Mon 14th Mar, 2011
Good morning everyone, I hope you all had lovely weekends. Today I have a beautiful scottish wedding to share with you, courtesy of Blue Sky Photography.
There are so many beautiful photographs that I honestly couldn't fit them into one post, so please pop by the blog tomorrow, for part 2.
New York-based Caroline and Stuart were married at Hopetoun House in Scotland on 9 October last year.
They first met while working together at Deutsche Bank in London in 2004 but didn’t start dating until after Caroline was offered a position in the New York office early in 2008 – timing is evidently not their strong point! They spent three months dating in London before Caroline left for New York and then made twice monthly weekend trips across the Atlantic dating long distance for around 18 months until Stuart secured a transfer to New York in Nov of 2009.
Huge thanks to Niels and Alie from Blue Sky Photography for sharing Caroline and Stuart's wedding. "We adored Niels’ quirky personality from the very first call we had and when we met him and Alie in Edinburgh for our pre-wedding shoot we knew it was going to be a roaring success! They are just so warm and friendly but also super efficient and gave us a great sense of comfort that they knew what they were doing and we would be in safe hands, whilst also welcoming our own ideas. They also knew Hopetoun well and raved about its beauty so we had full confidence they would capture amazing shots (and we think we did!). We’re still in touch with Niels and Alie now and as strange as it may sound, count them as friends more than suppliers, they were such a joy to work with on the day and that’s important as your photographers are with you every step of the way (even the very private moments!)."
The Ebury Collection wedding blog. Photography copyright 2011 Blue Sky Photography
Caroline's gorgeous bouquet and those for her bridesmaids were created by the lovely Planet Flowers. More about their florals in tomorrow's post.
I asked Caroline to tell me about their engagement...
"Stu casually asked in early 2009 that if he were to ever as me to marry him one day would I like him to have a ring or would I prefer we go shopping together afterwards… of course I giddily said I’d prefer if he already had the ring, so he took me to look (just to look!) at rings on one of his weekends over to see me in March 2009 and then said nothing more of it until 6 months later (yes really!) after he’d worked with a local jeweller in Hatton Garden at home in London to get the ring made… he proposed on one of my trips back to London in August 2009 over a low key breakfast in bed consisting of tea and bacon sarnies (he said it would be too obvious if he’d brought in champagne!). We had a lunch arranged with a group of our friends that day so I was able to share the news and show off my sparkler and have a couple of glasses of fizz before I had to get back on the plane home!"
Caroline definitely had a strong desire to get married at home in Scotland. "It just didn’t feel right considering anywhere else and luckily for me Stu was all for it, he even eagerly embarked on the kilt wearing and convinced all of his close family and friends to follow suit for the day.
We made a visit to Scotland in Oct 2009 to visit our shortlist of venues. Unfortunately none of them were quite right for us. We were literally on our way to the airport to fly home (feeling rather despondent) when I saw the sign for Hopetoun on the motorway and before we knew it we were driving up the sweeping driveway ‘just to look’. Stu and I were both speechless by the time we got to the house. Hopetoun is normally closed to the public in the winter months but we were very lucky that there was an antique fair on that day and the staff welcomed us in to look around – I burst into tears when we were led into the main house and said “this is it” and that was that, decision made (thankfully Stu was in agreement too)!
"The dress, the dress, the dress, oh the dress!! Ok, this was probably my favourite part of the planning!! My original intention was to try on a few dresses, come up with a short list and then arrange for my mum and best friend (Leah-ann, my maid of honour) to come over to New York for the weekend to help me make the final decision. Then I went to Pronovias and literally could not take the dress off and physically could not leave the shop without buying it! My dress was the polar opposite of what I had in mind when I first started to look – I didn’t want fishtail (would make my bum look big), I didn’t want fussy (no no no, not me), I didn’t want lace (I’d look like my granny) and I most certainly did not want strapless (because that’s what everyone gets and I’d have those ugly bits under my arms!)… I ended up with all of the above! I was shopping with a couple of my friends and after trying on a couple of ‘so so’ dresses (in the style I had specifically asked for but weren’t doing it for me), the consultant in Pronovias brought THE dress out. I looked aghast at my friends as if to say “she hasn’t been listening to me!!”, then she asked me to bear with her and given everything I’d described about our venue, the feel for the day etc she wanted me to just try it on. I reluctantly obliged and before she even had it on me properly I was “oooh-ing” and ‘aah-ing” and then I cried. So there I was in the dress pacing up and down the shop desperately trying to get my mum on the phone to ask if she minded if I got the dress without her being there (of course I knew she wouldn’t but I needed to ask her!)… my mother, the social butterfly that she is, wasn’t at home or answering her mobile so then I tried Leah-ann, couldn’t get her either, then finally called my brother and by this point I was a little nuts and he got little sense out of me but told me to buy the dress and chill out, a typical brother response I imagine! I finally got to speak with both my mum and Leah-ann who confirmed I’d made the right decision. They still came over for their weekend and we went to see the dress, we also shopped for their outfits in New York that weekend too, it was such great fun!
