Planning a wedding can at times, require a bit of a vision. You have to invest yourself into that vision, you have to have faith in it to work and you need to be able to plan it. It also helps though, if you’ve got an army of really good friends to help you out.
Mel and Drew decided to get married at the beach on the River Tay, which was accessed through their back garden. The house they bought together overlooks the Tay, framed neatly by the Tay bridge and Dundee on the opposite shore. Their home has become a precious labour of love for them, as they’ve worked together renovating it, putting their heart and souls into it, brick by brick. Having made the house a part of their relationship, it felt natural to want it to be a part of their day.
I went to visit them for their engagement session at their home, to explore with them what they love about it so much. However, with a weather forecast for heavy non-stop rain and over 80 guests, I have to admit I was slightly sceptical whether they’d be able to pull it off. It seemed, though, that the weather gods had also been roped in to deliver a favour and we had beautiful sunshine for the entire duration of the ceremony and photographs.
When I arrived, the tide was in, and the beach was no more than a two-metre strip of pebbles and stones. It was hard to imagine what it would be like, with Mel and Drew by the water’s edge, and their guests lining the beach behind them. Perhaps I should have brought some waders? However, they’d timed it all perfectly, and as the morning passed, the tide began to receed backwards, revealing the red bricks they’d laid out previously to mark out the areas for their guests to stand. A couple of friends waded into the water, to dig out a hole for the wedding arch to stand, while other friends and neighbours decorated the lanes around their home with bunting and an area for selfies, with chairs and posters. There was seating and bean bag chairs for people to relax and unwind, and tables laid out with drinks.
Despite the occasional moment of a threat of a cloud, Mel and Drew had sunshine throughout their ceremony and drinks reception. Afterwards the guests were taken by boat, chartered from David Anderson Marine to the Boat Brae, further along the coastline in Newport-on-Tay for the meal and reception.
We managed to squeeze every moment out of the sunshine, as the rain only started after we’d concluded all the key photos we wanted on the beach, before following the guests to the wedding meal.
If you can measure a man and a woman by their friends, then the affection that Mel and Drew’s wedding guests held for them was astounding. This wasn’t your usual polite, internet researched speeches. Guests stood up to talk about their friendship with the couple, and each word delivered from the heart. They each gave a rounder picture of the people they loved and knew so well.
After dinner, we headed up to Berry’s Den – or to use it’s Sunday name, the Tayfield Estate. We took an entourage of guests who fancied an evening walk post-meal, to stretch legs and make the most of the late evening light. Although the sun hadn’t returned, it still felt fairly magical wandering around the trees and gardens in the evening. And then, it was time for dancing. And my oh my, did they dance!