Inspired by their barn venue, and determined to show their Belgian guests a good time, Erica and Joachim threw a relaxed, rustic celebration in the heart of Perthshire. With lots of muted colours, lace and hessian, wild flowers and foliage, and “the most beautiful smelling sweet peas ever”, it was one very beautiful, fun day.
Love at first sight or gradual attraction?
Jo and I met as colleagues 9 years ago in Optical Express, but it wasn’t until 4 years later that we became a couple. Jo proposed in Barcelona in August 2015, after many thwarted attempts on the first day of our holiday, he finally popped the question in an authentic Japanese restaurant. As we were sitting on the floor, he actually had to get UP on one knee – it was very romantic and we spent the rest of the holiday celebrating in style!
We were inspired by…
Jo told me many times that in Belgium, weddings aren’t really a big deal. We both wanted to make sure that we threw a really good Scottish wedding for the Belgians who had made the effort to come over – I wanted the day to be really beautiful but not too fussy – a relaxed atmosphere with people having lots of fun.
We designed our own wedding invitations and on them they said “For Love, Laughter and Happily Ever After” and this kind of sums up how we wanted our day to go. Due to the beautiful location we went for a rustic theme, with lots of muted colours, lace and hessian, fresh flowers and candlelight . All our wedding stationary was handmade by me and my mum – we really enjoyed doing this together and was amazing to see our hard work pay off – we were delighted with how the stationery turned out!
My Dad is the manager at the Wallace Monument – he managed to get us a replica Wallace sword to cut the cake with – 6ft long!!!
I started following WFIL not long after we got engaged – a great place for the quirky ideas that we were looking for.
We love that floral heart! Tell us more…
One of my bridesmaids, Louise, is a florist and she very kindly offered to do all the floral decorations in the Byre – I was quite clear that I wanted lots of fresh flowers in the byre, but I wanted them to be rustic, relaxed and not too fussy. Lots of wild flowers, foliage and the most beautiful smelling sweet peas ever!!
As the Byre is a complete blank canvas, we knew we needed something to decorate the Stable Room wall – Louise suggested a heart shaped wreath – despite some initial reservations from Jo, the final result was amazing – it provided a real focal point for the ceremony and became a very unplanned, but very popular “selfie-station” during the course of the day!! My bouquets and buttonholes were made by Thanks a Bunch, who did an amazing job at pulling all my Pinterest photo ideas into reality. I loved the beautiful blush shades and they really pulled the greens, pinks and purples of the bridesmaids, flowergirls and kilts all together.
Tell us about your venue…
We fell in love with this venue the minute we saw it online – so much so we actually booked our date and paid our deposit before we had even visited, just to make sure we got the date we wanted! Once we visited we loved it even more! It was perfect for what we wanted, a relaxed beautiful venue we could put our own stamp on.
How did you choose your photographer?
We are so fortunate to have very special friends of ours be very talented wedding photographers. We have watched Stacey and Bryan grow their business over the last few years and there is no one else we would rather have capture our special day. We knew that they would do an incredible job, but I think they both felt the pressure on the day to capture all the special moments. We wanted a focus on candid photos of people enjoying themselves, laughing, crying and dancing! We knew we needed to get some line up shots and of course some bridal portraits, but our favourite photos of the day are those moments captured which can’t be staged – We couldn’t be happier with the results – they perfectly sum up every part of our day and totally capture all the love in the room!
You look stunning! Tell us more about what you wore…
I knew I wanted lace in some form. I was really unsure about what shape and style I wanted though. Before shopping for my dress I had lost about two stone – I wasn’t even sure what shape of dress would suit me. When I arrived at Amilou, Doreen listened to my ideas and pulled a number of dresses for me to try on – when I put this one on, I knew it was the one. Every other dress had something I didn’t like about it, but this one was perfect. I loved the length of the train and the lace detail around the bottom. I really wanted a sweetheart neckline and the illusion lace on top really made it a bit more special. I loved wearing it .
I really LOVED my shoes – I cant wait to wear them again! As my something old and something blue, and way of honouring her, I tied by Gran’s wedding ring to my shoe with a blue ribbon. This was very special to me and looked beautiful in the photographs – it was particularly special and the style of shoe was one which my Gran would have loved!
I had a cathedral length two tiered veil, with a satin ivory trim. Beautiful pearl and brushed silver earrings and Jo bought me a Thomas Sabo pearl bracelet with an engraved heart as my gift to open on the morning of the wedding. I had a pearl hair comb, also purchased from Amilou Bridal, to complete my hair.
And what about the groom?
