gillian + evan | west brewery

Gillian and Evan were married on 18th June at WEST Brewery in Glasgow. They were engaged for 1.5 years but started seriously planning a year beforehand. They chose the fantabulous Jo Donaldson to capture their wedding so huge thanks to her for sharing the images of their day. You can catch Jo on her website, Facebook and Instagram.

"We knew that the wedding would be in Scotland as I was moving to the US straight after, but deciding on a venue was more difficult. We originally thought about a barn wedding and looked at venues in Inverness and Ayrshire but then decided we didn’t want to make it too difficult for our guests to get there as some had already flown over from the States. That’s when we realised Glasgow was the perfect location. Glasgow is like home to me, and it’s Evan’s favourite city in Scotland. Once that had been decided, I researched venues online and realised that WEST was available to hire for weddings. It was perfect as Evan is a massive beer lover (our first trip together was Belgium, for the beer!) and I instantly fell in love with the wood paneling and laid-back vibe."

"Evan was as involved as he could be in the planning from the other side of the ocean. He had a lot of input into the major details such as the venue and catering (he’s the foodie!), but the smaller details were mostly a surprise for him on the day."

"My wedding outfit, and the bridesmaid dresses, were all picked in one day, however prior to finding my dress I had met up with Wendy of Flossy & Dossy. She gave me some of the best advice regarding my outfit. When I met with her I was sure of what style I wanted (calf length, 50’s style) and I tried on a sample but it was hard to get a real idea of how it would look. Wendy advised me to book into a few bridal shops and enjoy the process of trying different styles on with my Mum and Bridesmaids. I picked out the short 50’s style straightaway and was sure this would be The One. I was wrong. I didn’t feel like a bride. It was so pretty but I just couldn’t imagine walking down the aisle wearing it, so I tried on a few others. Eventually Hazel (Kudos, Edinburgh) asked if I would try on a dress that she thought would suit me. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw myself in the mirror. It was floor length, all lace with a sweetheart neckline with a little lace jacket to go over the top. It was The One. I thanked Wendy for giving me the advice otherwise I would have had a dress made and would have been disappointed I didn’t try other styles first."

"A clear memory I have is standing in the centre of the (gorgeous!) AirBnb apartment we rented while my bridesmaids helped put on my dress. Time slowed down a little, and I can remember thinking that this is what all the planning had been for. Today is the day that all the talks and excitement we’ve felt over the last year comes to fruition. I looked at my bridesmaids faces (looking all pretty with their hair and make up done) and the look of genuine love was overwhelming. I knew then that I couldn’t have done it without them. They were the reason I had the courage to follow my heart to get me to this stage in my life and I was so grateful that they were helping dress me on the most important day of my life. My dad walked out of the bedroom he had been told to hide in and time snapped back to real speed. Both he and my mum looked so proud and I just thought – right, let’s do this!"

"I also loved arriving in the white Glasgow cabs. They reminded me of all the times I’d travelled in a Glasgow cab (nights out, shopping with my Mum, business meetings) and it was big enough for me, my dad and my dress!"

"My favourite part of the day was definitely the ceremony. Walking down the aisle with my dad, towards Evan, was a moment I had anticipated since I got engaged. To see the whole day come together, even better than I had imagined, was just incredible. My nerves faded and I was so full of happiness. My brother wrote the ceremony on his own, with some input from Evan, so I had no idea what he was going to say and I couldn’t have been more proud of him. He created the most heartfelt ceremony and made the experience so personal. My stepdad and two brothers (Fraser & Calum) also spoke at the ceremony, adding to the intimacy. It was by far the best moment of my life, to date."

"Evan and I had to ‘sign the contract’ before I left the US due to visa reasons so this gave us the perfect opportunity to ask my brother, Stuart, to act as unofficial officiant. The legal part had already been taken care of so the ceremony in Scotland was all about love, family and our personal commitment to each other. This was actually the best ‘bad thing’ that could have happened. I was so wrapped up in thinking that the official signing had to be done on the day because otherwise the wedding would just be an extravagant party, when in reality it gave us the freedom to do whatever we wanted. We remained ‘engaged’ until our Scottish wedding and it gave me time to realise we weren’t restricted by any rules of what to say and what not to say. I wrote my brother a letter inside a notebook that said ‘Will you marry us?’ on the front. He wrote the wording for the ceremony in the same notebook and it even made an appearance in the wedding photos. My brother has been my best friend and hero since I was a wee girl, and having him marry us was amazingly surreal."

