When and how did you get engaged?
“We met in Sheffield at University and when we got engaged very last April it was very unexpected”
“By 2012 we were 11 years in, and as far as I knew, happily settled with were no plans to make it more official.”
“I especially wasn’t expecting a proposal the day Ross seized his opportunity when we were skiing in the Cairngorms last spring. We’d arrived at the ski centre car park at Aviemore about 9 and because it was a great forecast and looking to be the best skiing day of the year, set out on an ambitious expedition.”
“We spent several hours skiing up and over the Cairngorm plateau, stripped down to t-shirts because it was so hot and sunny, then we went down the other side, ran out of snow, carried the skis for a while, waded through a river, carried the skis up another hill, crossed two more summits and were sitting on top of Braeriach in the late afternoon sun.”
“I knew after the next descent there was another long slog uphill coming. I had sore legs. I wasn’t keen. We definitely weren’t going to get back to the car park before dark.”
“We got up to leave and Ross knelt back down, I thought I must have missed a buckle on my ski boot. But I hadn’t- he was asking me to marry him! I was pretty taken aback. So were our friends Pete and Scut who were with us.”
“All three of us looked at Ross and his ring in slight disbelief. I got over the shock and said yes. We had hugs all round, some excited pictures, and I forgot all about the long way back to the carpark and smiled all the way.”
“By the time we got to Aviemore the only place left open was a Chinese takeaway so we finished the day with a greasy banquet for four on a picnic bench by Loch Morlich before getting tucked into our tent and spent the rest of the weekend telling everyone we met we’d just got engaged.”
Tell me about your Planning journey.
“It started very organised – we decided we wanted to get married close to where we live so it’d be easier to plan and had Comrie Community Centre booked by mid-summer.”
“One advice for the venue hunt – book ahead when you go to look at somewhere – the first time we went to have a look at the community centre (a former church) we just turned up and no-one was in. I didn’t want to waste the opportunity so we poked round the outside (a graveyard) trying to peer in and get a look at the décor and layout.”
“Ross gave me a leg up to one of the windows and I split my favourite jeans. A little planning and a quick phone call in advance could have got us a key, saved the jeans and a fair amount of embarrassment on my part…”
“The next time we got our act together and arranged to meet Jackie who runs the White Church – she showed us round and then helped us organise most other things or put us in touch with people who could.”
” We booked Andrew the caterer from Auchingarrich Wildlife Park, asked a Comrie musician to arrange a ceilidh, and made a list of all the songs we wanted on the playlist for later.”
“I designed the invites (A4 paper folded into four with a drawing of some owls on the front – the two on the end of this photo – and all the information on the inside, then photocopied by Danscot in Perth) and we got excited about sending them out.”
“After that we sat back, very pleased with ourselves and took the planning at a leisurely pace til the last month when we did a lot of emailing, e-baying, bus booking, wine tasting, downloading the songs for the playlist, chasing round the Asdas of Perthshire and Tayside for my favourite sparkling wine on half price (a lucky Valentines offer!), making bits and pieces like the table names and favours, arguing about the playlist and learning to dance.”
“It was a busy month – probably better trying to keep that early planning momentum going if you’ve got it.”
When was the Wedding ?
“We were married on the 9th March 2013.”
What was the best bit of your day?
“The getting married bit! The minister Graham made the service really special.”
“And the owl arriving to deliver my ring – Ross’s sister Rae organised not one but two owls to come to the wedding because she knows how much I like wildlife and thought there should be some there on the day, what a great wedding present!”
“The speeches were really good too – was very proud of my dad and Ross and the best man Rob was brilliant, after all this time turns out there are still some things I didn’t know about Ross.”
“Also the first dance – I’ve never done anything that made people clap in time and cheer before.”
Advice for other Brides and Grooms ?
“Get dancing lessons because it’s loads of fun!”
“Also doing the bouquets myself turned out to be a good idea – I hoped it couldn’t be that difficult to make a bunch of flowers look pretty and it wasn’t as dificult as I imagined, plus I really enjoyed it. (Just get some advice on tying them, use raffia first then go over with wired ribbon and keep it v tight – thanks Mrs Cowie!).”
“Enjoy it while it lasts – it probably is the best day of my life so far, mainly because of all our friends being in the same place.”
The building was perfect and Jackie who works there did an amazing job of helping us to organise everything – I’d recommend it to anyone because it’s such good value and Jackie has lots of honest advice about what will work and what won’t and has so many contacts with other local suppliers.
She recommended us musicians for the Ceilidh and one of them even put us in touch with another resident (Kenny the butcher/sound technician) who lent us leads to connect our computer to the hall sound system for the playlist.
All the White Church facilities, like the soundsystem, are great and Jackie also offered us things like fairy lights and toys to entertain kids (hoola hoops, bean bags, gym mats etc).
Food – Andrew from Auchingarrich Wildlife Park.
A couple of weeks after we went to meet Andrew and he gave us a quote we went to the café at the wildlife park and were so impressed by the delicious food and the massive portions we booked straightaway.
