Darren and Sandie (AKA The Unwins) are featuring here today with their rustic vintage wedding overlooking the sea. They chose to wed in a humanist ceremony on the 6th August 2016 at Ravensheugh Log Cabin in Scotland. And who can blame them? The cosy cabin is so delightful and the scenic views over the North Sea are breathtaking. It meant that they could totally personalise their day, booking it out for a whole weekend and half of their guests along with themselves camped over. Little touches like the camping mug favours added authenticity and a touch of fun to the décor.
A vintage marquee hosted the party and was draped in festoon lights, with rustic wooden furniture adding to the relaxed vibe. Also being vintage was Sandie’s darling bow backed 1930s wedding dress in which she looked stunning. Groom Darren went for a complimentary blue suit and red knitted tie for a classic yet on trend style. Live music and great grub was the focus for the pair, with a bring your own cake table and ice cream van to feed hungry guests. Then there was the acoustic ceremony music and ceilidh come evening, alongside the couple’s own play list filled with dancing tunes.
You’re going to adore this thoughtful and special wedding celebration, with images courtesy of the brilliant Lisa Devine Photography, thank you Lisa!
THE PROPOSAL | 2015 was a big year for us as a couple. It marked 10 years of us being together and I also celebrated my 30th birthday. In celebration, Darren hatched a plan to throw a surprise 30th birthday party for me in my parents back garden. Knowing my love for a good film, the summer party was cinema themed and a large projector screen was assembled. He’d gone to so much effort I was blown away…
However, after a day of glorious sunshine the heavens opened just as the guests started to arrive. I suggested it would be a good idea to take the party indoors but not to be deterred Darren insisted that was not an option and after some hastily erected shelter for the electronics the party went ahead without a hitch. It soon cleared and when darkness fell Darren gathered everyone in front of the big screen for what I thought was going to be a showing of a good movie. But much to my surprise Darren screened a film that he had been planning for the past year with the help of all of my family and friends who were in attendance. They had all helped record messages and recount funny stories about me, which Darren had set to a montage over music alongside clips from old home movies from my childhood.
It was so special but the real surprise was yet to come, at the end of the film Darren appeared on screen for a final time and popped the question in front of all of our families and friends! He’d managed to keep this a secret from everyone so the reaction from us all was pretty special. I’m known for being a bit of a chatterbox but at the time I was totally speechless. When I could eventually get my words out I said ‘hell yeah’ and we celebrated with everyone into the small hours.
THE VISION | Like most couples what was most important to us was celebrating our day with our nearest and dearest. We always looked upon our wedding as a way of us showing our love for our family and friends as much as each other. In terms of the vision for the wedding day itself we wanted it to be totally down to earth, completely honest, great fun, super relaxed and utterly memorable to everyone who attended.
We knew we wanted to have as much of the celebration outdoors as possible but also knew that in Scotland that is not quite so easy, so we set about finding a venue that we could balance indoors and outdoors but still totally customise it to our own taste.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | There’s no getting away from it, planning every single detail of your own wedding is a big task to undertake.
Breaking a few traditions and bucking the trends of a normal wedding, we knew that on paper our day and choice of venue would sound pretty daunting to some members of our family and friends. So we had to offer assurances at every opportunity and be ready to factor in people’s concerns along the way without compromising heavily on our own vision.
There’s no denying that the whole thing from the first day of planning was a meticulous operation and took a lot of work, not only because we had a really clear idea of what we wanted but also because our chosen venue was completely off grid.
Despite opting for a simple style it still took countless man hours to source details like lighting, bunting, generators, caterers, furniture, cutlery, plates, tents, sound systems etc etc. A few trusty spread sheets helped us keep tabs of our spending and delivery schedules for suppliers.
THE VENUE | When we found the log cabin we were blown away. Situated near Tyninghame it’s a small private cabin perched on the edge of a huge vista landscape looking out to bass rock and the North Sea. The cabin inside is fairly small so we hired a vintage marquee to sit alongside it. Despite having no electricity or hot water supply we knew instantly that this venue was everything we had been looking for. We booked the venue for the whole weekend so friends and family were able to come and go as they pleased. We enjoyed our ceremony outside on the grass in front of the cabin, had our meal and bar inside the marquee, and then danced a ceilidh in the cabin in the evening. We hired bell tents for people to stay in and a local ice cream van and pizza van to show up for the evening snacks! We couldn’t have been luckier with the weather; beautiful sunshine all-day and clear skies at night for us all sitting round a campfire admiring the stars. The toilet block on site was an additional cost. But it did have electric showers in there too so we hired a generator to power them for the whole weekend.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Vintage c.1930’s. Lace and silk material. Swing Length. Hobbs white wedged sandals. Simple flower hairpiece to mimic my mums silk hair piece from her wedding day.
