We’re treating you to some pre-Covid party times today and heading over to Ayrshire for the Dalduff Barn wedding of WFIL readers Jacqueline and Allen. Inspired by their love of music and 1950s style, they planned a relaxed day full of personal touches.
Their love of DIY and crafting came in handy, when they made all the decor, stationery and favours themselves too. Their one regret – not giving themselves more time to relax before the big day! Read on for more great advice if you’re planning a DIY wedding…
How did you two meet?
We met online through Plenty of Fish almost six years ago. After a couple of glasses of wine on a Friday night, I sent Allen a wink and he responded with a huge message asking about me.
We chatted online for a few weeks then had our first date at Skypark (the ariel adventure course) at Braehead arena. We were each other’s first ever online date and never thought it would go so well. We went for a meal afterwards and were chatting for 40 minutes, before realising the waitress still hadn’t taken our food order. Onto Electric Gardens in the Botanics then cocktails on Byres Road! The rest, as they say, is history!
What inspired your wedding plans?
We planned our wedding from the point of view of our guests. What would matter most to them? We had quite a few family members travelling from London/Essex/Canada and Australia, so we wanted the day to be as enjoyable as possible for them. With that in mind, we wanted to ensure there was an abundance of tasty food, great music and that, of course, the drinks were flowing.
As we both have a son each from previous relationships, it was very important that Kyle and Joseph knew it wasn’t just about us becoming a married couple but us all becoming one family. Kyle walked me down the aisle whilst Joseph was the ring bearer and in charge of the rings while they were passed around the guests for a band warming. Also, all four of us took part in the handfasting, to signify us becoming one family.
We both absolutely love music, gigs and festivals so it was easy to decide on a music theme for our wedding. Allen is your man for DIY and I love crafting, so there was never any doubt that we’d make all of our own decorations. We made everything including bouquets, buttonholes, cake stand, card box, tissue bands, confetti cones, dried petals for confetti, flower hoops, 1000 paper cranes, sheet music table runners, ring toss bottle game and a ribbon backdrop. We decorated jars, Love letter signs, personalised vinyl records, spray-painted cans and bottles.
We personalised all our own stationery, printed all the tables names, menus, place names, seating plan, and signs. I also made and boxed my own favours for everyone, which was heart-shaped chocolate fudge! A lot of hard work from everyone to decorate the venue but we couldn’t be more proud that we personally planned and decorated it all ourselves.
Tell us about your venue…
We knew we wanted a rustic style barn wedding so we Googled like mad for available venues in Scotland and contacted a few.
Dalduff ticked all the boxes. As well as being a blank canvas that allows you to throw your own personalities at it, it also included all the must-haves! Twinkly lights are already strewn everywhere. They have gorgeous long wooden banqueting tables, wooden chairs, whisky barrels and crates for decor. It sounds silly, but many barn venues still require you to hire your own lighting/heating/tables/chairs/crockery/dining and bar. The idea of having to do that if we’d picked a different barn venue was too stressful a thought for us.
Dalduff has so many different areas you can use on the day, two huge Dutch barns, the main barn, a courtyard area and a beautiful garden area (weather permitting). All of these areas are solely yours for the day to use as you wish. Plus they have a beautiful farmhouse for up to 10 of the wedding party to stay in. They also prepare all the food at the venue, banqueting style. Dalduff pride themselves on their wedding feast and rightly so.
It was the first venue we decided to view and we were smitten within minutes of James showing us around. We agreed on the drive home that there was no need for us to view anywhere else and we emailed James to book our date before we had got home the same night.
We’re both Scottish and wanted as many of our family and friends there as possible, so it would have been madness to choose anywhere else. As we wanted a barn wedding, we knew we wouldn’t find anywhere in Glasgow but it was important to find somewhere to minimise the travelling for everyone. Dalduff Farm is close to some local hotels for guests who want to make a weekend of it and only an hour drive for those that took the coach we organised from Glasgow city centre.
We love your outfits! Tell us more…
I loved the 1950s vintage style dresses created by Lisa at Dragonfly Designs. A week after getting engaged I found out she was closing her dressmaking business to move on to a different business venture. I was dismayed and panicked as I always imagined wearing one of her beautiful dresses. I visited her before she closed as she was selling some sample dresses. I truly didn’t expect to find anything at such short notice nor did I expect the samples to be in great condition. However, after trying on four dresses, two of which I loved, Lisa showed me an additional one in blush pink which I would never have chosen myself. It turned out it was her newest made dress so was in brand new condition. It was perfect. Perfect colour, perfect size! Honestly, it was as though Lisa had made it just for me! No adjustments were required at all. I bought my dress there and then, along with a fun pink faux leather jacket she had decorated with “Bride” for a photoshoot.
