The Blog




Why not keep an ancient tradition alive and increase your good luck at the same time.

By putting a sixpence in your left shoe you are carrying on a tradition begun in the 17th Century. Originally it was a token of the dowry payment, but soon became a simple good luck charm.

Don’t forget to tell me though as I always want a snap of it going in too!



How do you keep your nerves under control on the Big Day? What’s that got to do with me, you ask? Well, relaxed people make for relaxed photos – so it’s a big part of my job to be an experienced, calming influence on you and all those around you in order to get those great shots.

Not only can I lend a supportive ear, but you will find my advice and guidance a great help on the day. I know this because so many brides have told me so! I will help you stay calm and relaxed at those nerve-wracking moments.

You will be new to this all and I can help differentiate between the important details and the silly stuff that’s not worth worrying about. All professional experienced suppliers, like myself, are able to cope with changes and the one wee thing that goes wrong on a wedding day.

If something goes wrong on the day I consider it part of my job to help out, as that’s the best way to keep everyone calm and happy. Cars can turn up late, spills can get on dresses, guests can no-show, seating plans can need amending – I’ve seen it all and will help you weather the storm!

Stay stress-free, Book PSD.
(HaHa, that should become my new advertising slogan!)


Where are you getting married? Who is doing the ceremony?
What denomination is the church?

When you are doing your wedding planning or visiting potential venues, please always ask if there are any restrictions on photography during the ceremony.

Occasionally photographers are asked to remain in one location, or not to use flash during the ceremony and in extreme circumstances not to take photos at all during the ceremony.

Don’t panic though, it’s even more common that we have no restrictions and can snap away happily. I always blend in and take photos as unobtrusively as possible and no-one even remembers me being there during the ceremony, which is the highest compliment.



How long should you be away with the photographer on your wedding day?

For me, it’s an easy one to answer – 30 minutes. I don’t need more than that to get plenty great photos of you together. Plus that gets you back to your guests quickly and allows me to shoot more candid, natural shots.

How come I manage to achieve in that time what takes other photographers 2 hours (!)?

It’s all down to my understanding of your requirements, and our venue visit where we scout out the best spots to take photos on the day (good weather and bad weather options, of course). That means on the day there is no guessing, no dithering – we just head off and take great photos.



When I was a lad, I remember clearly waiting outside a church wedding in Melrose and opening a brolly to catch loads of coins that the groom threw for the kids. Pretty enterprising, I thought! It was called a scatter and was very common, but in other places it is known as a scramble, or even a ‘pour oot’.

Anyhow it’s a great tradition, and one that lends itself to great photos. So grooms or best men get those sporrans filled with coins for the kids!




Nothing beats seeing your gorgeous wedding photos in print – trust me. Every time I see a completed album, it reinforces how I feel about printed photos, the connection is stronger than merely clicking through a gallery on screen. I know that’s the done thing nowadays, but we are losing the connection we have with photos by not seeing them printed out. We look at photos more often and for longer when they are printed, especially a wedding album which can be brought out time and again.

At PSD Photography Weddings we lovingly and carefully put together the story of your day in a bespoke album; it’s a big, tough job, but our in-house expertise gets the best quality results.

As you would expect, the albums are built to last – to become family heirlooms – they are the highest quality possible and all hand-made in the UK. I always get albums delivered to me first, and give them a detailed inspection (none has ever failed, which is testament to my supplier) before sending them on their way to become cherished mementos of a wonderful day.



I’ve seen some fantastic cake toppings and Liz and Ben’s cycling one was truly fabulous. Their cake-maker had a keen eye for detail as even the hair colour and lengths were right, and Ben’s glasses were in place too.

Why not get your cake topping figurines custom made to suit your personalities, or hobbies, or dreams! Go on, create something stunning!

Something a bit different

Something a bit different

Something a bit different, but I had such a fantastic day trip to Inchcolm Island with my daughter Lily and her NZ Grandad, that I wanted to share about it here!

We had the sun and dead calm seas, so it was easy for landlubbers to enjoy. I’ve been wanting to do this trip for years, not only to explore the Firth of Forth more, but especially to see the bridges in their full glory.

For more photos from this set, see here: Philip Stanley Dickson Photography

We’ll be back to weddings shortly, as it is deep in the heart of wedding season right now, but I couldn’t wait to share these lovely photos of Edinburgh too. Anyone fancy getting married on the Forth Belle?

Sarah and Louis’ wedding at Edinburgh Castle in April.

Sarah and Louis’ wedding at Edinburgh Castle in April.

