Happy Bank Holiday Weekend Lovely People!
I hope you’re all enjoying yourselves whatever you are doing. I’m thinking beer and BBQ’s are probably on most of your to do lists today.
I am in LOVE with today’s real wedding. Not only have I been desperate to feature the work of the amazing McKinley Rodgers, whose wedding photography blows me away every time I see it, but also Kate and Mark’s incredible boho style and free spirited attitude towards planning their wedding completely mimics my own and it has been a pleasure reading all about the inspiration behind their ideas.
From an incredible feather headdress to the dream catchers hanging from the ceiling of their stunning wedding venue – Kate and Mark’s beautiful laid back ethereal bohemian wedding is guaranteed to bring out the nomad in you.
So……pour yourself a G&T, grab another sausage from the barbie and spend the next 20 minutes reading through Kate and Mark’s lovely wedding story……
The Wild West Coast of Scotland…..
We got married in August at Crear on the wild west coast of Scotland. Mark and I are both Irish but we met while we were at university in Edinburgh, eight years ago. Having travelled the world over, we still maintain that Scotland is the most beautiful country in the world. I love its wild beauty and isolation. We thought it would make for a truly romantic wedding setting. From the outset, we decided we wanted a relaxed and informal wedding in an intimate setting with excellent food, wine and music. We didn’t want anything over the top – just a relaxed weekend with family and friends. It was also really important to us that we could put our own personal stamp on the day.
A Truly Breathtaking Wedding Venue….
Crear was the only venue we visited. We flew over to Glasgow on a rainy weekend in January and drove the three hours across the Rest and Be Thankful and the Kintyre peninsula to beautiful Crear. It was love at first sight! We had caught Crear on the darkest, dullest, wettest day and even then, we knew it was the one. The house was completely our style – relaxed, cosy, and most importantly, filled with light, even on the grey-est of days. There was enough space for all of our wedding party to stay there and a cottage across the fields for Mark’s family to stay in. And they were both ours for four nights. Most of our guests stayed in Tarbert, a beautiful fishing village and were transported to Crear by Roddy Anderson’s blue bus. We invited 70 of our closest family and friends to celebrate with us.
We can’t recommend Crear enough as a wedding venue. The views are truly breathtaking and it is like nowhere else on earth. It is a really special place. I loved the remoteness and the feeling of really getting away from it all. The team at Crear were absolutely fantastic and catered to our every whim. Joanne, Mel and Alan in particular put in an outstanding effort to make sure everything was just as we wanted it. The whole team worked so hard to keep us happy and relaxed over the whole weekend. Nothing was too much trouble and they were totally on the ball.
A Message In a Sole……
The first thing I bought after we got engaged was my wedding shoes. I gave up wearing stilettos years ago as I just can’t walk in them. I live in booties so I decided that’s what I would wear on my wedding day! I was browsing the January sales with my bridesmaid and she found the most perfect little gold Maje booties with tassles – so me! It was fate – I bought them without hesitation. While I was getting ready on the morning of the wedding, my bridesmaid delivered my booties to Mark and he wrote a message on the soles.
A Delicate, Etheral and Lightweight Wedding Dress…..
I always knew I would find the dress hunt challenging! I wanted something I would be comfortable in and that would reflect the relaxed vibe of the venue and the wedding. After trying on over 50 dresses, I started exploring the possibility of designing my dream dress. I drew out some sketches, found some inspiration online and arranged to meet with Sarah Foy, a bridal designer based in Dublin. Sarah was incredibly patient with me throughout the whole process and understood my vision perfectly – flowy, ethereal, lightweight, bright and delicate. The top part of my dress was silk with a layer of chiffon, with capped chiffon sleeves and a low back with a chiffon frill. Sarah also spent the hottest days of last summer painstakingly sewing delicate beading to the dress. I wanted a semi-sheer effect for the bottom half of the dress to show a bit of leg and this was achieved by using only layers of chiffon. I was so delighted with the result and Mark loved it too. The dress was topped off by a feather headpiece by my favourite Australian designer, Spell Designs, and a Swarovski crystal and tulle cuff by Johanna Johnson, a wedding gift from Mark.
A Friend In Beauty….
