The kitchen seemed to be the centre of attention as Mhairi got ready ahead of the big day. After some exploring, I discovered even more targets for the camera scattered throughout the various rooms. It was a full house with the hairdresser and make-up artist adding to the numbers. I soon found the dress and shoes, so got down to business as the girls bustled around me. Floating from room to room was tempting, but the kitchen was by far the prettiest. Especially when a gorgeous set of bouquets arrived to be admired by everyone.
The boys were huddled together inside the abbey when I arrived, laughing and joking at anything which moved. The friendly banter continued as I prompted them outside for a few photos with the rings. The piper looked on, shifting some air to great effect. Guests would be under no illusions as to where to go, a homemade sign and the sound of bagpipes showing the way. Two coaches suddenly arrived to offload guests on mass, and instantly changed the scene with a splash of colour. It was time for the show to begin.
The bridesmaids arrived first, stopping to show off their smiles before making way for the Rolls Royce to take center stage. Mhairi was helped out as everyone rushed ahead into the abbey. Dad took her arm and walked to the entrance as Murray looked over his shoulder nervously. When Mhairi reached the bottom of the aisle, Rev Colin Sands took control and promptly began the service with a hymn to break the ice. I could detect that Murray was quite pleased with himself as he glanced across at his stunning looking bride.
The ceremony concluded with the signing of the register and a song from Mhairi’s Grampa, before everyone headed outside for some family photographs. A mass group shot in the front of the abbey had me climbing (again!) up the steps with gusto, keen to let folk get away to enjoy their drinks reception. Mhairi and Murray remained behind with the best man, who was armed with more homemade signs for us to use. We began with a few portraits, the cool breeze soon making friends with Mhairi’s veil to create a flurry of random shapes.
The homemade signs were leading the way as Mhairi and Murray sat on a bench for a kiss. I thought they were never going to come up for air, but we managed to break them apart and bundled the happy couple in the Rolls Royce for the short trip down the cobbled streets. It was there we encountered a group of photography students who kindly let us use their vintage triumph for a brief cameo. Murray was protesting at not being in the shot, but I’m sure he agreed it was a girly moment when Mhairi graced the front seat.
Our planned ‘thank you’ shot saw the love hearts getting their big moment, before we turned out attention towards some equally cool props. A pair of cheap sunglasses (apparently not that cheap!) provided a lighter moment as they posed with the bridal car for a wicked clash of class. As the sun broke out, it seemed a perfect moment to pause and soak up the scene. We headed over to Keavil House where I immediately started branding the reception room, only to be distracted by a rather spectacular looking cake.
The speeches began in the brightly lit room and soon had folk laughing at the various stories being told. Colourful hats remained on throughout, as Murray confidently set the scene for the best man to take centre stage. His merseyside accent only added to the mixture of flavours as he delivered a torrent of jokes, many of which were directed at Murray’s well known fondness for the game of golf.
With coffee being served, I invited Mhairi and Murray outdoors for some extra shots in the late evening sunshine. A new lens made it’s debut in the raking light, offering some subtle background blur and pronounced vignetting. The unique look it offered was a bit like their wedding day. As the happy couple took to the dance floor for their brief shoe shuffle, the visual experience just left you wanting more. It signalled the end of my shooting duties on this cracking day which, as Murray might say, scored well above par.