"I really wanted the wedding to highlight both me and Evan’s personality, so the small details were important. I’m lucky to have wonderfully creative friends and was able to commission their talents when planning my day. Lesley Williamson (Neon Gray) is a good friend and when I saw her Glasgow Banter coasters I knew they would be perfect as favours. The image is of an empty Glasgow subway car with the words ‘Whit’s fur ye’ll no go by ye’ on it; a saying I really believe. Another friend, Laura Patrick is a calligraphy genius so I just asked her to go crazy and write on anything she could find. She wrote the place names, table names, seating plan, the ‘top table’ globe, guest book… and probably a million other things."

"Along with Lesley’s coasters, the guests also got a copy of ‘The Adventures of Snail & Sello’; a comic book that I designed and Evan wrote about how we met and the adventures we had taken together. The nicknames Snail & Sello came from a cartoon in ‘The New Yorker’. It was of two snails chatting with a Scotch tape dispenser in the background. The caption read ‘I don’t care if she is a tape dispenser. I love her.’ I was obviously the Scotch Sellotape and Evan was the snail. SO corny but it makes me smile everytime I see it." 

"I seriously loved the whole planning process as I was determined not to let it stress me out and was so fortunate to have an incredible support network around me. If I had to pick one part it would be meeting all the insanely talented people that contributed to the wedding and made it truly unique to Evan and I. As a freelancer myself I really wanted to support local small businesses and loved how passionate everyone was. I’ve made friendships that have lasted past the ‘I Do’s’ and have inspired other aspects of my work and life."

"The other element of the day that made me so happy was watching how effortlessly two worlds had come together. It’s always nerve-wracking when two families are put in the same room but this was two families from opposite sides of the world, with different traditions, coming together in one space & meeting for the first time. I remember standing at the bar and looking around at our loved ones dancing, laughing and mixing with each other and thinking to myself, if I walked out now no one would notice… and that was the best feeling. This is a really clear memory that will last a long time."

"I think my advice would be to stay true to yourself and commit to plan an authentic wedding that isn’t trying to compete with anything or anyone. Too many brides put pressure on themselves to have an Instagram worthy wedding and lose track of why they’re doing it in the first place. If you surround yourself with people you admire and respect, make decisions based on your gut and not what someone else tells you, be honest and respectful with everyone you deal with, and be flexible to change/the unknown, you’ll enjoy the planning process just as much as the day itself. All too soon it’s over, so make as many awesome memories as you can."

STAR PLAYERS

Venue: WEST Brewery

Band: The Sleekit Beasties

Florist: Hedgerow Florist 

Cakemaker: Bellas Cakes 

Make Up: Cat Robertson MUA 

Hair: Pin Up Hair Glasgow 

Bridal Dress: Kudos 

Bridesmaid Dresses: Lady Jo Jo’s 

Transport: White Cab Weddings 

Stationery: BlockFace Design Studio (That’s me!)

Comic Book Printing: Rich Hardiman – Comic Printing UK

Favours (Glasgow banter coasters): Neon Gray

Calligraphy (all over the place): Laura Patrick Calligraphy 

Decoration: Love & Little Things

Photographer: Jo Donaldson Photography 

Videographer: Erin Rose Films 

"Jo was the first person I contacted after getting engaged. I didn’t have a date or venue but I knew I needed Jo in my life. From the first meeting, the service was out of this world. It didn’t actually feel like a supplier/client relationship. It was like we were pals and she just happened to be taking some photos at our wedding. Both Jo and Liam made the day, especially the group photos, relaxed, enjoyable and so damn cool! Without them I wouldn’t have been able to fill out this questionnaire! My memory is a bit hazy but their photographs will last, and be cherished for, a lifetime."

"I also wanted to add Gillian from Pin Up Hair and Cat from Cat Roberston MUA. The morning of the wedding was another highlight and these girls got on so well with my bridesmaids that I felt I was surrounded by mates getting ready for a night out. Everyone was so happy and relaxed that I didn’t feel nervous, until I put the dress on that is."

"Luckily I didn’t have any bad experiences with any of my suppliers so feel incredibly fortunate that they were all available and made my day as magical as it was."