WWW readers Donna and Kyle gave themselves the epic task of planning a wedding and moving to Australia the week after. Cue a lot of organisation and support from their loved ones.
They chose to marry on the 13th July 2013 at Cormiston Farm, Biggar, Scotland. Donna and Kyle wanted their wedding to be individual and to reflect their artistic and crafty personalities.
Donna looked incredible in her Joyce Young dress with Flo & Percy hair band and perfectly wavy hair. While Kyle donned a three piece suit by Reiss with print tie and tan shoes. Ahh how I adore their wedding day.
Thanks so much to the fabulous Mirrorbox Photography for sharing their photography with us today.
The Proposal… The proposal was supposed to be delayed for a year… Kyle and I started looking at engagements rings summer 2011, I knew exactly what I wanted until Kyle pointed out something completely different in the first jewellers we visited. It was a beautiful round cut, solitaire and I fell in love instantly. My excitement was short lived when the sales consultant realised that the ring was priced wrong and it was actually double the budget Kyle had in mind. After unsuccessful negotiations (and being brought up to speed with trading standards rules) all hopes were quashed. The search continued for another few months but nothing compared and sadly we both decided that we should postpone getting engaged until the following year so all thoughts/memories of ‘the ring’ were gone or at least faded.
We had a big trip to Australia planned in September 2011 to visit family and there were suggestions from everyone that Kyle would pop the question. I was absolutely convinced any proposal had been postponed. Kyle’s so careful with money and NEVER strays from budgets or plans so much so, I call him Captain Sensible. We arrived in Sydney and Kyle quickly told my family that he planned to propose. We climbed Sydney harbour bridge and I failed to notice that we were allowed to hang about the top just ourselves for quite a bit as our climbing group and instructor had all been informed by my family that a proposal could take place. It didn’t as Kyle had decided it wasn’t quite right.
We visited a few places in Oz but fell in love with a place called Adel’s Grove. It was a little oasis in the middle of the outback, beautifully picturesque and peaceful. Kyle asked a million time if I had ever seen anywhere nicer and looked pleased that I hadn’t. The proposal came on 13th September after Kyle got me out of bed early for a swim. I thought something was odd when he hid behind a tree to change into his swimming shorts – we were in the outback and there was no one about apart from us!! Kyle came out from behind the tree wearing some new clothes. I remembered him trying them on in Glasgow and joking that he looked good enough to marry – I got butteries straight away! Kyle then got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife with…. ‘THE RING’! We were sat next to some water and an old fruit tree with the leaves falling around us. It couldn’t have been more romantic or perfect!
The Vision for the Day… At the beginning things didn’t really seem to come together – Kyle wanted to go away and get married somewhere with no guests, I wanted friends and family to be there and no venue appealed. When we sat down to think about what mattered, we both knew we wanted things to be individual (Kyle’s quite artistic and I love the homemade touch), relaxed and fun (we were thinking big summer garden party and nothing too uniform), decorations to be a mix of old and new (we love rummaging to find vintage items) and have lots of amazing food (we wanted a big hog roast). We didn’t want anything looking rigid or unnatural so we decided rustic and vintage had to be our theme.
The Planning Process… Was STRESSFUL! We weren’t only planning our wedding, we were planning to emigrate to Australia one week following it so we sold our home, moved to rented accommodation, moved in with parents, quit work, sold our worldly possessions, got married and moved to Oz in an 18 month time frame. We questioned our choices and sanity throughout! As we were planning to move to the other side of the world we wanted to save as much money as possible so unfortunately there was no wedding planner on hand to help out.
Budget… As we were moving to Australia costs were an issue. We also wanted to backpack for a couple of months as a ‘backneymoon’ whilst en route to Oz. We ended up spending double our budget on the wedding… bit of a theme here… but we couldn’t have been happier with our results. Thankfully we had lots of help especially from our families. We think overall costs were some where in the region of £35,000 for everything inc travel after the wedding.
