Real Weddings

Real Wedding Recap 2019: Whistles for an elegant wedding at Losehill House – Amy & Iain

31st May 2019 | Alexis Forsyth

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It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 10th June 2019 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from the first half of the year so far. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

We’re ending the week on an inspo high by heading to Losehill House in Derbyshire to share the beautiful big day of recent newlyweds, Amy and Iain.

Bringing together their Scottish and Yorkshire roots – the couple incorporated the thistle and rose into their wedding’s theme, not to mention a traditional ceilidh, bagpipes, highland wear and haggis bonbons!

Breaking with convention – Amy wore two dresses; one during the day and another in the evening, perfectly showcasing how brides can switch up their look from ceremony to party. The designs from Whistles and Frock and Frill are oh so pretty and, by being so thrifty with her dress purchases, Amy splashed the remainder of her budget on a new pair of Jimmy Choos.

Other highlights include not one, not two, but three wedding cakes, a 20-piece brass band, and a special and very personal quiz. Want to know more? Us too! Here’s Amy with all the details…

With images by Henry Lowther

Proposal

Amy says: Iain proposed on 11th November 2017. Iain and I were in Edinburgh visiting his family for the weekend. It was very close to my birthday, so Iain said he had booked a restaurant just for the two of us to celebrate. Iain said he wanted to go to a bar first, which his friend had recommended near the Meadows – a park in Edinburgh. This is where Iain asked me to be his girlfriend seven years earlier on New Year’s Eve while we watched the midnight fireworks. He was very shifty, and I knew for a fact there were no bars near this park so I did start to suspect something was going on! When we arrived, we started walking and then he suddenly got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! We then went on to dinner and drank a little too much champagne

Setting

We got married on 6th October 2018. I work in the family business and summer is our busiest period, so I couldn’t really consider having time off for a wedding. I love the natural colours and feel of autumn so I decided an October wedding would be a great fit. I had around 11 months to plan – most people thought I was crazy. I didn’t feel rushed at all and choosing a less popular time of the year for the wedding meant that suppliers still had availability.

I wanted an exclusive-use venue that had enough accommodation for the majority of our guests. The food needed to be excellent and the scenery pretty enough to give us some great photo opportunities. It was important to us that our dog Rupert was part of our wedding and we wouldn’t consider a venue that wouldn’t allow him to be part of the day too.

Losehill House in Derbyshire ticked all the boxes. Their wedding package included the use of all 22 of their guestrooms on the night of the wedding. We had always wanted our wedding to be a mini getaway for our guests; a weekend long celebration. A large number of guests stayed at Losehill on the night before our wedding. Losehill organised a group dinner in their double AA rosette accolade restaurant; it was a great way to start the celebrations.

Iain and his groomsmen used the spa on the morning of the wedding. Other guests used the morning to hike and explore the local area. On the Sunday, we set off on a stroll through the peaks, an idyllic way to end the most perfect weekend.

It was important to both of us to get married in a church like our parents. Losehill House recommended Edale Parish Church as it is close by and the vicar, Simon, is very accommodating. We don’t live in the Edale parish, so in order to get married there we had to form a relationship with Edale Church. We attended church services once a month from January right up until the wedding. By October we really felt like part of the Parish community and it made the church ceremony feel that extra bit special.

Theme

Iain is from Edinburgh and I am from South Yorkshire, and we met when I was studying at Edinburgh University, so we wanted our wedding to have both Yorkshire and Scottish influences.

When we were deciding upon the design of the invitations, our stationer Cardlab Letterpress Co, had a selection of emblems to choose from, one of which was a thistle and a rose. As soon as we saw it, we couldn’t believe how perfect it was – a Yorkshire Rose and a Scottish Thistle. The rose and thistle emblem really was such a great representation of our wedding theme.

I wanted to stay away from having just one block colour. I wanted a palette of rich autumnal hues and jewel tones. I mainly focused on navy, and various shades of deep purples and blues.

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Dress

My daytime dress was from Whistles and my beaded evening gown was from Frock and Frill.

I regularly shop at Whistles and when they released their bridal range a few years ago I had always thought one dress in the range in particular was just beautiful. As soon as we got engaged, I thought of this dress.

I was apprehensive about opting for a high street dress as I was worried that it wouldn’t look special enough. I ordered it online to see what it looked like. I tried it on, and it immediately felt right. It was the perfect length and no alterations were required whatsoever.

