WWW readers Gavin and Charlotte tied the knot on the 1st February 2014 in a humanist ceremony at Winton House in Scotland.
They wanted a personal winter wedding which represented them as a couple. With a striking green colour scheme, the bridesmaids looked lovely in Ghost dresses, the bouquets used gorgeous foliage and they kept their décor pretty and low key.
Gavin had a sharp suit which he accessorised with a green tie and pocket square while Charlotte looked wonderful in her Alan Hannah tea length dress, green shawl, and Rachel Simpson shoes. Be sure to spot their sweet dog in the images too :-)
Thanks goes to Kimberley Brand for sharing her fabulous imagery with us.
THE PROPOSAL | An innocent and unsuspicious walk with our Springer Spaniel Loki turned into something I’d never expected. One of our favourite things to do as a couple is go on big, long walks around Edinburgh with our dog. We’d had a busy few weeks with work and hadn’t be able to spend much time together so Gavin suggested we go for a walk around/up Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh followed by a burger and pint of beer at one of our favourite pubs, Holyrood 9A. When we got to the top Gavin said he wanted sit down for a bit to enjoy the view and said he’d take a photo of me and Loki. Suddenly he got down on one knee and produced a box and asked me to be his wife. I was in such a state of shock that I actually forgot to say yes! When I eventually did the next 30 minutes were a bit of a blur; he had a bottle of champagne tucked away in his bag with 2 glasses, which we opened and shared on Arthur’s Seat then and there, after that we went for a burger and pint at the pub!
THE VISION | We’d always talked about a winter wedding as living in Scotland means the weather is ultimately unpredictable and you’re actually likely to get a nicer day in winter than you are in the summer! So with that in mind we wanted a wedding that was wintery, warm, cosy and personal. Both Gavin and I share a huge, huge obsession with beer so we wanted that to play a huge part on our day too, involving our dog Loki was a huge thing for us too. Both of us being English and getting married in Scotland meant we could get away with having a few Scottish quirks at our wedding, but couldn’t really get away with having a piper or tartan stationery, but that’s fine. What we definitely did want was a Ceilidh, which turned out to be the best thing we arranged!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We had around 18 months to plan the wedding so really did take our time. My geeky husband took pride in putting together a variety of planning spreadsheets including guest list planning, budget planning, and a month-by-month timeline of what we had to organise for the wedding. We actually really, really enjoyed planning our wedding and didn’t have a single disagreement which seemed to different from a few stories we’d heard from some of our married friends.
THE VENUE | It was really difficult narrowing our search down but we managed to do it, and we went to see 5 venues in the end. Gavin and I both actually had a conflicting view of what we wanted from our venue, I wanted something quite plain that I could put a lot of personality into (such as a empty barn) but Gavin found it really difficult to visualise a blank canvas and wanted something that was more ‘readymade’. The last venue we went to see was Winton House, which ticked every single one of both our boxes. It’s an exclusive venue that only hosts a handful of weddings per year. What we really fell in love with was the fact that there was a family that lived in a separate wing of the house year round so the venue felt so much like a home, that they were sharing with us. As we walked in to view the venue, all the fires were lit, the lights were dimmed and we immediately felt comfortable. Gavin studied ancient history and university and Winton House came with a lovely back history and a bunch of historical artefacts in each room that they were more than happy for you to pick up and have a look at – I think this swayed it for Gavin and I was already sold when I saw the huge lit fireplace in the entrance hall!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I wore an Alan Hannah tea-length wedding dress and I couldn’t have wished for anything more, it just suited me to a tea! It wasn’t overwhelming, revealing and it didn’t make me feel constricted at all, it is actually one of the most comfortable pieces of clothing I own! To finish my look I wore mint green peep toe heels from Rachel Simpson, a peridot (my birth stone) necklace that Gavin had bought me for our anniversary a few years previous, and a Pandora bracelet that my mum had gifted me on the day. My hair was curled and plaited and I wore a dried lavender and rosemary hairpin to match my bouquet.
FINDING THE DRESS | I bought my dress from the fantastic Rachel Scott Bridal Couture on Dundas Street in Edinburgh. Rachel was absolutely wonderful and made me feel like a bride from the second I stepped into the shop. I had quite a strict idea in my head of the kind of dress I wanted; being quite petite meant I was really conscious of being drowned by a huge wedding dress. I actually ended up choosing the very first dress I tried on on my day of dress fittings (despite spending the rest of the day trying on other dresses that just didn’t hit the mark).
