We meet Kathryn and Craig who had a spring wedding at Norton House Hotel & Spa in Edinburgh full of surprises.
“Initially we didn’t want a hotel wedding venue however after viewing Norton House Hotel & Spa, we quickly changed our minds. Craig absolutely loved the long drive up to it from the main road; it made it feel really special and grand. The hotel feels like it is in the middle of nowhere when in actual fact it’s an ideal location for everyone to reach.
We loved the openness and light of the Garden Suite, the full length glass walls gave a real outside/inside vibe, it was the first venue where we could really picture what our wedding day would look like. We also liked how private the Garden Suite was with the stone wall surrounding it, the bar area was modern yet comfortable and felt really relaxed and informal.
An old friend, Paul Metcalfe, was working at Norton House at the time. He made the planning process feel really special and I was so happy and comforted to have him involved (it made me relax more knowing that he was keeping an eye on things) however I now know that even if he wasn’t there, the whole Norton team are superb, so I wouldn’t have had anything to worry about anyway.
The wedding day was a day of love filled with surprises, surrounded by our close friends and family – just perfect. We surprised each other with part of our vows being a secret until we said them, we surprised our guests with a close up magician between the ceremony and wedding breakfast, my sister and maid of honour surprised us with a highland dancer to end her speech and we surprised our guests again during the reception with a white wedding bouncy castle – I cannot recommend this enough, it is the most fun especially in your wedding dress!
We had a metallic colour theme for our day, rose gold and copper and we wanted to incorporate the themes ‘us’ and ‘our adventure’ together.
- We had copper foil wedding invites which were specially designed by Made by Mika.
- Our table names were countries we had visited together; I made them from Vintage postcards which I sourced online.
- Our table plan was a world map which I bought on Ebay, I spray painted a frame I bought from Ikea copper to hold it and there were luggage tag cards showing the guests names tied with string to the relevant country for each table.
- Our name cards were all made by my mum and dad which were smaller luggage tag shapes backed onto a map which we had cut up and hand written.
- Instead of a traditional guest book we had a signing globe with a sign that read ‘love makes the world go round, please sign our guest globe because you mean the world to us.’ We absolutely adore our globe and it’s a feature in our living room and a real talking point when people visit.
- Our first dance also tied in with the theme, it was to FleetWood Mac’s ‘Everywhere’ we both love Fleetwood Mac and this song seemed to fit perfectly especially with the line ‘I want to be with you everywhere’.
- Our centrepieces were varied glass bottles on logs - the logs came from a tree my dad had cut down in our garden and he took the time to cut up and varnish, all the glassware came from friends and family. My bridesmaids and my mum then helped me decorate these in all kinds of different ways but incorporating our colour scheme.
We couldn't have pulled it all off without the help of my mum and dad and my bridesmaids. Every part of our wedding involved the help of friends and family and it was a wonderful feeling knowing that our whole day was possible because of all of their love and involvement. We also had the help of some fabulous suppliers:
Karol Makula Photography. I absolutely love his work and had followed him on social media platforms for a while. Once we met him we knew he was the photographer for us. Craig is really uncomfortable in front of the camera and Karol put him at ease instantly and I think it really shows from our pictures. On the day Karol couldn't have done more to ensure we were happy, while getting ready he actually saved me from stressing out and having a meltdown with our videographers, I think there would have been tears had he not been there. He was so calming, relaxed and professional and we felt totally at ease knowing he was going to capture our day perfectly. We barely knew he was there most of the time and he captured the most beautiful images, I can’t recommend Karol enough.
Crystal Bows Bridal Boutique. I found choosing my wedding dress the most stressful part of all the planning, I knew exactly what I wanted but when I tried dresses in that style I didn't like any of them! Incredibly I won a competition which was £500 off a Crystal Bows gown, I tried nearly every dress in the store and was at the point of giving up when my mum pulled out a dress which was everything I had said I didn't want. Initially I refused to try it on, but the minute I came out the dressing room my mum said ‘that’s your dress’. Jade from the boutique suggested adding some embellishment, she held a belt over the shoulder and down the back of the dress and I instantly burst into tears it was perfect! Jade and Diane at Crystal Bows are wonderful, I love that it’s a mother and daughter team, they really made it such a special experience.
Humanist Society Scotland. Karen our celebrant was just brilliant; from the moment we met her we both absolutely loved her. She was so relaxed, funny and friendly, it seemed like she was our best friend and had known us for years which made writing ‘our story’ with her so easy. On the day despite how nerve-wracking it is standing in front of everyone, Karen made us feel so comfortable. We incorporated hand fasting and drinking from a Quaich into our ceremony which went down really well as a lot of our guests had travelled from south of the border and had never been to a Scottish wedding or experienced a humanist ceremony before.
Wedding cake. I asked my mum if she would make our cake, she agreed but was a tad apprehensive, she bakes for fun but a wedding cake was a whole other ball game! I assured her I had faith in her, knowing that no matter what it looked like it would be made with love and that was all that mattered. What she made was so beautiful I think she even surprised herself! It featured edible copper confetti along with the most stunning hand crafted sugar peonies on the top which must have taken her hours if not days to make, she painted the edges with edible copper paint to tie it all in. It certainly was a talking point especially when we displayed it with a wooden spoon my sister had gifted my mum engraved with ‘Baked with love by Mummy T.’ It was amazing to have something so personal and know that she had baked her heart and soul into it making it perfect for us.
Poppy Floral Design. Lyn is amazing! I visited a couple of florists but Lyn really understood what I was looking for and was incredible to work with. She even let me know when all the flowers had arrived, I went up to her workshop and couldn't believe how much there was, watching it turn into bouquets and centrepieces has really made me appreciate just how much work goes into being an amazing florist. On the day we were completely blown away with all the floral arrangements. My bouquet was huge and surpassed my expectations. Lyn created the most beautiful floral arch for our ceremony and incorporated hydrangeas into the arch and centrepieces that were from my grandparent’s garden which we had picked, dried and sprayed gold so they could be there in spirit.
Nicola Price Hair. Nicola does my hair regularly at The Den so I knew she would do an amazing job with mine and the girl’s hair. I’m so fussy and Nicola knows it but she’s so good at what she does that I trust her implicitly, she gave me a chic wavy ponytail which I just loved!
Stacey Whittaker MUA. I’d followed Stacey on social media for a while and knew she was outstanding and in high demand, I was delighted when I was able to secure her for our date and on the day our make-up was phenomenal, it lasted perfectly all day.
Woody the magician from Top Class Magic. What can I say other than WOW! We had arranged for a close up magician to entertain our guests between the ceremony and the wedding breakfast while we had photos taken, unfortunately about 3 weeks before the wedding they had to cancel. I desperately searched the internet trying to find a replacement at short notice and came across Woody the Magician. On the day he was phenomenal, we had kept it a surprise from everyone and it was great to see their reactions when he approached them. To this day people are still asking 'how did he do that with the onion' he honestly was one of the best things we had at our wedding and worth every penny!
Drew from Thistle Piping Central Scotland. Drew is my mum’s best friend's brother, he is an amazing piper and we were honoured to have him pipe for us. He created such a good vibe and our guests from south of the border loved getting their photo taken with him too!"