Take a globe-trotting couple, 100 of their nearest and dearest, an incredible outdoor setting and a 3 day celebration combining plenty of tartan with the bride’s Ohio roots, and you certainly get one heck of a wedding.
WWW readers Declan and Audrei married on September 16th 2016 in a stunning woodland ceremony. Not only does Audrei look stunning in her lace detailed gown with an incredible train, but joined by Declan in his kilt, a bevy of beautiful bridesmaids in mismatched pastel gowns, and super-smart groomsmen in their tartan, the wedding party make for a good looking bunch. I just love the earthy touches that bring the Highlands to this patch of the USA – from the thistles in the buttonholes to the fabulous bouquets of greenery and tree house bedded in the bows, there is something tangibly enchanting about this special celebration.
Audrei and Declan share with us some fantastic details, letting us in on their tips for the big day and how they enjoyed the festivities with their loved ones over the 3 days. I love seeing weddings that aren’t confined to the midnight venue kick out – what better excuse for a big old knees up with those you love and care for most in the world than extending the celebrations! Certainly a glorious way to start married life.
I couldn’t end this intro without touching on the stunning photographs, Connection Photography really have done the most incredible job of capturing the magic of the day.
That just leaves me to pass over to this lovely pair to tell you all about their wedding in their own words – it really is bursting with inspirational ideas and details so I know you’ll love it! Enjoy!
THE PROPOSAL | I proposed while we were out in Australia for a month touring around and visiting Audrei’s sister and her family. I knew I wanted to wait to propose until after I had met her entire family and the last full day of our trip I rented a kayak for us to go explore two islands off the coast of Palm Cove where we were staying. We got to one island and there was no one there and just as I was about to propose a boat pulled up. Later after the boat left Audrei was looking out onto the water and jokingly said, “now this is the kind of place for a proposal” not knowing I was in fact, on one knee behind her. She turned around told me to get up countless times until she realised it was actually going to happen. Once she let me ask her, she said yes of course!
THE VISION | We wanted the three days just to reflect us both as a couple. We had around 100 of our closest friends and family there, most who stayed the three days to celebrate with us. We met and fell in love working at a summer camp for a few summers and that came into play over the three days. Along with the help of Declan’s siblings, we organised a Highland Games Day splitting our guests into teams to play with people they may never have spoken to which ended in a summer camp games inspired night with games we played with kids at camp. Everyone really got into it which was amazing and brought so much energy to the day/night before the wedding. Our favourite thing about the days before and having everyone together was seeing people who would have never met, to not only meet but get along! Because of the days before the wedding going so well the actual day felt very relaxed. The décor combined Audrei’s Ohio roots and my Scottish roots. The Grand Barn is a dream of a place in the middle of the woods and we really did not have to worry about decorating because it was so beautiful already.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Audrei and I (mainly Audrei) planned the entire thing from Edinburgh, Scotland. Audrei is a planner and loves her lists, she was amazingly detail-oriented so everything ran smoothly from arrival to the cabins, to room assignments, to the food we bought and catered for everyone for the couple of days before the wedding.
THE VENUE | The Grand Barn at the Mohicans is about an hour and a half north of Columbus. It is a stunning place comprised of the Grand Barn itself mixed with cabins and treehouses for guests to stay in the middle of the Mohican State Park. We had the whole place to ourselves with our guests for three days and it had the nicest, relaxed feel to it. The staff and owners there are the best people to work with and put our minds at ease planning a wedding from so far away we knew it was in good hands.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES |The dress was by Maggie Sottero and later, with the help of Hazel Lethaby of Mischke Lingerie here in Edinburgh added small cap sleeves to it from the lace of the dress when it was altered. I felt it made the dress more mine. For the accessories I bought a pair of earrings off of etsy and they are still a favourite pair of mine as well as a beautiful headpiece instead of a veil. On the day of the wedding my aunt gave me a necklace from which was made from one of my grandmother’s earrings. It is the nicest thing I have ever been given and I wear it everyday.
FINDING THE DRESS | I bought the dress in a local shop called Emma Roy here in Edinburgh. I wasn’t looking but one of my friends, Ashley, who helped do our flowers dragged me out one day. I tried on about six or so and found that one and just knew. I then asked my future mother-in-law, sister in law and friend to come back to the shop with me later and ended up picking that one!
GROOM’S ATTIRE |Declan wore his family kilt which he has had since he was 21. It was great to see him, his dad, and brothers all in their own kilts as even though they were all from the Robertson clan, they were all different. A handful of other guys also wore their kilts which was really nice to see and have them altogether.
THE READINGS & MUSIC |We chose, ‘The Life that I Have’ by Leo Marks and ‘The Future’ by Emma Salmon as our two readings read out by Audrei’s older sister and brother. For the processional music, ‘Home’ by Edward Sharpe was played for the bridesmaids and ‘Fields of Gold’ by Sting for Audrei to walk down the aisle too were both played by Audrei’s Aunt Jane who is an accomplished violinist and graciously offered to put together to play. The recessional was ‘Time to Run’ by Lord Huron. Our first dance was ‘Better Man’ by Paolo Nutini.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Audrei had her two younger sisters, sister in law and closest friends she grew up with from the US as her bridesmaids. They all wore mismatched neutral dresses. Her eldest sister also walked down her niece and nephew as flower girl and ring bearer down the aisle.
