We absolutely adore Sarah & Grant’s wedding – shot by O&C Photography. The kilts, the guestbook and that beautiful dress! :) We asked the lovely couple for some info about the day…
How would you describe your wedding theme?
We didn’t have a theme as such but we wanted an elegant, romantic wedding. Grant is from Inverness in the north of Scotland, and is an Officer in the British Army, so we had a very Scottish, military wedding, all held in Fishguard, Pembrokeshire, where my parents live and down the round from where I grew up.
We had a piper who played as the guests arrived, and who also piped us out of the church after the ceremony, and Grant and his guard of honour were in full military dress. It all gave the wedding a really timeless feel.
What was your favourite part of your wedding?
One of our favourite moments was being led out of the church by the piper, at the end of the ceremony. It was amazing to look around and see all our favourite people in the world smiling and cheering, and it was all made better by the fact that we were standing hand in hand with each other, as best friends, and now husband and wife!
We both also loved the atmosphere during the wedding breakfast – the hall had such an amazing buzz from all the chatting and laughing. Just looking around, we could see friends and family that had never met before getting on so well, and everyone just generally having a great time. It was a beautiful moment!
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?
Sarah – I am fortunate to have so many wonderful friends but having said that, it really was so easy to pick my five beautiful bridesmaids! My gorgeous little sister Miriam was a natural choice, not least because I knew she’d look amazing coming down that aisle, but because she’s also such a fantastic friend as well as my sister. Then it had to be my two best friends from home, Rowan and Sophie.
We’ve been best friends since school, we still are, and they are like sisters to me. The same goes for my two best friends from university, Hollie and Helen. Helen is my closest friend and the one person (other than Grant!) who literally knows me inside out and back to front – we lived together for two years and she really is the most amazing friend anyone could ever ask for. She was my chief bridesmaid and was absolutely invaluable in the run up to the wedding!
All the girls looked absolutely stunning on the day and it was an honour to follow them down the aisle on my big day. They managed to organise two fabulous hen dos for me too, including getting 12 of us to Malta and back for an absolutely insane weekend! Thank you girls!
Grant – My best man, Kris, was the natural and obvious choice – he’s practically a brother to me. I think Sarah and myself were both nervous about his speech but he did an amazing job on the day and it was the perfect combination of humorous and heartfelt. He was absolutely invaluable in terms of his help on the day too and did a fantastic job. We didn’t have to worry about potential issues or problems on the day as we knew Kris would step up and take care of them for us.
It’s thanks to Kris, the ushers, and the beautiful bridesmaids that we could relax and enjoy the day as much as we did. Thanks guys!
How did the proposal happen?
Grant and I met in December 2010. A friend of mine from university was also in the army and was working at the same base in Germany as Grant. He invited me and some other friends out to Germany for the Officers’ Mess Christmas ball. Grant was the one who collected me from the airport, as a favour, as my friend was busy collecting his other guests from another local airport, and we hit it off from the word go! As luck would have it, just as things were getting going, Grant deployed to Afghanistan for 6 months, in March 2011.
In October 2011, having been home from Afghanistan for just over three weeks, I knew Grant was planning to head back to Glasgow for a few days to see his best friend (and best man), and his family. Initially I wasn’t sure whether to believe him or not, given his amazing surprises and his habit of showing up on my doorstep when least expected. Having said that, a few texts about the traffic and a stop off at Gretna Green services for pick n mix and a Starbucks and he had me convinced.
Coming home from work that evening to a quiet house, I found a small note in the middle of the floor from Grant, directing me to my bedroom. I opened the door to my bedroom to find a bowl of strawberries and a bottle of chilled prosecco on my bed, and another little note explaining that there were more notes hiding around the house, and directing me to the microwave to find the next one. In the microwave were two empty McDonald’s coffee cups, to remind me of our first ‘date’ – a coffee in Hannover airport the day he collected me.
And so the notes continued, scattered all over the house: under the sofa, on the balcony, in the washing machine, in the kitchen cupboards, on my shoe rack, in my bedside table, in my wardrobe, and so on, and next to each one, he’d left something that reminded me of us, or of something we had done together. The last clue led me to the bathroom. As I picked up the last envelope, I saw underneath it the same rubber duck I had brought back from our first weekend away together in Hamburg, and tied around its neck in fine silver thread was the ring. Sure enough, Grant was hiding behind the shower curtain and he popped the question. Talk about a proposal!
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?
We wanted to give the wedding a touch of ‘us’ wherever we could, so we tried to design and make as much for the big day as we could. We designed the save the dates, order of service and invitations ourselves, using photos of us and our adventures together to give them a more personal touch.
The table numbers were one of my favourite things to make. I asked Grant’s mum for a selection of baby photos, and paired each of them with photos of me where we were either doing the same things, or posing in the same way! Each table number had a pair of photos of us, both at about the same age, and they gave the venue a much more personal touch.
We also had a DIY guest book. I wanted to do something different, and something that would give us a constant reminder of our big day and the people that were there to share it with us. My mum and dad (as they still live near the coast!) collected loads of pebbles for us from local beaches and we put them in a huge vintage crate at the entrance to the reception venue. The guests used marker pens to leave us a message on a pebble. We’re still getting round to it, but we’re going to put all the pebbles in large glass vases to form part of the décor in our house.
Our favours were also homemade, by my mum and dad. They made lots and LOTS of jam and stored it in little jam jars. We designed our own labels for the jam jars with ‘Spread the Love’ written on them, as well as our names and the wedding date.
Perhaps our biggest DIY achievement, however, was designing and making our own wedding cake. It was a five-tier red velvet cake, to go with the red bridesmaids’ dresses, and covered with buttercream and fondant icing. We even made the smaller icing roses ourselves!
What was your first dance & why?
We chose ‘Kissing you’ by Des’ree, which is from the film Romeo & Juliet. It’s a beautiful song that we both love, but made even better by the fact that the best man’s girlfriend, who is also a great friend of ours, recorded her own version of the song for us, and that’s what we danced to.
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?
Not a thing.
Do you have any advice for future couples?
Make the most of every minute; the most important thing is to enjoy yourselves!
Why did you choose your venue?
I grew up in Pembrokeshire, and have always wanted to get married at home. Grant has been home with me several times and also loves the area.
The venue itself, Rhosygilwen, is somewhere my parents have visited a few times over the years, and somewhere my mum had been promising to take me for ages. One visit and we knew it was the venue for us. The hall itself is a great open space with a lovely rustic feel to it – we loved the wooden beams in the ceiling and they even came with ready placed fairy lights for the evening.
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?
Don’t ever go to sleep on an argument. We’ve both learnt that it’s always better to just swallow your pride and make up.
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?
The spreadsheets! No, in all seriousness, it was the DIY bits that we loved the most. In particular, after all the hard work, seeing the finished product of the wedding cake was fantastic.