I'm not sure where to begin with Sam and Dougal's wedding. It is just so breath-takingly beautiful. Their venue of choice, Crear, is spectacular, situated on the very edge of the West Coast of Scotland. I don't think you could actually find a more romantic location. With that in mind, the couple chose pared back and simple decor, making the most of the stunning views of the beach and sea. I'm head-over-heels in love with Sam's Bridal look - her lacy dress with gorgeous open back detail, the incredible Midsummer Nights Dream inspired floral crown and those sparkly Jimmy Choos make the perfect combination of boho and glam. If you're newly engaged, hopefully this stunning wedding will show you that sometimes simple is best. Don't feel overwhelmed to fill your wedding with details. Don't get me wrong - I do love the details, but I have to say - this simple but stylish affair is one of my all time favourite weddings we've EVER featured on Rock My Wedding!
Sam The Bride: We got engaged in Padstow, Cornwall on 12th October 2013 and so planning was fairly swift between then and the wedding. In some ways I think it made us more decisive and more often than not we just went with our instincts.
The LocationDougal and I live in Devon, a long, long way from home and so having our wedding back in Scotland was a no brainer. We really wanted something that represented the country we love so much and wow our guests without it being obvious or cliché (no offence to those who wed in a Scottish castle!) Crear was perfect because of its incredible surrounding beauty and has such amazing interiors being a contemporary art space and former recording studio. We used Glasgow/local suppliers to Crear wherever possible and as many homemade details as we could manage from afar!
Breath Taking ViewsOverall I had no clear cut theme or colour scheme. The Crear studio space has floor to ceiling windows across the whole length of the room and a vaulted ceiling, it is just so beautiful in its simplicity and with those ridiculous breath taking views we didn’t want to go mad with the decorations. I suppose overall we wanted it to seem in keeping with the style of the venue and surrounding landscape with an understated beauty and some pretty vintage touches against the neutral interiors. I wanted to keep to colours that suited too so we had lots of natural arrangements of wild flowers, hessian table runners, lace details and vintage bunting.
The FoodWe had a champagne reception with canapés by Crear Kitchen and pink champagne (champagne transported by car straight from the producer in France by Dougal’s parents) along with the addition of a wheelbarrow filled with bottles of Heinekens as we thought some might prefer a beer in the sun! Food was very important to us – we are both massive foodies and we wanted a menu which reflected that and something that felt celebratory of course! It was all absolutely delicious.
Starter Warm salad of sea bass with lobster, crushed potatoes, a light garden pea & mint velouté & fine herbs Main Roast loin of venison with braised red cabbage & apple, rösti potato & buttered artichokes with a redcurrant & juniper jus Dessert Passion fruit & lime slice served with gypsy creams, mango coulis & vanilla anglaiseWe also had a big cheese table later on supplied by Mellis' in Glasgow for evening grazing as well as smoked salmon from the Dartmouth Smokehouse, where Dougal works which we brought up with us from Devon. And of course some of my Mum's amazing wedding cake. The day after the wedding, the Sunday, we invited everyone back to Crear for a hogroast, drinks/hair of the dog etc in the sunshine. Weather was sunny and gorgeous the whole weekend (whilst the rest of the country had rain) and once everyone had left the two of us took a bottle of champagne down to the beach and enjoyed another gorgeous sunset before we flew off on our honeymoon to Sri Lanka on the Monday morning.
The WineWe also wanted to treat our guests to fine wines to match with the meal and had met Philippe Larue of L’Art du Vin who is a fantastic wine merchant based in Edinburgh who provided everything we needed and had all the wine delivered direct to Crear for us for the weekend.
The CakeMy Mum made our cake - home baked with love! It was delish – the bottom tier was white choc sponge, middle tier was whikey & ginger cake, and the top tier was traditional fruit cake. I suppose lots of people think their Mum makes the best cakes but there was no question that I wanted my Mum to make our wedding cakes and she did not disappoint! She iced them in pretty colours, adorned with fresh flowers and put a little playmobile bride and groom on the top, they were so cute – they now live in our house.
