Well this has been one of my more delayed posts I’m afraid. I am really excited though to finally post the story of the wonderful wedding that Julie and I shot recently. The wedding was in Newbattle Abbey College on the 29th March and the party afterwards was in the lovely Melville Castle Hotel. The delay was due to the small matter of moving house with all of the attendant disarray that entails; anyway, enough of my excuses, lets get on with a brief look at one of the loveliest weddings I have ever attended. Liane and Marina chose to have a Humanist wedding and despite being a Humanist myself, I am embarrassed to tell you that I have never attended a Humanist ceremony before; I certainly wasn’t disappointed, it was very personal and very moving.
These first two pictures are from the grounds of Newbattle which is simply beautiful as a backdrop and features the happy newlyweds, Marina and Liane Edwards-Scott. In the second one with the lovely kiss, they have even been graced by a sunbeam breaking out from the clouds that threatened rain all afternoon.
Photos with (JPM) taken by my assistant and second shooter for the day Julie.
Thankfully the rain stayed away until evening and the result was some drama in the skies. Aren’t they just gorgeous together! Spending time with them confirms that it isn’t just about appearances, they really are a great couple, fun to be around, and very compatible; they just seem good together.
However, every wedding day is a story to be told. This one starts with Liane’s brother Gavin meeting us to show us around Melville Castle and to work out the arrangements for photographing the main players. We liked Gavin a lot! This picture was a particular favourite as it seemed to catch his ever present relaxed smile really well.
We started the day by intruding on Liane as the makeup girl was applying the look for the day. Liane has such striking dark features and amazing eyes that she barely needs any makeup, however it’s a wedding day and makeup is de rigueur I understand.
Liane’s mum had had her preparation just before Liane and here she is, the finished article looking lovely and answering the question, “where does Liane get those amazing eyes from?”
Another de rigueur wedding custom is to have a “bestie” in attendance. The duty performed here by close friend Mark.
The next two show Liane’s outfit which she and Marina designed; the Indian influence was a deliberate theme and works beautifully.
This one shows the wonderfully textured cloth it is made from.
Liane is an architect and her designer’s eye is evident in this beautiful laser-cut ring holder which she designed and made for the occasion. (JPM both pics)
Every nice outfit needs matching shoes, and these were the perfect pair for the job. (JPM)
I just love the fine detail on Liane’s jacket. (JPM)
Preparations almost complete and Mark doing his job impeccably. Little details all safely checked.
At Liane’s parents’ room, all is ready and Mum, Maureen and Dad, Neil, are ready to go and enjoy the special day.
Meanwhile Marina was beginning her preparations. I don’t like to tell tales, but certain members of the wedding parties suggested that the oasis of calm that was Chambre Liane was our last taste of tranquility and that Marina’s room would be a madhouse! It turned out to be a vile calumny as Marina was like the Dalai Lama in the calmness stakes.
I really like this detail of her hair which was just stunning. Who doesn’t like ringlets?
Three of Marina looking seriously beautiful in a very designer-dress. The Bolero jacket is just the most wonderful shape, and that collar. Wow! (JPM)
This one a more thoughtful moment just before her departure. I think Marina looks very “magical” in this one.
The car is ready by this point and we were able to catch Marina against it. Like everything else at this wedding the car screams style! (JPM)
And now at Newbattle Abbey College, Marina’s car arriving. (JPM)
I absolutely love this one with brother Eric. The light on their faces as well as the closeness makes a touching sibling moment. (JPM)
Ready to go in for the ceremony now. This one shows the amazing detail of the back of the dress. (JPM)
Mark delivering love and no doubt bolstering Liane’s confidence in the way a Best Man should! (JPM)
Marina, her twin sister Kim and brother Eric beginning their walk to the Crypt where the ceremony was about to begin. They all look fantastic. As a photographic aside the fire-exit signs above the door behind them have been cloned out as they were really bright and dominated the image.
And from behind as they walk. (JPM)
While Eric leads Marina in, Neil leads Liane in. This lovely man has a one-thousand-watt smile!
Proud certainly describes this final moment of handover.
Everyone is ready now. Neil here flanked by both mums.
Marina’s arrival just lights up the Crypt!
A moment clearly appreciated by watching friends.
The very touching and personal ceremony begins. From a photographers viewpoint, there was no where else to stand as the crypt was full of seats and anywhere but behind and to the side of the fireplace was blocking peoples’ view. Sometimes you just have to make the best of what you have.
Both girls look really lovely here.
This one shows the dress detail particularly well.
Using my 200mm f2.8 I was able to go to the back wall and to lean over one of the more tolerant guests to catch the vows being made. In all of these pictures you will notice the smiles and the happiness in evidence. The ceremony was amusing, informative and touching in equal measures. Did I mention that I liked it?
Gavin delivered a lovely reading.
As rings were exchanged, it was clear that even the Celebrant was enjoying the marriage thoroughly.
Of course the kiss is the moment that everyone feels is particularly magical. Liane’s smile says that it is magical for her too!
The next two pictures speak for themselves really: two happy brides!
After behaving seriously and having suitable respect for wedding decorum, they just couldn’t resist a characteristic playful touch as they skipped (literally!) off to begin married life.
Everyone loved it, even their videographer is grinning here!
