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Alternatives to Champagne

The pop of a Champagne cork is synonymous with weddings, but not everyone shares a love of bubbly. And perhaps you just fancy offering a taste of something else for your wedding. So here are some ideas…

Whatever you do, remember it’s your wedding day and it’s okay to pack it with your favourite things. So if your tipple is a cheeky cocktail and his is a cold beer, then why not indulge.

Delighting your guests is part of the fun of planning your wedding and you just know the boys will thank you for a wheelbarrow or bucket full of beer. And for the ladies, a more genteel glass of punch.

Real ale aficionados will love the chance to pour their own pint, direct from the keg.

Winter weddings are particularly special in Scotland. What could be better than a glass of mulled wine to warm everyone’s hearts (and toes)? And if it’s really cold, then nothing beats a dram of your favourite whisky. And after that, you really will be loving the bar manager.

Or how about another great winter warmer, a cheeky little Bloody Mary?

Your favourite cocktail makes a great welcome drink. And you can have lots of fun in the run up to your wedding, sampling them and deciding just which one is top of your hit list.

Photographed by Audrey Russell Photography

at Mar Hall


The sun shone on this small, intimate wedding and all was right with the world. This was a day to kick-back, relax and have fun with closest family and friends.

Love at first sight, or gradual attraction?
Gradual attraction
How was the question popped?
It wasn’t!! No one asked! We decided in March 2012 to set the date for 2nd June 2012
Any unexpected moments?
The weather! It was a beautiful, sunny day.
Close your eyes, think of your wedding day… now – describe it in three words
Perfect, perfect, perfect
Favourite thing about being hitched?
Being ‘Husband and Wife’
We love Diane’s elegant styling and vieled headpiece? What inspires you?
Ceremony venue – Mar Hall, Glasgow
Reception venue – Mar Hall , Glasgow
Photographer – Audrey Russell Photography
Wedding dress – Marylise Cello by Christina Sposa The Bridal Room, Frasers, Glasgow
Accessories – Veiled headpiece – Melle Cloche; Bracelet – Swarovski
Shoes – La Novia
Groom’s Outfit Supplier – Mackenzie Menswear
Bridesmaids’ dresses – Jim Hjelm from Anne Prisilla Bridal
Hair Stylist & Make-up Artist – LG Makeup
Florist – Lorraine Wood Flowers
Stationery – DIY with a little bit of help from John Lewis
Cake – Jo Kennedy at Cake Sensations

Sports activities for your wedding day

Looking to incorporate a little sporting action into your wedding day? Here are some ideas to get you thinking and planning.

How about holding your own mini sports-day on the morning of your wedding. A great idea if lots of your guests are staying in the hotel the night before. And if you leave the space hoppers out, then there’s time for a little post-dinner game or two.

Something for the boys on the morning of the wedding? You could organise a round of golf, or a cheeky nine holes, if time permits. A great idea to help your guests get to know each other even better is to arrange some friendly competition in the form of clay pigeon shooting, or archery.

If the groom is a football fan of the local team, how about arranging a kick-around in the morning? Guaranteed to be a real hit with the bestman and ushers too.

As your guests sip champagne on the lawn they can be entertained with the gentle clunk of croquet in the background. Bound to get even the least sporty joining in without too much effort.

We’re In Love

Here’s what has caught our eye this week

Looking for some tips on what to see at the Edinburgh Fringe? Our sources highly recommend: Pappy’s: Last Show Ever! – a zany sketch show;  Re-Animator – The Musical (pictured) – perfect if you like horror, hilarity and gore (top tip, wear black and sit in the front row); and B*tch Boxer – an emotional drama tapping in to the Olympic Dream.

Remember us telling you about Miss Flicklash – innovative false eyelashes with an eyeliner flick attached? Well the Scottish sisters behind the brand have now launched a new range of colour pop lashes. Available in turquoise, purple and yellow, they are perfect for summer nights!

The World Pipe Band Championships returns to its heartland, in Glasgow Green tomorrow (Saturday, August 11th). Expect exciting competition across all grades, a fiercely contested Drum Major contest, Highland Dancing and the Glasgow World Highland Games Championships.

And finally, one for our American readers. We have fallen for Douglas Sweets – Vermont-based maker of traditional shortbread and other Scottish treats.

It’s a family business, with a great story behind it: “In 1956, my mother longed for the traditional Scottish shortbread she had grown to love while in the old country. After much experimenting she duplicated that perfect rich buttery taste. For years our family has been baking that same shortbread and enjoying it with friends. ”

And from that love, grew a great business idea. Inspirational!

Photographed by The Youngrens

Il Duomo di Barga and La Casa Gialla


From declaring vows in a picturesque hilltop Duomo to savouring the sunset in a Tuscan vineyard, this Scottish-Italian wedding oozes love. A love of Italy and its fabulous food; a love of Scottish traditions from kilts to ceilidhs, and through it all, a love for each other.

