I think today’s wedding is really going to leave you feeling all warm inside. Bryony and Alasdair’s bright and joyful nuptials took place in an autumnal setting on the 3rd November 2018. After initially not finding a venue that ticked all the boxes for them, our pair found the Sun Pavilion in Harrogate. Light and bright, this setting didn’t need a huge amount of décor to make it shine. Thanks to a covered area, Bryony and Alasdair were even able to have an outdoor ceremony, no mean feat in November!
WWW fave and Supplier Love member Stevie Jay Photography was our couple’s chosen photographer and didn’t she capture the love and laughter just brilliantly? Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful images with us today Stevie!
I’m particularly a fan of the beautiful bridesmaids’ skirts, the burgundy works perfectly with the autumnal mood, AND they have pockets! Isn’t it so touching that Alasdair wore the kilt he was given for his 21st birthday too? Get cosy, WWWers. I think you’re going to love this one!
At the end of January last year we went away for a weekend in Grasmere for our five year anniversary. It was the end of January and we had just been on a long, snowy run in the fells behind Coniston and were driving back to the hotel when Ali suggested an afternoon walk. I was ready for a hot shower and trip to the spa at our hotel but he was persuasive and in the setting sun I found us up a small fell overlooking Windermere talking about the last five years together and what the next five would bring. When Ali got down on one knee it was a total surprise as I’d planned the weekend away!
I don’t think either of us had a clear vision of what we wanted from our wedding. Family is important to us and we wanted a day our grandparents could enjoy, while keeping our own relaxed feel for the day.
We were very lucky that Ali’s aunty Carolyn is a talented baker. She made a multi-tier sponge cake of alternating chocolate and lemon layers and crafted these stunning sugar flowers that are now a keepsake of the day. As a little extra surprise she made a little sugar figure of our pet hedgehog Matilda.
The Planning Process
We knew that we wanted an autumnal wedding and didn’t want to have a long engagement so decided that nine months time was right for us. Online research got Ali worried this might not be enough time, but we never felt rushed. In fact, I’m known for being very indecisive, so I think the time pressure helped channel my mind into making the decisions. We just went online and got a list with a timeframe of everything to be done at ticked it off methodically as we went.
We looked a lot online at different venues, and knew we wanted one venue for the ceremony and reception. We’d looked at a few but nothing was ticking all the boxes. One day we were driving back through Harrogate and we’d seen the website for the Sun Pavilion so stopped over and had a look. We both knew pretty quickly it was the place for us. It was light and airy with a beautiful stained glass window in the ceiling. Its location in the Valley Gardens gave us the outdoors feel we wanted while being in the centre of town near hotels and transport that was practical for the guests. Plus the opportunity to have the ceremony outside on the covered terrace was a real bonus, as the weather in November isn’t reliable enough to have an outside wedding but it was something we both wanted.
Your Outfits & Accessories
I had no idea of what I wanted from my wedding dress. I went with my family to Wed2b to try on different styles and try and narrow it down. We ended up buying something there and then and taking it home with us that day. It was a chiffon, Grecian style strapless dress, which fitted in with the venue and relaxed atmosphere of the day. I’d gone in not wanting a strapless dress, and although I loved the fit of this was still unsure on having that much shoulder out in November. I spent a lot of time searching online and bought a coverup from Milamira Bridal on Etsy that still felt quite contemporary and had a beautiful button up detail down the back.
Ali had his kilt bought for him as his 21st birthday present in his family tartan, and there was no question of him wearing anything else. He hired the rest of the outfit from Slaters to tie in with the groomsmen.
I got my sister to organise our on the day beauty. We went to the Lifestyle Lounge in Harrogate, they had a separate upstairs area and balcony for us to get ready. It made for a really relaxed morning before the wedding, with a few bubbles and spending time with all the bridesmaids. They had a makeup artist – Becky Emney make up – who did all our make up for us and it looked gorgeous.
