charlene + scott | cameron house

Charlene and Scott were married last year on 21st December at Cameron House. After getting engaged on 1st December 2013 in the gardens at the Palace of Versailles, they were planning for just over a year. Huge thanks to the lovely Julie from Juliebee for sharing her images of their day. You can catch Julie on her new website, Facebook or Instagram.

"We knew we wanted a winter wedding so we started looking at venues in January. The day we went to see Cameron House, it was grey, windy and rainy and as soon as we stepped into the hotel we felt cosy, comfortable and relaxed and that’s how we wanted our guests to feel on the day. The setting right on the Loch also swung it for us!"

"I enjoyed most of the planning – because we had a year, I never felt particularly stressed. We went with a snowy grey theme so I enjoyed putting all the details together to tie in with this. I made our invitations, centre pieces, order of ceremony and was really pleased with how they turned out. I’m pretty organised so I really enjoyed this time!"

"Scott was very involved – apart from the dress selection, he was involved with all of the decisions. His main task was the music – he created the playlists for the ceremony, drinks receptions and background music for the meal. After a brief panic with iTunes and a visit to the Genius Bar, he did an amazing job! On the morning of the wedding, he was on it ensuring that everything was set up exactly as I wanted it – the wedding planner at the hotel came and told me how organised and efficient he was!"

"Finding my dress was actually remarkably easy. At first I thought I wanted a tea length dress as I’m quite small so we went to a couple of bridal shops in Glasgow City Centre and tried some on. I then had an appointment at Aimee Bridal in Dumbarton and whilst there decided to try on a proper big wedding dress – when I came out of the fitting room and my mum cried, I knew that was THE dress. It was a strapless dress, in at the waist and then a full skirt with some lace detail. I also went for a lace bolero for the top so that I could change the look for the evening reception."

"We decided to go for a Humanist ceremony as neither of us are religious but we wanted something that would reflect both our personalities. With the help of our celebrant, we wrote the whole ceremony and vows and my brother and our good friend did some lovely readings for us. It was very us and I’m glad we decided to go for it."

"We loved the ceremony as it was so personal and standing up at the front saying our vows, we were in our own little bubble. Afterwards we had some time together while Julie did our ‘couple’ shots and that was really nice too. Scott particularly liked the speeches as he could see everyone in the room, smiling and laughing and it was all the people that are special and dear to us. I also loved the point in the dancing where Bahookie worked their magic and went from a traditional Gay Gordon’s into The Prodigy and the reaction from everyone was brilliant. Very hard to pick a favourite part!"

"I loved all the little details. Our favours for the ladies were Christmas decorations with Mr and Mrs Webster and the date on them. My mum and aunty made lovely little grey bags to put them in. The men had fudge and the children had little gingerbread men – I also got them colouring in placemats which kept them busy during the speeches. Our guest book was a message in a bottle – since Scott is in the shipping industry we thought it was kind of keeping with the theme. It was also great fun opening and reading all the lovely messages! I bought an American style mailbox with our initials on it and used this as the card box – now just need to find a spot for it at home. Our centre pieces were all made by us – sprayed Christmas wreathes silver and had silver lanterns with pillar candles inside and some pine cones. I think the Christmas theme helped a lot."

"Walking into the ceremony and seeing Scott and just being so pleased to hold his hand as we hadn’t seen each other since the night before is my clearest memory."

"Remember to take 5 minutes to yourselves during the big day just to take it all in as it does go by in a flash!"

STAR PLAYERS

Venue: Cameron House Hotel

Band: Bahookie

Florist: The Flower Shop (formerly Flowers by Sarah Jane)

Bride's dress: Aimee Bridal

Bridesmaid Dresses: Gowns and Crowns

Kilt Suppliers: MacGregor and MacDuff

Hair & Make-Up: One’s Own Kind

Bridal Hair Piece and Bracelet: Corrine Smith

Female Wedding Favours: Shindigg

Male Wedding Favours: Sixpenny Blue

Photographer: Juliebee

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.

michelle + andrew | orocco pier

South Queensferry is a place that I think is very underestimated, it is gorgeous, still really central, and Orocco Pier is a fab venue with amazing views! Michelle and Andrew were married there on 22nd September 2013. "My husband Andrew and I love Orocco Pier and enjoy spending our time off together having breakfast or dinner and just relaxing watching the world go by. The views are breathtaking and it's a lovely chilled out venue. We decided this venue was perfect for our wedding and it was a special place where we had spent some good times just the two of us."

