November 5th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Renowned as the UK’s top matchmaking university – St Andrews more than lives up to this accolade on the blog today, with bride and groom, Laura and Tom so taken by this special location – the place where they first met – that they chose tie the knot here in July.
Opting for a natural, simple look for their big day, the Laxey Manx tartan – a nod to Laura’s heritage – was a prominent feature in their décor and styling, featuring on everything from their wedding favours and bunting to the centrepieces and the groomsmen’s attire.
Of course, no Scottish wedding would be complete without a ceilidh – and the couple squeezed in a few nostalgic throwbacks too, sourcing their wedding cake from their favourite bakery as well as ice cream from a local parlour. Other special touches that break with convention, which we just have to mention, include bubbles for confetti and the bride saying a few words alongside her new hubby. Read on for all the wonderful details!
With images by Anna Joy Photography.
laura says: We got engaged on Saturday 15th October 2016, in the Lake District. It was our seven-year anniversary and Tom had treated us to a stay in a country house hotel with beautiful views of Lake Windermere. After a rainy day spent exploring and finishing up with a local brewery tour, we got back to the hotel to relax before dinner, which is when Tom popped the question!
We got married on Saturday 28th July 2018. We didn’t want to rush into wedding planning, so it was nice to give ourselves plenty of time after the engagement and preferred the idea of a summer wedding.
We got married in St Andrews, the town where we met whilst studying at the University of St Andrews. Our ceremony was in the beautiful St Salvator’s Chapel and the reception was held in the University’s Lower and Upper College Hall across from the chapel. St Andrews is a special place for both of us, so it was the obvious choice, despite requiring some travel – we live in London, I’m from the Isle of Man and Tom is from Manchester!
Our wedding had a simple and natural style, staying true to ourselves – we wanted to avoid anything too over the top! We used local suppliers and used ours and our families’ skills to make things ourselves wherever possible!
We didn’t have a specific theme, however we featured the Laxey Manx tartan throughout the wedding to reflect my Isle of Man heritage. We used tartan ribbon on our save the dates and wedding invitations, the men had tartan ties, the reception tables had tartan centre pieces (made by Tom’s mum) and we had tartan bunting decorating the reception venue (made by my mum).
The Manx tartan colours are light blue for the sea, green for the hills and valleys, purple for the heather, gold for the gorse, and white for the cottages, so we used these to guide our colour scheme. We picked out the blue, white and green for the flowers and chose green for the bridesmaid dresses and the men’s pocket squares.
I chose a simple wedding dress with a sweetheart neckline and a flowing skirt with layers of tulle as the base but added a crocheted style lace top for the day with three quarter length sleeves, finished with a simple tulle cathedral length veil. For the evening I removed my veil and changed into a jewelled top to add some sparkle! The full outfit was by Catherine Deane, which I purchased from the London boutique in Wapping Wharf. My mum spotted a Catherine Deane dress in a wedding magazine which we both liked so that was how I first came across her collection. Sandra at the boutique was wonderful and helped me choose from their beautiful range. I liked dresses at several other places in London that were a very different style, but I felt most comfortable and true to myself in Catherine Deane.
To accessorise, I wore simple silver sling-back flat shoes from Jones the Bootmaker – I very rarely wear heels and didn’t think our wedding day was the time to start!
My something old (and blue) was a garter made from a scrap of blue material that was left over from the dresses my mum made for her bridesmaids when she got married, my something new was my outfit, and my something borrowed was the pearl drop earrings I borrowed from mum.
August 13th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
The colour-scheme of today’s Scottish wedding between Caroline and Nathan is inspired by Peru, after Nathan popped the question on the Inca Trail – and what glorious, bright and vivacious hues it provides, in pinks, oranges, reds and blues with an overarching theme of navy and gold.
As far as arrivals go, we love the 12-piece pipe band that led the couple down the long drive to their castle venue. What a spectacular, regal sight to see – and hear – as a guest. No wonder it gave a lot of them goose bumps! The wow factor continued throughout the day, with a ceilidh band to get the crowds moving and a superb firework display to round off the night in style, providing some gorgeous photo opps. Caroline and Nathan definitely upped the ante when it came to laying on the entertainment.
