The Wedding Day
You can read Part I of Susie and Paul’s wedding story here.
Susie told us that “the wedding day was just amazing. Calling it the ‘best day of your life’ sounds clichéd but it was just brilliant, we had so much fun. Both Dalhousie Castle and Mavis Hall Park were perfect and were a perfect combination for us: we got to stay in a beautiful castle but we had the wedding in a character filled farm whose relaxed and intimate feel was more ‘us’ than a the formal setting of the castle. The ceremony was so lovely, really relaxed. We loved that everyone was stood, gathered around us, some with a beer in their hand, watching us make special promises to one another. Mavis Hall Park was the perfect venue, so many of our guests told us they thought it was an incredible place – they were blown away by how beautiful it was down by the loch, how cool the barns were and just how well run everything was. Fiona and her team are so professional and so lovely, they couldn’t do enough for us and they organised the day to perfection. And there were no complaints from Fiona when she received last minute emails about giant balloons and surprise guests on the day! We couldn’t recommend Mavis Hall highly enough.”
A humanist ceremony was chosen by the couple and the celebrant was Ivan Middleton. Susie told us “when we first met Ivan we thought he was lovely and on the day our guests thought he was great, really funny. We really believed in the humanist values of love and respect and loved that we could make the ceremony really personal by writing most of it.
The couple’s piper (Kenny Patterson) piped Susie down the aisle and then stood behind the marquee playing relaxed bag pipe tunes. Then after the ceremony, they had highland games for all our guests including games for the kids. This was organised by Mavis Hall and was “brilliant fun”. Luckily the sunshine came out just in time for them.
Susie and Paul asked friends and family to video the day, and they told us “they have produced an amazing record of the day for us. We asked some good friends to walk round and take Polaroid shots of everyone, which we have since stuck onto the frame we used as a table plan on the day. We also set up a video camera in a room upstairs in the barns, and we asked all our guests to make a little speech giving 3 words about Paul and 3 words about Susie and a message to send us on our way. This after a couple of drinks was highly amusing and a lovely keepsake. We intended to do one too but didn’t get the time.” Susie and Paul hired a live band called Wildcard which they said “were great. They played lots of up to date music and some old classics. They also included some Scottish dancing sporadically throughout the night. It got everyone up on the dance floor, and the choice to have it in between the other songs was a good call, as it was tiring for some of the older guests (and us!). Our first dance was a song called State of Mind by Goldie, a nice relaxed drum and bass tune with heart felt lyrics are really relevant to us. We asked the band to play ‘500 miles’ by The Proclaimers as soon as our first dance was finished to get everyone jumping around on the dance floor. It worked!”
The couple had Scottish slang as the table names, like “Merrit”, “Haud yer weesht” and “blootered” and bird cages hanging from the old beams in the barns. Susie and her new mother in law decorated the bird cages with ivy (from the florist), paper flower garlands and small sequined birds. Ivy and fairy lights were wrapped around the pillars in the barn.
Susie and Paul told us that they first saw Archibald Photography online and “just thought their photos were amazing. We then made a swift trip to a wedding fair and met Donna and Mark there. We were really impressed with their work and really liked Mark which is something people always say is important for your photographer. We have so many favourite images, we can’t choose one! We love the one of the two of us holding hands, where you can’t see our heads! We also love the ones in the woods, with Paul holding the balloon the colours are amazing. And the picture of us in the distance holding hands in front of the cool house and large tree. And also the one of us kissing with Susie holding the umbrella under the trees. Oh and the one of the little girls holding the baskets. And the ones of the boys in front of the castle and the ones of Susie with her bridesmaids. There really are too many.”
When we asked Susie and Paul about the best part of their day, they told us “everything! The relaxed ceremony, amazing Mavis Hall venue, the friendly staff, the lochside wedding, the highland games, the spit hog roast, the live band. Weirdly the rain made the day, we loved that our guests were happy to take their shoes/stiletto’s off and put on wellies to walk down to the loch side under their umbrellas, which they have since told us felt cosy. It also meant that the ceremony felt intimate because everyone was huddled round, although we were pleased to see the sunshine coming out just after we were married. Oh and one other thing – the last dance! The band surprised us with ‘you take the high road’ and Paul and I danced and jumped around in the middle of a circle of all our family and friends holding hands – it felt so amazing, a very happy ‘moment’.
We had so many worries before the wedding about the weather and checked forecast hour by hour as we thought it was so important it to be dry so we could have the ceremony down by the loch. On the day it was raining and that actually made it. It certainly made it different, not many people have been to a wedding where everyone (including the bride) is wearing wellies. Everyone raved about it. So our advice is: don’t worry about the weather it definitely won’t spoil your day.”
Susie and Paul would sum their day up as “just the most fantastic day: relaxed, fun and filled with love.”