Janice + Kristen

By Soraya Photography

at Aldourie Castle

Loch Ness-Scotland

The moment we saw these photos, we said yes to the dress! Add in a dapper groom (& gorgeous bride!) in tweed, two super cute flower girls, a breathtaking setting and bold autumn colours, and we were head over heels. Inspired by their love for the Scottish Highlands, Janice and Kristen held their intimate wedding in a luxury castle on the shores of Loch Ness. Sweet wedding dreams are surely made of this…

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Who saw who first?
Kristen and I met in 2005 at a football match, introduced by a mutual friend and remained friends until 2009 when we finally got together. He proposed in October 2014 on the shore of Loch Lomond whilst we were on holiday. It was a complete surprise. We had just stopped on route up to The Highlands for a break from driving, so were skimming stones and enjoying the scenery. I stopped to take some pictures of the loch and when I turned around he was down on one knee, holding a small jewellery box. It was perfect and so was the ring, which he had designed himself and had made for me.
We were inspired by…
Our wedding day was inspired simply by wanting to find a venue that could be exclusive to us and our close friends and family. Somewhere that could offer us a luxury long weekend, where we happened to get married at the same time. The Highlands themselves inspired the detail.
Tell us about your venue…
We fell in love with Aldourie the moment we saw it. The long sweeping drive that opens up to the estate, and then finally, through the trees we caught a glimpse of this magnificent building and the loch behind, which was glinting away in the crisp autumn sunshine. It was going to be the perfect place to bring our 20 guests and 6 children. Aldourie had huge grounds to explore with pretty gardens, a hidden tree house, it’s own private jetty, Nessie carved from a fallen tree trunk and golf buggies to make sure you saw it all.
The castle itself was breathtaking, the drawing room was large enough for all to be able to lounge, enjoy and relax in, the library offered a quieter space to sit and read or play games and the snooker room just finished it off. With its stunning bedrooms, all with the most amazing bathrooms you have ever seen and two fabulous dining rooms with the great hall to top it off, we were gobsmacked. All the fires were lit and we could immediately see how our wedding weekend would be. Lavinia was very accommodating and they could tailor our perfect wedding menu as well! This wasn’t just to be a wedding, this would be an experience of a lifetime for us and our nearest and dearest.
The vibrant colours & pumpkins are wonderful! What inspired your styling?
We really hadn’t any idea of what flowers we wanted, we just knew that because the wedding was going to be at the end of October it would be autumn and all the wonderful oranges, yellows, reds and purples would be at their most magnificent during that time, so we wanted to bring the outdoors indoors. We had seen on Pinterest some images of pumpkins being used as vases for flowers and this had stuck in our minds. We also wanted rustic looking displays and so we spoke of candles, wood, fruit and moss.
The only thing I really wanted our florist to help me incorporate was getting 6 charms with photos in attached to my bouquet. This way I could make sure those who had been taken from us before our wedding would still be a part of our day. From there, we left it completely in her hands. It was the best thing we could have done. The bouquets for my flower girls and I were incredible, and she incorporated the charms well. The large displays in the ceremony room had been set in tree trunks and were out of this world. The table display was incredible and set the room off fabulously. She over delivered and the castle looked wonderful for it.
We love your photos! How was the experience?
Neither Kristen or I are fans of having to pose for photos, so it was really important to us that a photographer would not be too intrusive and we wouldn’t be kept from our friends and family. We have been to many weddings where people hang around for hours waiting for the happy couple to have their perfect pictures taken whilst the rest of the party sit with rumbling stomachs waiting to eat. We wanted candid shots of everyone really enjoying themselves and to be left alone to enjoy our day.
Margaret completely understood this and so, yes we disappeared for half and hour to have some pictures but that was it. We didn’t notice her around most of the time. She was very discreet and had a wonderful way of getting some fabulous shots without us realising she was doing it. All of the photos we have (and there are over 500!) are fantastic. She completely captured the spirit of the day and everyone who has seen them has been blown away. Margaret is truly a master of her art.