My very talented bridesmaid, Sarah, did my make-up. We had two trials in the lead up to the wedding. She used YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat Illuminating Foundation, Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, Bobbi Brown nude eye shadow palette and our absolute favourite product, YSL Crème de Blush. For my lips, I used Mac Lipstick in Creme Cup. I also used Chanel nail polish in Rose Caché. Local hairdresser, Catherine Martin at Style Argyll put lovely beachy waves in my hair.
A Knitted Navy Tie and a Silk White Pocket Square….
Mark wore a gorgeous tailored Hugo Boss navy suit with a knitted navy tie and silk white pocket square. He looked so handsome. For his wedding gift, I bought him cufflinks with the map grid reference of Crear hand stamped on them. The best man and groomsmen wore their own suits with the same knitted tie and pocket square as Mark. Mark gave them both a pair of Ray Ban Wayfarers as a gift – they looked very cool. Our pageboy, Mark’s nephew, Finn, wore navy trousers, a white shirt and a polka dot bowtie which I bought on etsy. He carried a burlap and lace ring cushion, also sourced on etsy. Mark proposed with my mum’s stunning sapphire and diamond engagement ring which she always promised me. We had it modernised slightly. We designed our own wedding bands, mine a square platinum ring and Mark’s, a brushed silver band.
A Walk down the Aisle to a Fiddle….
Famous local fiddler, Archie McAllister, played as our guests arrived off the bus. I was supposed to walk up the aisle to a beautiful rendition of Wild Mountain Thyme/Will You Go Lassie Go by the Corries but the laptop had other ideas and went on the blink at the last minute! Thankfully Archie was able to come to the rescue and play the same song on the fiddle – it was perfect. The ceremony was without a doubt my favourite part of the day – it was so romantic! We opted for a humanist ceremony which was conducted by the lovely Jess Fitzgerald. I loved the process of preparing for the ceremony. Jess met up with us a few months before the wedding and asked us to write a piece each about why we wanted to marry each other. Neither of us knew what the other wrote and it was such a lovely surprise to hear Jess read them out during the ceremony. We had three readings: a Hindu Blessing, 1 Corinthians 13, and my personal favourite, Edward Monkton’s, A Lovely Love Story. We also incorporated the prose, “These are the Hands”.
Two Amazing Photographers…..
From the very beginning we knew we had to have Penny and Cam McKinley Rodgers as our photographers. In fact, their availability was a factor in deciding the date of our wedding! We can’t thank them enough for driving all the way from Bambury to a remote corner of Scotland to capture our day. And capture it they certainly did – in addition to over 700 stunning stills, they produced a short film slideshow which included video and audio from the day. I’ve literally spent hours watching this over and over again! The results of their hard work brought so much joy to both of us and our families and friends. They were so much fun to have around on our wedding day – we absolutely loved having them there.
DIY White Decor, Antlers and Feathers…..
Early in the planning process, we decided that a simple, boho, ethereal and laid-back theme would most accurately reflect our style as a couple – and lots of white!
We wanted our wedding stationery to reflect the style of the day so we designed and made all the stationary ourselves. The process took weeks but we were thrilled with the results! We typed the text on Microsoft Word and printed this on brown recycled card from the Daintree Paper Shop in Dublin. We got a bespoke antler stamp made by the Rubber Stamp Co. and used silver ink to stamp our “wedding motif” on each invitation and on the envelopes. We also made an accompanying information booklet which was strung together with twine. The invitation, the booklet and a silver dipped white feather were tied together with white polka dot tulle and twine. We made our orders of service using the same brown recycled card, twine and our trusty bespoke antler stamp! The stamp also featured on our menus. We had an individualised menu with our antler motif for each guest depending on what their dietary requirements were (I know – tedious, it took forever!).
The studio at Crear has expansive views across the surrounding green fields to the sea and the stunning Paps of Jura. The view changes constantly throughout the day from atmospheric clouds and belts of rain to glorious sunshine reflected on the sea – so romantic! We didn’t want to take away from the view so we kept the decorations simple – white on white on white. We spent many summer evenings in the garden spraying silver tips on white feathers and attaching the feathers to fishing line. We strung these from the roof trusses so we had hundreds of little feathers floating above us. We also had fairy lights wrapped around the roof trusses.
My Mum bought gorgeous Moroccan lanterns of varying sizes which we brought over to Crear in the car from Ireland. We brought our own cow hide rug from home which we were married on (our version of a red carpet!). We strung white and cream pom poms from the North Pom around the room. We also had a fabulous dream catcher from Spell Designs which was a gift from my cousin who hails from Byron Bay. I love the sound of Austrian cow bells so I bought some on ebay and etsy and placed them on random chairs before the ceremony. We attached a note asking guests to ring the bells when we shared our first kiss. It was so lovely to hear a chorus of bells during our first kiss as a married couple!
