Capturing The Heart And Soul….part 1

There is so much to love about RMW reader Kirsty’s and her husband Findlay’s big day that I’m at a loss where to start.

In Kirsty’s report you will read how she described photographers Cara and Nye from Lillian and Leonard as “capturing the heart and soul”of her wedding day. And let me tell you folks, they really did. Looking through the gallery was like uncovering a moving and beautiful love story where every special moment is documented to perfection.

The father of the bride seeing his daughter for the first time on the day, Kirsty spritzing her favourite scent, the joy and laughter of the best girls, drinks with guests on the beach before the reception….

The list is endless.

And if that isn’t enough to make your Monday lovelier then Kirsty’s entertaining and witty writing, clever DIY ideas and Rock My Wedding inspired styling certainly will.

A Vintage Theme

The ceremony was held in ” St Andrew Blackadder Parish Church” in North Berwick High Street. The minister was actually on holiday on our date but, conveniently, Fin’s dad is a minister, so that minor hitch was easily solved.

The decor for me was, along with the stationery, the best part of wedding planning. I sooo enjoyed getting crafty and dusting off my creative side for the first time since school.

The whole theme of the wedding came from a 1930s GNER railway poster of North Berwick. Fin and I both love vintage posters, particularly old travel posters, and we knew we wanted to incorporate that into our wedding. This led to a bit of a vintage, travel-inspired theme that loosely tied everything together, from our handmade luggage-tag save the dates to our postcard-style invitations using the North Berwick poster (which my talented bridesmaid Kristen helped us design). The invitations each had a vintage stamp (I bought a job lot from ebay) individually selected for each guest, and a custom postmark from Etsy with our names and wedding date on it.

Brief Flirtations

The shoes I finally wore were the sixth – yes, sixth – pair of shoes that I bought. My dress had a scalloped lace hem which meant adjusting the length wasn’t an option, so the shoes had to be exactly four inches, no more, no less – this was harder to find than it sounds! I didn’t want a generic pair of pointy ivory satin “bridal” shoes that I would never wear again, and sadly Monsieur Louboutin was out of my price range, so after much trial and error – including a brief love affair with some sparkly-bowed platforms (too high) and a flirtation with some hot pink peep-toes (too pink)….

I finally found some rather fabulous metallic sandals from Aldo online. I took them off while I wandered along the beach but otherwise I danced in them all night long.

Understated Elegance

I wanted my hair to be classic and elegant, but with a relaxed feel to fit in with the laid-back, informal vibe that we wanted the day to have. Carol from Cut N Colours in North Berwick did a fabulous job, giving me a curled, slightly messy bun at the nape of my neck, the perfect perch for my hair flower and veil.

I found Laura Darling of Beauty Artistry online and loved the classic, understated looks on her website. I like to think my eyes are my best feature and Laura did a fantastic job of bringing them out. She used mineral makeup to give me a peachy complexion and gave me subtle smoky eyes, using individual lash extensions to really open them up, and kept everything else fairly neutral. You can tell she did a great job because looking at the photos you don’t see the makeup, just the big cheesy grins.

Red Carpet Worthy

My dress was Maggie Sottero “Phillipa” from Emma Roy in Edinburgh. I had a strong idea in my head of the kind of dress I wanted (I may have looked at one or two [million] dresses online before we actually got engaged). When the assistant saw what I had picked out, she pulled out Phillipa and added it to the pile – it didn’t look like anything much on the hanger but when I put it on, it was gorgeous. The stunning beaded lace and movie-star fishtail shape were exactly what I was looking for, and I loved the creamy-gold colour and corset back (Fin has a weird phobia of buttons, so tiny buttons all the way up the back of a dress would literally have been his worst nightmare!).

A word of advice for brides with corset-backed dresses – it might take five minutes to lace it up in the shop, but for a bridesmaid who’s never done it before, it will take a lot longer. I ended up running really late after I forgot to factor this in so don’t make the same mistake!

