Inspired by the bride’s Nicaraguan heritage and the groom’s Scottish heritage, high school sweethearts Natalia and John picked a venue a little off the beaten track for their love and laughter-filled celebration. With a laid-back vibe, delicious food (hello taco bar!), lots of fun touches (check out the cake topper…) and a mariachi band, it sounds exactly like our kind of party! Read on to see why we fell head over heels in love with their day…
Love at first sight?
We’re high school sweethearts and have been together since we were 16. We got married on our 16th year of being together.
Despite meeting at a young age, we have never stopped each other from achieving our goals and dreams. I moved away for university and also went to study in Canada for a year, while John stayed in Scotland to set up his business.
I travelled the world for over a year, and John joined in certain countries as he was busy with his company. Together we travelled to far flung places and leading up to our 30th birthdays we went on a few holidays. People always expected there to be an engagement announcement when we came back. We went to New York for New Year, we didn’t get engaged there. We went to Thailand, it didn’t happen there. We went to Nicaragua, it also didn’t happen there! We went to Vegas, you guessed it – it didn’t happen there.
For our 15th anniversary, we decided to get a cosy quaint cottage by the sea in Pennan, famous for being the film location for the film, Local Hero. It was here where John proposed.
We were inspired by…
Our wedding day was inspired by my Nicaraguan heritage and John’s Scottish heritage. We were pretty chilled in the lead up to the wedding, a lot of things were done the week of the wedding such as the table plan, dress pickup, menu options…
Our colour scheme was copper, which represents John as he works in plumbing and heating! John built our altar and seating plan stand. I designed the seating plan. The cake was decorated with traditional Nicaraguan flowers, gold foil and paint with delicious flavours such as dulce de leche and the topper was custom made and said ‘Shit just got real’!
Our mums handmade hessian bows for each seat. My mum made all the table decorations, confetti cones and the favour table which was made up of 400 favours featuring things from personalised photo M&Ms, chocolate, our favourite perfume and aftershave, beard oil and beauty products. All the favours were personalised such as ‘John’s beard oil’ and Natalia’s hair mask, for hair that slays’.
A close family friend made our cake stand, ring box, flower holders and more. One of my bridesmaids made all the pallet signs which features the schedule of the day, photos of us both together every year since we were 16 and even made a Spanish one which said ‘Welcome to our wedding! Laugh, dance and enjoy yourself with us.’ She also made all the bunting and the ‘Mr and Mrs’ chair decor. My sister’s partner played the guitar to welcome guests and accompany the bridesmaids down the aisle. Not quite sure what we would have done without all this help, especially my crafty mum!
My only request for the flowers was for them to be natural, in season and big with a lot of foliage but they had to include at least one thistle. Nikki, our florist had free reign over the design and type of flowers. It meant that they were a surprise on the day and I couldn’t have asked for anything better. I loved my bouquet so much that I decided to get it preserved at the last minute. Nikki was so helpful and gave me lots of ideas. It was the first time she had done a bouquet this big, with so much creative freedom and I cannot recommend her highly enough.
Tell us about your venue…
We wanted a venue that was a little off the beaten track and resembled both our cultures. We had visited lots of venues and with time ticking (we were engaged on our 15th anniversary and wanted to marry on our 16th – less than a year!), we were worried we would never find one we both loved.
Eventually, after lots of digging around we found the Tin Shed and decided to visit the Courtyard cafe, which is also part of the family business. We went for a slice of cake and a cup of tea and booked it straight away. The ethos surrounding the Tin Shed appealed to us: it’s family run (like John’s business) and supports the local community. It’s also unique and most importantly the views are breathtaking. We can definitely recommend The Tin Shed – the staff are incredible and it’s laid back and an open canvas.
Hearing the rain shattering off a tin roofed shelter in the middle of the Nicaraguan jungle is a sound we love and the Tin Shed was set to become our mini version of the Nicaraguan jungle.
The food looks incredible!
No idea was too crazy for Bespoke Catering – producing my favourite Nicaraguan meal was just incredible and all the food and cocktails were delicious. As if it wasn’t enough to supply amazing food, they also went above and beyond,taking on roles outside of the catering.
Anya’s Cake Box produced the most delicious cake with Spanish influences such as dulce de leche and nothing was too much hassle.
Your photographs are giving us all the feels! Tell us more…
Guests having fun was our main priority and we wanted to capture this without being intrusive. Laid back, natural, relaxed wedding photos that capture the private moments was our brief to our photographer, Dave Fallon as we love cheese but cringe at cheesy moments so we needed to be relaxed and doing our own thing!
