by Nicholas Frost Photography
at Mar Lodge
From the dusky lavender bespoke dress to the owl ring bearer, there is so much to love and be inspired by today in Clarissa & Paul’s summer wedding. They were married in an intimate handfasting ceremony in a Victorian hunting lodge in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. When it comes to planning your wedding, “Be bold and brave and happy!” they say. We couldn’t agree more.
Who saw who first?
We met when we were both living in London and socialising with the same group of people. We had known each other many years before becoming romantically involved.
After a few years of being a couple, I decided to take the plunge and propose to Paul. It was to be a symbol of the start of our life together here in Scotland.
I wanted a gift I could propose with and knowing he liked a certain watch brand, Bell and Ross… I contacted a family run jeweller, Laing The Jeweller in Edinburgh, as I was aware they are stockists of the coveted brand. They had the watch, a Phantom Chronograph, but it was being held at a sister store for a potential client to view. Well, after sharing with Laing why I wanted to purchase the watch it was swiftly couriered to their Edinburgh store for me to purchase. This all happened in the summer of 2013.
…I booked a weekend on Skye during our two week holiday in the Northwest Highlands. Our accommodation for that weekend was the family owned, Victorian splendour, The Viewfield House Hotel. I proposed in the Drawing Room at the start of our Afternoon Tea we had ordered. We were both tearful but very happy.
There was a further surprise to follow when Paul brought up the subject of my engagement ring and suggested Tiffany & Co, as the first piece of jewellery he had ever bought me had been from the Tiffany shop in London. I responded in a rather stunned way by replying that isn’t London rather far to travel and he said, I wasn’t thinking of London, I was thinking of New York. I couldn’t quite process this suggestion as I was so stunned and even more so when in February 2014 we were in Tiffany & Co, New York buying an engagement ring.
We were inspired by…
Our wedding was inspired by us as individuals and our appreciation of certain interests that have brought us closer together as we have grown as a couple. This includes nature’s spirit, heritage, music, wildlife, historic places and vintage glamour.
Our theme therefore, was all those aspects that were brought together on the day to be a personal representation of us and who we are. One of the DIY elements was the confetti cones which I made from a large second-hand botanical book which I chose for the beautiful illustrations of flowers and a bird and botanical book written in the style of an Edwardian lady’s diary. The cones were filled with a mix of real flower petals which I added to with lavender and heather from our garden.
I cut to length the grosgrain ribbons for the hand tying and added the silver metal ribbon ends which not only finished them off neatly but added a little bit of weight too.
I had engraved with our names and wedding date, a silver heart which was tied with white lace ribbon onto the broomstick we jumped over along with white ribbon from one of our Tiffany ring boxes.
Our ceremony welcome was a re-working of Robert Burns, My Heart’s In The Highlands, to Our Heart’s In Braemar and our ceremony reading was my favourite poem, The Owl and The Pussycat by Edward Lear.
I decorated the table on which we would be signing the Marriage Schedule with two books gifted to us by a friend, which featured our initials on the spines, one of Paul’s vintage bird books, the antler of a stag we had found on a woodland walk, a wood carved owl purchased from the same country fair where we had first met Elite Falconry, a much loved wood ornament of a cat and a vase of flowers prepared by our florist.
We designed our own wedding stationery as the start of personalising the announcement of our special day. We used a photograph Paul had taken on a previous visit to Mar Lodge, of the Lodge itself, along with a photograph taken of red deer. we had encountered on an afternoon walk.
Sage the Indian Owl was our ring bearer and I surprised Paul with the entertainer, Robert Scott singing our favourite Frank Sinatra songs because our annual Christmas/New Year outing for many years has been to see The Rat Pack Theatre Show and also to represent our special, glamorous time in New York.
We love your coloured dress – tell us more!
I arrived at Freja Designer Dressmaking
with only the description I had in my imagination, which was for a wedding dress in a dusky lavender colour in a timeless A-line style. I was met with an enthusiastic response about the prospect of making a wedding dress that was different, in terms of colour, but that respected the concept of a classic style as opposed to a fashion style that would be at risk of looking dated in the future.
The dressmaking team embraced my idea with so much excitement. Mette listened and understood my initial concept so well that I felt comfortable, confident and thrilled in sharing my ideas that would be translated to the vision I had in my mind.
A Hair Pin was made for me by Linden Flowers which was in the style of a button hole and featured a soft, small arrangement of bird feathers and a dyed dried grass known as Hare or Bunny Tail. This was all held together with silver glitter binding plus a sample of wedding dress lace I had sent to ensure a complimentary colour match. The piece was attached to a small kirby grip and the grip end decorated with a small silver owl.
I also wore, from Pearl River Trading, a bespoke soft pink coloured pearl bracelet featuring a vintage silver safety clasp.
