This morning’s real wedding couple decided to focus their handmade wedding day on three important factors – their faith, family & friends.
So after a traditional service at their church of choice, David and Rachel went to a local hotel for delicious food and entertaining speeches followed by tea and cake, giving them plenty of time to spend with those nearest and dearest to them.
With images by AnnaJoy Photography.
rachel says: David knows how much I like a good treasure hunt, and so set me one as part of our engagement in December 2014. He had me drive around all our favourite places in Glasgow where he’d placed clues, including the church where we first met, the King’s Theatre where we had our first fancy date and our favourite Subway! The last clue led me to Bothwell Castle where he was waiting with the ring, which we had designed ourselves. It was so romantic!
We set the date for 22nd August 2015. David works through the summer months of June and July and I started university in September. We wanted enough time for a two week honeymoon and just about squeezed it in!
I’m from the Shetland Islands and I have a ginormous family, so we decided getting married up North would be better! Getting married in a church was very important to us because we wanted God to be part of our marriage from the very beginning. We chose the Lerwick Baptist Church because it’s beautiful and has enough space to seat all the afore-mentioned family members! The church was built a few years ago and so is nice and modern and beautiful inside and out. Our wedding breakfast was held at The Shetland Hotel.
We love vintage, rustic and wild things, and so wanted to incorporate these into our special day. We thought that reflected our personalities better than super chic or blingy!
We chose a mint colour scheme because we hadn’t been to another mint wedding before. The mint dresses suited all our bridesmaids’ colouring, and went really well with the daisies we had featured. We also used brown/hessian for the stationery and other details, which suited the mint really well too and looked vintage.
I had some ideas for wedding dresses from hours of trawling Pinterest, but when I tried on the style I had in mind it didn’t suit me very well. My bridesmaids helped me find loads of different styles in a bridal shop and we found a style that suited perfectly! We went to Emma Roy in Edinburgh, and found a gorgeous, flattering dress that was within budget! It was strapless, fitted at the top with lots of beautiful floral lace and a full tulle skirt.
David wore a kilt that he had bought a few years previously from Slaters in Glasgow – he loves it! His twin brother (and best man), Andrew, had the same tartan but different features, so they were both sorted quite easily. Our three ushers wore very similar kilts hired from Slaters in Glasgow.
My four bridesmaids wore floor length dresses I found on vponsale.com. The dress suited all of their different colouring and shapes – they all looked gorgeous!
I put my Dad in charge of the wedding cars because I knew he’d be much better at that than me. I knew he’d get Audis because he’s had about ten in his life! Two were borrowed, one from my cousin and one from his workmate, and the third was the car I passed my driving test in and we’ve had for at least ten years. We much preferred borrowing cars than hiring, it was typical island style and gave a community, family feel.
Anna Hamill of AnnaJoy Photography, travelled to Shetland from Newcastle to capture our special day. I followed her page on Facebook for a few years and just knew I wanted her to be our photographer. I would absolutely recommend her; beautiful photos, attentive service, and really helpful answering all kinds of questions before the big day! We were both delighted with our photos, both the engagement shoot and the wedding photos.
For my bouquet I had wild-style flowers provided by our local florist in Lerwick who supplies from Interflora. They were beautiful.
T decorate the church we had jam jars filled with cream gerberas and gypsophila, arranged by myself the day before. David’s mother made the main arrangement at the front of the church. My Aunt Hazel arranged flowers from Tesco in cups and teapots for the centrepieces at the hotel. We loved how the different flowers suited our style.
We gave favours to the women at the meal. With our last name being Strawbridge we decided to make strawberry jam, with personalised labels we found on Etsy.
I asked my friend Hannah to make our wedding cake because she is an amazing baker. David really wanted three tiers; one vanilla, one light chocolate and one red velvet. It tasted absolutely fabulous and it was beautiful to look at as well. Everything we wanted.
We had a set menu for our wedding breakfast which consisted of; soup to start, roast beef with all the trimmings for the main, and ‘lavarock’ cheesecake for dessert. It was an amazing meal, everyone thoroughly enjoyed it and commented on how full they were by the end.
We didn’t have an evening reception, instead just highly entertaining speeches and time for tea, cake and chat after the meal. We much preferred this as we got to see and speak to all our family and friends, and there was a lovely relaxed atmosphere. It was my brother’s birthday on our wedding day, and so after the meal we had the first piece of cake brought to him with a sparkler and everyone sung Happy Birthday.
There were several touches to our day that we felt made it all the more memorable. For example, the table names were named after all the highest munroes that David has walked in his time outdoors. Also, everything was handmade; the invitations, the order of services, the banner, table names, thank you cards, everything! We had friends and family helping with everything which took a lot of organising but everyone was so helpful and sweet, it reminded us how lucky we were to have so many people in our lives that care about us so much.
Following our wedding we would certainly recommend our chosen venues to others. Lerwick Baptist Church is beautiful and the staff are extremely helpful. The Shetland Hotel made things so easy for us, and the wedding advisor was so attentive and didn’t forget a thing we’d asked for!
Although I dreaded standing up in front of 200 people saying our vows, I actually really enjoyed it and found it to be one of the best bits of the day! It sounds really cliché, but it was a lovely experience showing our friends and family how much we loved each other, and solemnising our commitment with so many witnesses and in the presence of God. We also had family members to sing one of our favourite worship songs after the vows as we signed the register, which was really beautiful. We both loved every part of the day!
David organised the honeymoon so it was a surprise for me! He booked a spa hotel in Crete, Greece, all-inclusive for ten nights, with two nights in the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow beforehand so we could have a rest after our big day! It was absolutely incredible, and he is a total legend for making it just the best honeymoon ever.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be simply to remember that it’s your day. Although it’s important to think about your guests and make sure they have a good time, you’ll be kicking yourself afterwards if it wasn’t the day you wanted. And try and spend a few moments through the day together just the two of you, because it goes in quicker than you’d ever imagine (seriously, it was like minutes) and it’s easy to not see each other in the midst of well-wishers and photos.