In the past we have been a little bit slated (One Jolly Girl – You know who you are!) for not showing enough kiltage on the blog… Well, today we turn the tartan table around. Not only are there kilts, but we will also be revealing what a Scotsman keeps in his sporran…
Kate and Gordon married in August 2012 at the intimate boutique hotel Sanctum on the Green in Berkshire.
We were married in the school holidays as I am a teacher, Gordon is a policeman and had to have a full on meeting with a top bloke in the met to get the time off as it was the closing ceremony of the Olympics! I have to say, considering it was the wettest summer in 100 years we were incredibly lucky with the 30 degree summers day we had!! God knows what we would have done if it had been raining!?
In fact, I heard someone say they were the nicest canapés they’d ever had… I just wish I had tried the deep fried quails egg with truffled hollandaise with edible spoon!!! So annoyed 😉 There was always a cocktail and flavoured fizz for me and the girls, it was too much fun!!! In fact, I hear that the mango cosmopolitan was a hit! So very sanctum!!!
Well this is a bit of a long winded one…. In all honesty, I always knew what I wanted my wedding dress to be like, even before we were engaged! Tight fitting, fishtale, lace with a sweetheart neckline. However, as my friends know and would undoubtedly take the P.I.S.S out of me, I NEVER go shopping and buy the first nice garment I see. I have my own, very unique and probably very annoying technique to clothes shopping which involves shopping around and not feeling like I can buy something until I have seen all the alternatives!
So, I pretty much did the same with wedding dress shopping. I also made the mistake of trying dresses on before we had chosen the date and venue, which I wouldn’t recommend! After stupidly trying on all sorts of styles (which I pretty much knew before I took them off the hanger that they wouldn’t look right on me), in different countries (my mum lives in Spain!) AND in very different price brackets… A year after getting engaged I had it down to a Rosa Clara dress and a Lusan Mandongus dress. Both exactly how I had imagined my dress to look like but both rather pricey. However, on a visit to the national wedding show in Earls Court in September 2011, I found an even nice dress and at a better price. I totally knew it was the one (which was helped by more gushing BM’s! in toe..) and was the first one I tried on on the day (but of course I continued to try on others throughout the day). When I went back to the store I just knew… It was tight fitting and quite sexy but still had that pretty girly feel with all the tulle netting underneath and also had a big train which I was surprised with such a tight fitting dress.
The designer was Benjamin Roberts, which I knew a local store in my town stocked. So, one of my BM’s made a quick call to the store who luckily said they would match the price! So, that was the start of a lovely relationship with my wedding shop,
I tried on over 80 dresses… NOT recommended… But secretly I loved it all… Wedding planning is the BEST! X
The Puffed Look
I knew I wanted a veil which would sit high on my head, I was inspired by the 80’s puffed look! I also knew quite quickly that I didn’t want the veil to be full length as I thought it would take away from the train of the dress. So I went for a 72 inch (I think) fingertip length ala Kate Middleton! I thought it was a perfect length as it stopped just where my dress started to flair out and I just loved the way it fell down in a waterfall effect! It was from Rainbow Club.
My Dad treated me to my beautiful Jenny Packham haircomb and my Mum treated me to my art deco style earrings, also by Jenny Packham. I knew I wanted something in my hair but not a skull cap (think that’s what they’re called?), something more subtle, my hairdresser and I both agreed it was nice to have it sitting under my veil. As for my earrings, having looked at hundreds of looks, I knew I wanted quite big ones, I am a big earrings girl on a night out, so why settle for anything else on your wedding day!? I felt they completed the whole vintage glam look that was slowly coming into fruition and I was always saving the bling for my accessories, so why not a bit of Jenny Packham!? They can also both be worn again which I have already making the most of!!! My beautiful bangle was a present from G which was given to me on the morning of the wedding; it is from Swarovski and complimented my other bits perfectly! I was a very lucky girl!!
I knew I didn’t want white shoes as I wouldn’t ever wear them again. My colour theme was muted pinks/nudes with bling!! So when I saw these Kurt Geiger heels I knew they would be perfect with everything else. I wore them loads on honeymoon and I know they’ll go fab with a pair of skinny jeans, so all in all a good buy! By the way, I kept them, along with a tonne of secret new clothes for our honeymoon under the bed in our spare bedroom. I thought I had been clever telling G they were wedding things he couldn’t look at… but little did I know, he knows me too well, that when it came to subtly getting out another bikini and saying it was old… He knew it had come from the bags of goodness under the bed!!! I so know I am not the only woman who says that! My mum does that all the time for a start…!!!
Relaxed And Personal
I discovered the business card of my hairdresser Jo Basten from Innovation Hair in amongst a wedding file from a visit to a wedding show at the Sanctum the year before. I had my first trial with her and really liked her relaxed but personal approach. I ended up having two proper trials as the first one I had gone for was a 1940’s look, which although was amazing, it was too formal. I deliberated having my hair down, but as I wear my hair down all the time, I wanted something different. In the end I went for an informal side look with plaits going into it, little ones in the bun, and then lots of lose bits down. I’ll never forget the conversations about the option of tendrels or no tendrels!!?!? I never knew so much thought could go into them! The things you discuss when planning you wedding!!!