With the ceremony over, you can better appreciate the stunning space it was held in. Marina’s father studied here, and so choosing this venue was a way of virtually including him in the day.
This is another view of the guests after the ceremony milling about the building as they congratulate Liane and Marina. (JPM)
And here they are ascending the stairs that you saw in the last picture. I can’t tell you how much I love their outfits and the light reflecting from them as they climb the darker stairs. (JPM)
And so the most challenging part of a photographer’s day began, the cat herding that is the summoning of guests with champagne in their paws and chatter in their hearts to be processed for the formal shots. I have to say that Liane and Marina’s guests were very good humoured about this.
With the formal family and friends shots done, we had the customary 25 minutes of time with the brides to catch some romantic shots. On a technical note, the sun came out on and off during the formals, and so I put the sun behind Line and Marina and used remote fill flash held by Julie . It has given both of them lovely “rim lighting” round their hair. That is a very good thing indeed as you will notice if you looked at my pre shoot with them that I loved their hair together; a spiky and curly texturefest!
They forced themselves, reluctantly to kiss for the camera here. Oh the sacrifices they had to make…
I said in their preshoot, a good photo session should feature a lot of laughter. A wedding is really tiring for the newlyweds, and they can struggle to stay natural and happy on camera if they let little stresses and worries affect them. Not a problem with these guys, they are just fun to work with and their innate sense of fun tended to dominate.
More awesome self-sacrifice here. I am touched by them kissing again for the sake of photographic posterity!
A few of the girls on their own now: I just adore this one of Liane, she looks beautiful and look at her hair…wow!
I love this one even more if that’s possible. Liane’s eyes are perfect!
Marina looks ethereal standing here. There’s more than a little hint of Greek Goddess in my view!
By this point I’m beginning to suspect that they like doing this…
And the next two, by the fountain, are where we came in…
Suspicion now confirmed!
Julie suggested that Marina should have one shot with her hood up. The effect is very classical. I may have to shift from Greek goddess here to one of my favourite fictional characters, Anna Karenina!
Finally a candid one as they walk back to share the meal with their guests. The outfits just seem to glow with the light behind them.
Here we are at the meal itself. Starting with a really nice candid of Eric.
Marina at the top table with a mirror behind in case you miss any of her locks!
This one by (JPM)
Liane’s dad making a brilliant speech full of wisdom for thriving in marriage!
I like to think of this as his “goodnight Newbattle” pose! (JPM)
Gorgeous sister Kim has the most expressive face ever as she delivered one of the speeches…
Not just expressive but emotional (with joy) too…
Once the tears had subsided, she got on with amusing us all greatly…
Liane also gave a speech brilliantly linking their forthcoming life to the building process that she as an architect knows so well. Excellent stuff! On a brief photographic note again, the lighting in the hall, in no way matched the colour temperature of the exterior dusk. The result was impossible colour temperature resolution. For the non-photographer either Liane will be an unnatural colour, or the light out of the unavoidable window will be. A bride wins this every time, hence the odd blue of the sky!
Best man Mark’s dry delivery brought the speeches to a very funny and very affirming close. So personal and wonderful!
The whole party moved on to to Melville Castle for the final chapter in the day’s festivities. Cutting the wedding cake and of course dancing! This one is just so soft and intimate of the girls prior to them cutting the cake. (JPM)
Fun and happiness characterise them as usual…
Apparently one of our brides has a bit of a thing about Dolly P. This cardboard cutout has apparently been around through many life events so far, and so it was seen as very fitting that Dolly should attend the wedding too. Actually Gavin, you look disturbingly well matched in this picture, Dolly would I’m sure be terribly disappointed to know that you are spoken for! (JPM)
And so to the dancing: (JPM)
This ends my pick of my favourites from Marina and Liane’s wedding. It was a fantastic experience to photograph and everyone we dealt with was lovely to us and really helped us to do our job a smoothly as we could. I certainly wish Marina and Liane well for the future.
Photographically, the day had its usual surprises and challenges. The Crypt required high ISO settings of 3200 and higher even with f2.8 or better lenses, so photographing in there without great equipment just wouldn’t cut it. The physical layout of the Crypt meant that you simply couldn’t be mobile as a photographer and had to settle for one or perhaps two positions, with restrictions everywhere. The great setting of course makes these challenges worthwhile. I worked around it by moving once only at an opportune moment midway through the ceremony to minimise disruption. The dancing room was darkened down for atmosphere to a point at which autofocus was a distant memory and many of the images were captured more on “spray and pray” than on deliberate moment selection; twas ever thus however. Again, the modern Canon sensors give you at least a sporting chance. During the formals we had the challenge of the sun coming out and causing narrowed eyes and my shadow in the images with no other obvious suitable backdrop. The workaround was crouching low to remove my shadows while helping people to look lower than the sun. Not a perfect solution, and not the most flattering angle always, but by minimising the low angle to just remove the shadow, it gave good enough results.
A word as ever is due to my assistant and second shooter for the day, Julie P McLaughlin. Julie has become a great photographer in her own right and sees situations quickly and beautifully. The day was a partnership and the only reason that more of her images are not available is that she humbly downs her camera to hold remote flash and to arrange people for so much of the day. For your information I have initialled all of Julie’s photos used in the blog. Thanks Julie. Check her baby photos at www.juliepmclaughlin.net