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!
May 10th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
When we saw these gorgeous engagement shoot images of Fiona and Stuart walking around Loch Ard hand-in-hand and sheltering from the rain under an umbrella, we just knew we had to feature them on the blog.
The loch provides a stunning backdrop to this beautiful pair, and the natural woodland tones are bang on trend – Pantone’s colour of the year for 2017 is greenery, after all! It also provided a number of unusual props – check out the photographers’ striking use of a fern to create a completely unique picture of the couple.
Fiona tells us about how their relationship first blossomed, their plans for the wedding day and beyond!
With images by Cro+Kow Photography
fiona says: We first met at a wedding in Northern Ireland in 2012. We lived at opposite ends of Scotland at that point, so we used to meet up in Aberdeen for our dates and time together.
For our very first date, we went for a walk and out for lunch, which then turned into dinner, before getting the train home. It wasn’t true love from the start – being so far apart probably made us both quite cautious.
That said, I knew that Stuart was ‘the one’ after a few months of dating and getting to know each other. By that point we were living in London and Edinburgh and had spent lots of weekends travelling between cities.
We got engaged at Loch Ard. We went for a walk around the loch until we reached a surprise picnic. Stuart’s friends had helped set it up with candles, prosecco, strawberries – the works! They then popped out from behind a tree after I’d said yes and drove us to Callander to a beautiful hotel. I wasn’t expecting it at all; it was a huge surprise.
Our wedding will take place at my home church in Edinburgh, with a reception at Broxmouth Park, Dunbar.
March 21st, 2017 | Rachel Parry
This morning we’re focusing on one of our very favourite things – presents!! – as we catch up with our fabulous Sponsor, The Wedding Shop.
As a fee-free, multi-retailer gift list provider, The Wedding Shop, provides unrivalled choice when it comes to creating a personalised wedding gift list, with the option to combine products with honeymoon and cash contributions, and even set up a charity fund.
Couples can choose to build their wish list online, or alternatively within one of The Wedding Shop’s beautiful showrooms, including their newly launched Edinburgh store. Located on the Scottish capital’s prestigious shopping thoroughfare; Dundas Street, the launch follows The Wedding Shop’s luxurious revamp of their Selfridges London showroom last September, and expands their portfolio to four locations, including stores in Chelsea and Dublin.
The beautiful new showroom provides the perfect relaxing and inspirational environment for couples to meet with their own personal advisor and compile their dream list – over a glass of champagne, of course!
To celebrate the launch of the Scottish showroom, The Wedding Shop team has complied its top gift list must-haves for 2017, seeking inspiration from top product designers and looking across its range of unique real-life experiences.
Commenting on current gift list trends, we speak to Edinburgh showroom manager Nicola Gemmell.
nicola says: Feedback from our clients indicates that ‘experience’ is the new luxury in gift lists, as couples wish to create life-long memories not just increase their collection of personal belongings.
For those that are looking to enhance their interiors through their gift choices, 2017 is all about bringing the outdoors indoors; from botanical-inspired and organic patterned homewares to the use of earthy tones and raw materials. That said, your home is a very personal space and should reflect your own tastes and experiences, not simply the trends. With thousands of products from over 350 brands to choose from at The Wedding Shop, you have the option to be able to select pieces which will ensure your home is fresh, fashionable and functional, but more importantly, you.
I look forward to welcoming couples to our inspiring space and helping them to choose from our portfolio of products as well as being able to add honeymoon vouchers, cash contributions, experiences, and anything else they desire.
50 shades of green
‘Greenery’, Pantone’s colour of the year 2017, is a refreshing and revitalising shade, symbolic of new beginnings. Therefore, what better way to mark the commencement of married life than giving the gift of green? The Wedding Shop has a multitude of gorgeous green products, from Aquanova towels and LSA glassware to Pooky lampshades, Addison Ross picture frames and even vibrant kitchen appliances.
January 27th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Today’s real wedding is a corker – a rose gold theme, bucket-loads of blooms and a bride who looks as though she’s just walked out of the pages of Vogue Sposa (or Unveiled, for that matter!)