Michelle and Andrew were only planning their wedding for 6 months. "My favourite part was seeing all our plans coming together on the big day and all our loved ones having a great time. I loved that it incorporated a lot of personal touches and that it was unique to us. Everything we had chosen just seemed to go together."

"I always knew I wanted a vintage 1950s ballerina length dress like my grandmother's. I first saw my wedding dress advertised in the Scottish Wedding Directory and funnily enough in the article it was Stephanie from Gwennes Bridal shop in Broxburn where I purchased my dress who was describing it as one of her favourite dresses."

"My dress was by Justin Alexander. It has beaded lace and a sabrina neckline, with a ribbon belt in coffee. It was the second dress I tried on and I knew it was perfect. As soon as I tried it on it made me feel elegant and classy and made my mum cry!! It was exactly what I had been looking for. The bridesmaid and flower girls dresses were from BHS and were a champagne colour in a shorter length and were chosen as they complemented my dress."

"We had a civil ceremony which was conducted by Andrew's brother Steven. Steven is a registrar who kindly got permission to perform our ceremony for us. This was a lovely personal touch and meant a lot to Andrew and I."

"To be honest I loved everything about our wedding day and would struggle to pick my favourite part. From the lovely Amy and Kirsty from Made Over Ladies doing our make up and hair in my parents' house in the morning, to seeing my Dad's face as he saw me for the first time in wedding dress, the pride clear on his face. The sun even shone for us! My god daughter, her sister and our nephew Adam were a huge part our day along with our best friends who were all included in our bridal party. This was important to us and ensured everyone who meant something to us was in involved in our day.

Our photographer Karl Double is a family friend who had previously captured both our brothers' weddings and this put us at ease on the day and we were really happy with our pictures."

"We decorated the reception room with the beach in mind. We had shells scattered on all the tables, lanterns lined the aisle and I had a bouquet of orchids and shells from Butterflies Florist. My god daughter carried the rings into our ceremony in a decorated scallop shell and our beautiful cake by Gulshens Cake Creations was also decorated with shells. We had champagne covered chair covers with silver brooches from Beautifully Covered and fish bowls with cream hydrangeas our table centre pieces. Even our invitations were personally designed with shells.

My mother in law Winnie kindly made truffles for the ladies favours which we had put in little gold chests. The male guests recieved bottles of whiskey, a nod to our scottish heritage. Both of these favours were decorated with personalised ribbon. All our adult guests received a pin from Cancer Research UK as a way to remember Andrew's Dad and my Gran who sadly could not be present on our special day."

"To top off the day I had arranged a surprise firework display from 21cc Fireworks for Andrew and all the guests which was the best thing I have ever done. They were set off from the beach in front of the Forth road and rail bridges which was breathtaking on a beautifully still warm evening. The look on his face was priceless and it's something we will never forget.

We also hired gas flame torches from 21cc fireworks which lined the balcony outside. Another personal touch from orocco pier was the gobo disk which shown on the wall after the ceremony 'Mr and Mrs Arthur 22/9/13' and later shown on the beach at night."

"I loved putting all these things together. We arranged our wedding in such a short time, marrying 6 months after we got engaged, so the comments we received about the personal touches we included in our wedding made it all worth while. Andrew and I had such a great day and all our guests had too."

"I am clumsy and in true Michelle style when walking down the aisle for my big moment I knocked down one of the candle lanterns nearly setting myself on fire! All our guests erupted in laughter and to be honest it only added another personal touch to the day! It made the day more memorable!"

And Michelle's advice. . ."Follow your heart and make your day as personal and unique as you like. The most memorable weddings I have ever been to are the ones that are a bit different and personal. Our ceremony was intimate with only 48 day guests and I always think less is more when it comes to the bride's overall look.

Make sure it's the most memorable, fun day of your life. Ours was and we loved every minute of it."

Thank you to Karl Double Photography for sharing the images of Michelle & Andrew's fab day!

clare + chris | the botanics

Clare and Chris have given me such amazing input on their wedding day which was on 1st September 2013 at The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh. Their fabulous woodland wedding is just perfect to lead up to the Freens & Needburs woodland styled shoot next week, EEEKK exciting! Thank you so much to Phil at PSD Photography for his brilliant images of their day.

Chris and Clare are actually both from Yorkshire, but fell in love with Edinburgh a long time ago and for years planned to move there. "Chris moved 3 years before I did, so we spent years travelling the East Coast trainline between our two homes at the time, until I finally found the right job to move up permanently. And the rest as they say is history. Having our wedding in Edinburgh, the home we have made together meant a lot to us."