Despite not being Scottish, Jo was adamant that he wanted to wear a kilt, and even more adamant that he wanted to buy his kilt to keep. Since he has no clan he had to follow, we were free to choose a kilt that we both really liked. Jo chose the Isle of Skye tartan with a Lovatt Green Crail tweed jacket – the tweed jacket really went with the rustic feel of the Byre and gave the relaxed look we were going for.
Jo wanted to stand out from his groomsmen with a few small details – he wore a tie in the same tartan as his kilt, while the groomsmen wore plain purple, my mum bought him a deer antler kilt pin, which further added to the rustic look of the wedding and he chose to have brown ghillie brogues rather than the traditional black the other boys wore.
Which music did you choose?
We had originally booked a DJ as we were trying to save a bit of money with this, however on a second visit to the Byre I realised that the space was crying out for a great band to fill it!! My friends being wedding photographers, go to a LOT of weddings so I asked them for a recommendation, we got in touch with Flung Aboot who were so friendly and ridiculously talented. Joachim was back home in Belgium, but my mum and I went along to one of their rehearsals and immediately knew they were perfect – they even managed to accommodate our very random requests!
Having Puerto Rican heritage on my Dad’s side, we wanted some Salsa music played and Jo, being a HUGE Star Wars fan wanted the Cantina tune played at some point – the band were delighted to do this and our guests on the night all loved the personal touches!
Our first dance was “Nothing Can Change This Love” by Sam Cooke – we both love old music and this song actually featured in a TV show we watched together – it was not a song either of us knew before, but as soon as we heard the song, the words were really lovely and we both agreed we would love it to be our first dance. Flung Aboot did a beautiful version which they blended beautifully into and up-tempo version of our 2nd choice song – Stand By Me – Ben.E.King to get our wedding party up dancing, and the floor wasn’t empty from that point on!!
Pete Dyer – The Wandering Man played accoustic guitar during the drinks reception, while Iain Sinclair was our piper – who piped us to dinner to the Star Wars theme!!! Another highlight of the day!
Tell us something surprising about your day…
How calm I felt on the morning of the wedding. I was not a bridezilla by any means, but I have a tendency to get pretty worked up and stressed about things. But on the morning of the wedding I was so calm – I just enjoyed every minute of our day. The bus bringing the guests was caught in a traffic jam on the motorway, so breaking with tradition, the bride had to wait on the guests being fashionably late! This was the only point of the day where the nerves took over – I was ready to go only to be told that the guests were not there yet! But once I walked up the aisle and saw Jo everything was 100% fine – we had a perfect day together, lots of laughter and tears too!
Be true to who you both are, make sure that the wedding is about both of you and what you want. I know there is a tendency for the bride to do the lion’s share of the planning, and making the majority of decisions. But when I did ask Jo, he had lots of opinions he was willing to share. Remember this day is about you two – don’t let anyone tell you what you should do – it’s not a checklist of things you’re “supposed to do at a wedding” if its not you, or it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it!
Make sure you grab a couple of moments alone together in the day to sit back and take it all in – You’ve planned it all perfectly, now just enjoy it!
Joachim was sure he wanted to have his wedding in Scotland rather than back in Belgium – he wanted to show his family the beautiful country he had moved to! As a geography teacher too, I have a soft spot for our beautiful landscapes, and to be honest, I couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else in the world. We both wanted to have a really good Scottish party and show off our beautiful country!
What’s the one truly unforgettable thing about your wedding day?
We both agree that the most unforgettable moment, as cheesy as it sounds, was when I walked up the aisle and we saw each other for the first time. I think we both had a tear in our eye!! Although, this quickly changed to laughter when my dress knocked over all the church candles on the way up the aisle!!! Luckily they were LEDs – TOP TIP!!!!
Love the Highland cow cameo! Be sure to join our new readers’ group over on FB if you’re looking for ideas for your Scottish barn wedding? Christina x
Venue – The Byre at Inchyra, Perthshire
Photographer – Picturesque by Mr and Mrs M
Florist – Louise Richardson Munro and Thanks a Bunch
Hair stylist – Paula Brown
Wedding dress – Justin Alexander Sweetheart 6121 in Ivory from Amilou Bridal, Stirling
Shoes - Rachel Simpson, Mimosa – Mint
Groom’s outfit – Slanj Kilts
Bridesmaids’ dresses – Mark Lesley 1368 in Seamist Green
Cake – The Cake and Craft
Musicians – Pete Dyer – The Wandering Man, Iain Sinclair – Piper and Flung Aboot ceilidh & cover band.
Humanist celebrant – Jane Bechtel
Caterer – St Andrews Event Catering