Sarah and Louis’ wedding at Edinburgh Castle in April. It was a glorious, but very windy day and as you can see from Sarah’s veil we had fun with the photos!
It was an honour to be the wedding photographer for their wedding, especially in such a prestigious location. I just did my best to make sure that the photographs reflected not only the grandeur of the castle, but the personalities of Sarah and Louis.
To book Philip as your wedding photographer, first see more of his work on this website, then use the contact page to check his availability for your date.

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer – Philip Stanley Dickson

Blogs on the rise!

What are your opinions on wedding blogs? They seem to be getting ever more popular and ever more in our faces!

It’s no surprise that in the age of the internet and the ubiquitous smartphone that blogs have risen to such prominence, but exactly how much importance do brides (and let’s be honest, it is mainly brides) put in them?

The link below goes through to a BBC site which delves into the phenomenon a little.

I’ve been luck as a wedding photographer in Edinburgh to be featured on the Braw Brides blog recently and is in the previous post.

One of my weddings on Braw Brides Blog

A recent wedding I photographed, with Sarah and Louis at Edinburgh Castle has been picked up by Braw Brides blog. They’ve done a great job of showing a select few of the images from Edinburgh’s most famous location, with a bit of a write-up too.

It was my first time photographing a wedding at Edinburgh Castle and I really enjoyed the locations, views and sense of history that could be put into the photos.

Sarah and Louis were wonderful to work with on the day and they were delighted with their wedding photos.



Not everyone likes wedding cake, all that fruit and heavy icing, but there are always alternatives to this.

One of my recent Bride and Grooms decided to have a cheese cake, not a cheesecake, but a cake made up of cheeses! Fantastic idea!

Always Check Your Photographers Work

Oh No! Not again!

This unfortunate couple not only paid peanuts for their photographer but clearly did not meet them before the ceremony to look through their portfolio and as a result got a bunch of the worst photos I have ever seen. Click on the link below to view them.

These were clearly not taken by anyone with even a basic understanding of photography, which is such a shame for true professionals like me to hear.

So how can you avoid this type of calamity folks? Easy – be prepared

(Is it all about spending lots of money? Not necessarily, but anyone who prices themselves ‘incredibly’ low has not understood the full task ahead of them and should be avoided. Booking someone cheap is a huge risk. Would you want a cheap architect/builder/florist/venue?)

Here’s my advice:

  • Meet a selection of photographers in person, look through their work, this will allow you to compare quality and style of photography.
  • Do they have nice albums, print prices, parent albums, pre-wedding shoots and other bits and pieces to sell? If so, this is a good sign that the entire wedding photography business has been considered and developed, showing a business maturity.
  • Does the photographer do a venue visit with you? I always offer this, and it is important to research any venues that I may be unfamiliar with, as well as to find out what the couple like about the venue, after all it is their wedding!
  • Ask them what cameras they use for the photography (note the plural – I never leave the house without a backup camera and backup lenses), and if you don’t know the models, then google them when you get home – amateur camera means amateur photographer.
  • Ask them how they will present their images to you and how they will be backed up. Albums, DVDs and online galleries are the minimum you should expect.
  • Ask how many photos they will give you from a full day’s coverage. Experience has shown me that a modern wedding shot in the reportage style, with a blend of some traditional group shots will result in 200-250 images. Any more than this is a clear indicator that the photographer cannot exercise proper quality control and again has not thought through their business model. I have seen up to 800 images presented to couples and this is obscene. More is definitely not better in this instance. View 800 images on a slideshow at 10 seconds each and you have a 2hr epic to sit through! Basically, you end up having to filter out all the duff shots – which is not only unfair, but is is a huge task (possibly the hardest, which I suspect is why these amateurs try to pass the buck onto the couple).
  • Follow these tips (or even easier – just come to see me ;) and you will end up with a wonderful set of wedding photographs to remember your day by.

Humanist weddings 'on the increase'

I shoot a lot of wedding with Humanist celebrants, but I am still surprised how popular they have become so quickly. Here’s an article on their rise.



We’ve got Queen Victoria to thank for white weddings! She had some gorgeous white lace that she did not want to dye, so she chose an all white outfit, and many people copied her style and it has become the main choice ever since.

Before that women used all the colours of the rainbow for their dresses, so if you are feeling the need to express yourself in full technicolour – go for it!



I’ve lost count now of how many times I have seen flocks of women struggling to find the right attachment to hook a dress up for the first dance. Sometime it can take ages too, which is never planned into a day.

At the wedding fair I deliberately went and sought out the answer for you all! OK, part of the answer. Ready?