Paul chose a handmade Silver Granite kilt from Kinloch Anderson. His shirt, a soft lilac colour was from T.M. Lewin. The light grey jacket, waistcoat and accompanying accessories were purchased from McCalls. His shoes were from Dolce and Gabbana.
We’d love to hear about the dancing…
We chose not to have a first dance and instead enjoyed our first ceilidh dance as newlyweds alongside those guests who were delighted to share the dance floor with us. It’s No’ Reel perfectly tailored the music to suit our guests, including those who were not so familiar with the dance steps of a ceilidh.
Enjoy the organising of your special day. Plan a wedding you will both be happy with and not what you think you should do or have to do. Be bold and brave and happy!
We married in Scotland for the emotional connection. This is where we share our life now. My family are from Scotland and Paul adores everything about being here as much as I do.
What’s the one truly unforgettable thing about your wedding day?
How bursting with happiness my wedding day made me feel every time I looked at, kissed or embraced my husband.
I love that Clarissa took the initiative when it came to proposing. Anyone else planning to do the same? Christina x
– Mar Lodge
– Nicholas Frost Photography
– White Balloon Films
– Hays Flowers
– Gillian Solley
– Lauren Gollan
– Bespoke silk dusky lavender A-Line dress, overlaid with lace, with bateau neckline, hand embroidered beadwork and ¾ length fitted sleeves by Freja Designer Dressmaking
– Bride – Saint Laurent
, Groom – Dolce and Gabbana
– Tiffany & Co
engagement ring, Bell and Ross
engagement watch from Laing the Jeweller
, hairpin by Linden Flowers
, pink pearl bracelet by Pearl River Trading
– Kinloch Anderson
and McCalls Highlandwear
– DIY, printed by Vistaprint
– Shona Sutherland of Taystful
– Country Flavours of Alford
– It’s No’ Reel Scottish Ceilidh Band
– Erskine String Quartet
and Robert Scott
(Sinatra Tribute), Majestic Wine
and Elite Falconry
When I turned 30, I vowed that I would become a proper grown up and (finally!) learn how to apply makeup like a pro. Six years on and that still hasn’t happened, although a recent trip to London – where I tried out Bobbi Brown’s makeup lessons – took me a step closer in the right direction.
Remember when those no makeup selfies were doing the rounds? Well that’s pretty much me, most days of the week. It’s not that I don’t like wearing makeup – if I was rich I’d definitely have my own personal MUA on hand to make me look amazing, pretty much all the time. It’s more that I’m a bit lazy in the morning and will always choose an extra few minutes in bed (usually browsing Instagram) over the opportunity to make myself look more alluring (because… married 9 years). And before you go all JudgyMcJudgeface on me, can I just point out that I’ve had about 7 unbroken nights sleep in the last four years (ah, the joys of parenthood!).
When I do make the effort, I find myself falling into the same old routine (the brown eyeshadow section of my palette is always worn right down, the rest not so much). From time to time I do flirt with fuchsia or have a cheeky dalliance with damson, but since those scary clown stories started appearing, I’ve found it’s safer to restrain myself.
I opted for the How To: Make the Most of My Eyes
session at The Studio in Spitalfields. My makeup lesson was with the very lovely Kiran Kaur
, who in just 20 minutes or so taught me lots of great pro tips (she also gave me major hair envy – just look at those gorgeous locks!). It started with Kiran asking about the look I was hoping to achieve – dramatic/glam – and then discussing colours, before getting started. Kiran explained what she was doing as she went, and then surprised me by handing over her kit after she had finished one eye, and getting me to do the other.
Not going to lie, I was a little nervous as I picked up the eyeliner (I never, ever risk applying this anymore as I’m always running late, and it just ends up all over my face – queue lots of swearing and frantic cotton bud action). But, Kiran was an amazing teacher – holding a mirror up close so I could see better and encouraging me the whole way. She only had to step in and take over once, when I got a major dose of shaky hand (may have been the flat white I necked on my way there). And I can honestly say that I headed to the UK Wedding Blog Awards without looking at all like one side of my face had been drawn on by a small, possibly slightly drunk, child.
During the tutorial, pretty much every item of makeup Kiran brought out to use, I realised I already own. They just happen to be languishing in my drawer at home – eyeliner in a glass pot (tick!), special brush for said eyeliner (tick!). I love the idea of wearing immaculate makeup, although French style, so that nobody knows I am and they all just think that I happen to wake up that radiant – who else is with me on this? At least once a year I’ll head to a department store and splash out on all the pretty things the MUA at the beauty counter has showcased, before trying them out once at home and realising I have no idea what I’m doing and look a bit like a giddy toddler who has been at her mum’s makeup bag.
