We have eagerly been waiting to blog this Highland wedding planned from afar. There are so many parts that we absolutely love! A few of our highlights are… the dress is by one of our favourite designers, the shoes are hand made and the bride even arrived in style in a super cool peach camper van! Plus the most stunning photography from the very talented Anna Urban.
The attention to detail and time Lydia dedicated to her wedding to ensure each and every one of her guests had the best time is incredible, especially as she was living half way round world from the Scottish destination. We were originally contacted by the brides sister who designed and created the stunning flower arrangements – the colour palette is truly unique.
If you are stuck planning your wedding and need some inspiration then this is the blog post for you. It contains more ideas and tips than you can begin to imagine…
Chris + Lydia’s Story
Chris and I met in halls at Manchester Metropolitan University. We had been placed in the same flat. I always joke that it was fate because our beds were beside each other from day one, only separate by a wall. For the first few months we had a weirdly close friendship, however, neither of us would admit to having feelings for each other. Eventually though, we did and the love story grew from there. After University, we travelled together to Sydney, Australia where we lived for 3 years before relocating to Los Angeles in the US where we have been living for the past year. Our wedding was a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with friends and family across all of our adventures.
Our wedding was hosted at Fernie Castle in Cupar, Scotland. It’s a beautiful old castle close to where I (Bride) holidayed growing up. Our wedding decisions were predominantly led by the feeling and experience we wanted for ourselves and our guests on the day. Fernie Castle allowed us to get married on the front lawn, have drinks available before and after the ceremony and the wedding breakfast just a short walk away, there was also no time limit on the end of the celebration. This allowed everyone to relax and enjoy themselves from the moment they arrived until the early hours of the following morning.
To personalise the space, you’ll see we had lots of crafts and personal decorations to add to the ambiance. We had chalkboards by my friend from University and now a very successful chalkboard artist, Hannah Exall. My cousin, sister and Mother in Law, worked together to create a family tree with photos of our parents and grandparents. Only one of our grandparents are still with us so it was a really nice touch to be able to celebrate them and remember them on the day.
Chris and I had been married a year earlier for visa reasons so we wanted to make ensure this service reflected our personal journey. To achieve this, we wrote a lot of the words ourselves with the help of our legal marriage celebrant and the minister on the day. My Bridesmaid, Jenny sang me down the aisle to Someone Like You by Paolo Nutini. My Mum’s close friends and women I have grown up admiring sang two songs, ‘Wonderful World’ and ‘Be Still for the presence of the Lord’. At our legal ceremony, instead of exchanging rings, we did a sand ceremony and the rings were presented on the sand from that day. My Uncle also did a traditional Scottish Wedding Toast and we drank whisky from a quaich to seal the deal. It was very us and incredibly special.
The Dress + Accessories
I bought my dress in the very first shop, on the very first day we went looking. I had a specific idea in mind that I wanted something sophisticated with great back detail. I tried on lots of dresses that day, I was obsessed with the princess gowns, but they made me look ridiculous. When the assistant finally pulled my dress out by Pronovias Bridal, my immediate reaction was “No- too many diamantes!” She encouraged me to just try it and lo and behold, as soon as I had it on, I knew it was the one. When I put the veil on, it was even more perfect. Decision made.
Both mine and my bridesmaids shoes were by Shoes of Prey, the company I worked for at the time. Shoes of Prey is a custom design shoe company where you can create your very own shoe so I wanted the shoes to be special. I chose the material, a rose-gold soft leather, and then asked the girls to design their own shoe shape and heel height. I then added a customer inscription on the inside for each of the girls. They were very special.
Hair + Make Up
My hair stylist was Laura Anderson Bridal. She was absolutely fantastic! So supportive, friendly, relaxed and experienced. Not only did she do all the ladies hair so wonderfully on the day, she kept us moving and ensured we got to the ceremony on time. My hair style was simple. I have an afro naturally and I knew throughout the day my hair would start to get crazy so I wanted it swept of my face so I didn’t need to worry about it, without it being too rigid. I also needed something to hold my veil in. I didn’t decide on my final hairstyle until the morning of the wedding (I know, crazy!) but Laura immediately understood my vision and pulled it together perfectly. It was simple, elegant and afro-safe.
My make up artist, Kitty, was a close friend and colleague who I had encouraged to complete a make up course a couple years earlier. I was very honoured to have her do my make up and I think she did a beautiful job. She was also a guest at my wedding and so I was lucky enough to get regular touch ups throughout the day too. The bridesmaid make up was completed by a school friend who is now a full time makeup artist, Jessica MUA. She was a great laugh and did a fantastic job for all the girls.