Your dress will not come with any mechanism to hook up the train for dancing (or it is very rare if it does). The ‘Bustle’ gets added by your seamstress. It is often a button over which a loop of fabric attaches, but can also be a ribbon tie (two bits of ribbon). In any case, get your seamstress to show you how it works, but more importantly how someone else does it when you are wearing the dress. Delegate this to a mum or chief bridesmaid. This will mean you go effortlessly from day to evening, even though it may rob me of a funny photo, like the one I have shown here!

Pinterest Inspiration

Pinterest Inspiration

I’ve got a collection of 6 boards with 123 pins (so far!) filled with inspiration for your wedding day. Wedding dresses, cakes, bouquets, shoes and more are all featured, all photographed from my very own PSD Photography Weddings of course. I’m delighted that my previous brides have been so creative and I hope you manage to find some inspiration from them too.

Floral Delights

Floral Delights

Wanting some floral inspiration? Head on over to my wedding bouquets gallery on Pinterest.

PSD Photography Weddings knows how much has gone into the decision for the wedding flowers, not to mention the cost, so I always make sure to get an exquisitely beautiful shot of the main bouquet for a forever keepsake.

PSD Captures The Wedding Details

PSD Photography notices the details at every wedding and makes it a special project to photograph them at their best.
Here’s 35 pins from gorgeous weddings, hopefully filling you with inspiration!

Lovely Email

Lovely Email

What a lovely email to get this morning, thanks Liz, I remember your wedding with great fondness, you were both lovely people and it was a special day. I’m looking forward to going back to Culcreuch Castle Hotel as well, a truly beautiful castle, with gorgeous grounds.

“Hi! Hope you are well! I recommended you to our practice manager at work whose daughter is getting married. She says they have booked you for Culcreuch Castle! That’s fantastic!! You are such a fabulous photographer, I always give your name when speaking to friends who are looking for a great photographer!

Can’t believe it has been two years now! Time flies!

Thanks again for creating lifelong memories of our special day! It’s lovely being able to flick through the album!

Liz “

Preferred Supplier Update

Preferred Supplier Update

I’m over the moon to now be a preferred supplier of wedding photography for the Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh.

This is something that comes through dedication, top level service and the highest standard in photography and is only earned after years of great service.

The Botanics offers something very unique for couples, with the most glorious outdoor spaces for weddings and also a variety of indoors options depending on wedding size. It really is a photographer’s dream as at every time of year the gardens look so different, with colours and shapes changing all the time.

PSD Photography Weddings is proud to also be a preferred supplier for Carberry Tower, Edinburgh Zoo, Dynamic Earth and the Royal Scots Club.

Beautiful Thank You Card

Beautiful Thank You Card

It made my day yesterday to receive a gorgeous Thank You Card from Natalie and Andrew. I photographed their wedding on 27th June at St Margaret’s Church, South Queensferry then the Garden Suite at Norton House Hotel.

“Dear Phil, just wanted to say what a great job you did on our wedding photos. We just love them and they bring back amazing memories of our day. You made us both feel at ease right from our first meeting and you blended in during the wedding so we completely forgot about the photos. Many guests have said how friendly and professional you were. We will absolutely recommend you to anyone looking for a wedding photographer. Thanks again, love Natalie & Andrew.”

Thank you very much to both of you, it was a pleasure and I have many fond memories of the day and our pre-wedding shoot too.

PSD Photography Newsletter

I send out a Newsletter once a month folks, with news and often special offers, so it’s well worth a read.
You’ll be kept up to date with all the latest developments and September issue is hot off the press.

You won’t be spammed and it’s very easy to unsubscribe, so make sure to get involved!

Simply pop in your email address in the box at the bottom of my home page.



Far be it from me to advise you on which dress to buy, I’m certainly not an expert in that area, however I do have vast experience of photographing brides in them, and have some indispensable tips for you.

1 – Ask yourself if you will be happy walking around outdoors in your dress. Would you walk on grass? Wet ground? Is it easy to bundle up and carry? Will it require another person to assist in this? I always think that you should buy a dress which you are comfortable in and can walk around in, which gives you more freedom to socialise and head off for outdoor photos. I’ve seen more than a few brides unhappy with aspects of their dress on the day, which could have been avoided with this info :-(

2 – Can you sit down in it? It’s always a big trial when sitting down for signing the register and again sitting down for food. How big is it? Will you actually fit into a small doorway or tight seating arrangement?

