Vuyi and Julian at Hopetoun House and Culross Abbey

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Vuyi and Julian at Hopetoun House and Culross Abbey

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Vuyi and Julian were already old friends of ours by the time we came to photograph their wedding, as we photographed them for an engagement shoot two months before the wedding. This really helps on the wedding day - from the very start in the morning we could walk in and start taking pictures and Vuyi and Julian clearly felt at ease straight away (or if not, they were very good at pretending!). They and their families couldn't have been more welcoming, which helped to create beautiful, intimate and relaxed preparation pictures. Photography is a joint collaboration! Vuyi's shoes were by one of Sylwia's all-time favourite shoe designers, Charlotte Olympia, so there were more than the normal quota of shoe photos.

Vuyi and Julian's ceremony was at Culross Abbey. Culross is a town that we had never been to - but it looks gorgeous and Culross Abbey is absolutely charming, formed from the remnants of a 13th century Cistercian monastery and, like Rosslyn Chapel, has a green man carved in the interior.

The day was sunny and bright, but there was an icy wind, so we modified our plans for an extended photoshoot in the garden and, after some pictures at the nearby beach, headed into that wonderful interior of Hopetoun House instead. This is one of the great things about a location like Hopetoun - if you have to modify your plans, you can take pictures pretty much anywhere and there is a wealth of fine architecture, art, details, and a range of light.

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Joanna and Neil at The Scotsman Hotel, Edinburgh

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Joanna and Neil at The Scotsman Hotel, Edinburgh

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Joanna and Neil flew back to Scotland from the Middle East for their wedding. With guests travelling from all over - what better location for the day than an iconic location right in the heart of the capital. The Scotsman building must be a familiar sight to anyone who has passed through central Edinburgh, and the historic newspaper headquarters have been converted into a luxury hotel. Joanna and Neil's wedding was the first time that we had ever been inside, and the interior of the labyrinthine former newspaper headquarters is fascinating. There are beautiful art deco details, and being built on the Bridges, you can enter at street level, and go down multiple stories - and exit again at street level. Anxious to take advantage of the iconic location, we stepped out with Joanna and Neil to take some photos around the amazing Scotsman steps, and then out to take some pictures with the city centre and the bridges as a backdrop. And in the evening, Joanna and Neil had set up a special projection to go with the Emeli Sande song, which provided plenty of atmospheric lighting for the first dance!

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Katy and David's elopement

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Katy and David's elopement

Katy and David's wedding at the beginning of March was a completely different experience for us. First of all, it was the smallest wedding we have ever photographed - apart from Katy and David, there was just the two of us there. Normally, when we are there to photograph a wedding we always feel a  close and involved part of the day - we live through a rainbow of emotions along with our couples and their guests -  anticipation beforehand, contemplation and happiness at the ceremony, elation afterwards, often mopping tears of laughter or emotion from our eyes during the speeches while we try to focus our cameras - this time we were so closely involved that we were the witnesses at the ceremony! This was such an honour for us, to be alone with Katy and David on such an important moment in their lives. After the ceremony, the four of us went for a stroll through the city, it was a lovely happy relaxed time, popping into interesting places and having fun snapping some creative pictures - doing what we enjoy doing. And amongst it all we went into a pub on the Royal Mile for a drink. Incredibly, amidst all the freezing weather in March, Katy and David cleverly managed to choose the one day that was glorious sunshine and warm!:-

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Vuyi and Julian, pre-wedding shoot

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Vuyi and Julian, pre-wedding shoot

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We will be photographing Vuyi and Julian's wedding in a few week's time, and we can't wait! We met up in Stockbridge on a chilly March morning to take some portraits. These two were really relaxed in front of the camera - at least even if they didn't feel that way they certainly looked it!

