When I first saw Amy and Oliver’s wedding, I almost couldn’t believe that it was real! The otherworldly nuptials took place on the stunning Isle of Bute with a ceremony in the magnificent White Marble Chapel inside gothic house Mount Stuart, and a reception in a nearby meadow. As artists, the pair had a clear vision of how the wanted their day to look and I think you’ll agree they pulled it off to perfection.
There was an abundance of the prettiest flowers in the marquee and with the addition of branches from nearby woodland, an ordinary marquee was transformed into an ethereal woodland banquet fit for the fairy King and Queen that Amy and Oliver had been transformed into!
Amy’s ever so talented sister made her gorgeous dress with a gold embroidered bodice that just happened to match Oliver’s white Indian wedding jacket perfectly and Amy’s tumbling bouquet and hair chain finished off the whole look beautifully.
Thank you ever so much to Sarah Ann Wright for sharing this incredible imagery.
THE PROPOSAL | 9/06/14
I had been away for a few days (the longest we had been apart for a while) when I came back the house was full of flowers and the garden had been transformed. Oliver had a lots of beautiful home cooked food and champagne waiting on the surprise decking he had built whilst I was away, which was surrounded with my favourite flowers that he and his mum planted that week. We had a tipsy evening outside and the next morning Oliver said he fancied going for a walk -seemed like a good plan to shake off the hangover. After an hour and a half of walking through the forest and down along the cliffs we stopped by a hidden nook over looking a waterfall and the ocean.. unbeknown to me Oliver had sneaked a bottle of champagne and a bowl of strawberries in his backpack. He kept asking me to eat more strawberries and then I noticed a ring box at the bottom of the bowl..i was somehow not expecting it at all, I thought all of this was because he had just missed me… a lot! I was completely overwhelmed and when I saw the ring I was even more so. The whole thing was totally beautiful! We lay there in the sunshine drinking champagne and then walked along the cliffs and later headed into Falmouth where we first met. We spent the next sun filled day on the decking and in our lavender filled garden listening to music and feeling pretty amazing.
THE VISION | We wanted to celebrate with everyone we love surrounded by everything we love and our idea of beauty. We are both artists who have been collaborating for over 9 years and we fell in love with each other and began working together because of our shared passions; being in the wild, our love of music, food, art..We just wanted to celebrate in a way that was true to us. Grunge music doesn’t always go with the ethereal or edible flowers with the slightly gothic…but that’s us.
We wanted the reception to be like a scaled up version of an intimate, relaxed, dinner party at home but with a banquet feel to it, with lots of wild and fresh food for everyone to tuck into and share and then laugh together and dance to live music.
So I guess summed up the the vision in the end was our kind of beautiful; lots of natural wild elements, a tad ethereal, a touch of the gothic, slightly exuberant but relaxed and slightly off kilter! The colours that emerged were off white, gold, burgundy and earthy tones.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Our initial wedding venue had a two year waiting list, so we thought we had lots of time to plan..but then we changed venues to the complete opposite end of the country and found ourselves with 8 months to plan it all..Oliver and I had a lot of fun researching musicians, the photographer, the caterers and hatching plans. I found it super helpful to gather up images of the venues, our invite, the dress fabric, scenery, food etc to see how it would all come together-our brains work like that! My sister and my mum were the most enthusiastic and amazing help! I live 5 hours from my sister and 11 hours from my mum, so we had a shared online mood board where we could all add pictures and comment and see how it all was coming together. This was super helpful and exciting, especially when my sister uploaded progress of the dress and we could see how it all went so well together.
THE VENUE | The Isle of Bute, Scotland.
Ceremony: The White Marble chapel inside gothic house Mount Stuart. Reception: A meadowy bit of land at Amy’s folks house down the road.
We always thought we would have a wedding outside on a cliff somewhere…we actually had a place booked in.. But during a visit to Bute to my folks over Xmas we were blown away when we visited the Chapel inside Mount Stuart and by the ruby red light cascading through the glass ceiling and onto the ornate tiled floor that represents the earth’s elements. The chapel has this serene feel to it, you enter via the dark gothic hall and then the chapel is overwhelming white with a hue of ruby red that changes in vibrancy when the sun shines. It is full of art, astrology and natural symbolism and earthy and surreal architectural elements. The whole place just has an otherworldly feel to us and seemed like the perfect place to marry.
My parents also live down the road and they spent months preparing the meadow that sits in front of their house. My mum planted a wild flower area and my dad periodically mowed paths through the wild grass. The paths led to the marquee and then off from that there were separate paths leading to a fire pit area which my dad, Oliver and brothers made, a table tennis area and a little children hide out bit. A few days before the wedding my brother and dad brought over a truck load of off cuts of branches from my brother’s woodland and we all decorated the roof of the marquee with them. We wanted it to feel earthy and homely in there. My dad got hold of lots of wooden old tables for dining and built a wee stage for the bands. My mum and sister and I collected lots of gold old candlestick holders, black candles and vases for the tables. Oliver and I brought lots of things from our home in Cornwall and we also filled the tent with furniture from my folks’ house.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My incredible sister Laura Jayne Jones designed and made my dream dress. Even when the wedding was brought forward early and with a baby and toddler to look after…she did it! She is out of this world amazing and knew exactly what I wanted. My mum was also incredible travelling down 5 hours from the Island to my sisters to help with all the fittings. I’m so very lucky and don’t know how to ever thank them really for all their time, love and effort.
The dress has a gold crochet bodice, with a very low back which then has layers of tulle cascading from it into a huge tail. Pieces of intricately cut and sown vintage floral lace cascaded down the bodice.
Laura also gave me a really special antique necklace which was perfect for the dress. My grandma gave me my garter and my sister sourced some super special under garments!
FINDING THE DRESS | Laura had a vision from day one and I couldn’t imagine getting married in anything else but her creation
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Oliver found a gold and white Indian wedding jacket and I couldn’t believe how similar it was to the dress Laura had been designing! It was hard to keep that secret! He wore this with a pair of brown boots, grey trousers and a white shirt with red button whole flowers.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | A local piper greeted our guests.
Kathryn Joseph played “The Want” before me and my dad walked down the aisle. We have such a strong connection to Kathryn and her music and we felt so honoured to have her play. This song means a lot to us too.
Our Dads opened the ceremony by each pouring their own whisky into a quaich and drinking from it.
Oliver’s mum Ruth read “Pathways” by Ranier Maria Rilke.
Amy’s mum Yvonne read ” A dedication to my wife” by T.S Eliot Both, Mums literally tied the knot for our hand fasting.
My Dad and uncles played an acoustic song during the signing. My uncle and Tim used to be in a band that my dad managed so we also had them play their song “holding it down” -it was the first tune my dad taught me to play (and the only one I can play) and happens to be about keeping a relationship together. After such an emotional ceremony it was so nice to have this lively and heart felt song erupting through the chapel.
After the ceremony we had canapés and fizz in the hall and our good friends Runar and Elin (known as Bellstop) from Iceland played a mini set for us. We hadn’t seen them in 8 years, so this was very special indeed.
Our close friend Joe Doldon played the hang drum for us in our field as guests arrived at the reception.
An amazing grunge band called Lady Jesus from Glasgow played our first dance and kicked off the evening.
This was followed by a local Keiligh band.
Followed by amazing DJ Stuart Thomas-who kept the tunes coming in the tent until the wee hours and our Icelandic friends played another acoustic set by the fire outside.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My sister Laura Jones was my maid of honour and my bridesmaids were: Emma Thomas-my brother’s wife, my partner’s sister Inga Hayes and our best man’s wife and my close friend Rebecca Roundel. Their little girls were the flower girls. They were all in off white dress’s, with eucalyptus and peony bouquets. Natural, ethereal beauties by my side.
THE FLOWERS | Flowers by Janine. Janine was so patient with me and my requests for wild bouquets and was amazing at finding and sourcing such flowers like Love Lies Bleeding for the tent. She made all the bouquets, buttonholes and also provided some flowers for the marquee. My bridesmaid Rebecca Roundel also organised a flower crown workshop during my hen do so we did this for the flower girls all together.
My Mum, Dad, Oliver and I also took a trip to a huge garden centre and filled our van to the roof with plats and mini trees. Oliver’s mum also bought lots of paper flowers which we decorated an area with. My brother cut down a lot of excess branches from his forest and we decorated the tent with these too with the help of Matt, Oliver’s best man and wife Becca.
As I am a little obsessed with flowers they also featured in the drinks, food and table runners.
THE CAKE | It was bought from Ruth’s cakes in Cornwall but my sister dressed it and we had a plaster cast of our hands (from an old piece of work) that was our cake topper.
Ettrick Bay cafe on the Island also makes the best cakes ever- so instead of a pudding we had 5 ginormous cheese cakes
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | The incredible Sarah Ann Wright. We were thrilled that Sarah could photograph our day. She came highly recommended to us from my sister and when we saw her photographs we knew she was perfect. We love her style and her personal photography. She managed to capture so many elements of the day and she did this so casually and was so unobtrusive and relaxed. We loved her creative flare and ideas and she stood out a mile to us from everyone else. We were so lucky to have a shoot with her the next day and Sarah had come equipped with smoke bombs and a ton of ideas and enthusiasm. We are so thrilled with the outcome!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | white, gold, burgundy and earthy tones. Whilst the ceremony was ornate and formal the reception was wild, earthy and informal. The meal was a banquet style, black candles, gold vases, red flowers, wild veg and edible flower tables runners on wooden tables and the food had a foraged shared feel to it.
THE HONEYMOON | We were going away with work to NY 10 days after the wedding…so we had a few days to have a mini moon there and then we found super cheap tickets to Barabados from NY. We had three weeks of surfing, eating fresh bbq fish from the beach shacks, drinking cocorumada cocktails and swimming with turtles.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Arriving at Mount Stuart and seeing all my family lined up waiting for me and dad by the fireplace. I wanted my brothers to walk my Mum down the Isle before my Dad and I and the bridesmaids, So when I arrived at Mount Stuart and saw all their smiling faces lined up and waiting it was such a lovely feeling..a pretty epic family send off ! I’ll never forget hearing Kathryn Joesph starting to play from inside the chapel and then seeing my brothers turning around and saying “wow” and “you look amazing” …it sent tears down my face but then my sister wiped them away, put my veil down, Mum squeezed my hand and then my Dad gave me a huge smile and a swig of whisky from underneath my veil and off we went!
I’ll never forget the way it felt when I saw Oliver’s face as I walked down the aisle. It was really very emotional-I don’t think we ever expected how intense that was going to feel!
So many memorable moments…another good one was when Oliver and I went to the private bathroom in Mount Stuart for a pee right after the ceremony and we just stood in there laughing.
My stockings falling down as I was on the way to the chapel was also pretty funny! I had to take them off mid way in the Land Rover as I knew they wouldn’t last walking down the aisle! That tiny 5 minute journey with my dad was pretty amazing, funny and we even managed to have a heartfelt convo on route. I loved that he carried my stockings and lipstick in his sporran too!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t worry if things don’t go to plan…or if you don’t get any sleep the night before. I had a panic when I realised I hadn’t finished lots of things, but I was delirious, hormonal and had no sleep…but then Adrenalin kicks in and all you want to do is marry the person you love and have a good old knees up.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Sarah Ann Wright
Dress | Laura Jayne Jones
Catering | Bespoke
Flowers | Flowers by Janine
Hair | Nadia’s Hair
Make up | Isabel
Thank you so much Amy and Oliver for letting us get lost in your beautiful, whimsical day. Rachel x