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Jo and Dom’s natural and relaxed Scottish wedding with a ceremony in a ruined chapel, picnic on the beach, and foraged flowers

Charlie / 27 January 2014

Taylor & Porter Photographs

A real wedding feature has been long overdue, and what nicer way to kick off 2014 than with the exquisite wedding of Jo and Dom. They got married last July in Scotland with a ceremony in a ruin chapel amongst the dunes, a beach picnic for all their guests, swimming in the sea, foraged and wild flowers for the bouquets and table arrangements, and a beautifully decorated tent – phew!

I could go on and on and on about everything that I love about this wedding, but it’s better than I just let you immerse yourself. Go get lost in Jo and Dom’s wonderful day…

Taylor & Porter Photographs

“We wanted our wedding to be as natural and relaxed as possible. We wanted to be able to enjoy it, and for everyone else to have a good time too! We had a humanist wedding in a tiny ruined chapel on the east coast of Scotland, just down the coast from Edinburgh followed by a picnic on the beach.”

“I grew up there and every Christmas my family walk down the beach to the ruin with some friends and hold an informal Christmas ceremony where we sing carols and have readings and generally acknowledge that its Christmas.”

Country bride with foraged flower bouquet and flower crown - Taylor & Porter Photographs

Taylor & Porter Photographs

“Dom proposed on boxing day 2012 on a rock just beside the chapel and there was never any question that we would marry anywhere else. It’s a very important place to me. Our wedding guests had to walk over the dunes for half an hour to reach the chapel so the weather was definitely a concern! But no, we didn’t have a wet weather plan!”

Taylor & Porter Photographs

Taylor & Porter Photographs

Taylor & Porter Photographs

“We told everyone to come prepared with wellies and warm clothes and if it really was awful weather we would have a crack team of hardy folk run down there with us in our jeans and wellies, get married and return to the hotel for a picnic inside!”

“The evening reception was at Greywalls Hotel which has been my family’s business for 2 generations and has always been my home. We were so lucky to have the use of it! In the end the weather was unbelievably good – we all got sunburned, which is quite something for Scotland!”

As an illustrator, Jo decided to design their wedding stationery, which I think perfectly captures their wedding day celebrations. “I’m an illustrator so it’s sort of what I do! I’m not sure where the ideas came from…they just appear! I had a lot of fun doing it. I often do stuff like that for other people (so if anyone’s interested I can be found at www.joweaver.co.uk – shameless plug!).”

Whimsical hand draw wedding stationery by Jo Weaver Illustration - Taylor & Porter Photographs

On the morning of their wedding, Jo spent it getting ready with her family and bridesmaid. “I had stopped doing anything wedding related at lunch time the day before because it was more important to me to be relaxed than everything be perfect. I spent the morning getting ready with my Mum and Dad, my sister Flora and my bridesmaid Mim.”

“Mim and I decided the feeling was like “the Christmas eve feeling” that you get as a child. You know you’re really excited but you can’t really comprehend what is happening! I was completely incapable of making decisions or knowing what I was supposed to be doing. So Mim had to direct me to have breakfast, get in the shower etc!”

Taylor & Porter Photographs

Wedding rings - Taylor & Porter Photographs

“My dress was made by Jane Bourvis. She makes these beautiful, ethereal creations out of old veils. She has a little shop on Gouldborne Road in London. It couldn’t be further removed from the regular spotless wedding boutique experience which is not my bag at all.”

“It’s a ramshackle treasure trove of vintage wonders. There are no two items the same and all sorts of beautiful bits and pieces hang from the ceiling. Everything is second hand or re-made. I knew the second I met Jane that I would get one of her dresses because I thought she was so wonderful.”

Antique lace wedding dress by Jane Bourvis - Taylor & Porter Photographs

“It’s such a pleasure to wear something made by the hands of someone you really like. I really enjoyed the whole process – it was completely non-stress and fun with her. The dress was 3 layers all separate from each other – one gold silk, one white chiffon and then the lace over the top. All the layers were made already, Jane just fitted the lace to me.”

“It’s all sorts of different shades as its made from a number of old veils. I LOVED wearing it! It couldn’t have been more comfortable. I also bought an amazing moss green full length velvet coat /cape from Jane in case of cold or rain but in the end I didn’t need it. We considered it insurance against the weather!”