And we have to give them kudos for their attire too, with Nathan pulling off a subtle tartan jacket for the daytime and switching to tartan suit trousers at the evening party. Meanwhile, Caroline was a vision of beauty in a princess-style dress perfect for a castle wedding, complete cute bow detailing and a sparkly beaded belt.
With images by Ian MacMichael.
caroline says: We got engaged on the Inca Trail in Peru, on 23rd April 2017. Nathan carried the ring in his pocket the entire time; I had absolutely no idea! After a slow start with me falling in a puddle and torrential rain all morning, he got down on one knee. It was at the last Inca site on day three before we got to Machu Picchu at a place called Intipata – a beautiful spot where you can look out over the entire valley. It completely took our breath away and was the perfect location.
We got married on 2nd June 2018. As soon as we saw pictures of Carlowrie Castle in Edinburgh and went to see it in person, we fell in love and knew it was exactly what we were looking for. We had our actual ceremony at Mayfield Salisbury Church. The church has very close connections to our family, so we couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else.
Carlowrie Castle was exactly what we were looking for. It has an incredible driveway, beautiful gardens and, even though it’s a castle, it’s completely modern inside. Due to our numbers (140) we thought it best to have a marquee, so we could take advantage of using the gorgeous orangery for our drinks reception and for our photobooth, sweet station, etc.
We would absolutely recommend the venue to other brides and grooms. We had multiple meetings with Jen, Ailsa and the team at Carlowrie. They were excellent with calling, emailing and catching up on a regular basis. On the day, Jen and the team absolutely smashed it. Everything was taken care of; we didn’t have to ask for anything and they needed no prompting to keep the evening going strong. They went above and beyond, to the point where one of the waitresses brought us canapés while we were having our photos taken! Absolute dream. It’s in a beautiful setting, convenient for both Edinburgh Airport and Edinburgh City Centre. This venue has it all!
In terms of a theme, having gotten engaged in Peru we wanted to feature bright and bold colours in the wedding. This was mainly done through the bouquets, flowers at the church and evening reception but our main wedding colours were actually determined by the bridesmaid dresses. We found lovely beaded navy blue dresses and thought that a gold colour would complement them beautifully, so we brought those colours through in any way we could – the table plan (frames within a large frame that we made ourselves!), the wedding stationary, the cake, etc.
My dress was by Morilee and I bought it at Gwenne in Broxburn. I tried on one of every style in the store as I wanted to make sure I didn’t prefer something else to my favourite and so that I had the full bridal experience! My dress was full-on princess style with a beaded belt, under-netting, embellishment and detachable straps that I took off for the evening part of the wedding (and applied a red lippie!). I just loved it!
Nathan wore a subtle tartan suit jacket (blue/green) with black trousers, a white shirt and a black bow-tie, all from Hugo Boss. He kept his outfit a secret, which was such an amazing surprise, and he completely took my breath away. He looked so gorgeous: the perfect combination of England and Scotland. He also had a change for the evening, where he switched it up into a dark shirt and the subtle tartan trousers from the original suit, again from Hugo Boss. He looked incredible. I can’t believe he had an outfit change and I didn’t!
July 11th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Sweden meets Scotland in today’s charming real wedding between Ellinor and Michael, which brings together traditions from both cultures; from communal singing and lots of speeches on the Swedish side to kilts and ceilidh from the Scots! Marrying outside under the spectacular cherry blossom trees in the venue’s beautiful garden and led by a traditional piper, Ellinor floated down the aisle in a gorgeous tea-length dress made by a talented friend, with a lace illusion bodice and sleeves, and finished off with a delicate veiled headdress.
There are some beautiful details, such as the intricately designed songbook used for the communal singing and the cake of cheese decorated with flowers and grapes. With a rustic vibe and a clever colour scheme to represent the flags of both countries, Ellinor and Michael’s big day manages to feel both glamorously international and charmingly local, with seasonal flowers and lots of handmade elements.
We love the spicy idea for the table centrepieces, using bowls of cardamom, ginger, chilli and so on to indicate the table names rather than written signs, and jam jars collected over the months make the perfect vessels for candles and flowers, even if it does mean eating your weight in jam and chutney before the big day! Tell us more, Ellinor…
With images by A Little Picture.
ellinor says: We got engaged in India, near Darjeeling, where my mother was born. We were travelling through India and I had always wanted to see the place my mother grew up before she came to Sweden. Michael proposed on a Himalayan hilltop overlooking two rivers. It was absolutely beautiful.