But the extra specially great thing about this makeup lesson is that I was given step by step cards to take away with me, and I can also watch it online when I inevitably forget how to do everything. Oh, and did I mention that it was free. Of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t buy something – I’m so in love with the Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick
(in Malted Pink – not brown, yay!), it’s incredibly easy and quick to apply and doesn’t drag on the eyelid at all. Even when operated by me!
I’m thinking that I should really check out Bobbi’s How To Look Less Tired tutorial next. Which would you choose? Christina x
Christina tried & tested a makeup lesson at Bobbi Brown’s The Studio Spitalfields in London. Closer to home, The Studio Edinburgh, The Studio Jenners Edinburgh and The Studio Frasers Glasgow also offer makeup lessons.
Images copyright of We Fell In Love
Photographed by Elemental Photography
at Drumtochty Castle
Inspired by wild Scottish landscapes, Jenna and Dan’s wedding has it all: A fairytale castle in a Scottish glen, wild weather and cosy fires. Oh and guests who were so ready to party that they polished off the white wine the night before the wedding…
How did you meet and become engaged?
We met through a colleague of mine/friend of Dan’s. Our friend invited me round for spontaneous Sunday evening Christmas drinks. It was a wet Sunday and I almost hadn’t gone, but I’m certainly glad I did! After a bit of wine and dancing to One Direction… true, I got a late taxi home thinking of a Scotsman in a red Christmas pudding jumper. Dan emailed me to ask me out the next day and we’ve been pretty much inseparable ever since.
Dan really smashed it out of the park when it came to our engagement. He surprised me with a weekend in remotest Wester Ross. We stayed in a hidden gem in Poolewe, the Pool House hotel. It has a stunning little cottage at the mouth of the loch, think cozy fires and gorgeous views. Even a resident seal which comes by the play in the evening. The actual engagement was on one of the most remote, and beautiful beaches at Mellon Udrigle. Not the loveliest sounding name but spectacular. We spent the rest of the weekend relaxing and walking in the gorgeous Scottish surroundings. Perfect.
We were inspired by…
Wild Scottish landscapes.
Why Drumtochty Castle?
The most classically Scottish venue we could imagine. Secluded in an intimate little glen in the highlands, it truly appears at the end of the romantic, tree-lined drive like something out of a fairytale. And because you have the entire castle to yourself for the weekend you can relax and disappear into the magic of it all
Our friends apparently really like a drink. We had a bbq for everyone arriving on the Friday evening and managed to run out of white wine! Dan’s father and uncle had to make an emergency run to the Aberdeen Majestic to restock. Crisis averted!
We love your dress. Tell us more…
I wanted something classic, timeless, essentially Grace Kelly. I loved this dress the moment I tried it on. The original design was high-necked, so I asked Kavelle to take it off the shoulder and remove the belt. The result was brilliant and easy to dance in, as a bonus! My favourite feature is the lace and button back with the dramatic long train.
How was your photography experience?
We felt at ease with Jay & Christina from the start. They are lovely and relaxed and seem to be everywhere all at once, yet you don’t even notice! They did a fantastic job documenting the day and even put up with traipsing around in the mud and rain with us to get some gorgeous snaps on the Cairn O Mount.
Any advice for other couples?
So many people told us this before, but every so often take a moment to soak everything in. It really does go by in a blur.
What did you opt for as your first dance?
We opted for a ceildh band which absolutely got the dance floor heaving. We chose Mumford & Sons ‘There Will Be Time’ as our first dance song because it has a nice, slow romantic start but turns into a song everyone can join in on. Watch the lyric video for the translation, it’s great.
What is the one truly unforgettable thing about your wedding day?
Dan cried! I was not expecting that, he isn’t really the sort, but I was thrilled to see how much it meant to him. Dan says his memory is our first dance. He loved that all our guests were straight on the dance floor and kept it going into the early hours.
Scotland means a lot to both of us. Dan is Scottish and we have shared some of our best memories there. Plus, it is stunning!.
Love that Jenna and Dan’s wedding guests drank all the white wine on night one. The start of a true great party by the sounds of it. Alie x
It’s Friday again – how lovely. If only all weeks reached the weekend so quickly we hear you cry. How’s your 2017 been so far? Ours has been lovely and sedate and filled with planning and dreaming. Here’s some news to keep you in-the-know…
Newly engaged, or newly energised to progress your wedding plans? If you’re still on the hunt for the perfect space to hold your wedding then why not pop along to two of Edinburgh’s most special and unique wedding venues?
Both Mansfield Traquair
and The Signet Library
are throwing their doors open on 22nd January and brides and grooms who are after their perfect wedding venue. Go and visit – you’re in for a treat with both.
Want to write for us?
We’re so excited to see the variety of competition entries that have been flowing in this week! Already we can see its going to be hard to pick. But don’t worry if you’ve not got your entry in so far, there’s still plenty time as the deadline is not until the 24th January.
