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What Stef did… Secrets & Save The Dates.

Hello RMW-ers!!! *Waves frantically*

Well this is awful exciting. My first post. Where to start? With you: Thanks for voting for me! I hope I do your votes justice. You voted for me so if there is anything you want to see me talk about let me know 🙂


Anyway! I feel like these first posts are about us all getting to know each other a little bit better. We know that Sarah really likes her bridesmaids/man, and is not afraid to put in the effort to show it! We know that Sophie is one of ‘those’ ladies with scrap books under her bed 😉 and is having the most intense dress hunt ever! (I hope you found it) And last week we found out about Jackie’s awesome winning team and ingenious Father!

I thought the best way to have a bit of bonding today was to share secrets. Deep, dark, wedding secrets!! Now the more I wrote the more I have realised that my wedding secret gets a bit strange so I warn you now, don’t judge me. So the one thing that I have never told anyone; not Ciaran; not the maids – no one! Is that my inspiration for the day comes from the film Braveheart. Yes the Mel Gibson, historically inaccurate, Battle of Stirling Bridge with no bridge, FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEDOM, film account of William Wallace.


From my vague recollection of watching it in history class aged 13 I remember the wedding to be this fun filled gathering of the community to celebrate the union of a couple in any fashion they could: dancing; music; rock throwing – standard Scottish celebrations. It looked like the best day ever but it was pretty simple. That is all I felt I needed. Then I watched the film again last week and realised that neither wedding had a happy ending !!!…

But anyway what my ramblings are trying to say is that Ciaran and I are committing ourselves to each other in the most significant way we feel we can and that is the most important thing. The wedding is just the celebration of this commitment and shouldn’t overshadow the reason we are celebrating. This is something I want to remember throughout the next 9 months, because I already know how easy it is to get whipped up into the wedding world and start thinking irrationally about shades of purple and tea sets. So our ‘theme’ and focus will be us, our union, our commitment, our marriage.

So now I have let the cat out the bag about my crazy let’s move on to the pretty and..

Save The Date!


We took the decisions to make Save The Dates, though I am sure everyone who needed to knew the date of our wedding already; but it is another excuse for pretty! We knew we would want to D.I.Y and personalise as much of the wedding as we could, so we were always going to make our Save The Dates (doing my very best to refrain from abbreviating that) and an e-Save The Date seemed a great way to save some pennies. So together (after a few disagreements) Ciaran and I designed this image to send to our family and friends via email, saving on production and postage costs.

A quick DIY?! I am a lover of hessian/burlap and lace which formed the background (we put them in the scanner to get the image) and Ciaran wanted the tartan which he will be wearing on the day included. This meant my need for symmetry was appeased, a little bit of him and a little bit of me. However the main attraction of the Save The Date is a stamp we had made by the fabulous Sadia of Red Cloud Boutique!


With our venue being covered in stag antlers we decided to use this as our branding. Ciaran initially wanted the stag statue from the film Skyfall (he is a big James Bond fan!) but couldn’t get a good image. So we started searching through Etsy for ideas when we came across this amazing handcrafted stamp! We loved it, it seemed perfect for us, so we ordered it there and then; and we could not have been happier with that decision. Although she is a one woman crafting machine Sadia took the time to email us and kept us informed of the order being placed, made and dispatched. Even though she was inundated with orders, it only took about 3 weeks to arrive all the way from Canada! We were so impressed when it arrived we started stamping everything to hand! We again scanned in the stamp, popped it centre stage and then added the text after trawling Da Font to find the perfect font!

Our photographers

It only feels fair to talk about our photographers Ten21 in my first post because I had chosen them first… Even before I chose my man!

I stumbled across Ten21 years ago when a friend showed me a facebook profile picture of her friend as a bridesmaid. I tracked down the photographer and years of stalking their work commenced. It always felt strange to spend my procrastination time at uni looking at wedding photos before I had a man. Like waiting for the next RMW post every morning before you are engaged (I know I was not the only one surely?!).


So when the time came and he went down on one knee I knew I had to have Ricky and Shelley shoot our day. So rather unconventionally I started planning my wedding around them rather than us or venues or whatever you are meant to start with. As mentioned in my Real Bride entry many happy dances were had when everything slotted together and we could finally put down our deposit!

We are firmly in the camp that you should do everything in your power to get the best photographs of your wedding day that you will be happy with. We love Ricky and Shelley’s use of light. We love the vintage feel to their shots. We love the natural moments they capture. We love the fun group shots they do. But you have to find what you love. The style you like. The coverage of the day you want. Do you need every decor detail immortalised in print? And very importantly the photographers you click with.

