I have to say that I’ve never seen a wedding ceremony take place in a polytunnel before but I’m now a massive fan! WWW readers Kathryn and Dan tied the knot on 5th May 2017 at the beautiful Colstoun House near Edinburgh. Surrounded by gorgeous greenery and florals, their ceremony took place in the stunningly adorned polytunnel and a reception in the coach house followed. The whole day was relaxed and took place with a backdrop of sun and lots of flowers.
Kathryn and Dan really wanted a whole weekend of celebrations and hiring the whole venue meant that everyone could stay over and continue the merry-making. Their whole wedding is so stylish and really rather understated, aren’t the ivory bridesmaids ever so effective? There are so many gorgeous details to take in. I’m just loving the logo that they designed for the labels of the beer that they brewed themselves – what a lovely touch.
Our couple didn’t want anything too formal and the relaxed atmosphere of the day really shines through in the beautiful images from Solen Photography (thank you for sharing Solen). There was plenty of fun to be had and of course, no Scottish wedding would be complete without a ceilidh!
THE VISION | We had a clear vision and quickly put together a shared Pinterest board of preferred images from websites and blogs. Visually we wanted something that was relaxed but with a blend of styles and weren’t particularly set on any one theme – we just wanted it to reflect us. We also told people not to wear morning suits or black tie.
Having a good idea of what we did and didn’t want meant we could focus on what we felt was important. Including some personal touches.
A humanist ceremony: neither of us are religious so didn’t want a church wedding. We also felt that civil ceremonies can be a bit short. Humanism allows for more of a celebration and, better still, the humanist society in Scotland is legally recognised so no need to attend a registry office beforehand. You can also write the entire ceremony yourself if you are that way inclined (like Dan).
Brewing our own beer: why buy when you can brew… we went to the Stewart Brewing craft beer kitchen a few months before the wedding to brew our own IPA. It also meant we could our own branded bottles.
It should be noted however that while we had a clear vision we were open to ideas from our suppliers and worked with them to turn the vision into reality.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Lots of Pinterest, lots of Blogs. It was stressful at times but once the venue was found and catering was booked it was fairly straightforward. Dan kept a spreadsheet of key tasks and when things needed to be done – the main time limited actions were save the dates and invites. We chose to do all invites by email and built a wedding website with all the details – we used the theknot.com
We were lucky that our parents were supportive of all of ideas and helped us through any of the dilemmas we faced.
BUDGET | We didn’t have a set budget but knew it was important to compromise where necessary and to focus on certain things.
THE VENUE | The whole wedding was held at Colstoun House, East Lothian. We knew as soon as we left it was the right venue for us. Having been to many weddings in our 8 years together we had a clear idea about what we did and didn’t want from a venue; the bar had to be in the same room as the dance floor, we wanted people to be able to stay at/close to the venue, and have the ability to make a weekend of it.
Colstoun stood out from the beginning. Not only did it meet our criteria, it exceeded it. It manages to retain its character and history, the coach house is a great space, and there is so much to explore throughout the house and grounds with many unique features. It also offers choice for the ceremony – we went for the newly built polytunnel.
You are able to hire the venue for the whole weekend and guests are able to stay on site, either in the main house or in the cottages around the venue. There are also plenty of hotels, B&Bs etc in or around Haddington. Edinburgh is only about 30 minutes away so it is super accessible. We wanted to make our wedding a weekend event so this allowed us to have a meal for the wedding party on the Friday night and a hog roast for guests on the Sunday.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Kathryn had an idea in her head for how she wanted to look on the day so started by looking for dress ideas on blogs and instagram. Eventually she came across an American brand called Daughters of Simone and loved the bohemian feel and the simplicity of the dresses. She lucked out and found a stockist in East London called Heart a flutter so booked an appointment for herself and her bridesmaids to go and try a few on.
We all absolutely loved one dress in particular which ended up being the one. It was called the Finn dress. It was made in a gorgeous lace, was unstructured and had this amazing low back and fishtail soft train. Kathryn knew she would be able to dance the night away in it which was really important to her. She wore a flower crown in my hair, simple diamond earrings, a present from Dan, a borrowed bracelet from my mum, and my shoes were are gorgeous pair of nude flats from Aquazurra.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Dan wore a tailored suit from Hackett. The Best Men and Ushers wore their own suits – they all had nice ones in the same colour and most wore their wedding suits. They wore tartan ties that matched Kathryn’s dad’s kilt.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Ceremony and reception: We chose Yasmin Worral to sing as guests arrived as well as during the ceremony and reception. We wanted live music rather than recordings.