We’re looking for brides or grooms who are getting married in Scotland this year. However intimate or extravagent your wedding is, we’d love to hear your story. If you’re good with words and happy to share the highs, lows and in-betweens of your wedding journey, then you could be the perfect match. Get your entry in here
Holiday Plans for 2017
If you like us have travel adventures high on your priority for 2017 then have a gander at some of the top rated places in the world for holidaying in 2017.
We’d love to hear from you if you’ve had any amazing honeymoon experiences that would inspire others. Get in touch with us and share your story.
We hope your 2017’s got off to a flying start. Alie x
Got something you’d love to share with us? Email email@example.com to tell us all about it.
Photographed by Photos by Zoë
at The National Mining Museum
The ‘Match of the Century’ – a wedding spectacle set in a industrial coal mine. Be prepared to fall in love with Ant and Matthew’s big day. We did for sure. Everything about it from their sublime styling, to their food truck festival, is going to blow your little socks right off…
Tell us more about your venue and how you found it…
We really wanted a special place. In my job (Ant), I see a lot of the phenomenal venues Edinburgh has to offer…and I didn’t want to use any of them! I know, I’m spoilt. I love the venues we have and I feel so privileged to see these places dressed up in every way possible. But we wanted something that really fit our personality & style.
We found the Lady Vic online and went for a viewing. I instantly loved it. Matt took a bit more convincing. But I could really see the potential in the space. It’s just outside Edinburgh with loads of transport options. It’s beautifully industrial, which was exactly what we were looking for. Edinburgh is not an industrial town, and dramatic turn of the century spaces are really hard to find here – especially with a working commercial kitchen, toilets and disabled access! We think this venue is a total hidden gem.
How did you meet and become engaged?
It all started back in May 2010, we met in the traditional, modern way – THE INTERNET! Actually if we had not met online we would never have run into each other, because we have such different interests. although we found out later that Ant knew Matthew’s grandmother from the Salvation Army, so that was a weird moment of serendipity.
We began chatting & quickly agreed to meet for coffee, outside Jenners in Princes Street. Coffee is not a huge commitment, and you can scarper quickly if it doesn’t work out, you just wouldn’t go straight to dinner. But we actually did coffee, lunch and dinner then drinks and got the last train home!
We had three dates and then Ant headed off for his usual summer work at the performing arts center in the states. We spoke a lot while away, Skype, Facetime, text, carrier pigeon…technology is a wonderful thing. When Ant returned at the end of the summer, we reunited on the 10th September in front of the National Gallery, didn’t quite run into each others arms in slow mo, but it was that kind of a moment….apparently we have an eye for the dramatic.
When we got engaged on our 5 year anniversary it was a joint decision. We bought our rings together. Ant’s is from a New Zealand jeweller Ash Hilton
and Matt’s is from Jewellery by Johan
in the States. Matt’s reflects the mountains and the sun and Ant’s the forest and the night sky, symbolic of our relationship! On our anniversary we headed to Glencorse Reservoir near Penicuik at sunset, when day becomes night, with the trees and the mountains in the background. We had a picnic of sushi and when the sun set we proposed to each other, exchanging sentiments and rings. It was perfect, it was wonderful, and we wouldn’t have wanted it any other way!
Our wedding day was inspired by…
We took our inspiration from the Victorian industrial building we had the day in, and went from there. Lots of raw materials and copper highlights with a few nods to our personalities. Matt is a scientist, so we did a ‘periodic table plan’, with test tube favours and elemental symbol name cards.
Lighting also played a huge part in the day. Ant’s background is in theatre & events so we drew from old vaudeville/carnival with the canopy of festoon lights and the copper marquee letters. We dubbed the wedding ‘The Match of the Century’ to give it a big event/spectacle feel.
Ant did a lot of the logistics and “production management” for the day. He also made the stationery & candle sticks. Matt, as a bit of a foodie, oversaw all the food elements including our food truck festival evening buffet, & creating a really personal wedding breakfast menu (including an elegant bhan mi starter as a nod to his Vietnamese heritage) that the team at Saltire hospitality executed perfectly. We were incredibly hands on in planning the day. We could not have done it, however, without the help of our wedding party. In particular our two shining stars were our friends Claire Guest and Thomas Ramage. Claire was our eyes & ears on the day who made all of the elements & final touches happen so we could just go be grooms for the day. Thomas
, our event technician went above and beyond, making the venue look sensational!
Tell us something surprising about your wedding day…
So, two things: It was really important the our evening guests felt properly part of the day, that they hadn’t missed out. Also evening buffets suck! They do! It’s always the same, predictable things. So our solution was to have A FREAKING FOOD TRUCK FESTIVAL!
We took five of Scotland’s best food trucks in vintage Citrion H vans and had them create tapas sized dishes so our guests could taste a little bit from everyone. It was phenomenal and a totally one off experience!