My make up was done by a very talented friend Eve Coles who is a professional make up artists in London. It was all about the dark eyes, who says go demure and understated on your wedding day??
Garden Of Eden
Our florist extraordinaire was Anna from Eden. The only time on the morning of the wedding that I felt emotional was when I saw our bouquets! They were so beautiful and more than I had ever imagined! We had met Anna a couple of times before the day itself to talk through our ideas. When I first met Anna, I knew instantly that she was the florist for us and that she would do an amazing job.r outfits but also so they were all unique for the mummy!!!
For the ceremony she scattered roses around the lanterns down the carpet and on the table where we stood and on our top table.
We had a bit of mix n match of gypsophilia/crystal and candles for centre pieces. I was going for the whole vintage glamorous look but trying to keep it all elegant. The centre pieces were a mixture of table which had the tall vintage candelabra which then had three votives of gypsophilia and then on half the tables we had a ball of gypsophilia which were in a glass vase which had crystals and a rose head in with then 3 votive candles. I must say Anna is an awesome lady. She really went that extra mile for us and got really involved with the whole ‘themeing’ of our day. She is also a very cool, down to earth and funky person, I really would recommend her over and over again. x
We had 4 Ushers and one Best man and two Dads who mostly wore the same as G who I’ll get on to in a bit. Some guys hired a black watch tartan kilt and they all looked soooo smart!
I knew from the start what colour I wanted the girls to be in. Something muted, nudey and not in your face. As with all my planning, I went around the houses…as you can tell, that’s just the way I rock! At first I had my heart set on a long coast silky number in pebbly colour. It went in the sale but in my attempt to get 4 I called Maceys in New York and even Dubai. At some point I had to let it go!!! And I am SO glad I did! This was defo FATE!
I knew when I saw the French Connection summer collection out that one of them would be perfect. They had lots of these blush/intimate pink/coraly colours and a couple of them were in lace… Amazing! I just loved the idea of all of us being in lace, it’s not every day you get to wear it and I wasn’t going to be the only one in it, I wanted to treat them too!
I bought them all a Swarovski bangle, they deserved a bit of bling walking down the aisle in those puppies! I also treated them to some diamante studs, got creative with blinged up personalised hangers and a picture of us on my hen do in Ibiza.
Gordon wore a Braemar grey tweed jacket, a grey braemar tweed 5 button waistcoat, a black Hugo Boss shirt, an ivory cravat, a Maclaren kilt (this is his family tartan) from Houston, highland dress shoes/sporran/socks and sock flashes and Sgian Dhubha which is the dagger in the sock! G kept the most important things close to his chest (or groin area more like), he had 20 marlborough lights in his sporran and the speech! He looked fab and really made an effort when planning his outfit to tie it in with the theme we had created.
An Easy Choice
Choosing Kelly at Lola Rose to photograph our day was such an easy choice to make. We met her at her home where she showed us some of her work which was beautiful; really quirky, fresh and romantic. Admittedly though, we are not experts in photography or wedding photography for that matter, so we didn’t really know what we were looking for. So it was really Kelly’s kind nature and informal approach that we liked. She was so easy to talk to and put us at ease about the insecurities we had at being photographed in front of people all day! We are in awe of the way she made our traditional photos fun and that little bit different.
Kelly is a such a fun and funky lady. She has continued to be in contact us through her blog and FB and I feel I have met a friend in Kelly. She is so unobtrusive but so professional, she made all our guests feel that they were at some sort of chilled out party rather than a highly organised and traditional day, and I guess so much of the way people felt could have been down to what Kelly was doing. I cannot recommend her enough, she is very talented and has those special people skills which is so important for a wedding day!
Not A Dry Eye In The House
Bagpiper-Graham was piping away when our guests were beginning to arrive at the sanctum and he played them to their seats. He then piped me down the aisle to Highland Cathedral. I hear that when it was first being played there wasn’t a dry eye in the house… Apart from mine, I was just kiddy with excitement! He then piped us out to Cock O the North and then played sporadically throughout the canapés. He also piped us into the marquee for our wedding breakfast where Gordon had to do a shot of whiskey from a Scottish Quaich! Tradition I here! Graham was amazing, especially as he was sweltering in his amazing traditional Scottish outfit.
