Engagement Shoot: Future Mr & Mrs Hull

Sunday, April 11, 2021

 Madeleine and Tim

26th September 2020 | Kirkhill Forest, Aberdeen

Photos: Calum Riddell Photography

Madeleine and Tom always wanted a pre wedding shoot, and were lucky enough that they had a shoot included within their photography package. They timed this perfectly, around the 6 month to go mark, and in time for the bride to be to have her make-up trial beforehand. Though the couple felt a bit shy behind the camera initially, once they got used to it they shone with confidence and their happiness really shows in the photographs. Madeleine tells us all about their gorgeous shoot, and also an insight into their spring wedding plans...

Why did you decide to have a pre-wedding shoot?
The pre-wedding shoot was part of our package but we had both wanted to do one anyway. Although we both love taking photos of each other or views to capture moments as memories, put us both in front of a camera and we get so awkward! We timed it to be around the 6 month countdown mark and I had my make-up trial before hand, it made it start to feel real and I think you can tell our excitement from the photos. 
How did you meet and how long have you been together?
We were in the same year at school but our paths didn't cross till at my friend's house party in November 2011 when we were 16. Having been there for the set up I was already a bit tipsy and flirty when he arrived and confidently took his phone out his hands while he was trying to help his lost friends - it was in the middle of nowhere - and gave them a random jumble of directions. I have no idea when his friends eventually arrived but it didn't matter, we were inseparable all night - and ever since!  We will have been together 9 years when we get married. 
Tell us your proposal story:
During my final two years at university in St. Andrews we spent 5 months then 6 months super long distance while Tim worked as Ski Patrol in the Australian winter season, then not-so-long long distance while he worked the Scottish winter season at the Nevis range. After graduating and a summer of working and saving, I went out to join him in Australia and we bought a van and we travelled right down the East Coast of Australia, the Great Ocean Road and then in a hired van from the top to the bottom of New Zealand. Our sunrise breakfasts always consisted of cheap white bread jammy sandwiches, coffee and an apple. 
Back in Scotland, he suggested one day we go to Dunnottar Castle at sunrise for him to practice using his camera. I was suspicious because he chose my day off after a few hectic 12 hour shifts but insisted it was the perfect morning for it! He used the wicker picnic basket my Granny bought me as a graduation present and filled it with soft, white bakers' rolls spread with posh conserve, a fruit salad he prepared, a flask of coffee and he had bought two new camp chairs for the occasion. A fancier version of our road trip breakkies! After eating our breakfast - I have to have breakfast before doing anything! - and watching the sunrise behind the castle, he got down on one knee with a ring he had designed himself. It wasn't just the weather that meant it was a perfect morning, he also timed it for a day my Granny and my sister and her husband were all up visiting from England and so we got to break the news and pop the champagne together the same day. It was perfect. 
Why did you choose the shoot location:
We didn't actually, Calum did, but he made the perfect choice! I had been in Inverurie for my make up trial with Julia Stronach and it was convenient and also us down to a T! We are both outdoorsy people and being in a forest on a beautiful sunny day is our ideal happy place. Calum had us clambering up slopes, climbing over fences and dodging branches to find the best spots, we had a laugh. 
Did you find the shoot helpful for helping you feel more prepared for the wedding day?
Honestly, I felt more prepared for our wedding day for the fact I had easily found my wedding dress but for this shoot I spent hours scrolling through shops online and couldn't decide on anything! But the shoot definitely helped our camera nerves and it was great to spend time with Calum. It felt like catching up with a long-lost friend - actually he had taken my parents' silver wedding anniversary photos back when me and Tim had just been together a few months so in a way he was. 
Did you feel nervous behind the camera?
We both felt nervous the morning of the shoot and we were a bit awkward at first knowing what to do with our arms and where to look but as we got into the swing of it we felt really comfortable. So much so that at one point Tim picked me up and twirled me around with Calum shouting "Wait, guys! My camera isn't ready!" and with a runner rushing past us - think he was worried he'd interrupted a proposal! 
Would you recommend that other couples have an engagement shoot or do you feel it is not necessary?
I think even if you are both totally comfortable in front of the camera, it's still a great chance to get to know your photographer. Your photographer will be there with you when you're getting ready with your bridal party, it's important you get on and they have a positive, even calming effect on you! And in any case, it's a perfect excuse for professional photos of you both which you don't get a lot. 
Did your photographer give you any tips before the shoot?
Just be yourselves and have fun! At the very start he asked us to hold hands and try and push each other over, just something funny that you feel silly doing at first but then it just gets you laughing. Getting the feeling silly bit out the way at the start I think is what helped us relax. 
What advice would you give to other couples who do plan to have a pre-wedding shoot?
Think about what you're wearing and wear something comfortable but that you feel nice in. Don't feel any pressure though to look 'perfect' as it is your connection and love that will shine through the photos. 
What is your favourite photo from the shoot?
I love the photos where we are laughing and also the one Calum took from a bit of a distance away where we're surrounded by greenery and trees. Makes me think of our journey to be together, the adventures we've been on together and the quote by Audrey Hepburn "The best thing to hold onto in life is each other". I went to an exhibition about her with my Granny years ago and she bought me a poster with that quote on it and it's so true.  
Were there any stand out moments in the shoot?
Definitely the feeling of bubbly excitement we got! 
Tell us about your wedding plans...
Right now it's tricky knowing what to plan anymore but one thing I always knew would be a theme was spring. It's my favourite season and I wanted daffodils to feature in memory of my Grandad. I had spoken at his funeral and had said how upsetting it was he wouldn't be there on my wedding day and daffodils remind me of him. So whatever happens, there will be lots of flowers and greenery, gold touches and lots of candles! Our venue was the only one we viewed but we just got that feeling of 'ahh, this is us'. It's in a gorgeous location with lots of windows to let in light and the styling is dramatic in it's simplicity. Oh and there's a golf course, big thumbs up from Tim and my Dad! 
Do you plan to incorporate any of the photos into your wedding? 
My friend and Maid of Honour, Kiera, made me and Tim a photo album one Christmas with photos of us and descriptions in her beautiful handwriting of our time together. It would be lovely to have some sort of timeline like that hung up for guests to see. 
What are you most looking forward to about the wedding date?
Walking down the aisle to marry my best friend! And seeing our loved ones happy faces and sharing the moment with them - after this past year of even family who live close by feeling so far away, I really just can't wait to all be together. 
What has been your favourite part of wedding planning so far?
The moment he asked me to marry him! Since my last year at university I had been hoping he would ask so had been dreaming of the day in my head. My Granny was obviously the same because when we told her the news she said "About time too!" 

Photography by Calum Riddell Photography | www.calumriddel.com | Instagram: @calumriddel

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