Rachel and Josh said ‘I do’ in the stunning surroundings of Ness Botanic Gardens and the greenery and flowers made the perfect backdrop for their perfect day.
Need an injection of light and love on this cold winter’s day? Look no further.
With images by Jo Bradbury.
rachel says: We got engaged on 4th October 2014. We were away for a weekend in Wales and staying in a log cabin. We went on a long beach walk with our dog and Josh proposed on an island just off the beach. We then went back to our lovely log cabin and drank some prosecco, before Josh cooked our favourite meal (mellanzane a la parmagiana). It was pretty perfect!
We chose the 2nd July 2016, as our wedding date; we wanted a summer date to show off our venue’s lovely flowers and blooms. It was also a few weeks after my final exams and therefore seemed a good date to pick!
We got married in Ness Botanic Gardens. We fell in love with it the moment we saw it – we knew we wanted an outdoor wedding and the flowers and setting were just so, so gorgeous. We both love being outdoors and got very excited about how beautiful the photographs would be with all the flowers and greenery!
We wanted a laidback, romantic style wedding. The bridesmaids wore pink with gold shoes and the venue décor was blush pink in places. The groomsmen wore blue or grey suits; we felt this would be a great colour to complement the blush colours.
The colour scheme was rose gold: we had rose gold invites, and the bridesmaids’ dresses and the venue décor tied in with this beautifully. There was a lot of pinning on Pinterest to get my ideas together!
My wedding dress was an Ellis 11330 design from Elegance Bridal on the Wirral – the ladies there were so lovely and helpful from start to finish. I knew I wanted a fitted dress and thought the fishtail/mermaid style would be ideal. Initially I wanted a dress with lace sleeves, but after trying on a few I felt the sweetheart neckline was more flattering. I loved the delicate lace and beading on the dress; I just didn’t want to take it off!
Josh wore a Hugo Boss suit and the fit was perfect, so no tailoring needed – phew! We knew we loved the look of a blue suit and he looked fantastic.
The bridesmaids wore blush pink dresses from a brand called Laced inLove purchased through ASOS. They were so beautiful and also very reasonable in terms of price. The groomsmen wore their own suits; luckily, they all had suits in a blue or grey hue.
December 12th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
“Be organised” – these are the words of wisdom from today’s bride who planned her beautiful big day with military precision. The high level of organisation meant that when the wedding day arrived, both Hetty and her beau Fred could just relax and enjoy the proceedings.
Making the day both pretty and personal, the crafty duo incorporated special touches through handmade décor and chose a venue that will always remain close to their hearts.
With images by AnnaJoy Photography
hetty says: Fred had initially planned to propose during a surprise long-weekend in Paris that he’d organised for our sixth anniversary. Unfortunately, he was called for jury service for an eight-week trial around four weeks before our anniversary so the trip was cancelled. We still had a special anniversary weekend at home in London and Fred popped the question in the Italian Garden of Kensington Gardens, after a long walk through Hyde Park. It was a beautiful, sunny winter’s day in London and was absolutely perfect. Better than Paris! After I’d said yes, he took me for afternoon tea at the Renaissance Hotel at St Pancras Station, marrying my love of afternoon tea with his love of trains!
Our wedding day was 30th April 2016. We were married in St Salvator’s Chapel at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. We actually met for the first time in the chapel, singing in the University Chapel Choir. We met on the first Sunday of fresher’s week in our first year, and sang together throughout all four years of university. We graduated in 2012 but the chapel is still symbolically a huge part of our relationship. We know the organist and university chaplain very well, so it was an obvious choice for our wedding. The chapel is also stunningly beautiful, which helps!
Our reception was at Lower and Upper College Halls, opposite the chapel in the main university quad. The wedding breakfast was in Lower College Hall, and then then ceilidh and dancing upstairs in Upper College Hall. We had actually both sat exams in those rooms over the course of our university career so it took a bit of imagination to see it as our wedding venue, but the lure of having the reception and wedding all within the beautiful setting of the quad was too much to resist.
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