3 – Always get shown how to spread your dress out for walking up the aisle and delegate a chief bridesmaid to make sure it is looking perfect at this critical time, and then once again when you arrive at the top of the aisle. It takes a knack to spread a dress out beautifully, I can only describe it as like spreading a duvet out! You need to grab two points and shake it all out and the natural circle of fabric will sit flawlessly. I’m always on hand to help, but it’s far better if a bridesmaid gets involved, because I can photograph that too.


What has this got to do with a photographer, I hear you ask.

Recently, I photographed a wedding at a prestigious venue, where there were a couple of videographers, who were amateur at best. This meant that they did not understand the order of the day, or who was important to talk to, such as the venue manager and photographer. I did my usual talk with them to establish who would be where and when, but this did nothing to stop one of them being directly behind the bride and groom for most of the ceremony. That was problematic as the ceremony room was very small, so there wasn’t much room for me to change angles easily. The videographer was also in jeans and looked glum and bored the whole time. Can you really imagine having all your ceremony shots with that person in the background?

Needless to say I managed, and my shots were free from all sights of them. Only experience and flexibility allowed me to get good results.

This would not have happened with a quality videographer. They would have understood the working arrangements that we necessarily have on the day and where to stand to be out of my shots (and vice versa I must say).

So please book the best videographer you can, skimping on it can lead to a great deal of problems for you and your photographer.



This little wonder-kit comes with me to every wedding, and it has never failed to be used. It’s stacked with helpful goodies – extra pins for buttonholes, mini-scissors to cut off loose threads, kerbie grips to secure veils or wayward hairpieces.
My sewing skills haven’t been put to the test yet, but I’m sure they will, although I can’t think of too many uses for the brightly coloured threads – maybe bridesmaids dresses?
Why do I bother bringing this, you may ask?
It’s all part of my approach, to get any small problems resolved quickly, which means no-one gets stressed, and unnecessary errands like hunting for scissors are avoided.

Orla & Iain's Wedding

Orla & Iain's Wedding

Orla & Iain got hitched at the Botanics, Edinburgh. We had a mixed bag of weather so I had to split the couple shoot in two to avoid a shower. We had a brolly with us, so I managed to shoot a few shots of them together under the brolly, they were really nice shots as it turned out.

There are so many photo opportunities at the Botanics, and the variety of locations is virtually endless, so you may need a bit of guidance to narrow the choices down. If you want an expert along to get those all important shots, get in touch.

It’s a great place to get married and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Speak to Erin at the events team, and don’t forget to say I pointed you in her direction!

BTW, if you would like to see more of Orla and Iain’s photos, head on over to my FB page here:

At Last - USB Sticks

At Last - USB Sticks

Yippee, they’ve arrived. All my couples know what a long and detailed process it has been to select USB sticks to replace DVDs as the way I deliver photos to them.
Who thought it would be so difficult.
But now that my PSD Photography Woodland USB Sticks are here, I am over the moon with them. They are so unique, a bit fun, but full of treasured memories.

As part of all my packages, couples get a copy of all the High Resolution images which they are licensed to print for themselves and their parents, plus an internet sized copy of every image – ready to look amazing on social media, websites and emails.

Muddy Feet

I was leading a bride and groom over to a rope swing recently for a photo (at Duchray Castle) . I hasten to add that it was at their request, and they very pluckily went on it together too, in full dress and kilt – most impressive.
I was leading the way, but facing backwards to get photos of them walking together, when…squelch! Into deep wet mud went my entire foot. It came back up minus my shoe.
I had already committed to the next step, so I had to leave it behind. I hopped to dry ground, turned round and attempted a rescue. By this time Kathryn & Scot were highly amused at my predicament!
I managed to get my shoe only by literally prising it out with my hands, and in the process lost my other shoe in even deeper mud. No going back now, so I just had to grab the other one and get out of there.
To sounds of great laughter I wiped the thick mud off with grass as best I could and did what all professionals do – carry on!
#weddingphotographymishaps #Duchraycastle

Frankie & John's Wedding

Frankie & John's Wedding

This was a lovely wedding at St Margaret’s chapel at Dalmahoy and then on to Dalmahoy Hotel itself. We had great fun riding on the golf buggy and you can see I captured a blizzard of confetti in the shot here.

To see more of these photos, please follow the link to my Facebook page.

Kayleigh & Mark's Wedding

Kayleigh & Mark's Wedding

This was my first ever wedding at the Ghillie-Dhu and what a lovely place it is.
The main room has grandeur, they have an outside option for photos and people can move effortlessly down to the bar while the room is changing over.
This photo is one of my favourites from Kayleigh & Mark’s first dance, but I’ve got many more favourites, I’ve chosen some of them to display on my Facebook page on the link below.