Despite loving the gown, I continued to have concerns about wearing a high street wedding dress. I went to numerous bridal boutiques and tried various designer dresses on. My mum managed to stiffen the material of bow on the back of the dress to make it more of a feature. I really loved the train that led from the bow; it was a really unusual feature that looked effective in the photos. The lace of the dress was heavy and felt so luxurious.

I am a little obsessed with online shopping and I was browsing one evening and came across the Frock and Frill bridal range. I loved the art deco aesthetic to my evening dress. Since I had opted for a high street day dress, I decided a second dress was a justifiable indulgence.

Both dresses were so comfortable and really represented my usual style. I think feeling comfortable played a big part in helping me to enjoy my day.

One aspect of my outfit I wasn’t quite as frugal with was my shoes. I love designer shoes and definitely wanted to add another pair to my collection. I wore Ballet Pink Jimmy Choo Lancers – so comfortable and something I will definitely wear again and again!

I sourced both vintage marcasite and mother of pearl earrings and a bracelet from Etsy. I bought a vintage brooch from eBay that I altered myself to become a hairpin. My something borrowed was my mum’s vintage FRED diamond bangle.

Groomsmen

Kilts are surprisingly expensive and since Iain now lives in England, he doesn’t get many opportunities to wear full highland dress. We thought it would be sensible to hire a kilt for the occasion and settled on McCalls Highlandwear in Edinburgh. Iain doesn’t like the colours of his family tartan, so we choose a navy and grey tartan that complemented the bridesmaids’ navy dresses alongside contemporary navy tweed jackets and waistcoats.

The groomsmen had the same kilt outfit as Iain. Iain had a tartan tie and the groomsmen a plain tie. Iain also had a grey sporran whilst the groomsmen all had black.

Bridesmaids

I knew from day one that I wanted my bridesmaids to wear different dresses in the same colour. I really liked the range of navy dresses that Coast offered, so I took my three adult bridesmaids there and each picked whichever dress they liked the most.

Coast unfortunately don’t offer a children’s range, so we had to look elsewhere for my 12-year-old bridesmaid and our flower girl. Luckily Monsoon had great navy options that tied in so well with the adult bridesmaids.

Every dress had a lace feature, which complemented the lace of my dress, I was really pleased with how the dresses looked together.

Beauty

Laura Mosley from Craft did my makeup. She creates fresh beautiful makeup that just makes you look like a polished better version of yourself. I really wanted natural looking makeup and I was so happy to find a makeup artist that understood that.

I knew I wanted my hair up as I didn’t want to have to worry about it getting messed up if it was windy or raining. My hair stylist Amy Elliott has only very recently started doing bridal hair, but I am so lucky to have found her. She is so talented, and she created such an amazing textured updo.

Transport

We hired a vintage two-seat sports car from Bespokes in London. Iain drove the car to the church with his best man and then Iain drove us from the church to the reception, and this gave us a great bit of alone time. We were able to talk about our morning preparations, reflect on the ceremony and come to terms with the crazy fact that we were actually now man and wife!

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Photography

We are quite a shy couple and the thought of someone following us around all day taking photos of our every move made us really apprehensive. Henry Lowther, our photographer, was so unobtrusive and all our concerns disappeared so quickly when we met him. We got along with him so well and he fitted into our day perfectly. I think his talent his evident from our wedding photos. They have a cinematic, almost mysterious look to them. The photos tell the story of our wedding so well and there definitely no clichéd poses!

Henry suggested we sneak out after the speeches to get some photos at a spot he had seen on his drive over to the venue. He had me climbing over styles and walking across fields in my Jimmy Choos so we could chase the most effective light. I gave him a bit of a hard time about potentially ruining my shoes. Now I’ve seen how beautiful the photos are – all is forgiven!

Styling

I always like fresh flowers in my house, and I found a local florist Janice from My Floral Romance a few years ago who is just fabulous. I knew Janice had to be the person to do my wedding flowers. Her style of floristry is very natural and rustic, and she always makes use of seasonal flowers. My only requirement was that my bouquet obviously had to contain roses and thistles but otherwise I trusted Janice to create a natural bouquet that made use of fresh seasonal flowers and foliage.

