Layla & Alistair’s wedding is achingly hip. Their Scandinavian meets mid-century modern decor courtesy of Lemonbox Studios is exquisite, especially as I am having a moment with geometric shapes and statement ceiling hangings. The florals are equally special, coral peonies enhanced by an abundance of lush green foliage and fancy.
Layla’s choice of gown was apparently very last minute but you would never know, an elegant vintage number that looks literally as it was made for her. Alistair’s choice of bright blue suit doesn’t disappoint either, neither does his rather dashing beard.
Layla The Bride: I found choosing a wedding dress really difficult. Not because I couldn’t find anything I liked, but because there was so much choice and I liked almost everything! The trouble was I couldn’t find a dress that felt like “the one”. I finally settled on a dress about 6 months before the wedding, whilst out shopping with my Mum and Sister. But at the first fitting I really didn’t feel very “me” in the dress, and after taking my very honest friend Harpreet with me for a second opinion, we agreed it was not my wedding dress. So six weeks before the wedding I had a mad dash to try and find a new dress. Knowing I was too late to order anything from a bridal boutique, I looked at pre-owned wedding dresses and came across this vintage number. As soon as I put it on I knew it was perfect for the way I wanted to feel on my wedding day – comfortable, understated and a teeny bit elegant.
My grandma passed away a couple of years ago – I pinned her broach to my bouquet as a way of having her there on the day. My earrings were lent to me by Boodles, the jewellers where Alastair had bought my engagement ring and where we’d gone back to purchase our wedding rings. Fiona, the manager of the Manchester branch, is one of the most fabulous people I have ever met, and when she heard I hadn’t found any jewellery, offered to let me pick out something to go with my dress. It felt like a real celebrity moment! I also used the wedding to justify a pair of Jimmy Choos – because if you can’t splurge on your wedding day, when can you?!
The Grooms Attire
Alastair’s parents are both Scottish, and we were getting married in Scotland, so a kilt was definitely an option. But Alastair had a clear vision of wearing a really well tailored suit and after many hours scouring Pinterest he decided on a blue suit with a bow tie. Finding the suit was fairly painless – a single shopping trip and the Hugo Boss suit won hands down for the vibrant blue colour, great service and perfect fit. He bought a couple of bow tie options and left it as a surprise which one he was going to wear on the day.
Oh, the Byre at Inchyra, how we love you. Our choice of venue was probably the quickest and easiest decision in the whole wedding planning process. We only looked at two venues, both on the same day, and the Byre clinched it. We wanted somewhere we could put our own stamp on, and the Byre was that and so much more. The grounds are beautiful, we loved the exposed brick and wooden beams, and we knew it would be perfect for a party. On top of that, the venue has a really warm, cosy atmosphere. We wanted our family and friends to feel like they could relax and have fun, which they definitely did.
We had so many plans for the décor, including a million and one DIY projects, that we were seriously in danger of having the most over the top, eclectic décor ever to be seen at a wedding, not to mention zero social life. So we rang Natalie and Laura, the lovely ladies at Lemonbox Studios. They were amazing! We told them our ideas for gold cow place settings, having “something” hanging over the tables, and for somehow incorporating our love of all things Scandinavian and mid-century modern and they produced our amazing cohesively designed décor. We spent the day before the wedding helping them to set up, along with some willing family and friends, and the end result was everything we hoped for and more. They also did a fantastic job of managing things on the day, which meant we could enjoy ourselves without worrying about the details.
Di at Myrtle and Bracken did a wonderful job of turning a couple of random floral images into the perfect bouquets and boutonnieres. I knew I wanted coral peonies with lots of slightly wild looking foliage, and Di understood exactly what I was after. She also added some lovely looking herbs that smelt gorgeous. Lemonbox liaised with Di over the centrepieces, and the flowers echoed those in the bouquets. I was so in love with the flowers that when we came back the following day to clear up the venue, I took all the centrepieces home and filled the bath with them.
The Wedding Party Fashion
I gave my bridesmaids free rein on the dresses. Any colour, any style, no need to match. This resulted in a lot of stress for all involved, until a couple of weeks before the wedding when my sister Lisa spotted a dress in Karen Millen. Her and other sister Caroline tried them on and they looked gorgeous. My other bridesmaid Stephanie ordered the same one online and they all loved them. Not the mismatched look I had originally imagined, but the three of them looked stunning.
The ceremony was our favourite part of the whole day. We had a Humanist wedding conducted by Dorothy Nowak, who was a real star and conducted the ceremony with warmth and humour. We wrote our own vows, which were a mix of sincerity and humour, and we chose readings in the same vein. We had close friends read: “I carry your heart” by EE Cummings, “The life that I have” by Leo Marks, and “Yes, I’ll marry you my dear” by Pam Ayers. The latter is the most accurate representation of mine and Alastair’s relationship ever, and had all our loved ones in stitches.
Alastair was in charge of organising the evening entertainment. We love indie music, and wanted something a little bit edgier than your usual wedding band. Alastair found The Rebel Party Band online, and they were awesome. For some unknown reason the children at the wedding took a particular shine to their lead singer “Pete the singing man” and he had a league of mini-fans who followed him round between sets. I reckon if you can please the rock fans and the under-5’s with the same tunes, you’re doing something right. Our photo booth was a massive hit, and the photos have provided us with hours of entertainment since.
Our cake was a total cheat. We both love doughnuts, and didn’t fancy spending a fortune on a wedding cake, so we ordered 120-ish doughnuts from Krispy Kreme and all stacked up together they looked pretty awesome. We served them during the wedding reception with cocktails, instead of canapés. The wedding breakfast was mezze style sharing platters followed by a choice of main, and a delicious chocolate mousse with salted caramel sauce and almond cake. Later on we served fish and chips in little paper cones which went down a treat as a late-night snack.
I think it’s fair to say that there are not enough words to describe the amazingness that is Claudia Rose Carter. We saw Claudia’s work online and from the first phone conversation we knew she would be perfect. And she was. We didn’t have many formal photos, and instead she managed to capture so many special moments exactly as they happened. The photos are stunning and such a fantastic reminder of the day. We love her!
We weren’t sure that we were going to have a videographer, as we thought it as a bit of an extravagance. But we saw a wedding video on a blog and were blown away by how cool it was. We quickly looked up the person responsible and found Shutterbox. Lee from Shutterbox was like a ghost on the day, we barely noticed he was there, and neither did our friends and family, who have since been shocked that we have a wedding video (“but we thought he was a photographer?!”) We haven’t seen the video yet, but we can’t wait!
Everyone says this, but take time to enjoy it. It felt like the whole day was on fast-forward and I wished I’d taken more time to soak it all in. And if you’re budget stretches to it, take on a wedding planner – Lemonbox took so much stress out of the planning process – they were worth their weight in gold.
Photography by Claudia Rose Carter
- Videographer Shutterbox Films
- Wedding Dress Vintage
- Bridal Shoes Jimmy Choo
- Jewellery Boodles
- Bridesmaid Dresses Karen Millen
- Grooms Suit Hugo Boss
- Venue The Byre at Inchyra
- Caterer Ginger Snap
- Florist Myrtle and Bracken
- Wedding Stylist / Planner Lemonbox Studios
- Entertainment The Rebel Party Band
- Photo Booth Look Look
- Light Up Letters Go 2 Event Hire