It was love at first sight when Brent and Julian’s eyes met over a jelly bean machine. They got engaged on a clifftop on the Moray coast, with a Haribo jelly ring. And it’s safe to say things have been pretty sweet ever since. Their vintage-inspired, DIY village hall wedding is making us smile lots today. And as for their Best Dog, we are more than a little in love…
How did you meet?
We were both out with friends in Aberdeen in 1997! Brent had put money in a jelly bean machine which became stuck in delivery mode. Ever one to help, Julian put his hands under the machine to catch the sweets. Conversation was struck up and the rest is history. Julian proposed to Brent on a clifftop on the Moray coast with a Haribo jelly ring in 2016.
We were inspired by…
Vintage finds. We did as much as we could ourselves with the help of friends. The walls of the hall were draped with lengths of agricultural fleece and there were drapes of voile in the rafters to soften the effect of the originally sparse hall. A friend, Nicola Cousins, sewed around 800 bunting flags onto webbing strings. The tables were dressed with old books, hurricane lamps, flowers in hessian bound jam jars and tea lights with vintage buttons scattered along the hessian runner. Most importantly, Mike, our 15 year old Cocker Spaniel was ‘best dog’, resplendent in a tartan bow tie!
An old friend, Lesley-Anne McWhirter, of Urban Florals undertook the task of arranging the flowers. We wanted a vintage/village theme and the flowers were traditional and arranged in hessian-wrapped jam jars. There were also larger displays such as that in an old milk churn situated at the entrance porch to the hall. To achieve the ‘cottage garden’ theme, we also had locally grown flowers from Caroline Zanolini of Forbes Flowers Alford who provided buckets of Sweetpeas, Cosmos, Scabious, Cornflowers, etc. Lesley-Anne worked like the proverbial Trojan with the help of Catrin Fowden to arrange the displays and 48 jam jars for the tables. Without her hard work it would not have happened. Thanks are due too to friends who let us into their gardens to plunder foliage!
Our stationery was homemade using the Bennachie tartan as a background and we used Brent’s vintage Morris Minor, called Dorothy .
Tell us about your venue…
The venue was the King George 5th Memorial Village Hall in the rural village of Chapel of Garioch (pronounced Geerie!), Aberdeenshire. With the help of friends, we transformed an ordinary village hall into a magical space filled with flowers, lanterns, bunting and vintage finds sourced by Brent. The ceremony was conducted under a birch arch made by Julian and decorated by Lesley-Anne. The backdrop was the hill of Bennachie (pronounced Ben-a-hee!) . A marquee was sited at the back of the hall, housing a whisky bar and gin and vodka bars, which proved very popular!
How did you choose your photographer?
Nicola was recommended by friends and perfectly captured our day. As there were two grooms we obviously didn’t need shots of hair, make-up, bridesmaids, etc! However, we met Nicola a couple of weeks before the wedding to take some “put you at your ease” photographs and on the morning of the wedding she came to the house to take some photos of us getting ready (largely drinking Champagne!), kilts being prepared, etc.
For the ceremony and reception we didn’t want formal photographs and here Nicola came into her own, circulating unobtrusively and capturing some great, candid shots of us and our guests as we enjoyed fizz and canapés on the lawn. Nicola captured our day perfectly, with photographs that will remind us of a great day for ever.
We love your kilts! Which tartans did you go for?
Brent wore the Bennachie Tartan and Julian the Ancient Colquhoun . We had game bird feather and salmon fishing fly ‘buttonholes’ and deer horn sgian dubhs.
Slow shuffle or big number?
The Band played traditional Scottish ceilidh music. The first dance was a massed affair, with a crowded dancefloor of people joining us in the “Gay Gordons”. What else could it be?
Tell us something surprising about your day…
Instead of presents, we asked our guests to bring a good bottle of spirits to stock the whisky, gin and vodka ‘stations’ in the marquee in the evening. We had provided all fizz, wine and beer for the day.
Don’t announce to the world that you are growing your own wedding flowers!!
Because we live here and we wanted a local wedding. Despite looking the part, Julian is actually Welsh but don’t tell anyone….
What’s the one truly unforgettable thing about your wedding day?
That so many friends and family from all parts of our lives came to share the day with us. Brent’s twin sister and niece came from Australia, Julian’s cousins usually only seen at funerals (!), old friends from New Zealand, an old colleague and friend from Singapore and newer friends from Holland. It was a real mix of people, who all seemed to mix so well.
I love that Mike got in on the wedding action! Anyone else thinking of having a Best Dog? Christina x