Claire and Seamus – St Patrick’s Church Strathaven & The Strathaven Hotel

Claire and Seamus – St Patrick’s Church Strathaven & The Strathaven Hotel

Claire and Seamus fell in love with the Strathaven Hotel after a visit to a Glasgow wedding show. At last they had found somewhere they adored which was equidistant from both family homes in northern England and Ireland. It was slap bang in the middle of everyone’s journey – including the bride and groom’s journey from their adopted city of Aberdeen. It was also on the doorstep of the quaint and beautiful St Patrick’s Church and the very welcoming, and entertaining, parish priest, Father Tom Devine. It’s so nice to be given a warm welcome in a church, and Father Devine made sure everyone felt at home. He conducted a very beautiful service and delivered some of the funniest sermon lines I’ve heard. A great choice for Seamus and Claire.

I only got to meet Seamus and Claire for the first time at the wedding rehearsal the night before the big day and, having spent some time in their company, I hope they get a chance to return to Strathaven on a regular basis in the future. Mari and I had a great day. It’s such a difficult task to organise a full church wedding and reception from a distance but the whole day was flawlessly executed. It was as if they were locals! It was perfect!

Sheila and Malcom once again delivered exactly what I’ve come to expect from the Strathaven Hotel but this time Sheila encouraged me to try the Love Heart group photo on the lawn. I think it worked beautifully and I can see another quality print appearing in Sheila’s wedding gallery sometime soon! Of course the day was all about Seamus and Claire. It started with my favourite service of the year and just got better and better. All of the meticulous planning paid off and thank you for giving me the opportunity to play my small part in your special day. Here are a few memories of the day you all arrived in Strathaven for the most special of special occasions……

Claire and Seamus
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Roslynn and Roland – The Strathaven Hotel

Roslynn and Roland – The Strathaven Hotel

An international cast gathered together for the wedding of Roland and Roslynn at the wonderful Strathaven Hotel and what a celebration they had. This was a very special wedding – full of the joys and emotions I’ve come to expect from close-knit families. Close in terms of their love for each other but not necessarily in their proximity to each other – Roland’s family travelled all the way from the Netherlands to make sure they joined in with the celebrations. We also had tears of joy aplenty in the bridal suite beforehand as all and sundry ooo’ed and ahhh’d at each stage of Roslynn’s preparations. Tears of laughter followed later during the speeches as dad Rod reminisced about Roslynn’s early days and her love for Prosecco! It was a truly emotional and fun packed day for all.

It was also a very beautiful day. Roslynn and her bridesmaids Allison and Kellyann were absolutely stunning and were ably assisted by the wonderful Stephanie from Bibbity Bobbity Boo who came along as part of their fantastic dressing service. I was joined behind the cameras by the video guys from www.dynamicframe.co.uk who have produced a beautiful little highlights film of the day.

Everything about the day was perfect – right down to the customised Love Heart sweets. Roslynn and Roland – I hope you’ve had a wonderful time in Portugal and Mexico and you got a chance to relax on your honeymoon. 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 packed full of laughter and love………

Roland and Roslynn
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Chris and Katie – St Ninian’s Church Stonehouse & The Strathaven Hotel

Chris and Katie – St Ninian’s Church Stonehouse & The Strathaven Hotel

Chris, Katie and Joshua live in an adorable house overlooking a beautiful part of the Lanarkshire countryside. I know it is a happy house full of joy and laughter and love. I know it because I got to see it with my own eyes. We met for the first time a few weeks before the wedding for a photo-shoot in a local park and I was immediately taken by how calm and relaxed they all were as a family. I got to know them even more over the course of the wedding, complete with brothers and sisters and mums and dads and cousins and aunts and uncles and friends – it was all such a pleasure. Guests travelled from distant continents to help celebrate Chris and Katie’s big day and boy did they know how to celebrate! It was a spectacular wedding and I loved every minute. From the wonderfully warm welcome of the Rev Paul Grant and his elders at St Ninian’s Church in Stonehouse to the very familiar resplendence of the Strathaven Hotel, Katie and Chris could not have asked for a more perfect day . It was typical for 2015 that, despite the generally poor summer, the weather decided to play ball whenever my cameras appeared. I don’t think I’ve seen such consistently good weather for weddings in Scotland prior to 2015 and Katie and Chris were married on another beautiful late summers day. It all bodes well for the remaining 2015 weddings over the coming weeks.

