Enchanting Ancient Forest Wedding

Enchanting Ancient Forest Wedding http://donnamurrayphotography.com/

There is magic in the air this morning thanks to this enchanting woodland wedding held at Ballogie Estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Emma and Gordon spend a lot of time in the forest and so their wish was to say I do beneath the canopy of trees, surrounded by their very fave people. Isn’t that just wonderful? They set the date of all the sevens, the 7th July 2017 and got stuck into planning whilst travelling in South America. There was a nod to their travels during the day too, with the surprise arrival of Alpacas in bow ties.

Emma was the epitome of boho elegance in her chosen gown, the stunning Papillion by Claire Pettibone, with it’s botanical inspired back detail, it was just perfect for the occasion. Her maids looked stunning by her side in cool yet luxe long crochet dresses. The gents all donned kilts in vibrant green which tied all of their styles together just so. As did the flowers in fact, which were created using oodles of greenery and pale peonies. Swoon.

We cannot thank Donna Murray Photography enough for sharing these dreamy images in the forest with us.

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THE PROPOSAL | In Rome, after an amazing food tour, we headed to Villa Borghese, a geographically shaped park, we stumbled upon a beautiful little lake right in the middle of the park. Gordon suggested we hire out the paddle boat. Once aboard, he rowed to the middle and then popped the question. It was amazing! There were other boats that started cheering for us.

THE VISION | We spend a lot of time time in the forest, so our ceremony definitely had to been in the woods and I really wanted to find ancient woodland to be precise. I wasn’t sure if I was bit mad planning to have our outdoor ceremony in the North of Scotland, where we live. The weather is so unpredictable and I really didn’t want my guests to be cold and wet.

Saying that, nothing is more beautiful to me than being in the forest and so, taking the risk on, our search for our ceremony spot began. I imagined that our reception venue would not be too grand but rather simple and elegant amidst a beautiful outdoor area.

THE PLANNING PROCESS | We got engaged in October and in December we left to go travelling in South America for three months. The wedding date was set for July, giving us a little more than eight months to plan everything.

Before we left Scotland, we had to secure the really big ticket items such  as the venue, the dress, the Humanist and the caterers. Whilst we were travelling we made time to plan our wedding. It was mostly ideal planning from a beach or in the mountains, but the poor wifi did slow the process down. Whilst travelling we secured the band, created and sent out our  save the dates (via Paperless Post) designed a wedding website, put together a menu and planned the look of our wedding (lots of Pinterest boards!).

BUDGET | Our parents were very generous and with our contributions combined we had a budget of £30,000.

THE VENUE | Ballogie Estate, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire. A very close family friend manages the Ballogie Estate land and told me about the venue. It was Ballogies first year of holding weddings there and when I went to go and see the house, it was pretty much a shell, renovations would not be ready until March 2017. The marquee was not there either. However, Ballogie Estate boasts many beautiful acres of ancient woodland. The Ballogie team were so willing to make my vision real that we decided to  go ahead and book the venue. It was a great decision.

THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress is Claire Pettibone, Papillion. My shoes were Irregular Choice Ban Joe. My necklace was from Rox, a Diamond Tension Set Pendant.

FINDING THE DRESS | I found it in the forth wedding dress shop. My mum and I were in the middle range shop, with the top range downstairs, where the bathroom was. My mum visited the toilet and then convinced me to come down and have a look at these dresses. The handmade detail on the back of the dress had me at first sight. Unfortunately, it was way out of my budget at £5,000 but I was determined to get my hands on it somehow.

We left and went out for dinner with my Dad. By the time we had finished our meal, we had found someone selling the dress second hand in my size. Amazingly, the lady, Helena, selling the dress, who lived in England, was going to be in Wales, only a five minute drive from my parents house at Christmas time, where I was too, just before I went travelling. I tried the dress on the morning that Gordon and I left for the airport. Helena and her husband brought round a bottle of champagne and popped it open, at 10am in the morning. Her dress had a story and we talked about how I was taking that story forward.

GROOM’S ATTIRE | The men all rented their outfits from McCcalls Aberdeen. Gordon went with the Irish Pride Kilt.

THE READINGS & MUSIC | Our friend Andy from Atmosphere Sound and Lighting played some of our favourite laid back tunes for the guests upon arrival. Just before the bridal procession began we blasted our Just Cant Wait to Be King (Lion King) as my surname was to become King. I remember coming out the car and hearing our guest laughing and cheering to this. The bridesmaids came down to Here Comes the Sun, The Beatles and I walked down the aisle to Dream A Little Dream of Me, Mamas and Papas. Our band, The Woohoo Band, played a surprise song during the signing of the register, All you Need is Love, The Beetles. And leaving the ceremony, we had Nina Simones, Feeling Good.

BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My bridesmaids were Carlene, my sister in law, Sarah, my god-sister, and Sophie my best friend. I had my little three year old niece Kaiha as a flower girl along with my lovely younger cousins Anya and Mace.

THE FLOWERS | Flower Vogue styled by Carlene, who is a friend of ours. She was incredible through the whole process.

THE CAKE | Adam Steel, a very close friend made the cake, he just makes cakes as a hobby but I think he should go full time! It was gorgeous!

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Donna Murray. Donna was amazing, she took time out before the wedding to come and see our spot, and on the day she was so chilled out, which made me feel relaxed too. Best of all, we love our photos!

THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | I made the centrepieces, heart hanging decorations and the table plan myself. We found the Alpacas (a nod to our recent trip to South America) from Velvet Hall Alpacas.

THE HONEYMOON | We went to Berlin for a short city break, we have lots of friends that live there and we needed some chill out time. I think we will head to a hot beach pretty soon.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS | It was raining really heavily throughout the morning, so much so that Ballogie Team and I made the decision to set up in the marquee as well as in the forest. Despite the gloomy forecast, the clouds cleared and the sun even popped its head out, just before the ceremony. It stayed that way until 4:30, when the guests entered the marquee for the meal. We got to get married under our special tree! It is known as the Queen of Firs, being one of the largest in Europe.

The Alpacas were a complete surprise to our friends and family, they were adorable in their little tux ties!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Make sure you sneak away for 15 minutes with your partner to have some alone time!

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |

Photography | Donna Murray Photography

Caterers | Country Flavours of Alford

Venue | Ballogie Estate

Alpacas | Velvet Hall Alpacas

DJ | Atmosphere Sound and Lighting

Flowers | Flower Vogue

 

Well wasn’t that just so special? I love it all.

Thanks so very much to Emma and Gordon for sharing their incredible wedding story with us xo Lou

 

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