They end up playing a pretty big part of your day and you don’t want to spend chunks of your day spent with someone ordering you around in poses you are not happy with, in a manner you don’t like.


I was sneaky and organised a surprise trip to Belfast (where Ten21 are based) to have a little shoot with them, last year, BEFORE we were even engaged!! I know some people don’t see the point in engagement/pre-wedding shoots so may think that I am entirely ridiculous, but we love our photos. We loved the morning we spent with Ricky and Shelley and I am so grateful to have these extra lovely photos of us as we have so few pictures together. So now I am confident we love their photography and will feel relaxed with them snapping shots throughout our wedding day.


Ciaran’s Corner

It only seems fair to let Ciaran explain why he loves Ten21 too: “I like TEN21 because I don’t have to succumb to the photo shooting stereotype: pose, pint and shoot. I just had to be myself, walk with the one I love along a beach and they took real photos! No staging, bar the odd directional word, just real photos of real moments taken by people who really care about the end product.”

For those who are not in the same camp as me and are thinking they may just get a family member or friend to take photos as after all it is just ‘one day’: it is also the only ‘one day’ you are likely to have all your family and friends together looking sharp and sexy. The only chance you will get to have gorgeous photos to remind you of the way that person smiled or they way they looked, no matter what happens and how far they move away. I know I am going to treasure my wedding photos to remind me of our amazing day but also treasure the images of my nearest and dearest.


What are your criteria for photographers? What do you love? What are you hoping to capture? And what about Save The Dates? Yay or Nae? Waste of time or treasured stationery?

And this is also about me getting to know you all; so tell me a secret! Tell me a bit about yourself and your day 🙂

Much Love,


x x x

Author: Adam Crohill
Adam likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.

25 thoughts on “What Stef did… Secrets & Save The Dates.

  1. Hellloooooo!!! *waves back frantically*!!! 😉
    Fabulous first post Stef!
    I LOVE the photos Ten 21 took of you guys….they are proper lush!
    I can’t say that my photographer hunt was quite as simple – but that was mainly because I had no idea what I wanted! Before I got engaged I had not really considered photography at all & before RMW I only knew of one style of wedding photography!!!
    In the end we went for reportage style, nice, natural, unobtrusive with barely any line-ups! And having seen 1 sneak peek I am pretty hopeful that we are going to love our pics!! 🙂

    LOVE the stags head stamp, it looks ace! I do hope you make that the Stef & Ciaran wedding brand! Stamp everything……that’s what we did! haha!

    Fab work lovely & look forward to hearing the rest of your journey 🙂

  2. Love it, it’s going to be stunning – and I’m not just biased because I’m another Scottish bride!

    I agree with you about finding the photographer that’s right for you, and not just going with a willing amateur. I’ll treasure our wedding photos forever because they aren’t just photos of us, they are professional, well shot pictures of everyone there having fun and being themselves. In fact we have no family line up photos, just pictures of everyone oozing happiness! Looking forward to your next instalment 🙂

  3. FRRREEEEEEDOMM!!!!! Stef, this is an awesome, AWESOME first post! So much fun! Your wedding is going to be wonderful and full of character. I adore your antler motifs (‘stag stamps’?? Has a nice ring to it!) and the use of tartan with burlap. Who would have thought that these work together so well? xxxx

  4. Thanks ladies 🙂

    @Rebecca Thanks! Yes we will be stamping everything with it and it will be our wedding/life branding! I love it so much!!

    @Pamela Nothing worng with a little Scots Bias 😉 That is exactly what I think about our photos! So excited for them! Yours sound perfect!

  5. Wow loved it !! I was married 3 weeks ago and wish i had seen this months earlier. Good luck with the planning and the wedding itself. Like everyone says its over in a flash
    I agree with the photo thing it wasnt until the wedding was over i realised i didnt have a photo with my son on his own or with my favourite auntie i was swept along with the general photos and although there are some i love i wish i had been more organised and asked for more pics.

  6. Steffy only you could have an E-shoot without an E!! 😀 I love that tale, hilarious. Please don’t ever worry about being judged, yes you’re mad as a box of frogs but that’s why we love you. Your Braveheart Scottish through-and-through wedding of JOY is going to be beautiful and I really admire your staunch refusal to lose sight of what it’s all about. Fab fist post – looking forward to sharing the journey with you.

  7. Hello I have Newby Bridge based wifi!

    So exciting to see your first post out in the world. Loving the intro… cant wait to hear more!! Xxx

  8. Steffy!!! Great first post misses. Loving the stamp, the Scottish secrets and all the stories. Looking forward to hearing lots more in the coming months. xxx

  9. Stef I have to agree with Pip! You are mad but you are wonderful with it, and if I’m honest I bloody loved the wedding in Braveheart!! The one in the woods with the flowers in her hair- beautiful!!

