To continue the theme of 2011 my next June wedding was also in the rain. Although, to be fair, this was pretty impressive rain and I was pleased to have developed my ‘taking photographs whilst holding an umbrella under one arm’ skills to such a level by now that I could still dash out and take pictures whilst remaining fairly dry.
The day actually started very nearby to my house at the Houston and Killellan Kirk (unusually, for a church, it has a quite impressive website http://www.houstonkirk.org/) as Laura preferred me to begin there rather than taking photographs at her house (I hadn’t written my persuasive blog post about this back then).
Laura arrived in a wonderful old Jaguar looking beautiful in her vintage-style dress and a lovely french veil (apologies for any fashion-description errors – I am a wedding photographer but I am still only a man after all) and made a dash for the church. I have met the Rev. Donald Campbell a few times and remembered that he had a very relaxed approach to photographers so I managed to get shots from both the front of the church, to capture a little of the anticipation, and also Laura walking up the aisle with her father, and then also from a point up in the gallery at the back of the church. As I have said many times before, remaining unobtrusive in the church is of paramount concern to me and being able to shoot from a spot hidden away like I did is very useful.
Unfortunately there wasn’t really any opportunity for photographs outside the church so everybody bundled back into the bus and made the short trip to Hotel du Vin (or One Devonshire Gardens as most people remember it) in the West end of Glasgow.
I have worked at One Devonshire many times in the past and I always look forward to returning there. If you are having a smaller wedding (about 50 – 70 guests) I think there are few better places in the city centre of Glasgow to have a wedding reception. It is run extremely well (something you notice more as a photographer) and offers a surprising amount of opportunities for photographs. Even in the rain we managed to shoot a few family pictures on the front steps – obviously if you wanted large groups of 10 people then this wouldn’t have worked but, for us that day, it was ideal. If you are wondering why I didn’t just shoot them indoors then it is just because of the light. I can, and on many occasions have, shot everything inside here but the groups have to be lit with a camera flash. This is perfectly fine, if a little trickier, but if you can get outside, even on an overcast day, the natural lighting is so much better.
The cutting of the cake is usually done the same way at One Devonshire (or Hotel du Vin…) and, I think, it is quite a good plan. The cake is placed at the top of the stairs during the day so that people can admire it and take pictures. This cake really was impressive and I am pretty sure I remember that the little fairy cakes were made by their friends (I’ll try and get confirmation of this). Because of the placement of the cake I can usually get pretty good shots of the cake cutting – compare this to a lot of other venues who put the cake in front of a big window, fire exit or, horror of horrors, a mirror! After the cake is cut you can then very quickly do a group picture of all of the guests. They are already gathered around the bottom of the stairs so the hard work is done!