Stylish Simplicity

I bought some pretty pearl and diamanté drop earrings from Plumbcrazy on etsy and, other than my wedding and engagement ring, that was the only jewellery I wore. I just felt that with all the lace and the beading on the dress, any more glitz would have been overkill.

I was unsure about wearing a veil at first, worried it would be too formal, but after seeing so many natural, almost ethereal shots of brides with veils I decided to go for a simple long veil, and Rock My Wedding‘s Rebecca’s DIY veil tutorial could not have come at a better time. I tweaked Rebecca’s design slightly to make a single-tier veil rather than two-tier (so the veil was U-shaped rather than oval, with the comb attached to the straight edge at the top of the U). My mum and I went to John Lewis and found tulle to match the colour of my dress, got out the sewing scissors and went to work on the living room floor. It looked amazing on the day – you would never know it cost less than twenty quid. I only wore the veil for the ceremony and photos, and it also took an unplanned trip down a stream the following day, so it’s just as well I didn’t spend a fortune on it!

I didn’t wear a tiara – I’m not convinced that tiaras and beaches really go together (unless maybe you’re Miss California, and even then…). I did however wear a hair flower, first under my veil and then later on its own. Boosted by the success of the DIY veil, I DIY’d my own fabric hair flower using a pattern I found on Martha Stewart Weddings. I bought some satin and organza fabrics on sale from a local fabric shop and used some leftover tulle from the veil. The centre of the flower came from a pair of vintage clip-on earrings I found on ebay. I was so chuffed with how it turned out – it was exactly what I was looking for, it just finished the outfit off perfectly and was a total bargain too.

I also had a vintage handbag of my mum’s to keep my perfume and makeup in (except on the day I forgot to put any makeup in it, so it was basically just a bag of perfume – but I really loved the bag!).

Rock My Wedding Fashion Inspiration

The bridesmaids wore dresses that I ordered online from MKM Bridal. We didn’t want to spend a fortune on dresses they would most likely wear only once, but because we had a relatively short engagement (December-July) there wasn’t time to adopt the classic RMW strategy of pouncing on the sales. I researched reviews of MKM and the fabric swatch they sent me looked good, so we sent off the girls’ measurements and hoped for the best. It was a nerve-wracking wait to see if the dresses would be massive/hideous/made out of old shell-suits, but when they arrived they were a lovely fabric, incredibly well-made and only needed tiny adjustments.

I chose a nice fresh green because it just seemed to really fit in with the surroundings and the time of year. However, when I saw them in person I felt like there was LOT of green going on. So, inspired by the same Country Garden Gorgeous wedding and also a picture in RMW’s Charlotte’s Prettiest Maids feature, I made a different flower sash for each of the girls using the same fabric as my hair flower and some lace appliqués from John Lewis to match my dress. The sashes were a last-minute decision but they tied in so well with my dress and really helped to bring everything together. They were such a success that I was actually commissioned to make similar flowers for a friend’s bridesmaids – seriously one of my proudest moments!

The bridesmaids’ shoes were from Miss KG and were purchased in the sale in Debenhams (way before I found shoes for myself!) and they each wore their own jewellery. Our three flowergirls wore dresses from Monsoon.

Perseverance for Pretty

I also handmade our orders of service – which included a little map that Kristen drew for us giving walking directions to the golf club from the church – personalised menu/place names, table plan, table names and activity packs to keep the little ones busy.

The stationery took FOREVER to make because there were so many fiddly steps involved: designing, printing, gluing, cutting, folding, tying, stamping, writing (multiply by 140 guests…). I came really close to throwing everything out the window on several occasions, but I’m so glad I persevered – we literally put our own personal stamp on everything, and it was so satisfying to see it all finished and looking fantastic on the day.

Scottish Heritage

Fin was given a kilt for his 21st birthday (made to measure by independent kiltmaker Veronica Rose) which he has worn to every special event we have attended together ever since, so he was always going to wear that on his wedding day. He hired the same jacket as the other boys – we would have liked to buy him his own one but our budget didn’t stretch (might have had something to do with the six pairs of shoes. Oops). He looked very handsome in his hired one anyway. He wore a blue silk tie, also from M&S, to mark him out as the groom, and finished the outfit off with my Papa’s cufflinks.