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Engagement shoot - Sha & Rongzhou (Part 1)

Sha and Rongzhou were getting married in China, but wanted an engagement shoot of themselves in Edinburgh, where they were students. Since Sha already had a wedding dress available (which she had decided not to use at the wedding, so we didn't have to worry about getting marks on it), we divided the shoot into two parts, the first part in wedding dress and the second part in casual clothes. It was a gorgeous sunny day, when the mixture of great light, location and a happy couple all came together at the right moment. Here is a selection of photos from the wedding dress part of the shoot. Part 2 coming soon!:-

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Winter wedding - Becky and David at The Roxburghe Country House Hotel, Kelso

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Winter weddings are by their nature tricky for the photographer - in mid-December there is always going to be a much shorter of period of daylight than in the summer, and of course it's much chillier outside. At Becky and David's wedding at Roxburghe House Hotel near Kelso, you can see from the ice in the puddles that it was freezing! But Becky and David also had a late ceremony time, so that we knew that by the time the ceremony was over, it would already be dark. This meant quite a different approach to taking their portraits, experimenting and having fun. Having a new situation and a new challenge is good for us sometimes, and I think the results were refreshingly different!

Becky and David started preparing for their wedding a long time in advance, and the conservatory room where the ceremony took place had the most beautiful decorations and lighting. Becky had begun growing eucalyptus trees a year or more in advance to form an arch under which they would be married, and by evening the room was glittering with candles and reflections. There were plenty of beautiful details for us to photograph, and Becky and David's wedding presented us with an interesting and fun challenge. They were great sports - going out into the cold, Becky managing to keep upright on the grass and even dance in beautifully high heeled shoes!

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Winter wedding - Jo and Doug at The Signet Library

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Winter wedding - Jo and Doug at The Signet Library

In November we photographed the wedding of Jo and Doug at The Signet Library, part of the law courts building. It's an amazing venue that we hadn't been to before - and of course handily located off the Royal Mile. Not only did we have an amazing venue, but Jo and Doug had put an incredible amount of effort into all the details - Jo even hand made all the flowers for the tables herself from paper! Jo and Doug were no strangers to us - we photographed Jo's brother's Andy's wedding to Kate at Broxmouth Park last year. Kate was due to be the Chief Bridesmaid and Jo and Doug's wedding, so we were looking forward to seeing Kate and Andy again. That wasn't to be - because Kate went into labour just hours before the wedding and gave birth a few hours after the ceremony!

The ceremony went off without a hitch in the beautiful interior of the Signet Library, with a handfasting as part of the ceremony. After the speeches, we headed off with Jo and Doug into the city streets for a few photos. And so into the evening festivities - the grand hall upstairs was the perfect setting for the meal and then the vigorous dancing under the Cupola. All in all, a wonderful day to remember.

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Siobhan and John at St. Michael's Linlithgow, and Dundas Castle

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Siobhan and John at St. Michael's Linlithgow, and Dundas Castle

Siobhan and John's wedding was on one of those perfect autumnal days when the light is golden and the leaves are golden. Dundas Castle is a beautiful venue, with a mixture of lovely grounds, a lake and boathouse, and the charming quirky interior of the castle itself. The day was a perfectly happy and relaxed one, the apparent effortless and seamless transition from one part of the day to the next representing no doubt an enormous amount of hard work and foresight in the preceding months.

After the ceremony at St. Michael's, Linlithgow, we met Siobhan and John at Dundas Castle's boathouse to take a few portraits. The last rays of the setting sun was the perfect compliment to the autumn leaves.

With perfect timing, just as everyone headed to dinner in the marquee, the golden light transformed into the first snow shower of the year. Roddy Deans the piper gave a brilliant and expressive rendition of Burn's "Address to a Haggis". And the evening dancing was kicked off with what has to be the most spectacular first dance we have ever seen!

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Laura and Steven at George Heriot's and The George Hotel

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Laura and Steven at George Heriot's and The George Hotel

It has been a busy December so our blogging has taken a bit of a back-burner. Apart from winter weddings, Simon has been in Ukraine for ten days (you can see some pictures from his travel diary here). But before we blog some of the winter weddings we have a bit of catching up from the summer to do! Laura and Steven were brave enough to organise their wedding from a distance, from Berlin, and there was a distinct German theme to many of the details, including the beautifully designed stationery, and a torte from Falko Konditormeister in Gullane. However, nothing could be more British than the red double deckers that transported the guests from the Harry Potter-esque venue for the ceremony - George Heriot's school, where Steven had been to school - down the hill to the reception at The George Hotel. Heriot's not only has an imposing grandeur, but also great views out over the Castle, and a lovely little 'hidden' garden.