I had always wanted Ibiza chiil out music playing during our canapés. I thought it would suit the venue, but also would be a nod to the chilled out abroad theme we wanted and nearly flew thousands of miles away to, but had it right here in the UK! However, G was having none of it. He thought it would be too much. However, on the day before as we could see it was going to be a hot weekend, I thought it would be such a shame if we didn’t have them. And the only way we would have been able to have them was through the venues speakers, which G wanted for his speech. In the end, the BMs were telling me to make an executive decision! And the manager was getting ready to tell a white lie to Gordon and say that the speakers could be wired up to the marquee, however all I mentioned were the words chill out music and he admitted, his nearly wife was right! In the end, my brother just put on what he had on his I-pod, literally an Ibiza chill out album and it played throughout the afternoon whilst there was canapés, cocktails, champers and confetti. I have to say, just taking that all in was probably my second favourite part of the day…just one of those moments. Second to marrying G of course!
It also had happy memories of our Ibiza henny! X
My Dad and step mum helped us with the band and they also suggested a band through their rock choir teacher Glenn! They were absolutely brilliant! They totally rocked! They played so many good tunes, we wanted a real mix of party classics to suit different tastes. There were a couple of funny moments with my inebriated BM. One of them grabbed the microphone and helped Glenn with a couple of the songs and another sat on the drummers knee and grabbed his drum stick and started rocking out!! One of the band members also DJ’d inbetween their sets so I think there was a hardcore few who never left the dancefloor!
We knew we wouldn’t have a soppy number and definitely wanted something to get our guests involved rather than all eyes being on us. So, after dancing around our kitchen to Everywhere by Fleetwood mac (my fav song ever) and Sally Cinnamon by the stone roses (his fav band and G’s first and only nickname for me), we thought we’d surprise people and go a bit left field. So we had an interlude song from the Killers album Sams Town first, the lyrics ‘ we hope you enjoy your stay, it’s good to have you with us, even if it’s just for one day, outside the sun is shining, seems like heaven isn’t far away’…seemed very apt on the day iself…it was really beautiful. We couldn’t resist an 80’s love ballad, so afterwards in kicked in Fergal Sharkey, A good heart!!! Seeing everyone sing the chorus in rapture and slamming their fists in the air simultaneously was one of the most memorable parts of the day for us! Such fun.
13) Favours – did you have any and what made you decide?
The simple things in life make us happy…so alcohol was always going to make up part of our favours! We went for bottles of Sambuca on every table and bought everyone a shot glass and put a ribbon around it. When we have been away for weekends with some of our friends, Sambuca shots always get a look in, usually in some sort of rusting old kettle found in the house we’re staying in!! So it was awesome to see all our guests loving the ritual. This made up another of those really memorable moments, once when everyone stood up together and toasted the day with a shot of ‘sambo’! And another when the tables started singing infamous lines from their band’s songs…I quite liked it when the Groove Armada table started it off with a rendition of ‘I see you baby, shaking that arse….’!
Sanctum were lovely to us and ordered us an ivory carpet as I wasn’t too keen on the red one they have! Once I arrived at the sanctum, having stayed away the night before, I had a little sneak peek through the conservatory when I was having my meeting with our registrar. And OMG it looked beautiful, more than I had imagined. This was thanks to G’s mum, our sisters, my step mum and other guests staying at sanctum (you should have seen the list I had left for them!!), the staff at the sanctum were amazing, but particularly Mrs Lawson, the owners mother who really pulled out the stops for us when things had become a little stressful a few weeks before the wedding (to say the least)…. She even arranged two massive pots of flowers at the entry to the marquee and 5 lovely bay trees, just for us. So good of them.
Basically the garden looked so pretty and chilled out, it was like being abroad in an idyllic sanctum!! I guess the look they are going for hence the name!
-Lanterns – I saw Shannen Doherty’s wedding in one of the mags and loved the outdoor vibe. She had a long aisle which she lined with different sizes of lanterns, so I nabbed that idea for ours and got 6 lush lanterns from confetti. Roses were then scattered around them-adore
We hired 6 beautiful crystal vintage candelabra and a selection of votives from Wedding Day Hire. Deborah’s company is one of the only I could find that had such wide variety of décor to choose from of a high quality and standard. I was like a magpie in her showroom, magical!
Our stationery was designed by Sarah Zammit of Elvis and Marilyn. She was amazing! I just contacted her via e-mail and she was happy to do anything we wanted even though she was only just starting out doing weddings!
Gordon made the amazing table plan! He really wanted to get involved and get creative. So he put together a table plan of our favourite bands all of which we have been to and have fond and happy memories from. This is now hung up in our kitchen and looks fab! He also thought of the CD covers for the table centres.
I made my two nephews mini official photographer signs and gave them polaroids. I then had heart black boards which guests could write ‘words of wisdom’ on which they held up for a photo which the boys then took. I just thought it was a nice way of getting something memorable from the guests which wouldn’t keep them away from the fizz for long, but also of keeping the boys busy. The boys then attached the polaroids to a black board with ribbons on so we could see what people had written. We now have lovely memories to look back at and will put this up somewhere in our house.
I love the idea of mini official photographers… What a great way to keep the little ones entertained (whilst also providing entertainment for the adults too) and at the end of it you get a snazzy piece of decor that you can treasure forever.