The Ghillie-Dhu is right in the heart of central Edinburgh, so easy for everyone to get to by public transport, which can be a big factor when thinking about your guests.



I was over the mooon to receive this testimonial from Kayleigh and Mark today:

“The first thing that strikes you about Phil is that he is a consummate professional at the top of his game. I first met Phil at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange wedding fayre. My fiancé was very impressed by the quality of the photos in his brochure, and I thought the price was very reasonable too. We had no doubts about booking Phil for our wedding. A fantastic wedding photographer isn’t just an artist, although that is of course very important. He is knowledgeable, well organised and enjoys working with people. Throughout the planning phase, Phil was always there to guide us through the process. What surprised us most was that he is not only a great photographer, but also a reliable adviser. Having photographed so many weddings, Phil was full of useful advice about what to plan and what to look out for. He even taught me a trick to stop my new shoes sliding on highly polished floors (I was worried about slipping during the first dance).

We had a few concerns about the darkness of our chosen venue at the Ghillie Dhu, Edinburgh, but Phil put all our worries out of our minds and really put in the effort to plan contingencies – he installed some extra flash bulbs at strategic points and did several venue visits to ensure he could get the best shots at exactly the right moments. We had a pint with Phil on a couple of occasions, and although he is extremely busy (a victim of his own success), he took time to get to know us. He is very easy going and very likeable. In fact, a lot of my family and friends mentioned that they thought he was the nicest guy as he didn’t get upset when guests wanted to take their own pictures of us, even when they used flash. Phil’s ethos is to work hard and be organised, and to ensure that everyone is having a good time. On the wedding day itself, Phil went about his thing in such a way that we were completely relaxed and just concentrated on enjoying ourselves. We had no need to worry at all because Phil was always there in the background, never missing a moment that was photo-worthy, capturing some really special parts of our day, including some amazing pictures of our family and friends that we will treasure forever.

Phil has a studio in Edinburgh where he invited us to see the photos for the first time. Despite his busy schedule, he was really accommodating as we had to travel from Fife to come down and I was very late – he didn’t seem to mind at all even though it meant he wouldn’t finish work until very late that night. He took his time, getting us coffee and biscuits, ensuring we were ready. Then he played the slideshow which was set to music perfectly, in tune with our vision for the day. It was a really magical moment, reliving the whole day again with such stunning pictures of us both, our family and friends, and the beautiful venue. He then let us watch it through again on his high definition screen. He genuinely cares about giving couples the best photography experience possible. We can’t recommend PSD Photography highly enough.”



The most common time to cut the cake is just before the first dance, allowing evening guests a touch of ceremony, and a great photo opportunity. It also gathers a crowd so is perfect for the first dance shots with everyone crowding round the dancefloor.

If you are having the cake for dessert, then it will need to be cut before dinner, so that the caterers have time
to cut it before serving.
With both of you holding the knife, It’s usually best to cut into the bottom layer, often advised simply to avoid any risk of the cake toppling. I’d love to see more couples cut a small slice (which can then be halved with the knife) and feeding each other, as this symbolises a commitment to provide for each other and is not often done nowadays.
Most importantly, if you are using a sword – remember to remove it from the sheath first! Yes, I have seen that!
I kindly pointed it out after the cake did not seem to be giving way!



Have you thought about having a PSD Photography Photoshoot Experience?

I will set up studio lights against a nice background, bring loads of fancy dress gear and hey presto evening entertainment sorted!

I run it from the end of the meal to just before the first dance, and get an assistant to shoot it, leaving me free to cover the candid shots, and any other shots of the couple, perhaps heading outside for some sunset shots, if we are lucky!

We print out a selection of photos for everyone to have a good laugh round the tables, and you get every shot on your USB Stick too.

It’s not on for as long as a traditional photobooth, but my assistant and I make sure we get everyone involved and it’s a lot cheaper too! What’s not to love?



How can you even think of leaving your pet dog out of the wedding! I’ve been to many weddings where pampered pooch is a guest, and even a ring bearer!

They are always good for photos and let’s be honest, they wouldn’t want to miss out on all that food.

On a practical note, usually someone is assigned to look after the dog for the day, sometimes a dog sitter, and then they can just bring them in at a few chosen points in the day.

This very special dog photographed here had some special doggie canapés made by the kind caterers at Blair Castle.



I’m always having new, weird and wonderful experiences as a wedding photographer and a butterfly release was a special first for me.

