gillian + michael | boturich castle

Gillian is one hard working bride, she worked on so many personalised details for her wedding to Michael! Thank you so much to Gail from Rooftop Mosaic for sharing her images of their gorgeous day at Loch Lomond! You can catch Gail on her website, Facebook & Twitter. Gillian and Michael were married on 9th August last year at my favourite venue Boturich Castle (I got married there myself!). They were planning their wedding for 1 year and 4 months.

"Believe it or not, we stumbled upon Boturich Castle primarily because we were looking for a venue that gave us a blank canvas so that we could personalise our day; not because of what Boturich Castle stands out for – the spectacular setting! We also wanted to have a big dance floor (we love a ceilidh!) and hoped to find a venue that was a bit different."

"It was going to be the first time many of our guests had visited Scotland, so it was also important to us that our guests would have the opportunity to experience the beautiful scenery rather than spending the whole time inside a hotel where they could have been anywhere. We started thinking about Loch Lomond because it ticked this box but was also quite easy for people to get to, being handy for Glasgow and especially the airport. There are several different options for accommodation around the loch so it would suit everyone regardless of whether they just needed a hotel for the night or wanted to make a holiday of their visit."

"These were the reasons that we ended up visiting Boturich Castle, and when we arrived we were just blown away by the view. We were also generally just impressed with the reception that we were given and left feeling confident that our wedding would be in good hands!"

"No question about it, my favourite part of the planning process was the arts and crafts! I absolutely love anything creative so relished the opportunity to personalise the wedding by making everything and anything I could. It was also a good way to help people feel involved with the wedding as there were plenty of jobs that people could help out with."

"I think my husband and I agree that he was very involved in the planning process – we made sure that we were both happy about any decisions that had to be made, no matter how small – but I spent more time actually doing things (like crafts!) and researching different options for suppliers."

"I probably condensed what would normally be a few months of dress shopping into a single weekend! My mum was very keen to be involved in shopping for a dress and as she lives in Glasgow and I live in the south of England, she arranged to fly down for a weekend. I booked appointments at five different bridal shops all within three days. We had a really enjoyable weekend trying on lots of different styles and I soon got on idea of what I was looking for. There are so many lovely dresses and I just wanted to find something that didn’t cost the earth, and that I could dance a ceilidh in! I choose the dress I did because it was the only one that made me feel a bit emotional when I tried it on!"

"Every part of our day was different and I enjoyed them for different reasons so I couldn’t possibly pick a favourite! I enjoyed the morning and getting ready because it was a lovely relaxed time with my three bridesmaids and my mum – this may not seem anything unusual but I don’t get to see them very often and they had never been altogether in one place before that day! I enjoyed the ceremony because we had spent a lot of time making it very personal. I enjoyed the photos and reception afterwards because it was a lovely relaxed atmosphere and the setting really was beautiful. I enjoyed the speeches because everyone had put a lot of effort into them. I enjoyed the meal because it gave me the opportunity to take a bit of time out with our parents at the top table, and stop and appreciate the day. I enjoyed the evening because we had the opportunity to see even more friends who I don’t see very often, and obviously we all really enjoyed the dancing!"

"Rather than pick a favourite part, I would rather pick a favourite ‘aspect’ of wedding. That would be the fact that it brought together so many friends and family who we had known at different stages over the years, not just on that day but for time around the wedding."

"I made everything I possibly could! The favours were one of the first ideas I had and one of the first jobs we started. I painted a little canvas on an easel for each of the ladies – every painting was different but they all used the same colours that tied in with the wedding. I made about fifty in total – just doing a few each week from about a year before the wedding. For the men, we made bottles of chilli oil; I drew out a design for a label and we transferred the designs onto the back of wide sticky tape and then glued these onto the bottles. The oil itself was made by my husband and his best man a couple of weeks before the wedding. We also wrote a thank you message that we then attached to the favours."