I can’t quite believe Katie when she says nothing was properly planned for her wedding and it all seemed to fall into place without major organising! It was perfect! All of the little extras adorning the tables suggested a great deal of thought had gone into providing the most beautiful wedding imaginable.  Perhaps she just has a knack for perfection and some very good contacts! Of course I’m sure Chris helped plan it all out too! He is a fitness and martial arts expert who runs his own school of Taekwondo. His skills were honed over many years alongside his best friend and best man Bobby. They both grew up in the same street, gained their black belts together and they’ve been best friends since their time began. Bobby and his wife flew in from Toronto for the big day and I could sense this meant the world to them both. Bobby’s best man speech was as well planned and as well executed as Katie’s beautiful table decorations! It was brilliant and 100% original!

Sheila and Malcom hosted as I’ve come to expect from the Strathaven Hotel, it was the usual masterful display from my favourite wedding venue and with professionals of the quality of Angela Mills and Davie Stark on hand to look after the makeup and bagpipes respectively, it was no surprise the day went like clockwork.  It was a special day for Katie, Chris and Joshua. All of your hard work paid off and thank you for giving me the opportunity to play my small part in your special day. Here are a few memories for you to treasure of a day of joy and laughter and love………

Chris and Katie
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Glenn and Carolann – The Crowwood House Hotel

Glenn and Carolann – The Crowwood House Hotel

I’ve known Glenn’s mum and dad for many years and it was a real pleasure to be asked to contribute to my second Thomas family wedding. I first met Glenn and Carolann at the wedding of Glenn’s brother Gareth to Diana a few years back. It was one of my early weddings but what a laugh we had back then with lots of fun and laughter throughout the day. It didn’t take much to get me to sign up for the second Thomas family instalment. Glenn and Carolann are two wonderful people. Along with children Lucy and Christopher they make a really beautiful family and I suppose they get that first and foremost from their parents. I know Lynne and Graham are salt of the earth people who have instilled great values in their family. It was my first  meeting with Joe and Ann, Carolann’s mum and dad, but anyone capable of non-stop scenes of joy and laughter is someone to savour in my book – check out the abundance of joy in my photograph of Carolann walking down the aisle with her dad. Or what about her dance with her dad later on? It was magical!

Glenn and Carolann had a very personal wedding with their two kids playing very important roles. Young Christopher was a picture of concentration as he expertly carried the rings down the aisle and flower girl Lucie-Lyn lay a beautiful path of rose petals for Carolann’s walk up the aisle. There followed a  delightful and touching ceremony which included the ancient Scots tradition of “Handfasting” and a brilliant wee romantic and unexpected moment when the bride’s garter came unstuck and Glenn came to the rescue.

Just prior to dinner we had the speeches and Carolann’s dad Joe spoke warmly of the two hard working families although his very serious point about hard work and graft brought one of the funniest put downs I’ve heard at a wedding! Unfortunately I don’t think there is any benefit in repeating it……yet! Steven was Glenn’s best man and he gave a masterful best man’s speech. I might not be able to repeat any of it here but he had an endless range of tales to tell about Glenn and had everyone laughing for at least half and hour – the chefs must have been struggling to keep the food warm! But it was the kind of day where everything led to laughter and that is very often the secret ingredient in the very best weddings. We loved it and had a great time photographing two beautiful people and their families and friends.

Carolann and Glenn I hope the adventure continues in Greece and you have as good a time abroad as you so obviously had at the wedding. You two looked stunning on your wedding day and I wish you all the very best in the future. Many thanks to Lynne and Graham for the opportunity and congratulations Lynne on your masterpiece – the cake looked delicious, did you keep me a bit? To the Thomas and Bell families, the beautiful bridesmaids, the Carroll boys, and all of the guests, thanks for being so kind to me and for being so photogenic! Here are a few reminders of a perfect day for you both………

Glenn and Carolann

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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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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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