James and Laura – Uddingston Old Parish Church and The Radstone Hotel

The west coast of Scotland has been battered with four days of the fiercest winter storms and James and Laura had their little moment of calm respite amidst the wild weather. It was a brilliant day. I can imagine the prospect of a beautiful crisp clear winter’s day, wonderful friends and family, fluffy snow on the ground, a hip flask to warm the cockles, and the warmth from the love of two soulmates, is how we’d all describe the perfect and very romantic winter wedding. James and Laura got nearly all of the features they planned for – they forgot about the gale force winds, driving snow, and a wind chill factor of minus 12! It may have been freezing outside but it was beautiful inside and when oh when will we Scots ever allow the weather to upset a guid wedding?

At one point I was soaked and shivering in the blizzard as I raced from the front door of the magnificent old parish church in Uddingston to the waiting cars at the end of the church gardens – but it was worth it just to see Laura and her dad John in the back of the bridal car, nervous but excited for what was to follow. They would later dance together to the best wedding song ever, “I Loved Her First”, a song any Dad will struggle to cope with on first listen but a beautiful song for a sloppy old photographer to get misty eyed to.

James and Laura are very much in love. The photographs on the walls of her mum and dad’s house show years of togetherness and confirmed they were marrying each other’s best friend. In doing so they managed to provide a right royal celebration for their friends and family! Everything was perfect – flowers, dresses, cars, church, hotel, food, booze, music and dancing – everything they touched had turned to gold. The flowers were breath-taking and I don’t think I’ve seen so many beautiful flowers at a single wedding. The stunning dresses were meticulously prepared by Stephanie from Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo in East Kilbride – a personal dressing service included! The Rev Fiona McKibbin is my kind of minister – a warm and welcoming person who conducted a service containing exactly the right combination of traditions, romance, and laughter – only the very best ministers pull this off so convincingly. The party moved to the Radstone Hotel outside Larkhall (formerly the Shawlands Park Hotel) but a place where recent significant investment has created one of the finest wedding venues in Scotland – it was glorious, beautifully presented and very well managed by wedding co-ordinator Stephen. I’ll look forward to a return sometime soon.

When I first met Laura and James they talked excitedly about Laura’s brother and sister in law in New Zealand and how the wedding had been planned to coincide with their return home to Uddingston over Christmas. Of course all great plans are tested and although it was great to hear recently that Ian and his wife are expecting a baby in February, it was unfortunate that this meant they were unable to make the trip back for the wedding. There was a wee magical moment when they called Laura via Skype just before she left for the church – the modern wonders of the world made sure they were both with her and James in spirit.

The whole day was beautifully put together and I would like to thank everyone involved for their help and their patience. James and Laura’s supporting cast were magnificent – take a bow Jennifer, Pauline, Lisa, Murron, Evie, Charles, James, Lee, and both sets of parents Maureen, John, Nancy and Charlie. Special thanks to Laura and James – you both did a grand job and it was such a pleasure to be part of your special day. I know you will have a great life together as Mr & Mrs Dillon and here are a few reminders of your perfect day……..


James and Laura

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Vicki and Duncan – Glasgow Mercure Hotel – Hogmanay Wedding

Vicki and Duncan – Glasgow Mercure Hotel – Hogmanay Wedding

Vicki and Duncan are made for each other. They have been together for eleven years and wanted to celebrate their marriage with friends and family at a time when everyone could party – what better time or place to party than Hogmanay in Glasgow? They picked the Mercure Hotel in the city centre to host their wedding and what a brilliant choice that was – they had a fantastic time and everything went like clockwork! However that’s not quite how they felt in the couple of days before the wedding! Not only did they lose two full kilt outfits to a sneak thief a couple of nights before their big day but the Humanist celebrant Lorraine, who was conducting their service, broke her leg the night before the wedding! Lorraine assures me no booze was involved in her accident! Like a real trooper, she made her way to the hotel on crutches with her leg in plaster and saved the day for the happy couple. The service was perfect, very personal and beautifully conducted by Lorraine. In a truly fitting happy ending, Vicki and Duncan’s two boys, Campbell and Duncan, walked down the aisle, resplendent and handsome in their replacement kilts!