"We named our tables letters that were in either one of our surnames, and then made a table plan that showed our surnames crossing over with the names of the guests at each table on top of the letters. We also wrote a quiz for each table, which consisted of questions about us themed around the letter."

"For the table centre pieces, I wanted to be able to make them myself so tried to think of a way that I could do this. Fresh flowers are lovely but I don’t have a sense of smell so I don’t get to appreciate the full effect, and I didn’t see a way I could do this myself without a lot of stress of the morning of the wedding! I’ve always liked displays involving wiggly sticks, lights and hanging ornaments so thought I would do something like this. I got some curly willow from the flower market and put this in vases with some silver stones. We made a variety of hanging hearts – I made some by twisting wire and buttons together, my aunt sewed some in a tartan fabric and we also painted some small polystyrene hearts and added tartan ribbon – and hung these on the willow. My mum painted some silk orchards and we added one to each vase as an added feature. The final addition to the vase was a painted stick with the table letter. I really liked the final look and the other great thing about these decorations was that we were able to recycle all the components for various decorations around the house after the wedding, so kept the memories!"

"We made all our own stationery with lots of help – several of our guests were involved in production lines involving measuring, scoring, cutting, folding, gluing, punching or sewing (yes our invitations involved sewing!). To keep a Scottish theme to all the stationery, we used some tartan ribbon that matched my husband’s kilt, which is the tartan of my family clan, and little tartan hearts. We created a logo using two wedding rings containing the lyrics of Loch Lomond (adapted slightly) and included this in the invitations and orders of ceremony. We didn’t really have a plan for the stationery at the beginning but it did all end up coordinating with the other decorations!"

"For the guestbook, I cut out lots of small hearts for guests to write on and then glued them all onto a canvas after the wedding - it gave me one last craft project to look forward to!"

"I also made all the bouquets, a card postbox, and cut and folded nearly one hundred tissue pompoms, I can’t take the credit for fluffing them up and hanging them though, that was done by a team of helpful guests the day before!"

"Our cake was also fabulous - it was made by my aunt and tied into both the colour scheme and the Scottish theme beautifully with lots of heather and thistles. As I am a big chocolate fan, it was covered in white chocolate rather than icing!"

"It’s hard to pick a favourite detail - I think everything we did came together to make the whole day very personal. The favours were maybe the detail that most guests commented on, and not one favour was left on the tables at the end of the night!"

"My clearest memory was when we were sitting at dinner and my husband pointed out that it was 6pm and we were therefore not even halfway through the day yet, even though it seemed late. At the time, the sun was just beginning to set so the light coming into the marquee was beautiful. The children were running in and out, guests getting up to take photos of the scenery, and come over and chat to us so everything felt very relaxed. Many people had told me to make sure I stopped to take everything in at various points during the day because it would otherwise just pass in a blur so I remember feeling very happy that we still had more than half the day to go!"

"When we started planning our wedding, the advice that so many people gave to me was to remember that it was our day and could take whatever shape we wanted - you shouldn’t do things because it’s what other people think should happen at a wedding.  I would definitely pass that on!"

"My other piece of advice would be to try and make people feel involved. I wanted to make lots of things for the wedding mainly because I enjoy it but also because it meant that people could help out with the preparation. My experience was that people were very keen to help and happy that they could be part of it, and obviously the help made things much less stressful for me! Of course, it doesn’t just have to be about crafts – as another example, we tried to make sure that everyone in the wedding party (which was spread out over three countries!) had the opportunity to meet each other, visit the venue and meet our celebrant so that they all knew what was happening on the day and knew who was who."

STAR PLAYERS

Venue: Boturich Castle

Band: Ritz Trio (ceremony and reception) and Whisky Kiss (Ceilidh)

Florist: Dream Day Flowers made the arch for our ceremony, the buttonholes and corsage, and bouquets for gifts for the mothers. I made the bouquets for myself and bridesmaids and also the table centrepieces.

Photographer: Rooftop Mosaic