Our handmade wedding (sort of) in scenic Scotland…

As I may or may not have mentioned, (I really don’t recall), I got married again in May. And when I say again, I mean to the same person! We got technically married in the States last year as part of our moving process (I am non-American), but we had what I regard as the “proper” wedding, with all our relations and friends, on May 21st, in my homeland of Scotland. I decided to put together a little post documenting the handmade/decorative details that went into it, so there are some gratuitous wedding shots here, particularly of the landscape, and no sewing. 🙂 So if you’re allergic to weddings, best look away now. I always like looking at other people’s shots though, so hey… this is for you guys that feel the same way and anyone who’d like to browse someone else’s ideas!

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I have to mention right now, that even though I had every intention of doing some sewing for the wedding, for various reasons this didn’t materialise (fabric arrived late, ran out of time, etc.) so the “handmade” part is pretty much all paper-based. The other wildly important thing is that I did this together with my lovely sister and bridesmaid Julie, who is actually the creative brains behind the operation and who undertook the “real” art as far as I’m concerned, but more of that later.

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We got married in a little place called Crear, on the west coast of Scotland. Crear lies opposite the islands of Jura and Islay and comprises a converted farmhouse, with a huge picture window, facing the sea. People told me that as soon as you set foot in Crear, you immediately relax and unwind – and they were absolutely right. It is a tall, wide, open white space with soft edges and unforgettable views, and it has a soporific effect on everyone who arrives there, I think. It’s the red-roofed building in the pic above and you can see some more general shots below of Crear and the area:

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I’m not a big fan of “themed” weddings per se, but obviously when you’re planning a wedding you need something to tie it together, be it location, colours or theme. When we were thinking about what to do, the subject of “international” came up a lot. My husband and I are different nationalities, met in a third country and have travelled a lot. I was brought up overseas and the wedding guests were from all over the globe, so we thought that would give us a good direction. Travel-themed weddings have been very popular over the last few years, but we decided to focus on the locations themselves, rather than the actual travelling aspect (planes, tickets, etc). The items that really set the tone for the wedding in the end were some vintage travel posters we bought from places that meant something to us during our relationship to date.

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The predominant colours of the pictures we chose ended up being blue, red, green and a dash of purple/fuchsia. The thing with Crear is that it’s such a huge, calm, white space, that you would need a huge amount of decoration to make a dent in its atmosphere and it really doesn’t need it. Instead, pops of bright colours worked really well for us and, as it turned out this is fairly reflective of my personal style. To get back to sewing a little, I had a little wardrobe eyeball and stash clear-up recently and while I do certainly wear black and grey, most of my dresser seems to comprise of blues, reds and greens, which I also wear in a “pop”-type effect, so in the end, it was an appropriate choice.

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After that, things fell into place fairly quickly. The most time-consuming job was definitely the invitation set. I had found a few examples on the internet of things I liked – and they were mostly illustrative type designs of scenes or flowers with a similar colour-scheme. I then found a particularly location-based set I really liked and my sister (who has a background in design) said she would like to have a go at making the invites. She took a couple of photos of Crear and came up with a design using our main colours, combined with a vintage/art deco feel to tie in with the posters and they were amazing! I believe she used Photoshop for most of the work and the end result was definitely as stunning, yet personal as many of the sets I saw on Etsy when I first started browsing.

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Around this time, our wedding contacts at Crear showed us a map they produce that many people use as favours. Lo and behold, it fit in perfectly with our theme, so we decided to use that as part of the package and based all the other items around these colours/ideas.

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The invitation set itself comprised the invite, and RSVP card, some wedding details and the map. I did all the printing tests, and then printing, cutting, etc. and obviously the working inside. Although it was a lot of work, the nice thing, of course, is that you aren’t restricted to a standard format and so can include whatever you like. We tied it together with a purple ribbon which worked pretty nicely.

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I tested a few different cards and papers and what worked best in the end was medium-weight watercolour cardstock and a fairly heavy ink setting. It definitely tore through my ink supply, but gave a really vibrant, almost chalky feel, as you can see above. Closer to the wedding day, Julie put in a lot of work to prepare the other wedding day items, based on the same principle. These included the order of service on the day…

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…as well as items such as the table settings and placards for “fun” things around the room.

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As far as these fun things go, we came up with a few ideas, many of which you’ll no doubt have encountered before. We didn’t have a traditional guest book, but instead had a Jenga set with the blocks to sign (we’re big game people) and a giant Polaroid camera to take a candid snap and also sign. Another thing we put out was a No. 1 piñata into which we asked people to pop some marriage advice for us. We’ll crack it open on our 1st wedding anniversary (paper – appropriate eh?)

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Another thing we did was have a confetti bar and used dried flowers, including roses, chamomile and lavender. The chamomile did look a bit like earwigs though, haha!!

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My lovely mum made some homemade tablet (a traditional Scottish sweet) for the favours – it was DELICIOUS – and we wrapped some small gifts for the kids, to keep them a bit entertained. I went for small floral bouquets with a wildflower feel and I think that suited the rest pretty well!

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For entertainment, we had a Scottish piper to pipe us in and out of the various ceremony parts and then we hired a local band (from Glasgow) called The Big Papas who did a few traditional ceilidh dances (which everyone enjoyed, thank goodness) before launching into a more modern set. They were brilliant and I’m so glad we went the extra mile for them – I love live music so much and I always remember a band at a wedding, so it made me so happy!

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Well, I think that about sums up what we did for the wedding day in terms of decorations and anything vaguely handmade! 🙂 Let’s face it, this has ended up being more of a travelogue than craft post in the end, but, ah well – I did warn you! With that in mind, all I can say is thanks to my wonderful sister Julie:

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my gorgeous husband and son:

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and the staff and owners at Crear, as well as our wonderful photographer Caro Weiss. I’ll leave you with a few more gratuitous shots from the weekend! Back to sewing soon!

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5 thoughts on “Our handmade wedding (sort of) in scenic Scotland…

  1. Such lovely photos, Claire! I get an impression of a really wonderful day with an atmosphere of fun and relaxation (though weddings always mean some stress). I really like the decoration you chose for that big space. I think it all looks light and inviting. Great dress and, overall, you managed to make things festive and special but still warm, inviting, and definitely not over-the-top — and that’s truly exceptional 😊

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    1. Thank you Kamila, you’re too nice. I’m glad you mentioned relaxation, as that was the one thing I was “aiming” for, more than anything else. And it actually worked out pretty well!! Hope you had a lovely weekend and the new job is going well. I just found out one of the biggest fabric shops in Bologna is next door to our airbnb apartment, so that’s my first port of call this morning. I fear it will be rather expensive, but am looking forward to browsing! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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