The FavoursWe made tomato and chilli chutney and I decorated everyone a little jar with vintage fabric, gardeners twine and luggage tags for place names. For our younger guests, little boys got special spiderman bubbles and the little ladies got personalised S&D lip balm tins.
The StationeryInvites: Our lovely friend Rachel Ryder Otridge hand painted and designed our homemade invitations and RSVPs. Place cards: I made them out of luggage tags which were attached to our homemade chutney favours at everyone’s place setting.
The EntertainmentWe had to have bagpipes! They always give me goose bumps. Piper for everyone arriving, piping in the bridesmaids, background music outside at the champagne reception and piping us in for cutting of the cake/dinner. We had a Ceilidh band - Archie McAlister is amazing. Our guide to the guys at Pin Up Nights was Craig Charles funk and soul show on 6music. We really wanted a lot of Northern Soul and Motown to get everyone dancing and wanted to trust our djs enough not to get bogged down by writing lists of songs we wanted played (or didn’t want) Trust them we did and they were brilliant!
The PhotographyI’ve known Audrey and David at Tandem Photo for years and David was in fact my boss once upon a time. It was one of the easiest decisions to ask them to be our photographers, we are so glad they said yes. They offer a service like no one else and the fact that they knew lots of us there meant that they were part of the party and we didn’t even notice them taking all the gorgeous photos they did. They were so excited to be there and made us feel completely at ease right from the beginning. Amazing, amazing photos.
The VenueWe actually didn’t see Crear before we booked it for the wedding! In fact we didn’t look at any venues at all. I did a little trawling through some venues in wedding magazines and online but Crear popped out straight away for me. I watched a wedding video on the Crear weddings website with a couple of friends and we all got goose bumps. I think I practically called Crear up the next day to see what dates they had available for us. This being November time 2013, we were completely open to different dates and weren’t all that bothered about it having to be a summer wedding but when Crear told me that out of the few weekends they had remaining, they still had the last weekend in June I couldn’t believe our luck! Because Dougal and I live a long way away in Devon, I asked my Mum and her partner Malcolm if there was any way they could drive out and take a look on our behalf which they kindly did (they even made me a video of the day.) I could tell just speaking to my Mum on the phone about Crear after their visit that it was the place and so we didn’t waste much time paying the deposit to secure the 28th June 2014. Julie and Bruce at Crear literally could not do enough for us both in the planning stages and on the wedding day itself. A huge thanks goes to them for the success of the weekend.
The CeremonyI made quite a grand entrance as I had to enter the room from the mezzanine bedroom where I had slept the night before and gone back up for my finishing touches. I came out of the double doors and looked out to all these eyes looking up at me and then walked down the spiral stairs to meet my dad at the bottom. It felt magical though and I wasn’t even worrying about tripping once I was up there. The piper had piped my bridesmaids in ahead of me but the bagpipes stopped for my entrance and I walked down the aisle to The Kinks “all day and all of the night.’ We always knew we’d like a humanist ceremony as it seemed to fit our beliefs and meant we could tailor the ceremony around our personalities and our story. Our celebrant, Morag was an absolute star. We ended up with a very meaningful ceremony and one that I think our guests really enjoyed too which was important to us. Our favorite bit was when we gave each other a wee nip of whiskey from a Quaich. It felt like a very poignant moment and it loosened us up a bit! After our announcement as man and wife and the best snog ever we walked back down the aisle together to Bruce Springsteen ‘Born to run.’ That felt pretty good so it did.
FloristMelody from Crear Flowers knew exactly what I wanted without having to spell it out. As well as my amazing flower crown she made our bouquets and gorgeous arrangements on the tables in lots of different sized vintage bottles rather than any large obstructive centrepieces. Mel was like a little fairy working through the night, she dressed the venue better than we could ever have pictured it. She was magic.
