julie + alan | glendronach distillery

Julie and Alan were married on 12th July 2014 after a year and a half of planning. They were married in Glendronach Distillery, near Huntly. Can't get much more Scottish than that! Big thanks to the fantastic Neil Thomas Douglas for his images of the day.

"Glendronach is managed by my husbands dad. It is not used as a wedding venue and we were the only ones to ever have a wedding there. We chose there because we wanted a wedding which was personal to us and something a little different. We really wanted make the wedding unique and having it at the distillery gave us this opportunity."

"I really enjoyed lots of the planning. I enjoyed picking my dress, choosing the cake, making invitations etc. However the planning of our wedding was really different as we had caterers to organise, marquee hire and decorating different venues on the distillery site. One favourite memory I have of the organising and planning process was the day before our wedding. We had fairy lights and bunting to hang, pom poms to make, barrels to paint and various little ‘bits’ to organise. It was a really hot day and everything was chaotic, however it was such a lovely atmosphere as our wedding party and families were all on site helping out. We had such a laugh and it was a great day leading up to the wedding."

"Alan was a good help. He helped make invitations; he helped choose caterers and organised lovely kilts. He was excellent on the day before the wedding in the decorating process and came up with some really creative ideas to make the wedding perfect. "

"We did travel to a lot of bridal shops in Glasgow and Edinburgh. We went to Anne Priscilla in Glasgow and they were having a trunk show of the latest Enzoani gowns. I spotted this particular dress and tried it on. When I put it on I basically looked for a fault (which I did with all dresses) and couldn’t find one. It had everything I was looking for. Nice detail but not too much, lace but with the silk panels (which I liked as it was a little different), fishtail and had a nice kick out at the bottom. It nice delicate straps and just generally had a lovely shape to it."

"We had a humanist ceremony which was just brilliant and so personal. We absolutely loved our ceremony and I can remember it really clearly and thought it was perfect."

"It’s very hard to choose just one favourite memory but I absolutely loved our ceremony. For a lot of people it might not be the favourite part and can be too long or too short but for me it was just perfect. The right amount of love and humour mixed in. It told our story and everybody laughed and cried throughout. I loved walking in and seeing Alan’s face for the first time, it was just perfect."

"I really wanted the wedding to be unique and personal so we made a lot/nearly everything ourselves. Our marquee was decorated using handmade vintage style bunting and fairy lights. For the table covers we used Hessian, we made our own jam for the girls favours and of course a mini Glendronach whisky for the boys. I had made flower jugs for the tables and had a selection of jam jars for candles and other random poses of flowers on the tables too. We had whisky bottles for our candle sticks and used whisky barrels for our cake stand. We used slate and chalk for our seating plan and also named our tables (distilleries Alans lived at) using slate hearts and chalk. All the slate shapes were made by my brother in law. Alan hand painted decorative barrels to sit outside the marquee also. In the ceremony venue we used a selection of hanging pom poms, candles and flower vases which we collected over the year from charity shops etc. We asked our guests to take a selfie at our venue too which added a fun touch to the traditional guest book signing. "

"I have two clear memories…. one was when I was making my way to the building we were getting married in and it was only my dad and bridesmaids left with me. We just had such a lovely walk down and lots of laughs and nearly tears (from me) were had. It’s a memory I will never forget. Both Alan and myself also think our clearest memory was walking into the marquee after the ceremony as Mr & Mrs for the first time. Seeing everyone cheering for us was great. We cut the cake for everyone before dinner and inside the cake was going to be pink or blue as I was 4 months pregnant so it was time for the big reveal. People were screaming and shouting when they finally found out it was PINK! It was a great feeling."

"Brides all say their day went too quickly and to save and remember each moment. I really feel like I did that and I can remember the day so clearly. It is probably down to the fact I was pregnant so couldn’t have too much to drink! However I would say -  work hard to get things the way you want it. We had an image in our mind before of what we wanted our wedding to be like and usually things are never as good as you want them however our wedding was exactly as we wanted and everything was perfect. Everything from the people, the relaxed atmosphere to the decorations were just right and it took a lot of prep and craft making to get it right!! Also I would strongly advise getting your ceremony filmed, we didn’t get this and thank goodness we have a hard copy to read. I would really love to watch it again however I have the memory of it which I will never forget."

