Choosing where to get married can be a tricky decision, but not so much for this wonderful couple. Sophie and Robin met while studying at St Andrews just as Robin’s parents did too and so they chose the same location to tie the knot, St Salvators Chapel.
On the 13th June 2015 they said their vows to one another followed by a reception at the magical Kinkell Byre in Fife. Fairy lights swathed the cow sheds alongside lanterns and a gorgeous arch way.
One of my favourite elements of this wedding has to be the rich burgundy blooms and alongside the mismatched 1930s feel bridesmaids dresses they looked fabulous. Sophie donned Sunrose by Suzanne Neville with a dreamy lace veil and Robin wore the family kilt. There were so many personal and meaningful touches and moments in this happy celebration.
Many thanks goes to Lauren McGlynn Photography for sharing these divine images with us.
THE PROPOSAL | Due to work commitments we had to live apart for a year, me in Scotland and Robin in Switzerland. I went to visit around Easter and as soon as I arrived I noticed he was acting strange – then he handed me a clue for a treasure hunt. I’ve done similar things for his birthday so he thought I’d love to be on the receiving end and he was right! The clues were all puns on traditional wedding vows and the last piece of the puzzle wasn’t an engagement ring, but an onion ring crisp (my favourite!) which I promptly smashed in half. Of course he did produce a beautiful ring later on, which has proved rather more durable.
THE VISION | I tried to avoid anything themed, focussing instead on the colour palette to tie things together: neutrals with gold and a little bit of burgundy. My engagement ring is from the 1930s so I knew I wanted a little nod to that era in the outfits.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | I booked all the major vendors very soon after our engagements, as a few months later we moved to Vienna. Over the next 9 months I kept in contact online, keeping records of absolutely everything – so many spreadsheets! – and sourcing a lot of stuff from Etsy, Amazon and eBay. If I couldn’t find something that I wanted then I DIYed it: for example I designed all the stationery myself and although it took me a while, I’m so glad I did that rather than settle for something I didn’t like.
THE VENUE | We met while studying at St Andrews, so we knew we wanted to get married in the university’s St Salvators Chapel. Robin’s parents also met while studying in St Andrews and got married in St Salvators 31 years ago – so it’s a sentimental location as well as a beautiful one. There’s a lack of large venues around St Andrews but we were lucky enough to be able to hire Kinkell Byre, a set of converted cowsheds a few miles out of town. They basically let you do what you want with it, which I found refreshing after having seen a few venues with very inflexible guidelines.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress is Suzanne Neville’s Sunrose design, to which I was able to add a sweetheart neckline and ¾ length lace sleeves. I wanted to keep the accessories minimal; my earrings are from Jenny Packham at Debenhams and I wore two silver bracelets that I wear almost every day anyway. With the veil, however, minimal was out of the question – I wanted full length and I wanted lace! I’m genuinely upset that I will never be able to wear it again – it made me feel like the Virgin Mary. My sparkly shoes were one of the first things I bought and thankfully I’ll be able to wear them again and again. Of course I slipped into a more comfortable pair of bridal-white Converse for the later part of the evening…
FINDING THE DRESS | I found dress shopping unnerving at first – you’re centre of attention and faced with a baffling array of choice. In the end I only went to two shops and found “the dress” at Perfect Bridal Rooms, Aberdeen. I didn’t have that “moment” some people talk about, but my mum did tear up a couple of times, which surprised us both!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Robin wore his grandfather’s kilt which has now been worn at 3 generations of McKenna weddings! It’s around 50 years old and is apparently rather old fashioned, being longer than modern models. To go with that he wanted a custom tweed jacket and waistcoat. He was in the country over Christmas and in one morning managed to get his measurements taken, order the tweed and buy the flashes, socks, tie and shirt… Talk about efficient!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We found it hard to choose our non-Biblical reading as we were very picky – it couldn’t be soppy, clichéd or smug… Eventually we landed on [Love Is More Thicker Than Forget] by EE Cummings, which we thought was romantic without being too romantic. Schubert’s Ave Maria was played while we signed the register, just like when my parents got married, and of course I walked down the aisle to The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba – it’s really your only chance, right? Our first dance was to Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley – I’ve had it chosen since I was about 6 and my grandpa helped me to pick it out on the piano.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My bridesmaids were our younger sisters and my two best friends. I scoured the internet to find dresses that fit the criteria – floor length, vaguely 1930s, neutral – and set up a Pinterest board for them to choose their favourites. It took a bit of nudging, though – I wanted them to choose and I think they expected that I would choose! I managed to find each of them on sale, a small victory in a sea of great expenses, and then left them to find their own shoes. They spoiled me rotten with two superb hen nights and were absolute champs on the day – not to mention they looked gorgeous!
THE FLOWERS | As soon as I saw Sophie Wilson’s (I Heart Flowers) wedding work I knew I wanted her to do our flower arrangements! I was so impressed with everything she created for our day and almost cried when I had to leave the table decorations behind. Her designs were very intuitive and she captured just what I was looking for.
THE CAKE | My Auntie Dorothy is an incredible baker and cook and offered to make our cake as her gift to us. It was a huge undertaking, as she lives in Durham and had to transport the whole thing in her car! The layers were different flavours but all covered in a beautiful Italian buttercream with white chocolate. She even made a separate layer for the remaining guests to enjoy the next day! I love twee vintage cake toppers and found our one on Etsy – the date stamped on the bottom is 1948, which happens to be the year that both sets of my grandparents were married.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We chose Lauren McGlynn to photograph the day as we loved her laidback style and also her attitude towards weddings in general. Being abroad we met her only days before the wedding and I know that we were both nervous about being in front of the camera for an extended period of time . We needn’t have worried as she made us feel far more comfortable than I could have imagined. On the day she was so efficient with portraits and managed to put everyone at ease. I also had no idea that she was capturing all these great candid moments until we got the finished photos back – she was like a shadow!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The Byre is such a beautiful space that we kept the décor pretty simple. However, my favourite piece of décor was a display of photos of our grandparents and parents on their wedding days. I had been told that a photo of my paternal grandparents on their wedding day might not exist, but all my family members raided their collections and we found it! Our mums also made a whole load of tissue pompoms that we used to create a cute archway.
The food was very important to us and we loved the menu that Duke Street created for us. We started off with Bellinis and Venetian inspired appetisers, while our dinner was a Middle Eastern themed feast of mezze followed by roast lamb and a dessert of beautiful Turkish delight. We hired the lovely Billy Anderson to provide a traditional ceilidh and then there was a DJ afterwards.
THE HONEYMOON | We decided to go to a Croatian island, Vis, which we’d visited a few years ago and loved. It’s very isolated and beautiful, with hills full of vineyards and sweet little hidden beaches. Robin got to swim in the sea every day, I got to lie back and catch up on my reading and then at night we pretty much gorged ourselves on local seafood and wine – it was perfect.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | It all went by in a bit of a blur for both of us! But we both loved the moment when were piped in to the dinner by a family friend – walking into a room full of your friends and family giving you a standing ovation is pretty memorable and special. Also for some reason I imagined myself walking down the aisle with a very demure look on my face, and I did try – but as soon as I saw Robin’s grin I couldn’t help grinning the biggest grin I’ve ever grinned.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | If you want something, have it. If you don’t want something, don’t have it.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Groom| Phillip King Kiltmaker
Venue | Kinkell Byre
Photography | Lauren McGlynn Photography
Catering | Duke Street Catering
Flowers | IHeartFlowers
Many thanks to Sophie and Robin for sharing their story with us here at WWW xo Lou