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Archive of: Tips, Advice


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!



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.



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!



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!)

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


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