STAR PLAYERS

Photographer - Neil Thomas Douglas

Flowers – Floral Finesse

Caterers – Rob from Broomhall Castle

Cake – Glamour Cakes

Band  - Muzo Matic

Humanist – Janet Donnelly

Marquee – Grant Tent Hire

Bridesmaids Dresses – Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo Boutique

Brides Gown – Anne Priscilla 

My Scottish Wedding Venue Search

So as I was writing my last post on your wedding venue search, I got thinking about my own venue search and whether I would do anything differently if I was planning my wedding again... so I'm going to write as if I am, and choose a new venue! Obviously I really wouldn't change my actual wedding venue, the fabulous Boturich Castle at Loch Lomond, but for the purpose of the feature the rule is that I must, so here I will go through the venues that I would seriously consider, their pros and cons, and which one would I would eventually choose. This is actually quite exciting for me to think about planning another wedding... (no opinions on how sad you think I am thank you!)

I have to follow my own tips from my last post so first of all, the guest list. If there is one thing I would change about my wedding I would invite less people, please don't take offence guests! But we had just a few too many guests (135 all day, no evening) and looking back I think I would be a bit more ruthless when compiling the list, so lets say this time that we're looking at 110 guests, split into day and evening depending on the venue. In terms of budget, I'm going to choose venues with varying price points here...

So now I know the numbers here's the venues I would consider based...

1. Pollok House - admittedly I am a traditionalist at heart and Pollok House was slightly too small for our numbers before, now I can fit every one in (capacity 120) I would definitely reconsider as Pollok Park is somewhere I have spent a lot of time in (training for and running numerous 10ks, half marathons and a marathon), it's very close to home and is in a part of Glasgow I know very well. Pollok Park is one of the most beautiful parks and the house has the most fantastic grounds and photo opportunities without being too far out of the city for guests to book accommodation. It's a National Trust property and very grand inside and although it is not the blank canvas that is in fashion at the moment I feel I would look back on some timeless photographs of my wedding day here.

Chantal Lachance-Gibson Photography

2. The Byre at Inchyra - initially I thought the Byre was too far out, but having travelled there last year to see the refurbishment (check out the post here) I found it was amazingly easy to get too (just five minutes off the motorway). It's between Perth and Dundee so again accommodation for guests wouldn't be too difficult and I have a connection to Dundee as it's where my husband and I met at university! When I first visited the Byre it reminded me very much of Boturich in terms of layout and space, the Byre itself is such an amazing space and you can create the exact look you want for your wedding. The grounds are stunning and if you are lucky enough to get the weather, you and your guests would have the most fabulous time outside.

Rooftop Mosaic

3. St Andrews on the Square - a wee bit of a wild card here because I'm not sure a city centre wedding would be for me but I have seen a lot of amazing weddings from here recently so it's made the list! The space is huge and fantastic and when you look up at the ceiling it has such a wow factor! I think it was this wedding photographed by Mirrorbox Photography that made me fall in love with this venue... (if I could also have the brides stunning red hair too that would be great!)

4. Dalduff Farm - of course there had to be a farm venue in here! This style of venue again is a little bit of a wild card for me but I feel that the farm/barn wedding is the up to date equivalent of a marquee in terms of it being a blank canvas in which you can create your dream wedding vision! I think Dalduff is somewhere we may not have heard a lot about yet but I'm sure is going to be extremely popular this year (they are fully booked for 2015) so it would be on my list as I think I could have quite a unique wedding here. Check out a gallery of wedding photos from Dalduff by Jeny Turner Photographyhere. The advantage of a venue like here and Boturich is the flexibility when it comes to catering (a choice of caterers or a wide range of menus) and alcohol (bring your own and pay corkage, hire a mobile bar etc). All these things can really help your budget.

