A Wedding in Kintyre

IMG_5508RA Jura sunset from Ronachan, Kintyre

It’s always handy when things fall neatly into place.We had agreed to do some photography for Torrisdale Castle Estate to publicise their impressive wedding facilities.

As we live in Skye it’s a bit of a journey to get there but we had also received an invitation to a friend’s birthday party in Mid Argyll which is a hop and a step away from Torrisdale (in Highland distance terms it is ) it seemed a perfect symmetry to combine the two. We had some trouble with our car in the weeks running up to the party. Nothing minor, a blown turbo. I was pulled over by the police for a stern ticking off when huge amounts of smoke started to pour out of the exhaust. We replaced the turbo and were good to go. The car was now going better and no blue light inducing blue smoke poured from the back of it.

It had been arranged that we would stay at our former neighbours in Kintyre. We arrived at their house in good cheer relieved to have finished a 4 hour are-we-there-yet family journey. While I was noticing a rumbly, rattly noise  Mrs L365 was observing smoke pouring in the vents.There wasa hurried switching off off the engine and getting out of the car. It turned out that a 7mm diameter rubber washer on the pipe that feeds oil into the turbo had perished and we had been leaking oil all the way from Skye to Kintyre. There was virtually none left in the engine. It had been dripping onto the hot exhaust so we were lucky there hadn’t been a fire but it did explain the smoke in the vents. The exhaust had broken a bracket on the way up the rough farm road to the house which was the cause of the rumbling and rattling. The car was going nowhere.

IMG_8813Annoying car. Would’ve probably been better harnessing up the calves.

Our ex neighbours weren’t actually at home they were away orienteering but VERY kindly added us onto their insurance for their car that they had left behind. So we moved all our camera stuff and kids seats into their car and breathed a sigh of relief. The party was 15 miles north of us and Torrisdale about 30 miles south.  Without the generosity of our neighbours we would have been well and truly stuck.

The party was a two day affair in a marquee. Part one was an evening ceilidh and then part two was an afternoon barbeque the next day. Both were great fun, though the barbecue was a bit strenuous as a dads versus kids football match turned competitive.

The next day we were heading to Torrisdale to take photos of a wedding. Not for the bride and groom but for the castle itself to publicise its capabilities as a wedding venue. This was to be their first wedding.

The plan was that Mrs L365 would do the actual wedding and I would multi task juggling our children and taking some Love Letter images and anything else interesting. We arrived on time. I want to emphasise that because it is so rare with our children in tow. Without children we can sometimes be quite early. Add two children and all hope is lost. We were quite pleased with ourselves as Torrisdale isn’t exactly on the beaten track. A large part of its appeal is its seclusion. It is a few miles south of Carradale on the east or Firth of Clyde side of Kintyre. As you can see it is quite an impressive place!Torrisdale castleTorrisdale castle and it’s lovely lawn – impressive isn’t it? The love letters aren’t some declaration of the romantic they are a declaration of my admiration of the castles fabulous grassy expanse. I do like a good lawn…

Once we had done the meeting and greeting with the very nice MacAlister Halls who own the estate Mrs L365 went off to do some interior shots and such like. I, and my little helpers, set up my letters on the vast front lawn (I am a great big lawn fan and this was a beauty) and I engaged our little helpers in scattering petals around them.  Guests were arriving as we did this and we must have seemed little strange to them as I crawled around some wooden letters with a camera while two excitable children covered me in pink flowers.

Torrisdale flower fairy

                   This is the owners’ daughter joining in the find a flower fun. 

Mrs L365 got on with the main event shooting the wedding ceremony and the drinks afterwards. I wandered round the grounds trailing children behind me. They loved the forest trails and formal gardens to run around while I tried to capture the atmosphere of the estate. I managed to lose the kids on the ha-ha round the back of the house. The ha-ha wasn’t so much a gentle slope as a six foot plummet. They loved it.

Torrisdale Castle
                Torrisdale castle’s other side. and the incredibly steep Ha-Ha

Once free of children I met up with Niall MacAlister Hall, the host for the day, remarkably relaxed considering tjhis was the castles maiden voyage. I was hanging around in a paparazzi style taking photos of Mrs L365 taking photos. She was catching some shots of the guests milling around on the front lawn having post ceremony drinks.

the wedding room

                                                   The Wedding Room

I had the idea that it would be good to get some pictures from higher up. I asked Niall if it was possible to get high up he said there was the roof, was that high enough? Perfect. A bit scary but perfect nevertheless. As Niall showed me the way up he said I could get a photo of the shrunken heads in the loft…. I thought he said shrunken heads but surely not.

So here is the picture of the shrunken heads. Egyptian mummies heads.

Shrunken heads

                           Yup, that’ll be two mummified heads in a display case.

Other than shrunken mummified heads the loft had a door out onto the roof which gave a spectacular view of the guests sipping their wine on the sun drenched lawn. Once we had all the shots we needed it was time to leave. We had beaches to go to but we would have gladly stayed longer at Torrisdale, it is  a beautiful and captivating  place and a stunning wedding venue.

The lawn from the roof

                                         The view of the lawn from the roof

Nervous Groom

                                  An understandably slightly nervous groom

Flower Girl

                          There’s not much you can say other than aawww

The wedding party

Both families were from Leeds so were new to kilt wearing. I think they carried it off rather well. Very smart everyone!

Niall Macalister Hall

               Niall looking a lot more relaxed about being on the roof than I was.

The lovely couple
              The lovely couple. We wish them all the best in their new life together.

We had to visit Westport and A’chleit beaches. They had been for years our safe havens during turbulent or stressful times and on a scorching day like this one we wanted to go back.

                Our son on A’chleit Beach. Full of the joy of sun, sand and sea!

Our trip to Kintyre had been great fun and a success too. Even though our car had tried to throw a spanner in the works the kindness of friends made everything work out. We even had a really nice tow truck driver from the Stag garage in Lochgilphead who drove us and our sick car home. Having owned a Land Rover Discovery we have had an enforced extensive experience of tow trucks and it can make for a very long journey if you get a difficult driver. This time the miles swept by in pleasant conversation. We arrived home happy and unstressed and our car was delivered to what should be its home address for insurance purposes as it spends so much time there – the local garage.

Torrisdale Castle Estate was a wonderful place to photograph and we thank Niall for giving us the opportunity to do so. It is a beautiful venue for a wedding, stylish, grand but still comfortable and welcoming and utterly memorable. It is a remarkable place, somewhere people will be talking about long after the wedding is over. Isn’t that what you want from a wedding venue?

Love from A'chleit Beach

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