The best thing about elopements is that they often allow couples to really do things their way – and we’ve fallen head over heels for WWW readers Amy and Michael’s perfectly intimate, cool, and relaxed ‘Big Wee Day’, with a guest list of 24 of their nearest and dearest.
This lovely couple wanted to stray from the standard by injecting lots of their own personality into the celebrations, while still incorporating all the traditions that felt meaningful. For them, this meant a relaxed civil ceremony with DIY vows, followed by drinks and food around Edinburgh, with the alleys and colours of the city as the backdrop to their photos. The focus on family fun, delicious food, and city exploration was captured so honestly by Dani at Arcadiancity Photography – and we especially love the shift from marble pillars and wrought iron staircases of the Lothian Chambers, to the trendy coffee shops and restaurants of the Mile. The style of the day echoed the couples’ desire for simplicity, with wild greenery, stylish copper detailing, and brown tweed complementing the already-chic décor of their city venues. But as you look closer, all the personal touches appear: a unicorn necklace, the Edward Monkton ceremony reading, the sparkly doughnuts stacked on a log from a tree of the bride’s mother’s garden, the hand-embroidered hankies, their vinyl guestbook, and their adorable gin and whisky favours.
What an absolutely charming, cool, and intimate celebration of a love story – we hope you enjoy the gallery as much as we did!
THE PROPOSAL | We were very lucky to live out in beautiful Cyprus for three years. On the 19th of July 2015, Michael packed a picnic of sushi and snacks and took us to my favourite beach, at Aphrodite’s Rock. The sun was going down and it was just us on the beach, and he popped the question! It was perfect.
THE VISION | We wanted a laid-back and relaxed day that oozed ‘cool’, whilst incorporating traditional elements with our own wee DIY twist. Basically, a fun day with our favourite people in the greatest city ever – Edinburgh. Our two venues were both in the city centre, giving us a chance to walk around and explore, providing the best backdrop for our photos!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Planning was so much fun. It included a lot of hours watching ‘I Found the Gown’ and ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ with Mum. Decision making was relatively easy as we chose things that we loved, and knew would make our families smile. So, obviously, ensured that there would be delicious food and plenty of fizz. As this was a mid-week wedding, it gave us a slight edge as our suppliers had time for us before the busy weekend and Saturday weddings. Our guest list was only twenty- four too!
BUDGET | We didn’t have a set budget but didn’t want to spend too much. Homemade pieces are always nice, and a good penny saver.
THE VENUE | We tied the knot in the City of Edinburgh Suite at the Lothian Chambers, situated on the Royal Mile. It is stunning inside and out, with gorgeous marble pillars and an elaborate wrought iron staircase. This suite was an upgrade to what we originally booked. It is the largest room, and as there were no more weddings on our Big Wee Day, Jill, our lovely registrar, thought it would be nice for the bride to have a longer aisle to walk down with her dad!
Having a civil ceremony allowed us to write our own wording and vows, an opportunity to inject some personality and stray from the standard. Jill read our story of how we met at Abertay University, and said it really resonated with her. Her son is called Michael and was to start at Abertay in the September. She wished that her Michael would find his Amy! It was so touching to see her get emotional during the ceremony at the times we did.
After the ceremony, we stopped off at The Inn on the Mile for a few post- I Do drinks… coz well, why not?! We sat outside and having people shout ‘congratulations!’, wanting selfies with us, and buses beeping horns was awesome! We shared our wedding night here too, and it was fabulous. Eggs Benedict breakfast for the win.
We then had our reception/party at Educated Flea. A trendy and intimate restaurant where the food is to die for. Kath and the team were absolutely fantastic. So friendly and chilled, and nothing was too much trouble for them, even our nephews having a dance-off on the table, or having to dash to the shop for more coffee liqueur to satisfy the demand for Espresso Martinis!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | The bride wore a dipped hem lace skirt and button backed cropped top, both Monsoon Bridal. After having a serious moment with some crazy expensive Jimmy Choos in Harvey Nicks… the bride chose heels by Kurt Geiger, and rose gold jewellery by Ted Baker and Estella Bartlett. A unicorn necklace to add a bit of magic.