We got married on 19th May 2018. We wanted to get married in the spring/early summer because I think that is the most beautiful time of year and the weather is usually better at that time in Scotland! We didn’t know when we booked it that cherry blossom would bloom at that time in the garden of our venue – it turned out to be the perfect time!
We got married (both ceremony and reception) at Kirknewton House Stables, outside of Edinburgh. We chose it because it is a really beautiful place, with a really big garden, and there’s a bit of a rustic feel to it. As you do everything yourself, there are no restrictions in terms of caterers or bar. This meant we had to plan and make everything ourselves, but it allowed us to do exactly what we wanted, including a free bar all night. I would absolutely recommend our venue to other brides and grooms: it is a gorgeous building with a massive garden and you can do what you want with it.
I am originally from Sweden and Michael is Scottish, so our theme was ‘Sweden meets Scotland’. We mixed traditions from the two countries: lots of singing and a lot of speeches (Swedish traditions), and ceilidh and a piper (Scottish traditions). Our colour theme was based on the Swedish flag (yellow and blue) and Scottish flag (white and blue).
For my dress, I always knew I would have a short dress (i.e. tea length) as I don’t think a full-length dress suits my body shape. I also love to dance and couldn’t imagine being on the dance floor in a ball gown or mermaid dress. It turned out to be surprisingly difficult to find one I liked. Most shops only had one or two short dresses. But then my beautiful and amazing friend and bridesmaid Laura said she would make my dress! Laura trained as a costume maker and seamstress and, while she now has a different career, she makes dresses now and again – she made all the bridesmaids’ dresses for our friend’s wedding a couple of years ago! We live in completely different parts of the country so it all involved a lot of planning, but it turned out to be a great excuse to see each other. A great memory is driving to London together to go fabric shopping. There is this street in northwest London lined with fabric shops and we probably went to ten different ones, comparing and haggling. But when we found a particular lace, we knew straight away – that was the one. The dress is absolutely gorgeous and I loved wearing it on the day. I am so lucky to have such an amazing friend.
Michael wore his family kilt that was made for his brother’s wedding a couple of years ago by a kilt maker in Aberdeen. The groomsmen also wore their family kilts.
June 27th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Prepare to go all starry-eyed ladies as this styled shoot is the stuff of dreams; with a spectacular castle – complete with enchanting turrets and beautiful gardens – providing all the romantic feels we could possibly wish for.
Taking place in Scotland, the shoot was led by Ashleigh, a bridal makeup artist, who is based in Edinburgh. With her heart set on organising her very own shoot, Ashleigh brought on board a selection of talented Scottish suppliers who helped bring her vision for a whimsical wedding theme to life.
What we love about this bridal shoot is that it showcases three very distinct, gorgeous bridal looks in a number of different settings at the venue, Carlowrie Castle – from the timeless to the more contemporary. The styling is exquisite, with everything from the flowers and makeup to the accessories all complementing one another beautifully. There’s lots of beauty and fashion inspo to be found further down this page – that we can promise!
So, join us as we escape north of the border and let Ashleigh take us behind the scenes to share all the day’s wonderful highlights.
With images by Karol Makula
ashleigh says: The inspiration behind this shoot was to bring together some of the best suppliers from Edinburgh and the East of Scotland, to create beautiful images of all of our creative visions combined.
There was a very defined whimsical theme put in place early on in the planning stage that was geared towards the romantic, contemporary, effortless, bohemian inspired bride. A mood board was easily created shortly afterwards to translate this theme to the other creatives involved.
As a makeup artist and the owner of Ophelia Bridal Makeup, I also share a real passion for styling. I always look at the bigger picture when selecting images to share of my brides, on my various social media platforms. From the dress, to the hair, to the venue, I like the photos to tell a story beyond the makeup. Through working in the wedding industry, I have made some fantastic contacts and it was one of my goals this year to be more proactive and organise shoots for myself with my own chosen suppliers. Also, I was in the midst of launching Ophelia Bridal Makeup’s sister company, Ophelia Bridal Blooms and I thought it would be a great way to introduce my bouquets to prospective future clients.
