I know Aileen from a while back, she's a talented makeup artist that had helped me out on a shoot or two and even featured in front of the lens on one shoot.
I was quite touched when she approached me about photographing her wedding in St Andrews. Quite excited too, as St Andrews was further afield than my usual round of weddings on the West Coast, Glasgow and Ayrshire.
Not having done a wedding in the home of Golf before, I made sure to turn up the day before the wedding, scout out the locations and attend the wedding rehearsal at St James's Church along the Scores.
Despite the threat of a sickness bug running round the family, hotel not quite being ready for her centre pieces and getting stuck behind a hay wain, Aileen was in good spirits and it was a nice chance to meet most of the key wedding party members.
Now some photographers will moan and gripe, and some of them will moan and gripe about the priests, vicars or registrars who each have their own house rules. I find it is much easier for everyone if you go with the flow, photograph when you can and make the most of the opportunities you are given. The ring exchange, the first kiss, the signing (or fake signing as it is usually done after the real signing) are all key elements, and while it is sometimes nice to catch those little looks and moments during the service, as long as you get a chance to photograph the main events, there is hope! It's handy too if you can spend a little time after everyone is gone, just to add an extra shot or two.
With the wedding party in kilts and the bride arriving in a beautiful vintage car, we were as much a tourist attraction to passers by as any other of St Andrews' attractions.
After the ceremony we adjourned to the Swiliken Bridge, which is a local landmark on the Old Course. They were dismantling marquees in one corner of the course, the Women's Open having been the week before, and golfers were teeing and putting and doing what golfers do. We managed to sneak a few photos on the bridge without being chased away or hit in the head by a flying ball.
From the Old Course we adjourned to Craigsanquhar House Hotel out in the countryside. I was glad I'd scouted out the location for this place beforehand, as it is hidden from view and not signposted. It's a nice old mansion house hotel with a function room out back. A nicer big staircase inside which allowed us to grab a group shot or two during the occasional showers.
It brightened up later in the evening, which allowed the bride, groom and guests to enjoy the gardens a little.
My wife, who had also attended the service, had said that Aileen was a real movie star bride, and I'm inclined to agree. I hope Aileen and her new husband, Tom, manage to find moments of happiness and joy every day in their long lives together.