Sometimes from the afternoon all the way until the next morning is just too long to wait for more real wedding pretty isn’t it?
Well lovelies, I sincerely hope it’s not been too much of a trauma as Kirsty and Finlay’s Big Day part two is well worth the wait. Delicious capture-every-gorgeous-moment photography and a whole heap of D.I.Y ideas for you to be inspired by.
Tuesday mornings don’t come much better than this people.
* oh and don’t miss Kirsty’s last piece of very important advice, both hilarious and GENIUS.
The Prettiest Blooms
The fabulous Angela of Catkins Floral Design in North Berwick made four luscious bouquets for my bridesmaids and me. I wanted the bridesmaids to each have a different bouquet to represent their individual styles and also to avoid everything looking too matchy-matchy. One had pink peony roses, one had white sweet pea and the third had a big “pouff” ( RMW’s Charlotte’s word!!) of greeny-pink hydrangea.
My bouquet was mixture of each of their bouquets, plus a few extras – I had pink scented David Austin ‘Rosalind’ roses (to match the peonies), sweet pea, hydrangea, rosemary (my mum’s name), wax flower and more. As well as looking divine, the bouquet smelled A-MAZ-ING – I spent the day thrusting it under people’s noses and ordering them to smell it. In fact, it was so gorgeous that there was actually a fight when it came to catching it that ended with one of my friends smuggling it home inside her jacket!
For the flower girls, instead of fresh flowers (which I thought they would probably destroy within two minutes) they each carried a lovely little heart made of dried rosebuds that I found online from Fentons of Kent.
As for the boys, it’s traditional in Scotland to use thistles but I wanted something a bit different so Fin had a pink David Austin rose to match my bouquet, his best man had a cream one and the Ushers all had cream spray roses.
I wanted a casual, just-picked style for the table flowers (partly inspired by the DIY flowers in the Country Garden Gorgeous wedding on RMW) so I decided, having had a Saturday job in a florist when I was at school, that this was something I wanted to tackle myself. I bought a job lot of little cream buckets from ebay and a couple of weeks before the wedding ordered wholesale flowers from Flowers4Florists. I chose deep pink and cream roses, pale pink spray roses, pink lisianthus, September flower and greenery. They were delivered bang on time, so fresh and fantastic quality. The day before the wedding, Fin’s mum and sister, my cousin and I spent a lovely peaceful morning arranging 30 little buckets of flowers. It was a moment of calm in an otherwise hectic week and I loved the way they turned out. We ended up giving buckets of flowers to female guests as they were leaving and took the rest up to a local nursing home so that they could be enjoyed after the wedding was over. For the top table, we put pink peonies in the teacups from my Nana’s wedding china.
The church didn’t need much decoration. I took a jug belonging to my mum and a couple of tall cream jugs I found in a charity shop and filled them with lisianthus, pink delphinium, September flower and white gladioli (a secret reference to Fin’s favourite band, The Smiths, who were known for wandering around with gladioli hanging out their back pockets), all from Flowers4Florists. We moved the jugs from the church to the golf club after the ceremony.
The Heart And Soul
Our photographers were the spectacular Lillian and Leonard – I cannot praise Cara and Nye enough. From the day we got engaged I was checking out photographers on wedding blogs but all the ones I loved were based in England or America – there didn’t seem to be any in Scotland. Not only are their photographs stunningly beautiful but they also capture the heart and soul of the day – I was soooo desperate for them to shoot our wedding.
I assumed that wedding photography as moving and imaginative as theirs would definitely be out of our league, but they were more than happy to work within our budget and, thanks to a wonderfully generous wedding gift from my aunt and uncle, we were able to book them and never looked back. They were completely unobtrusive but somehow caught the most amazing moments – they are truly talented.
To decorate the tables, Fin’s granny made table runners for us with fabric I found on ebay, and as well as the buckets of flowers we had glass jam jars (collected by friends and family) filled with sand from the beach and long-lasting tealights, and decorated with different coloured ribbons. I also made our own LOVE letters to decorate the mantelpiece behind the top table, using fabric scraps and wooden blocks made for me by a carpenter friend.
To continue the vintage travel theme, I used an old vintage suitcase made by my great-granddad as a card box, and lined it with old family wedding photos and Fin’s granddad’s travel rug (they were very close so this had special meaning for him). Instead of a guest book, we bought a big set of vintage postcards and asked each guest to write us a message and leave it in the suitcase. We read these on honeymoon and they were brilliant, ranging from heartfelt advice on married life to hilarious drunken ramblings.
My Dad’s a RMW Rockstar!
We had a piper called Fraser Preston who played before and after the ceremony and piped us into the reception – a family friend had won his services as a prize in a cancer charity auction and kindly donated it to us. My friend Holly sang a beautiful version of the Edith Piaf song Hymne à l’amour as we signed the register (I’m a sucker for tragic love songs, preferably in French).
It was really important to us that our reception was above all an awesome party for all of our friends and family. In Scotland, it’s often thought of as traditional to have a ceilidh (Scottish country dancing) but that can be fairly exhausting, especially for non-Scots (we had a big American contingent), so we decided we wanted a complete mix of hits old and new with a few ceilidh dances thrown in for good measure.
