Our Scottish Wedding Venue

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When it came to selecting a venue I knew in the back of my mind where I wanted to get married but Ingimar had never been and it wasn't a traditional wedding venue. We planned a trip back to Scotland and booked a few wedding venue visits. They are felt very much the same to my - planned, organised and easy. But this also felt like we were just selecting a package, a very pricey package, but someone everyone else does. We, or I, wanted something unique, I guess many Brides do. I wanted to know I would be the only Bride there on the day, that our guests wouldn't have been to a wedding there before to compare it with and that it meant something to us. We also wanted to feel comfortable there, as if it was like home, where the kids could run around and not be told off. A lot of the venues were very beautiful but they were too picturesque - like you didn't dare touch anything. That just wasn't us. 

After visiting many venues on the outskirts of Edinburgh we decided on Netherurd, a Girl Guiding House in the Scottish Borders. Netherurd is home to many of my childhood and young adult memories, and a lot of happy times with family. My late aunt was the first Guider to hold an International Camp here and I have many memories camping in the field, doing crafts in the out buildings and staying over in the old Brownie House, now the Garden House. I went through International selection here and I was selected to represent Scotland in a trip to Uganda in 2002 - which possibly started all my travel bug adventures.

Netherurd House

I took my mum and sister, we walk around and agreed it was a great venue and meant so much to our family but I now had to convince Ingimar. On our next trip over we drove down to Netherurd. We were met by Janice and her charming hospitality of coffee and freshly baked shortbread - I think she won the Viking over right then!!

She talked us through what kind of events they had done before and what they could offer us, it sounded perfect and we were very excited. Wandering around, it all just felt right and I knew it was our venue. 

We got the date in the diary and that was it, deposit paid, we were onto the guest list. 

We decided to book out the entire site and I am so glad we did. We had the main house which slept all of the wedding party, we had the option of being married on the lawn though the weather meant we married in the Scotland Room within the main house which was beautiful. We used this room for champagne and canopies after and then the Garden House for our Wedding Reception. We had also planned games on the lawn and a mini Highland Games on the Sunday morning but Scotland decided to gift us some pretty torrential showers so guest happily staying indoors and mingled instead.

On our Wedding Day, as our guest arrived we had a piper (such handy friends we have) piping some traditional tunes which it really set the atmosphere. It was lovely getting ready upstairs with my Mum and bridesmaids whilst guests arrived to the sound of Scottish bagpipes. The rain really brought out the luscious green of the gardens and paths which framed the buildings beautifully. 

As guests walk into the main house, they were met by an usher and given an Order of Service. My Mum had create some stunning flower arrangements and these were dotted around the house, and taken to the Garden House for the reception after the Wedding Ceremony. I used this entryway to gather any Wedding Cards and Gift in my Granddads old leather suitcase. 

The Scotland Room was set the week before the wedding and it was so exciting to see it all transform. Walking down the aisle with my sister and best mate was fun, we took some silly pictures and had a good laugh, just the three of us. 

On the morning of the wedding, Ingimar and his best men made their way into the room for the nervous wait. I was still upstairs in the Bridal Suite, where we had gotten ready. I was feeling calm, I was ready for this. We were actually 30mins early!! Walking down the wooden stairs in my beautiful - if a little challengingly high - Kate Spade gold glittery heal, I made my way to my Groom. I couldn't wait but also didn't want to the day to go by too quickly. 

I met my Brother at the landing and took his arm, ready to walk down the aisle. The Scotland Room was beautiful and it was amazing to see everyone who we know and love there to support and share in this very special day. I walked towards Ingimar, we turned to the minister and the ceremony began. There was a large gold framed mirror in front of us which meant the reflection connected us to our friends and family throughout the ceremony, which I loved. I was beaming, I was so happy. 

The ceremony was about 30minutes and it was just wonderful. All that planning, all the to-do lists and excel sheets, the days counting down, we had done it - Mr and Mrs!! Walking back up the aisle and out onto the landing, we both let out a very excited and happy YAY!! and then looked at each other and laughed a little as we had done exactly the same thing. I can't put into words how happy, lucky and amazing that moment was. It's my favourite moment of the day.

After a few moment alone, and then with our immediate family, we headed out (in between showers) to have our wedding photographs taken. 

Wedding couple

Back to seek shelter from the typical Scottish rain, we were driven the short distance over to our reception in the Garden House and guests followed, led by our piper. This gave us a few minutes alone to enjoy a little bubbly as husband and wife before joining our guests for the Wedding Breakfast. 

