Photographed by Archibald Photography
Filmed by Deneemotion
at Mount Stuart
Samantha and Gavin’s love story is straight out of a movie script, and we couldn’t resist revisiting it for this week’s #ThrowbackThursday post. After a whirlwind romance, they flew to Scotland to celebrate their destination wedding in style, in a neo-gothic stately home on a Scottish island…
Love at first sight or gradual attraction?
Love at first sight. We met in March 2009 at a London gay club! There were definite sparks across the dancefloor. We were inseparable for a week until I had to return to LA where I was living at the time. Gavin not long after came to visit me there and we had an epic trip across California and Nevada.
I soon returned to home to London and within 10 days we were living together and within 6 months we were expecting Louie, our son. We got engaged when he was three months old and 2 days later discovered our baby daughter Honor was on the way. In between we were buying a house and totally refurbishing it. If that wasn’t enough to keep us busy, we thought we’d plan a wedding too!
We were inspired by…
The simple things in life. Love, our children, good food, music to our ears, dancing like there is no one watching and a continuous flow of drinks after two consecutive pregnancies!
HOW DID YOU PERSONALISE YOUR WEDDING DAY?
Our ceremony was very personal to us. We had a humanist ceremony but in the marble chapel as a nod to my Catholic heritage. Our celebrant, Jim Trimmer, became a friend after he conducted Louie’s naming ceremony and we were delighted when we discovered he could become a temporary Scottish registrar so to legally marry us (Humanist ceremonies are not legally binding in England).
We had poems & readings by friends and family, including my 5 year old niece who recited poem ‘Getting married means…’ by heart and brought EVERYONE to tears, including my macho groom! The most spectacular moment in our ceremony was when our friend Sabrina Chyld sung Etta’s Jame’s ‘At last’ and literally blew everyone away.The Rothesay Joint Campus choir sang ‘I wanna grow old with you’ when we were signing the registrar making everyone smile.
Music played a massive part of our wedding weekend as Gavin is a music producer and DJ and he hired the best soundsystem in Scotland from the great Steedsy of Steedsy Sounds. Our dancefloor was EPIC.
WHAT WAS ON YOUR WEDDING MENU?
I love picking at stuff whilst Gavin is a meat and two veg kind of guy. So we had all my favourite things to start – Oysters, smoked salmon, olives, prosciutto & antipasti – and for our main we had steak and chips. In my experience at wedding’s people are restless by dessert and want to get up and dance. So we cleared the table after mains and set up a coffee, dessert and cheese station in the armoury where people could go at their leisure. For late food, we had cheese toasties and bacon butties.
The previous evening, we had an amazing hog roast at our pre wedding ceilidh as well as a Bloody Mary brunch on Sunday morning to help with the hangovers.
FIRST DANCE – CHOREOGRAPHED ROUTINE OR SEDATE SHUFFLE?
Sedate Shuffle – we were both dreading it to the point we almost scrapped it entirely! Neither of us are very soppy so our first dance was to ‘Good Thing Going’ by Jackson 5. On the day my beautiful bridesmaid saved me by grabbing a partner and joining us on the dancefloor half way through the song . Once all eyes weren’t on me, I actually had loads of fun dancing with my new husband!
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR FUTURE BRIDES AND GROOMS?
Its a cliché – but enjoy the day! It flies by and I had to keep reminding myself to breathe and take it all in. Also, schedule some along time with your new husband. The amazing wedding coordinators at Mount Stuart physically extracted us from the all wedding madness and took us to a quiet room where they had champagne waiting so we could spend some time together!
And find a fabulous eyelash extension technician so you don’t have to worry about running mascara!
Honeymoon or Mini-Moon?
After the wedding, Gavin and I spent a night at the Blyswood Square in Glasgow. We then took the children to Butlins in Bognor Regis to make up for wedding planning related neglect! 6 weeks later, we had our honeymoon in Tulum, Mexico staying in the amazing Casa Laha villa.
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU’LL NEVER FORGET ABOUT YOUR BIG DAY?
Being piped down the marble stairs, holding my newbie husband’s hand, being introduced as ‘Mr & Mrs Embury’ to the sight of all my friends and family on their feet whooping and cheering in the name of love! Epic is an understatement.
My family are from the Isle of Bute, where I spent my holidays in utter utopia climbing trees and running riot! Not to mention Mount Stuart being the most magical place on earth. However, we still debated having the wedding on Bute as it involved imposing the cost of travel and accommodation on our guests.
We assumed lots of people would not be able to make it. We were so shocked when the RSVPs arrived and 98% of guests accepted. We were truly blown away by everyone’s effort in getting the wedding and when we saw everyone in full highland wear at our pre wedding ceilidh. It was amazing. We were so happy that decided to have a ‘destination’ wedding as it was a whole weekend of fun rather than just one day. And we introduced our guests to the magic of Scotland and many will be returning the future!
I love the role music plays in this wedding. What are you planning to do to get your party started? Alie x