Unusual Venues Edinburgh

The Caves Wedding

In the heart of Edinburgh’s old town is a truly unique wedding venue. The Caves are as cosy and romantic as they sound. Steeped in history, the Caves are located under the South Bridge and originally served as whiskey caverns – an authentic ode to Scottish heritage. I worked as the Caves Wedding Photographer for Sarah and Martin on their special day.

The Caves

As unusual venues in Edinburgh go, The Caves has strong ties to the city. After being lost for over 100 years, a tunnel was discovered in the 1980s that led to the original Edinburgh Vaults. They were soon restored to the quirky and charming setting they are today. As well as weddings and parties, the Caves also serve as a live music venue for concerts. 

The thought and care that has gone into the renovation of the Caves by the owners – Unusual Venues Edinburgh – is immediately obvious. Tasteful backlighting showcases the old stone walls and candles fill the recesses. Despite their cosy nature, this unusual Edinburgh venue can host 70-120 guests for the ceremony and up to 200 for the reception. 

Documentary Wedding Photography 

One of the key elements of documentary wedding photography is to tell a story. Capturing the candid moments as they happen from start to finish allows a thorough and natural picture to develop of the day as a whole. Because of this, many couples choose to have the photos start from the morning preparations. This builds the anticipation of the wedding, catching the emotions and excitement of the bridal party as they prepare for the ceremony.

It is a precious moment of glimpsing behind the scenes on the day, witnessing the relationships of the bride and groom with their closest friends and relatives, before they come before the whole wedding party. Sarah and her entourage got ready in Edinburgh’s West End before travelling to the ceremony.

The Caves Wedding Photographer

One of the most essential features to any photographer is lighting.  The term “photo” actually means light. So being a wedding photographer in this unique and unusual Edinburgh venue is a task that requires a lot of consideration and skill. 

Since there are no windows in the vaults, the lighting is incredibly atmospheric. Technical knowledge and good quality equipment are important to get the best out of the venue. I found photographing this wedding an incredibly rewarding experience as I was able to hone my skills in responding to the unique surroundings. The result is a set of photos that reflect the ambience of the Caves whilst still capturing clear, detailed images of the important moments of the day.

Bridal shoot in Edinburgh’s old town

One of the advantages of the central location of the Caves is the range of great options for the bridal photo shoot. There are many fantastic locations that reflect the culture and heritage of Edinburgh, giving your wedding photos a sense of status. If you want urban chic you could choose the Royal Mile, bordered by iconic Scottish architecture. Or if you prefer greenery and foliage, the acclaimed Holyrood Park is nearby, as well as the historic Palace of Holyroodhouse with its stunning gardens. 

Alternatively, the Caves themselves provide a charming backdrop for the bridal shoot, and this is the location Sarah and Martin went for. Ancient stone walls, arched ceilings and candlelight tick all the right boxes for a romantic setting. We also made use of the historic cobbled streets surrounding the Caves for the shots of the groomsmen.

Wedding reception at the Caves

Candle-lit tables under curved ceilings made a fantastic setting for Sarah and Martin’s wedding breakfast. It was easy to capture the guests enjoying themselves as the evening progressed and the speeches were welcomed with rounds of applause. Then the evening was rounded off with dancing, with the bride and groom being the first on the dance floor for the first dance. As a wedding photographer I enjoy documenting the day from beginning to end, seeing the couple and their guests start to relax as the build-up of the morning turns into evening celebrations. 

If you are looking for a wedding photographer at the Caves or another of the unusual venues in Edinburgh, please drop me a line.  With many years’ experience photographing weddings around Edinburgh and beyond, I am familiar with many styles of venue and photoshoot locations. I aim to get the best out of each setting to paint a candid picture of the bride and groom’s experience as they make this exciting commitment to one another. 

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