This is an absolute corker of a wedding day, everything about it has made me smile. Sophie has fantastic taste and so everything is styled beautifully, but it still feels warm, fun and welcoming. Exactly how a big party in the great outdoors should feel! There are beautiful blooms to swoon over from Forage & Blossom, a bespoke floral tiara from the amazing Luna Bea and a buttery soft pink leather jacket customised for Sophie by Bee Davies, who also illustrated all of the gorgeous paper goods.
Images come from the wonderful Melissa Beattie who, as always, has captured the day beautifully. Enjoy lovely ones – there’s the sweetest moment involving bees that I won’t spoil for you but it’s safe to say, it made my heart soar!
We got engaged in Edinburgh at Prestonfield House on our five year anniversary. It’s all a very happy blur, I just remember the sun coming out and Stephen getting down on one knee with his granny’s beautiful ring which his mum had kindly given him, it was a huge surprise and after saying ‘are you joking?!’ many times, I said the biggest yes and we celebrated with champagne afternoon tea in the sunshine.
I visited so many wedding dress boutiques and after trying on over 80 dresses, was about to give up hope when I found The White Gallery Boutique and tried on Solane by Rime Arokady, I immediately fell in love and had the ‘it’s the one!’ feeling I thought only existed in movies! It was so comfortable and it fitted the relaxed feel of our day perfectly. I loved the idea of a customised jacket for the evening, I found a pink leather jacket on eBay and my friend Bee Davies painted it for me, she went above and beyond what I asked for, it was just beautiful and got so many compliments on the day. A Luna Bea flower crown was the first wedding item I lusted after and felt very lucky when my mum said it would be her wedding present to me. I contacted Lou directly and my bridesmaid Catherine and I made a trip to her workshop, I felt like I had known Lou forever, she is so lovely and her dog Otis is the cutest! We had a brilliant day and the result was my dream wedding crown which I will treasure forever. Stephen gifted me with beautiful gold bee earrings on the morning of the wedding which was the loveliest surprise and also a good coincidence as I had gifted him with a small antique bee pin, bees have always been our special thing and one even landed in my bouquet just after our ceremony! I also wore the eternity ring my dad gave my mum when I was born as my something old and something blue, it was given to me on my 21st birthday and I loved wearing it on our day.
Stephen decided quite early on that he would like a teal suit for the wedding, he was very lucky and we both loved the first one he ordered, from Paul Smith. He wore it with a white shirt which was embroidered with his initials, he also gifted the groomsmen with shirts with their initials on the day. He found the perfect pink tie online with small navy hearts on and wore penny loafers he already owned with a lucky penny tucked into them!
The Wedding Party
I knew from the start that I wanted mismatched bridesmaids dresses in shades of pale pinks. My bridesmaids and I had the best time picking out the dresses, I made a massive order from ASOS and fuelled on prosecco and giddiness we found five perfect dresses! I found my gorgeous flower girl’s dress in Monsoon and we spent a lovely weekend together picking out accessories to match. The groomsmen wore very smart plain navy suits from Marks and Spencer with navy ties with small pink hearts on them.
We had stayed at Wild Northumbrian a number of times throughout the years we lived in Newcastle and absolutely loved it, as soon as we got engaged we knew it was the place where we wanted to get married, we didn’t look at anywhere else! We both lived in Newcastle for many years before moving home to Northern Ireland but always still felt a big love for the North East. Wild Northumbrian itself and the surrounding countryside boast so much natural beauty and provided such a scenic blank canvas. The owners, Rob and Vicky have always been so warm and welcoming, and they couldn’t have done more for us in the lead up to the wedding. We knew we wanted a marquee so went for a vintage marquee from The Unique Tent Company.
We chose wooden tables and kept décor simple with candles and beautiful flowers from Forage & Blossom, Alice made the most beautiful arrangements of summer flowers full of pinks and greens. I had followed my old school friend, Bee Davies on Instagram for a while and knew that I wanted her to do all of our stationery, she took our brief of pink florals and made it more gorgeous than we could have imagined, she also created all of our signs, table numbers and menus on the day. I collected banners, bunting and photo props throughout the seventeen months we were engaged and we had a polaroid guestbook, it was amazing to wake up the next morning and look at all the photos our guests had taken and the wonderful messages they had written.
We always knew that we would like a humanist ceremony as we wanted something that was personal to us and that we could play a part in creating. During wedding planning it is so easy to get bogged down in all of the logistics and small things, it was so lovely to sit down together and write down all about our relationship, the things that we loved about each other and what we hoped for in our marriage. Our celebrant, Kate Owens-Palmer was wonderful and put together a ceremony that for us, was perfect. Our readings were “I carry your heart’ by E.E. Cummings, read by our bridesmaid, Catherine, a passage called ‘Marry your best friend’, read by Stephen’s brother, Patrick and my mum read a poem that she had written for us about all of the things she wishes for our future, it was so beautiful and such a special moment.
We had a selection of garden games for everyone to play which my step dad Chet had very kindly made for us, they are a lovely keepsake of our day and we will treasure them for years to come. In the evening my brother in law and his brother sang for us with a couple of guests taking turns to sing songs too, even our 7 year old nephew had a turn!
My sister in law found our photographer Melissa Beattie in a wedding magazine and after seeing her feature and looking at her website we knew straight away that she was the photographer for us; her gorgeous photos spoke for themselves! When we contacted her she was so lovely and we clicked with her straight away, on the day she was such a calming presence and went above and beyond for us. We were blown away when we received our photos, we’re absolutely in love with them and they’re the perfect memory of our happiest day.
We chose Shoot Me Now Films because we just loved the cinematic feel of his videos and the way he captures all of the small details that really create the feel of the day. When we contacted Dan we immediately felt like old friends and he was fantastic on the day. We have already watched our video a ridiculous amount of times, we couldn’t love it more, it’s amazing to relive it all.
The Food & Drink
We knew we wanted delicious food and relaxed dining experience for our guests to enjoy and when we found The Pantry in Edinburgh we knew they absolutely fit the bill, we had sharing platters to start, family service mains and an amazing dessert table full of gorgeous cakes, Viennese whirls and caramel squares, it all went down a treat! The staff were incredible and kept everything running smoothly for us! The bar was one of the last things we organised but was well worth the wait, we hired Brew Box Bar which is a converted horse box. Tom, the owner, had it completely stocked with the most incredible array of spirits and local craft beers, it fitted our day perfectly.
Planning a DIY marquee wedding was definitely stressful at times but the endless help from our wonderful family and friends in the lead up to, and on the day was so amazing, the overwhelming love and support we felt from everyone was incredible and made us feel so blessed, we couldn’t feel more grateful and it really added to our day knowing that everyone we love helped make a wedding day that was unique to us. It was all absolutely worth it!