Jessica and Colin's wedding at The Craw in Arran
There are not many weddings that I photograph where I come away feeling that I have just been at a festival. That is how I felt after Jessica and Colin's wedding which was at The Craw on the beautiful island of Arran.
The couple had their wedding in Jessica's parents house in Catacol on Arran. I arrived the day before and followed instructions on how to get there, which included driving up a very steep hill. When I got there I couldn't believe my eyes. It was one of the most amazing views I had ever seen overlooking the sound of Bute. There were lots of friends and family helping the couple to get things ready for the next day. I even helped by putting up a gazebo with one of the bridesmaids (it was still standing the next day!). Scott who was one of the groomsmen was a fantastic help in getting everything ready and was a big help to me on the day too.
The place looks amazing and was mostly down to Jessica's parents (Chris and Naomi) hard work over the course of a year. When Jessica told them she wanted to get married at The Craw they went to work on the place which included things like building stone walls, laying patios, landscaping and even tarring roads. Hard work indeed!
So when I arrived on the morning of the wedding, everything was in place. The new glass addition to the house where the ceremony was had wooden benches made by Chris covered with sheepskin rugs. It looked perfect. There were also beautiful details all around the place like bunting, flowers and candles. There were also home made signs telling the guests where everything was from the ceremony, marquee and fire pits. Jessica and Colin had even made their own wedding rings at a jewellery school called Vanilla Ink.
Jessica was getting ready in the house and getting hair and make up done by Laura at Alexanders in Brodick. Jessica's dress was from Joyce Young and just happened to be called "The Jessica". It was stunning. Colin was in the caravan with his groomsmen who were helping him with his kilt .The guests then started arriving by getting bused up the hill in vans. Its was not a hill for walking in heels!
It was time for the ceremony and Jessica's musician friends played her down the aisle accompanied by her Dad. The ceremony was beautiful and Jessica's sister Emily did a very touching reading which had nearly everyone in tears. It was wonderful. After the "I do's" the couple, followed by their guests, went out to the patio for drinks and canapés. I think most of the guests were blown away by the incredible view.
Now it was the entertainment. I was beginning to feel that every one of Colin and Jessica's guests were multi talented! It seemed that everyone including aunts, uncles, friends, grandparents and even children could sing or play an instrument. Even the groom got his guitar out and sang a love song to the bride! The music lasted for a couple of hours and it was fantastic. I loved it!
It was then time for the lunch in the marquee which was supplied by Tents and Events. Big up to that company for getting the marquee up to The Craw! Jessica's Aunt Claire from Pipe Dreams decor had decorated the marquee and it was amazing. It just fitted in with the feel of the day perfectly. The bridal party even got their own personalised glass from Diane Harris from Harris Glassware or drinking horn for the men! Apart from the top table all the guests could sit where they liked. It gave the day such a relaxed feel about it. The food was provided by Stephanie Dean and it was incredible. Everyone just helped themselves from the buffet.
All the guests also got a favour bottle of gin made by Colin called "Something Blue" which he had made especially for the wedding day for Jessica. Not may brides get their own gin! Also Colin and the two Dad's made their own beer for the wedding called Thistle and Rose with Drygate. As I said the talent amongst everyone was incredible! The couple even got specialised blue chocolates made to go with the gin by Annette from Sugarsnap chocolates.
It was then time for the speeches. They were all great including one from the bride thanking her parents for all the effort that went into hosting the wedding at their house. Even the best man's speech was like watching a Billy Connelly performance.
The guests then all went outside to chill out on the hay bale seating. This is when the wee buggers - The Midges -started swarming around everyone. They were savage, especially around dusk.
It was then time for the ceilidh music provided by The midnight specials. Such a great atmosphere in the marquee. Even the family dog tried to get in on the dancing! Colin and Jessica then cut their cake which was made by Jessica's mum (again more talent!). It was such a fantastic evening with people all around different areas of The Craw. There had been specialist lighting put in and when darkness came it look incredible. Guests were then invited outside for the Hog Roast which was delicious and supplied by Robin Gray.
I had one final picture to take of the couple when the amazing sunset appeared over the paps of Jura. I really didn't want the day to end. I was really made to feel like a guest and part of the family for the day. It was such a privilege to be able to photograph Jessica and Colin's truly unique and wonderful wedding.
When I did get back to my hotel that night I tried my favour bottle of McLean's "Something Blue" gin which all the other guests received too. What can I say - the perfect end to a perfect day!