Today’s #TBT takes us all the way to the Isle of Lewis for a traditional Scottish wedding filled with sunshine, ceilidh dancing and so many pretty DIY touches. And it’s extra special that Laura’s parents celebrated their wedding in the same place, 30 years earlier. Enjoy this beautiful Scottish island wedding again. It makes us smile re-living it.
Who saw who first?
We met in physics class in the final year of high school on the Isle of Lewis but it took a few years of groundwork by Alasdair to win Laura over. Our engagement came four years later in Hong Kong when Alasdair got down on one knee on the top floor of the Ritz Carlton, HK’s tallest building.
We were inspired by…
Classic elegance was the inspiration for everything in this wedding. We made as much as we could ourselves and with help from our friends and family. From the wedding invitations, large A & L wooden letters to decorate the reception venue to paper pom poms for the church pews. We also made the table plan from a large vintage photo frame painted silver with a blackboard background to which we attached the table names and seating plan. We had our parents’ wedding photos decorating the table with the cake.
We put together fun packs for the children that were attending the wedding to keep them entertained. These contained wedding themed pictures to colour in with crayons, I spy games and crosswords as well as bubbles.
Tell us about your venues…
My parents got married here 30 years before we celebrated our own wedding.
It’s set in lovely gardens near to the Lews Castle Grounds in Stornoway, the largest town on the Isle of Lewis.
We are fortunate to have many talented musical friends one of whom played the hotel’s grand piano in the reception areas as canapés and drinks were served to the arriving guests.
One of the features that drew us to the hotel was the large dance floor, easily capable of accommodating our 170 guests who were game for a night of ceilidh dancing.
The large function suite features large crystal chandeliers and a canopy of fairy lights. White linen drapes with harris tweed ties adorn the side walls.
We made the centerpieces for the tables ourselves, a large hurricane vase with an ivory church pillar candle inside surrounded by a garland of flowers matching the bridal bouquet atop a mirrored dish with tea lights.
And the flowers…
My florist, Annabelle is a friend of the family and she works at Anderson Road Nurseries in Stornoway. She was a great help in turning my hundreds of Pinterest photos and ideas into beautiful tasteful flower arrangements.
The bridal bouquet was a wild, hand-tied selection including pink and white peonies, gerberas, roses and daisies, with waxflowers to add volume to the bunch.
The bridesmaids had a simplified version of the bridal bouquet with white peonies.
We love your photos – tell us more!
Lynne Kennedy’s photos had featured in a few We Fell in Love blog posts and we loved them!
Lynne is a master at capturing beautiful moments between the bride and groom. We were pleased to be able to travel to a number of stunning spots on the way to the hotel from the church and Lynne made the most of these awesome locations.
We love the natural look of her photos.
We were drawn to Lynne’s striking photos on her website as she manages to blend stunning landscape photography with portraiture and we thought she was the best person to capture meaningful images in some of our favourite places on the island.
We can’t say enough good things about Cinemate
(our filmmakers)… The resulting film did so much more than just capture the events of the day.
It was lovely to see our favourite moments back and also see parts of the day for the first time that we missed. We have enjoyed showing the film to some of our friends who were unable to be with us on the day.
Were there any surprises?
It didn’t rain!! In the weeks leading up to the wedding the island had seen the wettest June for a long time. But on the morning of the wedding the sun broke through!
The ferry company went on strike two days before the wedding which left us in a last minute panic that half our guests, photographer and videographers wouldn’t make it over. Fortunately the strike was called off the day before the wedding and everybody managed to squeeze on to the ferry and nobody missed out.
Oh!…and Alasdair didn’t stand on Laura’s toes during the first dance.
Your dress is just beautiful! How did you find it?
I am obsessed with Kate Middleton and originally wanted to get a “copy Kate” dress but on trying one on decided against it. Instead, I went with the “wildcard” dress chosen by my mum.
A beautiful ivory, lace, fitted, classically inspired, contemporary design. There was more than one tear shed by the bridesmaids when I emerged from behind the curtain in “the dress”. I favoured a scalloped ‘V’ back to the dress rather than the original key-hole design. Changing the design of the dress made it that bit more special and it was nice to be wearing a one-of-a-kind dress.
The dress made it safely across the country, survived a ferry trip to the Isle of Lewis and it really was the perfect fit.
A special delivery on the morning of the wedding from Alasdair contained a delicate Tiffany’s silver love heart bracelet that matched a necklace he had bought me for their our Christmas together.
Keeping in line with the traditional look, I wore a simple ivory ribbon waistband swapping it for one with some sparkle for the evening. Did the groom notice…?!
A sparkly headband from Ivory & co completed the look.
My Grannie’s favourite brooch added some sparkle to my flower bouquet.
And how did Alasdair choose the tartan for his kilt?
Our families both have a connection to the Isle of Skye so the Isle of Skye Tartan kilt was the natural rig-out for the men folk.
The purple and the green in the Isle of Skye tartan complemented my flowers and the pink bridesmaids dresses. Up top, charcoal coloured arrochar style jackets with bright white shirts and green knitted neck ties completed the outfit.
How was the dancing?
Alasdair plays the accordion and has many talented friends who are musicians so when it came to choosing a band we did not need to look far. You can’t beat a good Hebridean ceilidh dance and the band had the guests jiggin’ and reeling into the small hours.
The first dance was a traditional waltz, Kate Martin’s Waltz written by Blair Douglas – accordionist and founder-member of the super group Runrig.
Do it! Do it now! Just do it! It’ll all work out! Don’t stress the little stuff!
We think that there really is no place like home and it was exciting to have our friends from all over the country, and indeed the world, gather together where we both grew up.
What’s the one truly unforgettable thing about your wedding day?
Returning to the spot in the castle grounds in Stornoway where Alasdair first asked me out and having our wedding photos taken on the bridge where it all began. A special moment in a special place.
Anyone else dreaming of a Scottish island wedding? Alie x