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Carla + Jo

Photographed by Susan Renee Photography

at Achnagairn Castle



We’ve loved living Guest Blogger Carla’s wedding journey with her (she had us hooked from the first mention of party games). And we’ve been more than a little excited to share her full wedding day with you. So, here it is: Carla and Jo’s story; planned to perfection and packed with pretty…

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How did you meet and become engaged?
Jo and I met in 2006 when I was 16 and he was 18 in a local pub, Peterhead isn’t a big place so it wouldn’t have been long before we met. He knew my brother as he went to school with him. We’ve grown up together and are each others’ best friend.
We got engaged in 2012, moved into our first home in 2013 and were married on our tenth anniversary.
What inspired your wedding day?
Rather than spending the majority of our budget on decorations we wanted to add highlights to our day that would make it a more memorable experience for our guests. Our stationery pieces all had a personalised stamp, which carried the theme throughout our wedding. The invites had a timeline hand drawn on them which showed some of our ‘highlights’ along the years and we then used these drawings to feature on our table names.
On the Friday night before the wedding we had a games night so everyone could come over and our caterers put on a buffet for us, and on the Sunday we arranged for inflatables to be at the castle and we played a huge game of hide and seek.
We downloaded photos of all our guests and turned them into sketches to create place cards for them. Our table plan was made of lego (Jo’s favourite!) and I made the cake.
We also had chosen ‘shot masters’ for during our meal and each table had a ‘chosen one’ and this person was called to the kitchen just before our dessert to serve it to each table complete with sparklers in each dish.
We had sparklers out on the lawn and had arranged for the local chip shop to supply treats for our buffet which was a great success.
As Jo loves his dance music, I had asked his friend to finish the night with a set for him and just before this we handed our glowsticks, so our wedding dance quickly turned into a wedding rave, which went on until 4am. For us, our wedding was all about creating memories with our loved ones.
Tell us something surprising about your day…
My dad had asked to close off the speeches with a grace which we were fine with. And unknown to the room, he introduced an ‘Amazing Grace’ to which a piper entered the room playing, which soon followed by a full pipe band to play twenty minutes for us up on the balcony. Most of the room were in tears and people still comment on it today.

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Tell us more about your dress and how you found it…
It took me just under a year to find my wedding dress. I was down to one in Blush Bridal but I kept looking at the ‘Jennifer’ dress on Enzoani’s website.
After calling every stockist of Enzoani in the UK and no one stocking the dress, Enzoani agreed to send it up to Diane at Blush Bridal for me to try. As soon as I saw it I loved it, but I was still torn between the two designs, my other favourite was a plain satin sweetheart gown and I was close to having two dresses, but after deciding I wanted my photos in the Jennifer dress, I knew it was the one.
And how about Jo’s outfit?
Jo and ‘his guys’ all went for black Dinner suits and bowties. To make Jo slightly different he teamed his up with a pair of braces and Susan took more photos of us later in the day without his shirt jacket on. Anyone who has seen Jo at a wedding will know it isn’t long before his jacket is off and his sleeves are rolled up!
Where did you look for wedding inspiration?
I always read We Fell In Love since my early planning days…

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Any advice?
It’s your day, so do it exactly as you want to. Although we may have upset a few people along the way or caused a few ‘eyebrow raises’ everyone who attended our wedding said it was so personal and that’s all we wanted it to be.
It was about Jo and I getting married and creating memories with our loved ones. You can’t please everyone, so as long as the two of you can look back on your day and agree it was the best day ever you know you have done the right thing.
I would also say if you plan to do some DIY-ing start as soon as possible, I had a quite period between six and nine months before the wedding where I could have been doing so much more that would have saved a few last minute panics, although I got there in the end.
How did you pick the setting?
I spent a lot of my childhood in the Highlands and have always loved it. When we saw the castle we knew straight away it was the perfect venue for us, the ballroom also reminded us of the Hogwats Great Hall, and we loved it. We didn’t want to venture too far as we wanted all of our family to manage but we also wanted to be away from home so it was more secluded.
What’s your top wedding highlight?
There were so many highlights for us! We loved our ceremony, Rachel Donald was our humanist and she did a fantastic job of making our ceremony both personal and laid back: there were moments when we were in stitches of laughter at the top of the aisle and although the room was full I just remember it being Jo and I for those twenty-odd minutes.
We also loved our entrance to the wedding meal: we walked into Hall & Oates ‘You Make my Dreams Come True’, which is a song I think gets everyone going. We walked upstairs along the balcony and looked down to the full room of all our family and friends, and had two shots up there to toast the room, and they all shared the toast with us. I’ll always remember looking at everyone smiling up at us and thinking ‘we pulled it off’.
Loving the sound of Carla and Jo’s arrival at their wedding meal. Anyone else planning an entrance with a difference? Alie x
Venue – Achnagairn Castle
Photographer – Susan Renee Photography.
Filmmaker – Orchard Wedding Films
Wedding Dress – Blush Bridal, Fraserburgh
Wedding Shoes – Christian Louboutin
Make-up Artist – Gillian Hoban
Bridesmaids’ Dresses – Coast
Groom’s Outfit Supplier – Next
Florist – The Flower Shop, Peterhead
Catering – A & D Bar Services
Band – The Big Show
Additional Suppliers – Eoin Smith (Magician)