The Offbeat Bride: Fiona, Guesthouse Manager
Her offbeat partner: Tom, Guesthouse Manager
Date and location of wedding: Kirknewton House Stables, Kirknewton, Scotland — October 12, 2013
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Tom and I wanted our wedding day to be a big party with everyone we love. From the start, our aim was to have a day were I wouldn't have to be introduced to anyone, which meant no random +1s! I wanted to know everyone coming.
I love the '50s era, so we used that as our main inspiration, hoping particularly that I would find a dress in that style. That proved harder than we first imagined, but I eventually found one that suited me. It was important to me that I arranged and made all the decor, thankfully with some help. I wanted to save money on things I knew I could make myself and for our personalities to be seen. This included our mutual love for great food, Tom's love of great beer and music, and my love of crafting.
We were so lucky that we've got musical, creative, and giving friends which meant we could be “those guys” and call in as many favours as possible from the people who know us best. When arranging, I made sure Tom was involved with all aspects that interested him. I was a little stumped on the food, bar and music, but together we made a great team.
The whole day took place in converted stables just outside of Edinburgh. We rented a marquee to extend the floor plan to allow for our 110 guests and dancing. Our parents, my bridesmaids, and a few others were so amazing and helped make all of the colourful pom-poms which decorated the hall. We got access to the venue two days before, and if we hadn't we wouldn't have managed it! It took so long to expand and hang those things.
We wanted to involve certain guests in the arrangements, particularly aunties who wanted to help. An auntie of mine offered to make jam for the favours. She made three different types, jarred them in different mini jars, and topped it with cuttings of colourful material. We also decided on a pudding table instead of a dessert with the meal. That meant we could ask friends and family to bake yummy desserts. They chose what to make and brought it along on the day. The pudding table was so busy as soon as it opened, the photographer barely managed to get any photos!
Tell us about the ceremony:
Our ceremony wasn't high up on our list of things to prepare. We initially thought it was a minor part of the day and was only a last-minute preparation. We were wrong. It turned out that, even though it was October, every Humanist was booked up except one. We chose a Humanist ceremony because the venue didn't have a civil ceremony license and it was proving hard to convince a minister to do our wedding outside of a church.
Tim, our Humanist celebrant, was fantastic! We met up with him and told him our story before he sent us away to do some “homework.” We were told to write down things we love about each other and made us want to spend our lives together — what marriage means to us and our story from our personal perspective. We had to do our homework separately and then have a date night and read them to each other. It was such a lovely thing to focus on during the planning of the whole day.
After that we used the homework as a basis to write our ceremony. We knew we wanted a reading from one of the bridesmaids, “A Lovely Love Story” by Edward Monkton, a song from our friends that we both loved, and Tom's mum wanted to do a reading. During the homework stage, we had asked our parents what Marriage means, and Tom's mum wrote a lovely passage about it which she read on the day.
We wrote the ceremony, which is unusual in Scotland, so our vows were very personal and silly. I promised to make his morning cup of tea and he promised to pass his driving test. We then swapped rings which have our fingerprints on the inside of them, his print on mine, mine on his. No one else can see them, but we know they are there.
My funniest moment:
The best man's speech was very funny. Everyone had set themselves up for an unprepared, yet funny speech of him taking the piss out of Tom, but they weren't ready for what he did. He was, in fact, prepared and, as you can see in some photos, there was a projector screen installed in the hall. He produced a presentation of “The Life and Times of Tom's Facial Hair.” This consisted of flashback photos of Tom prior to meeting me, followed by the change that was seen over the time he knew me. He included fake Facebook posts about how lonely he was before and how happy he was now. It was so unexpected and he had everyone in stitches by the end.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Bride's Dress: Grace Harrington “Prague”
- Bride's Bolero: Mori Lee
- Bride's Hair Clip: Mairi Brunning
- Bride's Shoes: Clarks “Chorus Jazz”
- Coral Bridesmaid Dress: Watermelon
- Caterers: Annabelle's Catering
- Photographer: Ingrid Mur
- Cocktails: Solid Liquids
- Humanist Celebrant: Tim Maguire
- Wedding Rings: Vanilla Ink
- Flowers, cake, makeup, hair, favours, music, and car: all arranged through family and friends
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!