Bride in vintage lace wedding dress by Jane Bourvis - Taylor & Porter Photographs

Taylor & Porter Photographs

“For my feet I had a pair of secondhand Victorian leather lace up boots from Etsy. I needed something sturdy to hike over the sand dunes in!”

Victorian leather lace up boots - Taylor & Porter Photographs

Romantic seasonal wedding flower crown - Taylor & Porter Photographs

“The flowers were done by the delightful Pyrus girls, who I believe I found on The Natural Wedding Company website. They are based outside Edinburgh. They spent some time foraging around the area to find bits and pieces to add to the bouquets. They used only local wild flowers and foraged items.”

“They were absolutely beautiful. They looked like we’d popped outside and grabbed armfuls of wildflowers from a blooming meadow. Perfection! I was drawn to their foraging ways and their use of wildflowers. And they were such nice people. My bouquet and head dress particularly were as beautiful as I could have hoped! They also created a little hanging woodland above the dance floor.”

Seasonal summer bouquet with honeysuckle and scabious - Taylor & Porter Photographs

“Our flower girls were my two little nieces Eliza and Jemima (7 and 3) and my nephew Geordie (6) was a page boy. A family friend very sweetly said we could recycle the flower girl dresses she had had made for her wedding which were cream silk with a sage silk sash. (They were then recycled for my brother’s wedding the following month, so they’ve definitely had a good use!).”

“Geordie wore his kilt and a jabbo which he was particularly proud of (its the white ruff tie). My bridesmaid was my friend Mim. She chose to wear a very pretty dusty pink dress from Ghost and she looked amazing!”

Country bride and bridesmaids - Taylor & Porter Photographs

“A few days before the wedding my mother and I went through her jewellery and found a couple of very pretty things. I wore a very simple necklace with a small pearl pendant my brother had given her. And a pearly bracelet of her’s that I have always loved. And I wore flowers in my hair.”

Wild bridal bouquet with honeysuckle, scabious and grasses - Taylor & Porter Photographs

Taylor & Porter Photographs

“Dom had a morning suit made for him which he was very excited about. The tailor kept asking him what colour theme the wedding was so that he could match the coat lining to it. He couldn’t seem to understand that we didn’t have a theme! Dom’s best man was Pete. They’ve been good buddies since their teens. He came up to stay with my family a few days before to help with preparations so he’s one of the family now.”

Taylor & Porter Photographs

Taylor & Porter Photographs

What fabulous weather to be at a wedding by the beach! I am always amazed that the British weather is so kind to so many couples having outdoor weddings.

Taylor & Porter Photographs

Taylor & Porter Photographs

Taylor & Porter Photographs

Taylor & Porter Photographs

“My nieces and nephew arrived mid morning and were very sweet with helping me get ready. Walking down the beach to the chapel my niece Jemima kept stopping to show me shells – it was very grounding having them there. My overriding feeling was disbelief that it could possibly be so sunny!”

English country bride walking to beach wedding - Taylor & Porter Photographs

Wild country wedding flowers and flower crown - Taylor & Porter Photographs

Jo and Dom got married in a tiny ruined chapel on the dunes. “It’s tucked away in between the beach and the woods. We didn’t decorate it because it couldn’t be more beautiful that it is in its natural state. But we did have six leafy arches for the guests to hold up and we ran under them as we entered and left. Everyone gathered in and around the chapel under the trees and on the banks.”

“I had always thought I would get very emotional walking up the aisle. My only big fear of the day was being over-emotional. But I felt completely serene and present and happy! I couldn’t stop smiling! Such a lovely surprise. Apparently if you are very emotional in the days leading up to your wedding day, which I definitely was, you’re less likely to spend the whole day in tears!”

Beach wedding ceremony in a ruined chapel - Taylor & Porter Photographs

Scottish wedding ceremony in a ruined chapel - Taylor & Porter Photographs

“The ceremony was absolutely the highlight for us. We had a lovely connecting time writing it all ourselves and took considerable time writing our vows together. We structured it so that our lovely Celebrant, Ivan Middleton, read the vows and we said “we will”. I wasn’t keen on having too much to say incase I was very emotional.”