5. Boturich Castle - so I still have to put in the venue we actually chose as today it would still very much be considered! I have such a love for Loch Lomond and it's amazing scenery. To get married in Scotland and not consider a Loch Lomond venue I feel would be a crime! Boturich Castle is a venue with a huge amount of flexibility and the best views across the Loch!

Rooftop Mosaic

And so, where would I choose to get married if I was doing it again and HAD to choose a different venue...?! Drum roll please... I would choose Pollok House. Here are my main reasons why...

1. Location - it's centrally located in the South side of Glasgow (where I call home), Pollok Park is somewhere I know really well and I would feel that my heart was really in this venue. I don't think as many people consider the connection to their home town when picking their wedding venue these days, I just feel it's really nice to feel you know the area you are getting married in.

2. I'm traditional - I have to admit it, I am a traditionalist at heart, and although I LOVE to look at and write about everyones fabulous barn weddings with crazy twists like unicorns and bridesmaids wearing Converses, for me and my own wedding it was very much about being timeless and Pollok House ticks the box in that respect.

Boturich Castle really was the best of both worlds as it is a Scottish castle on Loch Lomond, but the marquee provided me with that creative licence I needed to make a bit of a splash! I designed my own stationery and had a lot of input into my table settings and flowers, which really set the tone for our wedding. I wouldn't change it for the world!

The Lowdown on Choosing your Wedding Venue

I get lots of e-mails from newly engaged brides (and grooms) quite simply freaking out about choosing their wedding venue. Usually they have had a weekend of non-stop viewing driving all over the country and are feeling a tad overwhelmed! I remember that feeling well and I am here to tell you, don't panic! Choosing your venue is sort of like buying a house, you will know when it's the one. Here's a few tips on how to ENJOY your venue search for your Scottish wedding, and remember and check out my post featuring some unique wedding venues here.

1. Pin down your numbers

Don't waste a ton of time viewing places that are most likely too small (and by too small I mean take 20 people off of what they tell you is the maximum capacity, you don't want to be crammed in like sardines!).  So get that guest list done and have a rough idea of numbers for day and evening. If you have over 100 guests for dinner you can discount a lot of places already so that will narrow your search.

2. Don't assume (it makes an ass out of you and me)

You might look at a not too hot website and cross the venue off your list straight away, DON'T. You might be adamant you don't want to hold your wedding in a marquee, or be sure you want to get married on the West Coast. I wasn't feeling a marquee and guess what, our venue was pretty much just a marquee. Also remember there are a ton of creative options now (hiring in tipis etc) so even if you're thinking it doesn't quite tick all the boxes, view it, you might be surprised.

3. Be prepared to compromise (it's really not that bad)

In the grand scheme of things, getting married is the main thing here isn't it? Being husband and wife is the goal. Remember that. Okay, so you can't have a fireworks display in that particular venue, it's twenty minutes further East than you'd like, or it doesn't have accommodation... doesn't matter. Trust me, on the day, all these things you thought you wanted pale into comparison as you marry the love of your life (pass the sick bucket, it's true!). Here is an example, on the day I got married, as I stepped out the wedding car my dress must have brushed against the underside of the car and from the get go I have a 30 inch black oil mark along the skirt of my dress. Okay, so I didn't notice until AFTER the ceremony, but after the initial shock, it was fine, and actually hardly anyone noticed. We actually got married that day... bigger deal. It's slightly different as I didn't really have a choice there, but you get what I'm trying to say.

4. Don't rush

Surely this goes without saying but I have heard of people visiting ten venues in one weekend and then wondering why they can't choose! It'll all be a blur. I'd say max of three in a weekend, if you've followed the above tips, three will be enough and you will get there quickly!

5. Hire a wedding planner (?!)

This is more of a question than a tip, would you hire a wedding planner? I think weddings are becoming so much more creative and logistically can be quite complicated and if that wasn't my forte, I'd be hiring someone to make sure it all ran smoothly! Is that something you would consider? I'd love to know! 

Lastly, check out some of my favourite venues that I think we will see some stunning weddings from this year!

