A couple years ago I photographed a wedding at St Leonard’s Hall. St Leonard’s Hall sits within the University of Edinburgh’s Pollock Halls site, which is the main halls of residence site for the University. Within this site two original buildings dating back to the 19th remain; St Leonard’s Hall and Salisbury Green.
I haven’t been far enough into the site to see Salisbury Green but St Leonard’s Hall is an absolutely stunning building complete with spires and towers sadly surrounded by new modern (read ugly) halls of residence and with the Salisbury Crags and Arthur’s Seat in the backdrop.
The last wedding I did here was a full day summer booking but this time I was booked for just a few hours within the wedding ceremony at 5.30. Gethin and Lucy live in Australia (Gethin is Australian, Lucy is Scottish) and they had a ceremony in Australia to cater for Gethin’s side of the family and so they chose to have a wedding here in Scotland and at one of the prettiest venues in Edinburgh. Originally Gethin and Lucy had planned to book me for just a couple hours but they wanted photographs of the ceilidh in the evening so I was booked for a total of 5 hours.
It was actually really nice photographing a late in the day wedding. On the day of the wedding we had really beautiful weather here in Edinburgh so I took Liv and Amelia to Edinburgh Zoo where we spent about 3 hours walking around, eating ice cream and playing on the slides. Amelia is 25 months old at the time of writing this blog post and the last time she went there she was about 3-5 months old. She loved it!
But back to the wedding, I arrived just before 5pm and photographed some of the guests arriving. I also got a chance this time to photograph some photos of the outside of St Leonard’s Hall itself. You’ll notice parallax in the straight on building shot but I photographed this at 14mm straight on and as far back as I could. This gives you an idea of the size of the building. Again it’s a shame about the other buildings in the shot but hey ho.
The ceremony was at 5.30 and it was a humanist wedding which I always really love. I’ve photographed all kinds of ceremonies and I really love humanist/hand fasting ceremonies. I’ve always found humanist weddings great fun and they always feel less pressured (if that makes sense).
The ceremony itself was relatively short with just two readings and afterwards I took photos of people mingling and then everyone went through to the wedding breakfast. Gethin and Lucy were kind enough to provide me with some food (thank you thank you!) and afterwards I took some group photos and some couple photos.
In terms of the couple photos these were quite challenging compared to normal. First of all we managed to get some photos outside of the building but by the time Gethin and Lucy came through the light was severely dying outside. Literally in the space of about 10-15 minutes I lost about 3-stops of light which is crazy. So you’ll notice the first two couple photos in front of St Leonard’s Hall have a really beautiful evening light but the other two photos I had to convert to black and white as colour simply didn’t work at that point (I didn’t want to use flash as it would have been too much hassle setting up lighting and it was also raining horizontally at the time).
After the couple photos outside I captured some group photos inside then hung around for about 3 ceilidh dances.
The wedding certainly seemed to pass really quickly and I really enjoyed being a part of it. Gethin and Lucy were an absolute pleasure to work with and were really funny and laid back. All of the guests I spoke to were absolutely lovely and even the staff were great. During the wedding breakfast I spent some time talking to the staff and everyone was really nice and funny to talk to.
Really looking forward to getting more booking at this venue in the future.