sarah + paul | molteno hall

Sarah and Paul were married on 5th September at Molteno Hall, Fortingall. They were planning their wedding for about a year in total... "From booking the venue to filling a couple of trolleys full of whisky, cheese and barbeque sides two days before the wedding." Huge thanks to John Elphinstone Stirling for sharing his images of the day, you can catch him on his website or Facebook.

"From the outset we knew we wanted a village hall or barn set-up that allowed us the freedom to do as much as possible ourselves. We both work in the building industry, so finding this quirky little art deco hall with an amazing scissor truss roof was more than we had hoped to stumble across. We had the hall for three days, so it allowed us to set up on the Friday, have our wedding on the Saturday and roped in our guests for the clean up on the Sunday over a barbeque. We were lucky to have one of those rare perfectly sunny Scottish September weekends.  Paul proposed at the Queens View near by, so there was also a sentimental reason for getting married in the area. The rural village and un-spoilt glen was the cherry on the top for us."

"By the very nature of venue that we hired and wedding we wanted, it meant we had to do everything ourselves; from hiring fridges and bar staff to making bunting and table plans. We live in Copenhagen, so we had to do pretty much everything remotely. We had a really amazing group of suppliers, family and friends that made it all possible. Paul is a boffin spread-sheeter, so Excel was our best friend during the planning process. We are a creative couple, so we designed and made all our own invites, place names, ‘Just Married’ flag and hand cut and painted the bunting. What we couldn’t make or hire, we bought. I think we would both agree that the creative weekends outshone the late night excel spreadsheet date nights."

"As a couple we are 100% equal all round and have the same taste in design, music and food, so when it came to planning the wedding we did more or less everything together. Two seats in front of the computer was the standard setup most evenings."

"I am generally not a big fan of being the centre of attention, so for me, the whole process of wedding dress shopping was an aspect that I avoided as much as possible. I met one of my sisters in town outside a high street shop and literally walked in, picked it off the rack, tried it on and bought it. I hand sewed some minor alterations myself a few days before the wedding. I really loved my dress, it was a fairly thick cotton lace that fell straight to the floor, with a simple pool at the heel instead of a train, exactly what I was looking for. I didn’t want a veil, so had fresh flowers instead. I wanted something simple, pretty and, most importantly, danceable. "

"We had beautifully personal Humanist ceremony." 

"It is really impossible to specify a favourite part of the day. There are little snapshots throughout the day that I will never forget, and reflect the people around us that made it the day it was. We had a deer in our back garden in the morning while we were getting ready, which was cool, but my Mum was freaking out that a hunting party had just pulled into the guest’s car park near by and might track it. I am one of five siblings who are all really close, so I opted to walk with them from the cottage to the hall instead of hiring a car and that was really special to me. My Dad and I waiting outside the hall to walk down the aisle together. The whole ceremony. One of our closest friends giving his reading. Climbing into a river with my new husband. The amazing speeches and food. Watching everyone dance to the music like we were at a festival. There were too many great things to pick a favourite…the funniest, hands down, was standing in the bathroom alone washing my hands and gazing out over the fields at sunset to see two of my oldest friends chasing sheep enter and leave the window vision, followed closely by the photographer… that was a laugh out loud moment for me."

"While the planning process and various shopping lists all got a bit stressful towards the end, I think we pulled off exactly what we set out to achieve.  We had banquet style seating and sharing boards of roast lamb with all the trimmings. ‘The Travelling Tea Room’ did a fantastic job of pulling off an amazing meal with limited facilities and people still talk about it as being the best wedding food that they have had.  In addition to that, Paul’s 93 year old Grandad John makes a legendary fruit cake so he kindly baked the bottom tier of our wedding cake that was relished by all. The two top tiers and decoration were pulled together by ‘Baked by Mike’: a geometric affair topped off with Arne Jacobsen letters.  My Dad is a master traditional folk music fiddler so he and his band friends put together a folk music set for the wedding barbeque on the Sunday. They were really big parts of our wedding that family members took on and those two personal touches really meant a huge deal to us. The only detail that we had limited input on was the flowers, but they were probably one of my favorite details. I went to art school with Fiona from Pyrus, so I knew as soon as we started planning the wedding that I wanted to have her involvement. Her brief was wild and in-season, so whatever she could find in her garden at that time. The rest was up to her, I put all my trust in her and left her to do what she knows best and she way exceeded our expectations. We spoke briefly over skype about the general set up, but when I walked down the aisle, it was the first time I really got to see what she had achieved, and it took my breath away."