All the food on the day was great – especially the canapés and the broccoli and mushroom strudel – and the service was friendly and really quick and efficient.
Andrew made everything except dessert which was a wedding present from our friend Hannah – 96 chocolate brownies!
The Wedding cake was a joint effort – my mum baked the cake and handed over to Ross’s mum for icing – we knew it was going to be a work of art but didn’t know what she was planning so it was really exciting when she unveiled it the day before and we found all the wildlife and outdoor scenes.
One of my favourite pictures from the wedding is of my friend Claire (a researcher with a PhD in squirrel ecology) taking a photo of the cake – I didn’t see this moment on the day but I know what’s happened is she’s just spotted the red squirrels on the middle tier!
Wine – Claire from Majestic in Berwick is a friend of a friend and recommended us some really good wines to go with the food.
We went to the Stirling shop to taste her suggestions and they delivered for free straight to Comrie, on a sale or return basis.
Gown/Accessories/Suit – Ross wore a suit from a friend who gave it away because he was emigrating and luckily it fitted him perfectly.
There was actually some competition from one of the guests who was also hoping to wear it but Ross pulled rank as the groom.
I wore a fishtail dress with embroidery like cherry blossom that came from the St Luke’s Hospice shop in Woodseats, Sheffield which has a big collection of wedding dresses for a charity shop.
I always knew I was going to get a second hand dress because that’s how I try to buy most things but I went on quite a few shopping trips first – thanks to all the bridesmaids and other friends who patiently sat outside changing rooms and looked at pictures.
I was very lucky with borrowed and blue – one bridesmaid Kate offered me her veil, my friend Jen lent me her blue garter and my mum lent me her necklace and also gave me my wedding ring – special because it was my granny’s.
I bought new shoes from House of Fraser and a hair accessory from Ivory Whites in Perth who were also very patient with the trying on and steamed my dress for me – it made a massive difference.
Flowers – The flowers for the bouquets came from Lorna Davies in Perth and Ross’s mum and I made a couple of bouquets each.
Lorna was very patient and gave me great advice on choosing and ordering – the key thing being probably don’t choose to get married the day before mother’s day if you can avoid it (we failed here, check your dates!).
Ross’s mum also made button holes and the arrangements for the church featuring the wicker deer out of leftovers from the bouquets, extras from Comrie Florist and other bits of foliage she foraged with my mum from the woods.
Favours – my mum made bramble jam – yum – and Ross tied ribbons round the little pots.
Dress alterations – Julie at Iish in Woodseats, Sheffield made it possible for me to get in the dress!
It was a bit too small when I found it and she came down to the shop to have a look and see if there was enough material to expand it, then not only made the alterations for a great price but hand-washed the dress and it came up beautifully.
Hair – Leanne from Flutterby Bridal Hair did myself, my mum and all the bridesmaids – she was really good at advising on styles for us all and lots of guests commented on our hair.
Makeup – Laura Johnstone from Glasgow did make up for everyone on my hen do – part of a surprise evening at the Hidden Lane Tea Room organised by my friend Katy.
Laura did such a great job and was so friendly I asked if she was free in a month’s time – she made us all look lovely and generously sent me off with some lipstick, although unfortunately I had a massive failure to reapply even once because there was so much going on.
Photographers – Ross and Kirsty from Imagine Images were really easy to get on with, they got some great pictures and were unobtrusive as well – hardly noticed them once we’d finished the posed pictures of us together.
We tried to convince them to stay for the party but sadly think they had an early start next day!
First dance – The first dance would never have happened without Lisa from Lisa Jackson School of Dance – she taught us for just 7 hours and worked a miracle!
A friend at work gave me her number three weeks before the wedding when I realised I had no idea what I was going to do on the day when Rihanna and Calvin Harris came on.
‘3 weeks!!!!!!’ said Lisa’s reply to my first text but we met with 2 and a half weeks to go, followed by ‘It’s VERY quick’ when she heard the song choice.
We started by learning the quickstep and by a couple of lessons later Lisa thought we could safely manage a couple of minutes of quickstepping with a lift and have to hope the guests would join in when we ran out of steps.
We started quickstepping round the back garden after dark, and with a couple more lessons we could do the whole song and three lifts.
And then we did it on the day and it was amazing. There was a repeat performance by popular demand at the end of the night (or at least that’s how I like to think it happened) – the second time round everyone else joined in and it was one of the best moments of the wedding.
Transport – Sweeney’s coaches from Muthill, near Crieff took people who weren’t staying in the village home at the end of the night in a very comfortable bus for a very reasonable price. And they were very accommodating considering how long it took to persuade some of the guests that it was home time.
Thank you to Jenny for sharing her and Ross’s story and to Imagine for sharing those beautifully captured memories.
I particularly love that cake, such love and thought and perfectly suited to a wildlife loving couple and the crafted deer arrangement in the church is certainly a statement piece.
And what about the owl, such a surprise to the Bride and something that will make the day even more memorable.
From the crafted details, to the beaming smiles, a truly wonderful Scottish Wedding day.
To Contact Imagine Photography