The Byre at Inchyra (check out my visit to The Byre here)

St Andrews on the Square

Jupiter Artland (Check out Joanne & Gareth's wedding here)

Killearn Village Hall

The Cart Shed at Aikwood Tower

WEST Brewery

Dalduff Farm

The Recital Rooms

Kirknewton Stables

Have fun!

 

lorraine + chris | lothian chambers

Lorraine & Chris were married on 6th September 2014 at Lothian Chambers, Royal Mile and had their reception at the Marriott in Edinburgh. They were planning their wedding for 18 months. Big thanks to Ali Cleary Photography for sharing the images!

Lorraine gets her hair and make up done above by the fab Amy and Kirsty from Made Over Ladies.

"We picked Lothian Chambers because it had the historic charm and simplicity of a civil wedding. Also an opportunity to get some lovely photos around the old town! Marriott had a great space inside that ticked all the boxes. It also had a perfect outdoor space for the drink reception. The biggest reason for picking the Marriott was because we felt the staff was so professional and that we were in safe hands with the amazing event planner."

"Chris said soon after proposing that he’s happy for me to plan most of it which I was happy to do that as I’m quite creative with lots of ideas and like being organised! He selected the music and suggested the song for our first dance. He was always included on major decisions such as the venue, photographer, menu and invitations among other things."

"I’m not a particularly fussy person when it comes to dresses as I don’t normally wear them. I didn’t have much of an idea what I would like but knew what suited my body type. I didn’t want to spend weeks looking for my dress so after a lot of research online I shortlisted three shops and made appointments for each. After trying on a selection I had one in my mind that I went back to try on the following day. I think when that happens you know you’ve found the one! I got my dress from Gwennes of Broxburn and it was by Justin Alexander, a lovely vintage looking lace bodice with a tulle full skirt and a dropped waist and gorgeous peep hole back detail. It really flattered me and had a slight vintage/romantic look to it which I loved."

"Of course the ceremony was special for us but I also wanted my guests to have a good time so really enjoyed the photo booth we organised. It was so much fun! All of our guests seemed to really enjoy it and we were able to incorporate it into a guest book with photos and messages which we could look through the next day. Trying to change props in between photos and larking around with guests was such a laugh and really gave evening guests the opportunity to get involved. I’m so glad we decided to do it. The photos make me smile every time I look at them."

"I really enjoyed planning the food and in particular designing and baking my own wedding cake and dessert table. It really impressed my guests on the day."

"My favourite detail had to be the dessert table as it was something in my head that really came together on the day. All the guests were so impressed, even the Marriott staff said they hadn’t seen anything like it. I spent hours practicing and designing details of my three tier fruit cake including about fifteen handmade sugar roses for the top and hand painted portraits of us from our invites on the top tier. Not only that but I also spent days leading up the big day baking over one hundred different flavoured meringues to create a colourful tower! It was great to give some local bakers an opportunity to showcase their delights. We had macarons from Mademoiselle Macaron, gluten free chocolate cupcakes and a giant red velvet cupcake from Caledonian Cupcakes and the most amazing rainbow sponge buttercream cat cake from 3D Cakes. We have a pet black cat called Haku so it felt right to incorporate her into the day somehow. None of the guests knew about it so it was a lovely surprise."

"The first dance is my most vivid memory. I know it can be pretty daunting and I’m definitely no dancer because I remember trying to decide if we should try and dance a little or just shuffle around the floor. We opted for a safe shuffle but the music was so romantic and the words fitted the occasion so well that I couldn’t help but get a bit emotional. No one else in the room existed for those 2-3 minutes. My husband joked that I was only crying because I had just cut my beautiful cake!"

"Try not to sweat the small details as you’ll probably be the only one who notices and give yourself plenty of time to do anything homemade. Chances are you will underestimate how long it takes, particularly if you’re doing it alone. Don’t get too carried away of you could end up with a house full of random stuff to clear out afterwards."

"Pinterest is a gold mine for ideas on everything wedding related and you can source some really personal gifts for your bridal party from sites such as Etsy."

Thanks again to Ali Cleary Photography for sharing the images of Lorraine & Chris' day! You can catch Ali on Facebook too.