"The ceremony itself was the clearest part of the day for me, and one of few moments that we had to focus entirely on each other. We had a lovely celebrant that allowed us to have huge amount of input on the wording of the ceremony, and we spent a lot of time working on it to make sure it reflected us as a couple. We also wrote our own vows so it was personal, emotional and funny all at the same time. Walking back down the aisle together and meeting all of our guests as newly weds is one of my most cherished memories of the day."

"The whole day really disappeared too fast, I know that sounds a bit cliché, but we didn’t take that ten minutes together to watch everything go by that everyone always suggests… so do that! Start earlier than 2pm if you can. And make a spreadsheet, with everything from guests addresses to the price of the bridesmaids shoes: you’ll be surprised how quickly things add up in terms of cost and how often you need to contact guests for everything from accommodation to transport.  If you are planning to organise everything yourselves, don’t underestimate how much time it takes up and don’t expect it to be cheaper."


Venue: Molteno Memorial Hall

Band: Rear View

Peerie – Folk music by Sarah’s Dad, Jim Hunter, & friends (Alistair and Anna Fraser, Stewart and daughter Alison Brydon and Sarah’s sister Claire Hunter). 

Florist: Pyrus

Hair: Lipstick, Lashes and Locks

Catering: The Travelling Tea Room

Macdonald Bros Butchery -  barbeque meat, rolls, gas and grill

Mr C’s Pies        

Cake: Baked by Mike / Paul’s Grandad John 

Photographer: John Elphinstone Stirling (professional photographer)

Mike Byrne (evening photography)

Vintage Furniture: Virginias Vintage Hire Scotland

Catering Hire: Gordon’s Cater Hire

Coach Hire: Smith and Sons Coaches

Marquee: Central Marquees

"We considered many suppliers before settling on our final team. We were blown away by the service we received from every single one of them and really consider them all to be part of the A team that made our wedding what it was! We wouldn’t hesitate in recommending all of them! Where possible and available we tried to use local produce and suppliers as much as possible."

"The Lipstick, Lashes and Locks girls went to extraordinary lengths to travel around the area to make sure all the important ladies in our lives were styled for the day. Not only are they extremely talented but also really friendly, stylish and put everyone at complete ease. My sister in law was so impressed she booked them up for her wedding too."

"Fiona from Pyrus left no detail untended, and the result was unbelievable. Elegant, contemporary, beautifully tied and placed flowers, bracken and berries. She offered a number of really creative and exciting installation concepts. If I could recommend a florist to any bride, it would be the Pyrus girls."

"Kirsty from The Travelling Tea Room was completely in sync with our ideas from our very first meeting, but she took them, developed them and thought outside the box to improve them all. We have vegan, vegetarian and carnivorous friends that all described the spread as the best wedding food they have ever had. The food was beautifully presented and tasted amazing. They were really professional, friendly, great at communicating and really passionate about what they do."

"For the evening re-fuel, we laid out a cheese table along with a selection of hand made pies by Mr C’s Pies. We got in touch to see if Robert would supply them directly to us, and they went down a storm! We collected them on our drive North from Edinburgh and met Robert personally, he was really friendly and passionate about his pies! If you’re doing a DIY wedding and the caterers have cleaned up and left by the time the dance floor is bouncing, they’re a great crowd pleaser and delicious."

"Baked by Mike made and delivered our beautiful wedding cake. We were impressed by his cake creations that we found on line and were pretty specific about what we wanted flavour, proportion and decoration wise… he just got it! And made exactly what we imagined. It was delicious, immaculate and really really cool."

