25 May Stacey and Andrew at Banchory Lodge Hotel: 1 August 2015
Let’s hear all about Stacey’s lovely wedding. What a day we had, she also has some great advice. Thanks Stacey!
Andrew proposed on holiday in the Caribbean. He managed to keep the ring well-hidden, I didn’t suspect a thing! Wedding talk began almost instantly; we lounged by the pool and discussed possible wedding dates and venues. I knew when it came to making decisions for our wedding it wouldn’t be too difficult. Having been together for 10 years, we know each other inside out and both have very similar tastes.
Once we returned home, we went to view a few venues. We knew we wanted a summer wedding so there were only really two contenders. In the end we were both won over by the lovely staff and picturesque setting at Banchory Lodge. We set a date and began planning our big day! We hired out Cobbleheugh for the wedding weekend – a six bedroom lodge set in the grounds. We invited our families to stay for the weekend. It was really nice for us all to get together the night before the wedding and just relax. Cobbleheugh is beautiful and the perfect base for a wedding.
We went to a few wedding exhibitions to get a feel for what we would like for our wedding. It’s a great way to meet suppliers and see their work first hand. This is where we saw Janie Barclay and knew straight away that we wanted her to be our photographer. Janie and David were great fun on the day and made us feel at ease. Our wedding album is beautiful. We went for the fully loaded package, which includes the photographer, cake and piper. We couldn’t have been happier with them all.
We knew to book the ‘big’ things quite early on as they tend to book up well in advance. We chose Slinky for our band. They did a mix of songs including ceilidh, which is exactly what we wanted. Our first dance wasn’t a song they had covered, however they were more than happy to learn it and perform it for us. On the day, all our guests commented on how good they were. At one point, I think everyone in the room was on the dance floor.
Choosing the dress was both fun and difficult. I went to my first appointment thinking I liked one style and came out thinking the exact opposite. It’s important to have people with you who will be honest, yet not overpowering. I bought my dress from Avorio in Fochabers. The staff really do go out of their way to ensure you’re happy. It’s well worth a visit!
We made our own stationery, from the save the date cards to the table plan. It was a lot of fun and a lot of hard work! A massive thank you to my mum and maid of honour for all their help with these. I would definitely recommend making your own stationery if you can; it’s massively rewarding and will definitely save you a few pennies.
We wanted to keep the décor quite simple and pretty. We were recommended Willows Florist and they did not disappoint. They listened to what we liked and put together beautiful arrangements for our bouquets and table centres. We hired fairy lights and mood lighting to give the reception room a different feel in the evening. I also fell in love with the chiavari chairs which Banchory Lodge kindly offered to arrange for us. Nothing was too much trouble for them.
It was important for us to keep our wedding intimate and personal. We chose to go for a humanist ceremony and had George Caldow as our celebrant. We wrote our ceremony which was more like a story of our life together so far and what we both hoped for the future. We wanted to get our families involved in the day as much as we could. Andrew’s sister did a reading for us during the ceremony, and the majority of our bridal party was family.
The whole day goes by in a flash. Enjoy every second of it!
Looking back, our only regret is that we didn’t have a videographer. We spoke about this a lot whilst wedding planning and couldn’t decide if it was really important to us or not. We then left it too late to get one booked.
My only advice – be realistic with your budget, try to enjoy the planning and not get bogged down in the stress. Remember why you’re getting married and forget about other people’s expectations. The most important thing is sharing your day with the people you care about. If things don’t go according to plan, it’s not the end of the world. You will still look back and remember the happiest day of your life.