FINDING THE DRESS | Initially I wasn’t too fussed about having a bridal gown but my mum and sisters persuaded me to at least visit a few bridal shops so as to help me make my mind up. I found a vintage bridal shop in Glasgow and two in Edinburgh so we decided to make a weekend of it. I was was as surprised as anyone when I spotted my dress in Lamesley Bridal in Edinburgh. The assistant was incredible, we got to walk around and handle the dresses (without wearing white gloves). Surprisingly we even ran over our allotted appointment time but were made to feel at ease by the fantastic staff who assured us that this was not a problem. She assured me I didn’t have to buy the dress there and then and explained would have held it for me. But by then I had fallen in love with it took it home that night.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Blue Suit from Cos. Simple white collar shirt. Red knitted tie. White silk pocket square. Brown leather shoes. Button hole.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | During our humanist service we had readings from Darren’s mum and sister. The theme for each was largely centred around the concept of friendship.
Our playlist was personal to us. My brother in law plays the guitar and he played us down the aisle. We had a ceilidh during the evening inside the log cabin before partying to our own playlist until the small hours. Another thing we loved about our venue was that there was no curfew, nobody was telling us to turn it down at any point and the party continued as long as our guests wanted it to.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I chose my two nieces as bridesmaids. Despite being aged 2 and 4 at the time they did a brilliant job!
THE FLOWERS | Our flowers were from Cathkin Florists in north Berwick.
I opted for a simple flower hair piece to mimic my mums silk headdress from her wedding, which was unfortunately too damaged for me to wear. The button-holes and hair flower rings for the bridesmaids were nice and simple. I opted not to have a bouquet because I personally felt that it would just get in the way. Instead we spent the budget on green foliage for the table runners, which I absolutely adored!
THE CAKE | Rather than having the traditional ‘wedding cake’ we chose to have a table of cakes. Friends and family all helped out and baked us some absolutely stunning treats that we allowed guests to tuck into as part of their dessert after the meal. We followed this up with the arrival of an ice cream van. It was a practical choice as much as anything because we knew we didn’t have the facility to prepare or refrigerate desserts for our guests on site.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | I am a professional photographer myself and Darren is a graphic designer so needless to say the photography was something neither of us were prepared to compromise on. We both agreed that we would only choose the photographer who we felt could capture the best shots on the day. When we saw the work of Lisa Devine we were simply blown away!
The fact that she is such a lovely person on top of being an amazing photographer was a real bonus!
She made the whole experience totally effortless and we simply could not recommend her highly enough.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The marquee was of a vintage style, and we decorated it with mismatched chairs and tables made from old doors all supplied by Birdcage and Dragon Fly.
The festoon lights and camp fire were also a practical solution as we didn’t have any lights for the evening.
Given that our venue was totally off grid we decided to make our wedding favours totally functional… These took the form of a camping mug that we personalised for each guest with their names. First and foremost we used the cups as place settings on the tables, but it also meant that there was no confusion over who was drinking from what glass throughout the rest of the wedding.
As we had hired the venue for the whole weekend and there was limited guest accommodation around the site we hired several bell tents for guests to stay in on site. Half the guests decided to camp for the whole weekend of the wedding including Darren and myself! Again the mugs came in handy in the evenings when we were all sitting round the campfire drinking hot chocolates.
THE HONEYMOON | After a summer wedding we took a few months off before planning a winter honeymoon in Iceland. It was an absolutely unforgettable experience and rounded off our wedding celebration perfectly.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Darren: Every single moment was one I will never ever forget. I would not change a single part of the day and it was hands down the most amazing day of my life.
Together with my father in law and best man I went for a quick surf in the morning before we had to start getting ready. We took the surf boards down to the beach and enjoyed a really refreshing dip in the sea to settle my nerves.
I remember being quite stressed that something was going to go horribly wrong in the morning before the ceremony. But when Sandie arrived and stepped out of the camper van I felt instantly relaxed. She looked amazing and I just remember feeling like the luckiest guy in the world.
Sandie: My dad drove me to the venue in our VW camper van that I have holidayed in since I was a child. He had decorated it for the wedding and it looked beautiful!
When we pulled up at the end of the aisle “a grassy cliff!” All the guests were stood waiting for us. It was really humbling to see everyone there knowing everyone had made all this effort for us and had travelled so far to share our day. And of course seeing my beautiful husband to be stood at the front of the crowd waiting in front of an anvil (my dads a blacksmith). That was the happiest moment of my life and it still gives me goosebumps now even thinking about it.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | One great tip we were given was about the size of your dance floor…
The trick is to have a dance floor that almost looks too small rather than too big. Smaller dance floors look fuller quicker and thus encourage more shy guests to get up and dance.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE
Photographer | Lisa Devine Photography
Rings | Alison Macleod
Log Cabin | Ravensheugh Log Cabin
Dress | Lamesley Bridal
Flowers | Catkins Floral Design
Lighting | Cinemattag Lights
Furniture & Tablewear | Birdcages & Dragonflies
Bell Tents | Rowan Tree Tents
Ceilidh Band | Homecoming String Band
Sourdough Bread | Bakery 47
Caterers | Riverhill Cafe
Pizza Van | Big Blu
Invites | Risotto Studio
Blacksmith | Stephen Lunn
Ohh what a memorable day, it looked like a fabulous time was had by all.
The Unwins, thank you both for sharing your wedding story here today xo Lou