"The local butchers in Aberfeldy, Macdonald Bros Buchery, provided all the meat and rolls for our Sunday recovery barbeque. They were really flexible and kept in contact with us in the weeks running up to the wedding. They delivered all the produce along with an enormous barbeque griller and gas on the Sunday morning and came to collect itand take it all away again. They made, what could have been a real hassle on our first day as Husband and Wife, completely stress free and a total success amongst our recovering guests. If you’re a carnivore you can’t really beat local butcher’s meat."

"We selected Rear View as our Wedding Band for a number of reasons… primarily because their playlist includes a huge amount of songs that we love and listen to regularly, but also because they allowed us to start the dance-off with a ceilidh, that they walked many of our foreign friends through with ease. We also had the pleasure of being guests at a wedding they had played at the year before, and the dance floor did not stop! Music is and was a really important part of the wedding for us and the dance floor was packed all night and that is because they are a tight band with great vocals and musicians. There are also not many bands that would learn both Perry Como and The Velvet Underground for a couple’s first dances!"

"I was brought up on Scottish folk music, so having Peerie, (the band name that my Dad, his closest friends, and occasionally my older sister play under), to entertain our friends and family at the barbeque was a real privilege. They played for hours, rehearsal unnecessary, without sheet music and with unquestionable enthusiasm! It set the perfect ambiance for a relaxing afternoon in a sunny Scottish glen, and having played a punk wedding the night previous, it was an amazing performance!"

"We used Gordon’s Cater Hire for all of the cookers, crockery, glass ware and fridges that we hired.  We did a LOT of research and were realistic about what we thought we might need in a rural setting. Even as non-events people, (together with Kirsty from The Travelling Tea Room) they made the whole hiring business extremely straightforward, efficient and with great service. If you are doing a DIY wedding and are in their delivery zone, use them if you can!"

"The hall is really just one room with a stage and a couple of rest rooms, so we had to offer the guests a dry place to go to between multiple hall transformations from wedding reception to dinner hall to dance floor. We also had to provide a space for the caterer to cook and prepare food for 100 people. We were lucky with the weather, but Scotland can be unpredictable so we rented a 12x9m traditional marquee for the drinks reception with grazing table (also by Kirsty at The Travelling Tea Room) and smaller catering marquee tucked behind the hall. Central Marquees provided these and Clarissa was great at communicating, understanding what we actually really wanted, and being on top of everything. The guys that set the marquee up were really professional, friendly, efficient, and most importantly, seemed to really enjoy their job!"

"A traditional marquee in a rural setting is a beautiful sight, but we also had to offer our guests some form of seating and tables for our drinks reception and grazing board spread. Virginias Vintage Hire Scotland provided us with a range of vintage tables, chairs and benches that were utilised for the barbeque too. They delivered and collected everything without any issues. The whole process was effortless. Had the hall not already owned tables and chairs for us to use during the wedding meal, we would have hired a lot more from Virginias Vintage Hire."

"If you are having a rural and remote wedding with guests travelling from all over the country and world, there is a good chance that there aren’t going to be many local taxis, if any at all, and the accommodation will be dotted all over the place.  Smith and Sons Coaches were really easy to work with and offered great flexibility ensuring we could offer our guests multiple collection and drop off points before and after the wedding."

"We decided pretty early on that we wanted our wedding photographs to be a natural record of the day without too many staged photos. We found John Elphinstone Stirling on line and instantly fell in love with his style of photography and tone of his photos. We met him a couple of weeks before the wedding for our pre-shoot and just hit it off straight away. John and his wife Emma were really friendly but also great at directing our guests and merging into the crowd. We couldn’t have asked for a better record of the day and received a huge amount of great feedback from our guests about the professionalism and friendliness of John and Emma. We and have recommended them to all newly engaged couples we have met to date!"

"Our close friend Mike Byrne is a professional photographer based in San Francisco, who made the epic journey to join us in celebrating our wedding day. We intentionally didn’t ask him to be our photographer, because primarily we wanted him to be our guest for the day, but after John and Emma left, Mike made a full photographic record of our evening reception (without our knowing). He sent us the photos while we were on our honeymoon. We just really wanted to make sure he was mentioned and understands how grateful we are for his efforts! If you ever have the necessity for a talented America based fashion photographer, contact Mike Byrne!"