How did you go about organising the floristry for your own wedding?
Planet flowers are quite simply the best! (OK I may be biased here). I work for Planet Flowers as a proud #planetbee! Gemma was so much more than the florist for me. She was a sounding board, source of inspiration, critical eye & friend during the process.
We went for simple succulents in copper cans with purple accents. We love that they gave a great balance of hard and soft. They worked so well with the surroundings and the copper candelabras I (Ant) made for the tables.
For our personal flowers we again went with succulent details. We had a black calla lilies accent to our buttonholes bound with twine & copper wire. The groomsmen had a simpler version with viburnum accents. For our groomsmaids, Gemma & I came up with the idea of creating copper wrist cuffs with succulent details on them. They were absolutely gorgeous!
Planet also supplied, amongst other things, all of our glass cylinders, the poseur tables for the reception, and the alter table.
Be in the moment: fully take in your day & make sure you indulge in every second. Keep a sense of humor: things will go wrong, so just roll with it! Plan it together: don’t let one or the other have to carry the burden, it is so much more fun as a united force!
Do YOU! Our wedding worked so well because it has us running through its veins. Do what you love and let your personalities shine through. Don’t try to copy/paste something you’ve seen because you think it will impress your guests. If YOU’RE having a great time, we promise you your guests will be right there with you!
Well…we live here! And that is a privilege. It has the most incredible magic this place does! We actually had guests from all over the world and they were blown away with the beauty & wonder of our country. We have so many incredible venues. Why would you want to tie the knot anywhere else? Also the fact we can celebrate our love with true marriage equality in our own country makes us so proud!
What’s the one thing you’ll never forget about your big day?
The ceremony was incredibly emotional and touching. We chose a humanist celebration, which we would absolutely, wholeheartedly recommend. Dorothy Nowak was our celebrant, a delightful woman who lives in the middle of nowhere and travels around the country in her camper van, with her dog, marrying people (no really, you can’t make these things up). She managed to capture our story so well and set the tone for a truly once in a lifetime day!
A ‘freaking food truck festival’? Now that’s how to rock your evening entertainment! Anyone else inspired? Alie x
– The Lady Victoria Colliery
– National Mining Museum
– Photos by Zoë
– Planet Flowers
Hair and Make-up
– Vanity Thrills Vintage Beauty Parlour
– Ted Baker
. We wanted to complement each other without matching. We also wanted them to be special. Newsflash, a lot of suits are boring! So we were thrilled to see that Ted Baker makes suits with panache!
– Lindy Bop
mink grey ophelia swing dress with matching shrug, hand made accent petticoats from Tiny Tots Togs
– We really had fun with the shoes. Each member of the wedding party had a diferent pair of statement shoes. It was so much fun! We had shoes from Irregular Choice, Converse, Vans & Steve Madden.
– Ant actually did all of the stationery and table names himself using the Moo
Luxe range to print
– Heather’s Cakes
– Saltire Catering
, Flat Out Food
, Chick & Pea
, Harajuku Kitchen
, Bowl Food
, Giacopazzi’s ice cream
and Linton & Co Coffee
– Goldstar wedding band
– Stagecoach Herritage Fleet
(the White Lady)
– Our marque letters, chairs & cinema sign were provided by Wehead
; the copper cuttlery was provided by Classic Crockery Event Hire
and the tables were provided by Virginia’s Vintage Hire
and Table Names
January is in full-swing for Steph. With kilts and table plans underway, thoughts turn to hair-dos and how to get in the gym-zone. We’re loving this bride-to-be’s focused approach…
“December has been such a busy month full of Christmas fun and festive cheer! I have found it quite hard to keep focused on wedding activities as there has been so much going on (mainly Christmas markets and lots of hot chocolate) but my inner organised self would never allow me to not tick a few more things off the list (spreadsheet).
“One of the things that started to stress me out a tad was the kilt hire and outfits for the boys. Robert seemed to think that he could leave their kilt hire until nearer the time. He managed to get the boys together for a night of tartan selection… which lasted all of half an hour.
“The next day when I went in to pay the deposit the shop assistant told me she had never met such a decisive groom! I don’t think I am particularly bossy when it comes to the wedding but Robert did have quite strict instructions when it came to tartan colours. What they have picked is perfect and they are all going to look so smart on the big day – Steph approved!! We went for kilt hire at McCalls in Aberdeen; they have a great selection, are super friendly and they gave me a swatch of the tartan. It also means we don’t need to travel far to pick up their outfits.
“We have been debating about our table names for a while. Robert says I focus far too much on the small things but I really want everything to be personalised to us so we have agreed on London Tube Stations – I lived in London when we first met so we spent a lot of time there and it’s where Robert proposed. I worked with the fab design team at Astute to make sure they matched the rest of our stationary and Raemoir House are supplying holders for the table – one less thing to think about!