This is a tale of how to plan a destination wedding, while combining all your top loves from home. The vision? Delighting their guests with out-of-this-world authentic Italian cooking and letting them in on the secret of the corner of the world where they fell in love.
It’s hard to imagine a more romantic setting than gathering round candle-lit tables on the hill of a Tuscan villa, watching the sun set to the sound of music on the warm breeze. And to top it all, being presented with trays of food that you want to dive into.
This is a quintessentially rustic wedding, brimming with romance and drenched in warm tuscan sun. Add into that some classic Scottish humour in the wedding speeches and the kind of party atmosphere that only a good ceilidh can bring. In the words inscribed on Katie and Alistair’s ring bowl – “Tread softly because you tread on my dreams” (WB Yeats).
We fell in love with this Scottish-Italian wedding as soon as we saw it. If not Scotland, where in the world would you pick to wed?
Ceremony venue – Il Duomo di Barga
Reception venue – La Casa Gialla
Photographer – The Youngrens
Wedding dress – Pronovias
Florist – Debora Doroni
Caterer – Il Fattore Party

  • Gem - August 9, 2012 - 11:27 am

    Seriously?! How beautiful?? Enchanting wedding..ReplyCancel

  • Erin Youngren - August 14, 2012 - 10:53 pm

    Awww! Love these two! Thanks for the feature – I absolutely love how it turned out!ReplyCancel

  • Katie - August 15, 2012 - 7:58 pm

    🙂 what a surprise on a random Wednesday afternoon.. X KatieReplyCancel

  • Gio Daye - April 11, 2016 - 1:37 am

    What a beautiful wedding – I have just come back from visiting La Casa Gialla – a heavenly place for a wedding in Italy. Looking forward to doing a wedding here in the future!ReplyCancel

Photographed by Calum Riddell

at Duthie Park


A fairytale shoot in the park proved a perfect prelude to the wedding day of these two lovebirds. It’s a fresh-as-a-daisy take on a Midsummer Night’s Dream.

How was the question popped?
We met at university and started dating in November, 2008. We got engaged on March 23rd, 2011 during a small family dinner.
Why Scotland?
We chose Scotland as our wedding destination mainly because I have heard many stories of how beautiful and fairytale-like the place is.
Honeymoon travels?
We travelled to Aberdeen (where we got married), Ballater, and then to Edinburgh. We also spent a few days exploring London and we finally ended our honeymoon in Cracow, Poland.
We think there’s a sort of ethereal, dream-like quality to this pretty park shoot? What do you think?

Colour ideas for your wedding

Where to start when picking a colour scheme for your wedding? Bold brights or pale pastels? Should the invitations match the bridesmaids’ dresses, or the kilt, or is all about the tones? Here are some ideas we’ve seen and loved.

If you’re looking for soft timeless elegance then opting for creams and shades of ivory may be exactly what you’re looking for. We think they’re perfect for that floaty summer wedding feel. And remember you can always inject that little bit of colour pop with your flowers.

Put the pretty into your big day with pastels – soft, light and perfect for spring.

You might want to take inspiration from the season your wedding day is in. We love these colours for Christmas, winter and spring daffodil yellow.

You could even go all out for an autumn wedding, drawing on nature’s colour palette and the fruits of the season.

Or if you want to stamp a little bit of personality on your wedding, you could always slip on a pair of coloured shoes.

Photographed by 1500 Photography

at St Andrews Cathedral & Glenbervie House Hotel


Following a truly romantic first meeting, which saw bumping into each other lead swiftly to a dance-off (think Notting Hill meets Zoolander) the path was paved for a truly perfect day, shared with a peacock called Ashley. Don’t you just love Scottish weddings?

Who saw who first?
We bumped into each other in a nightclub that we both love (The classy Shed in Shawlands). A song that we liked came on which we both started to dance to. We were dancing back to back and literally bumped into each other! We both apologised and then had some cheeky chat: Davie: “I think you’ll find I was dancing here first so you will need to move” Ashleigh: “haha I think you’ll find I was dancing far better than you so you’ll need to move!” Davie: “Well there is only one way to settle this, a dance off!” Ashleigh “haha you’re on!” … we still disagree to this day on who actually won the dance off!
How did you personalise your wedding day?
Davie and I have always had a love of champagne and thought it would be apt for our table names to be named after our favourite champagne brands. We also organised through our videographer to have a special video filmed to the song ‘Perfect Day’. All of our family and friends took part in it and sang a line each. It was a great laugh and so much fun acting it out on the day and it will be something that all of us will look back on with fond memories. In addition to this, Alan Dedicoat, the announcer for Strictly Come Dancing, recorded a very special introduction for our first dance a.k.a Strictly Come Dancing style as a wedding gift for us. It added a very personal touch to the day and it will also be something that we will treasure fondly.
What was on your wedding menu?
Smoked Salmon, baby leaf salad with caviar crème fraiche, Roasted plum tomato and basil soup, Roast Sirloin of Scottish Beef with roast potatoes, port wine and mushroom gravy, Assiette of Desserts.
First dance? Choreographed routine, or sedate shuffle?
‘Your Song’ by Ellie Goulding. Neither choreographed nor a sedate shuffle! haha Davie and I both love a good shimmy so we would like to think that for a couple who did not take dancing lessons or learn a choreographed routine that we did our first dance justice!
What is your advice for future brides?
Enjoy every second of the big day and take as much as it in as you possibly can! I felt like my watch was on fast  forward the entire day but I guess the well-known saying must be true “Time flies when you are having fun!”
What is the one thing you will never forget about your big day?
The peacock called Ashley!
We are loving how much personality Ashleigh and Davie put into their wedding day? What’s your favourite bit of their story?
Ceremony venue – St Andrews’ Cathedral, Glasgow
Reception venue – Glenbervie House Hotel
Photographer – 1500 Photography
Filmmaker – Gee Whizz
Wedding dress – Suzanne Neville from Eleganza Sposa in Glasgow
Accessories – Tiara handmade by Rene Walrus in Edinburgh
Shoes – Rainbow
Bridesmaids’ dresses – Coast
Hair Stylist & Make-up Artist – Parrucche Hair Boutique in Glasgow and Look Good Make Up
Groom’s Outfit Supplier – Mackenzie Menswear
Florist – Kirstie’s Flowers
Cake – Sugar and Spice in Troon
Pianist – Alex Graham
Band – The Riffreshers Band
Wedding transport – Blue Bentley and a Maserati from Maserati Chauffer Drive and coaches from Silver Choice