Before the day I got a seamstress to sew a diamante belt onto the dress and sew Allen and our boys initials in blue inside the dress over my heart. I loved that my dress is one of a kind and Allen said on the day he just loved that it was not a typical white wedding dress.
I knew my shoes would be on show for the day so wanted a pair that would stand out. I also wanted to be comfortable so didn’t want anything too high. I found a fantastic pair from Ted Baker that were sparkly, had a beautiful brooch detail and rose gold soles. The bridesmaids and I had gold sparkly ballet pumps to change into for the dancing at night. I found some very dainty jewellery to match my engagement ring. I made my own birdcage veil with French netting and a diamante hair slide I bought.
I was dismayed initially when Allen said he didn’t want to wear a kilt but when he told me what he did have in mind for the day I was excited and realised his choice was more fitting for our day. For himself and the groomsmen, he wanted tweed suits. We visited so many stores and websites looking for something he liked.
Initially, he wanted a Harris Tweed (as he’d proposed on a beach in Harris) but could not find anything he liked. In the end, he was delighted to find something he loved in Slaters for himself, his father, brother and our eldest, Kyle. Unbelievably, we managed to find a near-identical kids version for our 8-year-old Joseph online at Occasion Wear for Kids.
Allen and the groomsmen wore tan brown shoes by Paolo Sartori which he found in Debenhams. I surprised him and my son, Kyle with pocket watches from Beaverbrooks as a wedding gift.
Sticking with the 50s style theme of my dress, I wanted something similar for my five bridesmaids. Each of the girls are different heights, different shapes and different hair colouring so I thought it would be a bit of a challenge to find something that suited them all that they would be comfortable in.
In the end, I found them a gorgeous 1950s style tea length dress from Lindybop in a champagne colour which complemented my dress perfectly. Both our mother’s outfits complemented the colours we were wearing, Allen’s mum in a bronze outfit and my mum in pink.
Tell us more about the flowers…
Along with our decorations, we did our own flowers. Our bouquets and buttonholes were handmade paper flowers using sheet music which I had spent many many months making prior to the day. I love that I have it to keep and still display it.
We were going for rustic minimalism with regards to the real flowers at the venue, so we simply had gypsophila in sheet music cones hanging from the chairs down the aisle and then cans and bottles with gypsophila, eucalyptus and roses in them dotted everywhere and on the tables. We ordered them online and they were delivered to our house prior to the wedding. The day before the wedding two of my bridesmaids were in charge of putting the flower arrangements together filling over 50 cans and 50 bottles.
Your photos are beautiful!
We Fell in Love was a great site to find suppliers. Otherwise, it can be very overwhelming trawling through the internet trying to find local suppliers. We found our photographer Audrey at Tandem Photo through the site.
Allen hates having his photos taken, so it was key that he’d be relaxed with whoever would be spending the day with us. After looking at so many different photographer websites online and agreeing on three we both liked, we asked each of them for access to full albums.
Tandem Photo stood out by a mile. The entire collection of photos for each wedding Audrey shared with us were fantastic. My sister, Elaine gifted us an engagement shoot so we had a day to get to know Audrey better and for us both to get used to being in front of the camera, which meant on the wedding day we felt like we had a friend taking our photographs.
Your photographer is one of the few suppliers who will be with you the entire day so it was amazing to have someone we got on so well with who put us at ease and it really showed in the photos. No awkward or shy posing!
Audrey and David have the expertise to catch the magic of the lighting/weather to complement the surroundings. They were unobtrusive on the day and captured so many gorgeous moments as though no one even knew they were there. Audrey knew how much time we’d spent making all the decorations and captured the detail of them so beautifully.
The relaxed atmosphere of the day really shines through in the photos and I love that so many of them include everyone laughing so much. Also, their cameras are really quiet… I don’t think I could hear any clicking or beeping at all through the ceremony!
What made you decide on having a wedding film?
Allen was not keen to have a wedding video as he hates being the centre of attention. He worried about it so much and took a lot of persuading.
Every wedding trailer of Michelle’s, I bawl my eyes out at even though I don’t know the couples. She encapsulates the magic of a wedding even in a three-minute clip. She captured everything so beautifully without being intrusive and worked so well alongside our photographer. Her personality put Allen right at ease throughout the day and he said afterwards he just forgot the cameras were there. She took our music choices and matched them up to the mood of the wedding video perfectly.
Allen says now it would have been his biggest regret not to have the wedding video. I’d say to any couple, please have one. Your wedding day really goes so quickly. Along with your photos, it captures so much and there is nothing better than watching it back and seeing something you missed on the day.
Anyone else you’d like to give a shoutout to?
James at Dalduff – Seriously what a delight to deal with! He and the team work with such enthusiasm and excitement you’d think it was their first wedding and not their day job. The food is outstanding and there is so much of it. Everyone was raving about it afterwards as there was so much choice and it all tasted so fantastic.
