedding to Ross. They are part of a delightful crowd of friends who have wonderful family values and I didn’t need to be asked twice before accepting.  I just knew Lisa and Ross’s wedding would be special! They were married at the stunningly beautiful Lochside House Hotel in New Cumnock in Ayrshire and Lisa returned the compliment with Claire joining the gorgeous Nicola and Amy as bridesmaids. This wasn’t my first visit to the Lochside but it was the first when the sun shone brightly. Don’t get me wrong – there was a wee nip in the air at times but what a hotel this is for a wedding when the sun decides to play ball.   The hotel is set in the most beautiful grounds and at this time of year there are all sorts of wildlife active in and around the lochs and reeds and gardens – it is a photographer’s delight. After dinner I spent ten minutes in the company of an excited local wildlife photographer as he scanned the banks of the lochs for the day’s new arrivals. It was like being part of an episode of Springwatch! Within minutes a family of newly hatched and very rare chicks appeared in the late golden spring sunshine and I felt blessed to have been part of a very beautiful day. Of course what had gone before was also very special. Lisa was a stunningly beautiful, natural and very relaxed bride. She loved every minute of her day and her joy came through in everything we did. Ross is a very lucky man but he too had a day to remember. They were both as chilled as they come – resplendent in their finery and the day could not have worked out any better. Everything was timed to perfection, the sun, the music, the laughter and the hospitality.  Indeed the timing was so slick that I almost missed the start of the dancing as we caught some last minute pics in front of the lounge fireplace.

Guests had travelled from numerous continents to join in the celebrations and I am confident they will return home with wonderful memories from a very special wedding. They also got to hear about Ross the poet, his love of a line of M&S thermal boxer shorts, and his tendency to bring his chestnuts into his bath – but the wedding DVD from Viking Video Productions will reveal slightly more from best man Greg than I could possibly publish here!

I must also mention the flowers – they were exceptional but they were provided by a very dear old friend of ours – Bobby McKean and his team at Flowers by Isabel in Blantyre. We bumped into each other as Bobby delivered the flowers and it was an unexpected bonus to see him again. Older, wiser, and very happy with his life, Bobby is a great advert for positivity and for beautiful wedding flowers!

The Lochside House is a fantastic venue for weddings. It is quickly becoming a favourite of mine and is thoroughly deserving of the national accolades and awards won in recent years. They have the most wonderful grand old bridal dressing room which is fantastic for the bridal preparations. It’s so different from the more modern, but equally stunning bridal suite and guest rooms. I said before that I was blown away by all of the hotel’s facilities but the more I visit the better it becomes.  But then all of the hotels I visit are made all the more special when you are in the company of such lovely people. Lisa and Ross come from a good place and all family and friends laughed and joked their way through a wonderful wedding day. It was very special for everyone concerned and I would like to thank each and every guest for their help and their patience. Special thanks to Greg, Andrew and Dean for their help throughout the day. To Nicola, Amy, Claire, and Katie – you were all beautiful and performed your roles to perfection. Thanks for being so kind to me. To Joe, Grace, Alison and Alan – you have so much to be proud of. To Laura and her team at the Lochside House – I can’t wait to come back sometime soon! To Lisa and Ross, thank you once again for the opportunity. Mari and I loved it! Have a great life together as Mr & Mrs and here are a few reminders of your wonderful wedding day……..
Lisa and Ross Continue reading