Scottish Piper

We spent the Friday before the wedding decorating the venue both outside and in. I had ordered a load of balloons and we managed to get helium tanks and weights. We covered the signs with personalised signs for our wedding and I had got these printed and laminated at the graphic printers. We used a lot of ivy pulled from the site and hung all over the room, lights and on tables. I had pre-designed a lot of it using photographs I had taken when visiting the venue and I created collages so people could see what I was imagining it would look like. This worked really well and meant lots of people could join in and help out, and I could be buzzing around between them all. 

We still had the wedding signs I made for my brothers wedding so I spray painted them white and repainted the correct arrows showing which way parking or the ceremony was. As there is a flag pole up at the main house, we had to fly a Scottish and an Icelandic flag, it was so fun and I think our guests had a good giggle at the little touches we had put into the day. 

The House and its grand staircase was decorated simply. We used white balloons strung with ivy and white ribbon as clusters and tied these to the stair posts. A lot of the flower arrangements were designed so they could be used twice - once for the ceremony and then transported down to the Garden House for the reception. The Scotland Room had ivy hung over lights and paintings, and we used antique candelabras within the flower decorations on the fires mantelpiece. 

The Reception was held down in the Brownie House where we transformed the room with balloons, ivy, wall hangings and calligraphy. I wanted to keep it simple, easy and low cost so we made everything. The wall hangings were sheets from a Flipchart, stuck together with a printed calligraphy word on them - they were them put up over the cupboards to hide them. We then hung a length of bamboo garden cane from the ceiling, with some ivy twisted around it, this framed the wall hanging. We did this around the room so it all pulled together and linked with our wedding signage, menus, order of service, etc. The stag was already in the hall and gave us some great inspiration for our wedding crest which was also on all our Wedding stationary. We brought Mums Rudolph from home and put a Viking helmet on him, he stood proudly in the garden, surrounded by fairy lit trees. 

The Bridal Suite was decorated by my Bridesmaids and their partners with balloons and candles, it was so magical. They ever created a fourposter bed by tying helium balloons to the corners of the bed frame. On the bed they had written out our initials with a love heart, arranged using the knitted lengths of Icelandic wool that were on the tables centre pieces. We switched off the artificial candles, crawled into bed, and dreamt the night away. 

Netherurd Brownie House
Wedding reception

The venue was ideal and gave us a lot of space for kids to play and adults to sit and chat or to get on the dance floor and party. We partied into the wee small hours, with a ceilidh and then a disco with my good friend as DJ playing a playlist made up of songs our guests had pre-requested. The day flew by but I took a few minutes to myself to just stop and take it all in, that definitely helped. What an amazing day!!

I have to add that I'm loving being married - it's true that not much changes but I feel so much more settled and I'm loving life with my soul mate. 

Find out more about Netherurd here

photos: Maksym Gryshchenko + Robert Hoerenz


Our Wedding Outfits

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Working our way through our wedding photos, sending out Thank You cards, remembering the big day and reliving all the happy moment. That's what we have been doing recently and it's been the push I needed to sit down and write a few more wedding related posts. Todays is all about our wedding outfits, the gifts we gave each other (how Ingimar spoilt me) and the traditions of 'something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue'.

Check out those handsome Vikings!!

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groom

Starting off with the Viking himself, Ingimar. He wore an Icelandic tweed suit bought here in Reykjavik from Herrafataverzlun KormΓ‘ks og Skjaldar. After visiting the shop a number of times, we (yes, I went along and we sorted him suit as a couple but I kept my dress a secret) decided on the colour, and the suit was altered to fit. He bought brown brogue shoes and a light blue shirt in Edinburgh and added some person touches with his late Fathers cufflinks and an Icelandic flag bowtie. 

details

With photography in mind, I asked my sister to make the hangers we hang our outfits on and we used them as photo props on the day. She does pyrography so I order a set of wooden hangers on Amazon, printed out the names we needed hangers for in our calligraphy wedding font and she did a wonderful job - Thanks Steph. Then my very talented Mum, who did all our flowers, made some boutonnieres for the wedding party from Eryngium and garden foliage and left a few spares at the entrance of the venue for guests to enjoy wearing too - Thanks Mum.

