Elaine and Michael’s Disney Day Wedding in Edinburgh
Elaine and Michael’s wedding was interesting from the outset as the ceremony and daytime reception were held in the church in which Elaine’s dad was the minister. Naturally he wasn’t going to be officiating at his own daughter’s wedding, instead it was one of his closest friends that would have that honour.
The church is the very beautiful St. Andrews, Clermiston in Edinburgh which is the only church in Scotland designed by the architect Sir Basil Spence. The church was completed in 1958 and is the most stunning example of a modern church that I have had the pleasure to photograph (inside and out). The beauty of the building and the rows of side windows giving an amazing amount of light inside the church made it a pleasure to photograph. The seven coloured windows in upper level of the front of the church also have the appearance of being illuminated when the are lit by the sun.
A great addition to the day which I had not previously encountered was there there was to be an afternoon tea in the church hall for the congregation, prepared by the ladies of the congregation.
I wasn’t asked to do Elaine’s bridal prep so my day started early at the church. I did some general establishing shots moving from the exterior to the church interior and then details and set up of the afternoon tea.
Another twist to this wedding was that I had been requested to only shoot from the back of the church and the balcony during the ceremony. Some photographers will question or dispute such a request but I always respect the rules of those who are conducting a wedding. It is their place of work after all. I normally move in quite close through the ceremony for a more intimate ‘guests point of view’ look to my images so this was an interesting challenge.
The afternoon tea was a really lovely idea and the ladies of the congregation put in a great amount of work to lay on a great spread. As it was essentially an extra reception I did end up taking more shots than I normally would as it even included a speech from the father of the bride.
Once the afternoon tea was finished I headed to the evening reception in Edinburgh City Chambers, just off the Royal Mile, right in the heart of Edinburgh. Michael and Elaine had arranged for me to have a parking space in the building’s quadrangle which was fantastic although I actually had to negotiate a crowd of tourists who’d spilled out onto the road as I drove in.
Edinburgh City Chambers is another stunning building and a real gift to a photographer. As I arrived there first I was able to park up and get in place to capture the arrival of Elaine and Mike, closely followed by the wedding party and the guests’ coach.
After this I was able to head inside and take the detail shots. I probably went a bit overboard but I wanted to record everything. Elaine Michael had put in a huge amount of effort to create their Disney theme; making their own table number cards and centre pieces. The Disney Castle centre piece for the top table was particularly impressive. Even Elaine’s dress was styled after one of the Disney princesses! The speeches, meal and dancing were all held in the main debating room of Edinburgh City Chambers. The room had plenty of light from the windows and a huge glass dome in the roof which was inlaid with a golden representation of the zodiac. It always pays to look up in buildings like these.
Once the speeches were over and the meal was being served I went out to my car to back up images to my iPad and have some food myself. After that it was back in to The Chambers to get some shots of the guests having drinks and to chat with the band before they set up their gear.
The music was a mix of covers and ceilidh tunes which is always a great way to get people up and filling the dance floor. The dancing shots are something I really love so it’s great to get a full dance floor immediately after the couple’s first dance and the bridal party dances.
I always like chatting to the guests as I’m genuinely interested in people and also find it makes them more comfortable with me going around taking pictures. I ended up giving a couple a lift home from this wedding as one of them was feeling ill. I’d been chatting to them earlier and found out they were related to my gran’s next door neighbour!
Elaine and Michael’s Disney Day was a pleasure to photograph and once the ceremony began, they were a really laid back and calm couple.