The wedding happily coincided with the Olympics, and more particularly the rowing events. Since Laura is a keen rower, she was especially delighted that in the short space of time while she was getting ready, Britain won four gold medals in the rowing events. Then it turned out that the coach was German, so the perfect international combination. A great start to a fantastic day!

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Julie and Michael at Linlithgow Burgh Halls

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Julie and Michael at Linlithgow Burgh Halls

Julie and Michael made an excellent choice of date for their wedding at Linlithgow Burgh Halls, choosing one of the hottest days of the summer. In fact - it was one of the only hot days of the summer! Taking advantage of the weather, Michael and his best men and ushers headed down to the tennis courts (Michael is a professional tennis coach) for a pre-wedding warm up on court. It didn't take long to warm up, indeed we were quickly in danger of overheating in the tropical weather! The guys very sensibly took the decision not to wear jackets for the ceremony, instead looking smart and cool in their waistcoats, which helped give a lovely warm relaxed feel to the proceedings. The ceremony concluded with a handfasting with two coloured knots, and drinking champagne from a quaich.

After the ceremony and a few group photos and a spot of roasting in the sunshine, we headed off with Julie and Michael for a tour of the grounds of Linlithgow Palace, birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. The setting with the lake and romantically ruined palace could not be a more beautiful and history-soaked location.

The meal had an Ibiza theme, which is where Julie and Michael became engaged, with flip-flops available for guests, appropriately enough given the weather. After some wonderfully warm speeches, The Vinyls took over for the evening entertainment, and some impressively vigorous dancing heading on into the night.

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Lauren and Brent at Mar Hall

It has been a mad, busy summer, and we haven't had much chance to catch up with our blogging, and we're determined to make up for that, so look out for being bombarded with a stream of blog posts in the next month or two as we make up for lost time! We will also be launching a Facebook page very shortly - so please do keep an eye out for a Facebook 'like' button appearing on our website in the very near future. Here is a lovely wedding that we photographed at Mar Hall on the Clyde estuary. Lauren and Brent flew over with their family and guests especially from Canada for a destination wedding on Scotland's west coast. Mar Hall is a great location for this, being within easy reach of Glasgow airport and also a good launching spot for heading north on a Grand Tour into the Highlands if time permits. Planning a wedding at a distance like this must be challenging, but all went off happily and without a hitch - the only pause in the proceedings being a slight delay to the start of the ceremony caused by a wedding dress with button loops that were too small, and required the combined strength of all Lauren's family to do up. In one of the pictures below, Lauren is telling us that there are only three buttons to go!

One of the loveliest aspect of a destination wedding is that they tend to be smaller, more intimate affairs with only closest friends and family who really want to be there making the effort to fly over. It is a privilege to be invited to be part of such a day!

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Cathy and Rudi at St. Mary's Cathedral and the Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh

The next weekend we were back at the Balmoral again, this time for Cathy and Rudi's wedding. This was a wedding with a difference for us, Rudi is a Royal Marine, and the guys were looking super handsome in their impeccable uniforms with glowing white gloves. Claudine Quinn very kindly helped out by photographing the groom's preparations - as an Irish girl who, shall we say, is far from being a wall flower, she was perfect to commandeer a bunch of Marines getting ready and made sure that nobody was late for the church. The wedding itself was in gorgeous St. Mary's Cathedral. Afterwards we had arranged to take the scenic route to the Balmoral with Cathy and Rudi in the form of a detour up Calton Hill to take a few pictures before the reception started in earnest. This included a surprise group shot when a whole bunch of passing tourists who demanded a photograph with the happy couple, not surprisingly given how handsome the young couple were looking!

