Naomi + Michael

by Crofts & Kowalczyk Photography

at Dunglass Estate

East Lothian-Scotland

Today we’re heading to East Lothian for a super pretty country estate wedding. Inspired by the colour of Naomi’s engagement ring and a few of their favourite things, Naomi & Michael styled their day with tea cups and old books, a blue bicycle and peonies, suitcases & maps, and two-thousand hand-cut love hearts. A very beautiful way to start the week, we’re sure you’ll agree…

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Who saw who first?
We bumped into each other on our first day at Glasgow Uni and developed our friendship over three years. We finally got together at the end of third year and the nine year wait for a proposal should not have been a surprise to anyone that knew us! 

Michael booked a surprise holiday for us, he managed to get me all the way to the airport before I found out we were flying to Italy. We spent four days in Milan and Venice before heading north to Lake Como. We checked into a stunning rooftop suite in The Grand Tremezzo overlooking Bellagio. On our last day there, we hired the Venetian riviera boat the hotel owned and went on a tour of the lake, stopping off at Villa del Balbianello, where James Bond and Vesper fall in love in the movie Casino Royale. It was the first film we saw in the cinema together and a little trip down memory lane. We stopped off at Villa Carlotta which is set in beautiful botanical gardens. Unknown to me, Michael had something else in store and led me down a short hidden path through a wall of blooming azalea flowers to a romantic gazebo overlooking the lake. It was here he got down on one knee and presented me with a bespoke engagement ring from Astley Clarke. Of course I said yes and we celebrated with Prosecco in the sunshine.
We were inspired by…

The bridesmaids outfits were inspired by the colour of my engagement ring and it trickled down to everything else. We had a bike painted in a similar pale blue with peonies bursting out of the basket. An old suitcase matched this and we lined it with a map reflecting both of our degrees in Geography. Our mums scoured charity shops for tea cups and old books which were filled with gypsophila and ivory roses to form our table centre pieces – this was a bit of a nod to one of our favourite pastimes – tea and cake!
My mum and sister then went above and beyond what we could have ever asked for and stunned everyone with their creative input. Some of the details included hand knitted hot water bottle covers for guests in the church that matched the tartan rugs we provided, the personalised four foot hanging photo frame for guests to pose with and an incredible two-thousand hand-cut love hearts which lined the path to the church. We couldn’t have done any of this from overseas without the love and help of our families so thank you!
Tell us about your venue…

I’m a country girl at heart, our first home was in Dunbar and we both love being by the sea. Dunglass ticked every box for us in that respect. We were back in the East Lothian countryside with stunning views of the sea and surrounded by the most picturesque grounds with wildlife and established woodland, ideal for photos.


We live overseas and don’t get to spend as much time with our family and friends as we would like to. One of the best bits about Dunglass was the accommodation on site. We hired the three properties on offer for the full weekend and had our family and the wedding party arrive the day before. The boys stayed in the quaint little sandstone cottage, the families stayed in the converted stable blocks and the girls took the main house. Having everyone in one place the night before for dinner and drinks was so special and got the weekend off to a perfect start.
And something surprising about your day…
The biggest surprise was waking up on the Saturday and seeing the marquee still in place! We had been up on the Friday to set up and the wind and rain had us very worried about what we’d got ourselves into as the tail-end of Storm Katie battered in. The wind and rain stayed away all day on the Saturday, or at least late enough until everyone was in the marquee at night.

Your dress is gorgeous – how did you find it?

My sister spotted this beautiful, elegant and timeless dress that ended up being the perfect one for me. I loved the embossed lace, the boat neck, low back and flowing train. It was paired with a veil with diamond details. It fitted the wedding theme completely and complemented the bridesmaids dresses perfectly.
I wanted to keep my accessories to a minimum as I didn’t want to take away from the stunning lace detail in the dress. I wore pearl earrings and my beautiful Astley Clarke rose gold, diamond and grey aqua engagement ring, which was the inspiration for the colour scheme for the wedding.

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We love your look too, Michael. Tell us more…
I wanted something a bit different but that wouldn’t look ridiculous in the years to come when we look back at the photos. I’m not a big fan of the traditional Highland outfits so started to look at tweed. The combination of green tweed and Isle of Skye tartan paired perfectly and I was able to pick up some little touches to match. A standard pair of Ted Baker brown brogues were enhanced with purple laces. Naomi got me some beautiful Scottish Green Marble cufflinks from a little boutique, Moss Green, in Bruntsfield. Lochcarron provided the Isle of Skye tartan ties. 