“I am a little obsessed with hair ideas at the moment. My hairdresser (Alana at Naked Pride in Aberdeen) is also doing my hair on the wedding day so every time I go in for a trim the wedding is discussed. Although I have long, thick hair I find that over time is looses a lot of volume – I leave the house with big bouncy hair and come home with a flat mop. Alana has suggested clip in extensions to help with that so I am looking at options and Alana is going to colour match them for me. I am 90% sure I want my hair down so have been using the trusty Pinterest and Instagram apps for help and ideas. We were working out when to get my colour done over the next few months so that is looks fab for wedding but also for both my hen do’s.
“I have really tried to keep my gym routine going throughout December and not over indulge over Christmas. Don’t get me wrong I definitely ate what I wanted on Christmas Day (mum made homemade profiteroles, it would have been rude not too) but I am really looking forward to getting back to my Deliciously Ella cook book in the new year and shifting the last few pounds before my hen do in March.
“Thank you to everyone who commented on last month’s blog and Facebook post, some really fab suggestions and I think I have made a decision on our second reading.
“I hope everyone has enjoyed the festivities and has something lovely planned to see in the New Year – we are hosting some friends and family and I can’t wait (I love being the hostess). 2017 is already set to be the best year ever for us and all my fellow brides to be, let the craziness commence!”
Love the sound of Steph’s hair plans. Anyone else got any top tips for wedding hair? Alie x
Steph is marrying Rob this Spring at Raemoir House. She describes their vision as romantic and elegant with a touch of ‘us’ sprinkled in for good measure.
Photos by Steph and online for Deliciously Ella
2017 New Year
How is the first week of the New Year treating you so far – are you winning at January or already struggling to keep those resolutions? Today we thought we’d take a look back at our goals for 2016 and see just how well we did (or didn’t do!) at achieving them… Alie’s going to kick things off…
1. Alie: Plan more holiday time
The aim: I think this has to be on my list every year, but this year I’m determined to be more organised. This year sees me wanting to plan for some sun. Sorry 2015, but you just didn’t deliver; a city break (always a winner as I love exploring new places) and hopefully taking in more of Scotland that I haven’t yet seen (can I admit on here that I have as yet never visited Skye?!).
This year we had some cracking adventures. We holidayed in Scotland a couple of times, taking in the Trossachs and Aberfoyle. We had a great time in France in the summer, exploring central France and Bordeaux, topped off with a cheeky couple of days in London. Then Niels and I had our first holiday without the kids to Stockholm
, which we loved.
2. Alie: Tick-off some must reads
The aim: Reading is my all time favourite pastime. The sad reality is I often have to squeeze it in at the end of the day. I would love to create more pockets for reading in 2016. As with my holiday locations, there is a veritable feast of must-reads for me to devour.
The result: I’ve read some fantastic books this year. Highlights include Island On The Edge by Anne Cholawo, A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry and The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins (anyone else?).
3. Alie: Develop a new skill
The aim: A New Year’s resolution list wouldn’t be complete for me without the idea of learning something new. Last year it was Italian and I managed ‘un po’ (still working on that one). This year I’m still deciding: knitting, calligraphy, or perhaps juggling. Anyone got any suggestions? I’m open to all… (within reason of course).
The result: Well I managed to not be able to juggle and I sadly didn’t conquer the unicycle (thanks Ewan). That said I did re-discover my love of rollerskating and my lovely hubby bought me my own pair earlier in the year. I also started swimming lessons. As someone who’s only ever done the breast stroke, the front crawl has proved a huge, but fun challenge. I’m still mastering my inner swimming zen…
Now, over to Christina…
1. Christina: Declutter my space
The aim: Since a friend told me about “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying” by Japanese declutter expert, Marie Kondo, I’ve been intrigued to learn more. Lately it’s been feeling like stuff is taking over our home (why do I buy so much?!), and zapping my energy and productivity. This, combined with an imminent move, led me to order the book, speed reed it overnight and I am currently mid wardrobe cull. Wish me luck!
The result: I was absolutely ruthless when it came to clearing out years of accumulated books, clothes and other assorted items. And Jay got in on the act too. In fact, he perfected the sock roll (the book gives guidance on storage too) – something I have yet to master. I suspect that had we been savvy and ebay’d it all then we could have bought ourselves a small island (non tropical, mind) with the proceeds, but our moving deadline meant that we donated to charity shops, gave things away on Gumtree and recycled the rest.
But, looking around me as I write, I feel that the clutter is once more taking over (I hate to admit it, but I just really like buying things). I think it’s time to get the book out again…
2. Christina: Eat well
The aim: For my birthday I was treated to a Nutribullet which, combined with a copy of Deliciously Ella (my new favourite cookbook – everything is so healthy and easy to make!), has seen me stocking up on chia seeds and other, until now mystery to me, healthy eats. But as winter set in my smoothies were replaced with stollen, and I’ve been overdosing on chocolate (just polished off a whole brownie bar in fact). It’s time to get blending again!
