You must have noticed by now that here at WeddingNama, we love LOVE. Verily! We’re a bunch of hopeless romantics who believe in happily-ever-afters. It’s because we have witnessed and documented so many love stories in our career. And that’s why we love doing what we do.
Shreya & Vishal found theirs, and here we were, embarking on our journey to Scotland, to document it. While brainstorming on the location, we found out that Shreya was brought up in London and she’d visit Scotland on their family vacations as a child, in a hodgepodge of holiday clothes. We suggested it would be the perfect destination for the shoot, as she’d be able to reminisce all those memories with Vishal. It also worked out well since this country places minimal to no restrictions on photography. And thus, began our adventure. Our team of 2 photographers and 2 cinematographers jetted off to Scotland for this pre-wedding shoot where we were filming a video that got screened at their sangeet. We travelled along with the couple, and nestled in the thick of the Scottish Highlands and its awe-inspiring terrains (They were otherworldly. Not even exaggerating!) near a remote coastline swept with high moors blanketed with lush green grass and bewitching castles. Now Scotland, pulls on centuries of legendary-history, and you can feel Scottish tradition and a sense of solitude alive and well within the storied walls of the castles and its longstanding civilizations. During our two-hour drive in a cab (driven by Vijaybhai – Shreya’s driver from London, where she and her family is anchored. He was the bright chatter of our journey) from Edinburgh to Kenmore, a bucolic beauty, we watched the sloping hills, tucked-away villages on the coastland with wide-eyed reverence. The couple booked two villas, both cozy and convivial, one of which was our home for the next four days. Shreya cooked us heartwarming, homemade meals, while we were there. Now any gourmand worth their salt, knows the value of good home-cooked meals. And if it’s our client cooking for us, we cannot ask for more. Some traditional pasta with garlic bread on the side, chocolates and wine (they even called us up from the store asking our preference. How thoughtful is that!). There was something comforting about this meal, or just the nostalgia of a hearty wholesome meal prepared and served with love was enough. It was laid beautifully on the table, sitting there to welcome us from our tiring travel, alongside flowers and lit up candles. We would any day prefer it over a restaurant take-out. Bonus: It saved us a lot of Euros while travelling. Also, not to forget, as European culture persists, restaurants in Scotland have restricting working hours. The kitchen was stocked up with Maggi, milk, breads, eggs, and all kinds of things, for some extra TLC. While the vegetarian meals were nothing short of spectacular, you have to know that Ankita, Akash and AB are hardcore carnivores. Post a mini meal with the vegetarians, they’d take a welcomed break and cook non-vegetarian meals for themselves back in the villa.
Day 1 was productive, while we got 90% of all our footage from the first day itself. There was a sunny wave of pleasantry that day. The 6 of us got into one car, for ease of coordination, with Vijaybhai riding us around, scaling mountains alongside often single-track roads. We drove along the countryside farms with meadows on both sides and our hair sprayed with sea salt. Near the end of the coastline on a cliff, the Tantallon castle- a semi-ruined castle adorned by rusticy, old world charm, a cindrella-esque scene if there ever was one, was a ‘beaut’, as the Scottish say, along with an expansive view of the sea. The light was falling, flashing the most incredible display of all. The picturesque landscapes and enchanting views here are every photographer’s delight. It was pouring for the next two days and we couldn’t get enough of the days. But the team managed to shoot in rain, in spite of temperatures dropping drastically low. Unfortunately, it was so windy we couldn’t fly the drone, at all! Being the first week of October and the onset of Fall, it was icy-cold and windy. It was funny how everyone kept shoving their hands into their jeans pocket for extra warmth and tucking their faces in the coat collars. We used hats, scarves, gloves, and all other frost-proof accessories, to be able to shoot under frigid, nerve-chilling circumstances. Well, it was the need of the hour and the team always steps up!
Travel tips: Check on weather forecasts before visiting. While all seasons in Scotland are equally magnificent, prefer to go on sunny days. An all-season wardrobe is equally essential. So be sure to carry, waterproof hiking boots and a sturdy raincoat being the bare minima. Don’t forget to stock up on tweed and warm wool.
We even managed to get photographs of the couple near a cascading waterfall that Shreya visited as a kid. The fourth day was a respite from the rains. On our last day there, we stumbled upon this stunning, delightfully refurbished castle, an architectural brilliance, tucked behind an adjacent cliff. We were there only to get a few photographs, with the gorgeous castle in the backdrop. But to our surprise the jumpy and enthusiastic owner invited us in, in true European style, with so much warm-heartedness, it was touching. On finding out we were wedding photographers, he insisted we capture the interiors and publish them as a wedding destination. Although we were late for our flights, we couldn’t refuse his proposal. He gave us a detailed tour of the castle.
We welcomed all four seasons during the trip: clear sky, warm sun, which ducks behind low-hanging clouds, to stormy skies. We did not have a plan. We had shortlisted a few places we would be visiting but most of the shoot was impromptu. We just ventured out and took pit-stops along the way and would hop back on, after taking a couple of shots.
Along the way we saw herds of sheep scuttling everywhere, we were lucky to spot a herd of golden sheep. That sparked a moot moment between Shreya and Vijaybhai and we loved the banter. While Vijaybhai claimed they are because they’re Mongolian bred and thus the colour, Shreya debated they are actually coloured that way artificially. Oh, also Shreya fell in love with AB’s playlist. His DJing helped alter our moods on gloomy days, infusing brief moments of Zen throughout this whirlwind experience. Bidding farewell to this unparalleled journey was difficult. A tote filled to the brim with Highland provisions ensured we savor the bounty of the Scottish Highlands even after saying goodbye.
We managed to squeeze a couple of days in Edinburgh on our way back and headed for Iceland there on. To read about our Iceland adventure stay tuned for the next blog. Coming up soon!
Now we are falling asleep to dreams of sheep and green hills. Are you?
Photography & Filming by WeddingNama
Photographers: AA, DD
Cinematographers: AA, AB, KD
Creative Head: Ankita Asthana
Production Head: Akash Agarwal
Location: Scotland, UK