A beautiful wedding to share with you today celebrated at The Vu in West Lothian. Catherine wore a stunning Maggie Sottero dress that suited her perfectly! And check out the bridesmaids lovely gowns, that could be worn multiple ways! So versatile and a sure way to make sure everyone is happy on the day. Their day was captured by the extremely talented Jeremy Stockton of Gallery Wedding Photography; truly spectacular images, especially love the ones from the pier, so special!
Names: Catherine and Richard
Wedding Date: 29th November 2013
The vision for the day: As it was November we wanted a nice autumn/wintery feel with warm colours and homely food.
The Planning Process: We decided at the start of 2013 that enough was enough and we needed to pull our finger out and get married after being together for 9 years and engaged for 7! Although we had been engaged for so long we managed to organise the wedding relatively quickly. We started looking at venues in January 2013 and had soon found a place that suited both our budget and the number of guests we wanted to invite.
The Venue: The Vu at Bathgate, West Lothian was a stunning venue located on Ballencrieff Reservoir in the Bathgate hills. It was perfect for us as we were having both the ceremony and reception in the same place and the ceremony room was beautiful, looking out across the water.
The Dress and Accessories: The dress was Maggie Sottero from bridal shop Emma Roy of Edinburgh. It was only the third or fourth dress I tried on but it was perfect for me, understated and elegant. My earrings and bracelet were from Swarovski and my Tiffany necklace was a beautiful wedding gift from Richard. My gorgeous hair slide was custom made for me by my bridesmaid Elise’s mum Laura Cunningham who designs and makes her own jewellery (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Grooms Attire: Being Scottish, the kilt is the outfit of choice and although Richard was keen on having his clan tartan, we quickly ruled that out as it looked like Rupert Bear’s trousers! Richard decided on the dark grey kilt instead and as the colour theme was dark red, this worked perfectly as the boys had matching burgundy cravats.
The Readings: We had a Humanist wedding which has the same legal status as a civil or religious ceremony in Scotland and had to put a lot of time into writing ‘Our Story’ for the big day. This part of the ceremony was really personal to us as it was all about how we first met, how we got together and little anecdotes about our life together which had our guests both laughing and wiping away tears. We had two reading also – the first was ‘These I can Promise’ by Mark Twain read by Richard’s friend Andrew which was such a simple yet beautiful reading and one we thought really summed up our relationship. The second was ‘I’ll Be There’ by Louise Cuddon which was read by my friend Lorna and was a lovely light-hearted poem that really made us smile. We had put a traditional Scottish Blessing on every guest’s seat which everyone recited to us at the end of the ceremony.
May you have,
Walls for the wind
And a roof for the rain,
And drinks bedside the fire
Laughter to cheer you
And those you love near you,
And all that your heart may desire
Lang may yer lum reek (which basically means long may your chimney smoke!)
Beautiful Bridesmaids: I really couldn’t pick from my close circle of friends so I had 7 bridesmaids and Richard had 8 ushers so there was a lot of people to clothe! Thankfully I found a beautiful bridesmaid dress early on from BHS which could be worn in 20 different ways which was ideal as it meant there was a style to suit all the girls. The colour was a beautiful deep burgundy and the girls looked stunning in their dresses with gorgeous dark purple calla lilies.
Music and First Dance: We had booked the wonderful pianist Alex Graham for our ceremony and wedding breakfast. He played Elton John ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ for my aisle music and ‘The Reason’ by Hoobastank and ‘God Only Knows’ by The Beach Boys for signing the register and The Beatles ‘All You Need is Love’ for us walking back up the aisle after we were married. Alex was brilliant and was happy to take lots of requests from guests during the meal which was great and even culminated in an impromptu sing-a-long of ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’!
Having very different tastes in music, with Richard liking heavy metal and me into more mellow types of music, picking the first dance song should have been difficult but it was actually surprisingly easy and a choice we agreed on straight away. Our first dance song was ‘Love Story’ by Taylor Swift which we picked because we have always had a bit of a joke with this song in that despite it being super cheesy and the most un-metal song you can imagine Richard secretly loves it which makes m
e laugh, as the lyrics were also quite fitting it was an easy choice for the day.
The Food: As it was the end of November we wanted warm homely food and so opted for classics including lentil soup, chicken balmoral, steak pie and sticky toffee pudding which was cooked onsite by the venue and went down a storm.
The flowers: The flowers were designed by a family friend who trained in floristy and were absolutely beautiful. I wanted to stick to a neutral trail for my bouquet and it looked perfect with the style of my dress. The flowers on both the top table and the cake were made up of beautiful roses and calla lilies.
The cake: This was one of the last things we organised and we weren’t fussed for spending a fortune on a cake so we opted for a simple iced three-tier madeira cake from Marks and Spencer which was expertly decorated by our florist Emma who truly did an amazing job.
Your Photographer: Our photographer was Jeremy Stockton of Gallery Wedding Photography. The photos from the day were great as we didn’t have too many staged photos which allowed us to mingle more with our guests and enjoy the day.
The Details and Décor: The colour theme was burgundy and everything tied in with that. I had the bridesmaids and several of the ushers making up little birdcage favour boxes with burgundy tags (no mean feat as they were incredibly fiddly) and filling them with burgundy heart shaped chocolate. We made our own sweet buffet for the evening reception by stock-piling sweeties over several months and borrowing jars and scoops from a friend. The sweet buffet seemed to go down a treat and there wasn’t so much as one chocolate raisin left by the end of the night!
The Honeymoon: Two days after the wedding we headed for our mini-moon which was 5 nights in Rome and Venice which was wonderful but so busy and we were exhausted when we got home so we are now looking forward to (hopefully) going away on a more relaxing break later on in the year although the plan is to save for Florida and Bermuda next year as our very belated Honeymoon!
Memorable Moments: There are so many, from the nerve-wracking drive to the venue with my Dad and my mouth feeling so dry I could barely swallow to the Best Man Tom’s hilarious speech which had the guests in stitches. As we had a lot of Scandinavians at the wedding (Tom being Swedish) I also really liked the fact that we had both a Swedish cheers during the meal and a traditional Scottish cheers which my dad had added into his speech which was great and went down really well. The ceremony was a real highlight for me and I loved that we had worked so closely with our Humanist Celebrant Marnie to make it very personal to both of us. Finally the evening reception was great as it gave us a chance to let our hair down and have a boogie on the dance floor.
Advice for other couples : One thing people always told me before I got married was how quickly the day went and I can’t stress how true this is! The day went so fast that even though we had an early ceremony of 1 o clock it seemed to flash past and so my advice would be to take several moments throughout the day just the two of you to enjoy the day and take in what is happening around you. If I could go back (and if I had more money in the budget) I would definitely have paid to get the wedding filmed.