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Another highlight of the evening were the personal and warm speeches, which brought a tear to more than one eye. We were very glad to have cameras with autofocus so that a couple of slightly bleary wedding photographers could still take sharp pictures. Rudi set the tone for the evening dancing by changing into a particularly stylish and contemporary kilt. All in all, it was a wonderful, moving day, and thank you to Cathy and Rudi for inviting us to be part of it!

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Debbie and Andy at the Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh

Often when we think about exotic locations for weddings, we think of heading off into the blue yonder, 'exotic' always seems to mean somewhere else. We sometimes forget that we're lucky enough to live in one of the most spectacular cities in the world, and that there is an awful lot to be said for staying right here, and having a wedding in the middle of the wonderfully historic location that is Edinburgh. If you are going to do that, then what better to have a wedding in the centre of it all, at one of Edinburgh's most iconic landmarks directly on Princes Street - the Balmoral Hotel. Debbie and Andy were forward-thinking enough not only to choose a brilliant location, but to choose a day that was (almost uniquely this year) roasting hot, and brave enough to venture out into the busy heart of the city to have some photos taken in the middle of the day. Guests had travelled from all over the world to be at the wedding - only Debbie and Andy's pet pug dog was sadly absent but there in spirit, represented on the top of the wedding cake! All in all it was a bright, happy, warm (in every sense) and sunny day - a day to remember.

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Kirsty and Mike at Glencorse House

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Kirsty and Mike at Glencorse House

This April to June has now officially been declared the wettest ever recorded, and sitting here with our umbrella and shoes drying in the hall, we feel like we have been underwater for as long as we can remember. So Kirsty and Mike were particularly prescient in choosing one of the few days in the last few months when it barely rained at all. Glencorse House is the kind of wonderfully relaxed location that encourages happy, chilled out weddings, and Kirsty and Mike's wedding, with the ceremony in the church in the grounds of the house, was just that. Kirsty's dog Fergus was doing his best to assist with her preparations earlier on in the day, and one of the highlights of the day was Mike's sincere and moving speech which brought a tear to more than one eye. The wedding altogether had the feeling of a wonderfully intimate, happy family gathering, and left warm memories of a happy day.

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Lauren and Graeme at Ingliston Country Club and Port Glasgow United Reformed Church

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Lauren and Graeme at Ingliston Country Club and Port Glasgow United Reformed Church

Lauren and Graeme are a couple with a difference: for a start, their honeymoon involved skiing in Arctic Circle regions in northernmost Finland. Lauren told us before the wedding that she wasn't particularly hoping for a sunny day for her weather, as she preferred "moody" to "sunny". As it was, the weather was pretty much perfect - pleasant and bright and dry, but with some clouds and a touch of mist around to add the requisite bit of mood when needed! And the venue reflected this adventurous and individualistic spirit - the Ingliston Country Club provided an alternative, outdoor, adventurous venue, with sumptuous fittings originally from London's Savoy, and a horse dressage competition being played out in the internal arena visible through glass windows below the wedding reception room. Of course, we couldn't resist the temptation to take a few portraits of some of the horses while we were there.

After dinner the serious business of dancing began, and the enthusiasm on the dance floor was brought on by a fine band by the name of Northern Star, and as night fell we left the merry company dancing vigorously no doubt late into the night...

We have received through the post a lovely and thoughtful Thank You card from Lauren and Graeme, a wonderful token of their thoughtfulness which was a timely reminder of a happy day in March.

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Chani and Mark at the Royal College of Physicians

The Royal College of Physicians is one of those venues that is quintessential Edinburgh - you can feel the weight of centuries in its hallowed corridors. Each sculpture, each sketch on the wall, each chair is there not because it has been added for decoration, but because it has accumulated as part of Edinburgh's rich history. All of which makes it a great location for a wedding! That, and the fact that it is right in the heart of historic Edinburgh. Chani and Mark's wedding was a very personal occasion, a gathering of close friends and family with a wonderful atmosphere. And an enormous amount of effort had been put into the details - beautiful sketches for the table layout and favours, and lovely flowers by Pollination. But Mark definitely stole the show with his dinner speech, which was all delivered in rhyming verse (of his own composition of course!) and despite the emotions and events of the day he managed to remember it all and deliver it flawlessly!