“We had a superb violinist and guitarist (Darius and Oshan, both from The Turbans who played later in the evening) who played a beautiful folk song as I entered with my Dad. There were two songs – Wild Mountain Thyme and we re-wrote the lyrics to a Peter Paul and Mary song to be specific to us. My three siblings conducted it, splitting the congregation into three different parts to sing in canons. So we had to have a little singing lesson in the middle of the ceremony. It was a truly joyous moment!”

“We had four readings read by Dom’s brother, some friends and my godfather as well as a Celtic prayer that we all said together and  a Robert Louis Stevenson prayer – appropriate as he lived in the area and based Treasure Island on a little island you can see from the beach.”

Taylor & Porter Photographs

Scottish wedding amongst the dunes - Taylor & Porter Photographs

Dream Scottish beach wedding - Taylor & Porter Photographs

After their ceremony, Jo and Dom had a picnic and a swim on the beach. “Dom and I had a first swim in the sea! I borrowed my brother’s boxer shorts and a friend’s bra and we ran hand in hand into the freezing Firth of Forth! And then lots of our friend s ran in after us!”

Wedding picnic baskets on a beach - Taylor & Porter Photographs

Scottish wedding picnic on a beach - Taylor & Porter Photographs

Taylor & Porter Photographs

I love how relaxed and fun Jo and Dom’s wedding day looked, and not in an overly thought out or contrived way – it works because they just did what was right for them.

Taylor & Porter Photographs

Wild bridal bouquet of honeysuckle and scabious - Taylor & Porter Photographs

Taylor & Porter Photographs

Jo and Dom’s wedding photographers were Taylor & Porter Photographs, one of our fab wedding suppliers who can be found in the directory, and who I had the pleasure of meeting and working with last year.

“Louise and Teo of Taylor & Porter are friends of friends and came very highly recommended. The moment we saw their website we knew we would love them to take photos for us. Their work is SO beautiful. They shoot everything on film so the photographs feel like something special that you want to hold. And they could not be lovelier. It was such a pleasure having them there with us – we want to keep them as friends!”

Taylor & Porter Photographs

Dainty pearl bracelet - Taylor & Porter Photographs

Taylor & Porter Photographs

“It was really important to us that we felt comfortable with our photographer as we’re not much into being photographed. They completely understood what we wanted. They came up north a couple of days before to scout around for good places to take pictures and to get a sense of who we are.”

Taylor & Porter Photographs

Taylor & Porter Photographs

Taylor & Porter Photographs

“The photographs they took are achingly beautiful and capture so much of what we felt that day. I particularly love all the extra little photos they took of grasses and flowers and bits and pieces about the place. I have been recommending them to everyone as I honestly couldn’t have imagined nicer, more professional and accommodating people and such beautiful, beautiful results.”

Taylor & Porter Photographs

Taylor & Porter Photographs

Romantic English country wedding - Taylor & Porter Photographs

After a long walk back to the hotel from the beach, they had time for their family and friends to play games, relax or snooze. Following this they had dinner in the evening and danced into the night to the wonderful music of The Turbans.

Aren’t these two just the sweetest!

Scottish wedding page boy and flower girl - Taylor & Porter Photographs

Taylor & Porter Photographs

Groomsmen in Scottish plaid - Taylor & Porter Photographs

Pyrus really seemed to capture the essence of the surrounding countryside and gardens and bring it in for Jo and Dom’s floral table decorations – I particularly love those tall drooping foxgloves.

Taylor & Porter Photographs

Country house wedding with foxglove table centres - Taylor & Porter Photographs

Taylor & Porter Photographs

English country garden and forage flower table centrepieces - Taylor & Porter Photographs

“My family and Dom and I decorated the tent. A friend of Mum’s happened to have 40 Vietnamese silk lanterns leftover from a wedding so we borrowed them. We lit them with fairy lights. I hired some gorgeous silk bunting and flags. We moved some furniture and rugs out of the hotel and into the big old farmer’s tent (rented from down the road) to make it feel more cosy.”

“The Pyrus girls hung some lovely branches about the place to make it feel like an enchanted woodland. And Mum filled the place with big pots of courgette plants from the garden!”

Wedding tent decorated with paper lanterns - Taylor & Porter Photographs

Hand illustrated place names - Taylor & Porter Photographs

Taylor & Porter Photographs

Illustrated wedding table plan - Taylor & Porter Photographs

This is one of my favourite ideas for decorating a tent that I’ve seen – using recycled glass bottles in various colours and dangling them from twine to create hanging vases!

