Chris + Meghann's Wedding on Barra (Outer Hebrides)

During quieter times I like to make the most of my destination weddings and so a wedding in Barra, the Southern most island of the Outer Hebrides, became a week long road (and boat) trip for me and mum in early June.Chris and Meghann are Americans who somehow found my details and got in touch. As a MacNeil, Meghann wanted to celebrate her Scottish heritage by marrying on the Isle of Barra, at the seat of the MacNeils, Kisimul Castle; situated on a tiny island in the bay of Castlebay. Given the journey involved getting from Pasadena where Chris and Meghann and their families live to Barra it was close family only.You can fly to Barra (it is the only airport in the world that has scheduled beach landings!) but mum andI decided we had time to take the slow route which involved me collecting her from Inverness airport (she coming from Gatwick, me coming from Inshriach House’s folk festival Insider, a little worse for wear) and driving to Oban for the 7 hour ferry crossing to Barra’s Castlebay. With only about 1600 residents, island life is a little different to life on the mainland. Our B&B (Tigh Na Mara Guesthouse) host looked quizzically at us when we requested keys for our rooms, ‘you won’t need those here’, he assured us. How refreshing.I joined the family for the rehearsal on the tiny castle out on the bay and the wind and rain whipped around us. The next morning however, the sky was blue and the waters calm. I loved the intimacy of a wedding of only 11 people (including the bride and groom) and the setting couldn’t have been more picturesque. It was a joy to spend time with them and their lovely families and they invited me and mum to join them for the wedding meal at The Castlebay Hotel that evening after I had stolen them away for a half hour for some informal shots on the beach. After honeymooning in Italy they are now back in the US and have a summer of celebrations to share their marriage with wider friends and family.

A week in the highlands

I'm just back in Surrey after a wonderful few weeks in Scotland.  I like to combine work and pleasure where possible so I meandered up North after Tara and Folarin's wedding in Bedford for a couple of Glasgow weddings and finishing up in Aviemore at Inshriach House - one of my favourite places in the world.  I'll be blogging about the wonderful home-made wedding that Lucy and Simon had up there on Saturday night but I thought I would post a few pictures of the delightful Inshriach landscape taken for the Location Scotland website - taken in between hoovering the house ready for wedding guests, washing a smelly Monty-dog and cooking for Walter and Lucy to earn my stay in the 'Summer Palace' (see the last picture for my cosy home for the week).  I shot a fashion story up here last autumn and the place is just brimming with amazing locations including the Spey, numerous bothy's, a squash court, a victorian dog shed , vegetable garden and a mini loch - all within a stone's throw of the main house.  It's also home to the amazing Insider Festival in June.  Many thanks to Walter and Lucy for their hospitality, wine and for turning my electric blanket on full in anticipation of my late night arrival :) From top:  Cottages, loch, squash court

From top:  Caingorm Mountains, Loch, Inshriach House (with teepee and wedding marquee in background)

From top left: Squash court and bothy, river Spey, Victorian dog shed, 'Beer Moth'

Official residence:  Summer Palace

Before leaving I popped in to The Dell of Abernethy to take a few pictures for Ross and Polly of their new home which they have taken over running near Nethy Bridge. It has six stone cottages attached to the house which you can visit all year round and is an awesomely quiet and beautiful spot perfect for exploring the Caingorms.