The Venue… We found the venue by accident… Our initial visit to Cormiston Farm was unplanned and on the way back from visiting a wedding venue at the Scottish borders. Originally we were thinking about having Highland tipi’s and I had been in email contact with Richard Phillips (Farmer) about hiring the farm house and field’s. We were worried the figures wouldn’t work out but we decided the farm was worth a visit and managed to catch Richard to chat face to face. During our visit we found out that Richard was converting the farm’s barn and he agreed to show us it. It was a cold winter’s day, no work had started on the barn (it was still divided for when animals had use of it), there were no floors and gaps in the roof; however, we knew immediately it was perfect! Richard talked us through what he hoped to achieve and we started to get very excited about how we could decorate the farm for our big day. Luckily the barn was due to be finished just before our wedding date and the costs worked out. Richard’s passion and enthusiasm left us with no doubt that our day would be perfect at the farm and in his hands. We felt very lucky that we had found the perfect venue and the prices worked within our budget.
The Dress + Accessories… Dress: Joyce Young (Glasgow, London). Shoes: Rachel Simpson. I originally bought Jimmy Choo’s but decided against them in the end as the 4” heel didn’t work on the farm. Someone on ebay got an amazing deal whilst I worried about having no shoes as my size 4 Rachel Simpson shoes went missing. They only got delivered the Wednesday before my wedding (despite a June delivery date).
Headband: Flo & Percy. I fell in love with this headband after seeing it by chance in an old magazine at work. Someone from girl group The Saturday’s had worn the piece when she got married and she was featured in the magazine with it on. I couldn’t believe my luck that Flo and Percy had a stockist in Glasgow!
Finding the Dress… My husband and I have a saying that nothing in this world worth having comes easy (he mentioned this in his speech at the wedding) and this was definitely the case for my dress :) I must have tried on a million dresses and was shocked at how difficult it was to find designs that weren’t strapless. My dress was dress number 3! At first I decided I wanted a vintage dress re-worked and found a designer in my hometown, Glasgow to do this; however, despite paying a deposit and visiting the shop 4 or 5 times to try on the dress with materials pinned against it I wasn’t completely convinced that it would have the WOW factor. When I actively started visiting bridal shops again I knew it wasn’t ‘the one’. Luckily for me I think fate intervened, I got an email from Joyce Young about a special event they were having and made loose plans with my best friend and maid of honour to visit. Our visit all depended on whether her sky repair man visited her early enough and she had time to go… Luckily he did and we made the event! Thanks Sky repair man :) It didn’t take me long to find 2 dresses that I loved – I came across Joyce Young at a wedding fair in 2011 and had always really liked her designs. I was just heading to try them on when my maid of honour pointed out my dress. I know its cliché but i knew it was ‘the one’ before even trying it on! It was perfect, I was just back from Paris after celebrating my 30th birthday, loving everything French, French music was playing in the shop and I spoke with the designer, Joyce and her husband who just happened to be French! My dress was couture and the material was French crepe and I just knew it was all meant to be!! I had initially been worried about costs for Joyce Young’s range but as it was a special event I got a fabulous price and purchased the dress there and then. I felt very lucky and that I just happened to be in the right place at the right time – a bit like discovering our venue!
Oh, I forgot to mention dress number 2. It was a vintage dress my Nana had bought for me. She had seen it in a local charity shop, thought it was beautiful and thought I would love it… Bless! It would have been a fab story if I had but unfortunately it wasn’t quite right. My hubby likes to joke about me having 3 wedding dresses but surely I cant be held responsible for that one? :)
Groom’s Attire… We thought about traditional Scottish kilts but Kyle’s 6’2” slim build didn’t really match the look. We also thought a 3 piece suit would be more in keeping with our vintage themed day and loved the idea of the groom and best man having vintage pocket watches – something they could keep as a reminder of the day. We enjoyed visiting antique shops in Glasgow and Edinburgh and were able to source 2 sterling silver Hunter style pocket watches both over 100 years old. Kyle’s brother best man, Jay loved his gift. Kyle’s suit was from Reiss and we loved it’s sharp tailoring! We initially thought about Kyle being in Grey and the blue was only tried on for size as the store didn’t stock the colour Kyle liked. The colour was airforce blue and we LOVED it!! The more we both thought about it the happier we were that Kyle would really stand out from the best man and ushers. Kyle’s shirt and shoes were also Reiss. We had the ties made in Liberty of London style material. The best man and ushers suits were hired from Moss Brother’s.
