I had such a good feeling about photographing Anni and Lorry’s relaxed fun wedding at Balinakill Country House that it made my return home from a month away in sunny California seem not so bad. Knowing that I’d have a relaxed and fun wedding to come back to made me feel very glad that I make a living as a wedding photographer. People ask me at almost every wedding whether I enjoy all of the weddings that I photograph – I am a photographer and I enjoy photographing small low-key weddings as much as I enjoy huge flamboyant events but some weddings are definitely more my cup of tea than others and if I was lucky enough to be able to pick and choose then a wedding like this one would always be top of my list. Why, you might wonder, and how did I know it would be a good day? Well when I met Anni and Lorry for lunch in the West End of Glasgow Anni was really, really excited. She had clearly put in a huge amount of thought and effort into making her wedding day something special. It was also obvious to me that she wanted it to be, above all else, fun. A fun wedding is a joy for me to photograph – everyone is relaxed, they look happy, I’m happy and the bride and groom get the best photographs. It actually poured with rain all day but it just didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of anyone in the slightest. Perhaps equally importantly was that Anni and Lorry actually wanted good photographs of their day and helped me achieve that by discussing their requirements with me so I had a good idea of what they wanted. They hadn’t chosen me because they just wanted photography without the fuss, they actually wanted documentary style pictures of their day.
Balinakill Country House is basically a beautiful big old house near Tarbert on the last bit of mainland Scotland before you fall into the Atlantic. Anni and Lorry had turned this blank canvas into something even more amazing with more wedding stuff than I had ever seen. 2000 hand made paper cranes from Etsy had been strung up by 9 guests over the course of 2 days using pieces of wood collected from around the estate. The table names were written on back of Bamboo fans from Tokyo. Yew wood, donated from a customer of Anni’s mums Tilly Tearoom was used for table centrepieces and Scottish whiskey bottles, collected from Cosy Club in Exeter and friends, had the bottoms cut off to turn them into tea-light holders by Laurence. The mismatched crockery was also from the tearoom. Anni had so much time on her hands that she even designed her own wedding dress which was then made for her by a boutique in Devon called the Ivory Secret (it was amazing!). Other nice touches were that friend Stuart Hepburn performed the Tam O’Shanter after the speeches (he wrote a bit of Hamish MacBeth and Taggart). The speeches themselves weren’t exactly ordinary either. As there were three best men they did a joint speech that partly took the form of a multiple choice quiz about Laurence’s past revealing such things as the fact that he had a crush on the blonde girl from 90210.
After an excellent Moroccan inspired dinner the rain actually stopped for a wee while and we braved the fierce midges (I’m thinking of sacrificing a camera lens to make space in my bag for some midge spray…) to get a few shots outside quickly before dancing the night away to the amazing Number Nine band. I had such a great day (definitely in the top 5 Anni) and loved getting stuck in to this wedding. As it turned out my next wedding was also pretty great as well – more on that next time!
If you are planning to have your own wedding at Balinakill then let me know – it is one of those venues that I would love to work at every week if I could!
You can read about a more recent wedding at Balinakill here https://www.www.silverphotography.co.uk/scott-and-julies-summer-wedding-at-balinakill/