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Lesley & Dave – Wedding at Mansfield Traquair

Lesley and her bridesmaids were already making themselves comfortable at Paul Kitching’s 21212 on the Royal Terrace when I arrived. The luxurious surroundings did little to distract from the glamour inside, most notably a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes which sparkled as the hair and make-up was applied. It was at this point that Lesley told me about their surprise first dance routine which I had unwittingly influenced (by looking disappointed!) when we met a few weeks beforehand. Little did I know what crazy things were coming.

Lesley was not the biggest fan of bridal preparations being photographed, but tolerated my low key presence all the same. Even as the pressure built and time ran away from us, it was obvious that the girls had everything under control once the dresses were on. We visited the lounge for some bridal portraits against the clock before I dashed across town to Mansfield Traquair were a pickled piper lay in wait. The chaffuer driven Mercedes cars were only minutes behind, with the bridesmaids and mum arriving first.

Lesley was escorted down the long aisle by her father and delivered to a delighted looking Dave. The happy couples wit and humour seemed entirely in keeping with the humanist ceremony which got underway in the sublime candle lit grandeur of Edinburgh’s ‘Sistine Chapel’. The highlight came at the end when Dave punched the air and bounced back down the aisle to a huge round of applause. The newly weds were still celebrating as I snapped them walking together at close range a good 100 yards later.

With only champagne glasses for company, we headed straight to West Scotland Lane for a rendezvous with the camera. The pastel colours and rustic appearance offered them the perfect backdrop to turn on the style, first with a practice of their first dance routine and followed up with a series of fun shots to show off their rebellious side. It was a crazy, creative and wonderfully charismatic show of confidence which the camera loved. It was also refreshingly original, and I couldn’t help but admire their ambition and willingness to express love.

By the time we reached some private gardens nearby they were in unstoppable form. The leafy surroundings and soft sunlight might have been a canvas of complete contrast, and yet Lesley and Dave still looked completely comfortable. They offered a romantic look for the camera before strolling back to Mansfield Traquair in each others arms, leaving me just enough time to dash into the reception room to document the cake and table decorations. The immaculately setup room would soon host the speeches.

An all star cast of best men and woman provided the entertainment and more than a few laughs for everyone. Not before the traditional father of the bride and the groom stood up of course, followed by a surprise offering from the bride herself! A bridesmaids speech gave way to the boys, who took it in turn to tease poor Dave before a song written personally for the happy couple was played aloud. It seemed all the more poignant as the words were projected on a screen for everyone to follow. The chorus just seemed to stick in the mind.

The wedding breakfast seemed to give the boys a second wind, fuelling a series of impromptu shots on the stage where the band Whisky Kiss were setting up. The band were probably surprised to have their kit hijacked but I wasn’t. I knew what was coming next when Lesley and Dave took to the dance floor to kick off the evenings entertainment. Everyone loved the show and need little encouragement to join in the ceilidh. This memorable wedding day ended just as it began. It was full of a crazy little thing called love.