Where do you begin telling the story of a day that was so close to my own heart? Well here's trying...
Laura and I met in high school, through our mutual love of loud music and colourful hair. The stories we have together are never ending... and from about 11 years of friendship, I knew that the next day was going to be the most amazing, hard and emotional day I have ever had the pleasure of working. So many times as Laura and I chatted about her wedding day I would burst out crying (tears of excitement, obviously) maybe because my heart is made from marshmallows - I don’t know! haha
But it’s been such an honour to have such an involved part in making their wedding day. Here is a small visual snippet of my version of events...
Usually I don't see SUCH an early start on someone wedding day, but considering this wedding was a bit different to my usual there was rather a lot of unusual practices! I actually travelled up to the venue with Laura (I will use your real name for the benefit of others, even though I have called you Lola since you were about 13, haha!) the day BEFORE the wedding. I helped stick things on to the favours and re-arrange the room with the soon to be married pair.
After this we rushed off to our well deserved spa day. It all began to sink in. Due to having such a high level of details, for the past several months we had met up for coffee and chatted about the day that was actually happening tomorrow. My heart was just overwhelmed with excitement, and for her to be marrying such an amazing person (Sean) I just couldn't have been happier for them both.
In the morning I was amazed to see a wedding from this perspective. Even though we were up and awake in the bridal party room from 7am (probably went to sleep about 1am - after Abi, Gemma and I’s gift giving and word sharing) Still time was not on our side, I understand now how this often occurrence happens!
It wouldn't have been a wedding morning without a few hiccups, like for example a bee flying into the room? or no scissors to cut tags off? Or the chains being too short on the necklaces for the bridesmaids - just a select few! But it all adds to the adrenaline of the day and makes for great photographs- the bride running around in her jammies trying to defend herself from a bee with the hotel pillow!
Did I forget to mention so many of my friends were also involved in the day? Jillian Elizabeth Make-up Artistry rocked up at the crack of dawn to make everyone beautiful… Her amazing airbrush make up sat on Laura’s skin flawlessly. I appreciate her even more now realising how early she has to get up to make people beautiful on their wedding day; Working around everyone to make sure they are happy, relaxed - and she even gifted everyone a magical bag of everything you need to stay looking good throughout the day (Kirby grips, safety pins etc.) How considerate!
She gave Abi & Gemma magical fishtail side braids, they looked rockin’! And gave Laura a luscious head of voluminous curls. By this time everyone started to look great, then the little ones rocked in for their waterfall braids by Jillian. These two are the cutest little devils you’ll ever see!
Also, Tom Barbour was kitted out in an attire of tartan, piping them throughout their day!
As the clock was ticking it became a mad rush to get dressed and remember to breathe. Due to general bridal prep shenanigans we were now against the clock and already running late - I made a few phone calls to Sean to reassure him his bride was STILL coming. Eventually we were en-route!
Solsgirth was about a 20 minute drive away, so I followed them in the super awesome VW Campervan for her final journey as an unmarried woman.
I met up with the second shooter (and also great pal) Kirsty who was photographing the boys in the morning, then it was a crazy dash to the alter.
I got in position and I was just trying to remember to breathe… As the beautiful bridesmaids walked in with their heads held high (thanks girls) I felt a great rush of emotion. Before I knew it, I had succumbed to being a sobbing photographer. The guests who may have not known I knew the couple personally must have thought I was somewhat mad! Albeit I was a professional sobbing mess as Laura stepped in. I asked Sean not to turn around until the last minute to capture the moment that she walked in, before he saw her (it’s one my favourite shots!) As her brother walked her down the isle. This was it. It was time.
Laura by this time was very emotional too (which makes for GREAT photos!) and the moment they looked at each other was a moment I’ll never forget. As a friend all you want is for them to be happy, safe & healthy and in the moment I could see they both really were. I brushed away the tears through each shot and watched them say the sweetest words to each other. And then, after the years of planning, there it was. In walked two people and out walked a husband and wife.
So it was time to get the party started! I was so grateful for the closeness I had to them as they really appreciated my job and what I need to do to get them great images. We photographed the massive group shots and then formals, and then snuck away for some breathing time and couple shots. Maybe I am biased but these are just too beautiful!? Being super cool, it was about showing themselves as they are in the pictures. Tattoos, sunglasses and converse!
It’s the little things too… Walking into the dining room at Solgirth was absolutely breathtaking. You can truly see that years of went planning into it, full of special touches in a room of beautiful light.
Okay so I may have had a surprise up my sleeve planned many months ago. Sean and I planned I would do a short speech, without the bride's knowledge!
This made me sick with nerves- my hands shook; the sweat started pouring down my face- I felt like I was going to keel over! I popped the camera down to my side and took the mic. The fear kicked in when I looked over at Laura and her face looking sooo confused and she said ‘’ What are you doing??’’
I thought ‘Oh well, here goes!’’ And my 2 minute long speech felt like 2 hours. I used to think when best men never lifted their heads during speeches it was because they never thought to... - never because it was physically impossible out of fear! I couldn’t make eye contact, I had no idea if anyone could hear me- but I just did it… I said the words I wanted to say to the person who has meant so much to me for such a long time. And I told the man whom she has chosen to spend her life with how much I appreciated him making her happy! and then as quick as it started it was done. Phew! OVER! Back to work, away from the limelight!
The speeches carried on beautifully, the best man Kean said some really special words, with giggles but mainly heartfelt words to his best friend and his new wife. Sean’s words were so touching, not leaving anyone unthanked including myself. When he spoke about how they were grateful for my help etc. my heart burst, tears flowed again, it was just truly overwhelming!
Okay break-time. I couldn't help myself, I had brought the laptop and started viewing the images from the day so far! I was ecstatic and we were only half way there!
There was another surprise though. Something that I knew was going to be particularly special. Sean told me that Laura's grandparents were coming (they were unable to make it early due to ill health) something that I knew would be such a massive deal to Laura. We knew they were arriving soon, so I stood out waiting trying to be busy but not be so distracted that I'd miss them arriving- One eye in the lens the other on the road! It was a challenge keeping Laura out of the loop as we pulled her through the side door and surprise!!! Again, emotions were all too much! It was amazing for everyone seeing how happy this made her.
Music from my partner and friend Gavin McGinty & Stella Reilly who sang until the wee hours informally. A special performance just for Mrs & Mr Green. They danced their first dance to one of my favourite songs - ‘It Takes Two’ - By Ryan Adams (which was very fitting) and and encored with ‘A Tale as Old as Time’ - Beauty and the Beast performed magically by Gavin & Stella. The soundtrack to the rest of the night was sung by the 'ear-pleasing' pair, specially tailored to suit the newly weds. Both original songs by the singer/song-writers requested by Sean and Lola and also beautiful, fun and unique covers.
We set off again for more/final couple shots, eagerly requested by the bonnie couple. This was me in my element. I love when couples have fun with this part! As mine and Kirsty’s work came to an end it was time to put the camera down and get busting some moves. Kirsty went home and I skipped up to mine and Gavin’s beautiful suite knowing that I had done a great job! Got my make up on and my bonnie brown boots and danced until the VERY wee hours.
And they lived happily ever after…
Special thank you to
Kirsty Brown - Second Shooter/helped write speech!
Jillian Elizabeth Make-Up Artst at Cosmetique Scotland.
Tom Barbour - Piper
Gavin McGinty - Music
Stella Reillly - Music
Gemma & Abi - Bridesmaids!
Staff at Solsgirth - General awesome-ness
Guests - For being so photogenic!
Sky & Amy - Flower Girls/ and for keeping the vibes great!