Long standing readers of RMW will recognise this morning’s beautiful Bride…
Sarah of ‘One Jolly Girl’ fame is a previous Real Bride competitor and so we’re thrilled to be bringing you her wedding this morning!
You may have seen her work at Real Bride Karen’s wedding (where she made the cake) and you can’t have failed to notice her appreciation for a man in a kilt…I don’t doubt she went weak at the knees when she saw husband Angus on their wedding day!
As I’m sure Angus did when he saw Sarah in her fishtail Justin Alexander number. She looks so beautiful, radiant and happy.
Sarah and Angus outdid themselves with their gorgeous Scottish beach wedding. The Tunnock’s branding style stationery looks amazing, the whole beach ceremony set-up is stunning and of course, Sarah’s wedding cake looks absolutely delicious.
Without further ado, I’ll pass you over to Sarah to tell you all about her and Angus’ big day…
I started reading early back in 2010 and it really did inspire me to think differently about how your wedding could feel. We’ve looked back over the Real Bride bid post we wrote back in 2012 and think we achieved what we set out to. Well we came away married so definitely on track!
Angus & I are both from Edinburgh but fell in love with the West Coast of Scotland, specifically Argyll when going on adventures in our campervan, we had brave dreams to be married on a beach in Scotland – we started out with these basics to plan the entire day round.
We found a huge self-catering house in Argyll with extended renovated barn accommodation that would allow all of our guests to stay on site for three days. The venue allowed us to provide our own alcohol for the full three days with no extra corkage costs. The venue had its own quirks, I think the hot tubs and trampoline were the guest favourites.
Following up on the beach ceremony dream we discovered Kilbride Bay after searching the local road map and OS map. Unfortunately it wasn’t the most accessible beach and was a good 20 minutes’ walk from the parking, it took some careful wedding marketing to persuade our guests to wear wellies with their Sunday best and walk all that way. But the view was absolutely breath-taking and worth that walk.
I knew I would need some professional help on the day to make me look my best and I turned to good friend Jennifer Gilling who is behind Jennifer’s Dressing Table. Jen had styled my huge mop of hair many times, she created a gorgeous natural make-up look and curled my hair to give me some natural beach waves which is Angus’ favourite look. My hair is notoriously difficult as there is so much of it, Jen did a beaut of a job, and somehow she also fitted in doing the hair of my four bridesmaids and my mum! Can’t thank her enough…especially as she was patiently waiting around until I had finished my jobs the night before and was giving me a manicure at midnight! As well as pitching in with pre-wedding tasks the day before. Now that’s dedication.
Right from the start there was always going to be two dresses, I was determined to ceilidh in the evening and after witnessing so many friends hitching n hiking their broken bustle dresses around I really didn’t want that for me. I wanted a contrast between the two dresses, I’d happily pinned lace mermaid styles thinking I would never pull it off. But Justin Alexander knows how to design a dress for a curvier woman and I loved mine, it was the unromantically named 8596. In the evening I wore the Vivien of Holloway ivory duchess dress, I had my seamstress minimise the strap to sit flatter and dressed it up with a diamanté belt.
I was lucky enough to borrow my veil from my friend Tracy. It was the perfect length for my dress and complemented it beautifully. I had a few pairs of footwear…I had bought some buttermilk hunter shorties, which in the end I couldn’t get on as my feet were too hot (& swollen) so my back up white flips flops were called upon. I still love my Vivienne Westwood Dragon Wing shoes, these were the dancing shoes. And Angus and I had designed our own pair of Converse…but then I spent most of the day in flat white ballet pumps. In the end I walked down the beachy aisle in bare feet as did my maids.
My sister & BM Kirsty gave me a beautiful custom made pearl lace bracelet made from Etsy, my BM Ruth commissioned me a sixpence necklace which I wore as an anklet, BM Jane gave me a beautiful vintage blue brooch which adorned by bouquet.
And of course the rings…. We received good advice to choose these early, as often you end up thinking they will cost a lot less. We were recommended to go to Sue Lane in Herefordshire, she moulded a good band for me that fits perfectly right under my engagement ring, and she made Angus a hammered palladium matt finish ring. Sue also offers “make your own ring” workshops. We had the rings engraved with the wedding date by an engraver who’s tucked away in House of Fraser, Manchester.
Choosing the bridesmaids was both difficult and easy. I chose my sister and my 3 best friends (also known as the jolly girls) but there were a lot of friends who I’ve been BM for or who have really been there and I’m sorry I couldn’t have had them all but we would have been short on female guests!
I was keen on the girls to be in different dresses either by style or colour or pattern, I’m not sure the girls (or anyone else) really believed me that this would work but they humoured me and they looked bright & beautiful. Their dresses really POPPED in colour at the beach. MUA Jennifer put me onto Sohomode Dresses made by Louise Hedley in NYC. I suggested colour combos, the girls chose a pattern, sent measurements and they arrived promptly four weeks later. I loved the look and the girls were complimented all day.
Angus asked his three best friends as best man and ushers and my cousin Craig. They all owned their own kilt and we supplied a silver tie and thistly buttonhole (courtesy of BM Jane’s granny! Thank you!) And I can’t not mention my Dad’s tartan trews which he had made for the wedding from Geoffrey Tailor in Edinburghm very smart, no?
I couldn’t choose a colour theme. Many friends asked me on the run up for the colour theme but I know if I had chosen something I would be sick of it within a matter of weeks and want to change it. We went with bright colours that we liked, keeping it slightly in line with the BM dresses.
We were influenced by some famous Scottish brands when I created the stationery for our invitations, menus, door names, order of service, table places. But other than that we let the beautiful Scottish scenery do the talking.