Entrance song: Here comes the sun (Beatles)
Songs during the ceremony: We didn’t want traditional songs at the wedding but knew that singing is an important part of the celebration. We therefore chose a couple of popular songs; Sweet Child of Mine (Guns n Roses) and, I’m a Believer (Monkees). We provided the words and Yasmin provided the backing.
Readings: Adapted version of the Wedding Song (Bob Dylan) read by Dan’s Sister. Kathryn’s brother Andrew wrote a version of Choose from Trainspotting (Choose life… etc) full of personal references. You can hear this reading in our wedding video.
Exit music: You’re my best friend (Queen)
First dance: 2 doors down (Mystery Jets) (We lived a few doors from each other when we met)
Ceilidh Band: Some friends of friends provided music for a ceilidh (no Scottish wedding is complete without one)
DJ: Pinup Nights (we went for a more alternative wedding venue to suit our music tastes)
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Kathryn had three bridesmaids – Her sister and two of her oldest friends. Bridesmaid dresses were from LK Bennett. They were really simple ivory dresses that I knew would look great on all three bridesmaids and go with my look and the whole wedding day.
THE FLOWERS | Adelaide provided some great guidance in terms of flowers for the day. She has done a number of weddings a Colstoun and really knows the space. A key criteria for choosing suppliers were people who knew the venue (It also helped that Adelaide, and the others, were all amazing).
THE CAKE | We (Kathryn) chose a semi naked cake from a local supplier
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Solen is an absolute star. We loved her style of photography and the fact she is an awesome person. She made us feel super relaxed as we knew she had it under control. We would also recommend a pre-wedding shoot – Dan was sceptical but it really makes a difference (and gives you some photos for your wedding website).
We also had a videographer (a luxury but well worth it!). Bowery Productions produced a range of videos for us including these highlights. They are a great accompaniment to Solen’s photos.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We didn’t go heavy on the decoration – we wanted the flowers to do the talking. Moreover, Colstoun has a natural charm that it didn’t need much else. We put up a few big balloons (particularly a big LOVE in the coach house) and a pin board with a personal message.
We went for simple stationery designed by Skinny Malink. Importantly we designed a ‘logo’ that we could run throughout the stationery and beer bottles.
THE HONEYMOON | We went on honeymoon on the Sunday after the wedding. We flew to Cape Town and had a few days in the winelands then the city before heading to Mauritius for the second week for a chill out on the beach. We loved going on the Sunday evening as it kept the momentum going and we had loads of time to digest the wedding weekend and be the two of us and talk about everything that had happened over the weekend.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | There were so many memorable moments it is hard to choose. Some of the memories that will stick with us the most are;
Sitting together on the lawn after the ceremony reflecting on how much fun the day was and how happy we were.
Walking out of the ceremony, newly married and being cheered on by all of our friends and family.
Watching our parents sing Guns N’ Roses during our ceremony.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t sweat the small stuff: Not everything will go to plan on the day. But don’t worry too much about the little things – no one will notice
Trust your suppliers: It took us a while to trust everyone but by then end we knew The we were in safe hands and after the event wondered why we ever worried. As mentioned above we chose suppliers who knew the venue meaning that we were never stressed during the day.
Narrow down your options: There are so many options that exist when planning a wedding given the hundreds of suppliers. Think about what it is you really want and develop a short list from those. Similarly, when choosing the food we decided to focus on the main ingredient (e.g. Lamb) and choose variants of this rather than choosing from range of different ingredients.
Think about things either side of the day: We wanted to make a weekend of it. Family dinner on the Friday, Hog Roast on the Sunday. These, less formal, parts of the weekend can be equally memorable.
Do what makes you happy. It is your wedding.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Solen Photography
Venue | Colstoun House
Caterers | Appetite Direct
Videographer | Bowery Productions
Florist | Adelaide’s Secret Garden
Stationery | Skinny Malink
Beer | Stewart Brewing
Celebrant | Humanist Society Scotland, celebrant Alison Duthie
Ceilidh | Friend of a friend
DJ | Pinup Nights
Ceremony and reception singer | Yasmin Worral via Freak Music
Cake | Too Good to Eat
Wedding dress | The Finn, Daughters of Simone from Heart A Flutter Bridal
Brides Make Up | one of my best friends Amy Irving
Brides and Bridesmaids hair | Susan Grant from Blo Hair Salon
What a beautiful day! Thank you Kathryn and Dan for sharing your gorgeous nuptials with us! Rachel x