The location was probably the first choice I made (along with the photographer) in terms of planning. I have been lucky enough to work at Carlowrie Castle on a few occasions and it is one of my favourite Scottish castles. Carlowrie boasts a contemporary, modern interior, with a traditional, timeless exterior. Coupled with 32 acres of formal gardens and a 150-metre tree lined drive, the decision was far from difficult.
As we were following a relaxed theme for the day, we very much wanted the bouquets to tie in and follow the same vibe. Snapdragon, Edinburgh provided the bouquet and buttonhole used in the outdoor shots. We worked closely with Cathie and Amalia from their Bruntsfield store and agreed that an oversized, hand tied bouquet with lots of foliage would be perfect for the outdoor element of the day.
The shoot was split in to three different looks, so I showcased two of the new bouquets from Ophelia Bridal Blooms. “The Airen” accompanied the second look which was more vampy, with lilac, mulberry and purple peonies. Then the third look was paired with “The Aria” which is a much more feminine bouquet with soft pinks, blush, creams and ivory peonies and roses. The groom, meanwhile, wore a smart and traditional kilt from Bathgate-based The Kilt Studio.
February 20th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
When you think of a destination wedding, a sandy beach and an epic sunset usually spring to mind. You know – somewhere hot. But actually, if you live halfway across in the world in San Diego, where could be better for a destination choice than a magnificent castle wedding in bonny Scotland?
Today’s feature couple, Ellen and Ryan, thought just that, enticing 62 guests across the pond to Edinburgh to laird it up at the beautiful Dalhousie Castle. There they laid on Highland Games and fireworks, live entertainment, and surprised guests with a rather unusual ring bearer.
We just love Ellen’s beautiful Watters gown, perfect for swishing around the dancefloor as she desired; and my word, that’s some serious #girlsquad she has – do we count nine beautiful bridesmaids!?!
With images by JPR Shah Photography.
ellen says: We are from San Diego, USA, and we had our first date at Balboa Park, a collective of many different museums, galleries, restaurants and gardens. My favourite place in Balboa Park is the Botanical Garden, so Ryan knew he wanted to propose there. He is known for his off-the-wall ‘what if’ jokes. So, as we strolled through the Botanical Garden, Ryan noted that the building was 100-years-old. He asked me, “What if this building collapsed on us?” Following my eye roll, he then asked, “Or, what if I said I wanted to be with you for the rest of my life?”
Ryan proposed with a family heirloom diamond. His mom had a ring with three diamonds that was passed down to her. Ryan received one of the diamonds from the ring and designed a ring to match our relationship. Ryan knew I would want friends and family to share in the joy of the engagement. So, after the obvious kissing and reply of “absolutely yes!”, he took me to the rooftop of a building where our friends and family were waiting to congratulate us.
We got married on 22nd June 2017. I’m a teacher and, in order to have a destination wedding, we knew we’d need to get married over summer. So, we picked the earliest summer date that allowed us and our guests to get overseas. We knew that, if we were going to get married abroad, we wanted to do so in a place that was different from anywhere we could get married in the USA. Ryan presented me with the idea of getting married in a castle and we found a castle that could house all of the guests overnight, that was close to an airport and that we loved! Dalhousie Castle fit all the bills and we would absolutely recommend it! The staff was incredibly helpful and friendly, and the food and venue were amazing. Our friends and family left our wedding saying it was the best wedding they had ever attended. Our venue was perfect!
We didn’t have a theme, other than ‘Scottish Castle’, which for us was pretty unique. We had a company come and do the Highland Games with our guests, which helped acclimatise everybody to Scottish culture.
We chose purple and grey colour scheme, simply because we really like these colours.
We travelled to Edinburgh a few days before the wedding and stayed at the castle the night before everybody arrived. We hired a bus company, Ladywell Travel, to transport our guests from Edinburgh to the castle.
July 21st, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
If you’re looking for a dose of Scottish charm on your big day, then look no further than Abigail and Daniel’s wedding at Eaves Hall in the Ribble Valley, which has oodles of inspiration, complete with tartan, Scottish tablet and, of course, some rather dashing kilts.
When it came to entertaining guests, we think it would be fair to say they were truly spoilt, with not only an acoustic guitarist and a pianist, but also a funk band, a magician and their very own wedding host! And perhaps unheard of here on Brides Up North, the couple didn’t confirm their wedding date until they knew for certain that the funk band were free. We only wish we could have been there to dance the night away!
