We think we saw each other at the same time. I had recently moved to Dundee for my job in 2005 and was moving into a shared house, where Stuart lived. I went into a pub called Laings to pick up the keys from one of the other housemates and he was there. Actually, it wasn’t a remarkable first meeting at all. We became really good friends quickly and, slowly but surely, it developed into more. We were careful about it though because we didn’t want to mess up our friendship. We are quite unusual because ever since we first met, we’ve always lived together…
We went to a very good friend’s wedding at Christmas in 2008 on the same date as ours and were just wowed by how beautiful it was getting married in the winter. It was freezing but so atmospheric and felt like a completely different experience from weddings in the summer. We weren’t even thinking about marriage at that point, but I think it stayed in the back of our minds that we would love to get hitched at that time of year too. It was magical.
Since it was Christmas, we wrapped the children’s favours and placed them under the Christmas tree. We gave them their surprise extra post-Christmas pressies during the line-up which they were thrilled with. We gave them our favourite toys from when we were kids – Lego for the boys and Sylvanian families for the girls. Stuart plays the pipes and has piped at loads of our friends and family’s weddings over the years, so it seemed more than fitting for him to have a blast of them on his own wedding day. So, while we had a fantastic piper playing at the church and reception, we surprised everyone by Stuart piping himself and the bride into the meal. A cheer went up when everyone realised it was Stuart piping – it was a lovely moment. All my friends know I am a total nightmare when I have sore feet – I lose all sense of rational behaviour. So, I thought it would be fun to have a basket full of dancing shoes for anyone who was feeling their toes pinch in the evening.
What was on your wedding menu?
We started with a piping hot Scotch Broth which suited the time of year. We wanted to get mulled wine in as part of the Christmas theme, but decided against it as the reception drink as not everyone loves it as much as we do. So, we decided to have it as a sorbet – it was a quirky palette cleanser ahead of the main course. For the main we had roast rib of beef in a mushroom and Madeira sauce with root vegetables and roast tatties. Then, our absolute favourite, crème brulee with white chocolate ice cream, dark chocolate sauce and raspberries for dessert. YUM!
FIRST DANCE – CHOREOGRAPHED ROUTINE OR SEDATE SHUFFLE?
A sedate shuffle/giggle! We chose Up Where We Belong. You know the one, from An Officer and A Gentleman. Stuart is from Caithness, so we love a good power ballad to pass the time on the long car journey up there! Stuart sings the Joe Cocker bit and me the Jennifer Warnes part. It’s super cheesy, but is completely our song.
What’s your advice for future brides and grooms?
I do think there’s a lot to be said for being well organised. I was bordering on OCD with my lists, but by the time the day was here, I had completely relaxed. I did not expect to feel like that at all, but, when I look back now, I’m so glad I had taken care of everything that needed to be done in advance. It meant I could enjoy things and not let it all stress me out which is what I didn’t want.
Where did you spend your wedding night?
We spent it at Maryculter House Hotel in the bridal suite which was lovely. It was extra special because the hotel was almost fully booked all with guests from our wedding, so we were able to relax with family and friends after the reception finished and the morning after. It turned out that the only people staying at the hotel that weren’t wedding guests were celebrating their ruby wedding anniversary the same day as our wedding. They popped their heads in to the ceilidh to enjoy the party too.
WHAT WAS THE ONE THING YOU’LL NEVER FORGET ABOUT YOUR BIG DAY?
For me (Anna) it was walking into the church and seeing all the beautiful Christmas tree lights and the faces of so many friends and family, then seeing Stuart. For Stuart, it was having all his friends and family together like that. It’s not easy getting everyone together so it was extra special for us.
We love that Stuart piped his bride into dinner as a surprise for their guests. What treats have you got planned for your guests? Christina x