Lesley-Ann and David’s Arisaig Woodland Wedding.
Not long after I returned from my destination wedding in Rhodes I found myself back in Scotland driving north, through the wild beauty of Rannoch Moor and on up to the west coast of the Highlands for Lesley and David’s Arisaig woodland wedding at the fabulous Larachmhor Gardens.
In typical Scottish style the spring weather had been great for weeks. The day before wedding I set up camp at Camusdarach campsite in glorious sunshine and the campsite owner told me that there was absolutely definitely no chance that the weather was going to break and that the days of sunshine would continue unabated. It was so dry, in fact, that there weren’t even any midges. Absolutely perfect wedding weather lay ahead. Later that night, however, I was woken to the gentle pitter patter of raindrops on the roof of my van and, I am ashamed to admit, felt smug that I had ignored the forecast and brought along my big umbrella and stopped at the Green Welly Stop on the way up north to buy the essential Smidge midge repellant. By the way, if you are visiting Scotland and are unfamiliar with midges you really, really should buy yourself some of this. All day in a damp forest and I didn’t get bitten once.
Lesley-Ann is a good friend of mine that I met though our shared love of climbing and I was absolutely delighted when she asked me to photograph her wedding in Arisaig, a wedding location that I have become particularly fond of since my first wedding there a couple of years ago. I was delighted to find out that she’d already chosen the amazing humanist Paula Wilkinson with whom I have worked a great many times in the past and I knew that this Arisaig woodland wedding was going to be special.
Lesley’s fiance, David, has family connections to the hidden gem that is Larachmhor gardens which made it the perfect location for their wedding. I have visited Arisaig a number of times and had driven right by the gardens without ever even knowing that they were there. Tucked away down a bumpy little lane the gardens were initially started in the 1920s but later abandoned with many of the fine rhododendron species being dispatched to other gardens. More recently however a conservation group, led by David’s father, has been working to bring the gardens back to their former glory. All I can say is that they were an absolutely superb place for a wedding!
As the guests, and midges, amassed in the beautiful little copse in the centre of the woodland there was such a great atmosphere. Everyone, apart from the groom David, was very relaxed and sitting around chatting and having a great time. Paula did a great job with the ceremony as usual which culminated in the planting of a tree named Bob. In 20 years of wedding photography this was the first (but hopefully not the last) time I get to see a bride shovelling soil in a wedding dress.
Although Larachmhor gardens itself is very beautiful we were so close to some of the most stunning beaches in the UK so it would’ve been a shame to not pay them a visit. As usual for a wedding things ran on a little late and the weather was dull and overcast, especially compared to the night before when I took the first picture below. Lesley, David and I drove along the road a few minutes to the beach at Camusdarach and went for a little walk for ten minutes just to try and capture some of the rapidly fading daylight. In the end I think the soft dusky light actually looked beautiful and it made the journey well worth it.
Lesley and David’s Arisaig woodland wedding was such a great and memorable day and I can’t wait to get back up to Arisaig for my next wedding there in just a few weeks.