When you envisage the perfect classic wedding day, what springs to mind? For me, it’s an elegant white dress, groomsmen in tailcoats, vintage-inspired hair, and – of course – black and white photography. Catriona and Matt’s big day fit this description perfectly, with their photos oozing classical romance. Their choice of tying the knot amidst the picturesque Signet Library in Edinburgh made their winter wedding even more special.

The Signet Library Edinburgh

Long ago, King George IV described the famed library as “the finest drawing room in Europe”. The Georgian building is renowned as being one of Edinburgh’s best-kept secrets and is owned by The Society of Writers to Her Majesty’s Signet. This impressive building can host up to 400 reception guests, and it comes as no surprise that Catriona and Matt’s family and friends filled the space with their numerous, smiling faces.

Classic Wedding in Black and White at the Signet Library
Classic black and white wedding photography at The Signet Library

As far as Decembers go, this one was dry enough, though it wouldn’t have mattered had it not been so; the bride and groom’s smiles lit up their surroundings and warmed up their many well-wishers. Inside the venue, candlelight and thousands of petals adorned the space, casting a romantic glow on everything in sight. The mixture of books and florals embellishing the backdrops of my photos somehow intermingled perfectly, as if books and flowers always went together anyway.

Wedding couple during ceremony at The Signet Library
Bride arriving in a vintage car at The Signet library
Bride arriving in a vintage car at The Signet library

The black and white photos I photographed gave this wedding such a spectacular, classic vibe, in particular in some of the more ornamental spaces the Signet Library holds. One stand out was the ornate thistle-design carpet amidst the Georgian pillars of the library, where Catriona and Matt sat relaxing on a vintage leather sofa. The carpet’s design seems to flow from Catriona’s wedding gown – an endearing effect that colour photography might never have captured in the same way.

Black and white wedding photography
Bride and groom kissing on a sofa at The Signet Library
Performance during wedding ceremony
Wedding couple during ceremony at The Signet Library

Faces can appear more pronounced and expressive in black and white, lending the impression of vintage photo albums from weddings long ago. The bridal party and guests adorned in pretty flowers appear timeless when captured in this fashion – though this winter wedding could hardly have been more timeless anyway, with its picturesque, unusual setting and classically-attired wedding party. As always, it was a pleasure to be part of such a special day, and one that certainly shone a light on why sometimes the most traditional approach – both in terms of wedding style and photography – can be the most effective.

Groom welcoming guests at The Signet Library
Groom getting ready for wedding ceremony
Groom welcoming guests at The Signet Library
Bride arriving in a vintage car at The Signet library
Bride arriving at The Signet library
Bride arriving at The Signet library
Bride arriving for wedding ceremony at The Signet library
Bride arriving for wedding ceremony at The Signet library
Bride arriving for wedding ceremony at The Signet library
Wedding couple during ceremony at The Signet Library
Wedding couple during ceremony at The Signet Library
Signing the registry
Intimate moment between bride and groom
Wedding party during wedding ceremony
Bride receiving congratulations after wedding ceremony
Wedding guests at The Signet Library Edinburgh
Wedding guests at The Signet Library Edinburgh
Black and white wedding photography
Black and white wedding photography
Wedding guests at The Signet Library Edinburgh
Black and white portrait of a wedding guest
Black and white portrait of a wedding guest
Speeches at The Signet Library
Speeches at The Signet Library
Bride and groom listening to speeches
Bride and groom cuts the cake at The Signet Library
Bride and groom cuts the cake at The Signet Library
Wedding guests at The Signet Library Edinburgh
Wedding guests dancing at The Signet Library Edinburgh
Wedding guests at The Signet Library Edinburgh
Wedding guests at The Signet Library Edinburgh
Bride and groom kissing during dance at The Signet Library Edinburgh