Coloured glass bottle hanging vases - Taylor & Porter Photographs

Taylor & Porter Photographs

“I’m have to admit to not being much into magazines and stuff. The only resource I used (and I promise I’m not just saying this) was The Natural Wedding Company. And I looked at Pinterest a bit for fun ideas. But otherwise it was Mum and I coming up with fun ideas.”

“Making stuff look pretty is about my most favourite pass time – it’s what I do for a job after all so I was in heaven! There were a few things that were very important to me and they were that I wanted to genuinely like everyone involved in the wedding, to enjoy the whole process and to have as much as possible home made. Because its more fun that way!”

“I’ll admit that Mum and I baking a tiered carrot wedding cake two days before may have taken that a step too far (we aren’t natural bakers!) but it was quite funny and it turned out fine – not the most elegant cake you’ve ever seen but edible at least!”

Taylor & Porter Photographs

Taylor & Porter Photographs

I asked Jo if she had any advice to share with other couples planning their wedding ceremonies: “My advice to future brides and grooms would be to put as much time and thought into your ceremony as you can, particularly if you are writing your own vows, and to enjoy the process of it. It was the absolute focus of the day for us. The rest, although fun, would have been meaningless without it.”

“All the readings and music were chosen beacuse they meant something very particular to us. The music was the tricky part as you don’t want to have an awkward situation where noone knows the tune. We had that for wild mountain thyme as I hadn’t given the right tune to the musicians! But luckily everyone was so relaxed it was funny rather than desperately awkward!”

Taylor & Porter Photographs

Taylor & Porter Photographs

Taylor & Porter Photographs

And what were her favourite memories of the day? “The ceremony was the highlight for both of us.  And then Dom and I had a first swim in the sea! But I can’t think of a single moment that wasn’t utterly joy-filled! My three siblings gave the most wonderful speech for me in verse. I didn’t leave the dance floor for five hours! And its just so lovely to be surrounded by so much happiness and good will!”

Taylor & Porter Photographs

After their wedding, Jo and Dom took three weeks honeymoon and travelled around Colombia: “We had enough time to really go somewhere far. And its a place we’ve always wanted to go. It was magical. Although we would probably think twice about going so far if we did it again, only because we were so exhausted after the wedding and it was an epic journey to get there!”

Jo and Dom live in North London where Jo is finishing a masters in Children’s Book Illustration whilst working on a couple of books. Jo told me they hope to find time this year to spend a few weeks walking around the UK with a tent – “we like to be in the wild outdoors together!”

Taylor & Porter Photographs

A big thank you to Jo and Dom for sharing their wedding with us and to their photographers Louise and Teo from Taylor & Porter Photographs – do check out their profile page on the directory for more details and pictures.  And if you’re on the hunt for hand drawn wedding stationery and love Jo’s whimsical style, why not take a look at her website.

{ Details }

Photography: Taylor & Porter Photographs
Venue: brides family home Greywalls Hotel
Wedding Dress:
Jane Bourvis
Flowers:
Pyrus
Stationery & Paper Details:
made by the bride Jo Weaver Illustration
Music: 
The Turbans

Comments

Alison Gibb on 27. January, 2014

I saw this wedding as I live round the corner and walk along Gullane beach almost every day -it really was this beautiful…only the scents of the wedding are not captured by these beautiful photographs…of course the flowers are amazing!!

Emma Smith on 28. January, 2014

Your photos are gorgeous! Absolutely stunning! I’m glad your photographer was able to capture so many great moments.The styling of this couple’s wedding is just beautiful as is the photography!

Thanks
Emma Smith

Julie Annis - Hollyhock Lane on 31. January, 2014

Wow, so so beautiful! Love all the details. We too had an outdoor wedding (with no plan B if it rained) but although we also lived in Edinburgh, we chickened out from having it up North but had it in Sussex instead. Sussex is where I grew up (and now where we live after 10 years in Scotland) and generally speaking the weather is slightly more reliable. We couldn’t believe it as we had a summer of rain and floods, and then two weeks before our big day it started to dry up (huge relief as we got married in the woods and I was imagining mud and puddles) and then it was glorious and hot on the actual day of the wedding. We felt very blessed indeed as it rained the next day.

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