When I met up with Lucy and simon in the summer in Super Pizza on Brick Lane I was delighted - here was a couple with strong creative ideas and lots of input as to the type of photography they wanted. Roll on a few months and I arrived up at Inshriach House, nr Aviemore to find full hands on deck for their homemade village fete style wedding. The marquee on the lawn of the main house was bedecked in the brightly coloured, many metres of bunting that Sophie had worked tirelessly on for the Insider Festival, long trestle tables ran the length, covered with linen and sackcloth and scattered with purple vetch. Wild flowers were in a mix of cut glass vases and jars and the crockery and cutlery were mismatched. Unique place names (the arrangement of which were still being decided on hours before the ceremony!) were handwritten seed mats which could be taken home and planted. As I captured the details in the morning both the bride and groom were wandering in and out seeing to last minute arrangements.
Lucy didnt emerge from the bathroom until about an hour before the ceremony and slipped effortlessly into a trailing vintage style lace dress and enormous platform shoes (Lucy is very petite and Simon well over six feet!) and then I dashed on ahead to meet Simon at the Old Bridge Inn opposite the church - St Aidan's.
The cars were supplied by Bygone Drives in Aviemore with the bride arriving in a beautiful 1954 convertible split screen Morris Minor and her three gorgeous sisters, who were the bridesmaids, in a Bentley.
Whilst the signing of the register took place Lucy's sisters sang and Lucy and Simon peeped out to watch, both very moved. This is a couple so deeply in love that it's expressed strongly in their every interaction, so much so that I was moved to tears just watching them (it's something of an occupational hazard).
I always knew the the couple photographs would have the most spectacular backdrops. I could have shot there all day and we didn't even make it to the farmyard (chickens, tractors, festival props etc) but we did stroll through the fields and past the squash court and bothys.
The owners of Inshriach, Lucy and Walter Micklethwait, perhaps inadvertently, come as part of the venue fee and are untiring in their efforts to ensure that a wedding on the estate runs like clockwise with nothing being too much trouble (picking vetch at 7am on the wedding day, extra lighting for photobooths at 11pm at night etc) So much so that the grateful bride usual insist they join the guests for the party. As this bride told me, unlike other venues who are quick to discuss costs and curfews during an enquiry call, Walter simply enthused that a wedding at inshriach is 'amazing!' - sales pitch enough for an openminded couple with imagination. Where possible they encourage the use of local or connected suppliers (such as myself - I have been going to Inshriach for 10 years) which gives any event a homely and personal touch.
The food, which had a very Scottish flavour, including venison stew and cranachan was supplied by Taste of Moray. The cake (made by Lucy's sister, layers of coffee and fruit and nut cakes trimmed with wild flowers) was cut and it was onto a waltz for the first dance, played in by Ali and Hazen et al of Ord Ban Music who followed up with a good old barn storming ceilidh (which yours truly couldn't resist joining for a very extended Dashing White Sergeant.
I ended the night with an hour in the teepee cum photobooth with guests scratching out messages for the couple on the blackboard. It's the first time I've done a photobooth but I really think it brings out the exhibitionist in guests - well, that and a belly full of wine, love and happiness...
(If you were a guest at this wedding, you can view the full album here. The password is the surname of the groom).