[There is a more recent Crail wedding on my website – you can read about Simon and Fiona’s Crail Town Hall wedding here https://www.silverphotography.co.uk/crail-town-hall-wedding-photographer-simon-and-fiona/]
At almost every wedding I photograph I will, at some point in the day, get asked two questions. “What do I do during the week?” And “What is my favourite wedding venue?” The first question is the easiest to answer – I do a huge amount of computer work (writing blog posts, amongst other things). The second is a lot trickier as I don’t think my favourite venue would be a venue at all. Sure, I like working at the Roman Camp, Aikwood Tower was really nice last but what I would really like to do would be to just get married anywhere that meant something to me. This post, about the Crail House wedding of Agnes and Max, was at a place I doubt anyone has ever heard of. It isn’t a fancy place at all, although it is really nice, it was simply a place that the bride and groom stumbled upon when they were looking for somewhere to have a wedding in an area they have visited before whilst on holiday. It gave them what was, on that day, a space that you couldn’t find anywhere else in the whole world and it was absolutely amazing. This was my kind of wedding.
This wedding was very different to most of the weddings I photograph and Agnes and Max had put a huge amount of work into making it their day. In my mind they had stripped away all the flesh from a typical wedding to get down to the core – the ceremony itself – and then added only the carefully selected bits back that suited them. There was a huge emphasis on keeping things local. Take the beautiful flowers for example – Agnes wrote “we were lucky to find Amanda at the Country Garden Company, who grows all kinds of beautiful flowers in her garden near Cupar. We bought flowers from her in bulk and arranged them ourselves in old glass jars and vintage bottles we’d been collecting. She also did the bouquet, buttonholes and corsages. We didn’t want to spend a fortune on flowers and we weren’t interested in formal arrangements, and we were thrilled with the results.” The dress was fairly local, as it was constructed from Scottish Lace – it was made by a London-based Finnish designer named Minna, who has set up a studio in a church attic in Brixton.
Perhaps my very favourite suppliers have to be the caterers though. I don’t even know where to begin but I’ll be brutally honest here – I eat a lot of wedding food and it isn’t always very good, despite being very expensive. As Agnes and Max were having their canapes on a lawn and dinner in Crail Community Hall they could choose their own catering company and they chose Wild Rover. I loved everything about them. They set up camp in a very old Landrover and cooked everything on an ex-army field kitchen (i.e. a trailer). The food they cooked was all very local and that, in fact, was a big part of their service. The lobsters were caught and cooked that very morning in Crail harbour 200m away. The venison, cheese, herbs, raspberries, everything was collected from Fife (except a few things, obviously. I don’t think you can grow limes in Scotland). The food they cooked was simply delicious and, believe me, I tried everything. I honestly haven’t had such good food at a wedding ever and if you are looking for someone to cater for your wedding then I personally couldn’t recommend them highly enough.
The day itself was a little different from the norm as well. The bride and groom got ready in separate rooms with their families but then met each other for a chat before the ceremony and then walked with their respective parents, rather than each other. The couple decided on a humanist ceremony, which allowed them to incorporate traditions from their families’ different cultures, and also allowed for meaningful participation by friends and family. The humanist ceremony was conducted by Lorna Hanlon whose ability to speak German meant that Max’s family could feel included.The ceremony included the breaking of a glass, a Jewish tradition, after which Agnes and Max spent a little more time together alone while everyone got stuck into the food and the excellent mobile bar. It was, as you can see from the photographs, a scorching day, and everyone mingled about outside in the sunshine. When the sun was lower in the sky, and perfect for photography, myself and the bride and groom took a walk down to the nearby harbour for some pictures before walking over to Crail Community Hall (no wedding cars either!). Dinner was a big pot of venison stew and mashed potatoes after which started the craziest dancing I’ve ever photographed. It was a traditional Jewish folk dance called the Hora and involved a lot of circles, some dangerous bride-on-chair action and then a lot of spinning. I was pleased to have a good excuse to keep my feet firmly on the ground.
I feel blessed this year as I have had some pretty amazing weddings to photograph throughout Scotland and this one was no exception. I had a blast photographing it, however challenging it was in the blazing sunshine, and I loved being able to be a part of the day too. If I were to get married again I think my wedding would be something like this one.