Posted on March 24, 2017 by under
I’ve always loved photographing humanist weddings; each and every one is unique, tailored perfectly to the couple and telling their story.
I asked one of my favourite humanist celebrants, Tim Maguire, to write a little about what makes humanist celebrations so special. Here’s what he has to say:
Tim Maguire conducting a humanist wedding ceremony
What’s the first thing we do when we decide to get married?
Book a venue.
Then book a band – we’ve got to get a great band!
What else do we need?
A dress – tick!
Shoes – tick!
Hair & makeup for four – tick!
Kilts, Catering, Cars, Flowers, Invitations…
Oh yes, and a Photographer… the list goes on and on. And on.
Then, six weeks later, it’s, “Hang on – we need someone to marry us! And that’s when it’s time to play the ‘find a celebrant’ game…
If you’ve been to a humanist wedding, you probably know that they’re a bit different. They only became legal in Scotland in 2005.
By 2015, they’d become the 2nd most popular form of marriage in the country: Register Office weddings are still by far the most popular.
But more and more people are choosing the humanist route: why do you think that is?
What everyone says to me is “They’re personal, they’re moving, and they’re fun!”
They are all about you, and your story: why you love each other, why you believe this is the person you want to share the rest of your life with, and what marriage means to you.
Let’s be honest: wedding ceremonies used to be the boring bit you sat through before the party started. Not any longer.
If you ask any of the couples I’ve married, you’ll see that the ceremony was actually the best part of their day. It sets the mood for all that follows, and it leaves your guests wanting an encore, not needing a drink.
There are lots of humanist celebrants in Scotland now, working through various different organisations, so take your time to find someone who’s right for you. Not all of us work the same way. Some celebrants will write your ceremony for you: I don’t, and here’s why:
Humanists campaigned for decades to win the right for you to have the freedom to make your vows in your own words, not somebody else’s.
In Scotland, we’re lucky because we can now do that. You can’t in England or Wales, or Northern Ireland.
So I don’t want to put words into your mouths. I want to help you tell your friends and family why it is that you’re making the biggest decision of your lives. It’s a huge privilege, and one I enjoy immensely.
I’ve been a celebrant now for 12 years. Last year, I conducted my 1,000th wedding, and every single couple I’ve married has created a unique, personal, and absolutely memorable ceremony.
But don’t take my word for it. Check out my blog and ask around.
Humanist weddings only became legal in Scotland in 2005, now they are the 2nd most popular form of wedding in the country.
Humanist ceremonies give you the freedom to make your vows in your own words. (And to choose an owl ring-bearer if you wish!)
One of the good things about coming last in the wedding checklist is that by the time you get to me, you’ve usually spoken to a few wedding planners and photographers, and they are the people who see more weddings than anyone, so my advice is to ask them who they recommend.
With luck, I might be one of those names.
The only sad thing about it is that it doesn’t often work the other way, so I hardly ever get to recommend a photographer. But when I do, guess who it is?
That’s right, it’s Ditte. She’s the person Susie and I asked to photograph our wedding in 2014 at the wonderful Monachyle Mhor. She does beautiful work, she’s a joy to work with, she’s totally professional, but also really relaxed.
I’d love to work with her again, so if you do get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org), I hope you’ve booked her first!
Thank you Tim- here’s hoping we will be working together again soon!
Posted on March 7, 2017 by under
A perfect Scottish Summer wedding.
If you had a “Perfect Summer wedding” tick-list, what would be on it? Good weather? A beautiful setting? Tasty food, funky music, happy guests, good friends, tears, laughter? If any (or all) of these are on your list, then I’m pretty sure you’re going to love Henrietta and Will’s wedding.
This fantastic garden took our breath away! All the colour made such a perfect setting for the drinks reception.
The marquee was set up with long trestle tables with hessian table runners and small bouquets of pink flowers.
After dinner, we headed outside for an evening portrait with the beautiful lights that had been installed in an old tree in the garden.
Good lighting (and a warm(ish) Scottish evening made the outside as welcoming as the inside.
We loved everything about Henrietta and Will’s fantastic summer wedding.
It was great working with lots of familiar faces from the Scottish wedding industry, and great getting to know some new ones too.
Henrietta and Will, thank you for having us at your wedding, we loved capturing your day and are so happy you like the photos and the albums we created for you. We wish you a lifetime of love and happiness together.
Ditte & Chris
Some of the wonderful suppliers who worked with us at this wedding:
Event Planners: Added Dimension Events
Make-up: Emma Motion
Marquee: Arc Marquees
Catering: Ginger Snap
Mother-of-Bride & Mother-of-Groom outfits: Fiona Clare
Wedding film: The Filming Business
Lighting: Tower Productions
Saxophonist: Stacey Sax
Florist: Flowers by Maxwell
Dance floor: Albert Hall Dance Floors
Posted on September 15, 2016 by under
I should start this post by saying just how much I love engagement shoots. I love engagement shoots.