The result: While I do love whizzing up a smoothie now and then, and eating homemade banana ice-cream (literally frozen bananas blended – ridiculously easy and so delicious!), I have otherwise made zero progress in this department. And at the grand old age of 36 I may be ready to accept that, while I would happily exist on salads and watermelon if I lived in a warm climate, really I just want to mainline pasta and biscuits 10 months a year, because… Scotland.
And while it would be nice to squeeze back into those jeans I wore 10 years ago, and should have ditched in my last declutter, let’s face it, it’s never going to happen. And you know what, I’m actually okay with that. By the way, that’s me drinking hot rum with mulled wine in the photo above, having just polished off a donut.
3. Christina: Have more adventures
Just before Christmas, Jay and I snuck in a cheeky short break to Copenhagen
, without our two year-old in tow. We were only there for 48 hours but packed in so much and had the best time. And the flights were super cheap too – bonus! This year I hope to have lots more adventures – from city breaks to wild camping. Can’t wait to get planning!
The result: Yes, finally one where I can say I did well! 2016 was full of adventures (maybe too many I’m beginning to think – I still feel a bit knackered from it all!). My favourite was a family road trip in Iceland – we hired a campervan to explore and went on a midnight troll hunt, played on a black sand beach and even licked icebergs. Closer to home, we had camping trips in Aberdeenshire and Perthshire, and we rounded off the year by chasing snow and tracking down a white Christmas in the Cairngorms.
I’ve also been experimenting more with micro city breaks – I snuck in a one night girls’ trip and headed back to Copenhagen with my mum and auntie last month (when the flight costs less than lunch out, it would be rude not to, right?). I won’t tell you how much I spent in the shops though (or how much I rounded down the exchange rate in my head when making very stylish but let’s face it, non essential, purchases).
And as for 2017, here’s what Alie’s hoping to do more of this year…
1. Alie: Prioritise holiday time
I’m sticking with this one – life is better with holidays. On the hitlist this year is a trip to Copenhagen (Christina’s fault, among others, for making it sound so amazing). I’m also planning a chilled remote retreat somewhere – Scottish islands perhaps? For some summer sun, I would love to head to Italy again (and resurrect my Duo Lingo Italian lessons), and we’ve already planned a week in Keswick with our besties. Let 2017 be filled with holidays.
2. Alie: Exercise every day
This is a hard one and an easy one. Hard to make sure I fit it in. Easy as I’ll be able to know if I’ve done it or not and won’t forget. By exercise, I mean some form of cardio – running, swimming, cycling, gym. As I said, it could be a challenge. I’ll keep you posted.
3. Alie: Write
I have so many ideas for short stories bubbling around in my head. This year I’m determined to commit some to paper and see where they take me. Inspired by The Guardian’s How to Write a Book in 30 Days
, I’ve already begun mapping out my character descriptions.
Meanwhile, Christina is focusing on…
1. Christina: Get it together
You know those days when you feel totally on your game – your hair sits perfectly, you don’t spill coffee down your Breton top and you’re just ticking things off your to-do list like bam, bam, bam?! Well, I haven’t had one of those for ages. Which is why I’m currently reading anti-guru Sarah Knight’s ‘Get Your Sh*t Together’.
Here’s just one example of why I need to get my shit together. Last year I bought a rather nice handbag as a Christmas present to myself. I was too scared to use it in the rain (because when I say nice, I really mean expensive), and put it in a drawer under my bed for safekeeping. That drawer then jammed and 12 months on I still haven’t been able to break into the infernal thing to retrieve and use my beloved bag. That is how useless I can be at times.
Last month I forgot to bake something for my daughter’s nursery school fair, turned up 24 hours early for a meeting with my accountant and went out wearing a top that was on inside out, twice. I need this book.
2. Christina: Go solo
Before I had a baby, I was a bit worried that I would’t have enough patience to be a good mum. But, weirdly, it transpires that while I am a deeply impatient (not to mention impulsive) person by nature, I have all the time in the world when it comes to my little girl.
That having been said, I really miss having those moments to myself to just browse in a bookshop or sit in a cafe and watch the world go by while I scribble in my notebook. And that is why this year I’ll be building in more time for myself – I’m thinking a little city break for one would be a good way to start.
3. Christina: Start dating again
Just to clarify, it’s my husband I plan to go out with. While we see a lot of each other (we work together in our photography business), we tend to talk about work way too much or have a small person constantly asking us questions about how the universe was made.
Inspired by one of my favourite blogs, Cup of Jo
, I made a half-hearted attempt at this last year. I thought that we could take turns to think up an interesting new date idea each month (sounds easy, right?), but after going to a talk by a mountaineer and checking out a couple of new restaurants, it petered out. With our 10 year wedding anniversary approaching in May, I think we should definitely give this another go. Would love to hear your date ideas!
