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Chelsea+James

By Elemental Photography

at Castle Sands

+ Kinkell Byre

St Andrews-Scotland

A wedding day that started with an early morning beach ceremony and ended with a party in a barn featuring a bucking bronco, sounds like our kind of celebration. Oh and did we mention the pier jump?

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How did you meet and become engaged?
We met over 9 years ago in St Andrews and became great friends within 6 months. Eventually that friendship developed into something more serious however, I would still say that I was fortunate enough to marry my best friend.
As for the engagement, we both agreed that perhaps getting married would be a logical next step. As a feminist I had my reservations about James asking me so he came up with the rather creative idea of having our dogs ask us to get married. We went for a casual evening walk and my sister, who was hiding in the trees holding the dogs, released them and they came running full speed towards us wearing bandanas that said “Marry Him” and “Marry Her”. It was so perfect and so sweet. Plus I could never say no to the dogs!
Tell us about your venue…
Our morning ceremony was our favorite part of the whole day. At 8am in Scotland, believe it or not we were already applying sun cream! Thankfully the tide had washed away all the seaweed that was present only 24 hours earlier, and Castle Sands looked better than ever.
Our suppliers had arranged 100 chairs on the beach, we had sound systems all set up and a cellist playing for guests upon arrival. We had a humanist wedding ceremony. I don’t believe any of our guests had ever attended one of these before, but it meant we got to write everything that was said throughout the entire ceremony, and our celebrant delivered it superbly with some incredible ad-libbing along the way. Our guests loved it. There wasn’t a dry eye on the beach!
As former St Andrews students, Kinkell Byre was home to some of our favorite memories (balls, fashions shows and parties). When it came to picking a reception venue in our favorite town, Kinkell Byre was an easy choice. We wanted to include a touch of Calgary (where we both now live) and so had a bucking bronco which turned out to be a massive hit!
Our wedding day was inspired by…
If you decide to get married then make the day an honest reflection of who you are as individuals and who you are as a couple. Make sure the ceremony and reception tell a story of how you got to where you are today. In addition, wanting to give our guests the greatest possible St Andrews experience, hence why we made a full day of it and started our ceremony so early!
We love your photos! How was the experience?
Jay and Christina were amazing! We don’t really like posed photographs, so they did an incredible job in capturing all the greatest moments of the day with very candid shots. It was probably the longest wedding day they have ever had to shoot – from 8am all the way until midnight! I doubt many photographers would have been willing to commit to this effort – from morning beach ceremony, to hotel brunch, to mini-putt golf, to pier jump and then an entire evening of entertainment. The quality of their images was absolutely perfect and we keep looking at our photo album to bring back the memories.

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Tell us something surprising about your day…
The weather. Had it been raining, we didn’t really have a great plan B for our morning beach ceremony… we (James) checked the weather every day for the 4 months leading up to the wedding! The night before it bucketed down with rain, then at 6:30am when we woke up on our wedding day it was arguably the nicest morning we had ever seen in St Andrews… not a cloud in the sky and not a breath of wind. There can’t be too many couples that have gotten married on a beach in Scotland at 9am!
Our pier jump! Between the morning ceremony and evening reception, many of our wedding party stripped down and jumped into the north sea! An incredible moment to set up the second half of the day.
We love your wedding dress(es) How did you find them?
I fail at being a traditional bride and hate shopping unless it’s going to the farmers market for food! This meant that my mum and sister were tasked with finding a dress for me to wear in the morning since I couldn’t be bothered to go shopping and threatened to get married in jeans and a t-shirt. They did a great job – the dress was so simple and comfortable and I still wear it to the office.
However, there was nothing I hated more than trying to find a dress for the evening. Fortunately, one of my very fashionable friends in London had the patience to take me all over bond street scouting out designs in countless department stores. Eventually, 7 hours later, we found the Armani evening gown which was simple and elegant all at the same time. Thank you Laura xxx
What did you choose for your first dance?
Our very first dance as a married couple was the Dashing White Sergeant! Everyone was up on the dance floor. We also had a Bucking Bronco for more evening entertainment, which was perhaps the highlight of the night!
Any advice?
Do what you TRULY want to. Not what history and tradition dictates.
Why Scotland?
St Andrews is where we both went to university. We were put in to the same halls of residence (St Salvators Hall) and became best friends.
What’s the one truly unforgettable thing about your wedding day?
The smiles on all of our guests faces and the fact that no one wanted the day to end.

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Oh my! Where to start. I love this wedding so much, but I think my favourite part has to be the pier jump. What are you loving most? Alie x
Suppliers
Ceremony Venue – Castle Sands Beach, St Andrews
Reception VenueKinkell Byre
PhotographerElemental Photography
CelebrantTim McGuire
FloristJack Fleuriste
Hair Stylist and Make-up Artist – Sister and friends!
Wedding dress – Periphery (morning dress); Armani (evening dress)
Wedding shoesGianvito Rossi
Bridesmaids DressesThe Dessy Group
Groom’s outfitThe Tailor Shop
Stationery – Designed by our good friend Chloe Leung
CatererGinger Snap Catering
Additional styling – Ceremony chairs and evening reception tables and chairs from Virginia’s Vintage Hire
Wedding TransportVintage London Bus
BandThe Ceilidh Experience