In February this year, Mark had the lovely experience of photographing Niccie and David’s wedding. A gorgeous, friendly couple; Mark came home and said it was more like being a guest at their wedding than a photographer. He even got to join them for a pint of beer as they had brought a keg of their local brew with them for their guests.
Niccie and David met at a 1974 themed fancy dress party for a friend’s 30th. Niccie was wearing a ‘Margot from the Good Life’ inspired maxi dress and David was dressed in a kilt (as apparently they wore them in 1974 too)! David proposed in Mount Cook national park in New Zealand. The couple had been on a helicopter trip around the summit of Mount Cook and landed on the Tasman Glacier. Niccie was petrified (not being the best flyer) and when they landed David proposed. Still in shock at having survived the journey and a detour by the pilot to show David a “close up” of the route to the summit, she asked him three times if he was joking!
Niccie’s paternal grandmother was a Dunbar before she married and her dad had purchased a kilt in the family tartan many years before. As David and Niccie wanted a small wedding, they decided to incorporate Niccie’s Scottish heritage and search around Dunbar and the borders. Having narrowed the choice down to 4 venues, the couple spent a weekend in Scotland looking around them. They went to Hoscote House for their first appointment and after meeting Lindsey, Lonnie and Maureen and taking in the stunning house and grounds, they didn’t really want to see any of the other venues; they both fell in love with the location straight away. David and Niccie had a couple of days relaxing at the house before their guests joined us – the whole weekend was a great success with 18 guests in total. Guests arrived on the Friday night so that those who didn’t already know each other could get chatting. By the Saturday everyone was very relaxed and the day went to plan. Niccie and David were provided with a wedding planner by Hoscote House and would recommend Lindsey Hunter to any couple planning their wedding. According to Niccie, “She was amazing. From start to finish she helped us through the whole planning process and was always at the end of the phone or an e-mail with advice or suggestions. Her attention to detail and organisational skills are something else! The whole weekend went so well and had such a relaxed feel because of all the planning that she made sure went into it beforehand.”
Niccie wore a Cymbeline Dubai dress. which she purchased from The Wedding Shop in Alderley Edge, Cheshire. Niccie tried on lots of dresses but knew she hadn’t found ‘the one’. She knew the style she wanted and when she tried this dress, she fell in love with it. As Niccie told us “The ladies at the shop were all so helpful and they had a wonderful dress fitter who altered my dress slightly from the original and also made a bolero jacket for the ceremony and having photos outside as I knew February in Scotland was going to be cold! It was a vintage style dress and made of very delicate Parisian lace. There were a few tiny sequins dotted around it which gave it a little sparkle which I thought was nice for a winter wedding.” Niccie and David gave Niccie’s Dad a gift of a gorgeous pocket watch. He was completely delighted.
Niccie’s shoes were from Bourne; she saw them in an old wedding magazine and managed to track them down on the internet. They were lace too which carried on the theme from the dress. Niccie had bought 12 small clips to go into her hair but as she told us “when Katherine did my hair trial she said as I had so much hair I needed a statement piece in there too so I bought a large vintage pearl hair clip too. My necklace was a pearl from Tiffany which David bought a few Christmases ago and so was my something old too. He also bought me earrings and a bracelet which he gave me on the day to go with the necklace and they were my something new. I borrowed a lace handkerchief off my mum with her initial in blue and that covered the something borrowed and something blue.”
Niccie did her own make up and she, Emma and her Mum had our hair done by Katherine Milby. Niccie said “She did a terrific job and was a massive help on the day fetching glasses of water and opening windows to calm nerves!” Lindsey Hunter from Get Knotted (who was also the couple’s wedding planner through Hoscote) did the flowers too. Niccie had lots of ideas for a winter themed wedding and knew she wanted dark reds and oranges with berries for a winter feel. Niccie left the ideas with Lindsey and she took it from there. Niccie said “Lindsey prepared 2 large displays for the entrance hall which were stunning. We took 5 large glass cubes up to her months before and she filled these with a display exactly as I had seen in a magazine. I wanted people to be able to see each other around the flowers when they were sat at the table! My bouquet had diamantes in each rose and she added a bit of sparkle to the mum’s button holes too. She did a particularly fantastic job of finding red roses on budget so close to Valentines Day!”
The couple’s cake was from The Cake Partnership. They saw exactly what they wanted on their website and Lindsey arranged fresh flowers on the cake for them. David and Niccie knew they wanted a fruit cake and as David is partial to the odd whisky they asked for whisky to be added to it. The Cake Partnership delivered the cake to Hoscote House on the Friday evening before the wedding. Niccie and David also used the services of Meldon Catering who prepared sandwiches at midday, canapés and the wedding breakfast and also a buffet later on. They also provided the waitress service. Niccie reported that “the food and was fantastic, especially the sticky toffee pudding for dessert. David hired his suit and suits for the Ushers from John Douglas in Macclesfield who were very accommodating as one of the Ushers needed to travel across from North Wales for his fitting. David’s cravat was burgundy similar to Emma’s bridesmaid dress and the Ushers both had cream as a contrast.
The couple arranged a piper (Roddie) recommended by Hoscote to play for 30 minutes before the ceremony and he also piped Niccie into the ceremony to Scottish Cathedral. David had quite a long chat with him about the state of Scottish rugby!
The couple had the rings delivered by an owl. Funnily, in the practice he behaved perfectly but during their ceremony, the owl flew into the room and then threw the rings at the couple, which hit the floor with quite a whollop making everyone laugh. Niccie also recalled that “In the madness of packing up on the Sunday, we also managed to leave our wedding cake in the fridge. We had to make a detour on our way back from Aviemore to collect it and fortunately the staff at Hoscote hadn’t eaten it!”
The hunt for a photographer began for the couple when a friend of Niccie’s, who had married in Scotland a couple of years before, gave them details of some Scottish photographers. According to Niccie “We looked at a few websites but they weren’t the kind of images we wanted. We both loved Mark’s website and after e-mailing Donna and then meeting up we didn’t entertain anyone else. Mark was more than happy to discuss various photographic styles and techniques to ensure we got the pictures we wanted. He also had the approach we wanted to the day too. We didn’t want the guests being commanded to line up or corralled with a whistle as some photographers do!! All our guests commented on Mark’s relaxed approach to photographing the day afterwards and how great he had been. Most of the time we weren’t even aware that the pictures were being taken.
Niccie and David are unable to isolate a particular element of the day as a favourite part. They told us “The whole day was exactly what we had hoped for. David had been hoping for snow and it snowed on the morning of the wedding. Something that caused the caterers, hairdresser and Mark a bit of a problem getting to the venue! We wanted a relaxed and informal feel to the weekend and this was achieved with the help of the quiet professionalism of the suppliers and the staff at Hoscote.
Brian Kelly through Freak Music provided the live entertainment at night. The couple had travelled up to see him play in Bowness. Niccie recalled “He did a brilliant job, everyone danced all night and a couple of our guests joined in as backing singers for Mustang Sally!” The couple’s first dance was to ‘Come Rain or Come Shine’ (Don Henley version). Niccie told us that “Brian didn’t have this in his set list and so he kindly learnt it for us and did a brilliant job. When choosing the song we didn’t want something current that may date and the lyrics of the song sum up how we feel about each other.”
In summary, according to David and Niccie the day was “relaxed and enjoyable in a fantastic setting, small, informal and focused enough to make the best weekend we’ve ever had.”