Edinburgh Zoo Wedding Photography.

Darren and Stewart first contacted me about their wedding at Edinburgh Zoo just before Christmas last year. They were starting to plan their wedding and thought that my brand of unposed, relaxed and all natural wedding photography might suit their needs. At the time Darren & Stewart lived in London and I’m based down in Devon so a Skype chat was arranged and it became clear fairly quickly that what I do was a good fit for what they wanted.  They were looking for a totally relaxed, informal day, they didn’t want anything to get in the way of that all of which plays exceedingly well with the way I work.  On the day, it’s my mission to blend seamlessly into the crowd. Yes I’m carrying a big camera, yes I’m down the front during the ceremony – and you can’t miss me. I’m not going to make ridiculous claims to be some kind of photography ninja – but when several people over the course of the day & evening ask how long you’ve known the couple and how you met them and so on it’s clear that I’ve managed to integrate to the point where the friends and family see me as one of their own rather than just another wedding supplier.

This was a wedding, just as weddings should be – no standing on ceremony, no unwieldy tradition for the sake of it. The day kicked off with Darren, Stewart and several handfuls of their guests arriving at Edinburgh Zoo Mansion House from where we set off around the zoo. Although a lot of the animals had better ideas than to be sitting out in the open on a December morning in Edinburgh, the stroll round the zoo gave all the guests the chance to meet and get to know each other well in advance of the usual semi awkward situation where everyone turns up half an hour before the ceremony and no one knows anyone else or whether they’re in the right place and so on. Plus we did see a tiger, a baboon or two and of course penguins.

A short and poignant humanist ceremony followed. Marilyn the celebrant had earlier toured the zoo with the party as well and it has to be said you couldn’t meet a more relaxed and easy going celebrant. She managed to bring a tear to more than one eye in the assembly and clearly ended up with a lump in her own throat too.   After the ceremony the usual cocktail hour followed with music from a string quartet who had also played earlier before the ceremony itself. Then dinner followed by a ceilidh and a d.j.  There was no first dance, no cake cutting, though there was plenty of cake! No family line up, grip and grin photographs and no speeches, just a wedding and a massive party.  In a second I’ll show you some pictures from the day but first, I received an email this morning from Darren and Stewart who received their gallery yesterday. It says;

“Hi Michael,


Thank you so so much!
The photos are absolutely amazing and we spent a good couple of hours last night watching them on the tv and have let some friends and family have a look too; 10s 10s 10s across the board!!! You really have captured some epic moments from the wedding and we just know that we’ll always enjoy looking at these snapshots of the day.
What you do is incredible; I was a little apprehensive at what the end results would look like, particularly as the slide show crept towards later in the evening- but they’re all just so good!
Having you join us for the wedding was definitely one of the best choices we made for the day. You were so much fun to have around and interacted with the other guests in such a natural and easy way that everyone was relaxed!
Thank you again for capturing such priceless moments!!!”
Thank you Darren and Stewart for having me along on the day!
If you’re getting married, it doesn’t have to be at a Zoo, it can be anywhere you like, and if you like what you see here on this site then there’s a good chance that what I do might work for you.  email me. Let’s make it happen. And now for some pictures…

girls dancing at a wedding
The two grooms at a wedding in Scotland

Celebrant: Marilyn Jackson

String Quartet: Albamusica String Quartet

Venue: Mansion House Edinburgh Zoo

Michael Riley Photography


I am a a multi award winning UK and destination wedding photographer. Based in Devon, I offer wedding coverage throughout the UK and anywhere else in the world for couples who like my work and approach to a wedding.


My wedding photography is entirely unposed, natural & candid. My style is documentary wedding photography or reportage wedding photography which means that I don't intervene in the day for the sake of a shot. I don't pose, interfere or otherwise fuss and faff. Everything is relaxed, laid back and fun allowing for those natural moments to come through and be recorded as memories. You get all the moments observed not orchestrated. If you like the sound of this get in touch via my contact page.

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