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Clarissa + Paul

by Nicholas Frost Photography

at Mar Lodge

Aberdeenshire-Scotland

From the dusky lavender bespoke dress to the owl ring bearer, there is so much to love and be inspired by today in Clarissa & Paul’s summer wedding. They were married in an intimate handfasting ceremony in a Victorian hunting lodge in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. When it comes to planning your wedding, “Be bold and brave and happy!” they say. We couldn’t agree more.

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Who saw who first?
We met when we were both living in London and socialising with the same group of people. We had known each other many years before becoming romantically involved.
After a few years of being a couple, I decided to take the plunge and propose to Paul. It was to be a symbol of the start of our life together here in Scotland.
I wanted a gift I could propose with and knowing he liked a certain watch brand, Bell and Ross… I contacted a family run jeweller, Laing The Jeweller in Edinburgh, as I was aware they are stockists of the coveted brand. They had the watch, a Phantom Chronograph, but it was being held at a sister store for a potential client to view. Well, after sharing with Laing why I wanted to purchase the watch it was swiftly couriered to their Edinburgh store for me to purchase. This all happened in the summer of 2013.
…I booked a weekend on Skye during our two week holiday in the Northwest Highlands. Our accommodation for that weekend was the family owned, Victorian splendour, The Viewfield House Hotel. I proposed in the Drawing Room at the start of our Afternoon Tea we had ordered. We were both tearful but very happy.
There was a further surprise to follow when Paul brought up the subject of my engagement ring and suggested Tiffany & Co, as the first piece of jewellery he had ever bought me had been from the Tiffany shop in London. I responded in a rather stunned way by replying that isn’t London rather far to travel and he said, I wasn’t thinking of London, I was thinking of New York. I couldn’t quite process this suggestion as I was so stunned and even more so when in February 2014 we were in Tiffany & Co, New York buying an engagement ring.
We were inspired by…
Our wedding was inspired by us as individuals and our appreciation of certain interests that have brought us closer together as we have grown as a couple. This includes nature’s spirit, heritage, music, wildlife, historic places and vintage glamour.
Our theme therefore, was all those aspects that were brought together on the day to be a personal representation of us and who we are. One of the DIY elements was the confetti cones which I made from a large second-hand botanical book which I chose for the beautiful illustrations of flowers and a bird and botanical book written in the style of an Edwardian lady’s diary. The cones were filled with a mix of real flower petals which I added to with lavender and heather from our garden.
I cut to length the grosgrain ribbons for the hand tying and added the silver metal ribbon ends which not only finished them off neatly but added a little bit of weight too.
I had engraved with our names and wedding date, a silver heart which was tied with white lace ribbon onto the broomstick we jumped over along with white ribbon from one of our Tiffany ring boxes.
Our ceremony welcome was a re-working of Robert Burns, My Heart’s In The Highlands, to Our Heart’s In Braemar and our ceremony reading was my favourite poem, The Owl and The Pussycat by Edward Lear.
I decorated the table on which we would be signing the Marriage Schedule with two books gifted to us by a friend, which featured our initials on the spines, one of Paul’s vintage bird books, the antler of a stag we had found on a woodland walk, a wood carved owl purchased from the same country fair where we had first met Elite Falconry, a much loved wood ornament of a cat and a vase of flowers prepared by our florist.
We designed our own wedding stationery as the start of personalising the announcement of our special day. We used a photograph Paul had taken on a previous visit to Mar Lodge, of the Lodge itself, along with a photograph taken of red deer. we had encountered on an afternoon walk.

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Any surprises?
Sage the Indian Owl was our ring bearer and I surprised Paul with the entertainer, Robert Scott singing our favourite Frank Sinatra songs because our annual Christmas/New Year outing for many years has been to see The Rat Pack Theatre Show and also to represent our special, glamorous time in New York.
We love your coloured dress – tell us more!
I arrived at Freja Designer Dressmaking with only the description I had in my imagination, which was for a wedding dress in a dusky lavender colour in a timeless A-line style. I was met with an enthusiastic response about the prospect of making a wedding dress that was different, in terms of colour, but that respected the concept of a classic style as opposed to a fashion style that would be at risk of looking dated in the future.
The dressmaking team embraced my idea with so much excitement. Mette listened and understood my initial concept so well that I felt comfortable, confident and thrilled in sharing my ideas that would be translated to the vision I had in my mind.
A Hair Pin was made for me by Linden Flowers which was in the style of a button hole and featured a soft, small arrangement of bird feathers and a dyed dried grass known as Hare or Bunny Tail. This was all held together with silver glitter binding plus a sample of wedding dress lace I had sent to ensure a complimentary colour match. The piece was attached to a small kirby grip and the grip end decorated with a small silver owl.
I also wore, from Pearl River Trading, a bespoke soft pink coloured pearl bracelet featuring a vintage silver safety clasp.
Paul chose a handmade Silver Granite kilt from Kinloch Anderson. His shirt, a soft lilac colour was from T.M. Lewin. The light grey jacket, waistcoat and accompanying accessories were purchased from McCalls. His shoes were from Dolce and Gabbana.
We’d love to hear about the dancing…
We chose not to have a first dance and instead enjoyed our first ceilidh dance as newlyweds alongside those guests who were delighted to share the dance floor with us. It’s No’ Reel perfectly tailored the music to suit our guests, including those who were not so familiar with the dance steps of a ceilidh.
Any advice?
Enjoy the organising of your special day. Plan a wedding you will both be happy with and not what you think you should do or have to do. Be bold and brave and happy!
Why Scotland?
We married in Scotland for the emotional connection. This is where we share our life now. My family are from Scotland and Paul adores everything about being here as much as I do.
What’s the one truly unforgettable thing about your wedding day?
How bursting with happiness my wedding day made me feel every time I looked at, kissed or embraced my husband.

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I love that Clarissa took the initiative when it came to proposing. Anyone else planning to do the same? Christina x
Suppliers
VenueMar Lodge, Braemar
PhotographerNicholas Frost Photography
FilmmakerWhite Balloon Films
FloristHays Flowers
Hair stylistGillian Solley
Make-up artistLauren Gollan
Wedding dress – Bespoke silk dusky lavender A-Line dress, overlaid with lace, with bateau neckline, hand embroidered beadwork and ¾ length fitted sleeves by Freja Designer Dressmaking.
Shoes – Bride – Saint Laurent, Groom – Dolce and Gabbana
AccessoriesTiffany & Co engagement ring, Bell and Ross engagement watch from Laing the Jeweller, hairpin by Linden Flowers, pink pearl bracelet by Pearl River Trading.
Groom’s outfitKinloch Anderson and McCalls Highlandwear
Stationery – DIY, printed by Vistaprint
Cake – Shona Sutherland of Taystful, Blairgowrie
CatererCountry Flavours of Alford
BandIt’s No’ Reel Scottish Ceilidh Band
Additional suppliersErskine String Quartet and Robert Scott (Sinatra Tribute), Majestic Wine and Elite Falconry.