Sianne and Allan took the brave decision to open a box of butterflies after their ceremony. It’s a brave decision, as no-one had any idea what they would do. Would they just sit in the box? Take an age to warm up?
Luckily for us they mostly took to the air and even landed on guests.

I got this lovely photo of one landed on a bridesmaid’s hand.



Winging it is slightly risky – but you may miss something or forget to thank someone important. Are there flowers for the mums for example? Or gifts for anyone else? Best to have some bullet points on a card, at least.

Nerves will play a part – but don’t worry about being nervous, just know that you can still talk (while nervous) and everyone is willing you to do well. It’s the most appreciative audience you will ever talk to!

Think about who you would like to raise a toast to and make sure that you speak about each other at the end of your speech (it’s always nice when a bride says a few words too, I think). It’s always a nice moment to reflect on, and usually a bit emotional too.

Amazing Testimonial

Amazing Testimonial

David and Jacqui’s wedding at The Royal Scots Club was memorable for lots of reason, not only their fun, outgoing personalities, but them dancing down the aisle and the special people they had round them for their big day.

When their testimonial came through I was blown away:

“ Jacqueline and I sat in Phil’s studio having just booked our wedding at the Royal Scots Club. We met a cheerful, charismatic and fun guy. Easy to talk to and with the ability to judge who his potential clients are as characters.

This is Phil’s secret to fulfilling a brief – he knew, instinctively who we were. Not an easy skill to acquire. We wanted our photos to be about the people and us as it was – capture the day! That was really the three word brief.

That was exactly what we got. Everybody loved the photos, lots of tears of joy, laughter and praise from all. In the end we got more than photos.

We have moments captured in a way that were more than we had hoped for. They are not just images but emotions that come and go in seconds – those moments you don’t get in formal pictures. We love them because they truly tell the story.

Philip Stanley Dickson is a master of being in the right place at the right time – without most people knowing he was ever there. That is why our wedding photos are perfect.

Thank you Phil

David & Jacqueline Aldred-Hannah “



It’s always special to have confetti thrown on a wedding day, not to mention an old tradition too, a gesture wishing prosperity and fertility on the couple (It’s Italian in origin, I believe).

It always makes for great photos too. Make sure to use real petals, as most venues are happy to allow that. You can even save up your favourite flowers and dry them to use on the day.

I often shoot confetti shots at any time of the day too, as sometimes owing to rain we cannot do it after the ceremony. If it’s there and I know about it, we’ll get the shot!



Who is going to do your wedding ceremony? You will put in so much time and effort to plan for each and every part of your wedding day, but very often people get a registrar to officiate the wedding. While there is nothing wrong with this (my wedding was done by a registrar and I’ve no complaints), a humanist adds that personal touch to proceedings as they have sat down with you as a couple beforehand and learned about you as people. They can then use that information throughout the ceremony and it is always a lighter, funnier, more personal experience.

Somehow or other they always seem to be lovely people too, maybe it’s in their job description! If you are planning a wedding, do think about a humanist celebrant, I’m pretty sure you won’t regret it.


There are hundreds of choices for Edinburgh and Central Scotland wedding venues when you start out, so it’s helpful to sort out a few of your priorities first to begin to narrow that search down. Deal with what you know first.

What is your likely number of daytime and evening guests?
All venues have capacities for the wedding, the reception and the evening. They are hard and fast (health and safety, and all that!) and will determine if the venue is suitable for you pretty quickly. If you are planning a huge wedding 250+, then your choices narrow down pretty quickly.

Where are your guests coming from and where will they be staying?
If the venue is also a hotel, then happy days! If there are hotels nearby, then you’re on easy street. If the venue is further afield, you will need to think about running a bus or hiring taxis to get guests back to somewhere central later on.
Many people choose a central, easy to get to and from venue to make life easy for their guests, which is very kind of them, and in no way a compromise in Edinburgh as there are so many fine venues to choose from.

What’s your dream wedding?
If it has to be a barn or has to be a castle, then that does help begin to narrow down the search! Maybe you’re hankering after a cathedral wedding, that’s okay too, Edinburgh has three to choose from!

What’s your budget?
It’s never easy at the very start of a search to have a definitive budget, I know that. I’d recommend going to a wedding fair or speaking to a few venues just to get an idea how they price up their wedding packages and then take it from there. You may be able to use that information to come up with a figure, e.g. £70 per person for a decent amount of food and drink. Multiply that number by your number of guests and add any room hire charges and you know what it’s going to cost you. If you can afford it, get booking. If not, then move on, there’s plenty more venues to choose from.