Of course Hogmanay in Glasgow is a very special time. It’s a time of joy and celebration and as we walked from the hotel on Ingram Street to take some photographs in George Square, it was touching just how many Glaswegians stopped to wish the happy couple good luck and offer their congratulations. By the time we were finished in the square a local press photographer had even commandeered the happy couple for a quick newspaper photo. The whole day was brilliant and I would like to thank everyone involved for their help and their patience. Special thanks to Kevin and his colleagues at the Mercure who couldn’t have been more accommodating – you also provided me with the best coffee of 2014! Thanks also to Chris and Jen and I hope we work together again sometime soon. To Duncan and Campbell, you should be very proud of the job you did for your mum and dad. To Richard, Morag, John, Duncan and Elizabeth – well done for your part in a fantastic day. To Duncan and Vicki, thank you for the opportunity to play my small part and I raised my glass at the bells to your continued health and happiness. Have a great life together as Mr & Mrs McIntyre and here are a few reminders of your special day……..

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Emir and Jill – Strathaven Hotel

Emir and Jill live on the other side of the world in Auckland in New Zealand. They met several years back after both left Scotland to work in the land of the kiwis. Jill originally hails from Strathaven and Emir from Dundee so when they were deciding where to get married, it made sense to get back to Scotland to party with family and friends. Jill told me she has missed the cold of our winters and longed for a crisp winter wedding. That’s exactly what she got – it was freezing!

It was back again to my favourite home venue, the Strathaven Hotel, and fortunately the temperature outside didn’t match the warmth of the welcome inside from Sheila and Malcolm.  I really do love getting back to the Strathaven Hotel and, no matter what the weather’s like outside, every wedding here never fails to impress. Emir and Jill had a wonderful wedding and they are blessed with exceptional family and friends and it was great to see so many of them so relaxed and so happy to be in their company once again.  They are also blessed with the most beautiful daughter, Eloise, she was dressed like a princess and she played her part in the proceedings perfectly.

Although happily settled in New Zealand, there are parts of Scottish life they both miss dearly. In addition to Jill’s fondness for the crisp winter days, Emir is a dyed in the wool Dundee United fan – the so called “arabs”. Hopefully he managed to catch the ne’erday derby in Dundee and his team’s impressive 6-2 victory – a belated wedding gift no doubt!

My thanks and best wishes go to each and every guest and member of staff at the hotel for their patience and co-operation. Special thanks go to Fiona, Lana, Amany, Megan, Eloise, Senga, Michael, Stevie, Garry, Rhys, Owen and Nathan, with an extra special mention for David, Linda, Lorraine and Amgad – you all contributed so much to make sure the wedding was perfect and to arrange it all over Skype from half-way around the world says so much for you all. Thanks again to Emir and Jill for the opportunity to play my small part and may your marriage and your family continue to be blessed with everything that is good in life. Here are a few reminders of your perfect day……

Emir and Jill
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Ed and Nicola – Glasgow University Engagement

Where does the time go? My recent hectic schedule has limited my chances to create many blog entries. I have lots to catch up on but I was so impressed by the location for last week’s photo-shoot that I had to get this posted. Ed works at Glasgow University and he invited me along during the holidays to take photographs for a pre-wedding shoot with his fiancé Nicola. I hadn’t realised we would be in such a grand location and I was bowled over by the surroundings – the Grade A listed Gilbert Scott building is the second largest neo-gothic building in the UK and is second only to the Houses of Parliament! It is a majestic location and Ed arranged for a visit at a time when the place was deserted – we literally had the whole building to ourselves. My hour long shoot ended up taking two hours. Sorry it took so long Ed and Nicola but I think the results were worth the effort! I’m really looking forward to your wedding later this year. Happy New Year everyone!

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