I was delighted and honoured to be asked to photograph the wedding of Ricky Simpson and Rachael in the South of France at the beautiful setting of La Bastide de Gordes.Ricky has been a client and friend for 39 years.

I was also invited to join the group of friends from Aberdeen for the week before the wedding –  playing golf, a river cruise, and of course, eating and drinking. It was a great week, and the wedding on Saturday (15th September) was a superb fun event. 

I started with shots of the girls getting ready and then took some informal shots of the guests before meeting Ricky. Ricky’s long term friend, Sir Rod Stewart was one of the best men, and Les Hutchison was the other. Les also did a fantastic job as the MC. The three men walked in with the pipers, wearing kilts singing Flower of Scotland, before Rachel was then piped in with her bridesmaids and Mum for the service in the hotel gardens.

I did manage to get a small number of bridal portraits, before dinner and the reception.

The function room looked over the beautiful gardens and I got some fun shots in the gardens, and during dinner, there was a beautiful sunset and I got a few shots with this as a background.

The speeches were superb and Les had done a lot of homework and was very funny, and the Bridesmaids all took a turn telling stories about Rachael.

While dinner was being served, and after the speeches, there was live music, supported by the DJ, Chris who’s Dad, Russ Abbot, was a guest. Chris had travelled from Dubai to be the DJ. Russ joined the musicians and played the drums, and one of the highlights was when Sir Rod joined in singing, which was a very special moment for the Rachael and Ricky, and all the guests.

Then after the cake cutting and the first dance, it was on to dancing to great music by Chris, and the dance floor was full all evening, and it was a great atmosphere.

I would have liked more time for photography but neither Rachael or Ricky wanted a lot of posing or to spend time away from their guests, so apart from 10 minutes to go to go to the other side of the hill to look back on the hotel, and 10 minutes for family shots, all the rest were candid shots of the guests enjoying the entertainment and reception. It was hard work and I took over 2400 photographs, in less than ideal lighting, and it was also very warm. However it was great to get good feedback from both Rachael and Ricky.

“Hi Neil,
Hope you’re home safely. Wow don’t quite know what to say expect a huge thank you for your support and friendship. Rachael & i really do appreciate it. …
Big hugs R&Rxx”

“Hey Neil,
I just wanted to take the time to say thank you for all your hard work, you did a fab job for us and we really appreciate it! Sorry some of them were so rushed! Xx”

A few sample images are available in the gallery below.

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Some of my friends photographed with Sir Rod

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