Join us as Abigail pores over all the highlights from their special day, from the exquisite five-tiered cake and emotional first dance with their son in tow, to their stunning group photo on the venue’s balcony.
With images by Pixies in the Cellar.
abigail says: Daniel proposed in London on 9th July 2016. London is special to us because it’s where we fell in love. I had bought Daniel tickets to see Stevie Wonder (one of his all-time favourite artists) on the Sunday in Hyde Park but we decided to make a weekend of it. We had no real plans on the Saturday so we decided we would take a trip down memory lane and return to some of our favourite spots. Dan suggested revisiting Buckingham Palace and as we wandered through Green Park, I was greeted by a butler with a lavish picnic and a bottle of pink champagne. With absolutely no clue as to why he had organised such a romantic surprise, I sat and enjoyed the food and fizz until he retrieved one last surprise out of the basket – a diamond ring!
We got married on 29th May 2017. We were so excited to marry each other that when a date became available at our dream venue we snapped it up straight away. We always wanted a spring/summer wedding too, especially for the peonies in May! It was a perfect date for us; it fell on a Bank Holiday and was at the beginning of a two-week half term break for Dan (he is a school teacher). It meant we could take couple of weeks out together to celebrate properly.
We got married at St Helen’s Church in Waddington and then celebrated our wedding reception at the beautiful Eaves Hall in Clitheroe. We always wanted a church ceremony as tradition means a lot to us. St Helen’s Church is located in the heart of a cute little village and we loved its authenticity with an organ, bells and, of course, the lovely (and quite funny) Reverend John.
We chose Eaves Hall for our reception because it was visually stunning both inside and out, which is ideal given the unpredictability of the Lancashire summer weather. The exclusivity is also amazing because you can throw a really good party for all of your guests. It felt like we had our own mini-mansion for the day.
We didn’t follow a theme as such; we just made our wedding really personal to us. I remember our florist describing it as ‘rustic elegance’, which nicely sums it up. In terms of colours and materials, we used kraft, hessian, twine and occasional hints of tartan – this represented the rustic feel of the Scottish twist. Then everything was overlaid with ivory lace, pearls and lavender, which allowed me to incorporate a softer, more elegant style to the day. We also wanted everything to reflect a celebration of our relationship so far, so we named our tables after special dates/events that we had experienced together and the things that we were most proud of.
With Dan being half Scottish he really wanted to revel in the opportunity of wearing a kilt. So that became our starting point for the colour scheme – he chose Spirit of Bannockburn tartan, which was a bold purple with hints of navy blue and green throughout. I thought I would struggle to find a colour scheme to complement the tartan. However, after finding the most gorgeous dusky lilac bridesmaids dresses I finally found a colour scheme we could compromise on! We used dusky lilacs, dusky pinks, and soft ivory and silvery green foliage in all of the flowers and décor, it worked really nicely together.
I found my dream wedding dress from Knutsford Wedding Gallery in Cheshire. I was initially torn between two completely different styles. I have always loved the silhouette of a mermaid style dress and I knew that this would be the style that Dan would love to have seen me in, however I knew my mum would be desperate to see me in a full princess gown. I tried on versions of both styles until the incredible ladies at KWG helped me create something that incorporated both. I opted for an off-white lace and tulle mermaid dress with a sweetheart neckline by La Sposa, Pronovias. This was then teamed with a Rosa Clara tulle train, and a Helen Martin tulle veil, both custom edged with matching lace and delicate beading to create the effect of a fuller, princess style gown with a cathedral length train for the ceremony and wedding breakfast, later removed to reveal the mermaid style silhouette. I also added a Pronovias tulle, pearl and crystal belt to add a little sparkle to the overall look.
Dan and his groomsmen wore full Highland wear, hired from Slaters Menswear in Preston. It consisted of the kilt matched with a white Victorian collar shirt, black bow tie, black Prince Charlie waistcoat and jacket. He wore the full accessories too including gillie brogues, socks, flashes, sporran and ski doo. He looked so handsome; they all did! Although, our gorgeous pageboys Oscar (our son, aged three) and Jenson (best man’s son, aged four) really stole the show in their mini versions!
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