The DressI read about Wendy of Flossy & Dossy in the Scottish Wedding Directory and loved a lot of the vintage designs and styles on her website so booked an appointment to meet the designer in Glasgow when I was up visiting. I loved the fact that I could have a one of a kind dress made just for me for my wedding day. Wendy was so lovely from start to finish, I took along some pictures and clippings of other wedding dresses I liked which helped to get my ideas across of what I wanted. I loved some dresses in the Alice Temperley bridal collection for their understated elegance as well as ‘Grace Loves Lace’ for their bohemian styles with exposed backs. I picked out a lovely beaded lace with Wendy’s help and she designed and constructed the dress from there. I felt very involved in the whole design process which in the end meant I felt very special in my dress made just for me. Moreover, I had my great, great, grandmother’s brooch sown onto my waistband to complete the look (also my something old!)
The Flower CrownI knew instinctively quite early on that I wouldn’t wear a veil to walk down the aisle, it just wouldn’t have seemed fitting, but that I really wanted a statement flower crown/halo of flowers. My florist, Melody created the flower crown on the morning of the wedding based on our brief chats and a couple of pinterest shares and it was absolutely perfect, it had just the right amount of volume and fresh wild flowers to make me look and feel just like I had imagined with a wee hint of A Midsummer Night's Dream about it.
The BeautyI did my own make up and my Mum helped me with my hair for the day. I was very worried about looking like someone else in the pictures so wasn’t keen on hiring a make up artist. I wanted to look the best I ever looked but still look like me when I walked down the aisle. I don’t wear a lot of make up generally and don’t like to look ‘done up’ so it seemed the best plan to stick to what I know. My Mum and I pinned my hair up very loosely as I knew I would want to let it down later on for party mode. Overall I was really pleased with my natural look and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
The AccessoriesAs a wedding gift to us both my Mum bought me my gorgeous sparkly Jimmy Choos and for Dougal a smart pair of traditional leather brogues by Grenson. Because my headress was such a bold statement, I kept any other accessories to a minimum and just wore the one bracelet which was a gift from my Dad on the night before the wedding – a beautiful silver link bracelet encrusted with Marcasite (Victorian diamonds) which as it turned out was what were also on my great great grandmother’s pin on the belt of my dress and the little earrings I wore as my something borrowed from my Mum (quite accidentally coordinated!)
The GroomDougal wore a lovely kilt in a variation of his father’s family tartan, Buchanan which has a lovely muted palette with hints of orange and a greyish blue which ofset perfectly with his charcoal tweeds and leather brogues. He looked drop dead gorgeous, but I would say that. Melody made the Groom and Groomsmen some lovely button holes with thistle and wax flowers. We didn’t tell anyone what to wear, we trusted the groomsmen to wear what they felt good in and we ended up with a complimentary, eclectic mix of kilts, tweeds and dapper suits and they all looked just fab.
The BridesmaidsI really didn’t want to dictate what my Bridesmaids wore on the day or force to them to wear something they felt uncomfortable in – I wanted them to feel like themselves which was kind of the mantra for my styling too! I had two bridesmaids, my two best friends Rachael and Lauren who are about the same height and luckily don’t have particularly clashing fashion taste so it was really quite easy. The three of us went shopping together for their dresses in Glasgow, on the lookout for something they’d both like and feel good in but something to set them apart too so either the same dress in a different colour or the same colour but in a different shape to suit them. It all seemed far too easy actually! We found the dresses in Debenhams and they were ideal! We opted for the same dress in different colours in a shape which mirrored the sweetheart neckline of my own dress. Lauren chose hers in a pretty heather purple which suited her skin tone and then Rachael wore a pale aquarmarine shade which matched her sparkly eyes. They both styled and accessorized themselves on the day and looked absolutely stunning, I couldn’t have been prouder to have such gorgeous friends!
The Stretch TentsWe wanted something a bit less formal looking than a marquee to provide shelter against the elements for the weekend. Stretch Tents Scotland were brilliant and the stretch tent looked incredible for the reception on the wedding day and for our hog roast lunch the next day it provided much needed shade from the hot sun!
Venue: Crear | Catering: Crear Kitchen | Hog Roast: Oban Spit Roasts | Menus & Table Plan: E.Y.I. Love | Band: The Kinloch Ceilidh Band | DJ: Pin Up Nights | Transport: West Coast Motors | Celebrant: Fuze Ceremonies | Florist: Crear Flowers | Dress: Flossy & Dossy | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Tents: Stretch Tents Scotland