Today I am thrilled to share this gorgeous intimate Lochside Wedding at Altskeith House with a hint of tartan, Africa and aviation.
Images of the day were captured by Ashley Coombes Photography.
Ashley Coombes is an experienced and respected Wedding Photojournalist, Portrait & Corporate Photographer working predominantly in Scotland but covering the UK.
“Kinlochard is a pretty special place.”
“Just an hour from Edinburgh or Glasgow, half-way along a road to nowhere, presided over by the massive silhouette of Ben Lomond, alternately benignly beautiful or intimidatingly impressive depending on the weather!”
“The weather could not have been kinder for Cassandra and Richard’s wedding at The Altskeith – well it was actually a week long “wed-a-thon” gathering of family from far and wide before they went off to live abroad.”
“The wedding day itself mixed fabulous attention to detail by a fantastic team of suppliers with the lovely relaxed vibe that comes with a country house wedding.”
“And there was just the right balance of sunshine and drama to show Scotland at it’s best – and I can’t think of another wedding I’ve been to with views of Loch and Ben from the Dance Floor!”
I hand over to stunning Bride Cassandra…
How did you meet?
“We both worked for the airline Flybe based in Glasgow.”
“We had both joined around the same time and our first time away from home, so our circumstances were similar.”
“We first met during a rostered flight together, and another time during ‘airport standbys’ and found we had a lot in common, same interests and passions in life.”
“I didn’t think anything of him ‘fancying me’ until he made the first move by leaving his roster with a message, and his availability for a first date in my drop file. We took it from there…”
When did you get engaged?
“We were engaged for a little over a year before we got married, we both decided that we didn’t want to be engaged for an extended period but long enough to give us time to plan the day thoroughly.”
“It was a few days after Richards 30th birthday on 13th July 2013 that he asked me and it genuinely took be by surprise I was really caught off guard!”
“We went away for his birthday to Kenya on Safari, something I know he had always dreamt of doing.”
“We both knew it was going to be our last proper holiday for a while, Richard was due to emigrate to start his new job while I finished my contract in the UK before joining him a year later.”
“For his Birthday he booked us to take a hot air balloon flight and it was an early start a really early start, hours before the sun rose.”
“I wondered why he spent such a long time getting ready, wearing his best shirt and why he had been so very protective of his bag on the flight to Nairobi.”
“The balloon ride was spectacular, a once in a lifetime experience. The views of the sun rising and of the animals will stay with me forever.”
“Once we landed we were treated to a champagne breakfast in the savanna as the sun rose and the day began to warm up.”
“As we were all sitting down to eat, Richard stood up and asked if he could have everyone’s attention.”
“At first I thought he was going to make a speech and embarrass himself but then he asked me to stand up and he dropped to one knee.”
When did you get married?
“We chose to get married on 6 th August 2014. We tried to get a date one year from being engaged but because it was the Commonwealth Games it was difficult to find suppliers who were free and Glasgow was busy!”
“We decided on treating our guests to a week long wedding extravaganza from the 4th to 9th August, filled with food, games and laughter!”
Tell us about your wedding planning journey.
“There wasn’t very much ordinary about our wedding planning.”
We’ve lived and called our home the west end of Glasgow for 6 years and got engaged in July 2013.”
“Not long after Richard secured a job in Dubai (and myself several months later), which then turned our plans and ideas on their head a little.”
“We have always wanted a small wedding with close family in a place special to us. But with Richards imminent move in November 2013, and my work being operated in Birmingham we had a lot on our plate.”
“We never announced any ‘ideas’ to family. We initially booked a registry office wedding with our best friends in York just before November, not telling family as to maintain genuine emotion of the day when we would decide to have a wedding day later down the line, and have a ‘proper big day’.”
“But things changed when we saw the passion and excitement from my Dad to walk me down the aisle. So we cancelled that and decided to hold off on a ceremony till later into 2014, but this meant being apart for another year.”
“This was going to be emotionally tough. in September 2013 we chose to have our wedding in Scotland the place we met and now call home.”
“I was strongly against having someone tell us the time, place, what we should eat, dance, and do for what is our day. I spoke to several places that explained set packages and I felt so detached and have no control over.”
“We wanted to choose the wines, food, music, colours, everything. I then stumbled upon a place we were familiar with called Altskeith House, a 10 bed roomed self catered country house.”
“So I gave them a call. I said to we want to be able to decide and manage our own day, Alison’s reply was you can choose and do whatever you want, it’s your day. This is exactly what we’d being looking for.”