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Gavin’s main thought was that he definitely didn’t want to wear a morning suit or have tails. Instead he chose a simple, understated grey 3 piece suit and instead focused on other areas of his outfit. He bought a pair of brown brogues that are now his pride and joy and bought a beautiful green tie and pocket square to match. To finish off his outfit I gifted him with a family pocket watch, passed down by his mum to me, which I’d had engraved for him. He co-ordinated his outfit with his 2 best men and his groomsman, giving them a tie in a different shade of green to differentiate – it worked really, really well and they all looked incredibly handsome. Who’d have thought Gavin could be so fashionable!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We decided on a humanist wedding as neither of us are religious but we wanted our wedding to be a little bit more than a civil ceremony. Choosing to have a humanist wedding was one of the best decisions we made as we were basically able to write the entire ceremony ourselves. Gavin’s best man read a passage from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, one of my bridesmaid’s read a great poem called ‘Love Me When I’m Old and Shocking’ and my mum read William H Matchett’s ‘Gathering’. I walked down the aisle to Jason Mraz’s I won’t Give Up and we left to The Lumineer’s Ho Hey.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had 2 bridesmaids, my best friends Jess and Sarah. I pretty much told them a budget and colour and gave them free reign with the dress. I just wanted them to wear the same style. They chose a lovely green silk dress from Ghost which suited them both perfectly and went incredibly well with their flower bouquets.
THE FLOWERS | Our flowers were done by The Stockbridge Flower Company and again, we couldn’t have asked for anything more. Gavin and I aren’t hugely into flowers so we didn’t really know what we wanted. What we did know was that we didn’t want anything to formal or stuffy but instead wanted flowers that matched our personality, that were informal and wild. Kate was just amazing, we showed her a few photos of things we liked and took her through our colour theme and she was able to come up with an entire flower theme based on what we’d said – a true skill!
THE CAKE | Our most controversial wedding decision (as suggested by my mum and various other family members)! Gavin and I both agreed that we really didn’t want a traditional wedding cake as we just wouldn’t enjoy it ourselves, so instead we decided to have a wonderful cake tower of cheese! The cheese tasting was probably one of my favourite parts of wedding planning and the cheese went down a storm on the day, so much so that we barely had any left despite buying enough cheese to feed twice as many people as we had there on the night!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Kimberley Brand was our lovely, lovely photographer who we’d found through a mutual friend. She totally got us, got what we did and didn’t want and I honestly still can’t understand how she managed to get so many wonderful shots despite the fact that I only remember seeing her once on the day! She really captured everything that was important to us, shots of our food, decor, Loki, natural poses from our speeches and most of all she took some fabulous photos from our ceilidh and disco.
THE DETAILS & DECOR |Pinar at Curious Me, who we found on Etsy, designed our wedding invitations, food menus and name cards. She was actually one of the first people we got in touch with and helped us to set the tone of the entire wedding.
Our food menu was really important to us as we’re both confessed foodies. We served up food that we knew we’d love, without thinking too much about what our guests would eat to be honest; start was pulled pork bonbons and black pudding and beetroot, main was confit duck and dessert was a decadent chocolate pot! We also had canapés which must have been good because I had to fight to get any on my own wedding day!
For our favours we had The Marshmallow Lady in Edinburgh whip up some Innis and Gunn beer flavoured marshmallows which spontaneously got toasted by our guests using one of the outside fire pits in the evening.
Our table décor was a creation of mine, table names were our favourite Scottish breweries so we used a bottle from that brewery as the centrepiece with mini blackboards and then had lovely jam jars with twine filled with Kate’s lovely flowers to finish the tables off.
THE HONEYMOON |We went to New York for 10 days straight after the wedding. Much of our honeymoon was planned around where we were going to eat and drink and this was totally the best way to enjoy New York! We spent the 10 days eating and drinking our way around East and West Village, Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS |The number of guests coming up to myself and Gavin and expressing their enjoyment of our wedding ceremony. We had the oldest guest members such as our grandparents completely overwhelmed at how personal our ceremony was as well as younger members who were just completely unaware that you could personalise it as much as we did. This made us so, so happy as we’d put so much into the ceremony script.
Speaking to some of our friends at the end of the night who were in relationships and listening to how loved up they sounded after enjoying our day so much. We are the first of a lot of our friends to get married and I think it really made people thing about how much fun a wedding was and made them think ‘I want this’.
Watching Gavin as I walked down the aisle was just the most incredible and emotional minute of my life, all the memories from our 6 year relationship just came flooding back to me in that minute – I couldn’t contain myself!
Lastly, it was absolutely amazing to get a photo with our dog Loki, as he’s essentially our child and he couldn’t imagine not having him there. Winton’s caretaker very kindly looked after him for the day too, which we’re incredibly grateful for.
I keep remembering more great memories! Our food was just amazing, and the feedback we got about it, especially from our vegetarian guests was just amazing. I even had to undo my wedding dress a bit because I ate soooo much!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES |I know it’s really hard, but try not to be too nervous the morning of your wedding. I felt extremely nervous right before I walked down the aisle and I have no idea why. All the nerves went away as soon as I saw Gavin.
Seriously try and enjoy every single minute, before I knew it it was 12 o clock and everyone was leaving and it felt like I’d just got out of bed!
Don’t let anyone tell you how to organise your day, if you don’t want a traditional wedding cake, don’t have one, if you want an unusual dinner menu, go for it! Remember to think about yourselves as well as your guests.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Dress | Rachel Scott Bridal Couture
Flowers | The Stockbridge Flower Company
Photography | Kimberley Brand Photography
Stationery | Curious Me Wedding Stationery
Venue | Winton House
Such a sweet day.
Huge thanks to Gavin and Charlotte for sharing their gorgeous wedding story with us today XOXO Lou