Joyful chaos is how Kate and Andy describe their wedding day. The plan was simple: lots of food, lots of music and a huge ceilidh. Pretty perfect ingredients for an epic party we reckon. And we think they nailed it (and then some). Did we mention there was an impromptu Hallelujah chorus?
How did you meet?
We met at university, and bonded on an orchestra tour when I impressed Andy by using my rudimentary French skills to stop a policeman in Paris at 3am to ask where we could buy champagne. (Incidentally, the policeman was happy to tell us).
Although we broke up for three years when I moved to London after graduation, life kept throwing us back together and eventually I took the plunge and moved back to Scotland to live out my happy ever after with my friendly (and eternally patient) Scotsman.
And the proposal?
I have a near-obsessive love of waterfalls, so Andy chose to propose at the Hermitage, Dunkeld, in autumn 2015. My immediate response was “Are you actually joking?!” but I eventually realised that what I meant to say was “yes!”
I still have no idea how he managed to keep the plan a secret – let alone persuade our parents to keep their mouths shut!
We were inspired by…
Joyful chaos! We didn’t really have a plan – our checklist was essentially that there should be a) lots of friends b) lots of food c) lots of drink d) lots of music e) a massive ceilidh. Neither of us are very artistically minded so we just went with things we liked and hoped it would work out in the end.
Fortunately it did, and it almost looked like we planned it that way! There were a few themes that emerged along the way, not least the elephants which featured on our invitations, on the cake, on the bridesmaids’ necklaces, and on the INCREDIBLE fairy light elephants which my dad made for us – which we’re planning to hang in our living room.
Tell us about your venue…
We decided early on that we wanted to share our day with as many of our friends and family as possible, but when we mapped out the guest list we realised we were going to struggle to find somewhere that would accommodate that many people for a ceilidh!
We also knew it had to be somewhere where we could bring our own suppliers so we could shop around to keep costs down. Finally, we wanted it to be a place where we could gather people the night before and the morning after to maximise the likelihood of actually being able to speak to everyone.
Comrie Croft managed to tick all these boxes while also feeling relaxed enough to feel like “us” – we looked at a couple of very grand venues but we didn’t feel like we belonged there!
It’s a completely diy hire venue so it has the very basics like a selection of tables and chairs, but everything else needs to be brought in – which means you can really put your stamp on the venue. I think we underestimated what a big job it was going to be to fill the space, but we pulled it off in the end!
How did you choose your flowers?
Tomnah’a is a flower farm and market garden based at Comrie Croft so when you book them to do your flowers you know you’re getting really fresh, local and seasonal flowers. To be honest it was a relief knowing that we’d just get whatever was growing that week, and didn’t have to choose specific flowers – it was a lovely surprise on the day!
Cristy and Judith were so tolerant of our indecision and took it completely in their stride when we decided to double our flower order three weeks before the wedding – and they turned the barn into the most incredible woodland wonderland.
They did amazing floral arrangements to hang from the ceiling of the cow shed, put trees with fairy lights in all over the walls, and provided us with buckets of flowers so we could do the jam jars on the tables (fortunately one of my bridesmaids has a magic touch with the flower-arranging and took that particular job in her stride!)
They really brought the outdoors indoors (which was lucky given the pouring rain outside). The bouquets were full of wild and beautiful spring flowers and they smelled incredible.
How did you choose your photographer?
Brian and Paula are just a DREAM. We felt pretty overwhelmed trying to choose a photographer, but when met them for a chat (and cake) and realised how much fun they were and how well they knew the Croft we knew we were in safe hands.
They did such an amazing job on the day – they’re such fun to have around, know exactly where to be and when, but aren’t in-your-face or demanding. Extra shout out to Paula for being a really soothing presence at the house where Kate and the girls were getting ready in the morning!
We love your dress! Tell us more…
I’d started off the planning process by telling anyone who would listen that I didn’t want to go all-out on the wedding dress and would just get something low-key, boho, and relaxed. And then I started trying on dresses….and things escalated.
