Relaxed & Rustic Autumn Berry Barn Wedding

Petal Confetti Throw Rhynd Wedding Harper Scott Photo

We’re headed to Scotland today, St Andrews to be precise for the Autumn wedding of WWW readers Kate and John who were married at The Rhynd on the 20th October 2018. They envisioned a relaxed and rustic barn wedding complete with berry tones and twinkling lights. I just adore the cosy feel to their day, thanks to the magical setting and those warm colours. Mixing up the deep red colour scheme, the bridesmaids wore pale pink, which I think worked ever so wonderfully. Talking of attire, Kate and John along with their wedding party all looked so stylish in their chosen outfits.

The top priorities for their celebrations were live music, great drink and good food, all three came to fruition and guests really were in for a treat!

They kept the wedding planning stress free by not going overboard on the décor and they let their venue do the talking. The focus instead was on happy times and smiles all round, which is certainly evident in these fabulous photographs courtesy of Harper Scott Photo, who we cannot thank enough for sharing them with us.

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The Proposal

It happened on 20th October 2017, exactly a year before our wedding. We had been together for 5 years at that point, and been through various jobs/flats, and were living in Glasgow. On that particular day we were moving back to our favourite city, Edinburgh – excited, exhausted, and relieved that the Glasgow chapter had closed. After a busy and frantic move-in day, John hastily rescued a ring from where it had been hiding in the depths of his golf bag and got down on one knee. I had just been about to start scrubbing the kitchen in our new home, but that plan went quickly out the window as we dashed to the local shop to get champagne/bourbon which we drank from mugs! It was perfect being the first night in our new house and back in Edinburgh.

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The Vision

We knew we wanted our wedding to be relaxed, rustic and with lots of food/drink and dancing. I have always wanted to get married in a barn, but fortunately this fitted in with our vision of a big party, without any of the formalness of a church / function suite. John’s key priorities were Blues music, bourbon and good food – we really wanted everyone to have a big hearty meal. John used to be a chef so food was very important aspect of our planning. Autumn is our favourite time of year, we love the rich, warm colours and the cooler weather (neither of us are big sun-worshippers) so this played a big part in our “vision” too.

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The Planning Process

We got started straight away as we knew we didn’t want to wait years and years to get married – other friends who had married had booked venues well in advance so we knew we had to be quick to find something we like. Having both been at St Andrews university and us still having a strong connection to Fife, we set about looking for barn venues through there. We already knew quite a few of the options, but it was my bridesmaid Kate who found The Rhynd one day on a random Google search – it looked perfect. A few weeks after we got engaged we went through to Fife and looked at two venues with my parents. The first wasn’t right for us at all, and I got very disheartened thinking this was going to be harder than we thought. However, we then visited The Rhynd two days later and it was love at first sight. We both knew straight away it was what we wanted – it was absolutely freezing and completely empty but we could see it was the perfect space for our day. After assuring both our mums that it WOULD be warm on the day itself, we were lucky enough to book one of dates in The Rhynd’s first year as a wedding venue.

We then started straight away on booking everything else required, knowing from friend’s experience and my wedding-blog stalking, that things book up fast. We were lucky enough to find some amazing suppliers who made it so easy from the beginning. Our caterer Patrick Gilmour had excellent advice about the food and venue set up as well as cooking delicious food, our florist Amy Annand was very experienced with the venue and had amazing suggestions, our photographer Carole-Ann at Harper Scott was knowledgeable and so lovely from the beginning and Ally from Piece of Time Videography was cool, calm and collected – we knew we trusted them all from day one.

The band was a bit more of a struggle, with bands so often being booked up months in advance. John stumbled across Borrowed Blues and was hooked – we went to a showcase evening they had in Glasgow and when both our feet did not stop tapping throughout, we booked up. I’ll admit I wasn’t sure that they would appeal to all generations at the wedding, but John’s hunch was right and they were absolutely fantastic.

Once all these big things were booked, it felt like there were quite a few months which were a lull, but I think that is because we had been quick to get everything sorted. We also knew we did not want to do lots and lots of DIY and décor, as we felt the venue spoke for itself, so this cut out a lot of time and worry.

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The Venue

The Rhynd is a beautiful barn venue just outside Leuchars. The owners Ed and Natasha got married there themselves and when we went to view the venue, Ed showed us round and told us all about his day and how the space could be used. The space is not as big as other barn venues in Fife but this was a key reason we loved it as it was cosy without being cramped or colossal and had clearly defined spaces for different parts of the day. The venue is very much DIY, but the team as well as our suppliers were very quick to help with suggestions and made the whole process very easy.

The venue is beautifully lit in autumn/winter with fairy lights and candles but I’ve also seen it in pictures from summer weddings and with the large outdoor space, it works really well.

