Wonderland lovers it’s time to immerse yourself in a beautiful and heartfelt wedding this fine Friday.
Hayley and Chris were married on the 27th September 2014 at Aikwood Tower in Scotland. They had a vision of a tea party reception with a shabby chic feel using British businesses where possible. Sounds like fun right?
Hayley looked utterly beautiful in her lace gown and veil with statement flower crown. The blooms at this wedding were just gorgeous and I love the blue and purple hues used. There is so much prettiness to be inspired by today folks.
Thanks so very much to Christine McNally Photography for sending over these wonderful images.
THE PROPOSAL | We had been dating for about 9 months, we had already talked about getting married and spending our lives together. So we both knew it was going to happen at some point, but it was making it a surprise that was the hard part! So for a while we had talked about going to Edinburgh. So it wasn’t much of a surprise when Chris decided to treat me to an overnight stay in a lovely hotel and do whatever we wanted there. He then decided to treat us to a meal at a beautiful French/Scottish restaurant called Maison Bleu (one of my favourite restaurants to this day!) Like I said, I didn’t think anything of it. I was worried about him though as his starter was something cheesy and he was struggling to eat it… Chris never struggles with cheese its one of his favourite foods! I still had no idea what was going on! He then began to say how much he loved me and cared about me. I was still a little bit worried at this time, I really had no idea what was going on! He then took my hand and asked me if I would marry him. I of course said yes!
THE VISION | The way I envisioned the wedding day, was like a shabby chic Alice in Wonderland with Scottish influences… If that makes any sense? Not too Alice in Wonderland though, just the part where they had a tea party! I feel we managed to get the look we were going for! We wanted the whole day to be very laid back, more of a family get together more than anything else. We wanted it to be quite small and intimate as well. Just our close family and friends, the people who really meant a lot to us. I also wanted to try include some DIY if I could and use smaller local/British business where possible. I also wanted to bring in modern and traditional touches.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | I first found my venue which was a great start! We were lucky enough that the venue came with a wedding planner and she was able to give us a little insight on how to plan a wedding! We had no idea what we were doing or where to start first… So we were told what should be booked first such as the caterer, luckily our venue had some recommendations for a lot of the stuff we needed. She had a lot of contacts and we actually went with quite a few of their recommendations. We didn’t really have a process, we just found a supplier for what we needed them for, then booked them if we liked them! We decided on the suppliers for the flowers, food and band quite earlier on so that was quite a weight off our shoulders! Because we had quite a while to plan, there wasn’t really any stress at all with anything.
THE VENUE | I can not express enough the love we had for our venue! It really was the perfect set up for us. It had everything we were looking for, a castle with vintage and modern touches, laid back, close to both of our families! I looked at every castle in Scotland and this was the other one that stood out for me! It had so much potential to do with whatever you wanted. It was the perfect size for our families. It was not huge at all, its perfect for an intimate wedding if that’s what you are looking for, it can hold 60-80 guests inside and any bigger than that you can have a marquee up. I think the few things that we really loved about the place was, we got the venue to ourselves for the whole weekend. As well as the evening of the wedding. Once we had sat down for the meal, all that was left was just us, our guests, a band and two waiters. So I don’t think we could of gotten any more intimate than that! They were great with everything as well. As a part of the package you get a wedding planner, Lindsey, she was brilliant! She had a list of suppliers who she had worked for and ended up going with a few of them! We both found that really really useful as we had no idea how weddings went!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | When I seen my wedding dress, I just fell in love! I knew what I was going for, I wanted a little poofy but not over the top meringue! I also wanted a trail as well as having lots of pretty lace on the dress. I wanted a dress that also clear had vintage touches. I had also decided from day one that I was going to be wearing a flower crown! I’m all about that sort of look. For my jewellery I wanted to keep it simple and had decided to wear my mums favourite necklace, which was her Tiffany necklace. It was also to have her there in some way, as unfortunately she passed away a few years ago. My shoes, they had to be just as important as the dress in my eyes! I love my clothes and shoes, I also have a blog which is on my style! As soon as I seen my shoes I knew they were the wedding shoes for me, had to have shoes that were a little different and stood out. Plus I also had to fit in the something blue into my outfit! My oldest cousin (one of the bridesmaids) said it was tradition to wear something new (the dress), something old (my mums necklace) and something blue (my shoes!). So I’m pretty chuffed to have pulled it off! For my veil I found the fabric online for about £14 and had one Chris parents’ friend make into a veil I was over the moon with the fabric and how it turned out.
FINDING THE DRESS | It really didn’t take me long to find “The” dress. In fact, It was the first thing I found and bought! Before we found our wedding venue.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | As I said earlier, We wanted Scottish influences and traditional touches included. So we both agreed that he needed to wear a kilt! Because we wanted it to be a bit thrown together and shabby chic, we had all the men in different kilts we didn’t want them matching at all! (Chris) I wanted something traditional as I’ve always liked the traditional attire. It would also have been blasphemy as a Scottish man to have NOT worn a traditional kilt with a broach!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Because we wanted to have Scottish themes we wanted a ceilidh band, but a band that didn’t just do ceilidh music! Our wedding planner gave us a contact who had loads of bands that he could suggest. So we had a listen at the different people who sent us and decided on the sound we liked most! For my entrance music, again continuing with the Scottish themes, we wanted a piper to pipe me in although we didn’t go with the traditional “Here comes the bride”! Because we aren’t religious, we wanted a humanist service. Which, in my opinion, if you aren’t religious is a great way to get married and make it all about you! For our first meeting, our humanist explained a little bit about humanism and what it stood for. He then went onto explain humanist weddings. We ended up creating our entire service, the readings, what happened when and we could involve our parents as well. That was really special and important to both of us. It also meant we were able to include my step dad (Hayley’s step dad) into the service, by reading a poem near the end.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | For the bridesmaids, I had to choose my two cousins from my mums side. I’m very very close to the both of them. Both of them are more like sisters to me than cousins! I was closer to my youngest cousin Amy (the shorter bridesmaid) when I was younger and grew closer to Lisa as I got older. Hence why I couldn’t choose a “head bridesmaid”! Continuing with the flower crown theme I found two beautiful headbands from one of my favourite shops online. I also liked that they had different shades of blue as I wanted everything to be as miss matched but matching as possible! When I found the bridesmaid dresses, I fell in love instantly. I loved they were styled quite similar to my dress. The blue was the exact shade I was going for as well.
THE FLOWERS | For our flowers, we met them at the Glasgow Wedding Show. When we seen the sort of flower arrangements they created, We knew instantly that we wanted them for our day! We wanted to have a lot of foliage included in our arrangements as well as little vintage touches such as the tea cups and kettles. Right from the beginning before we even found out about Little Botanica, we had decided that tree stumps were a must! What I also love about them is they are very environmental friendly and that’s quite important to me. Another thing I love about them, is that they have a cute little tea cafe in Glasgow and they sell flower arrangements. So if we ever want a reminder of our day we can just pop in!
THE CAKE | My Aunt got our cake for us, one of her friends makes cakes. That was her wedding present to us so that was great! Plus it helps with the budget! She just asked us what we wanted then she passed that on. We didn’t want icing at all as one us doesn’t eat icing… (Hayley). We seen a cake like this at the wedding show so we knew that we wanted it to be quite plain and to look like one of us had made it at home ourselves. Little DIY touches was very important for the day for us. Having the strawberries round the borders was icing on the cake! (If you excuse the pun…) The cake topping was one of the best things about! We both wanted to have fun with the day, keep it relaxed have a few laughs and not take it all too seriously. Chris loves to play computer games, so when I found that little beauty online I could not resist! The owner was fantastic, she makes it look exactly like you and copies the little details from your outfits. When we found out we cut the cake with a sword, the inner warriors inside us couldn’t refuse! Of course we had to use a sword!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | What can we say about lovely Christine! Well, we met at a college interview and became friends of Facebook. So we both watched and stalked Christine’s career from the beginning! We absolutely love Christine’s photography! The way she captures moments and little details from the day is just perfect and we both feel its what you want from the day. You want to create a time capsule of everything of that day, not just the guests! Natural shots were also important to us, it kept it in theme with the laid back feel we wanted. I don’t think we could have asked for anyone better, she makes you feel really relaxed as well. It can be a bit nerve wrecking in front of a camera and she just keeps it lovely with chatting away to you! Her style of photography is great because its very romantic and has a vintage feel to the photos. Which is what you want on your wedding day! A bit of romance and love! We both felt that she took such an interest in the day as well, she’s just as committed and interested as you are in creating the right look for your day.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Having tea cups involved were very important for me. So we came up with the idea of having them as table markers and the favours for our guests to go home with. I also wanted to use small business and British ones. So our table clothes we got from an Etsy store and our invites were bunting. Which again, we got from online from a Folksy seller. You can find tonnes of quirky things for weddings online now, so you don’t need to spend a fortune ether! We just wanted it to be very tea party like! So for about two years we collected jars to be used as cups! Other things we got online from Etsy and Folksy were the tags for name placements. We tied them onto the tea cups, their names one side and take me home on the other side. Because we were going for that tea party look we also had bunting pretty much everywhere! One of my favourite items has to be our guest book! We ended up finding something that we would be able to put on display, which was a tree with the leafs empty for you to put your name or write a message. We loved this as means we will be able to put it on display with a photo underneath of all the guests! The cake topper, again another fun detail to add to the day was found online. They are handmade and there are tonnes to choose from.
THE HONEYMOON | My dad surprised in the evening by telling us he’d booked as a cottage to ourselves on the Scottish borders. It was one of the best weeks we had, it was great to just be with each other. Away from everything and everyone. Eating, drinking and being merry! We also got some money as presents, so we decided to put that away for a second honeymoon! We are planning to do a six week trip around Europe, just trying to save the rest of the money at the moment!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Memorable moments, for me I think one of them was when I finally seen him as we kept it traditional and wanted the first time we saw each other to be down the aisle. I had to fight back the tears! It was so overwhelming and calming at the same time, to finally be with each other again. Cutting the cake with the sword was a pretty awesome thing to do as well, I don’t think many people will be able to say they done that! The first dance was a another great moment, it was also weird because everyone’s eyes were on you and its your first dance, no one else’s! Having both my dads there as well and having them both involved was a great moment as well. In all honesty, thinking about the whole its hard to pick! Everything is memorable!
(Chris) Seeing Hayley walk down the aisle was memorable for me. I also got a sneaky look at her as she walked past through the window, it made my heart stop. Putting the ring on her finger was a real big moment for me and I couldn’t of been happier. I really enjoyed signing our wedding document it made everything “official”. My favourite part would have to be the moment I called her my wife for the first time. Our first dance was really great it gave us some time to enjoy our marriage together the wedding seemed to go by so quickly it was nice just to have a moment with Hayley, even if everyone else was watching us!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t be afraid to get the whole family involved! If anything, they like being asked to help on your big day! Also do not stress or worry, you just need to find a supplier you like then book them! It does not need to be stressful, I don’t think we stressed once! Also, do whatever makes you happy. Its your day.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Christine McNally Photography
Caterer | Meldon Catering
Venue | Aikwood Tower
Wedding Planner | Get Knotted
Invitations | Postmans Knock
Table Cloths | Busy Bee Quilting
Bridesmaid Headbands | Crown and Glory
Brides Shoes | Irregular Choice
Flower Girl Dress | SasAndasa
Florist | Little Botanica
Band | Edinburgh Sounds
Guest book | Peachwik
Cake Topper | MyCustomCakeTopper
Veil Fabric | Lacetime
Name Cards | Labels & More
Guestbook Sign | LazyLightningArt
Thanks so much to Hayley and Chris for sharing their lovely story with us today, it’s been a delight xo Lou