    I completely agree with you about the photography, it is such an important decision as the end product is going to be one of the only physical things that remain with you forever. You are going to look so gorgeous my fellow flame haired beauty xx

  10. Och aye the noo Steffi lass! Obvs I have seen braveheart a good few times and the wedding in the woods is beautifully simple I love your focus! With exactly four weeks time I shall be at my own Scottish wedding adventure … Photographed by a friend but a professional and I think she’ll get better photographs that if we had gone with a stranger, I simply CAN. NOT. WAIT.

  11. I am soooo excited to hear the rest of your story and planning! And to hear from a Deen bride, very muchos excitable! Love the save the dates and love your choice of photographer! Looking forward to the next installment 🙂 xx

  12. Amazing first post! So interesting to read. Hope your have an amazing wedding day when it comes! Love the stamp! Xxx

  13. I loved this post! Congrats on your first! Love that the wedding was inspired by Braveheart! Can see it in the Save the Date with the use of plaid and burlap, and the antlers of course. I love the wedding stationery paper options and the easy DIY (if you use stamps and ink). Loving the photographers!

    Can’t wait to see more!

  14. Thanks for the comments ladies, glad you love the crazy 😀 I am glad there is such love fo the stamp as I love it too! I am also glad people get the Braveheart thing….I hear Blog Queen Charlotte even had some of the soundtrack on her day 🙂

    @Louise I hope you had the best day and that sounds like a perfect excuse for a rock the frock/trash the dress/ family post wedding shoot!! I will find any excuse for photos me!
    @OneJollyGirl A friend is even better! I bet they can get amazing relaxed shots! 4 weeks eh? Exciting! 275 for me apparently!!!!

  15. Fabulous first post lovely Stef! I apologise for my slackness in this here comment box of late, and I will be returning to read all the other Real Brides 2014 intros over the next few days!

    I agree with Pip, don’t worry about being judged as those of us who have been through planning a wedding or are in the midst of it will tell you that weddings do bring out a bit of a madness in everyone – bride, groom and guests alike!

    Photography wise, we literally just got our wedding photos back a couple of days ago and are so in love with them! They really tell a story about the day, sharpen all of our very happy memories and have shown us things we didn’t see the first time around. I look forward to sharing them with you all on these pages soon!


  16. @Laura great to see another Deen bride out there! I hope I represent us Scot’s brides pround and give these pages a lovely hint of tartan 🙂

    @DreamDays Thanks so much!

    @Kitty We forgive you since you are a newly wed and all!
    “They really tell a story about the day, sharpen all of our very happy memories and have shown us things we didn’t see the first time around”
    That is exactly what I think!! I love the idea of them sharpening your memories! Great way of putting it!

    I am dissapointed at the lack of secret sharing… 😛

  17. Well done Stef and what a fab first post! 🙂 I actually LOL’d when you spoke about Braveheart, being from Stirling i love that you pointed out how there was no bridge and how historically inaccurate the film is..however fab it turned out in the end 😉 (we all love a bit of Braveheart!) i am loving the shots of you guys and think your wedding pics are going to be uh-mazing! i also love what you have done with your Save the Dates! (won’t abbreviate that one either!) I’m in the process of re-designing our stationery since my h2b and i have moved our wedding date from Autumn to the spring and you have inspired me to put more of an”us” stamp on it!
    Looking forward to your next blog!
    S 🙂 X

  18. Hi Stefy!!! Loving the first post and LOVE your pre E shoot photos…… but I need to see more, now remind me who always says that??? hee hee 😉 Cant wait for the rest of your story to unfold! x

  19. Hello! Great post – and I agree with buying the best photography you can afford. It’s not just one day, it’s THE day! xx

  20. Wah! You crack me up!! Have been enjoying my parents visiting for the past few weeks and so haven’t had as much RMW time as most weeks, so just caught up on it all and OMG – you crack me up, girl! I am in love with your styling already, can’t wait to see/hear/find out more.

    Well done lovely lassy

  21. Stef apologies for my HUGE delay, as with Nicola i too have had family visiting so its all been a bit manic not to mention my dad job going mental!! Today i have finally read your blog, its fab, well done lovely! I to agree with you on photographers, we booked our venue then spent ages hunting down a photographer, it was so important to us to find someone who understood us and who we are AND 100% we do not want hundreds of photo’s of great aunt whoever and long family line ups – its just not our style – i will explain more in my next blog 🙂 xx

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