As we were quite laidback, we didn’t manage to get our get-to-know-you shoot with Dave before the wedding, so we decided to have a behind-the-scenes photoshoot instead. So Dave came along the day before the wedding and took photos of family and friends getting the venue together. This was great as we captured the people closest to us getting our venue together for our wedding. Secret smiles, confused looks, laughter and hours of hard work were captured. Dave captured us by surprise and took some seriously amazing photos – such a talented guy.
And are we right in thinking you helped design your dress?
I really struggled to find a dress that would fit me properly with a boho style. I wanted to be able to dance, eat and breathe the whole night and the majority of the dresses I tried on restricted movement due to the bodice. I eventually found Freja Designer Dressmaker (I saw them on We Fell In Love!) and decided to give this a try. I sat down with Mette and we talked over my design ideas, fabrics, lace and finishings. I loved seeing the dress go from a design on paper to a completed wedding dress. The dress featured a long train, a side slit and the sleeves were split down the middle and fastened together with buttons every so often, so that my arms weren’t fully covered over.
I decided to wear a veil which my mama handmade for me. It was around the size of a Royal veil and featured lace from France around the edges and Swarovski crystals to add a bit of sparkle. My jewellery was borrowed from my mum and I wore my grandmother’s engagement ring which was passed to me when she passed away. Once the sun was setting, I had a custom denim jacket which said ‘Senora Robertson’ which is Mrs Robertson in Spanish. Decorated with the traditional flowers from Nicaragua.
And what about John and his groomsmen?
Originally, the groom and groomsmen were all going to wear their own respective tartans, however, once the groomsmen saw John’s outfit they decided that they all wanted to match. The tartan was modern Robertson, with only the groom wearing a shoulder sash which he had know idea how to attach, luckily one of our guests knew and helped him five minutes before the wedding was due to start.
Slow shuffle or big number?
The first dance was Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, The Girl from the North Country. We’re both huge Cash fans and it was the perfect song. After our first dance we invited everyone on the dance floor, not just the wedding party, to dance to another one of our favourite songs, Home by Leon Bridges, which is upbeat. Rather than the tradition of bridesmaids and groomsmen and parents dancing together, we decided to let people dance with their own partners. This immediately made the dance floor busy and people remained dancing after this, it was definitely a good way to let the dancing commence.
We had The Socials as our main band who are Glasgow based and amazing, cannot recommend them enough. As a surprise for our family and friends, especially the Spanish guests, we had a mariachi band perform halfway through the night. We wanted everyone to be entertained at the wedding and we didn’t want language barriers to be an issue. All the guests loved this and everyone tried a little bit of salsa dancing!
Tell us something surprising about your day…
That the sun shone and we got married outside in Scotland is pretty surprising! There is just too much to choose from; the international guest list to the bilingual ceremony to the ice-cream trike, dessert table and taco bar, the mariachis to the cocktail and beer reception to the pimp the prosecco bar to the whisky and rum station and the personalised polaroids of every guest. I guess for most people it might have been the cake topper…
Relax and don’t stress. Do what you want and don’t worry about what people will think – just do you and enjoy all of it! Our bus company cancelled the day before the wedding, we hadn’t printed the table plan, our menu was still being finalised, the dresses weren’t ready, we hadn’t bought all the beer, wine and Prosecco all in the two weeks prior to the wedding but it was fine and all worked out in the end without stress. Just have fun.
We wanted a day filled with all our family and friends, and having it outside Scotland would have meant some family and friends not being able to make it. The scenery in Scotland is breathtaking and having a piper, haggis and whisky was a must for us.
What’s the one truly unforgettable thing about your wedding day?
Seeing everyone have so much fun and the surprised looks on people’s face when they discovered all the surprises such as the cocktail bar, grazing table, beer bath, personalised polaroid photos, mariachis, favour table, the family sharing food, dessert table and taco bar. The dance floor was always packed and it was a struggle to find a space to get on.
“Relax and don’t stress… Just do you.” Love this advice! Anyone else want a mariachi band for their day? Christina x
Venue – The Tin Shed, Knockraich Farm
Photographer – Dave Fallon Photography
Florist – Thistles Flowers
Make-up artist – Sara Bonner
Wedding dress – Freja Designer Dressmaking
Shoes – Jimmy Choo, Romy Flat
Groom’s outfit – The Kilt Studio
Bridesmaids’ dresses – ASOS, Maya Maxi in Mink
Stationery – Designed by bride and printed by Calagraphics.
Caterer – Bespoke Catering
Cake – Anya’s Cake Box
Musicians – The Socials and The Mariachi Band
Transport – Ecosse EV, Tesla Car