“After meeting with her we knew we wanted a summer wedding and we decided to plan a week long wedding instead of one day, now aptly named by our best man “The Wed ‘a’ thon”.
“We decided I would leave my job in Birmingham and move back to our home in Glasgow and concentrate on planning the wedding, arranging the shipping of our house to Dubai and start proceedings to rent our house, and I would move to Dubai shortly after our wedding.”
“Firstly I decided start with a theme/colour scheme and base everything else around this.”
“We chose on English/Scottish theme, with hints of aviation using the colours of green, purple and cream (from the Scottish thistle, English Lavendar, and the Yorkshire rose).”
“This because we are originally from Hertfordshire and Yorkshire, but live in Glasgow and we both met in the airlines.”
“Nothing was going to be tradional about this wedding, and we wanted to have control of every aspect. Save the date cards and invites were in the style of airline tickets and baggage tags, embracing the colours. I was able to choose the writing, colours and include our favourite poem.”
“Secondly we chose our wedding photographer whom we met at the SECC show, seeing Ashley Coombes photos they just stood out above everyone else and captured exactly what our day was all about and who we were as people. His passion and enthusiasm was perfect.”
“As Altskeith house was only 10 bedrooms it was perfect for our small wedding and easy to manage our guest numbers. Choosing our closest family and friends to join us for a week of fun!”
“Now how to fill up a week? We made a week planner with our proposed ideas to see if they worked, and fitted together.”
“We chose to do all the things we love, who we are, and want our guests to embrace the beauty of Scotland.”
“Our initial plans included walking, Whisky tasting, BBQs, swimming, biking, tea tasting, family rounders, and of course our biggest passion..food.”
“We planned for guests to arrive 5th August and depart on the 9th August. Within the invite we providing a flight confirmation style itinerary of travelling costs, our plans of the week, extra things to see an do encouraging our guests to find their own piece of Scotland.”
“Food was the next big thing, and we love food. We didn’t want the food to be what you typically find at a wedding, so we had to find someone who would look at being bespoke to catering us at Altskeith and design our menu.”
“I found a small company based near Edinburgh called Duke Street Catering. Richard and I had discussed what we’d wanted, including knowing where all our food had come from, incorporate our favourite ingredients and be the best of British, all served with exceptionally high standard.”
“I have to say Lisa and her team at Duke Street delivered everything, initially on speaking I was pretty harsh to her (sorry Lisa), I needed to make sure they were the right company for us.”
“We also decided on having two BBQs for guests arrival on the 5th and the evening before guests left on the 9th, and stumbled across a a fantastic duo Sam and Jamie who had just set up their own outdoor catering company called Beetroot and Chocolate.”
“Two brilliant guys, who’s passion mirrored ours and their food options for BBQs were creative and different.”
“For all the lunches and cakes during the week we wanted a someone who was again local and created fantastic food, and it had to be a food emporium we visit on a regular basis. That was Kember and Jones located on Byres Road.”
“They made us a afternoon tea style lunch, cakes, and mouth watering salads. They were so helpful and adaptable, catering for our specific needs.”
“For the flowers I wanted something that looked natural, different and be able to supply us with the flowers we wanted and I was thrilled to meet a fantastic and lovely lady called Lisa.”
“Her flowers were exactly what we were looking for, Bold and delicate. Lisa was able to provide perfect flowers to reflect our individual style.
“We asked for Yorkshire Rose, Lavender, Scottish thistle (sea holly), daisies and wheat. We also had wheatshefs for the table centres with Lavendar and thistles in. One thing we loved about the flowers was the use of sage. It provided such a lovely perfume!”
We didn’t go over board on the flowers, I remained realistic and grounded with what we wanted. We used our own ribbon to march the rest of the theme.
“The cake as created by Liggys, I decided not to have anything traditional and chose to have a design based on where we got engaged as it was such a memorable time for us and would be lovely to have it featured in our day.”
“The designers created a leopard print icing and silhouette of elephants, rhino, lion and the African acacia tree. I chose to have Richards favourite chocolate sponge and lemon sponge with lemon curd and vanilla filling.”
“For the activities throughout the week we bought several of our favourite whiskies, and I researched their history, the flavours and smell of each Whisky and produced a tasting notes for each, also lots of information on general history of Whisky, how it’s to be drunk, and removing the taboo!”
“I also did the same for teas, I visited another one of our local haunts Coffee, Tea and Chocolate who teas are specialised and come from all over the world, the staff were really kind to provide me Information on tasting notes, flavours.”
“To accompany these I found a local supplier of homemade tablet and lavender shortbread.”