I loved the pre and post dress fitting and glasses of bubbles with my friends. The dress received better service on the journey home for the big day than we did! The security team at Newark airport stopped all passengers going through the x-rays until after my dress had safely passed through, it got to fly upper class on the New York to London leg of the trip (we didn’t!) and it got to fly in the captain’s cabin (seriously, how embarrassing!) on the London to Edinburgh leg! I was so attached to my dress I even put it back on the morning after the wedding just for 5 minutes before I had to leave it behind."
Caroline tells me... "The time spent getting ready in the morning is a huge part of the day, we both got ready at The Dakota Hotel so I didn’t leave my room that day for fear of bumping into Stu so it was pretty funny observing the coordination effort whenever anyone needed to leave either room! Getting ready with my favourite girls was brilliant and a really special time that in the planning I think I’d underestimated. I also loved having a little time with just my mum, my brother and my nephew (4 yrs) who came in my car with me to the ceremony."
"I’m not a pastel type of girl so we selected midnight navy for the girl’s dresses and decided on warm pink flowers for a pop of colour, the girls selected their own dresses as I wanted them to feel good on the day."
"My dad passed away a few years ago so I knew the day would be an emotional challenge for me so we had simple desires to just share our day with those who we loved and made us smile and, most importantly, we wanted everyone to have loads of fun, enjoy themselves and celebrate the momentous occasion with us! We opted for a Humanist ceremony that was extremely personal and just perfect for our personalities as it gave us a lot of freedom (our celebrant, Juliet Wilson, was fantastic!)."
"We loved writing our ceremony with Juliet, it was an amazing way to take stock and actually spend time thinking about the reasons we were getting married, we also discovered new things about each other along the way that made us laugh. Our favourite part of the ceremony were we were asked to write ten things we loved about each other which you don’t often articulate to one another. The ceremony was essentially the story of how we got together and what’s important to us. Our celebrant added a Scottish blessing at the end for all of our guests to recite, it was hilarious (even the Scottish guests had issues with the pronunciation!)."
Caroline went on to tell me how she organised a wedding in Scotland, while being based on the other side of the Atlantic...
"Planning our wedding from the US certainly came with its challenges! There is of course the geographical distance which meant we were unable to do many ‘in person’ visits to investigate, select and communicate with suppliers, combined with the added complication of the 5 hour time difference that meant we had do most of our communication by email or squeeze phone calls into our mornings at work to catch our suppliers in their afternoons which wasn’t exactly ideal.
However, it also forced us to be decisive and put our trust in recommendations and gut feel so it definitely had its upside that we didn’t spend weekend after weekend trawling around Edinburgh and getting ourselves into a spin about the little details! We worked with Luci and her trusty list of recommended suppliers, organised a few phone calls and in all honesty, we selected the suppliers who we had the most enjoyable and efficient phone calls with!"
Supplier info (UK)
Flowers: Planet Flowers
Photographer: Blue Sky Photography
Wedding film: Cherry Tree Films
Caterers: Heritage Portfolio
Groom’s suit: Moss Bros – kilt hire
Transport: Ecosse Classic Cars
Cake: MHOR Bread
Hair and Make-up: Christine Forster & team
Music: All arranged by the Doug at the Entertainment Agency Piper - Pipe Major Walter Anderson; The Frick String Quartet; The Rerr Terr Ceilidh Band; Soul2Soul Disco
Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas
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