Chelsea and Daniel – Culzean Castle Wedding Photographer

Culzean Castle Wedding Photographer

Since photographing my first wedding at Culzean Castle relatively recently I seem to be there just about every other month these days – not that I am complaining as it is a fantastic place for either a full size wedding or a little elopement. A Culzean castle wedding photographer has so much to work with from the castle itself to the coastline, the beach, the newly opened Orangery, the woodland and gardens and the stunning Camelia House. For bride and groom Chelsea and Daniel and their 15 guests, to come over from the US in the middle of May and be able to hire an entire castle all for themselves was their dream and they had a great time!

I’m going to have to come out and say it at the start – there is something very different between the way my American couples approach their weddings compared to the majority of my Scottish brides and grooms. Americans just seem to worry a lot less, have a lot more fun and really, really just enjoy being with each other in a cuddling, hugging, focussing on looking lovingly at each other kind of way. I’ve spoken to other photographers about this and they all agree, so it isn’t just me. Chelsea and Daniel were no exception – rarely have I photographed a couple who so publicly adored each other. That’s certainly not to say that all my other clients don’t love each other, it is just that our friends from US are just less worried about showing it and it takes less input from me on the day.

In another very American twist they had their wedding ceremony at 5pm. This gives you the very best of the spring / summer light to work with in Scotland where, in May, June and July the sun doesn’t go down until around 8 or 9pm. When I photograph a wedding ceremony at the usual 2pm I have to work with the harshest light of the day (assuming it is sunny of course) for the bulk of the photography and then coax the bride and groom back out in the evening for a second little shoot in the perfect lighting. Of course, not everyone can have their ceremony as late as Chelsea and Daniel did but, as I say to all my clients, if it is sunny then it is always worth spending just a few minutes outside in the early evening to capture portraits that are so much softer and more flattering than ones taken in the middle of the afternoon.

So Chelsea wore a pair of bright blue Hunter wellington boots all day. And one of her bridesmaids also had a pair in a fetching shade of yellow. That’s a big wedding win if, like Chelsea and Daniel, you plan to make the most of your venue by walking around the lawn, going down onto the beach and generally going places that no Manolo Blahnik was ever designed to go. Plus, they kind of fitted in with Chelsea’s obsession with the little herd of highland cattle that reside at the castle.

Since Daniel and Chelsea were technically married earlier that morning the ceremony was just a formality but it was so beautiful. It was conducted by a hugely talented close family friend and included some live guitar playing, some beautiful readings, an impromptu helicopter flyby and an absolutely stunning view over the sea towards the mystical island of Arran. There were a lot of tears (me included) and it was lovely to be able to capture such an intimate moment between two people in love. Afterwards everyone did a bit of mingling before picking up the enormous sword they’d had made and setting off across the grounds for quite a few family photographs (one of the not so great things about American weddings…). Dinner was in the newly opened Focsle in the castle after which I took Chelsea and Daniel back out for a leisurely walk down to the beach in the stunning warm evening light for just a few more photographs.

I had such a brilliant afternoon with these guys and, as usual, Helen and the team at Culzean Castle were great to work with!

Here are a few other recent Culzean Castle weddings that I’ve photographed:


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