Like most brides I spent a lot of time trawling through Pinterest for inspiration. I came across some photos of tall metal frame stands with wild, foliage heavy floral arrangements on top. I thought these stands would be perfect as the height produced a dramatic effect. I ended up having some stands made especially for me at a small ironmonger based in Manchester. I then spray painted them silver myself. I was so delighted with the arrangements Janice made for the stands.

Janice also made beautiful displays for the church windows and pew ends. These were then moved to the reception venue windows, so we got optimum use out of them.

I wanted the favours to be something that was personalised with each guest’s name, that way the favours could also double as the table place names. I toyed with the idea of key rings, shells, candles…the list goes on! I eventually sourced some glass sphere tea light holders that I loved. I then had a decal made of every guest name. I undertook the time-consuming task of applying the names to the spheres. The guests loved them, plus they looked really elegant on the tables.

Cake

One of my parent’s oldest friends makes the best cakes so I asked her if she would consider making our wedding cake. Rachel made us a three-tier cake, a two-tier and a one tier. There were three flavours, chocolate (my favourite) Victoria sponge (Iain’s favourite) and Lemon drizzle (my mum’s favourite).

Dining

To further reflect our theme, I requested bespoke canapés for the drinks reception. There were mini Yorkshire puddings with beef, Yorkshire cheese on toast, smoked salmon on oatcakes and haggis bonbons.

The food at Losehill is incredible. We attended a tasting a few months prior to the wedding to select our wedding breakfast and it was really hard to choose, everything was just so delicious.

The evening snacks consisted of hot roast pork or bacon and sausage sandwiches. The guests really couldn’t get enough, perfect food to fuel all the dancing.

Entertainment

Iain plays the bagpipes and it was important to us to have a piper at our wedding. Iain’s colleague is a fantastic piper and he very kindly agreed to play at the church as the guests were arriving. He welcomed me at the church and piped my arrival – quite a welcome!

My maid of honour’s sister is an incredible jazz singer and we were very honoured that she sang, accompanied by a guitarist, during the signing of the registers.

During the drinks reception we organised the 20-piece Hathersage Brass Band to play for our guests. Having such a large band really added flair to the occasion and we were so happy that the band was able to play for us.

There was never any doubt that we wanted a ceilidh for the evening reception. The ceilidh band, the Tartan Trio, did a great job and handled our (sometimes rowdy) guests so well. The band blended a mix of ceilidh songs with intermittent DJ sets really well; no one wanted the party to end.

To further entertain our guests I wrote a quiz and placed them on the tables for the guests to work on during the wedding breakfast. The questions were light hearted and focused on Iain, our relationship or myself. The quiz really got the guests talking amongst themselves. Our good friend offered to be our MC. I made up little prizes of Yorkshire Tonic and Edinburgh Gin for the winning teams.

Bliss Booth supplied a photobooth throughout the evening reception. They also provided a little book for the guests to stick their photos in and leave a little message for us. It was a lot of fun to look through this book on Sunday!

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Thanks to

I would definitely recommend Losehill to other brides and grooms. The staff couldn’t do enough for us, the food was excellent, and the location is beautiful.

Special touch

Iain’s dad suddenly passed away in December 2015, and we found it hard to decide how best to honour his memory at the wedding. Alongside the usual prosecco poured out for the speeches, we also gave everyone a ‘wee dram’ of Iain’s father’s favourite whisky ‘14-year-old Oban’ and we toasted to his memory.

Best bit

It is so hard to choose just one favourite part of the day; all of it was just so special. But if we had to choose – we would say that the ceilidh was just so much fun.

Honeymoon

We left for Mexico on the Tuesday after our Saturday wedding – perfect timing! We spent five days on Isla Holbox and five days in Tulum.

Isla Holbox is idyllic, think postcard perfect white sands and crystal-clear waters. Tulum was more commercial than Holbox but still a beautiful place to visit. It has a very chic ‘yoga and smoothies’ vibe to it. We swam with turtles, visited Mayan ruins and zip-lined through the jungle.

Advice

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be, focus on entertainment! So many of our guests have remarked about how much they enjoyed our wedding. I think guests will always remember the experience of the day rather than something like an expensive decorative item that you may think is important but no one else really remembers or notices!

When planning, I loved looking at the real weddings on Brides Up North, it is so helpful to see what is actually possible for real people.

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