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I booked Sophie Alexis Make Up based on a recommendation, and she and her colleague Kelly (who did our hair) were fab. I would usually feel really silly and self-conscious getting my make up done, but Sophie really listened to what I wanted and helped me to look natural and “myself” on the day, although definitely a more groomed version! I would also normally never wear my hair up, but as it suited the style of my dress I thought I would try it. Kelly helped tweak the style so I felt really comfortable and confident. I left my bridesmaids to choose their own styles, knowing they all know far more about hair and beauty than me and that they would look beautiful regardless!

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The original plan was for the groomsmen to have tweed suits also, to compliment John’s. However this isn’t something that is really available for hire, and we also found it difficult to find something to match John’s green suit. In the end we visited a couple of kilt shops and the Weathered Black Watch Kilts and light green/stone jackets were a great match. The boys and John had a matching Weathered Black Watch tie which really brought it all together.

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The Readings & Music

We had two readings. “How Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog” – Taylor Mali – was a reading we had seen very early on in the planning stage and was perfect for us. We have a 2 year old Cockapoo called Murphy and this reading just reflected so much about relationships and love from our perspective, whilst being very funny and true to our experience of owning a dog. My university friends (and big Murphy fans) did this reading, as we knew they could give it the humour it deserved. Hilary actually brought a canvas of Murphy to hold during the reading – it was left on the table and so in some pictures looks like we had a shrine set up for the dog haha!

“Union” by Robert Fulgham was our second reading. This one made us both cry when we read it the first time and again seemed quite true to our story/feelings. We asked my sister and John’s brother to read this just before our vows and it was really special.

In terms of music, our usher Bradshaw did an excellent job with playing DJ! We had “Glasgow Love Theme” by Craig Armstrong (better known as the Love Actually soundtrack) for me to walk up the aisle too – I’ve always loved this powerful piece of music. We then had Mr Blue Sky during the signing of the register – it is one of our favourite songs and we have lots of happy memories singing it in the car! We thought it was too fast as a first dance, but was a lovely upbeat song at that moment in the ceremony.

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Your Outfits & Accessories

Bride’s Dress – I didn’t ever really have a vision of what my dress would be like, more of a vision of what it wouldn’t be like. However, just like so many brides, that is almost exactly what I went for in the end! On the first day looking we went to two shops, the second of which was La Novia on Queen Street in Edinburgh. We were swept up almost immediately by Lilliana the owner who quickly listened to me and then came up with a dress/bolero option. As soon as I put it on I knew it felt ‘different’ but because it was the first day, I wasn’t exactly sure it was what I wanted. I felt older and like a different version of myself and I wasn’t sure if that was a good thing. We went to a few more shops over the course of the next couple of weeks but I didn’t stop talking about that first dress and little minor details about it (sorry Mum!) so we knew we had to go back. Along with my mum and sister, and Liliana’s beautiful dalmation Oscar, I chose my dress about a month after first trying it on. It was part of Liliana’s own range so the dress and bolero were made bespoke for me. I also got a beautiful beaded veil from her shop. My shoes were Rachel Simpson, and were a special treat from my mum. I’ve never owned a more beautiful pair of shoes, but they were also so comfortable and I danced in them all night – just need to find lots of excuses to wear them again!

John had his heart set on a tweed suit. We visited Walker Slater a couple of times, and he knew he really wanted the green Donegal tweed suit early on. Given how tall he is and that they don’t carry much stock, we were told to keep an eye on the website for the correct stock coming in. As soon as it did, John was in touch with the shop to have the suit kept aside and he bought it the next weekend. He also knew he wanted a waistcoat and after Walker Slater’s tailor moved on, Stewart Christie saved the day and made him a beautiful custom waistcoat to compliment the suit and groomsmen’s kilts. The service we received there was excellent. To complete his look, John was also gifted a pocket watch from his parents from a local jewellers from Boston, Lincolnshire, where he is from which was a lovely touch.

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The Flowers

Our fab florist Amy Annand transformed the venue with the flowers. I knew from the start I wanted autumnal, berry flowers and colours and she just took a very wooly and basic brief and created the most beautiful set up and bouquets. When the set up was finished on the Friday, we just couldn’t believe the warmth and colours that the flowers seemed to bring out in the venue, they suited it perfectly. Amy was so lovely to work with – she takes every idea and turns it into something amazing.

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The dresses are part of the True Bride Luna range, and we got them from Kudos Bridal. I knew I wanted a beaded dress for the girls from the beginning, and so this really shaped my search. When I found the True Bride range I fell in love with the Luna dresses. Kudos were great and let us also visit their Dunfermline shop where they had the particular style I liked to try on.

The colour was Apricot Pink – I chose to go for a pale colour as I wanted the contrast with the autumnal/berry coloured flowers, which I think worked well on the day. I had a few panics it would all clash but I think every bride does!