I’ve had some nightmares with kilt hires previously but was so impressed with Slanj on our first visit, I decided I was going to purchase an outfit from them rather than hire. I customised one of their packages with material from Lochcarron, a stag detailed sporran, kilt pin and antler sgian-dubh.
Was choosing your photographer difficult?
Sylwia and Simon (Crofts & Kowalczyk Photography) were perfect – from our first enquiries to long after the wedding, the experience has been a different class. Their style, their attention to detail, the emotions and sense of intimacy all appealed to us but the photos are only half of the equation, you’ve got to get on with the photographers. They’re the people you’ll probably end up spending most time with on the day (apart from each other, obviously)! We all met up for coffees and went through some of their previous albums together. They’re a great couple and we felt so relaxed around them, in the end, the decision was easy. Their creative portraiture was the element of their photography that sealed it for us, their work is absolutely mind blowing, it feels editorial and just oozes class.
We spotted that you had the day filmed too…
We were not planning on a wedding film but having spoken to some friends and colleagues, we were convinced it would be worth it. In the end, it was one of the best things we did and we are so happy we went with Jonathon Fowler. His work is incredibly professional and of such a high quality. The film captures entirely different elements to the day and compliments the photographs perfectly. From the ceremony, the endless laughter and the speeches, the film will be one of the things we watch with great fondness for years and years to come.
What did you choose for your first dance?
Our first dance was Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons – Can’t Take My Eyes Off You. This reminds us of our holiday in New York and takes us back to going to see Jersey Boys on Broadway. We agonised over a few songs but the upbeat chorus of this song and the great memories it brings back for us made it an easy choice in the end. We didn’t rehearse anything so I was quite shocked when Michael picked me when “I love you baby” kicked in…!
We didn’t want a ceilidh but as we had some guest from down south and overseas, we felt we owed them some Highland dancing at a Scottish wedding. Slinky, our band, were able to seamlessly drop a few of these into the night’s proceedings and their fun interpretation went down a storm.


Any advice?
Make sure the bar is open before the ceremony! There’s nothing worse than guests turning up and hanging around with nothing to do. This was one of the best things Dunglass offered and it instantly puts guests at ease. Consider venues with the ceremony and reception in one place, it means no travelling and more time to party. If you’re planning a wedding from overseas, be prepared for the week running up to your wedding when everything gets hectic. Build good relations and communication with your venue and suppliers, it will be worth the effort at the start to make sure the day goes smoothly.
What’s the one truly unforgettable thing about your wedding day?
Laughter and love. Being blessed to get everyone we love together in one place, when we don’t get to see them as often as we’d like.

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Such a beautiful day! And the path lined with love hearts is ah-mazing! Want one? Christina x
Suppliers
VenueDunglass Estate
PhotographerCrofts & Kowalczyk Photography
FilmmakerJonathon Fowler
FloristBloomia
Hair stylist – Julie-Anne Sharkey and Leigh Scammell
Make-up artistKari Livingston
Wedding dress
Caroline Castigliano from 
Pan Pan Bridal Edinburgh
ShoesJimmy Choo & Hunter Wellies
Groom’s outfitSlanj Kilts
Bridesmaids’ dresses – 
Hobbs
StationeryHummingbird Card Company & Confetti
Cake
Liggy’s Cakes Edinburgh
CatererHickory
Band/Musicians – 
Slinky & Rose Street Quartet



COMPETITION

WIN A ROMANTIC BREAK

AT ARDANAISEIG HOTEL

Longing to escape to the Scottish Highlands with your true love? We’re very excited to have teamed up with Ardanaiseig Hotel in Western Scotland to give away a fantastic prize.

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Built on the banks of Loch Awe and surrounded by wildly romantic Highlands scenery, this nineteenth-century manor house hotel is the perfect place for a relaxing mini-break.
One of Scotland’s most stunning wedding venues, the country house hotel is owned by London antiques dealer Bennie Gray, and surrounded by 120 acres of landscaped grounds, hidden gardens and enchanting forests. Perfect if you love the idea of exchanging rings among the firs and spruces, or in the unique ampitheatre that is nestled between the grade II listed manor house and Ben Cruachan.
For those looking for a taste of tradition, Kilchrenan Parish Church is a quaint and beautiful building, just four miles away. It was built in 1770 but the site has been home to a church since the twelfth century. And the views across the Highlands are exceptional!

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From sipping champagne on the lawn at Ardanaiseig with your guests to enjoying the very best of Highland hospitality before dancing the night away, it’s easy to see why we have fallen more than a little in love with this magical place!
And, a very special night awaits newlyweds in The Boatshed, a chic glass-fronted suite on the edge of Loch Awe, with a mezzanine-level bedroom looking right across the glassy waters.
As for your guests, Ardanaiseig has sixteen en-suite double bedrooms, as well as a cottage within the grounds that is perfect for a small family or two couples. Each of the bedrooms is individually designed and adorned with lavish antiques and intricately detailed furniture.

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One lucky reader will win a one night stay for two in a Master Loch View room at Ardanaiseig. Breakfast is included, as well as a glass of prosecco on arrival.
For your chance to win, email your name, address and telephone number to features@wefellinlove.co.uk with ‘Ardanaiseig Competition’ in the subject line by midnight on July 31st 2016. Good luck!
Feeling smitten? If you’d like to discuss your wedding plans with the fantastic team at Ardanaiseig, or arrange a visit, call (0)1866 833 333 or email weddings@ardanaiseig.com
Terms and Conditions: The prize must be used between 1st September 2016 and 23 December 2016, and dates are dependent on availability. There is no cash alternative; Open to residents in the UK and Ireland aged 18 and over (only one entry per person); This prize is not refundable or exchangeable.