2020 has been a pretty quiet and frankly rubbish year for most people and as a wedding photographer I have not worked very much and it has not been easy. I have really enjoyed spending time with my girls and being at home but not seeing people at weddings has been one of the low points. As you may have seen on my Instagram I have been lucky to do a small number of weddings and one such wedding was in Dundee … in Scotland … which as you may know is quite a long way away. The wedding was in Taypark House at the end of October and at a point when Wales was part of the firebreak. Thankfully I was able to travel for work and it was a 900 mile round trip that started with a speeding ticket in the first 10 miles (although I was unaware of this till the following week) and few covid safe services trips as well as lots of podcasts and a car stereo that turned itself off every 5 minutes or so. This problem is still not fixed and means I have to plug headphones into my phone to listen to something without being interrupted by silence every few minutes.
I drove as far as Hamilton on the Friday and then did the return journey to Dundee on the Saturday to photograph the wedding. The hotel was eerily quiet and being Halloween I was greeted by one of the Super Mario Bros when I checked in! The downtime in the hotel was filled by watching cricket, films and Netflix series and it was quite a treat.
The wedding was great and we had a small amount of sun with some high winds, kilts, laughter and a gorgeous bride – Fiona. I have known Fiona for about 15 years now and I was lucky enough to teach her … or she was lucky enough to be taught by me at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama when I lectured there on the Stage Management course. Fiona was a great student and very good at her chosen career. We worked on a number of shows together and always laughed more than we should about everything! I also taught her Bridesmaid Kate so this made the day extra special. Kate was also a very good student and we worked on many a production together as I supervised the productions. I remember Fiona and Kate being in the office when I bought my eldest daughter in as a baby .. I think it was the first time they realised I was a proper grown up!!
The wedding day was not the easiest as we had to deal with Covid 19 restrictions, high winds, a smaller than wanted guest list and an early finish to the night due to restrictions. BUT it was such a fun day surrounded by joyous lovely people and as the wedding was smaller I felt a real big part of the day and like a guest myself, This is always the good thing about these smaller weddings and I have really enjoyed being able to get to know the close family and friends better than I would have done before.
Anyway the good news is that Fiona and Nick loved their photos and after the wedding they wrote this essay! I love it and it made me laugh too.
When we asked Simon to spend his October holidays in Scotland so he could photograph our wedding, we realised that was quite a big ask. Simon, of course, was delighted at the idea of forcing his family to spend a weekend in a Holiday Inn and very gamely said yes.
And then came along our good friend ‘The Global Pandemic’, and we had a less relaxing run up to our wedding than we had intended. But despite no longer being able to travel with his family, having so few guests to photograph, worrying about social distancing and masks and travel restrictions, Simon remained positive, and lovely and was eternally amenable to our ever changing plans.
After being such a easy decision to choose him as our photographer – have you seen his lovely photos?! – we had to decide, very last minute, whether to have him as one of our extremely limited guest list. It was a tough decision. We weren’t sure if it would be strange to have a photographer around when we were such a small group. We weren’t allowed many of the ‘normal’ wedding things so we wondered if there would be enough to photograph, or if the photos would look a bit ‘sad’ compared to the ones we’d imagined. And of course, we had to have one less guest than we could have done otherwise.
Needless to say, we asked him to come and it was the best decision that we made.
Not only was Simon himself a lovely addition to the day – he had everyone relaxed and laughing, and in no time felt like one of the family- but he judged the day perfectly. There was no moment when his presence felt at all intrusive, yet he managed to capture every detail. He even gave a Royal Ballet worthy performance with a light wand to get our great night-time shots!
In the wrong hands, the pictures of our wedding could easily have been of a drastically diminished guest list and a torrential storm with 53mph wind. What Simon has given us is an album full of joy and laughter and of us having a glorious time with our family and closest friends. We have so many pictures that we can’t stop looking at, and we have a perfect record of our day to share with those who couldn’t be there in person.
Thank-you Simon. We’re sorry you didn’t get your dream weekend at the Holiday Inn, but we really do LOVE our photos.
Fi and Nick X
If you want me to be part of your day and maybe see some of my balletic moves then why not get in touch here and please enjoy the photos of the day below!