Inveraray – Geaspar & Kelly
Inveraray, I owe you so much. Not just for showing me how gorgeous the rolling hills of Scotland could be (although it was nice to have a refresher, my memories of the islands to the north from my youth had started to fade), but mostly for introducing me to possibly the greatest whiskey there ever was. You can nip your nikkai, you can swig your…but as soon as I tasted oban, I knew i’d found the one. Love at first taste is a thing and if you’ve never found a whisky that you thought you could like, I implore you to give this one a try.
So then, you’re thinking of getting married abroad? Planning a destination wedding can be tricky, particularly when trying to book vendors like a destination wedding photographer, do you book someone local to the venue and then trust that they’ll come good as they know the area and the venue well? Or do you hire someone who lives near you so you can meet and get to know them properly before the day. The right answer for me would be the latter, hire someone you can meet in person beforehand as personal connection is a big deal, I go on about it a lot. No doubt you’ll have plenty of questions about destination wedding photography, which is why I put together this super awesome FAQ page which hopefully covers everything you need to know, check it out.
Scotland can be a funny place, one minute it’s chucking it down with rain, the next the clouds have parted and you’re left with the most epic light you have ever seen. Sunshine baths the landscape in a divine light whilst the background remains a perfect indigo canvas. I guess it’s the risk you take, roll the dice with the weather and either get rained on, or get light that is possible in only a few places in the world.
On this trip I was incredibly fortunate to be able to shoot in the grounds of the castle that belongs to the duke of argyle. This place is phenomenal. To be in awe of it is a true understatement. It upholds the image in ones mind of a castle so perfectly that it’s almost difficult to believe that it is in fact a real place. Inside the castle we were lucky enough to have access to the weapons room (i’m assuming this is called an armoury? Weapons room sounds like I’ve reduced it to a computer game), full of spears, miniature canons and swords from around the globe, it’s a museum of militaria in it’s own right.
Whilst Inveraray is a stunning place all on it’s own, this wedding was particularly special because it introduced me to the wedding tradition of door games. This isn’t a Scottish tradition by any means, this in fact in keeping with the brides family heritage. Essentially the groomsmen are set tasks that they have to fulfil in order to gain access to the bride, they have to prove their worth as it were. I’m told that the groom himself should be fronting the crew and then delegating the tasks (basically so he doesn’t get hammered just before the ceremony) but somehow our Scottish groom ducked out of this one and left his ushers to face the music. To say it started off tamely would be an absolute lie. After scoring a perfect zero on the first challenge, the chaps had to eat a plat of century eggs. If you’re not familiar with this Chinese ‘delicacy’, it’s an egg that would have been buried for a considerable amount of time (I’m unsure if 100 years is accurate, would it survive that long?), long enough for it to have fermented and turned completely black. Companies produce century eggs, but I have no idea how. The net result is an egg, that is black, and stinks to high heaven. It definitely smells like it’s 100 years old, even if the fermentation process has been accelerated somewhat. The plate was cleaned, pints of beer were downed to mask the taste, next challenge…
The bridesmaids had all put lipstick on and kissed a piece of paper, femme fatale on a napkin style, the chaps then had to guess which lip profile belonged to the bride. I feel it important to note at this stage that the game was rigged so they would fail all the challenges, none of the lip impressions belonged to the bride…poor chaps. SO what could be worse than a century egg? How about a mix of Turtle something, a product so obscure that the girls who were Chinese couldn’t decipher what was in it based upon the ingredients list…down it went. What on earth could compound their misery? 20 squat thrusts…in three piece suits, in a corridor with no windows, these girls took them to town.