The groomsmen all had hired outfits from Slaters, we tried to stick to more local suppliers but this was really useful to be able to get them fitted at a local store to themselves and to match in with Ali’s outfit.
My bridesmaids are now spread across the country so it was great to spend a bit more time together. We went bridesmaid dress shopping together in the spring and found it hard to find something that suited everyone. I wanted to make sure they were all comfortable in what they were wearing. Eventually we found a skirt in John Lewis that fitted the bill, it was a full burgundy skirt by Jolie Moi, and bonus – it had pockets. Then the bridesmaids all found a white top in their own time to go with it.
The Readings & Music
During the ceremony Ali’s dad Allan read Union by Robert Fulgham and two of my bridesmaids gave a reading by John Muir about the beauty of nature. We wanted to keep the ceremony our own, so I walked in to an instrumental version of Here Comes the Sun, by Denis Turbide and we walked out to Nothing’s Gonna Stop us Now by Starship.
As part of his Scottish heritage Ali’s mum Marsela performed a quaich ceremony as part of the reception. This is a symbolic ceremony of taking our first drink together as our two families come together and gave everyone a chance for a whisky toast.
To start off the evening we had a ceilidh and the band, Capstick ceilidh band, were great. A ceilidh is a really great way to get everyone up on the dance floor, and I think we may have surprised the band with so many people getting involved! After that we crafted together a playlist with suggestions from guests to keep everyone up and dancing.
We used one of the venues recommendations and used Regal florist for our flowers. Neither of us had a much knowledge about flowers so we gave them our loose autumnal colour scheme and they went from there. They made bouquets for me & the bridesmaids and were very accommodating when we realised one of the bridesmaids has such bad hay fever that flowers weren’t really an option. As well as that they did the buttonholes, greenery garlands for the staircase, loose flowers for the tables and the flower arch, having it all on theme really helped bring the décor together.
Finding the right photographer was really important to us to get right. We met Stevie Jay at a wedding fair and just loved her personality as well as her photographs. On the day she knew exactly what she was doing, made us feel so relaxed and captured all the moments perfectly. The photos we’ve got now are a gorgeous reminder of the day.
The Details & Décor
We sorted out all the décor ourselves and just aimed to keep it bright and simple. We had a running joke about how much I hate frilly chair covers, so we hired chairs from Laura Lindsay at Bridebay. To add a pop of colour to the ceremony without needing too many flowers, we bought paper lanterns to hang on the terrace.
For the rest of the décor, we felt the venue really spoke for itself, so it was the little details that really brought the day together. As we got engaged while away in Grasmere, for our favours (and placecards) we had Grasmere gingerbread with a calligraphy tag for each guest. Guarding the cake were two wooden ducks we bought at a local country show with Ali’s winnings from doing the show race. Beside them was a jar of jelly snakes as any time one of us goes to the corner shop we bring some back for the other. On the tables we had little cacti and succulents, I’d tried to propagate some myself but by the time the wedding came around they were still tiny, so I bought a selection from GreenLivingGlasgow, as a nod to the city we used to live in.
We waited a few months before going to Sri Lanka for two weeks over Christmas and New Year. It was a great mix of culture, adventure and relaxation.
Nothing can beat the seeing your partner in the ceremony when you see them and you’re just so full of emotion and love. It was really nice to get our photos done together after that and spend a bit of time alone to just soak it all in.
Apart from that it’s the small things- like when Ali realised he forgot to pack trousers at the hotel we stayed in afterwards and had to go for breakfast in his kilt.
Advice For Other Couples
In the final run-up to the day we asked each other why we hadn’t just eloped and had a super relaxed day without the organising stress. But we were so thankful for the day we had together and all the memories with loved ones that it was definitely worth it. So don’t stress about all the decisions because no matter what you’ll have an amazing day.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
The Sun Pavilion
Laura Lindsay Weddings and Events
Bride’s Cover Up
What a fabulous autumnal wedding day Alasdair and Bryony, and so personal too. Thank you so much for sharing everything with us today. Rachel x