The Readings + Music… We had two readings, one during our ceremony and one before cutting the cake. As my mum was giving me away we wanted my dad to have another special part in the proceedings. We had a humanist ceremony as we’re both not religious and my dad read an edited version of Dr Seuss, ‘Oh the places we’ll go’ in the middle of our vows. We thought it was very fitting as it was the first book my Dad had bought me and it was linked with the fact that we were not only starting a new chapter with our marriage we would be ‘up and away’ to live Australia.
The second reading called ‘A pound of Love’ was read by my close friend, Cath. I couldn’t have asked a better person to do it, not only is she very special to us she read it beautifully with bags load of charisma! The poem is in the style of a cake mix however lists the essential ingredients needed for a happy marriage.
Beautiful Bridesmaids… I had 2 Bridesmaids, my best friend Lynsey (Maid of Honour) and my little sister, Tianna. My sister lives in Australia so it would have been nice if she could have joined our shopping trips and million lunch dates when we discussed WEDDINGS… but emails, telephone calls and facebook saved the day and ensured important details were shared. Luckily, both my bridesmaids weren’t fans of the traditional bridesmaid looks and were really happy I wanted something different. I wanted the girls in short dresses, hair up which would be opposite to me. The dresses were from Dessy and we all thought they tied in with my wedding dress really well as they had a little cluster of flowers on the waist band whereas I had little clusters of flowers on the lace of my dress – it was meant to be! My favourite colour is purple but we couldn’t find anything suitable. I felt all the shades I liked were more suited to winter and didn’t fit with my whimsical summer wedding. I really liked the idea of the girls being in the same colour as me and thought that this was a little bit different too. I was lucky I found a Dessy sample dress in the shade i wanted and even more lucky the shade looked fab on the girls.
The girls got to decide what they wanted the hairdresser and make up artist to do (my only request was that hair was up and make up was subtle). I wanted them to feel comfortable and to pick styles and shades they liked – I thought they looked absolutely gorgeous. The shoes were from Faith but not very comfortable, we also got married during the middle of the heatwave that hit the UK summer 2013 so the girls quickly opted for sandals after the ceremony.
The Flowers… We wanted wild flowers (the exact wild flowers to be decided just before the wedding and depending what was in season) and for nothing to look too structured. I gave the florist a picture of the bouquet I wanted however the bouquets I got had different flowers and were a lot bigger than what I wanted. On reflection we probably didn’t speak to our florist enough and our wires got crossed quite a bit. We only realised 1 week before the wedding that our quote didn’t include flowers for the reception even although ‘as discussed’ was marked against ‘reception flowers’ on our written quote. Turns out we thought the florist was agreeing to supply wild flowers for our jam jars and vintage bottles ‘as discussed’ and that this was included in the overall price. The florist thought the wild flowers (and therefore their prices) had still to be decided before the wedding and ‘as discussed’ indicated this. I also wanted hessian wrapped around the base which the florist left for us to do. This didn’t turn out that well as we were all rushing about on the morning of the wedding. The most important thing for me was that the bouquets included daisy’s which they did so I was really happy with that.
Our florist quoted us for the needed reception flowers however we decided not to use them as the price was too high for us – we got the feeling that we didn’t get the best price as it was only 1 week to go before the wedding. Kyle’s mum offered to order, collect and bring flowers to the wedding from her local florist in Falkirk. This saved us a couple of hundred pounds and we thought they looked great. In the end we actually had far too many flowers so it wasn’t something that we organised that well.
The Cake… I love sweet, Kyle loves savoury so we knew we had to have a selection of both. We both decided on a cake table (with cheese selection) and a two tiered Victorian sponge for the ‘wedding cake’. I basically wanted to have a little taste of all my favourite cakes and wanted my absolute favourite meringues, cream and strawberries. We originally booked with a different service but they stopped doing cake tables for weddings and actually forgot to tell us – I found out via facebook. Luckily we found ‘three sisters bake’. We tried some cakes at their cafe in heritage listed Quarriers village in Bridge of Weir and Nicola who we dealt with was lovely. We forgot to cover our cakes at the end of the night/give our guests some to take home so sadly, we had lots of waste.
