To kick off 2017 I want to share Karen and Craig with you. They were married at Kinkell Byre in St. Andrews after planning their wedding from Australia, but first of all here is their engagement shoot from Ashton Lane in the West End of Glasgow, shot by Marc at One Big Picture... you can get in touch with Marc on his website, Facebook or Instagram.Read More
Hello, and welcome to what could be an interesting, surely stressful, and hopefully exhilarating ride.
My name is Euan Robertson, I am a photographer and I have just proposed to Cat.
It seemed like a huge undertaking when only I (and my little sister) knew. Oh how quickly have I realised, that was the easy part.
I am going to be talking to you about planning a wedding. I’m not sure how it will go (hopefully very well) or how I will be able to translate the journey into words (hopefully quite well, let’s manage expectations here, I deal in photographs!) but I am excited about the seemingly bottomless well of potential. So many opportunities and so many variations that we could possibly try out in a quest to make the day our own. So many. So, so many…that’s a bit of a terrifying thought actually.
But first, let’s start with some context and how we got here.
I met Cat when I photographed her as part of the Cairn String Quartet with which she was, at that time, a violinist. It wasn’t the most seamless start to a relationship, but that’s a story for the pub rather than the internet. We both realised pretty quickly though, largely thanks to much red wine, that we were onto a winner (as I’m often reminded by pals, I am MK Dons taking on Man City and winning, a real FA Cup minnows story. Last football reference, promise).
We both work in the wedding industry, myself as a photographer, Cat, previously in the quartet and now as a makeup artist supremo. As such, Saturday nights are often spent with a glass of wine chatting about what we liked and (whisper) didn’t like about weddings we’d been at that day. Without knowing it (maybe she did?!) we were making the early plans for our wedding. I still hadn’t proposed.
That came on Monday 24th August this year. We were at Monachyle Mhor where a couple of months earlier we had worked a wedding together (as featured on the wonderful Braw Brides!). It’s an incredible place. Partly because mobile phone masts don’t seem to have made it that far, and partly because we had our own steam room!
Having no idea how I was going to pop the question, and with a weighty (figuratively and literally) ring in my pocket, we went for a walk. Cat is well versed in patiently waiting on me as I stop to take photos. I actually think she’s probably come to enjoy it by now. So it didn’t seem to phase her when I started balancing my camera on her handbag to get a rare photo of us together amidst the stunning scenery.
I triggered the camera timer from my phone and as she was counting down, I dropped to one knee, held up the ring and said…well, I don’t really know what I said. I was definitely shaking. Bricking it a bit. Her immediate response was “Is this for real?” And that, is the expression forever captured in pixels.
I had bought the ring a couple of months previously. I had a very rough idea of what I thought she would like (no gold, no diamond) and was having a hell of a time trying to find something that I liked. I was looking online and saw a couple of awesome rings that were quickly removed from the search due to the number of zeros that accompanied them. Deciding I had to get some serious help, I shadily snuck into an actual jewellers, irrationally terrified that I’d be spotted and outed. This obviously didn’t happen and I found something that I loved pretty much straight away. Thankfully my choice went down well, and reassured Cat that it was, in fact, for real.
Next time I’ll be talking about the morning after. The realisation that now the proposal is done, a wedding needs to be planned!
Thanks for reading and get in touch if you have advice to share, words to ease the fear, or any thoughts on what you’d like me to talk about (or brace myself for).
Till next time...
Hello, I’m Emma and I really, really, really love weddings. I love working at weddings, being at weddings, reading about weddings, talking about weddings; weddings, weddings, weddings. I’m also really frank. If you ask for my opinion on something, I won’t beat around the bush. My friends gave me a signed brick when I left school with SUBTLE written along the side. True story.
It’s hard to say exactly how many weddings I’ve worked on, but I reckon I hit the 150 mark this year. One of the most common questions I got asked when meeting with engaged couples was if I was married myself. Cue the common response, “no not yet, just co-habiting!” But on the 24th May 2015, when I was sitting on the sofa with my glass of wine after dinner with my pup sleeping at my feet, Robert got down on one knee during the advert break. For us, it was perfect. We spend many a weekend cooking, eating, on our sofa, drinking wine, watching rubbish tele and falling asleep. It’s our favourite way to spend an evening.
The first promise I had to make was that I’d give Robert a week’s breathing space before I would start banging on about our wedding. After all, he’d spent the weeks prior anxious about proposing, choosing the ring and plucking up the courage to ask my Dad’s permission. He got 6 days; on the 7th we booked our venue and date.
Like most couples, before we got engaged we’d already talked about getting married 15,602 times before and truthfully, we’ve never wanted the ‘big wedding’. We’ve been together for 6.5 years, we’ve lived together for over 4, we’ve got our mortgage and we’ve got our pup. Will being married change anything? Yep, my name and how our partnership is viewed in the eyes of the law. The next day we’ll likely be back on our sofa, watching too many reruns of Gavin and Stacey. We just might be doing it with some more champagne.
This day is about lawfully making you and me, us. Not about meeting expectations or doing what someone tells me I should do because it’s a wedding and that’s just what you do. Sorry, I’m not spending hundreds on a vintage car for 20 minutes; it’s just not important to me. Who even eats sugared almonds anyway? The average wedding spend in Scotland in 2014 was £20,723. If you’ve got that budget, that’s freaking sweet. But we don’t, and we’ve promised ourselves that we will not get into debt to celebrate the 2732nd day of us being a couple. (Google, yo.)
A wedding is not about having ‘the best day ever’, it’s about formalising and celebrating what is already the normal, everyday. Regardless of whether your napkins match your lipstick, it undoubtedly will be one of the best days of your life because you’ll be surrounded by all the love! (I say one of, because if I have THEE best day of my life at 27, that’s a bit depressing.) It’s not about whether you’re having what could be classed as a “budget wedding” or a “big budget wedding”, because it’s not about budget; it’s about value. Everything in this world is worth what you’re willing to pay for it and how much you value it. You can’t buy a cashmere jumper for the price of acrylic; please apply that logic to your wedding.
I probably do look at weddings from a more rational angle so we were quite confidently able to assign where we felt our money was going to be best spent. I’m going to be telling you our story of how we’re planning our wedding within our means, what we’re prioritising and where we’ve been willing to cut back without feeling hard done by.
With love and truth bombs,
I’m so excited to have this engagement shoot by the gorgeous Suzanne Li on Braw Brides today! Michelle and Callum are just too cute to bear and they look like they had so much fun at Kelvingrove Park. Another fine example of why you should have a pre-wedding shoot! You can catch Suzanne on her website, Facebook or Instagram.