There’s a number of reasons why, and I’ll tell you some of them. Firstly, it allows me to get to know my wedding clients in a way I wouldn’t be able to without the shoot. The shared experience, the chat along the way, the laughs and the excitement come together to create a bonding experience that carries through to their wedding day.
For me, this is also a chance to try out different ideas or techniques. On a wedding day there is rarely time to go “off script”, as timings are tight and the couple will want to spend as much time as possible with their guests. At the engagement shoot we can do whatever we want!
For the couple, it’s a great chance to be in front of my camera with no pressure and no time constraints. Almost without fail I find that clients who have booked an engagement shoot as part of their package are far more relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera on their wedding day, which will of course be reflected in their wedding photos too. I will also learn what the clients are or aren’t comfortable with – some couples love kissing, cuddling and interacting with each other in front of the cameras, others find they prefer a more formal approach.
After an engagement shoot I often ask couples for their feedback on the photos – were there any they really liked or ones they weren’t so keen on? Their answers are added to my notes and help decide how we approach their wedding photography.
In short, after an engagement shoot, I feel I have a much closer relationship with the couple. When I turn up at a bride’s house or hotel on the morning of her wedding, it feels like I’m greeting an old friend, I know her and I know the man she is about to marry. I’m excited with and for them. And I know the photoshoot will go well.
For Mhoraig and Colin engagement shoot I ventured to Gullane to meet them for some beach photos and photos on top of a hill with the most beautiful view towards Edinburgh. After an initial rain shower, we were blessed with incredible weather for the rest of the shoot.
Here are some of the highlights from the shoot – enjoy!
Mhoraig and Colin, I had such a great time doing your engagement shoot – I can’t wait for the wedding to do it all again!
Posted on September 8, 2016 by under
Phew – where did that summer go? With a season of amazing weddings under our belt, it’s time to get back to doing some blogging again and I’m so pleased to share this really sweet Dundas Castle wedding with you!
We first met Holly and Jamie at this wedding last year when they sang and played a song in the church for Catriona and Archie – I can still remember the shivers down my spine when I heard it. As such talented musicians it was not entirely unexpected that they had a choir of their close friends sing for them at the wedding. Cue more shivers and me checking out where to join a local choir!
Below are some of the highlights from the day, though it was almost impossible to cut down the photos to use in the blog as everything about this day had me smiling.
I love it when friends and family are actively involved in the making of the wedding. Holly’s aunt Fiona Cumming created the beautiful flowers for the wedding.
A friend of Holly and Jamie, Chris Bardo, designed the super sweet illustrations on the stationery.
Back at Dundas Castle we were lucky to have some amazing sun for our portraits. Hard to believe that 20 minutes after these photos were taken the rain started chucking down (luckily not for long…)
Holly and Jamie, thank you for having us at your wedding, and for trusting us to capture the day the way you wanted it. We loved all the beautiful details, the amazing weather (even the crazy rain), all the laughs and the shiver-inducing singing.
We wish you a lifetime of happiness, good music and lots of loving.
Holly and Jamie’s suppliers included:
Posted on May 25, 2016 by under
I have always wanted to capture a wedding at Edinburgh Botanics – the most perfect setting for a wedding with the most beautiful colours, light, flowers and plants anywhere look. So I was delighted when Kate and Finbar asked me to capture their spring wedding there. Their choice of the Botanics for their wedding must have been an easy one: Kate is an artist, and her work is so full of flowers and bright colours – I imagine the Botanics is how it looks inside Kate’s head when she works! What they couldn’t know is whether the weather would play its part, but when the day came, there was sunshine and warmth, creating the perfect conditions for guests to sip champagne in the beautiful gardens and for us to take a few photos too. I say “a few” – this translates to “many thousand” photos taken and a final set of “many hundred”… Below, you will find a small selection of them!
We started our day at the Holy Cross RC Church with Finbar and his groomsmen…
Isn’t Kate’s dress just beautiful?
The newlyweds were piped to the Caledonian Hall in their Bentley wedding car.
Kate had (of course) designed all the wedding stationery herself.
From the Caledonian Hall, all the guests were piped through the Botanics to the John Hope Gateway for the evening meal and entertainment…
…after Kate had thrown her bouquet.
Great speeches! Just the right balance of humour, emotion, anecdote and total humiliation of the groom…
After the meal, we sneaked outside for an evening portrait.
Kate and Finbar’s first dance was perfectly choreographed and executed!
Kate and Finbar, we so loved your wedding! Thank you for having us there, for trusting us to capture it the way you wanted and for finally allowing us to capture a wedding at the beautiful botanics!