“For the walks and bike rides, my mum and I took our dogs up to Aberfoyle and researched the best places to visit for everyone, I collected leaflets and contact details of cafes, bike hire, canoe hire and generally went walking!”
“There is so much more I can talk about, and things I/we did but I’ll be here all day.”
“Throughout all the planning I remained calm, and did enjoy the whole process, although with Richard away we missed out on all the little things couples about to get married do, and it was really hard when I was going to caterers and suppliers and buying items especially in the last month bringing everything together on my own.”
“I gained so much help and support from my closest friends and family (they know who they are), they are such a credit to us through what was a difficult time and the time and effort they gave up, I will be eternally grateful.”
What was the best bit of your day?
“We have both said it was impossible to choose..”
“If I had to choose a best bit that I could relive it would be, just prior to the ceremony as I walked out of our bedroom to the top of the staircase and seeing my Dads face.”
“All my emotions hit me, it was really hard to not shed a tear (I’d said to myself I did not want to cry…with happiness of course on my wedding day).”
“Walking down the lovely stairs and into the entrance hall with my matron of honour and bridesmaid with me. Those few moments I had with my Dad were incredible.”
“The best bit and the bit I did not want to to end was walking out of the house on my Dads arm and looking out onto the forest and Loch Ard, the water was glass, white clouds and sun glimpsing through, the walk on the gardens to the Beech tree was I think the best moment of my life, and couldn’t wait to see Richard.”
“Seeing everything come together was truly heartwarming.”
“Richards best moment was stood under the beech tree watching me walk across the gardens towards him to take our vows.”
“He asked me not to give anything away in the planning for the ceremony or my dress, hair, make up, jewellery. I know he wanted to treasure that moment especially.”
What advice would you give to couples getting married?
1,Have a good breakfast the morning of the big day!
2, Do what YOU want, not what others tell/advise you. It is YOUR day. Don’t be worried to offend others, this is your time/your go and your moment.
3, We didn’t budget, and SO glad we didn’t. Weddings do not need to cost a fortune to have a magical and perfect day. With a little bit of ingenuity and thought you can create exactly what you want.
I made a lot of things myself (as did my Mum…bunting and bunting, blackboards and signs), did a LOT of homework / research and used family expertise (which also made them feel special and involved).
4, You will be surprised the amount of ‘wedding stuff’ companies at wedding shows tell you what you need…be realistic with your self. You don’t, and guests will not notice. Trust me.
5, Know what you want from your wedding before you commence planning. Maintain focus throughout.
6, Be demanding to suppliers (but not a Bridezilla). If they do as you ask, they are the right people for the job. Those that don’t reply, or you have to ring back are those you don’t need.
Keep them on their toes!
7, Simply enjoy it, it was stressful, and difficult at times. But said to myself, this only happens once. Take everything you can from it.
Thank you so much to Ashley for sharing this incredible Lochside Wedding.
What and incredible location to celebrate with those closest to you.
Absolutely adore the cake, so intricate and bringing back memories of special moments.
Also love how English and scottish tradition have been blended in the gorgeous bouquet.
And what can you say about Richards expression when he received his Brides, a a moment neither shall ever forget.
How fantastic to be able to create a whole wedding week to create something truly unforgettable for both couple and guests.
Venue: Altskeith Country House – Alison Rios McCrone – http://www.altskeith.com/
Photography: Ashley Coombes – http://www.epicscotland.com/
Wedding Cake: Liggys Cakes – http://www.liggyscakes.co.uk/
Rings: The Jewellery Room – Raymond Adlam – http://www.thejewelleryroomglasgow.co.uk/
Suit/Kilt Hire – Moss Bros – http://www.moss.co.uk/
Florist: Little Botanica – http://littlebotanica.com/
Wedding Dress: Sarah Louise Bridal – http://www.sarahlouisebridal.co.uk/
Hair: Simple Styles
Hair Pieces: Silk Blooms – http://www.silkblooms.co.uk/
Wine Supplier: Vino Valentino – http://www.vinovalentino.co.uk/
Music: Southside DJ – Craig Hunter http://www.southsidedj.co.uk/
Stationery: Angelfins – http://www.angelfins.co.uk/shop/
Cakes and biscuits for guest arrival: Wee Bleather Tea Rooms – http://www.weeblethertearoom.co.uk/
Wedding Day Caterer: Duke Street Group – http://www.dukestreetgroup.com/
BBQ Catering: Beetroot and Chocolate – http://www.beetrootandchocolate.co.uk
Midweek Catering: Kember and Jones
To Contact Ashley Coombes Photography