BM Kirsty is a keen amateur florist, I ordered through an online wholesaler who shall remain nameless as their service on wedding week was an appalling. I chose for the BMs to have big white hydrangea which went super well against their bright patterned dresses, and Kirsty created me a beautiful mixed coloured bouquet. I have received endless compliments for the flowers and Kirsty had the patience of a saint with my controlling choices!
Kirsty and her floristry team also created the Kilner jar beach decorations which we hung on shepherd’s crooks – I know this took serious effort, thank you girls. AND they created table top flower displays for the venue and all the tables. I remember clearly walking in to the mini florist room she created and being quite speechless at how beautiful everything was.
As I stood on the beach facing Angus listening to Andrew our amazing vicar talk to all of our friends and family, looking out to the sea and the beautiful mountains of Aaran beyond I thought “wow is this actually happening” 18 months in the planning, never knowing if the weather would hold for this moment to come true. It was really magical.
Our reverend Andrew was amazing, he made us feel so relaxed and delivered a brilliant service. Worth noting here that in Scotland there are many options for marrying legally outside compared to England & Wales. We had a local piper pipe the girls & I down the aisle to Highland Cathedral, during the register signing and up the aisle to Scotland the Brave.
Upon arrival back at the house everyone enjoyed champers, cocktails or beers from the bar. I’d renamed our favourite cocktails for the occasion, French Kiss – reminiscent of our Paris engagement shoot and based on a French martini, a See-You-Jimmy, Argyll’s Secret & Yamm Yams. We had our speeches outside “on the lawn” before going in for dinner. After dinner we had a local ceilidh band, Canned Haggis who were just amazing. They sang & played Caledonia for us as our first dance, Angus and I have sang the song to each other since we met, it has good lyrics for Scots who live outside the homelands. After a raucous ceilidh they also did a beautiful version of Loch Lomond, we will always remember being in a big linked circle with all our friends singing that song.
We were recommended Scoop our caterers by our venue, Jonathan the director had not long been in business but we were impressed from the off, great service & great style. The food was fantastic and surpassed our expectations, their team on the day were also great to have around.
As I was determined to make the cake myself and taking into consideration the timeframe & other responsibilities I went for a Naked Cake which I baked 2 days before on site and finished butter creaming the day before. I think everyone thought I was nuts but it was all under control. We commissioned our Cake Topper from Miss Cake, excellent personalised service. The cake topper is not only Biffy Clyro lyrics but our team motto, and is Yamm Yams for short!
Having studied graphic design at university I was determined to come up with something of my own for the stationery. I was keen to create something different but wasn’t sure how I could pull it off, it has *almost* all been done! We are both big lovers of Tunnocks Caramel Wafers, Teacakes, Snowballs…all of them. Their design is iconic and not just in Scotland so I started playing with the wrapper designs and our Wedding Caramel Wafers were born. All of our other stationery was based on Tunnocks and home printed, folded, cut etc. If you want to make your own just be wary of the Home Printer Curse, ours refused to print yellow with two weeks to go, no matter what we did it wasn’t having it, so the Order of Service was transformed in colour to compensate!
My sister chalked up our table plan, we used Polaroids from our engagement shoot in Paris & named our tables after Scottish Ceilidh Dances. On the tables we also had small notebook asking guests for a range of advice or ideas, “where to go on our next adventure”, “how to celebrate our first wedding anniversary” etc… the books were circulated and some of the comments were heart felt and hilarious! This doubled up as our guest book. Instead of a proper favours we bought Gifts for Good from Concern Universal, we bought each table a different present including Fuel Efficient Stoves, helpful hens, nanny goats, loos & micro gardens! We did also reward everyone with a Tunnocks Teacake – of course.
It is hard to pick out one special moment, the ceremony truly was unforgettable but as we remember all the details over the three days we can’t help but thank our amazing wedding party & friends. They worked super hard, going beyond normal friendship favours and we can’t thank them enough.
You also need a good friend or three to keep you sane. In wedding world things will happen that people outside of wedding world won’t understand. I got lucky and found three other brides to be to talk to through the magical internets. They kept me sane & grounded, big love Phillipa, Karen & Charlie!
If you are struggling with the decision to invite children – we went for it – 14 all under 15 but we booked in childcare which ran from the speeches through to the end of dinner. I know some parents were nervous of handing over their cherubs to strangers – albeit qualified strangers, but in the end, enjoyed the fact they could eat their dinner in peace and enjoy some adult conversation. It was extra money but well spent – especially handy also in our very tight dining space!
Here is one bit of advice which worked – I had a list of “to dos” for when we got on site, it was split into what other people could do and jobs which either only Angus or I could do. This made delegation easier as it was there in black & white and people could just get on and work from the list. And lastly…have something to focus on post wedding that isn’t just baby making. We’ve kept ourselves busy with this…everybody needs a Post Wedding Project #PWP
We met Gemma our photographer through the Herefordshire wedding world when I was baking up a storm. Gemma was a good friend & excellent support to me during this time & Angus and I couldn’t have imagined having anyone else capture our day. Gemma shot our engagement shoot in Paris which was AMAZING fun, then came and recorded not just the wedding but our welcome BBQ, and hen & stag evenings which have given us the most beautiful collection of memories in photographic form. Thank you Gemma.
We enlisted the services of Memory Lane Films who created us the best mini film & feature length of our day. Tom from Memory Lane really understood what we wanted and how the day was to roll. The mini film has been billed as “a really good advert for getting married in Scotland”.
A huge thank you to all our friends and family who really made this wedding for us and to Rock my Wedding for the inspiration, as a married women spending every weekend in DIY, I have now officially moved over to Rock My Style!