Wedding Dress by Wed2B| Solstice Belt by Wed2b

bride

My wedding dress was from Wed2b, a fabulously affordable chain of bridal shops throughout the UK. I found them after skimming bridal forums in a bid to seek a shop or boutique which was friendly and approachable after some pretty snooty Edinburgh experiences. We drove through to their Glasgow branch (they now have an Edinburgh branch too) and I bought and brought home my dress that same day. I was so excited and relieved, I genuinely couldn't wait to wear it again. After taking it to get altered, I decided to add a little more bling and purchases this diamante belt which we hand stitched on. 

Comfort was key for both of us and we wanted to be happy and confident in our outfits, which we both were. I think Ingimar looks just the part and very handsome (of course) and I adored my final look. I felt amazing walking down the aisle and enjoyed partying the night away. 

sonia and ingimar

shoes

I'm a huge fan of Kate Spade, you will probably tell, and so when I started looking at wedding shoes, I just had to treat myself. I never thought that I would go for such a girly look but - a girl's only a bride for a day so why not shine. Ingimar insisted and treated me to my shoes, he ordered them online via the States as a colleague was coming back to Iceland. They arrived a week before the wedding so having not had time to wear them in, I was lucky on the day - but I don't think any blister could have spoilt my day. 

My heals were Kate Spade, gold, glitter-covered leather pumps and I adore them. They have a 3.5" heal which was a little more challenging when you are already shaking with nerves but they were super comfortable and I just slipped into them. I wore them all day until right after our first dance at which point I changed into my party shoes. My evening party shoes were the gold, glitter-covered trainers which were a collaboration between Kate spade and KEDS a few seasons ago. 

Wedding heals by Kate Spade | Evening trainers by Kate Spade + KEDs

Sadly there are a few people very dear to my heart who are no longer with us, and it was important for me to have a little piece of them with me on the day. We got a little sentimental.

Something Old

I wasn't sure about wearing a veil, it was much more something my Mum saw as important. I tried a few on but they didn't feel right, it just felt like I was playing dress up. As this was something important to her, I asked if she still had hers and she did. We climbed into the attic and found an old leather case. Inside was her hand stitched, white veil, still in almost perfect condition. I put my hair up into a bun and we added the veil. It felt so right. Not convinced, she wanted to add a little something. In our search for the veil we had come across a piece of old, hand-crochet lace which was my Grans. We cut it up, I know but it was ok, and starched it. This lace (which was living in the garage, unused) now formed a beautiful crown at the top of the veil and perfectly framed the look. She then added a few sticky pearls randomly on the veil to match my dress - a very creative and talented Mum.

Something New

On the morning of our wedding, Ingimar sent his sister and nephew over to my room with a Morning Gift. This is not something we tend to do in the UK so I was not accustomed to this. Before we left for Scotland I had given him some gifts including a pair of whiskey glasses but he truly spoilt me on our wedding day. Not only did he treat me to my wedding shoes but he also gave me the 'Heart of Gold' bangle I had (subtly) shown him and a beautiful pair of pearl and diamonte earrings which I wore on the day. And, to top it all off, they came in a Kate Spade black 'Cameron Street Havana' tote bag - spoilt rotten!!

Something borrowed

In the run up to our wedding I called my Uncle and asked if he had any of my late God Mothers jewellery that I could borrow and wear on my wedding day. He told me it had been handed onto my cousin and so we met up and went through the collection. I chose my 'something borrowed' to be my aunts gold bracelet and wore it with love and pride.

Something blue

My mum and I set out all the items to be brought to the venue in the days before the wedding. Just for fun, we ran through the list "something old, new, borrowed..." and realised we didn't have something blue. She left the room and came back in a few minutes later with a little jewellery pouch which contained the beautiful sapphire necklace gifted to her by my late Father. She said I could wear it. It meant a lot to her, to me and to our family friends who knew the story behind it.

My Wedding Dress

post-wedding

The dress is back in its bag, hanging in the wardrobe back home. It sure does take up a lot of space and was pretty damn heavy but I loved wearing it. To be honest, it looked beautiful and you would never have guessed it cost less than Ingmar's outfit!! So with that in mind, and the fact that I'll only ever wear it one, I wasn't concerned about it - I danced, I ceilidh'd, I trapped across a field in the rain after our photographs and I wore it with pride, love and a crazy amount of happiness. The dress now tells this story and I really should get it to the dry cleaners!!

photos: Maksym Gryshchenko + Robert Hoerenz


What's your something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue?