By Louise Baltruschat Hollis
Cara and Phil are too cool for school. With their music industry credentials, they had some amazing performers at their wedding (check out their report), which looked like a total blast from start to finish. Oh how I wish I were a guest at this do!
They were married in April at the beautiful Auchendennan House in Loch Lomond. They wanted their wedding to reflect their rocking music backgrounds whilst having a vintage feel and a lot of fun.
There isn’t much I don’t love about these two, from the story of how they got together, to their alternative style; i think you will adore them too.
Thanks so much to the amazing Lisa Devine Photography for sharing her incredible imagery with us today.
Cara and Phil
7th of April 2012
Phil and Cara met in 2006 when Cara started working as the Production Assistant of UK Indie Rock Band Razorlight, and Phil was working as one of their sound engineers. They formed a strong friendship there and then, and even when the touring cycle ended they stayed in touch, speaking every few months by email and skype.
In 2009 when Razorlight’s Tour Manager had to go on paternity leave, he asked Cara to cover him on the job. On a rare day off at beautiful Lake Lugano on the border of Switzerland and Italy, Phil and Cara were the only two to have work that day. As the rest of the touring party went off to enjoy the lake, the two shared an ice cream (one of their favourite things!!!) together and planned to work on Cara’s hotel balcony for the day before meeting up with the rest of the crew again at night.
However, Phil had a plan up his sleeve…Whilst Cara was working away on the balcony, Phil snuck in to the room to have a lie down…When Cara realised what he was up to she went inside to wake him up – by bouncing on the bed. Somehow a kiss was shared, before Cara chucked Phil out of the room because she thought it was a practical joke!!! After a few initial bumps (and a few weeks keeping everything a secret from the other people on the tour) the two (nick-named The Cat (Phil) and McWitch (Cara)) let people know that they were together.
The proposal was just as exciting! We went to Thailand for a month on holiday last year. It was meant to be a time for both of us to chill out, and relax in each other’s company, but since we’d booked in to a Thai boxing camp that didn’t really happen! We were training 6 hours a day and at night we’d just crash out because we were so exhausted, coupled with the fact that we were in agony most of the time and I was suffering from really bad mossie bites, it wasn’t really the most romantic setting.
We were bickering pretty much all the time, and, unbeknown to me, Phil had already called my Dad to ask permission before we left for my hand, and bought a ring! He planned to propose on holiday, but so far things weren’t really going to plan, and apart from the fact that I was exhausted, I was battering a punch bag to pieces everyday, so he wasn’t sure if he wanted to get on the wrong side of me by asking me at the wrong time!
We had planned a week at the of our month off, to go to the beaches South East of where we were, and Phil decided that then would be the best place to go down on one knee…however, just before we left to go to the beaches, my Auntie died pretty suddenly, and so once again, Phil didn’t think it was the right time to pop the question! At the end of our week at the beach, we booked on to a tour which would take us to small uninhabited islands off the coast and we could snorkle, swim and picnic all day.
One of the Islands had an underground cave, where you could swim to, and it was emerald with all the algae and seaweed. Apparently (although I didn’t know this) it’s very romantic, and many a man has sought to make a good woman of his girlfriend on it’s white sandy beach…so Phil decided that would be where he would too…We got up MEGA EARLY that day, got on the boat and…IT RAINED, actually poured down.
It was freezing and we were in a boat with loads of really loud obnoxious people, so naturally I was in a stinker of a mood! When we got to the mouth of the cave, we were going to have to get out of the boat and swim in to the mouth, about 50meters in the dark to get to the cave…I was just about to get in to the water when I noticed all the litter and debris floating about and that made me hesitate (Phil was already in the water at this point) then I saw HUNDREDS of jelly fish.
NO WAY on earth was I getting in that water with jellyfish! Phil started pleading with me to come with him, saying it’d be romantic and that it would be worth just a few wee stings, but I was dead set against it. So poor darling man swum all the way there will my platinum 7 diamond engagement ring tied up in a plastic bag, hidden in his swimming shorts and worrying that it was going to float away or get lost at any point by himself. He got badly stung and the rain continued all day so that everyone was grumpy by the time we got back to the mainland…So that was that.
The end of the holiday came and we came back home, with everyone that knew about Phil buying the ring expecting there to be a big announcement…but there wasn’t!!! It wasn’t until Phil took me out for dinner two days after we got back that he ended up popping the question!! It was a total surprise, we’d never talked about weddings or anything like that – so when he asked I was totally and utterly astounded!
We wanted to make it as FUN as possible. We had a bouncy castle for the kids (as there were 26 at the wedding!!) and an Easter egg hunt, plus the venue was great for playing hide and seek!
We also wanted to make it a mixture of vintage and rock and roll and make sure that it reflected our personalities and love for each other, as well as for everyone who was coming to share our day with us.
18 months sounds like a long time, but because Phil and I both work in the music industry we were away on tour and apart for long periods of time. We’d have a few days off every few weeks (and by the end, months!!) and we’d have to go for it – ringing everyone we could on the days we had off to book things in or drive up to see venues/ or visit suppliers!
By the end we were a bit stressed out (mainly because we kept coming up with ideas and then wanting to do everything we came up with!!), so we enlisted the help of fledgling wedding planner Rachel Grimes to take on things like the marquee hire, etc. One of the most important things was the fact that we wanted to collect enough vintage cups and saucers to enable the guests to drink cocktails out of them at the meal.
We thought about hiring them, but we decided that collecting them was too much fun and so all our friends and family would rake through the charity shops whenever they could to collect old cups and quirky saucers for us. We ended up with 170 settings which was amazing!
We set one…and then went over it and over it and over it…in the end we gave up counting…
The venue was Auchendennan House, which is used as Loch Lomond Youth Hostel. Our first venue Carbisdale Castle, (which we had booked for a year) cancelled on us the November before the wedding – giving us only 6 months to find a venue that held 150 people on Easter Weekend! Luckily when we’d gone up to see our first venue in the July, Phil had got the fear and made them make a provisional booking at Auchendennan for us, so we went to see it and LOVED it even more than
I think it was fate, because I absolutely love Glasgow after being at uni there and living there for the best part of 8 years and it worked out so well to have our venue close by. Only problem was the venue wasn’t quite big enough for all our night time guests, so we ended up having to have the ceremony and meal in the house and then the reception in a marquee outside on the grounds. However, this worked really well because it meant people could really spread out and enjoy themselves + there was way more scope for decorating things how we wanted!
The dress was from White Leaf Boutique in Brighton – an amazing sole trader who makes all the dresses herself. I had a black feather added to the dress to rock it up a bit and also because Phil’s nick name is the Cat, I had a little blue cat sewn in to the petticoat.
The lace was handstitched to look like butterflies…The shoes were from topshop and the pear necklace from tiffany’s and I wore my granny’s watch and my mum’s pearl earrings that my Dad bought her as a wedding present. I had a feather bolero for night time from a shop online!
I really wasn’t in to wedding dress shopping, but one of my bridesmaids, Anne, who lives in Brighton dragged me along to White Leaf when I was visiting her one day, and after trying on my dress I fell totally in love with it. I tried on about 5 more, but my dress just felt right on! I knew I couldn’t afford it, but later on when I was telling my Mum about it, she offered to pay for it, and there was no going back!
I had a black flower added to it, because although I wanted it to be princess like I didn’t want to lose my rock edge (my shoes were black sparkly platforms!)
Phil wore a black Kilt made for him by Chisholm’s of Inverness, with all the accessories. He’s first generation English, and his family were Irish, and since I’m a Scot we though having him and all the groomsmen in black kilts would look amazing The kilt was stylish black, but with Flashes and Cufflinks sporting the Anderson Tartan for a touch of colour.
Phil had spent over a year saving up and acquiring various parts of the Highland Outfit, with Cara’s parents very kindly helping by making generous presents of the Flashes, Cifflinks and Sgian Dubh (traditional sock knife).
We wanted a humanist ceremony which was all about our loved ones as well as us – and at one point we even had everyone standing on one leg! Only people who needed a seat had a seat (around 12 people) everyone else stood around (about 138 people!) us.
First of all, our bridesmaids danced in to the room to Madonna’s “like a prayer!” and then I walked down the aisle with my Mum and Dad on each arm, to Queen’s of the Stoneage “Want to make it Wit Chu” – that got people’s heads turning! 😉
My Mum read The Owl and The PussyCat. Phil’s nickname is the Cat and he has a nose ring (like the pig in the poem!) plus the poem for us is all about falling in love and travelling and making ends meet, and that’s us through and through!
Our niece Jayne read Our Love, by Bruce B Wilmer. This poem talks about love being an anchor holding us together and being strong, and building things together. A great sentiment to start our lives together.
One of the most wonderful things ever was that my Dad surprised us with a song he’d written on the piano. He sang it and I had to fight the tears back. It was beautiful.
One of my oldest friends Scott, sang “Grace” by Jeff Buckley for the final part of the ceremony and then we walked out to “You and Me” by the Wannadies.
We had 6 bridesmaids, 2 flowers girls and 7 groomsmen! The bridesmaids wore dresses made by my Auntie Liz, they were 50s design black taffeta and had net underskirts. For their presents I gave them purple necklaces in the shape of their nicknames from Tatty Devine.
The flowergirls wore purple dresses from Debenhams and silver shoes! The groomsmen and best man wore black kilts and accessories from Gilt Edge in Glasgow.
The whole Marilyn Monroe look of red lipstick and that strong red colour is a huge favourite of mine, so we went for red roses only for the flowers. We used florist The Sparrow and The Rose, from Glasgow, and also my brother and his girlfriend bought us 100 red roses from Holland too, so the whole place was adorned with them.
I bought 1000 peacock feathers from a site in America and we mixed these up with the roses in loads of vintage glass bottles and jars we’d collected from ebay, and put them everywhere!
Phil is gluten-free and we’re both vegetarian, so we had a cake made entirely out of vegetarian cheese! George Mewes in Glasgow was a star and helped us pick ones that tasted amazing together and apart, and it was demolished! We decorated it with red rose heads and had an Owl and A Pussycat in a pea green boat with a guitar and a heart for the cake toppers.
We had a totally vegetarian wedding, no meat or fish was served and no one even noticed! We had a buffet style meal and each table was called up one at a time…our amazing caterers were Sugar and Spice from Solihull near Birmingham.
We used Lisa Devine Photography. the moment we got in touch with Lisa to ask her to do our wedding she was a complete star. Phil wasn’t very comfortable in front of the camera, so we did a love shoot / engagement shoot where we went round all our favourite music venues in Glasgow and just hung out! Lisa was heavily pregnant at that point but she didn’t complain, she just climbed up on things to get a better view of us / stood in the middle of the road to get the perfect shot! We were bowled over with the shots she took of us then, and so we had no doubt that our wedding photos were going to be magnificent
We have looked through our photos so many times now we know they off by heart, but they are FANTASTIC and we couldn’t have dreamed of someone better to make us feel completely at ease and special on our big day. Thank you Lisa xx
For the marquee, we had heaps of fairy lights, red and purple net, and my dad made 15 cake stands out of vintage plates, which one of our friends Emma filled with gluten free cupcakes decorated with purple butterflies and edible glitter! We had loads of peacock feathers on the tables and 1000 purple and white balloons in balloon nets which we let down half way through the reception!
For the house we didn’t want to go too overboard, because it was so beautiful anyway. We had loads of vintage glass bottles and jars with the flowers and peacock feathers in, and we had vintage frames of our family members getting married (it would have been my Granny and Grandpa’s 63 wedding anniversary on the same day so that’s the couple you can see in one of the pictures in one of the frames.
Since we got married in front of the big old fireplace, we had fairylights and flowers draped on that. The table decorations were made by another friend, and the tables were decorated with the old china that we’d collected.
We haven’t had one yet! Both the artists we work with (Phil with Florence and the Machine and I with Emeli Sande) had tours start almost immediately after the wedding, so we had a couple of days in Glasgow with friends and family, and will start planning something soon…
Cara – I think the biggest moment for me was when I was stood at the top of the stairs with my Dad just before we went in to the Great Hall to start the ceremony. I was a mixture of pure fear and pure excitement! I didn’t know whether to run or dance!
Luckily as soon as I saw Phil standing there I felt totally serene, he’s the love of my life and I don’t want to be anywhere else apart from with him for the rest of my life. There were so many, but some of the best at the reception were when Emeli Sande sang “My Kind of Love” for us and Imogen Heap sang “Come Here Boy” for us.
Phil – I think the most exciting moment was when I was on my own in my little single bedroom the morning of the wedding and I really really knew that this was the last time I would be on my own as an unmarried man, and that my life had changed completely and utterly for the better, and that the ‘moment of truth’ was nearly upon me.
I stood looking out of the window and saw children running around the grounds looking for Easter Eggs hidden as part of our Egg hunt, and realised that this is the stuff that life is really all about The other totally unforgettable moment was when I saw my Bride walk into the Great Hall with her
parents, and I was astonished that the most beautiful woman I have ever known, actually looked more gorgeous and radiant than ever. I was speechless and totally blown away, the room span, and I could see that everyone in the whole room was smiling at Cara. Amazing!
When you get engaged it’s easy to get carried away planning when you’re still on a huge high, budget, what you actually want and need go out the window and you get carried away on a wave of wedding planning excitement. Make sure that what you are planning is exactly what YOU both want. We were lucky as the change of venue meant that it was almost like a fresh start to make it exactly what we wanted and to take a step back on everything. Get rid of anything you don’t want to do – I didn’t throw my bouquet because I wanted to keep it! We had a best man and a best woman, and on the cake table we had 7 other cakes celebrating birthdays and weddings of our friends that month.
MAKE SURE YOU TAKE A STEP BACK AND ENJOY IT! On the day none of the little things mattered, and we just realised how awesome our friends and family were helping us do everything we wanted to do….
Oh one more thing! Get a videographer – it’s the best thing you pay for (apart from the photographer and the dress!!) because you’ll get to relive conversations and the ceremony (which you probably won’t remember much of if you’re like me and were nervous the whole way through it!).
Second Shooter: Zoe Campbell Photography
Dress: White Leaf Bridal
Cake: George Mewes Cheese
Caterers: Sugar and Spice On Tour Catering
Photos: Lisa Devine Photography
Video: Family Friend!
Bridesmaids dresses: My Auntie Liz and necklaces by Tatty Devine
Flowers: Sparrow and Rose
Band: The Greenhill billies – (Cara’s Dad’s Band)
Thanks so much to Cara and Phil for sharing their amazing wedding with us today… WOW!
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OMG looks like such a fun wedding! the images are fab!
So cool! What an awesome couple.xx
Yippee!! Such a fab wedding and a joy to work with you Lisa, ace tog and even more ace person 🙂 xx
thanks so much girls xxx