And as you can see, amongst it all we found time to go for a little wander in Queen Street Gardens:

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Caroline and Charles at St. Michael's Linlithgow, and Dalmeny

"Wow. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for the incredible photographs of our wedding. We are absolutely thrilled with them, especially the beach and palace shots which are gorgeous. You really managed to inobtrusively capture the mix of friends, family, artful shots and also the fun, laughter-filled ones that we had hoped – we really thought that they reflected how we would have wanted to portray the atmosphere of our day. Countless people have said they are some of the best wedding photos they have ever seen.

We were also so grateful to you for being so patient with us, two people who are not natural posers in front of the camera at all, and had been nervous about that aspect of the day. Also, we were so impressed that you managed to get all the photos done so quickly at our request, so that we could really get involved in the party. All too often we have been involved in weddings where the bride and groom seem to disappear for an hour!

So thank you. We have a wonderful memory of our day which we will cherish forever.

Many thanks again,

Caroline & Charles"

Caroline and Charles chose the church of St. Michael's with its iconic spire, next to Linlithgow Palace, birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots, for their ceremony. The reception was a little way away, in a marquee on the foreshore of the Firth of Forth at Dalmeny. The weather was looking distinctly blustery, and the location could have been chilly if the wind had been in the wrong direction, so we had our fingers and toes firmly crossed for several days before. But come the day of the wedding, the wind though strong was from the West so that the marquee was sheltered by the trees, the morning rain dispersed, and as the reception began the sun came out right on cue, allowing the guests to take full advantage of the spectacular location.

As you can see from the photos, this was a wedding that had tremendous preparation, with so many beautiful details. One of the highlights was the that a selection of guests were nominated to be carvers, involving fancy chef-like headgear, and a tremendous amount of hilarity. In fact, hilarity seemed to be a feature of the whole reception, everyone clearly had a fantastic time!

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Fiona and Amy at the Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh

The Botanic Gardens are a mini-paradise for photographers - but not only that. There is something special in the air there - and it is no coincidence that it tends to appeal to lovers of nature. Fiona and Amy are both vets who met in South Africa. There are some people who positively glow with energy and zest, and when we met Fiona and Amy we couldn't help but be caught up in their charm and enthusiasm, and the Botanics were the perfect forum for their wedding. When we met up a week or two before the wedding, Fiona was just heading off on a mountain biking trip, and we were all crossing our fingers and our toes that she wouldn't break any bones in the last few days before the wedding. Happily she survived intact, and the wedding day itself went perfectly, with ideal roasting weather to match, and an touching and humorous speech from Fiona's sister. And there was so much fun being had on the dance floor that it was all that we could do to hold ourselves back from stopping taking pictures and joining in.

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Kate and Andy at Broxmouth Park

Broxmouth Park was a totally new location for us. I (Simon) was brought up from the age of one just down the road, in Haddington, but never suspected the existence of this secluded gem just outside Dunbar. Even the Dunbar taxi drivers seemed a bit vague as to its location. But once you've found it, the setting is just lovely, with picturesque landscape and woods surrounding it. And the personable owner, who is also very sensibly called Simon, takes a close interest in making sure that every aspect of the wedding runs smoothly on the day. So, having set the scene, on to our heroes of the day. What really stood out with Kate and Andy was the extraordinary attention to detail and amount of preparation that went into the day. There were so many lovely touches, with a vintage theme. The weather was on-off, with the odd shower, so Kate and Andy very sensibly decided not to have the ceremony at the lake but outside the house instead, which provided a kind of natural amphitheatre for the purpose. What so often happens at weddings is that, even on rainy days, the rain holds off for all the critical bits, and then lets rip once the guests and safely tucked away inside. And so it was for Kate and Andy - with the ceremony outside, and one point it looked as though there might be a shower, but all was well, and we also had time for a mini-photo shoot in the woods before the drizzle set in.

I was going to describe some of the multifarious beautiful touches that had been prepared by Kate, but then thought a picture is worth a thousand words, so better to show you!:-

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