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Tell us something surprising about your day…
The weather! We planned for wind, rain and grey skies, being late October. However as we drove up to Loch Ness the sky cleared, and for the 3 days spent at Aldourie, it was warm! Clear blue sky, bright sunshine and not even a light breeze, fabulous! We still made everyone get their wellies on though for the fun of it!
We fell in love with your dress (& the flower girl versions) the moment we saw it! How did you find it?
The wedding dress was a piece of art. The most amazing creation handmade by Jean, the owner of the shop. She made my sister’s wedding dress back in 2007 and so once Kristen had proposed, there was only ever going to be one bridal shop I went to. Jean sat with me as I showed her ideas of gowns and between us we took the base of one dress and then created over the top of it a gown that was simply unique. As it would be cold in Scotland, we also designed a riding jacket to go over the top made using the same Harris Tweed that Kristen would be wearing on the day. It took 8 fittings and a lot of fabric for the dress and jacket to take shape. Long and elegant, with autumn on the back is one way of describing it. Jean then made my flower girls dresses too, little miniatures of my wedding dress just simplified. They were beautiful.
Kristen also looks very dapper…
As it was a small wedding and Kristen didn’t want to have to pick a best man (they are all equally dear to us) we thought it would be fun to get all the friends wearing Harris Tweed. Kristen wore a waistcoat in Harris Tweed Mid-Brown with matching hat from Edinburgh Woollen Mill matched with traditional travelling trousers, royal blue braces and a cravat from County Clothes in Canterbury finished off with Brown Hudson boots, Harris Tweed Hipflask and a pocket watch I had bought and engraved as a gift on our wedding day. The rest of the gents wore different coloured tweed waistcoats, hats, ties and chinos.
What did you choose for your first dance?
As it was a small affair, we had the great hall cleared after dinner and we lit candles, dimmed the lighting and danced to a playlist we created on Spotify. The first dance was All of Me by John Legend, followed by Life’s a Happy Song by The Muppets!
Any advice?
Keep it simple! Don’t stress about the small stuff. Little details are great and add so much, and we added plenty, but keep them simple. Remember you are getting married, and that’s the important part. Finally, trust your suppliers, if they come recommended and you have seen their work and like it, let them help you. They are the professionals after all and believe you me, having been a wedding planner myself, they have seen everything!
Why Scotland?
Our first holiday away together was in Scotland. Kristen had been a few times before but I had never been until that point and I completely fell in love with the Highlands. We both adore Scotland and so to us it was the only place to tie the knot.
What’s the one truly unforgettable thing about your wedding day?
The venue! Aldourie Castle was incredible and to be able to give everyone such an experience was a wonderful feeling. To have all our closest friends and family together for three days at Aldourie, in all its opulence, is something that we will never forget.

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I love that while her wedding was small and beautiful, Janice really went for it with her dress – so fabulous! Christina x
Suppliers
VenueAldourie Castle Estate, Loch Ness
Photographer – Margaret Soraya, Soraya Photography.
FloristAmanda Call
Hair & makeupAnna Zelanika
Wedding dress & flower girls’ dresses – Jean, owner of The Bridal Gallery made my dress using the base of an Enzoani dress called Faith
Shoes – Carvela, Kurt Geiger – Glow
Accessories – The dress was stunning and had a lot going on so I kept the accessories simple. I wore some drop earrings by Christian Dior and Kristen bought me a necklace as a surprise to wear on the day. A small silver locket in the shape of an envelope which contained a carved personal message on wood. It was perfect.
Engagement & wedding rings – at Ortwin Thyssen in Canterbury.
Groom’s outfitEdinburgh Woollen Mill and County Clothes
Stationery – Carol Arter at Arterworks
Cake – Aldourie Castle, We had a cake of cheese.



Blog your

big day

competition

Getting married in Scotland in 2016 and have a passion for writing and sharing your story with others? Well how about becoming one of We Fell in Love’s Guest Bloggers? Read on to find out how you can be part of the guest blogging team and #BlogYourBigDay with us…

Elemental Weddings

We were inspired by so many of you getting in touch to say how much you loved the weekly updates from #WFILwedding bride Mel (seriously we love that girl) and so that got us thinking. How about we create a super-team of Scottish guest bloggers for 2016?

Blue Sky Photography

We’re looking for brides (or grooms!) who are getting married in Scotland this year. However intimate or extravagent your wedding is, we’d love to hear your story. If you’re good with words and happy to share the highs, lows and in-betweens of your wedding journey, then you could be the perfect match.

Sarah Elizabeth Photography

Each month, the winners of the competition will #BlogYourBigDay and will be featured on WFIL – sharing their planning journey, behind-the-scenes photos and wedding chat with our wonderful readers. And we’ll also be featuring the weddings in full when the time comes – so exciting!
So whether you’re addicted to blogs, dress shopping & cake testing, or just love to write, this is the perfect opportunity to get your thoughts published.

Elemental Weddings

We can’t wait to meet our 2016 guest blogging team! Enter here and tell us why you should be a guest blogger. We’re excited already…