Your Photographer… Awww… the pictures! Where do I start? We loved Mirrorbox from the start but as a newly engaged couple felt duty bound to check out a few photographers before booking. In our eyes, Mirrorbox are in a different league to what is out there. We came across them after we attended a vintage wedding fair held by Glasgow Wedding Collective as they were linked to the GWC website!! They’re alternative wedding photographer’s and we loved all the ‘caught in the moment‘ shots. Sequoia and Sam managed to capture the feeling throughout the day and some absolutely AMAZING shots. Kyle and I couldn’t be happier with our wedding pictures and the feedback we’ve had from friends, family and even friends or friends has been so touching. Not only are they talented individuals they are super nice people and we felt they got the balance just right with being visible and invisible when needed. I would highly recommend them and I’m so happy that we we get a good bit of time to decide on the pictures for our album. I’m currently down to 136 favourites so still some more thinking and deciding to do :)
The Details + Decor… Our jam jars were lovingly collected by us, friends, family and even my work colleagues. At one point we had very little furniture in our rented flat (due to fast approaching emigration plans) but we had an abundance of empty jam jars taking up quite a bit of floor space… it was quite funny.
Kyle and I wanted to design and make as many things as possible, we got a kids badge making machine and made our name settings out of pin badges. We also named our tables after our favourite places and found a fabulous company to age pictures of us at each place and print a little story of why the place was important to us. Kyle’s Grandad is an blacksmith and Kyle’s dad, Bob and his Grandad, John made all the crooks for us to hang our jam jars and bunting from. Our bunting came all the way from Australia with my step mum, Pam and sister, Tianna picking the material and making it for us. Pam owns a printing company and had her fabulous workers sew for 3 days to make 4 lots of 37.5 metres and 1 lot of 20 metres, 970 flags all up!! My sister also donated some material from her special ‘blankee‘ that she’s had from a baby so its extra special! The majority of the bunting will need to make it’s way back over to Australia as it’ll now be used to help celebrate any future Crichton family event.
Our vintage teacups were borrowed from my good friends, Emma and Fallon. They run the Subterranean Diner, a supper club based in Glasgow who also provide vintage items for hire. They have a number of beautiful vintage pieces and we’ve also donated some of the items we lovingly collected, typewriter, radio some bunting etc. The majority of our vintage bottles, trunk, typewriter and radio were sourced at antique fairs in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The bottles were over 100 years old and most of them had local place names on them, we’ve kept a few e.g. Falkirk (where Kyle is from) and Glasgow. Kyle’s mum, Liz donated a few vintage bottles too and we had some brown beer bottles that Kyle was more than happy to help empty. :)
Our games were a mixture of hire and home made. The coconut shy was made by Kyle and his dad, Bob. The horseshoes were donated by Kyle’s cousins from the horses they both ride. The rest were hired from Butler and Taylor (Glasgow). All other decorations were collected over the 18 month planning stage. The wooden love hearts came from a little shop in Skye where we holidayed for Kyle’s birthday, our metal and wicker love hearts came from a little shop in Aberfeldy where Kyle’s parents have a caravan. It was lovely to look around on the day and see everything we had carefully selected or made on show.
The Honeymoon… As we were immigrating to Australia we decided to organise a backpackneymoon en route to Oz. We planned to visit Asia and back pack around Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam before flying to Australia to travel the east coast by campervan. Unfortunately, Kyle was bitten by a dog a few days after the wedding and was hospitalised and needed an operation on his leg. Due to the wound his mobility was restricted for a while so sadly we had to cancel or back packing plans. When Kyle got the all clear to travel we re-booked and spent a couple of weeks relaxing in Krabi, Thailand. We made the Campervan part OK and travelling along the coast from Adelaide to Cairns was one of the best experiences ever … shopping in Melbourne, watching hundreds of little penguins nest on the beach at Phillip Island and seeing whales migrating at Byron Bay were some of our highlights.
Memorable Moments… After our speeches Kyle’s best friend David surprised him with a music video he had made. The video featured Kyle’s friends and family miming, dancing and being silly to the tune of Karly Ray Jetson, Call Me Maybe. It was a hilarious way for them to get across to Kyle that he’ll be missed and that he’s to call… them… maybe! :) It was very touching and there were lots of tears as well as laughter. My sister, Tianna prepared a ‘rap’ for us about how we met and performed it the day before the wedding when we at the farm decorating. It was ridiculously funny!! :) My hairdressers were absolutely lovely and worth mentioning. They helped calm me down, fetch and pour some fizz and even helped the photographer carry my dress to be photographed outside. They were local so its always worth while exploring local services. My hairdresser knew what style I wanted and how to do it before I was even sure. Our DJ, Iain Dobbins was the best. He’s a resident DJ at the Brunswick Hotel in Glasgow where we love to go. He played an amazing mixture of music all on vinyl and left us Queen’s album as a gift as we had Queen’s ‘Best Friend’ as our first dance. We’ve kept in touch and look forward to catching up when we visit Scotland.
Advice for Other Couples… We set up a website with lots of information about our day as people were thrown when we mentioned ‘farm wedding’ and no one knew what to expect. We had practical information as well as pictures of the wedding party and some funny info about how we met. You can have as much or as little as you want and can ask guests questions, have electronic invites and RSVP’s. We wanted to save money on save the date cards and RSVP’s which the website helped with. We also used it as a way of explaining to our guests that we didn’t have a gift list but if people wanted to gift anything, money to help with emigration plans would be welcomed.
I know everyone advises couples to enjoy every moment as it passes so quickly. This is SO true and you don’t fully appreciate this until its too late. The best advice I could give would be to take the time to have a couple of minutes chat with whoever approaches you. I promised lots of people I would make my way back to speak to them and felt very sad that I didn’t manage to.
We would also advise couples to look very closely at quotes. We didn’t only have an issue with our flowers we had our piper and sound equipment service ask for additional travel money. Despite both our quotes stating that travel was included both these services got in contact (only a few weeks before the wedding) stating they hadn’t realised how far away Biggar was and how that impacted on them. Pay attention to the little things, for example, make sure your quotes state the venue address on them for extra assurance. Weddings are costly so any amounts that weren’t initially agreed are a stress that you don’t need to deal with just before the big day.
We would also urge couples to fully research any potential service they are thinking about booking. Originally we booked a band for our night time entertainment however they cancelled 6 months before the big day which was really upsetting. At that point all the other wedding bands that we liked were booked and we regretted not looking into the band more before hiring them. The bands details had been passed by a work colleague and we went on word of mouth alone… sadly, this is sometimes not good enough. We also booked a service to provide a cake table and they closed down and didn’t even get in contact… we found out they had branched in to something else Facebook. We came into contact with them early on through a wedding fair and I suppose incorrectly thought this was proof enough of them being reputable. Although everything was perfect on the day we could have saved ourselves a lot of stress if we had researched from the start and made sure our quotes were crystal clear… you live and learn.
Also PLEASE make sure you have insurance!! We didn’t actually have wedding insurance and only had travel insurance. Kyle’s accident involved one of his mum’s dogs who have been part of the family for years! Kyle being well was obviously our main concern and we also felt EXTREMELY lucky the accident had happened a few days after the wedding and not before it as everything would have had to have been cancelled. We also counted our blessings that we had travel insurance and managed to claim back all our travel costs related to cancelling our backpackneymoon. You just never know what can happen and its probably one of the best purchases you’ll make for the wedding and honeymoon.
Credit Where Credit is Due…
Venue | Cormiston Farm, Biggar
Food/amazing hog roast | The Mill Inn Coulter
Photographer | Mirrorbox Photography
Dress |Joyce Young Bridal
Hair |Lilly-Lu Hair Beauty (Biggar)
Bridemaids | Dessy
Personal wedding website| www.kyle-and-donna.gettingmarried.co.uk
Cake table | Three Sisters Bake
DJ |Ian Dobbins
Stationery/Table Names | Weddings Vintage
Vintage crockery | The Subterranean Diner
Vintage games & blackboards | Butler & Taylor
What a wonderful wedding, and some brilliant advice from Donna and Kyle.
Thanks so much to Donna and Kyle for sharing all about their wedding with us here at WWW :-) XOXO Lou