The bridesmaid dresses were from Sheike, a high street store in Australia. I stayed well away from traditional bridesmaid dresses as I’m not a fan of anything too formal. I wanted the girls to look on trend and feel comfortable, which they did. The dresses even had handy pockets!
My husband and I had travelled to Thailand a year earlier and met a local tailor in the town where we were staying, Mr Nut. He made a suit for my Husband at the time and was so lovely that we invited him to create his wedding suit too. The accessories a peach bow tie and kerchief were purchased from bows-n-ties.com. They have every colour you could think of and super fast delivery times, perfect for weddings!
The groomsmen suits were Ted Baker from Moss Brothers.
Our photographer was Anna Urban and I am a massive fan! She is absolutely fantastic! Anna create journalistic style photos instead of formal arranged shots. That suited us better as we wanted to be able to enjoy the day, not spend it in front of a camera, and it also meant that the photos truly capture the ambiance and enjoyment of the day. She did such a wonderful job, captured everyone at the wedding in at least one image and was great fun to hang out with during the day too.
The flowers were an extremely special part of the day but not because of choices I made, in fact, I had absolutely nothing to do with the flowers! My cousin, Nick, is a well known florist across the UK but particularly in Scotland so I asked him to create the flowers for me. My sister, who was also my wedding planner and at the time working as an Event Coordinator for Holly Chapple Flowers, developed the colours and designs alongside Nick. Peach, baby blue and red is not something I would have ever thought to put together, however, it was perfect. Receiving the surprise flowers on the morning of the wedding was a wonderful surprise, very special indeed. For any brides put there struggling with flowers, I highly recommend putting your trust in the professionals and enjoying the surprise on the day. It worked for me.
Our cake was three layers of various sponge cakes made by my Aunty Nora who is an incredible baker. I’ve grow up eating the delicious sponge cake with cream and strawberries that she makes and so for my wedding cake, I asked for something similar. She created something better and I think it looks almost professional. I’m very grateful to her.
The food was all arranged in house by the team at Fernie Castle. The big event was the main which was a ‘Host the Roast’. If you haven’t heard of this before, it’s essentially a Sunday roast, however, the trick is that under one chair at each table was an apron and we asked that person to play chef and carve up a beautiful beef rump. It provided a lot of hilarity and banter, which helped guests to loosen up and enjoy themselves. Thoroughly recommend!
When thinking about wedding favours, we were conscious of the fact that they are so often lost or forgotten at the wedding and end up being a waste of money and not particularly eco-friendly. Instead, we decided to put together seed bombs. A seed bomb is basically mud, nutrients and flower seeds rolled up into a ball and the idea is you can chuck it anywhere and it should grow so it spreads a bit of love wherever it lands. We thought this was a cute idea and also meant that if there were some leftover, we could plant them ourselves so nothing would get wasted. My Mother in Law, Jane, spent hours putting these together and crafting cute packaging. We presented them in a wheelbarrow so it all rolled into the relaxed garden theme.
We had three bits of entertainment throughout the day:-
- Colin the Magician – organised as a surprise by my Mum. Prior to the wedding, I might have thought this a bit cheesy but it worked out so well. It was a great way to keep guests entertained while we were having photos and the pictures of guests being shocked and surprised are priceless.
- Gramophone DJ – Background music during reception. The set-up was really beautiful and added a quirky factor to the atmosphere.
- Classic Noir – Evening entertainment. Fantastic band! Loved every second of their set and they learnt our first dance song and father-daughter dance. They did such a great job of both, bring a lot of energy and clearly love what they do which makes an impact.
The First Dance
Our first dance was “First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes. It’s a song we have always held close to our hearts from very early on in our relationship. I’m from Scotland and Chris is from England so we spent a lot of time long distance, travelling up and down the M6. There’s a line in the song that reminds us of that time, “Remember the time you drove all night, just to meet me in the morning. And I thought it was strange, you said everything changed, you felt as if you just woke up.”
Remember that it’s your day, listen to advice but make sure that every decision is ultimately yours. Take time to think through decisions and make sure they are right but don’t dwell on them. Sometimes planning a wedding can feel like decision, decision, decision and it can get quite overwhelming. Just try to go with your gut and hope for the best. If you analyse every decision, you’ll lose the joy of the day and make yourself very stressed. It’s not worth it, trust a girl who has had two weddings! As long as you and your Husband are there, that’s all you need.
Eek isn’t it the most amazing wedding set in a truly beautiful location – who gets married in a castle! If you want more information on any of the suppliers Lydia used throughout her special day here is a quick snapshot:
Massive thank you to Chloe for getting in touch – your florist skills are incredible and we have no idea how you managed to keep it all a secret! If you want to read more real brides stories head over to the dedicated section on the blog or if you have a real brides submission then get in touch.