The best man and ushers all wore kilts in different tartans (either their own or hired) but they all hired the same grey tweed jackets from the Kilt Hire Co to mark them out as the wedding party. We also gave each of them a tie to coordinate with the bridesmaids’ dresses, from good old Marks and Spencer.

This wasn’t really part of the “official” outfits but on the morning of the wedding we also gave each of the bridesmaids, best man and ushers a pair of brightly-coloured retro sunglasses that I found on ebay (white ones for the bride, obviously). Fin loves bright colours and 80s style so they were a very “us” present, and ended up being in some of our favourite photos of the day.

Photography – Cara and Nye at Lillian and Leonard

Ceremony Venue – St Andrew Blackadder Parish Church

Stationery – DIY plus assistance from a crafty Bridesmaid

Brides Gown – Maggie Sottero at Brides Shoes – Aldo

Make-up – Laura Darling at Beauty Artistry

Jewellery – Plumbcrazy on Etsy

Veil – DIY courtesy of Rock My Wedding

Bridesmaids dresses – MKM Bridal

Grooms Outfit – Rose Kilts

This W-day has just the right mix of elegance, sophistication and unique details that makes Rock My Wedding the success it is, because it’s you guys reading, being inspired and ultimately sharing your stories with the rest of the community that makes this all worth while.

Plenty more pretty from Kirsty and Fin coming up tomorrow you gorgeous lot you.

Big From The Heart Love

Charlotte xxx

Author: Charlotte O’Shea
Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.

32 thoughts on “Capturing The Heart And Soul….part 1

  1. First comment, woohoo! Wedding looks sooo nice and I love the DIYing, well worth it. In fact, if I wasn’t sneakily reading this at work right now, I would be very tempted to go off and DIY my own veil right now!

  2. As if I wasn’t emotional enough on the day (hello big pregnant wedding photographer) I’m totally welling up reading this. It really was the most wonderful day, so happy and relaxed and touching and light hearted and beautiful and I’m so so pleased we were a part of it.


  3. I think this might just be the beach wedding to end all beach weddings.

    Gorgeous dress? Beautiful couple? Lovely blooms? Homemade bits and bobs to blow you socks off? Fabulous real photography? Yes to all of the above. More please.

    PS. The north east is one of my favourite places on the whole planet and probably the whole universe. Just so you know x

  4. Gorgeous – loving the handmade flowers. However, my favourite bit is the GNER poster inspiration – we love those too! We’ve collected a few from places that are important to us over the years and have made our own version for our invitations! I am so excited to see what people think of them when they receive them!!

    I also absolutely love Cara and Nye’s photography (and their blog, which I recently discovered, and their beautiful twin girls. I may have stolen their humanist vows after a mention from a RMW bride last week…). That pic of the bridesmaids in the sunglasses is one of the best bridesmaid shots EVER! Fact.

    So now I’m thinking ‘would I look ridiculous wearing 80s plastic sunglasses in February, or would everyone think I was a fashion icon’…? Hmm…


  5. Kirsty this is honestly one of my favourite weddings ever to have been shown on RMW just for the sheer love and happiness that shines through in pretty much every picture.

    I am also in awe at your flower making skills, but that’s by the by. And whilst we’re on flowers? Your bouquet is to die for. Like, ‘it’s-a-good-job-I-wasn’t-at-your-wedding-because-I-might-have rugby-tackled-you for it’ to die for.

  6. Aw I am so excited! Thank you so much for featuring us (and my incredibly rambling wedding report – didn’t remember it being so long!!!).

    And thanks for being such an amazing source of inspiration – couldn’t have done it without RMW!

  7. OH.MY.GOD. I was just looking at Cara and Nye’s website. I got engaged a year ago to the day and picked them out the very next day…i still have 2 years to go but i just LOVE all the photos!! And what a beautiful bride…! I love the pink sunglasses too..! 🙂

  8. Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm….umm…I….. Nope, no words.

