On a trip to Edinburgh last Christmas, I fell hard for Scotland. It’s gorgeous and amazingly friendly, so naturally, I gravitate toward any Scottish wedding that comes across my screen, but this one. All I can say is WOW. It’s a summer soiree and it’s so soft, so romantic, and so beautiful, my heart aches to be there. Not just in Scotland, but in this very wedding, seen through the lens of Craig & Eva Sanders Photography. I can count my lucky stars though, because there is a gallery filled to bursting with so so so many of the heartfelt details, and it’s all right here!
We were on quite a tight budget as we paid for the majority of the day ourselves so we enlisted the help of all our family and friends and took the DIY approach to a new level!
My sister in law, Beth made our gorgeous, original invitations. She hand painted the backgrounds, which were inspired by our crockery and came up with the idea of writing the info on see through paper to lay over the design below.
My Mum was my florist, and did a wonderful job with all the bouquets, church and reception flowers. We went to the Glasgow Flower Market at 5am (!) a few days before the wedding and bought the best seasonal blooms we could find in soft, neutral colours. She also hand picked, dried and sorted all the flower petal confetti!
My mother in law, Gill made our beautiful ombre coloured cake and I hand stitched the heart toppers. My friend Allana made the cupcakes and my other friends Katie and Jen made the macaroons and brownies.
Pete made all the canapes, starters and main course side dishes with some help from his Dad, and Sizzly Piggy did an amazing job with the hog roast.
My Father in Law, Phil drove us all the way to France to find the wine and the ‘Moineaux’ champagne. Moineaux is French for Sparrow, a champagne he discovered many years ago which is made by a wonderful small family owned vineyard near Epernay, and in my humble opinion was better than any Krug or Bolly you could buy!
I continued the lace idea from my dress with lace decorated candle holders decorated and my Aunt Jackie made 60 feet of the most glorious lace bunting, I wish you could have seen it close up, it was just unbelievable!
We had the wonderful Be.Eventful sisters there on the day to help pull everything together.
My dress was from Sassi Holford and the Veil was Caroline Castigliano, both of which I secured as massive bargains in a sample dress shop. I loved the soft, elegant style of it but I was worried after buying it, that it was too simple and so I added the corded lace detail around the middle from another vintage dress I found in Armstrongs in Edinburgh. The headband came from a piece of material that was destined to be a sash in a dress shop called PanPan but I asked them to stitch it on to ribbon for my hair instead.
I made my pearl necklace and bracelets, which had a little plaster cast of a Sparrow skull – bit creepy haha but i love it!
Pete got his tweed jacket from Hackett and the best men all just wore a mix of other tweed jackets, with their pink and blue club bow ties (a silly university boys club – best not to ask). I made the buttonholes the night before with some feathers, striped ribbon and left over flower materials!
I liked the idea of mismatched bridesmaids, they all had creamy, neutral dresses with a bit of sparkle.
I was really inspired by the 1920s and I wanted the feel of a Gatsby-esque garden party. Kirknewton was the only venue we visited, we instantly loved the feel of the place with the walled garden and chicken’s running around! Plus it was important for our DIY catering approach that we had free run of the kitchen for the weekend.
Duddingston Kirk was an obvious choice because of its beautiful location, warm and friendly minister and great pub across the road!
I kept the colour scheme faded and soft with some hints of glitter on the table decorations etc. I generally love anything old/antique/vintage (or crap as Pete would say!) and so I absolutely LOVED spending my weekends and days off work rooting around car boot sales and second hand shops to find our old wooden deck chairs, antique cut glass vases, old patterned tea cups and vintage silverware. I made paper chains, heart garlands and origami cranes out of old music sheets and books, which Pete despaired at me cutting up!
The Victorian print birds decorating the tables and on the seating plan were from a book on Audubon’s Wildlife. I got my idea from the amazing jewelry designers Rust – how they use old animal prints to display their goods. I’m a bit obsessed with the designers blog.
I bought antique playing cards from Etsy and clipped them to our vases with glitter covered pegs. My friend Marlene sent us my garter and Pete’s cufflinks from Etsy also.
I had other little hints of the Great Gatsby in the decor – there were some quotes on the table and the pages behind the LOVE framed letters were from the book.
As you might have seen the other big theme was birds! I think I got a bit carried away with this one! Our table plan was my favourite thing, with the little Victorian print birds nestled on the tree branches with the guest lists! I hand stamped the guest names on old luggage tags along with a little sparrow stamp I found for place names.
As a budget alternative to a photo booth, I set up my own camera on a tripod, bought some fancy dress gear and some fabric for a backdrop. There are some great shots from that!
We really wanted a nice relaxed atmosphere for our guests so we set up benches round some fire-pits and put out marshmallows and sparklers for the evening. We had a ceilidh to get everyone up dancing and then just put on our favourite cheesy tunes on my iPod!
We had the Staves – Mexico for our first dance, they are a relatively new band, but I love them! They are coming to Edinburgh soon, if you get a night off you should check them out. Pete’s Mum got us dance lessons as a ‘present’ to stop us shuffling around the floor, we were pretty terrible students, I think our dance on the day was helped a lot by Pete’s Grandpa’s desert wine!
We really had the most wonderful day and we were lucky enough to have the only bit of sunshine seen in Edinburgh all Summer! We so blessed to have such an incredible bunch of friends and family to help us out with our plans and to keep smiling during some minor hiccups which inevitably came with the territory of a D.I.Y wedding. Pete and I have been together for 8 years now, but our day was still the most beautiful, romantic, special day of our lives. It was everything we could have wished for and more.
Photography: Craig & Eva Sanders Photography / Reception Venue: Kirknewton Stables / Ceremony Venue: Duddingston Kirk / Wedding Planning: Be Eventful / Bride’s & Bridesmaids’ Fashion: Sassi Holford, Caroline Castigliano, W. Armstrong & Sons, Pan Pan Bridal / Men’s Fashion: Hackett / Vintage Decor: Junkaholique & Etsy