"When we were looking for a venue, we knew we wanted an outdoor ceremony, something a little more relaxed and earthy than a hotel. After looking back down south in Yorkshire, we realised what a great opportunity Scotland posed, to be married outdoors, and with a Humanist service, something we both found resonance with, and yet isn’t possible south of the border."

"Having lived in Edinburgh for a few years, near the Botanic Gardens, we often walked through the Gardens with family and friends who came to stay, sunbathing on the lawns the few hot days of Scottish Summer we get. And when we visited to see where you get married, under such beautiful tall redwood trees, it just felt very natural and relaxed in the way everyone simply gathers around you- authentic, and most of all, it just felt very US!"

"The Caledonian hall was perfect, a beautiful clean, unpretentious setting for the celebrations, and importantly, being so close to town, there was a raft of accommodation and activities for the majority of friends and family who were travelling to Scotland to celebrate with us."

"We had a brilliant get together in the Granary Bar down in Leith on the Saturday night, where we were able to take over the mezzanine floor. And the morning after on the Monday, a fantastic Brunch at the Scottish Café and Restaurant at the National Galleries, just what folk needed with a few sore heads. The weekend of plans meant we spent actually quite a bit of time with all our guests, which as every bride and groom knows, on the actual wedding day, its so difficult to get round and spend time with all your important guests."

Clare & Chris were planning their wedding for just under a year, "We got engaged on the 4th September 2012 on a beautiful beach on the West Coast of Scotland, not far from Applecross, looking out over to Skye and the Coolings. We never wanted a long engagement, so got cracking with the plans pretty much straight away, although I can’t imagine getting it all done in less than the time we had!"

Clare & Chris loved the planning process, "We loved meeting with our florists, Gemma at Planet Flowers, who was amazing at interpreting our suggestions and making them come true!"

"We loved the day we spent with Phil Dickson on our pre shoot. We weren’t keen on this to begin with, not sure it was necessary or a little vain, but are so chuffed we did it. We went to Gullane and walked along the cliff front to a very quiet part of the beach and just messed around. We got to know Phil really well, and had a lovely relaxed day, got used to a camera being around us and in the end got some really lovely shots of us on a happy day together."

Clare's groom was super involved in the planning process, "Chris was fantastic. We have very similar tastes to each other, very rarely disagreeing so choices were fairly easy for us, and Chris being quite arty as well, he was keen to be involved in all the craft elements."

"Chris has always said that his alternative profession would be a carpenter, after spending years with his Granddad in his garage building things with wood. Unfortunately his Grandad isn’t with us any longer, but thankfully, my father was originally a carpenter, so throughout the wedding planning stages we made use of this! "

"We wanted to make our guests favours that they could keep and remind them of our wedding, so my Dad and Chris got making over 80 wooden candle holders out of reclaimed wood. Each was hand sawn, a hole for tea lights drilled out, sanded, polished and engraved with a pyropen with our initials and the date of our wedding. It was a serious labour of love, but they went down a storm. We also wanted a living table plan in theme with the garden and found a great idea online to recreate, so my Dad and Chris got busy again making some beautiful steps from Oak wood, painting flower pots and lolly pop sticks and created a truly beautiful table plan that was full of amazing smelling lavender."

"It was a fabulous way to get our parents involved in all the preparation for the wedding, with blood (Chris was nearly knocked out at one point in a small accident in the garage with a flying piece of wood), sweat and frustrated tears at times, that went into these elements."

I've included SEVERAL photos of Clare's dress in this post, as it was just amazing! "You have a picture of the reaction you will have when you finally try on “the” dress, and my response, along with my sister Leigh and Mum’s certainly wasn’t quite what I had thought it would be- instead of the gushing tears, or words of joy, it simply made us silent, shocked by suddenly having found the right dress! The fifth shop in 2 days, so it was a very full on weekend, Mum coming from Yorkshire and my sister from London, we needed to get a lot in within the short space of time."

"After too many cocktails the night before in a new bar in Stockbridge, we weren’t probably on as good a form as the previous day. The only reason we went to the shop, Pretty Women on London Road in Edinburgh was to see one designer who I seemed to like more than most whilst browsing online, Justin Alexander. "

"Nothing had particularly clicked with any of the 40 or so dresses on the Saturday, and I didn’t think this was “the’ dress when it was taken from the rail, but when I put it on it was like there was no other dress in the world that would be right other than this one. "

"Justin Alexander is described as vintage with a modern twist, and I couldn’t agree more. A lot of the lace dresses I had seen were a little too old in style, whilst design 9700 had the elegance of the lace, yet a modern twist with the beading on the waist, giving it that younger, modern feel; exactly what I had been looking for, just not known how to describe it."

