I have organised and ran lots of same-sex marriages over the past 19 years here at The Lodge, and I have to say I am still friendly with many couples even after all these years.
There is something very unique about same-sex weddings, they seem to have a real edge, not only is our location gorgeous but weddings are full of beautiful decorations and really amazing touches.
Same-sex weddings are becoming more and more popular here at The Lodge on Loch Goil. The Lodge is an exclusive use venue so you can be guaranteed privacy for you and your guests for the duration of your stay and that is what people want…
When I met Mark and John, I thought Wow these guys are fabulous, very kind and friendly and an absolute pleasure to work with, they knew exactly how they wanted the wedding day to run, smooth, classy and very stylish and that’s what they got! our wedding venue suited them perfectly.
Read what Mark told me about their big day.
How they met!
Our first sighting and first *meeting* were actually several months apart, the former having occurred on our very first day at St Andrew’s University. I was standing in line to pick up my room keys, and couldn’t help but notice the 6’2 blonde who’d fallen off the pages of Vogue to find himself standing in front of me. I wouldn’t learn until much later that John had, in fact, been paying just as much attention to me, but it wasn’t until a mutual friend introduced us four months later that we actually spoke. John has since confessed that he spent the weeks that followed making increasingly flimsy excuses to visit the shop in our dorm’s foyer in the hope of finding me studying in the same spot he’d seen me in before. Suffice it to say that after a short while, he no longer needed an alibi.
A lot has changed in the years that followed, and it hasn’t always been easy. There are few people with whom I can exist so perfectly, but extrinsic factors, like my moving to Japan and subsequently living 6,000 miles away; or John’s years as a junior doctor when I would see him conscious for about one hour a day! aren’t always conducive to a relationship. All the same, it was never a question of whether we could make it work, just how, and how much longer until it would be better again.
The road that has brought us to our wedding has been as rewarding as it was challenging, and we’ve used all of those experiences to strengthen, not weaken, our love.
We’ve been together for 16 years now, and currently live in Glasgow with our menagerie of pets: three cats and our dog, Giles, who was able to share the day with us!
When looking at wedding venues, the only thing we could agree on was that we hated everything we saw…until the day we visited the Lodge on Loch Goil and booked on the spot. Not only was the venue and surrounding location stunning, but we instantly felt a connection with Alice, who was so instrumental in helping us realise our vision for the perfect day. Throughout all the planning, and her amazing adaptability on the day itself which kept everything running perfectly smoothly in the face of every curveball, we owe her the biggest thank you.
Given the number of guests in attendance who told us that it was one of if not *the* best weddings they’d ever been to, I’d say it was a massive success!
Similarly, throughout all the turmoil of wedding planning, there were two certainties in my mind: that John was the man I wanted to marry, and The Kitcheners were the people I wanted to shoot it. As a photographer myself, it was a surprise even to me, then, that the images we got back from that day exceeded even my expectations. More than just a record of the events, I don’t just see the day in these images, I can feel it again in every frame.
Mark and John’s ceremony was such a beautiful tapestry of friends and family, from the best man Colin and John’s sister Molly performing Moon River as they walked down the aisle, to the readings by some of their closest friends, and of course the ring bearer himself, Mr Giles! (their adorable dog)
For the traditional and rather *less* traditional portion of the evening, they owe thanks to two immensely talented women in their lives: Mark’s dear friend Kim, who lent her top baking skills to the wedding cake.
And their incredible tattoo artist Gillian Turner, who made sure the day truly was unforgettable thanks to the beautiful and very permanent reminders they now get to wear forever!
A wedding is a celebration of the love of two people, but they truly felt it back from every single person who attended from all around the globe.
Scotland, England, Canada, New York, Georgia, Seattle and Finland…
Mark said that they are so lucky to have found one another, but luckier still to have all these amazing people in their lives.
It was a complete pleasure working with Mark and John to make their wedding day a day they will always remember…
I do feel they are a couple who are complete soul mates, since they met over 16 years ago the love and commitment that I have seen is timeless…
Love is love … Whether a man loves a woman, a woman loves a woman, or a man loves a man, it really makes no difference.
Everyone deserves to live the life they want to live, and even more importantly, love the person they want to love.
A flower cannot blossom without sunshine, and human cannot live without love.
Photography is by The Kitcheners.