For confetti, I bought a kilo of lavender on ebay. I decanted these into confetti cones which I made from brown paper. We placed these in an old wine box which we painted white and stencilled our initials on with silver spray paint. My Dad has a deer farm so adhering to the antler motif, we painted a set of antlers that one of his stags shed last year and used it to display the table plan. The antlers were placed on sheep skin rugs and my favourite white crochet throws from Spell Designs and the Tusk Collective. Mark and I are quite into our adventures so we named our tables after challenges that we either shared or supported the other through – including the Etape Caledonia, Dublin Marathon and Everest Base Camp Trek. We also made marriage advice cards for our guests to complete which we read while on our honeymoon – this produced some quite hilarious results! Finally, we bought two vintage maps, one of the world and one of the UK and Ireland and used pins and twine to show where all our guests had travelled from to be with us at Crear. We lit a candle in an old sweet jar for absent family and friends.
Simplicity – Daisies, White Peonies and Some Greenery…..
We didn’t want our flowers to look “arranged”. Our brief to Mel, the florist at Crear was “simplicity – daisies, white peonies and some greenery”. She did an amazing job bringing our vision to life. We had daisies, gypsophilia and some white peonies loosely placed in a mix of jars and blue stained apothecary bottles, just like we would at home! We tied bunches of gypsophilia to the chairs which lined the aisle. My bouquet was made up of white peonies, daisies and thyme.
Food, Drink and Treats…
For dinner, we chose to use three long trestle tables rather than round tables for a more intimate feel. Our chef, Alan Boslem, cooked up a delicious feast. The pièce de resistance was a sorbet inside a hand blown sugar apple which you had to crack open – incredible! He also provided a much needed pick me up curry in between the ceilidh and the disco which was served in cute white takeaway boxes. Mark is a huge carrot cake fan so we opted for a simple carrot cake with cream cheese icing. Instead of favours at the table, each guest was given a slice of cake and a fork going home on the bus back to their accommodation. For the kids, we left colouring books and hairy coos on their chairs to keep them entertained during dinner. We ordered the wine and champagne from Majestic Wine and it was delivered to Crear two days before the wedding. Mark also ordered some award-winning Scottish craft beers from Harviestoun Brewery in Alloa which really went down a treat.
A Whisky Kiss…..
Modern ceilidh band, Whisky Kiss, provided the entertainment for the evening. They started with a ceilidh which got everyone up on the dancefloor. After almost two hours of everyone flinging each other around in true ceilidh style, we had a quick stop for Alan’s delicious curry and then it was back on the dancefloor for the disco tunes.
The weather on the eve of our wedding was stunning and we had a drinks reception outside, taking in the spectacular views. On the morning of the wedding I awoke to a howling gale and sideways rain. I didn’t give two hoots! My bridesmaids and I put on our hiking boots and waterproofs and went for a walk in the wild weather, stopping to say hello to some hairy coos. It was a really special time spent with the girls. My favourite part of the day was the ceremony and I just couldn’t take my eyes off my gorgeous husband to be!
We decided early in the process that there were three things we were willing to splash out on for our wedding – the holy trinity of a unique venue with great food, talented photographers and a brilliant band. We saved money by doing lots of DIY and we never regretted spending the extra on these three things. Our guests loved the unique surroundings and character of Crear and Alan’s cooking was outstanding. The ceilidh was a highlight of the evening as it brought everyone together on the dance floor.
The Line UpPhotographer: McKinley Rodgers
Bride’s Dress: Sarah Foy Design Feather Headdress & Dream Catchers: Spell & The Gypsy Collective
Bride’s Shoes: Maje
Bride’s Hair & Make-Up: Bridesmaid Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss Bridesmaid Dresses: Sarah Foy Design
Flowers: Crear Florist
Decor & Styling: DIY Wedding Stationery: DIY Catering: Crear Kitchen Band: Whiskey Kiss
Well I don’t know about you but I am now planning a trip to Scotland! What a stunning venue and how amazing was Kate’s feather headdress – so Festival Brides.
Mark and Kate’s first dance will be featured under Independent Love Song this afternoon and its a gooden!
Festival Brides xx