Bethany the Bride: My mum Mairi (she did SO much of the creative stuff and spent days and days doing it! I hate this cliche, but I absolutely couldn't have done it without her). My dad Jim (he helped make so many things for the wedding and was very hard-working, doing all the heavy lifting, chopping up logs etc. a total hero!) My groom, Grant (he was amazing at letting me do what I wanted and calming me down when things were getting stressful. He helped in the things he was good at and when he had time, but most of all he was the reason I was putting so much effort into it - awww). My bridesmaids: Paisley and Melissa, for being non-divas and making it a very easy and natural process.
I had no idea what I wanted in terms of a dress, but I knew as soon as I tried a few on in bridal shops I didn't want any of them. It felt a bit odd putting on a big dress and knowing it just wasn't 'me'. I felt like I was dressing up as a princess and didn't think it was appropriate for the wedding, or style of the non-traditional wedding. So over a coffee one day I made a flippant comment about how I wished I could just make one, did a few sketches on the back of an envelope...next thing we knew my mum and I were buying fabric in metres and trying to work out how on earth a dress is made. I originally wanted a flower crown to go with my dress and spent ages making them for myself and my bridesmaids. They turned out pretty cute and I was certainly going to wear it, until only a few days before the wedding and I decided it took away the attention from the dress, and couldn't decide, so ended up going for a fresh flower hair-piece round the back of my head. Sometimes I still wish I'd worn the crown, but there's not much I can do about it now! In terms of accessories, I didn't really have many and kept them quite 'me' by just having my jewellery and bag from Anthropologie. I had a cashmere shawl/scarf that kept me cosy when we went outside for photos. My bag was a bit of a bad choice as it had jewels all over it and kept getting caught on my dress, but it didn't bother me too much!
Grant got a beautiful brand new kilt from 21st Century Kilts in Edinburgh. The colours and detail were beautiful, and he even got it with small orange details which went with our autumnal theme. There was a lot of opportunity for personalisation on the kilt and jacket, and Howie from 21st Century Kilts was great at making sure it fitted perfectly and looked good!
We chose Coos' Cathedral in Aboyne - a big old cow shed that's not got any heating, kitchen, chairs etc. We knew it was going to be a lot of work, and it was. We had to hire EVERYTHING which was quite stressful, but I probably made it more stressful for myself by deciding I wanted complete control of the decor and everything too. So in 2016, I spent way more hours tangled up in fairy lights than I ever intend to ever again.
We got married on 1st October and Autumn is my favourite month, so we went for an autumnal theme - oranges/reds/contrasting warm blues. We had hundreds (maybe thousands) of fairy lights strung up across the venue, I had dreamcatchers to keep it all happy, and lots and lots of wildflowers/branches/berries dotted around the venue to give it a bit of a woodland feel. We also had lots of logs, space hoppers, and cows. Outside we had Swedish log fires which were amazing, and on the tables, we made large lazy susans for the tables, with painted vases in the centre on a log, as well as the menu cows. We had hanging lanterns (who didn't in 2016!) and space hoppers and lots of lovely, beautiful things that I can't even remember. I'm very lucky - my Dad is very good at making things so he also helped a HUGE deal!
Hays Flowers created the bouquets for the bride/bridesmaid and flower girl which were fabulous - Jill, the owner, understood exactly what I wanted, something wild and colourful and just a bit messy. Flowers are beautiful and I understand the amount of work that goes into them, but it also breaks my heart whenever I hear how much some people spend on them for their weddings, so for the table flowers, we went to Tesco and arranged all of the flowers ourselves, which worked fine because of the general feel of the wedding and they looked great, even though it was slightly stressful at 7 pm the night before the wedding!
The Wedding Party
We set aside a day to go bridesmaid dress shopping in Edinburgh - luckily I had two laid-back bridesmaids who were happy to go high-street rather than bridal, and we went into John Lewis for a quick look at the beginning of the day because that's where we'd parked. They both saw the dress they liked, tried it on and they both loved it. One of my bridesmaids (my sister Paisley) was pregnant at the time and was comfortable that the dress we'd gone for would still fit come October! I wanted to go with a darker colour for bridesmaid dresses so that the flowers and flower crowns would stand out. We got the flower girl, Milly, a white boho style dress from Monsoon. She loved it, but kept pulling it down over her shoulders to be just like the bride! We also had to buy her some high-heels for wearing later on since she was hoping for them for the ceremony! Her flower crown was also made by the bride. Our bridal party cars were my parent's cars - a Mercedes G-Wagen and a Mercedes E-Class.
We had a humanist ceremony as neither of us is particularly religious which was lovely. We wrote the whole script ourselves and chose the words to reflect us as a couple. It was kept quite fun, emotional, happy and positive. We had readings from our good friend Dawn and the bride's cousin Fiona. Dawn read part of Leonard Cohen's song 'Always' and for Fiona's reading, I created a poem by taking lines out of some of my favourite songs by Depeche Mode, Paul Weller and Passenger. I was walked down the aisle by my father, Jim, to the song Caravan of Love by The Housemartins.
Before and during the ceremony we had Susan Zappert playing the harp. For the rest of the day, the groom made up a cool playlist on his phone that was kept on throughout the dinner. In the evening we had a ceilidh band, as well as some singing from my cousin Niall, and then some songs from the playlist later into the evening.
We had Lazy Sunday doing our catering who were fabulous. For our starter we had pumpkin soup which was served in individual pumpkins on each table - they were amazing! For our main course, we had a selection of food on each table - with chicken, stuffed peppers, amazing salads, flatbreads etc. And then for dessert, we had a dessert station with lots of different yummy cakes and desserts.Our bar and wine was done by Deeside Drinks who were brilliant and served lots of lovely drinks!
The Photography & Videography
Tub of Jelly were our photographer and videographer and they were fabulous. I didn't even notice they were there most of the time. They did exactly what we wanted - photographs that show the essence of the day and not just the formal shots that no one ever really looks at. They made it fun, and they made it look fun which is exactly what we wanted. Our video is beautiful, and the photographs are an art, not just someone clicking a camera.
If you choose to do everything yourself it is fabulous because it means you have complete control, but NEVER underestimate the work involved. I'm quite an active person who will get stuff done if they have ideas and a time limit, but it was really quite stressful, and not always less expensive! HOWEVER, it was totally worth it. What fun would it be if there had been no challenge? I'm now growing a tiny human, and I'm finding it a breeze so far compared to wedding planning! (Ha ha!)