Another great idea is to ask me! Us photographers have a vast array of experience working at so many venues around the city and having an awareness of many others. We are a repository of all sorts of (hopefully) useful information, so if you’re looking for a candle-lit castle or stunning seaside wedding then ask me for advice, it’s free after all.

The Royal Scots Club - In Depth

Douglas Room
Douglas Room Royal Scots Club
Royal Scots Club Edinburgh
Princess Royal Suite Table Setting
Princess Royal Suite
Queen Street Gardens
Douglas Room


Location: 29-31 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh EH3 6QE
0131 556 4270

The Royal Scots Club is in an ideal location literally two minutes away from Princes Street. It’s a venue full of hidden surprises, and has a quirkiness about it due to its layout inside. It is far, far bigger than it looks from the outside, and has a great selection of rooms for weddings of different sizes. It’s also a hotel, so many of your guests can book in to stay, but being so central in Edinburgh that’s not a big concern, as there are so many places to house guests nearby. There is a fine military history of this club, but you don’t need to be connected with the military to come in and enjoy its food and drink or to have your wedding here. Any type of ceremony can be held here, whether civil, humanist or religious.

The three main function rooms are the Douglas Room, the Hepburn Suite and the Princess Royal Suite, all very different and they also have different capacities for guests, which is such an important factor in picking a wedding location, so I’ve detailed them here:

Douglas Room
Weddings – Up to 60 guests
Meal – Up to 44 guests

Hepburn Suite
Weddings – Up to 120 guests
Meal – Up to 110 guests

Princess Royal Suite
Weddings – Up to 160 guests
Meal – Up to 160 guests

Clearly more guests can arrive after the meal for the evening reception, with the Princess Royal Suite allowing up to a maximum number of 200 guests (seating for 120 plus dance floor).

Other Benefits
As well as the main function rooms, there is a library, which can be used for drinks receptions or couple photos. Literally across the road is Queen Street Gardens, which you have full access to for family and couple shoot photos. It’s always nice to get outside and the space feels like the countryside, rather than in the heart of the bustling city. The bridal suite is gorgeous, with a luxurious four-poster bed, which is great for bridal preparation photos if you are getting ready there.

Quick Note about prices – Clearly the number of guests at your wedding and the amount and type of food and drink you provide for them is the biggest factor in varying the price. You can also embellish table settings, chair coverings and many other things that again will alter the price, so please don’t take these prices as definitive. Speak to the wedding planner about your day and they will quickly give you an accurate quote.
Room hire at the Royal Scots Club is from £1000 – £1500.
Food and Drink is approximately £70pp for a fairly inclusive package i.e. canapés, 3 course meal and coffee, full drinks package and evening food.
Based on a wedding of 80 day and evening guests the total price would be around the £7100 mark.

Three great things about the Royal Scots Club from Weddings Manager Ayesha:
1. Because we are a members club we offer that rare combination: the charm of a country house hotel with a cosy club atmosphere. We are the perfect home from home to relish the character and culture of Scotland’s capital city. Making the guests feel at home and welcome is in our nature.
2. Even though we are a city centre venue couples get access to the vast Queen street gardens for photos so they get the benefit of being in the city centre and the beautiful backdrop of the gardens.
3. As we have many different size rooms and suites we can cater for all sizes of weddings. From small intimate affairs to larger receptions. Our management team has a vast experience of organising events ranging from small intimate Dinner Parties to sumptuous Weddings. Nothing is a problem as everything is under one roof – we can even organise and hold the ceremony here.

Final note from Phil
I’d sum up the venue by saying it never fails to impress me, and also surprise me, I’m still finding new rooms and viewpoints every time I visit and that means plenty photo opportunities. Having the outdoor space available is also a huge bonus, as I’ve led many a wedding party over there to enjoy the fresh air, sunshine and greenery, as well as get some incredible photos.

Hepburn Suite Wedding
Queen Street Gardens Confetti
Hepburn Suite Speeches
Hepburn Suite Dancing
Hepburn Suite Kids and singing
Douglas Room Ceremony
Royal Scots Club Military Wedding
Hepburn Suite Evening Lighting
Royal Scots Club Library


You thought it was all about keeping the wedding dress pristine? Think again! There are a few common pitfalls that can ruin the groom’s outfit too and they are totally avoidable!