My dad is actually a musician and plays in a wedding band*, so as soon as we set the date his job was to make sure the rest of the band were free to play at the wedding (and find a stand-in for himself, obviously). Unfortunately he forgot to tell the singer, who promptly booked a trip to Australia on the date of the wedding. Cue panic! However, a replacement was found and it was indeed an awesome party, with the dance floor packed all night long.
The highlight for me though was when members of my family took to the stage. My dad and his friends did a few numbers and ended up leading the guests in a mass kazoo instrumental, and my brother was coaxed into giving a highly energetic rendition of 90s school disco favourite “No Limits” on his guitar – it was pretty special.
* Random fact – he also plays in Fat Sam’s Jazz Band, which graced RMW’s pages last year – I actually couldn’t believe he got on RMW before I did!
A Relaxed Reception
The reception was held at the Glen Golf Club, North Berwick. It’s about 30 seconds away from my parents’ house and has amazing views across the Firth of Forth. We were also lucky enough to have dry(ish) weather on the day which meant we could have Pimms and prosecco on the beach between the ceremony and reception. We really wanted the day to have a relaxed, fun atmosphere and to focus on the people and places that were important to us, rather than something straight off a wedding assembly line.
The Golf Club staff were amazing – unlike some wedding venues that churn out several weddings a week, they hold very few weddings so they really gave us star treatment and went above and beyond the call of duty, staying up until 1am the night before to ensure everything was set up perfectly and even later on the night of the wedding trying to get us all to leave!
Sweet Treats And Dirty Dancing
Not long after we got engaged, my mum announced that (a) she was making our cake and (b) it was going to be a three-tier square fruit cake with ivory royal icing. So that was an easy decision! The cake was made with lots of love and lots of brandy, and thanks to the icing expertise of her friend Wendy it looked (and tasted) perfect. To add my own little touch to it, I ordered a customised Lego bride and groom from ebay for our cake topper, to which I added a teeny veil to match my own. My aunt also made a yummy chocolate cake a couple of days before the wedding for those who didn’t like fruit cake.
Our first dance song was Moon River. It’s classic, sweet but not too mushy and relatively easy to dance to (or so we hoped). It was also once covered by Morrissey (Fin’s favourite singer – remember the gladioli?) so that got the double thumbs up from him.
Fin’s not the most confident dancer – we don’t even mention the tango lessons we tried a few years ago – so my mum surprised us with dance lessons from Felicity Drever Learn 2 Wedding Dance, who choreographed a routine for us. It definitely gave us both more confidence and made sure we weren’t just shuffling awkwardly on the dance floor. The climax was the now-notorious “butt lift”, which we have reprised on popular demand on more than one occasion since!
Close To The Heart
Instead of favours, we gave each guest a little thank you note explaining that we had donated to two charities on their behalf and why we had chosen those particular charities. The first was a fantastic Scottish charity called bfriends (part of Children 1st), through which Fin volunteers as a befriender to a young person from a difficult background.
My mum is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer so our second charity was Cancer Research UK. These two charities are close to our hearts so we wanted to contribute a small part of our budget to them. We also ended up giving away some of the table centrepieces and I’m pretty sure a lot of people pilfered their kazoos!
The Most Important Things
We didn’t have a huge budget for the wedding so if I couldn’t make something myself, I scoured the internet for bargains. Etsy and ebay were amazing resources for everything from accessories to decorations to bridesmaids’ dresses to wedding party gifts – a little bit of effort and research led to so many amazing finds and inspiration. We were also incredibly blessed to have so many talented and generous friends and family who contributed to every single part of the day – we could never have pulled it off without them.
For me, the most important thing about wedding planning is just to be thoughtful in your decisions. It’s dangerously easy to get sucked into all the “shoulds” and “supposed tos” and before you know it you’ve spent a fortune on a wedding that says nothing about you. From the invitations to the ceremony to the location, every decision we made was grounded in what was meaningful and important to us – our family, our friends, our ethics and aesthetics. I tried to think of myself as a person first and a bride second – if we wouldn’t choose something in our normal lives, we didn’t want it at our wedding (cheesy monogrammed paperweight favours anyone?).
The best advice we were given before the wedding came from Fin’s dad, who performed our ceremony. He told us to really try to be “present” as we said our vows. You can’t help but get caught up in the whirlwind of the day and everything flashes past so quickly, but for those few moments, we forgot about everyone else and just focused on each other and the promises we were making. Already the memory of the day is beginning to fade into a slideshow of fleeting moments and images and emotions, but the vows are still clear in my mind; trembly voices, sweaty palms and all.
Finally – and this is absolutely essential – under no circumstances splash out on nice new wedding underwear and just assume it will fit you. Running around the house trying to find a clean pair of knickers an hour before your wedding is not the ideal start to the day. All I can say is thank God Cara deleted those pictures.
Photography – Cara and Nye at Lillian and Leonard
Bouquets – Catkins Floral Design
Table Blooms – DIY as inspired by Rock My Wedding
Reception Venue – The Glen Golf Club
Apologies in advance for the “I want a wedding on the beach” envy that is sure to be going on right now, there really are some undeniably beautiful images of the location.
We love you guys.
Big Inspiring and being inspired…… every day Love