"There were three layers to the dress, satin, then fine detailed lace with a silver hint to it and finally a heavy lace layer, with a large pattern of leaves, perfect for our wedding under the trees! With the huge train it was amazing to wear and felt very special, like “the” dress should. I opted to customize it ever so slightly, Pretty Women got some more lace from the designer and made beautiful straps that I wore during the day and then took off in the evening to make a different style of dress, strapless for the evening.  The back of the dress had buttons all the way down to the very end of the train, something I had always wanted and was probably my favourite part of the dress and it had the beautiful bead detail around the waist which gave the whole style that younger feel."

"Having short hair and not wanting a traditional veil, I looked into alternatives. I found some birdcage veils on line but nothing was quite right, so I approached Rene Walrus in Old Town of Edinburgh and met to speak with her about something to match my dress. The result was more than perfect, given the crazy gale force winds on our wedding day in the end, its just as well I wasn’t wearing a long sweeping veil. Rene Walrus with a piece of the top lace from my dress, was able to match the beading design of the waist from my dress and make a beautiful beaded hair band, along with a beautiful birdcage veil that matched my hair and fringe line perfectly. I love the fact that I was able to take an idea and see it transformed into life, something I had never done before with clothing or accessories!"

"We had a humanist ceremony. We were blown away by the flexibility this gave us and how similar in our minds this approach was to how we felt about life. "

"Ken McMillan was our celebrant. When searching through the people who can marry you on the Humanist website, we felt Ken made a whole lot of sense, “humanists are guided by reason, inspired by compassion and informed by experience’, logical, sensible and true!"

Clare has so many great memories from the day "For me personally, I loved the speeches, they were funny, emotional… it's odd how you can go from laughing to crying within a split second, I suppose it showed how good they were."

Clare & Chris' amazing cheese cake was by Wensleydale Creamery.

"I also loved our band and dancing with all our guests, just a big old celebration and party with everyone. We hired The Magic Keys and they were fantastic, everyone commented on such a good performance, let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than a terrible wedding band."

"But mainly, it was the whole weekend, how well our idea came together, from seeing our family and friends from the Saturday night until the very last guest left our Monday morning brunch. There are too many moments to pick my favourite part."

"In keeping with the venue, we also wanted some natural styling to the inside of the venue as well, and made all our own hessian table runners and hessian bows for the chair covers. We had brilliant flowers by Planet Flowers in Edinburgh, half the tables had huge lime tree branches and the other half block green flowers in tiered vases, The hessian alongside our amazing trees as table decorations really brought the outside in!"

"Our whole theme was very much centered around the garden and the grove. Its difficult not to when you have such a beautiful venue to simply pick elements that fit with it, so all our invites, order of service and website were designed  and created by us in keeping with our wedding venue…”under a tree in a beautiful garden”. Chris and I learnt how to use Illustrator and I now know how to use WordPress after Chris designed our website and I completed the copy for it. You can see the website here www.wedding.cdean.co.uk." This is some serious effort, Clare & Chris's website has all the information you could possibly need about their wedding!

"We’re very proud of these elements that took us the extra time, and were very pleased with the result, many of our guests commented about how personalised the wedding felt."

The day didn't all go smoothly, but the important thing is to remember those stressy moments fondly, "Probably the moment I realised I had forgotten my bouquet of flowers half way to the Botanic Gardens. Panic! My Dad couldn’t believe me, but stayed calm and thankfully we weren’t too late after rushing back and my dad heading back to get it for me! It was the only real blooper for the day and certainly made my Dad and I laugh on our way to the ceremony and in a way, kept the nerves at bay! A moment between the two of us I’ll always remember very fondly."

And finally, Clare's advise to all your future brides would be, "Don’t be afraid to go with something a bit different, whether it be your hair piece, the opposite of what the experts are telling you or challenging yourself to be more creative than you normally are or think you can be! Secondly, if you get the chance of a photography pre shoot… DO IT! You’ll feel more comfortable on the day and get better shots because if it."

Clare & Chris' had a few favourite photos taken by Phil, "There are some very unique ones, like Chris and I stood up the tree, I think its shows our playful side. I particularly love the shot of my dress from behind when I’m stood on the tree as well, showing all the beautiful buttons, right down to the bottom of my train. And also the ones under the tress and amongst the Garden.

Phil got a beautiful shot showing the height of the tress in the grove where we held our ceremony, a truly stunning setting, and with all the guests below, it really highlights the scale."

You can catch Philip on his website, as well as Facebook and Twitter too.