I’d been eyeing up Naomi Neoh designs for months (they are the most PERFECT princess dresses) but didn’t want to get my hopes up until I tried one on. I tried a couple with my mum in London and absolutely fell in love, and fortunately I discovered that they were stocked in Edinburgh through Pan Pan Bridal. I actually picked my final dress on my own which was a bit nerve-wracking!
The fitting process was a bit stressful but Li and Huda at Pan Pan Bridal worked so hard to make sure I was happy, and were adjusting it right up until the Tuesday before the wedding! I actually bought the French Connection dress that I wore in the evening as a backup in case my actual dress didn’t fit, and I’m really glad I did – during the second ceilidh dance someone put a heel through the skirt of my dress and made a MASSIVE hole, but I was able to do a quick change and be back on the dance floor in no time.
And what about Andy?
Andy got a new kilt for the occasion, but otherwise wore his existing kilt outfit, accessorised with a pocket watch and sgian dubh that he got for his 30th birthday.
How was the party?
Our wedding was always going to be a musical feast. We had a choir of 35 friends at the ceremony, a brass quintet of friends (and my dad!) during the reception, a surprise performance from our friends during the speeches, and a truly BRILLIANT ceilidh band in the form of It’s No’ Reel.
I had a number of American relatives coming over who weren’t quite sure what to expect from a ceilidh, but the dancefloor was full all evening. The other thing we loved about a ceilidh was that there was no need for a first dance – it was one of the wedding traditions that we were more than happy to throw out of the window (neither of us are blessed with natural grace….!)
The stronger ones among us stayed on for a silent disco after the ceilidh finished, and I think we finally dropped at about 4am.
Tell us something surprising about your day…
After we had the group photo taken after dinner, someone handed out copies of the Hallelujah Chorus to everyone, one of our conductor friends jumped in front of the assembled guests, and there was an impromptu performance in the courtyard! Some of our less musical-minded friends were pretty surprised……
Although I grew up in London, there was never any doubt that we’d get married in Scotland – it’s where we met and where we live now, and we wanted to show it off to all our friends! Plus, the Scots know how to ceilidh, which was always going to be a central part of our celebration.
What’s the one truly unforgettable thing about your wedding day?
The ceremony was just incredible. The minister at Crieff Church was unwell for our wedding, and amazingly our friend’s dad was able to step in at the last moment and created the most personal, moving, and entertaining ceremony we could have wished for.
Our families had done the church flowers, we had a huge choir singing all our favourite choral pieces, some impromptu brass accompaniment, a new piece written for us by one of our immensely talented friends. We just couldn’t stop smiling – there was no room for any tears, we just couldn’t have been happier.
Just don’t worry about it! It will be glorious. I have a natural tendency to stress and Andy spent most of our 18 month engagement trying very hard to calm me down and tell me everything would be ok, and I would have saved myself a whole lot of grey hairs if I had just listened.
If you’re having a huge party to celebrate the two of you and you have all your friends and family there you can’t help but have an amazing time! And so what if it pours with rain and your husband misses out part of your vows and you ruin your dress and you can’t have the beautiful sunlit photos in the woods that you always imagined? Afterwards it will seem perfect just as it was.
“Just don’t worry about it! It will be glorious.” Best. Advice. Ever. Alie x
Ceremony Venue – Crieff Parish Church
Photographer – Crieff Photography
Reception Venue – Comrie Croft
Photographer – Crieff Photography
Hair stylist – Meigan Hepburn
Wedding dress – Naomi Neoh from Pan Pan Bridal
Shoes – Charlotte Mills “Beatrice Blue”
Flowers – Tomnah’a Market Garden
Cakes – All our friends! And M&S for the “cutting” cake
Caterer – Andrew Scott at Auchingarrich
Wedding Transport – Love Vintage Campers
Band – It’s No’ Reel
Additional suppliers – Silent Knights (silent disco gear)