Can’t wait to share the full set of photos with you soon!
Ditte & Chris
Kate and Finbar’s suppliers included:
Posted on May 2, 2016 by under
Lois and Terry’s beautiful Scottish/ Irish wedding at Carberry Tower, East Lothian
The 2016 wedding year is being extremely kind to us so far!
Our second wedding of the year took us to Carberry Tower in East Lothian for the wonderful wedding of Lois and Terry. I first met with them over a year ago, and from that first coffee when they told me about the plans and ideas for their wedding day, I knew this wedding would make me happy. And it did!
Lois, Terry, their friends and family were all incredibly welcoming and warm to us, which made us feel like we were at the wedding of old friends. I laughed, I cried (me and everyone else…) and went away that evening thinking that THIS was the perfect way to have a good wedding.
On top of everything, it was great working with some great wedding supplier friends, with a special mention to Lucy Gourlay, who came out of wedding makeup “retirement” to do Lois’ makeup, and to Bowery Productions for being such great fun to work alongside.
On the morning of the wedding Terry and his groomsmen got ready at Carberry Tower – Lois was there too, so there were strict arrangements about where they were allowed to be, so they wouldn’t bump into each other!
Lois and her team were getting ready in the bridal suite in Carberry Tower. I love capturing this part of the day!
Lois and Terry’s gorgeous Labrador made a quick visit after the service, to congratulate her mum and dad. She came with us for a few photos too (how could she not?)
Lois and Terry, I can’t thank you enough for having us at your wonderful wedding! I hope you are having a wonderful honeymoon and can’t wait to show you the rest of the photos when you are back!
Ditte & Chris
Lois and Terry’s amazing suppliers included
Posted on April 12, 2016 by under
I really enjoy finding inspiration from the work or approach of other photographers. The documentary aspect of wedding photography is one I am particularly passionate about. I love capturing moments that tell a bigger story. So last week I joined an online group of Documentary Wedding Photographers, to view and share images with other photographers who have the same approach. I was delighted to win “Photo of the Week” for the image I submitted!
Here is what the judge said about the image: “I really like the image as the fathers’ handshake represents the coming together of two families, not just the couple. I’m also quite partial to a vertically framed image, even though it seems out of fashion among DWP (Documentary Wedding Photographers) at the moment, and you’ve also accomplished a great storytelling image with a telephoto lens from the back of the ceremony room, which is no small feet! Love the elevated angle too.”
The image is from Caroline and Tony’s Signet Library wedding last year – you can see the full story here
Posted on March 16, 2016 by under
Oh, this most beautiful Signet Library wedding is without a doubt the best wedding I’ve photographed this year! (Not just because it’s our first wedding this year…). Photographing weddings at the Signet Library is always a treat – it’s such a stunning venue with beautiful rooms, the gorgeous staircase, amazing big bookcases – and of course the wonderful Royal Mile and gorgeous Georgian architecture all around.
When you then add a beautiful, fun(!) couple (I literally cried with laughter in our pre, gorgeous flowers and a whole list of lovely things to photograph it all comes together to create the most fantastic day to photograph.
Special mentions to Origami Fox and Planet Flowers for their stunning work!
George’s personalised cufflinks featured the date of their wedding.
Groomsmen gifts: Harris Tweed hip flasks!
I’m mildly obsessed with buttonholes, and these gorgeous ones with white roses, thistles, white heather and brunia berries by Planet Flowers were just stunning.
Meanwhile, team “Bride” were getting ready nearby, with maids, flowergirls and family all bringing a happy energy to the morning.
Laura had arranged beautiful bracelets as gifts for all her bridesmaids.
LOVED the mismatched bridesmaids dresses! So so pretty!
At Signet Library nerves were being calmed…
If you are having a wedding in a library, then you must of course have book-themed wedding stationery and floral decorations in books…
Roses in pretty pastels and fragrant eucalyptus created a gorgeous soft floral look.
The Table of Interest was a fantastic talking piece for guests. Both Laura and George are doctors, so it featured lots medical tools and implements, mixed up with flowers, books and candles.
Stunning book-themed wedding stationery, by Origami Fox.
The dining room at Signet Library is simply exquisite.
The wedding cake was created to look like a pile big books – the details was incredible!
As per tradition at Greek weddings, Laura and George performed a Money Dance, where guests would pin money to the couple as they danced.
There HAD to be a ceilidh, of course! Everyone loves a ceilidh!
So, that’s how to do Scottish-Greek-Doctor-Library-Edinburgh-Winter-weddings in style! Laura and George, my hat off to you, you completely rocked the whole thing! I’m so happy to be part of your wedding team, and can’t wait to do your album with you!
Ditte & Chris
Laura and George’s wedding suppliers included: