I am a huge craft lover, as I know many of you are lovely readers. I have to make a confession though, I have had absolutely no time to dedicate to my crafty passions since my second little boy made an appearance and you know what? I do really miss it so. But I get to enjoy the DIY delights created by many of you through real wedding features such as this one today. This wedding has such energy, much colour and a lot of love. Perfect for Whimsical Wonderland Wedding then right?
WWW readers Gillian and Nic were hitched on the 25th June 2016 at Killearn Village Hall, Stirling in Scotland. After an unusual proposal, but still so very special nonetheless, they began planning 4 years later. The result? A super personal, hand made wedding in a delightful setting and all on a budget of £8000. The lovely touches and décor will really inspire you, from the fun festoons, to the custom CD favours and pastel watercolour stationery. It was all so divine. The pastel florals really stole my heart, daisies featured heavily alongside roses and billy balls, cute!
Gillian’s gown sure was a show stopper. She fell for Amelie by Love Marley and customised it to create a dreamy lilac skirt, how beautiful? The maids wore vibrant emerald frocks, while Nic and the boys chose teal suits for a unique yet vintage style look. Aren’t they so stylish?
Thanks so much to Sue Slique Photography for sharing these incredible photographs today.
THE PROPOSAL | The proposal was a bit of an odd one…
I had been looking at Facebook one weekend and spotted a competition for an engagement photo shoot. To enter all you had to do was ‘like’ the photographer’s page, so I did. Part of me had a sneaking suspicion that no-one actually wins these things and they’re just a ploy to get page traffic but, as it turns out, some of them are real and I won. I had always fancied getting some decent photos of us taken so I thought it could be fun, even if it wasn’t a real ‘engagement’ shoot. Over the weeks prior to the photo shoot, Nic got really anxious about lying to the photographer and kept making me “rehearse our story”. He even made us create an elaborate proposal story, a list of venues we had considered and who our wedding party would be, in case the photographer asked. The panic was all too much for him and the night before the shoot, Nic came into the living room and said ‘right, I can’t take all this lying, let’s just get engaged!’ and thrust a ring box into my hand.
As it turns out, Nic had been carrying the ring around regularly, waiting for a good time to ask, but had always felt it was never quite special enough.
The best part is, the photo shoot was called off because of bad weather and we didn’t mange to re-book it for a few months. So by that point we had told all our friends and family that we were engaged and the photo shoot felt a bit more ‘real’.
THE VISION | We both wanted a colourful, relaxed day where everyone could enjoy themselves and not get bogged down in the etiquette and tradition that comes along with weddings. There wasn’t a ‘theme’ as such but one of our favourite days out together is to trawl through all the West End charity shops in Glasgow – I like looking for jewellery and picture frames and Nic loves flicking through all the vinyl and looking at the glasswear. So we decided to use that as a starting point and every time we went to a charity shop we looked for things we could use as centre pieces or display frames. I’m an art teacher and quite a crafty person in general so I was keen to design and make a lot of decorations and favours myself – we collected around 60 glass bottles and painted them all different colours for centre pieces.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We got engaged in 2011 but it took us a good while to get round to it between buying our house and both changing careers, a wedding wasn’t at the top of the list.
In September 2015, we decided it was now or never. It occurred to us that the ideal financial situation we had been waiting for may never come around and that we should just go for it. We were actually driving home from a festival and passed by this nice little village hall and decided to pop in to the café. We decided it would be a lovely venue and decided to meet with the wedding coordinator and book it for the next summer.
Once the venue was booked, I made a ‘to do’ list that very quickly ended up enormous. Everything from place setting cards to wedding dress.
We started by hand making A LOT of invites and then just took one thing at a time.
We went to a few wedding fairs for ideas and to chat to people. They were loads of fun and a good way to enjoy the planning process because you get little freebies and the stall holders make you feel quite pampered. I spoke to a few suppliers for quotes and some were horrified when I told them our wedding was in June, a mere 8 months away – there were phrases uttered like ‘JUNE? Well you’ll be hard pushed to find ANYONE who’s still available for a June wedding’… That did make me panic a bit but everything sorted itself out as we went along. We are also really lucky that we have loads of friends that we could use as suppliers so that made some decision-making much easier.
BUDGET | We wanted around 100 people but on a pretty tight budget. We originally aimed to spend no more than £6000 but things totted up quickly and we ended up nearer £8000. My Mum and Dad helped us out with a lot of the costs and my Dad in particular said he knew we were being careful with the money and encouraged us to make sure we got what we wanted, even if that meant spending a little more than we had planned.
We kept costs down by making a lot of the things ourselves and, rather than having a wedding planner as such, our wedding party came to the venue with us the night before to get everything set up. We didn’t bother with a fancy car – everything was just in the one venue anyway! My friend Alison made our gorgeous cake for us. Before I became an art teacher, I was a professional jeweller so I made the rings too which meant we could get exactly what we wanted and didn’t have to worry about cost.
THE VENUE | I had been in Killearn before, years before the Village Hall had been turned into a café and wedding venue. I knew it was a nice little village and I had seen it pop up online when searching for Scottish venues. We were actually at a music festival nearby in Stirlingshire and when we were headed home I noticed the sign for Killearn and decided to turn off. When we went in, we knew it was perfect for us. You can see for miles across the fields to Ben Lomond. The main hall itself was bright, airy and most importantly, a blank canvas. They also have huge, tall windows and the wedding coordinator said we could get married in the window, looking out to the hills. It was ideal.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I wore the ‘Amelie’ dress by Love Marley. It had a gorgeous, intricate lace bodice and floor length tulle skirt. My accessories were inexpensive but the perfect colours. They were from Silk Purse Sow’s Ear, an Etsy seller based in Edinburgh. They were milky pink opal stones in antique brass settings. My friend Mhairi did my hair and make-up for me.
FINDING THE DRESS | ‘The’ dress was actually the first one I tried on! I had gone to the boutique, Ribbons & Lace in Kilwinning because I’d heard they stocked lots of lovely 1950’s tea length dresses and that was exactly what I planned to wear. I wanted to make the most of the experience – my aunt, bridesmaid and mum had come along too – so I took a few different styles into the dressing room just for the sake of trying them on. The first one I put on was the Love Marley dress by Watters – tulle, lace bodice, floor length, it was everything I didn’t want, but it just felt right. And it was in the sale so it was a third of the price of anything else I tried on.
I wanted a touch of colour in the dress so I decided to get it customized. I found Michelle Shek Alterations online. She came to the house to look at the dress and talk me through what she would do and she put layers of lavender tulle over the skirt and it turned out beautifully, just as I wanted.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Nic and all of his groomsmen wore teal suits from Slater’s. They had a nice, vintage look to them with brown buttons. As a wedding gift, I bought Nic a wooden watch that I knew he would like and it went perfectly with the suit buttons. He wore a cream shirt with a burnt umber tie.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | My Uncle Stewart and his wife Julie are folk musicians and they agreed to play me down the aisle. I gave Julie and old Ossian tune – Fisherrow/ Noose and the Gillies and told her that I loved it. They played it on guitar and mandolin for us and it sounded just perfect. We had a humanist ceremony so we had the opportunity to involve lots of friends. During the ceremony, there was a ring blessing. The rings were tied to a helium balloon and were passed around all of the guests for them to put their good wishes on them. We also had a few lovely readings from friends and relatives. One of the readings were words taken from a Bob Marley song ‘He’s not perfect’. We changed the wording to say ‘They’re not perfect’ and it was a lovely sentiment.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had three bridesmaids and a ‘bridesman’ My friends Sarah and Mhairi, my cousin Stephanie and my best friend Martyn. Martyn wore a suit matching the groomsmen and the girls wore a green, flared dress from ASOS – the dresses were great for dancing, they moved like 1950’s circle skirts. My cousin’s little girl, Jessie Lou was my flower girl and she wore a lovely Monsoon dress with flowers on it that matched the bouquets perfectly.