And a final, shared goal is to do more to support issues and campaigns that we believe in – like the incredible work being done by Help Refugees
. We’ll keep you posted on our plans.
It’s your turn! We’d love to hear your 2017 New Year resolutions… drop us a comment below or over on Facebook. Alie & Christina x
Happy New Year! We hope you celebrated Hogmanay in true Scottish style and are now enjoying a lovely, chilled morning after the night before (what do you mean it’s afternoon already?!). We are so looking forward to the year ahead – we’ve got some exciting collaborations lined up and are looking forward to seeing WFIL grow in new ways. And we are also a little giddy for those of you reading this who are getting married this year – woohoo!
But we couldn’t say goodbye to 2016 without taking a moment to look back on some of our highlights of the year. It hasn’t been easy to choose, but after much deliberation – and a few glasses of wine – here are our top picks of 2016…
When the bride runs a cake making business, you know you’re going to see something more than a little fabulous on her big day. And we fell head over heels for Andrea’s amazing creation. The rustic styling of her day is sublime too.
Most stylish groom
We are more than a little in love with Andy’s custom-made all tweed kilt outfit. How ace does he look here with his best man and ushers?
It goes without saying that all the brides we have featured looked amazing on their big day, so imagine how tough it was to choose just one to highlight here!
We loved everything about Sharon & Colin’s magical autumnal wedding. Wet, wild and windy on the outside, yet filled with love, laughter and loads of fun on the inside, it was the sort of party you’d never want to leave. And as for Sharon’s wool wedding dress…. swoon…
Bouquet to die for
Julia opted for a seasonal mix of flowers and herbs such as mint, eucalyptus and rosemary. The result was a bouquet that smelled every bit as incredible as it looked.
Beth and Jonny’s joy and banter-filled wedding made us smile lots – and just look at the commitment their wedding party put into getting this shot.
Cutest VIP guest
Maybe it’s the floral collar, or perhaps it’s her happy expression, but of all the wonderful dogs we’ve featured at Scottish weddings this year, we just had to highlight Honey for making us smile.
Most breathtaking location
From the snow-capped mountains of Skye to intimate loch-side ceremonies, Scotland is blessed with jaw-dropping locations and wedding venues. So it wasn’t easy to choose this one at all!
But for their sheer bravery and enthusiasm, we had to give a special mention to Bronwyn and Christian, who travelled from Australia to become husband and wife at the top of Arthur’s Seat on January 2nd. How incredible does their elopement look, hiking boots and all?!
Divine DIY details
Inspired by their love of the outdoors, Sarah & Allan were married on a beach beside her mum’s house. Sarah’s dad built a wooden arch for the ceremony, with branches from a neighbour’s tree, and her mum decorated it with ribbons and flowers. Such a thoughtful, not to mention super pretty, personal touch!
Party we most wanted to crash
From the beach ceremony to the tipi reception, we loved the rustic, coastal vibe of Caroline and Michael’s wedding. And something tells us this party lasted all weekend…
Best do it your way moment
Break the rules and make it your day, we say! When it came to choosing her bridal team, we love that Bryony included her brother.
“My brother was my maid of honor! We’re really close and the thought of him not being there by my side was crazy! He knows me better than anyone and was a great support all though the process. It was hilarious to see him walk down the aisle with a bouquet too!”
We’d like to say a huge thanks to everyone who contributed to the blog in 2016 – from our super lovely brides and grooms, to the uber talented photographers and wedding creatives, we simply couldn’t make it happen without you.
Getting married in 2017? Then be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to make sure you don’t miss any of the inspirational real weddings we’ve got coming your way. It’s going to be a seriously beautiful year! And be sure to submit your wedding photos to us too, when the time comes. We’d love to see them!
If you are a talented and dedicated wedding supplier who would like to join TeamWFIL in 2017, then pop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org – we’d love to work with you to help meet you business goals for the New Year!
photos of December
As we hurtle towards the end of the year we have had great fun looking back on the weddings that have been featured this year. For now here’s our top ten photographs of December. Lots to love…
Animals at weddings? Er yes please – we love them. How about this for an unusual wedding guest?
There’s something magical about a first dance and we think this image says it all… (Photo by Lifetime Photography
A wedding on the shores of a loch with a surprise boat ride? Sounds like a whole lot of fun and just look at the colour of the sky…
Shoes, shoes, shoes – we can’t get enough of them. And this message – Follow Your Heart – seems perfect for any wedding and also a great sentiment for a new year, don’t you think? (Photo by Picturesque by Mr and Mrs M
Got a unique wedding story to share with We Fell In Love? We’d love to feature it. Here’s how to submit.