The Den at Culross is a brilliant venue with rustic charm and 3 picturesque spaces: a traditional byre, a rustic barn and an elegant courtyard. I love the versatility of this gorgeous place, set amongst acres of fields and farmland and just down the road from the quaint village of Culross. It's perfect for large weddings, accommodating up to 250 guests and I was so excited to capture Nicole and Dee's wedding here in August.
As a same-sex couple, Nicole and Dee spoke to me about wanting equal coverage of the morning preparations, but keeping the traditional element of not seeing each other until the final moments. This was easy to co-ordinate as they both got ready at the large cottage just down the lane, so I could pop between them both and ensure nothing was missed. Megan Vause and Amy Coventry did a gorgeous job of the girls’ makeup and the talented Gemma Knowles was on hand to style their hair. Nicole and Dee then did a secret gift exchange, passing cards and presents for each other around a doorway which they then opened in private and I captured their heartfelt reactions for them to look back on afterwards!
We had originally planned to drive down to the cobbled streets of Culross and get pictures with their dogs, Presley and Sonny, before the ceremony. However the weather forecast looked a bit ominous, so we headed over to the main barn instead and they had a special first-look in the ceremony room, before being greeted by their pups and taking pictures together. Doing this before the guests arrive is a great way to both knock any pre-ceremony nerves on the head as well as give yourselves more time to enjoy your reception later, especially if you have a very large wedding and want enough time to really chat with everyone.
Nicole and Dee then hid themselves away, so that they could both walk down the aisle with their fathers, and their Humanist celebrant conducted a beautiful, personal marriage service which included a few group songs! I loved seeing the brides’ brothers walk their dogs down the aisle in cute doggy bow-ties – and in turn they loved the attention!
Afterwards I gathered all the guests outside for a group photograph and everyone threw confetti. I give couples the choice between having their guests stand in an aisle formation for them to walk through or keep everyone together and go ‘1, 2, 3.. throw!’ – both work really well, so no matter your space and guest numbers, we can definitely have that fun confetti moment! The guests mingled in the courtyard and the large bar area, enjoying home made treats such as macarons and drinks served from the trailer bar while I captured candids and interior shots, then group photographs.
We were treated to some hilarious speeches before the meal, in the spacious yet cosy main barn. The couple had provided a play area with tents, toys and games for the kids so they could be entertained during the speeches then just come back to the tables for their dinner – such a great idea to keep little ones happy!
The courtyard looks especially pretty as the sun begins to set, with festoon lighting hanging overhead. We popped outside for some fresh air and I took more pictures of the happy running through the field behind the barn - it was really fun and the results are so stunning!
Once the DJ had setup the brides cut their cake and then took to the dancefloor for a first dance together, followed by a very relaxed one with their fathers. The ladies also did a spontaneous bouquet throw and some group dances to get everyone on the floor - they certainly knew how to raise the roof and everyone had an incredible time!
If you're planning a wedding at The Den at Culross and looking for a photographer I'd love to hear from you!