    I’m in AWE of those flowers you made Kirsty-so gorgeous! And ditto on the bouquet Clare, after you’d rugby-tackled Kirsty I’d have taken you out and run away to eat it. Dramatic? Maaaaybe. True though.

    Pretty pretty pretty. Also a mention for the interior decorating skills of Kirsty’s parents! What a delicious place to get ready to be married.


  9. Wow, these photos are so beautiful (not that I’m surprised, coming from Cara & Nye) and all the details (and all the huge smiles) just look fantastic – I love how the sheer joy of the day just jumps off the page (or screen, I guess?). And I have a real soft spot for that stretch of coast – looking forward to seeing more!

  10. This is *lovely* – I am reminded again of how gutted I was when I discovered that Cara and Nye were already booked up (over a year in advance) for our wedding date. I would even have changed it so we could use them, but unfortunately between medical and accountancy exams we didn’t have much room for manouvre…

    Lucy – this is North Berwick in Scotland – not to be confused with Berwick upon Tweed in north Northumberland (where I am getting married) – not that you are the only one; my mum quite regularly gets delivery men at the door who don’t realise they’ve crossed the border!

  11. Esme (and Kirsty obviously!), I am so with yu on the old railway posters, I LOVE them!

    I’ve got two huge ones to go up in our reception (not sure where yet – hmmmm!) that I ordered off’f t’internet. x x x

  12. Hehe – @ missrecyclenow: you must use the posters in your reception!

    We recently moved to a new town and you cannot get the town’s poster for love nor money. I am seriously considering stealing the one hanging up in the railway station…


  13. Woo!

    I was absolutely loving when last week Rachel made my necklace but seeing a real life DIY veil project brought to life is even better!

    It’s so so so fulfilling seeing all these brides actually using RMW for inspiration. So pleased – You’ve made my day Kirsty, and Cara and Nye (amongst my top 5 favourite togs EVER) capturing it to boot? What a happy Monday!



    Loving this one, so many sweet details- I think that the flowers are my favourite though- especially different flowers for each bridesmaid… very smart and very PRETTY! The shot in the church and the look in Kirsty’s eyes is just beautiful xxx

  15. I’m just totally loving all the Scottish weddings and RMW reader stories lately! This is simply gorgeous and nice to see the different ideas that grow from the RMW inspiration.


  16. Wow can’t believe all these lovely comments, thank you all so much!

    Some serious love for the sunglasses – they were a total ebay bargain but so fun. Esme I’m sure you could totally pull them off!

    Cara – we are so glad you were a part of it too x

    Clare and Aisling – funny you should mention fighting over my bouquet – that may or may not have actually happened…

  17. Beautiful!..especially all the personal touches. Did you make the purple hearts and if so can you share any DIY tips? They are absolutely gorgeous..I’m wanting something different for pew ends and these would be perfect x

  18. Hi Catherine – no I didn’t make the hearts (I was DIY’d out by that stage!). I got them online from Roz at Fentons of Kent (I think this might be in the second part of the wedding report but just in case). Roz is possibly the nicest person ever to deal with – would totally recommend her and they were only £2 or £3 each I think.

    Hope that helps!

  19. Hey it’s Fin (the groom) we had an amazing day defo one of the best days we have ever spent together. The photographs are amazing and just show how much work Kirsty put into the wedding. It was all worth it as it looked amazing on the day as did Kirsty.

  20. Hi Kirsty,
    I recently came across your beautiful wedding and ‘that’ veil. This summer I’m planning on making my own single tier veil and I though that yours looked amazing. Is there any chance that you could share with me how you made the veil? I know in your post that you followed a previous RMW post about a DIY veil but I was just wondering how you made just a single tier. Please forgive me but I am bit of sewing novice (although I seem to have brought every possible sewing accessory I could ever need, including a sewing machine still to be used!!)!

    Thank you 🙂
    Kirsty xx

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