THE FLOWERS | One of Audrei’s best friends in Edinburgh grew up working in her mother’s floral shop in the Chicago area and they offered to do the flowers for us! Ashley and her family travelled from Chicago with a van full of greenery and flowers and put them all together the day before the wedding. The flowers chosen reflected both of us from flowers which were our grandmother’s favourites who sadly could not be at the wedding, to hydrangeas which is a flower that is all over the summer camp where we met, to thistles and buckeyes to represent where we are from. Deb and Ashley were magicians and the arch, table centrepieces, bouquets, and boutonnieres were better than we ever could have ever imagined.
THE CAKE | Audrei’s little sister made the cake. She just whipped it up the day before and it was beautiful and tasted so good! It was her gift to us for our wedding day and we just let her design it. She made a naked cake with flowers from the wedding on it and the topper was a photo of us with our dog, Cooper who for obvious reasons could not make it to Ohio for the wedding. We also had a dessert buffet of ours and our parents favourite desserts for all of our guests.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Joseph and Andrea Sides of Connection Photography are incredible. They were the first thing Audrei was set on when wedding planning and had to book right away, even before anything else. We still get compliments on the photos from the wedding day and love looking back on them!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR – We wanted the whole three days to reflect the two of us. I am from Ohio and Declan is from Scotland so we incorporated this into our wedding theme and décor from the invites to the framed needlepoint Proclaimers lyrics on the wall crafted by my sister. Our friend, Josh Peter, works for O Street Design in Glasgow and he really helped make our wedding into what it was designed. Declan combined Ohio and the Highlands and came up with, “OH-HI” which was put on everything from the website design to the invites. Josh helped tie everything together and make our theme of us go from paper to real life. For décor, the venue itself is already so gorgeous it did not need much. We settled on mainly greenery for the tables with geometric shaped vases which small bouquets were placed in. I made all the place cards and my best friend Hannah’s mom has a wedding rental business and generously allowed us to use mismatched plates, glasses, linens and napkins. We were lucky to have so many creative people in our lives who were willing to help out with the wedding in any way they could, and we let them! We also were going to do a photo booth but instead decided to buy a polaroid camera (which we still use all the time) and put up ‘photo dare’ cards. For instance, take a photo with as many men in kilts as you can, or take your best band album cover photo. These were great to have immediate memories to look back on the day after and another great art piece in our living room. The ceremony space had an arch in which Ashley and her mom Deb dressed up beautifully with flowers. For favours, we had an envelope at each place setting with a lottery card and penny with, ‘for richer, for poorer’ on the envelope. Lottery cards is something both of our families do at gatherings and we thought it was a nice touch. Audrei’s dad also made jars of his sweet pepper jam which has been a request at family gatherings since. The three days before were very relaxed and each meal was buffet style on the patio where we got married later in the weekend. We were lucky to have amazing people and vendors that pulled everything together from the caterers to the florist to the photographers and staff at the Grand Barn.
THE HONEYMOON | After travelling so far for the wedding we, along with Declan’s family went out west to Vegas and California. It’s not your typical honeymoon with your brother in law there every step of the way but we thought when would we all next be out there together, and it was an amazing two weeks touring Vegas, LA, Highway 1, Yosemite and San Francisco catching up with people we knew along the way.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | One of my favourite parts of the day was going off with the photographers after the ceremony to take photos with just as. It was nice spending that time with my new husband.
At the reception, we did a ceilidh (Scottish folk dancing) for a few songs and it was so fun teaching my side the dances and Declan’s side leading as they all knew what they were doing.
My dad giving me away and Declan’s dad performing the ceremony will be something we never forget. Declan’s dad was ordained in Ohio to do the ceremony and my dad did a blessing before the ceremony. We would not have had it any other way, who better to seal the deal than our dads!
So many others come to mind but like we said before it was the little things the days before. Having our parents meet for the first time (and get along swimmingly), having friends from all parts of our lives meet whether they were from Ohio, camp, Scotland, university, etc, having all my best girlfriends getting ready in one spot with me on the big day, seeing people sitting together and chatting at dinner time it was a few days we will always look back on with joy.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | We loved having the celebration lasting for three days especially as almost everyone was travelling from the UK, Europe, Australia, California, NC, etc. We know not everyone can have a three-day long celebration, however we would recommend setting up activities for the days before where guests can get to know each other if they do not already or just meet again. We felt by the time the wedding came everyone was old friends and it was a great atmosphere.
Also the day itself goes so fast, just try to take it all in as best as you can and get a couple of amazing photographers to capture it all. The pictures, in our mind, are and were the most important thing we have kept from the three days.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
The photographers | Connection Photography
The venue | The Grand Barn at the Mohicans
Floral Design | Huntley Floral
Wedding Day Catering | AA Executive Catering
Invites, Website, Signs, etc.| Josh Peter of O Street Design Studio
Rentals | The Linen Closet
Groom’s Attire | His own
Wedding Dress | Emma Roy
Alterations | Hazel Lethaby of Mischke Lingerie
Groom and Groomsmen custom watches | BadgerWatches
Thank you again to Audrei and Declan – this really was a joy to read. Petra x