I didn’t have room for some of the courses or the evening buffet. Low and behold I entered the farmhouse at the end of the night to find generous portions of the pulled beef and evening tacos wrapped up in the fridge for me! James also ensured that we were sensible with our choices. He stopped us from over ordering too many canapes based on the generous portions that would be provided during the wedding feast and evening buffet. I had several vegan guests and they told me how pleased they were that they were catered for so well. The courses just kept coming!
Can’t forget to give a shout out to our celebrant, Carol. She created the most fantastic and memorable ceremony for us and her presence was a great talking point for the guests!
Katie at Moonbow Bakery provided the most beautiful wedding cake and dessert table. We knew we didn’t want a traditional tiered cake and I booked her immediately when I met her and tasted some of her brownies. She produces the most fantastic rustic styled wedding cakes, cupcakes and brownies and in an abundance of flavours. The dessert table was exactly what we envisioned and people were happily taking extra cake home with them.
What was your first dance song?
Lips by Sunhouse. Allen introduced me to the song on our fourth date. He already loved the song and the words are just beautiful. It’s not a very well known song and every time Allen plays it, it takes us back to that early date when we were just starting to fall for each other.
Our band, The White Doves were great at playing the firm wedding favourites and also so many chart favourites that everyone loves singing and dancing too. I walked down the aisle to a slow version of 500 miles by Sleeping at Last and the band agreed that instead of ending the night with the traditional Loch Lomond they would follow it 500 miles. So we started and ended our wedding day with the same song, albeit different versions.
Were there any challenges along the way?
The biggest challenge was reigning in my ideas! We had our work cut out for us as we chose to do so much of it ourselves. When we told Audrey, our photographer, and James at Dalduff how much we were doing ourselves, the flicker of fear that flashed in both their faces made us worry we’d taken on too much.
Having access to the venue for the full day before the wedding and having five bridesmaids was a blessing, as it was all hands on deck to turn our vision into reality. It was exhausting and our biggest regret is how physically tired we were on the morning of the wedding as the week leading up to it had been so full-on.
There were some decorations we never got round to finishing or using, but we remember a friend saying if anything doesn’t turn out the way you want no one else will know on the day, so not to sweat it. Very good advice.
On the day as there were so many of us in the bridal party for hair and makeup we ended up running behind, however due to roadworks the guests in the coach were also running behind which was a relief as I didn’t stress that I was keeping anyone waiting.
Did you manage to stick to your budget?
Our initial finger in the air budget was totally way off the mark, haha! Once we were a bit better informed and knew exactly what we wanted our more realistic budget was more than double that.
I’m an accountant so love a good spreadsheet and even had a pie chart! In the end, we went over budget by 10% by adding items that we hadn’t originally budgeted for but we don’t regret it and there is nothing we feel we wasted money on.
Be realistic with your budget, haha! It’s you two that will be looking back on the day for years to come so make sure it’s the day you both want.
Regardless of the size of your wedding, pick a photographer and videographer who will give the photos and footage that complements your personalities and captures your day perfectly.
Guests truly appreciated the little touches. Blankets, flip flops for dancing and bathroom baskets with complimentary toiletries went down a treat.
Honeymoon or minimoon?
We aimed for both. We gifted the boys with a surprise family minimoon during the speeches. We took them to Disneyland Paris for a few days after the wedding.
Allen and I planned to have our honeymoon in Thailand just the two of us during 2020 which of course has been postponed indefinitely. Instead, we’ve recently taken a campervan trip round the North Coast 500 and have a luxury yurt booked for our anniversary. So we’re milking these trips and as many minimoons as we can until we can travel to far off lands.
What’s the moment you’ll always remember?
There are a few. I loved the reaction from people when they realised that Carol Knight, aka Carol Smillie, was our celebrant. Allen didn’t want to be the centre of attention, so knew that having her there on the day would give everyone something else to focus on instead of him standing at the front. It was lovely to have a familiar face to perform the ceremony.
Facing North are a fantastic duo who performed during the drinks reception and as a surprise for Allen, I asked our friend Ronnie Turner to sing with them. I had rewritten a tongue in cheek version of Gerry Cinnamon’s Belter, which went down a storm.
If you’re crafting and DIY’ing away while waiting for restrictions to lift, then we hope this has inspired you. And don’t forget to schedule in some downtime too! x
Venue – Dalduff Farm
Photographer – Tandem Photo
Filmmaker – Michelle Gillan
Flowers – Triangle Nursery
Hair stylist – TML Hair & Beauty
Make-up artist – Sharon Cuthbert
Celebrant – Carol Knight Humanist
Jacqueline’s outfit – Dragonfly Dress Design
Allen’s outfit – Slaters
Wedding party outfits – Lindy Bop
Cake – Moonbow Bakery
Musicians – The White Doves / Facing North
Additional suppliers – Allendar Coaches