Number 1 – Morning suits and kilt jackets can be silk-like, shiny and mono-coloured. That means make-up smudges show up on them very easily. Guess who gets kissed (on the cheek!) and cuddled more than anyone just before the ceremony. That’s right, the groom is out there meeting all the guests and the females can’t help but get their make-up on his clothes. I’ve seen extreme cases where the jacket looks blotchy and patchy during the ceremony which is a shame and it’s more than a little Photoshop work to get it back into shape afterwards too. The trick is for grooms to welcome all guests, accept all kisses and cuddles, but protect that suit!

Number 2 – It’s always nice when a groom uses a bought item of clothing for their wedding, possibly a favourite old smart jacket. But please do take a look at it first and check it for signs of wear and tear and particularly baubles! I’ve seen jackets covered in them. Again, it’s not much fun editing baubles out of scores of shots, plus the couple shoot can end up looking like a beat up old Renault Clio next to a gleaming Ferrari – guess who is the Ferrari!

The Botanic Gardens - In Depth

PSD Photography Botanics Wedding Photography 1 PSD Photography Botanics Wedding Photography2 PSD Photography Botanics Wedding Photography3 PSD Photography Botanics Wedding Photography4 PSD Photography Botanics Wedding Photography5 PSD Photography Botanics Wedding Photography6 PSD Photography Botanics Wedding Photography7 PSD Photography Botanics Wedding Photography8 The Royal Botanic Gardens
20A Inverleith Row, Edinburgh
0131 552 1974

The second in my series looking more in depth at venues features Edinburgh’s treasure trove the Botanical Gardens (or the Botanics for short).

Much loved by all for being an oasis of calm in the bustling city and providing a different experience of sights, sounds and colours on every visit, the Botanics has it all for weddings.

You may be familiar with the gardens themselves but did you know that there are three indoor and one outdoor space that you can get married in? The John Hope Gateway can seat up to 200 for dinner, with an additional 50 for the evening reception. Or who could resist a wedding under the towering redwood trees in the John Muir Grove. You can even watch the end of festival fireworks there.

Here’s the lowdown on the spaces you can use:

David Douglas Room – small intimate space for weddings – up to 40 for ceremony, dinner and evening.
Caledonian Hall – up to 100 for a seated dinner and up to 120 for and evening reception.
John Hope Gateway – up to 200 for a seated dinner and up to 250 for an evening reception.
John Muir Grove – 40 seats as many standing as you like.

As always the price of a wedding varies tremendously depending on how many people are attending and what you are providing for them. Erin Burden from the Botanics has kindly provided a rough guide:

“As our prices are bespoke it is hard to give costs we prefer people to contact directly for quotes however our prices in the summer are usually between £100 and £150 per person depending on their requirements. And ceremony only venue hire is £1225 ex vat.”

“We also have a fantastic winter wedding offer which for October 2016 – March 2017 is £6995 inc vat for 60 day guests and a further 40 in the evening!”

Erin has also shortlisted three (from many, trust me) of the top reasons to consider a wedding at the Botanics:
1 – The ease of the planning journey for brides and grooms – from a customised proposal upon enquiring, one-on-one planning sessions with a dedicated co-ordinator, tastings included at all times of the year, and someone on hand to answer questions 6 days a week. We also have drop in Q&A sessions every few months on a Sunday and a devoted operations manager on the day of your wedding. Along with being a one stop shop to enquire and book and put them in touch with suppliers that have been hand selected by ourselves.

2 – The expanse of outdoor space – benefiting from 72 acres of land there is an abundance of beautiful places for photos and for the couple to enjoy some alone time together. During drinks reception guests can wander around the gardens as long as they are back in time for dinner! They can enjoy everything from our ever green woodland area, our Chinese hillside or a stunning backdrop of the whole Edinburgh skyline from our manicured Inverleith lawn.

3 – Our Food – Our award winning chefs create and develop new menus all the time. Our a la carte selector dishes have had some of the highest praise of venues in Edinburgh and we offer everything from classic wedding dishes of haggis or chicken to more elaborate Asian duck or Ayrshire pork belly. We also offer an outdoor dining menu that has a BBQ option as standard that can be enhanced with pulled pork or paella stations to wow your guests. Or something really different our pan Asian street food menu. Our chefs are flexible and can cater for all tastes and requirements.

Final note from Phil
The Botanics is one of those Edinburgh places that everyone in the city has good memories from. I’ve spent countless hours there with family and friends over the years and love taking my kids there now too. It feels like the countryside, and more than that, it feels peaceful. I’ve photographed weddings there indoors and out, and it hardly seems like work at all as the gardens themselves present so many photo opportunities. The colours are always changing too, so an Autumnal or winter wedding there will still look amazing. What’s not to love.

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