Photographed by Elemental Weddings
at St Cuthbert’s RC Church & The Ghillie Dhu
From something that started as a ‘big like’ and turned into a ‘big love’, Gillian and Noel married nine years to the date they first met. Inspired by everything from Catholic iconography to vintage tattoo design, their wedding was personality-packed and we are loving their style…
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT OR GRADUAL ATTRACTION?
There was a very definite attraction at first sight for both of us when we met in June, 2004 – but neither of us said anything to each other about it! A strong friendship grew from there, and we kept in touch regularly, until we finally got together as a couple in 2010. There was always a ‘big like’ and it was easy for a ‘big love’ to develop from that – we married nine years to the day we met for the first time. It felt important to mark the date as a special one.
WE WERE INSPIRED BY…
Lots and lots of things initially; Catholic iconography, vintage tattoo design, rock n roll, red roses, skulls and crossbones, pirates, Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos, stars – you name it, we were inspired by it! We had a difficult time whittling it all down but we both knew how we wanted the day to ‘feel’ – nothing too formal, stuffy or ‘overdone’! Booking the Ghillie Dhu made perfect sense – a great venue space but more personal in feel than a lot of the hotels we’d visited.
We met Jay and Christina of Elemental at a Wedding Fair early on in our planning and they were the first supplier we actually booked. Great photography was important to us – it’s all you have left to remember the day once it’s over – and we loved their eye for detail, the stylishness of their images, their relaxed professionalism and their great sense of humour!
HOW DID YOU PERSONALISE YOUR WEDDING DAY?
Paradoxically by not doing a lot of ‘stuff’ and by doing our best to make the essential parts of the day work as well as possible.
Margaret Knight, our harpist, played beautiful, meaningful, music as an accompaniment to our ceremony and meal, and we were able to personalise our day that way.
We organised a tour of the city on the Red Bus for our day guests, especially for Noel’s family from County Durham, to let them see aspects of Edinburgh they may not have seen before.
Carol Hickman at the Ghillie Dhu was also great at helping us outline the timings of the day, making sure that there were no ‘drags’ and managing to have everyone where they were supposed to be, when they were meant to be there – including us!
All of these elements helped build our wedding day exactly the way we wanted it to be.
WHAT WAS ON YOUR WEDDING MENU?
We were really pleased to be able to offer our guests a choice of starters, mains and desserts; our menu looked like this:
Our Starters – Puff pastry case with creamy garlic mushrooms and herb pesto or Haggis, neeps and tatties with a whisky sauce.
Our Mains – Corn-fed Chicken Supreme with Mushroom Duxelle or Supreme of Scottish Salmon
Our Desserts – Ghillie Dhu Mess or Traditional Scottish Cranachan
FIRST DANCE – CHOREOGRAPHED ROUTINE OR SEDATE SHUFFLE?
Our first dance was to ‘At Last’ by Etta James, and we had a couple of lessons with Felicity Drever of Learn2WeddingDance, who was great at giving us a bit of confidence on the day.
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR FUTURE BRIDES AND GROOMS?
Do what you want to do, and try not to over-complicate things, as this just leads to unnecessary stress about stuff that doesn’t really matter as the wedding date looms closer and stress levels rise.
It’s easier said than done, but try not to get too caught up in the small details – something will invariably go wrong or not go to plan on the day but it really won’t matter once it’s all going on around you.
Also, don’t lose sight of what the day is actually about – two people getting married – if, at the end of the day you’ve got married then the day has been a total success! It’s a celebration of that, not a performance, although it’s easy to get sucked into that way of thinking…
HONEYMOON OR MINIMOON?
A mini-moon to Paris and Lisieux after the wedding – we’re planning a full-on Honeymoon for our first anniversary. Another note of advice – I don’t advise booking a city break Honeymoon after the stress of arranging a wedding, unless you really, REALLY love city breaks that is. We didn’t think we’d need the R+R but we were so wrong!
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU’LL NEVER FORGET ABOUT YOUR WEDDING DAY?
G – Can I have a few things? The way the time just went by so quickly, the rustle of my silk dress as I walked down the aisle and how amazingly gorgeous Noel looked! Also getting a big cheer every time I walked into the downstairs bar of the Ghillie Dhu in the evening!
N – Seeing Gillian walk down the aisle; how beautiful she looked and how proud she made me feel.
– St Cuthbert’s RC Church
, Slateford, Edinburgh
– The Ghillie Dhu
– Elemental Weddings
(who were amazing)!!
(amazing flowers, and great service from Gillian and Jennifer!)
– Chris Dickson at Dickson Reid
I hadn’t been to a hairdresser in over thirty years; as soon as I met Chris at a wedding fair, however, I felt I could really trust him with my long hair and he did a fantastic job on the day!
– A one-off design by Caroline Castigliano
– From Pretty Small Shoes
(because I have tiny feet)!
– My ‘Floating Star’ tiara and matching star waist jewel were from Andrew Prince
, Burlington Arcade, London. Andrew was brilliant, the jewellery is beautiful and he couldn’t do enough to help and advise me in the run-up to the wedding.
– Noel wore a vintage black velvet pinstripe suit that he bought at a vintage clothes market in Camden back in 2001. His shoes were from Jeffery West
, Piccadilly Arcade, London and his Edinburgh Castle Rock cufflinks and tie-pin were from Clarksons of Edinburgh
– From Little Deva
in Glasgow, although I understand that the owner has decided to finish up with the business this year.
– From John Lewis
, and modified by both of us with a little creative help from accessories we sourced from Paper Tiger
– Marks and Spencer
– Hud Yer Wheesht Ceilidh Band
– Wedding Car from Ecosse Classic Wedding Cars
Guest transport from The Red Bus
– Selected members of the groom’s band, Gonzo A Go Go, who joined Hud Yer Wheesht
onstage for a few songs (after a few sherries) later in the evening…!