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Jillian + Steven

By Elemental Photography

at Holy Trinity Church

+ The Walled Garden at Strathtyrum

St Andrews-Scotland

A hidden walled garden proved the perfect spot for Jillian and Steven’s dream wedding. Private, romantic and relaxed, it was a blank canvas for these two creatives. We love the rose gold, rustic glamour theme and would happily have danced the night away in that garden. Oh and did we mention the bongo drums?

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How did you meet and become engaged?
Slight cliché, but we met in one of Aberdeen’s nightclubs, Tiger Tiger in 2009! Steve was friends with my older sisters and there was a little bit of match making in the beginning. After a few weeks we finally went our first date.
Five years later, we were on holiday in Marbella, Spain and Steve managed to sneak the ring which he designed himself with the help of Jamieson and Carry and surprise me in the gardens of our hotel suite. The celebrations continued when we arrived to a special homecoming with our friends and family – although we were a little tired, it was an amazing few days!
Tell us about your venue…
We weren’t very keen on a hotel wedding so once we had decided on a date, we were on the look-out for the perfect space for a marquee and as soon as we walked into the walled gardens, we knew it was the one.
Hidden from the main road into St Andrews, we were instantly in love with The Walled Gardens as it was private, romantic and provided us with the opportunity to create our dream wedding. With no real rules and restrictions, it really was a blank canvas and it was up to us to get creative!
Our wedding day was inspired by…
I guess by us…we didn’t have a real theme, we just wanted it to create a great weekend for everyone. I wasn’t overly fussed about colours but I have always loved rose gold so we went for that and I spent a several months scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram to get ideas.
My mum and her friend created the flower arch which was a focal point for our pictures in the garden and our close friend created the amazing signage for the gardens. With the help of my family we DIY’d the guest name tags which involved a lot of rose gold foil…not the easiest, but we got there in the end! My granny and cousin also helped with our favours, making their amazing tablet which we boxed up and completed with rose gold ribbon and mini heart-shaped key.
We love your photos! How was the experience?
We instantly loved Elemental’s style of photography due to the balance of amazing candid shots and the more traditional wedding pictures. We met with Jay and Christina about a month before the wedding and on the day of the wedding, I realised how important this meeting was. We felt so relaxed throughout and followed their guidance as much as possible as we knew they were the experts.
Tell us something surprising about your day…
It would have to be the speeches! We had thought about hiring entertainment for during the meal but it turned out we didn’t need that. The speeches were full of hilarity and the best men arranged for some of the boys that attended the Stag to recreate a routine from Ocean Beach Club with them carrying out boards with Steven’s nickname ‘Smiller’ and champagne with mini sparklers – it really got all the guests in the party mood!

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We are swooning a lot over your wedding dress. How did you find it?
As any bride-to-be, I started looking at lots of pictures and different brands but I always liked different parts of a dress and never a complete dress. I tried on a few different dresses and on two occasions, I thought I found the one but something didn’t feel right.
I am lucky to be close family friends with the owner of Perfect Bridal Rooms and they were brilliant in guiding me in the right direction. After several visits and late night appointments it was pretty clear that I was looking for something bespoke. Luckily, Suzanne Neville hosts a designer weekend every January and with the help of my sister and Emma at Perfect we used one of her dresses as the canvas, belts as my shoulder straps and pinned veils on the bottom to create the dress. In January, we showed Suzanne and she sketched it up so I didn’t see the real deal until a month before the wedding but this made it so exciting when it arrived.
And the groom’s outfit?
We had a tough decision between kilts and suit but we felt a suit was more suited to Steven and the style of the wedding so we opted for a navy tuxedo suit with black lapels from TM Lewin. The whole grooms party wore the same suit, pocket squares, bowties, socks and personalised Finlay & Co sunglasses with Steve adding different touches like this tartan braces and rose gold cufflinks.
How about your flowers – how did you choose?
I stumbled across Planet on the We Fell In Love Blog and I instantly started following their social media pages and I was in love with their style. In our first meeting with Gemma we discussed ideas and looked over pictures and she actually helped me to describe my vision in words ‘rose gold rustic glamour’. From there, Gemma and her team created a sample table and on the run up to the day, we made a few tweaks and then put our trust in them for the big day.
What did you choose for your entertainment?
For our drinks reception, we booked Trav ‘saXingh’ Panesar – an amazing saxophonist & Bongo Dave – a drummer and percussionist from Aberdeen (a lot of our guests knew him from Aberdeen’s pubs and clubs so they all got a surprise to see him there). Trav stayed to play with Corra and our DJ, and he truly got the party started!
Corra were actually one of the first things we booked…even before our venue! We had seen them play at our friend’s wedding a few years ago and loved them so just booked them straight away.
Our first dance wasn’t the usual slow wedding song as we opted for Clean Bandit & Jess Glyne, Real Love – this suited us perfectly and it wasn’t long before the wedding party joined us on the dancefloor!
Any advice?
Don’t stress and trust your suppliers! I was pretty laid back about the planning as I was sure my suppliers wouldn’t let us down. I would definitely make sure you meet as many as possible and send a rough itinerary for the day so everyone is on the same page. I would also start the DIY parts as early as possible…some things take longer than expected!
Relax, have fun and soak up every moment!
Why Scotland?
We both love Scotland and didn’t ever think about anywhere else! St Andrews holds a lot of special memories for us as I have a family home there and with attending a lot of weddings in Aberdeen, it was a very easy decision to make.
Every time we visit, we get a good feeling and the next time we are back at Christmas will be even more special.
What’s the one truly unforgettable thing about your wedding day?
Definitely seeing all of our guests having such a good time and the dance floor being constantly filled with friends and family. I don’t think it was empty all night…even when the band had a break!
It is a surreal feeling when you are sitting at the top table but we loved looking around and seeing everyone enjoying the celebrations!

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“Don’t stress and trust your suppliers!” Sound advice we say – do it people! Alie x
Ceremony VenueHoly Trinity Church, St Andrews
Reception VenueThe Walled Garden at Strathtyrum
PhotographerElemental Photography
FilmmakerGryffe Weddings
FloristPlanet Flowers
Make-up ArtistJade Koemans
Hair StylistLinton & Mac
Wedding dress – Bespoke Suzanne Neville from Perfect Bridal Rooms, Aberdeen
Wedding shoesSophia Webster
Bridesmaids Dresses – White by Vera Wang from David’s Bridal
Groom’s outfitTM Lewin
StationeryEYI Love
CatererHarry Fraser Catering
Wedding CakeLove Laura Lane
Wedding TransportSt Clair Wedding Cars
Additional SuppliersBlinding Light Sound & Music; Arc Marquees