FINDING THE DRESS | I saw a picture of a skirt and top combo on a Pinterest boho bride and fell in love with the idea. It is still soft and bridal, but not too traditional. The dipped hem of the skirt lets the shoes be on show too – I am The Shoe Gal and needed my ‘Carrie’ moment, even after saying cheery-bye to the Choos! Ordered both online, tried it on with my Mum, and that was it! We felt quite cheated after all the hours of wedding dress TV shows, with all the brides having their ‘dress moment’, but it felt just right.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | The groom wore a three-piece Harris Tweed suit, from ASOS. His shirt and tie were from Farah, and braces from Fjällräven. His brogues are from Crockett & Jones, care of the bride’s stepdad Charlie.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | The bride and her dad walked down the aisle to ‘Songbird’ by Oasis. The lyrics were also referenced in the groom’s vows – she is his songbird. We signed and sealed the deal to ‘I Love to Boogie’ by T Rex.
Our reading was ‘A Lovely Love Story’ by Edward Monkton. It talks of a love story between two dinosaurs, which we just happened to see on our walk to the reception, hiding in amongst the greenery!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | The ‘maids were the bride’s sisters, and were asked to wear whatever they liked! They ended up in the same colour – Becca in a tie-back jumpsuit from ASOS, and Alex in a polka dot shift dress from Hobbs, both very pretty in pink.
THE FLOWERS | The bride’s beautiful bouquet, floral hair crown and groom’s buttonhole were created by the amazing and inspired Natasha at Tupelo Tree. She forages and uses what she finds in her creations. I asked for my flowers to look like they do naturally, all wild and green, like you have just scooped them up from the garden. She did just that, and they were tied up with pretty flowing silk plant-dyed ribbon. Beyond gorgeous.
THE CAKE | We chose donuts by Krispy Kreme. We got two dozen, and the kids loved them! The different colours and sprinkles looked fab! They were stacked up on log slices, cut from a tree from Mum’s garden, lovingly sanded and varnished by her.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | The wonderful Dani at Arcadiancity Photography. We can’t say nice enough things about her! Michael tends to sport a Chandler Bing-style grin in front of a camera, feeling mega uncomfortable. But Dani was so relaxed and made the day fun, and we shared lots of laughs. She shares our love for a natural, un-posey and honest style, and our photos are just stunning.
After the wedding, our photos arrived on a USB in a super cute matching wooden engraved box nestled amongst some of the confetti we used on the day.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The bride hand-embroidered hankies for the mums, and pocket squares for the dads. A special pair of socks for the Father of the Bride came from Not on the High Street.
We have five nephews, ageing from three to eight, so had them all in kilts. Cuteness overload! The boys were so popular when walking down the Royal Mile.
We love vinyl, so brought along our Crosley Cruiser record player. After the ceremony, we went shopping for our wedding day vinyl at Coda Music. Our guest book was also a vinyl of T Rex’s song ‘I Love to Boogie’, which guests signed, which we now have framed in the living room.
We had minimal decor at the reception. The existing decor at the Educated Flea is chic and fun, so all we added were some copper wire initial letters from HobbyCraft, and wooden bunting from Ginger Ray. For favours, the ladies got Rhubarb & Ginger Edinburgh Gin, and the gents got a wee dram of Scapa, one of the groom’s favourite whiskies.
THE HONEYMOON | We ‘mini-mooned’ in Manchester, going to the huge Courteeners gig at Old Trafford Cricket Ground. Our ‘mega-moon’ is currently under construction… the bride is dreaming of Aruba… HINT.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The bride was told that her Granny, also known as Lady GaGa, wasn’t going to be able to make the day having been unwell. The bride was given a gold and diamond horseshoe stock pin, which belonged to Granny and was worn in her show jumping days. The pin was placed onto the bride’s bouquet so she was there with her. But who was sat there as the bride walked down the aisle? LADY GAGA!! It was such an emotional moment that we’ll cherish always. It took us by surprise just how teary and love-filled the day was, from our surprise guest to the DIY vows to the speeches at the reception.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Sounds cheesy, but take a moment during the day to take it all in! The day just flies by, so it’s important to look at the smiling (or crying!) faces and appreciate that they are all there for you as a couple. Hope you have the day of your dreams!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Arcadiancity Photography
Flowers | Tupelo Tree
Hair | Gail at Detail Hair
Reception | Educated Flea Restaurant
Thank you so much to WWW readers Amy and Michael for sharing their beautiful day with us! Val Xx