Unusual Scottish wedding venues

We’re loving all the recent press coverage of Scotland being the perfect setting to hold your wedding. We agree – from field to farm; church to castle, we’ve got it covered in Scotland. If you’d like somewhere a little different as the background to your big day, then these venues are anything but run of the mill.

We are more than a little in love with Balbegno Castle, situated just outside Fettercairn in Aberdeenshire. With its quirky, modern interior styling and stunning great hall, it’s the perfect setting for a celebration. The castle is available on a self-catering basis and has hosted some amazing hen weekends as well as weddings in recent years.

Or how about a converted cowshed? Kinkell Byre is a versatile venue that is full of atmosphere and has a real rustic feel. The setting is beautiful too – on the east coast, near St Andrews. And if you like a lot of room on the dancefloor to throw your shapes, it’s the perfect space for you.

Or for a really great party, how about a wedding in a working microbrewery in Glasgow? Founded on a vision to brew the best beer in the UK, West Brewery is the perfect place for a shindig and guaranteed to have beer on tap all night long.

We are loving the idea of holding your wedding in a 100 year-old tapestry studio, on the site of an old Victorian swimming pool. Right in the heart of Edinburgh, with gorgeous light and a contemporary space, Dovecot Studios will weave their magic on you and your guests as dance under its vaulted ceiling.

And what about this one? A large barn, part of the Aboyne Castle estate, affectionately named The Coo Cathedral due to it’s shape and its resident Coo (Scottish for cow). Inside and out, space is a-plenty, allowing you to put your own stamp on it and even decorate the Coo himself.

And heading west, near Kilberry, overlooking the Isles, is an amazing little white house in the middle of the landscape. This is Crear, home to a space for artists, musicians and couples who want to say “I do” somewhere a little different. Hosting wedding parties from 2 to 100, you could hold your ceremony inside Crear, or on one of the rugged beaches nearby.

If you’ve not discovered it yet, Mansfield Traquair is Edinburgh’s sistine chapel. From day to night this is one spectacular space – guaranteed for the ‘wow’ factor every time.
We love the diversity of unique wedding venues in Scotland. Where else is on your hit-list?

  • Style Linens Glasgow - February 19, 2013 - 9:55 am

    Wow! Mansfield Traquair looks incredible. The sheer size and majesty of the place makes it feel like a royal wedding. Very classy.ReplyCancel

We’re In Love

Here’s what has caught our eye this week

This weekend sees the start of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and as ever there is a perfect plethora of shows to enjoy. If you’re looking for somewhere to start, here’s one that caught our eye – the comedian Anna Morris (of Georgina’s Wedding Blog fame) has her own show Dolly Mixture, which looks pretty sweet to us. It’s on at the Vodoo Rooms in Edinburgh from 4th August – 25th August.

How about a night that starts with an underground ceilidh and turns into a club night? On Friday 10th August you can catch Whisky Kiss at the Ceilidh Club at HMV Picture House. Guaranteed to have you dancing til the wee hours. Did you know that just an hour of ceilidh dancing will burn at least 400 calories and work every muscle in your body? What a bonus to a great night out.

Moving further north, we’ve spotted these fantastic Love Letters from Landscapes 365. Most are quite personal so are secret but we heard tale of one recently, “Love You Millions”  where the letters were placed on the shore at a local beach and used as part of a romantic proposal plan… You can quite literally write your message in the sand. Any ideas of what your message would be?

Are you planning your wedding for 2012 and are still hunting for a spot to hold your wedding celebration? Or perhaps you’ve been delighted with a surprise proposal and think the sooner you two become Mr and Mrs the better? Rufflets Country House Hotel in St Andrews are offering late availability on dates in August, September and October this year. Just think – you could be married by Christmas.