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Your Photographer

Our photographer was the amazing Carole-Ann from Harper Scott Photography. We had quite a clear vision in mind for our photographs and fell in love with Carole-Ann’s images when I came across her website. It was the colours mainly we loved, with so many natural elements/colours, but also the relaxed composition and happy smiling faces she consistently captures. After dropping her an email we had a quick chat a few days later and I just thought she was so lovely! We were quick to book up, knowing we were in safe hands. Carole-Ann kept in touch in the build up to the day, and we had a fun Skype chat a couple of weeks before the big day which really put us at ease. We knew we were getting a fantastic, experienced and fun photographer. What we couldn’t have expected however was how well Carole-Ann read ‘us’ and various situations on the day. She kept us calm, made us laugh and there was no pressure to do anything at any point. We had said before that we just wanted a few quick couple photos straight after the group shots so we could go back and enjoy the party, but I think Carole-Ann knew we needed a wee break to enjoy and relax after the group photos. We were then out for about 30-40 minutes for photos together, and that turned out to be one of the most special parts of the day – we got to chat, laugh and just have some time away together before the rest of the day. The photos themselves capture the spirit of our day perfectly and we are thrilled.

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Your Filmmaker

We chose family friend Ally’s company Piece of Time Videography to do our wedding video, and he was great. We haven’t seen the final edit yet, but we can’t wait. What we do know is that Ally and his team were so friendly, organised and, in the nicest possible way, masters of “blending into the background” which is really important.   As the weeks have gone on our memories of the day have faded a little so I am so glad we decided to go for a video. I’ll probably watch it a hundred times!

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The Honeymoon

We knew we wanted a proper honeymoon – we haven’t really gone anywhere on holiday before, except for Scotland and Madeira where John’s parents have a timeshare. San Francisco has always been top of John’s list so that was our starting point – we ended up having 3 days sightseeing in San Francisco, and then on to the amazing Fairmont Mayakoba in Riviera Maya, Mexico – all-inclusive is definitely the way forward for a relaxing holiday!

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The Details & Décor

We took most of our inspiration for the decor from the other other couples who have got married at The Rhynd, mainly Ed and Natasha who own the venue. We had long banquet style tables with candelabras which created a really beautiful dining space. Long tables are also great for mixing up guests so people can get to know each other without being isolated.

With our autumnal palette in mind, a theme started to emerge when we were doing our invitations and were drawn to a design with racing car green with gold foil. We wanted to make the design our own and John (the creative one of us!) designed us our own emblem with our favourite animals – John, a stag, and me, an elephant. This then featured across much of our stationery and signage and was a lovely personal touch. The dark green looked great with the colours of the flowers and really suited the venue too.

The wedding cars – for me, it always had to be a Defender! My dream car since I can’t remember then! If it hadn’t been that, it would have been a tractor but that might have made the 45 minute drive to the venue a lot longer!! I loved the drive, although maybe underestimated fitting my dress into the back seat!

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Memorable Moments

  • Our humanist ceremony was really memorable, for us and for our guests. With Tim (Maguire)’s guidance, we wrote our ceremony from scratch. It was so nice to hear people laugh during our wedding ceremony, and it felt like everyone was very involved. John was quite emotional when I arrived with my Dad, but it felt like we could be totally relaxed and there were no formalities. We also had a quaich ceremony – we bought a bottle of our favourite whisky Lagavuillan 16 and shared a wee dram, and the plan is to do this every year on our wedding anniversary (we will have to replace the bottle very quickly if John’s measures are anything like the one he had at the wedding!)
  • John’s brother Ben doing the Strip The Willow, completely on his own and completely wasted. It was faultless and he didn’t interrupt the actual dance once, which is quite a skill! It wasn’t memorable for Ben as he had no memory of doing it!
  • When my 91-year-old Granny left during the dancing, she told us it was the happiest wedding she had ever been to which was the nicest thing and is exactly how we both feel about the day.

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The Cake

Our cake was from Marks and Spencers – it was just plain sponge but was very good! I got a cake topper from Not on The High Street, which is now a decoration in our house, and we put some tartan ribbon and flowers on it (well Amy did!) It was simple, yummy and looked great which is all you need!

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Advice For Other Couples

In the run up to the big day, I had assumed I would be a bit stressed and very aware of all the details/timings on the day. In reality, it was the literally the best day of our lives and our suppliers/family made the whole thing as stress free as possible. Even the band arriving slightly late due to a motorway crash didn’t seem important. So advice would be is try not to sweat the small stuff, it will all come together in the end and the only thing that really matters is getting married.

I think another reason for this and therefore my advice would be to not to take on too much – we kept decoration and details to a minimum, which meant less fuss and less sleepless nights. You can get carried away in a world of Pinterest, but at the end of the day the details you and others notice are the smiling faces and friendships being formed across your friends and family groups.

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Credit Where Credit Is Due

Such a magical and cosy wedding day.

Thanks ever so much to Kate and John for sharing their gorgeous wedding story with us xo Lou

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