Kate + Alex's outdoor island wedding on Arran

Having holidayed on Arran for many years with her parents owning a holiday cottage there, getting married on the island was an obvious choice for Kate. Bravely they made the decision to do the ceremony outside and whilst England was enjoying the jubilee in torrential rain and wind, Arran awoke to calm seas (thankfully as I was on the first morning ferry - the ferry takes 30 minutes from Ardrossan) and sunshine breaking through.  I was blown away when I saw the location for the ceremony - the walled garden sits at the foot of Brodick Castle which is perched on the hillside overlooking the sea.  steeply sloped a pathway ran from the castle down through the garden to the foot of the hill where a stone circle with rambling roses surrounded a sundial.

Kate arrived and was led by her father for the long walk through the gardens watched all the way by Alex (secretly praying she wouldn't trip on the steep path!)  It was a stunning site and by far the most dramatic entrance I've seen at a wedding.  The ceremony took place within the circle with the guests standing in a tight circle which made the whole ceremony feel incredibly intimate.

After the ceremony they had afternoon tea and champagne on the lawn then headed back to Auchrannie House Hotel for the reception.

Kate and her bridesmaids got ready at Orwin Cottage and Alex got ready at Rowanbank Cottage.  I stayed at The Glenartney guesthouse on Arran and Burnfoot House in Ardrossan the night before.

You can view the whole gallery here.  Password is Guinan.

Kate and James' Engagement at Dunorlan Park

Last weekend I jumped in the car and headed down to Royal Tunbridge Wells to meet Kate and James for the first time and to do their engagement session.  James had attended a wedding I shot for Amanda and John ages ago in Glasgow and so even before they had got engaged they had decided they wanted me to do their photography.  I'm looking forward to catching up Amanda and John at the wedding at Swallows Oast in April. Kate and James chose to have the shoot at Dunorlan Park in Tunbridge Wells - a now public park that was a privately landscaped gardens with a lake, grecian temple and fountain so loads of great spots for shooting.



Kate + Alex's Wedding at Great Fosters, Surrey

I have to confess; covering a wedding for a friend is quite possibly the most stressful assignment out there for a photographer.  I feel the pressure even more than usual to ensure that the photos are absolutely knock-out good (they know where I live), but this wedding actually turned out to be one of the most relaxed and calm I've been to all year.  The whole day from start to finish just flowed smoothly.  The team at Great Fosters were outstanding, with fabulous attention to detail and service.  And Kate and Alex simply radiated happiness and charm throughout. Kate got ready at her parents house, with make up by her friend Christina Panzini and then it was a short hop to the very lovely chapel upon a hill; St Edward the Confessor in Sutton Park.  It was pretty tight inside which meant I had to try and make myself even more discrete during the ceremony (at nearly 6 ft this is something I sometimes struggle with!).  Kate's composure dropped and her emotion came through as she entered the church on her dad's arm wearing a stunning gown designed for her by Forget Me Not Designs.  At the top of the aisle, Alex was tense in anticipation before he turned to see her walking down the aisle.  Oh, I'm welling up just writing about it! As everyone piled out of the church the sun broke through, accompanied by the pealing of church bells courtesy of one of the ushers, Mark, my brother (such wide ranging skills, who knew?!) and I pulled the couple away for a quick stroll up to the end of the church lawn and a few pictures. Back at Great Fosters we took a walk around the gardens where we had been a few weeks earlier for their engagement shoot.  Except for 30 seconds of rain (literally) it stayed bright and lovely.  I could have shot for hours with them, they are such a beautiful couple, but got them back to the Tythe Barn in good time for their grand entrance.   Usually at a wedding I will take a break during the meal (photos of people eating are never flattering), collapse in a corner, call my boyfriend and drink a LOT of water and when lucky be provided with the wedding meal.  Kate and Alex kindly squeezed me onto a table and I was sandwiched between newly weds Gemma (my brother's wife - wedding pics from Ibiza here) and Hayley.  Unfortunately for them I probably wasn't great company as I was hopping up and down every 5 minutes for shots but it was nice to grab snippets of conversation between mouthfuls.

The meal was delicious, salmon roulade, lamb and plum crumble and ice cream.  Cheese came in the form of a cheese 'cake' instead of the traditional wedding cake (made by The Lavender Hill Company who also did all the beautiful flowers).  After the first dance the awesome Ska band, Oomphf from Brighton kicked in, and parked outside was a photobooth taxi providing instant prints for guests.  Here is me and Dan the fantastic videographer from From the Hip trying it out:

If you were a guest at Kate and Alex's wedding you can view the full album here.  The password is their surname.