THE FLOWERS | Jan Rooney at LaceBuds did our flowers. Jan and I went to art school together and I knew she did beautiful, creative arrangements so she was my first port of call. We told her we would like loads of daisies – they’re my favourite flower, so simple. She got us loads of daisies of different sizes and made me a beautiful bouquet with lots of colourful blooms slotted in here and there.
THE CAKE | We had a big, two tiered cake made by my friend Alison. The top was carrot cake and the bottom layer was red velvet with a coconut cream filling. All iced in a thick layer of buttercream frosting of mixed colours so that it looked like a painting! Loads of guests commented on how delicious it was and it looked AMAZING.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Olesja of Sue Slique photography was fantastic. Her photos online looked exactly the style we wanted – relaxed and creative. We met with her to discuss our ideas and then she did an engagement photo shoot with us as a ‘get to know you’. She’s a bit mad and made us laugh which was ideal since we are not great at posing for photos. It also meant we knew exactly what to expect on the day and we could be confident that she would put the guests at ease too. We were so thrilled with the photos when we got the final copies.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The invites were made to look like watercolour paintings and we made most of the décor to match including the seating chart, bunting and place setting cards.
We had collected loads of glass bottles of different dimensions to use for the flowers in the main centrepieces. We had also collected some old books from charity shops and folded heart-shaped indents into them to put the table numbers in. The book folding was a lengthy process but we got there eventually.
I had been to other weddings where people had photos of the bride and groom throughout the years – we thought that was a nice idea so I got loads of little polaroid style photos of us printed and we strung them up in the bar area. Everyone loves looking at old photos and thought it was a fun way to keep people entertained.
Board games were left out in the bar area. Nic and I love having board games nights with friends and we wanted to make sure people could enjoy themselves if they didn’t fancy dancing. Our friend Grant also made us big wooden lawn games to put out in the garden which were great fun.
A proper photobooth was proving to be out of our budget so we bought a Fujifilm instant camera, a cheap set of photobooth props and a little sketchbook to use as a guestbook. I still love looking through the book, it’s a great memento to have!
We made all the favours ourselves – we made ‘mix tape’ CDs with lots of our favourite songs then put stickers on them to make them look like vinyl records. We even made sleeves for them to make them look more authentic (finding a well functioning circle cutter was one of the greatest ordeals of the whole wedding!). Nic’s a real music lover and he’s a record collector so he was excited to make a playlist that everyone would listen to on the car ride home on the Sunday. We also made little bags of jelly beans for people to snack on and badges with watercolour paintings on them – we were so pleased to see loads of people wearing them on the dancefloor later.
THE HONEYMOON | We packed up the van and set off around the highlands and islands of Scotland for three weeks. There were a few disasters – the van broke down on the second day, up a hill in the most remote place imaginable. But after that minor set back we saw some of the most beautiful places. We went on walks, went for pub lunches, played board games and laughed non stop.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Being showered in confetti while holding my new husbands arm and hearing all of our nearest and dearest whoop and cheer.
Hearing each other’s vows was really special as well – we both got quite emotional!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t feel like you have to spend a horrendous fortune on your wedding. There’s so much going on and the day goes so quickly, some of the things you spent a lot of money on, you don’t even think twice about! I didn’t miss having a wedding car for example. Think about what’s important to you as a couple and prioritise those. We set aside a big chunk of our budget for photography – it’s the only thing that lets you keep the day forever. Plus, once you have those big important things booked like the venue, food, photographer, you can relax and enjoy the planning!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Sue Slique Photography
Venue | Killearn Village Hall
Caterers | Three Sisters Bake
Dress | Ribbons & Lace Bridal Boutique
Customisation | Michelle Shek
Jewellery | Silk Purse Sow’s Ear
Bridal Shoes | ASOS
Bridesmaids dresses | ASOS
Flowers | Lace Buds
Cake | Blossom Sweet Cakes by Alison Johnstone
Suits | Slater’s Menswear
Music | Tapper Harvie Band
Humanist Celebrant | Jane Bechtel
Oh my, how stunning!
Gillian and Nic, thanks so very much for sharing your delightful wedding with us here at WWW xo Lou