Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Scottish Highland Wedding :: Amy & Pete

"Have you seen my cuff links?" said Pete, showing off his arms to my camera. I couldn't help but laugh when I saw them, "Perfect!" Back in May when I met Pete & Amy for their engagement shoot I had been warned about Pete's love of Land Rovers and "The Great Outdoors!!" It really was perfect that on his wedding day Pete was fastening on Land Rover logo cufflinks and milling about outside the quaint Fortingall church (which just so happens to be surrounded by some pretty great outdoors-iness). Thirty minutes away, in a wooden countryside house, Amy was surrounded by her sisters. They were in a beautiful attic-like room with sunlight flooding in through the bright skylights. The room was a pool of calm, no music, just the sound of the birds chirping, distant tractors ploughing, occasional bursts of hairspray, and wedding planners bustling about downstairs. Then we heard the gravel crunching as a car entered the driveway. The flowers were being delivered!
The staircase leading up to the girl's room had these beautiful perfectly white bannisters, which reminded me of The Sims (ha! I love The Sims by the way.) From the bottom of the stairs, as my camera pointed up towards Amy's dress, I could hear the women laughing at the top of the house and downstairs through a door I could see the men in their kilts, eating sandwiches.
The Fortingall church filled up quickly as guests started to arrive in their finest, welcomed by Scottish bagpipes. Amy & Pete had told me about their ceremony venue with such excitement and now standing there in person, beneath that high, rounded, wooden ceiling, I finally understood their enthusiasm for this venue. The ceiling had been constructed by a boat-builder and as I stood there staring up at it, I realised how each beam caught the light that poured in from the church windows. 
Putting away their phones :P, Pete and his men step away for a private moment to bless the day before Amy's Land Rover chariot arrived.
Amy's big sisters, Katie & Louise, were amazing maids-of-honour — helping Amy prepare for her wedding day and taking care of her from beginning to end, fluffing the dress, umphing the hair, sewing the ripped dress (yes, Amy's dressed ripped in the evening when she was dancing but Amy's so chillaxed she didn't blink an eye) and wrapping her up into big hugs all day long.

For months before their wedding Amy had said I can pretty much do what ever I wanted photography wise but please please please, could I make sure that I captured Pete's reaction when she walked up the aisle. I always try and capture the groom's face but knowing how much this moment meant to Amy I felt a bit of extra pressure. I probably took about 50 photos within 15 seconds as she turned the corner to walk up the aisle. Thankfully...we got that one she was hoping for, and what a fab reaction!!!! Pete was seriously excited to she the love of his life walking towards him knowing that in a matter of minutes, they would finally be husband and wife.

I love these two so much. I've never seen two people so excited to kiss. All day long, I kept asking them to kiss and not once did they fail to disappoint —  consistent excitement to show their love for one another. It's just so refreshing to be around them.

After the ceremony we ran away from the crowds and drove to Kenmore Beach for some private portraits.  
We were trying to think of all the different fun games you can play on the beach. Skimming stones was definitely my favourite! 

When we returned to join the guests the bagpipes started up again and we processed along the country lane that connected the church to the village hall. Of course, Pete & Amy realised this was the purrfect moment to update their Facebook status with a quick self-portrait... 
Charge!!!!!!!! Nothing quite so much fun as the groomsmen shot. It's one of my favourite parts of the day because when it comes down to, guys just want to play and have fun :P
The beautiful Fortingall village hall... Every table was named after a different type of tractor!
 While I was busy taking this picture of the beautiful wooden ceiling I suddenly heard Amy shout "Hey Chamonix, you're missing some amazing dancing!" so I whirled around to find the whole family doing the can-can and jazz fingers!!! Amazing :P
And then came the ceilidh dancing — quite possibly my favourite thing about Scotland. This was my first experience of a ceilidh without a caller. We were up in the Highlands after all, so everyone knew what they were doing and just jumped straight into having a great time. This beautiful woman dancing in the image below was awarded best dressed guest (by me) — her purple summer dress was just so quirky cute with her sparkly silver heels = LOVE!
I loved Amy & Pete's Love Line. They had a string suspended all the way across the back wall of the village hall. By the end of the night it was sagging beneath all the little love notes that were held up by those adorable mini clothes pins. Oh and like I said...these two love kissing!!!
The evening ended with one of the coolest drum performances I've ever seen (not that have seen that many drum performances lol). Pete & his band have promised each other that they would perform at all of their weddings and Pete's number came up first. I saw people carrying in the drums and then I tripped over something. When I looked down I realised there were a few pairs of men's shoes & kilt socks lying on the ground. I turned around to see Pete and his band members, barefoot in their kilts.  Amy was so right when she finished of her bride's speech saying "I love Pete because he's just so cool."  Barefoot drummer in a kilt — that's pretty cool. The bagpipes started to play and we all gathered round in anticipation. A whistle blew. BOOM!!!! They started and they were AMAZING.
After Amy & Pete's engagement session I felt so rejuvenated because I'd spend three hours surrounded by their love which runs deep but remains light-hearted. Photographing their wedding was such a joy — it reminded me why I love being a wedding photographer. Their family and friends were so welcoming and friendly...watching the bride getting ready was so exciting...the scenery was stunning and I got to spend more time with the bride & groom than anybody did — it's makes me so happy :) 

Thank you Amy & Pete for inviting me to your special day. I can't wait for your one-year anniversary photo shoot that we'll hopefully be able to do in California!! :D

To see more images from Pete & Amy's wedding check out their slideshow below: