Gemma & Alistair
An outdoor ceremony at Perth City Farm was just the beautiful beginning of Gemma and Alistair’s rustic wedding. Magnificently Scottish in tradition – ceilidh included – the celebrations also featured food truck catering and every bride’s delight, flat dancing shoes! Izo Photography captured the day.
The bride and groom met on Tinder, the first date one to remember. Gemma remembers, ”After the first date we spent pretty much every day together. We went for one drink as we both had places to be the next day, but somehow the one drink stretched out until after midnight. Alistair pulled me in for a sneaky kiss in a shop doorway to finish off the night and seal the deal.” The groom proposed on the second anniversary of the day the couple met, on a diving holiday in Sulawesi.
The groom wore a Scottish kilt for the outdoor wedding celebrations. The bride tells, ”His green tweed jacket and waistcoat matches the kilt well and is a bit different to the standard black or navy that a lot of people have. A lot of the outfit accessories have stories attached to them; the sporran was a gift from his late grandfather, the cufflinks were a present from his groomsman, Alan, for being best man at his wedding a few years ago, and the Sgian Dubh (the knife in his sock) was an 18th birthday gift from his friends at school. His pocket watch was a wedding gift from me.”
Gemma wore a beautifully cut ball gown from Tuscany Bridal, with pockets! She shares, ”It was very simple and classic. It was the third dress I tried on and I just couldn’t get it out of my head. It was nothing like I thought I would ever wear, but I knew it was the one. The special touches came from the accessories – a garter which was worn by my cousin and will be worn by my other female cousins at their weddings, and pearl earrings as a wedding present from Alistair. Two pairs of shoes – orange high heels for the ceremony and red flat lace ups for dancing.”
Many guests travelled from bonnie Scotland to attend the wedding, including the bridal party. Gemma tells, ”I had three bridesmen – my best friends Sean, Daniel and Daniel – as well as my sister in law, Bindhu, who also sang our first dance. Alistair had his brother Graham as best man, and friends Alan and Dougie as groomsmen. We also had Eloise, aged 2, and Harry, aged 3, as a flower girl and page boy – Harry carried the rings down the aisle and Eloise carried her bouquet beautifully.”
Perth City Farm was the ideal location for Gemma and Alistair’s rustic and relaxed wedding. They share, ”We chose to have both ceremony and reception there – an amazing inner city oasis with chickens and geese, a market garden, and beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces. We chose to have our ceremony and meal outside, and use the indoor space (the barn) as an empty hall for ceilidh dancing. Perth City Farm was a great choice for us as we could bring all our own vendors and get exactly what we wanted – hire furniture, food van and coffee van, and lighting to name a few. We were also able to BYO drinks which meant we could choose exactly which beer and wine we wanted for our special day.”
Traditional bagpipes were played by a close friend as the bride walked down the aisle. She recalls, ”Our ceremony was a simple celebration of our love, witnessed by all the people we love the most. We wanted our ceremony to be meaningful and have gravitas, but not be overly long or complicated. Our friend Iona read a short poem by Adrian Henri, ‘Galactic Love Poem’.”
The Flower Girl provided lush, warm bouquets for the bride, bridesmaid and flowergirl. With orange being the bride’s favourite colour, it was a predominant feature. Gemma shares, ”We decided to go quite minimal on flowers. Our florist, Clare, put together bouquets of the most stunning and vibrant yellows, oranges, reds and pinks which matched my hair and Bindhu’s dress perfectly.”
Every vendor who worked with the bride and groom did a magnificent job! The couple tell, ”Ali, who runs Sultan Pepper Food Truck, was an absolute star in the lead up and on the day of the wedding. We only tried one food vendor’s food and as soon as we tried it we knew we wanted Ali to cater our wedding. He has such a passion for food and expressing himself creatively through his recipes. All our guests commented on how amazing the food was. David Carey Celebrant was the image of cool, calm and collected throughout the planning and on the day, and delivered a beautiful, simple and personal ceremony for us. Lesley and Melanie of Lush Hair & Makeup were such a joy to have as part of the getting ready process and made us all look and feel beautiful. We hired our friend Mel Mairs who has tons of event experience, to be our day-of coordinator, as we had so many vendors to liaise with and lots to set up on the day. She was honestly our MVP and made problems go away before we even realised they were there. She was an absolute dream to work with.”
Capturing the autumn wedding day was Jimmy from Izo Photography, of whom the couple share, ”He was absolutely fantastic! He managed to capture every mood of the day, including some cracking shots of Gemma’s grandmother who cries happy tears on every single occasion. We love the creative way that he framed the shots, especially under the time pressure of the setting sun in the late afternoon. He was also very calming and unobtrusive, and really managed to capture us and all our guests in a very natural manner. We were also very impressed that he managed to get shots of everyone dancing and whirling at the ceilidh – in focus!”
Starting many of their own traditions as well as carrying on the well known, Gemma tells, ”We did something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue: the something new was the dress. My ‘something old’ was my mum’s veil from the 80’s, a fingertip length tulle veil with a lace edge. My ‘something borrowed’ was a set of pearls that belonged to Alistair’s great-grandmother, which Alistair’s mum Jenny took away after the ceremony so they would still be borrowed, then surprised me the next day by gifting them to me. I wear them often – no point waiting for a special occasion when everyday is special. Finally, the ‘something blue’ was a few blue budgie feathers from our gorgeous blue pet budgies, tucked into the bouquet.”
Making the day their own, the bride and groom got crafty. They tell, ”We DIY-ed quite a few things. The main thing would be the wedding arbour, which Alistair made and now takes pride of place in the garden. We are currently trying to grow some climbing plants up it. We are very lucky that I have creative parents; my mum is a talented calligrapher and designed the wedding invites, whilst my dad is a great maker with a laser-cutter, and designed and made some very cool wooden table centrepieces.”
Family meant a huge deal to Gemma and Alistair, including them in their wedding day in many ways. Gemma shares, ”We asked my brother Joe and his partner Bindhu, who are both professional musicians, to play and sing our first dance ‘At Last’, by Etta James. At the end of the first verse, a male voice suddenly came out of nowhere – which turned out to be the best gift and biggest surprise of the day. My other brother Daniel, a professional opera singer living in London, who was unable to make it to the wedding because he was on tour, had teamed up with Joe for a surprise recording in order to duet with Bindhu on our first dance. Daniel and his husband in London were present for a large part of the day via Skype on the iPad and were passed from guest to guest to have a good chat with everyone – they even featured in some of the family photos.”
Thank you to our stunning bride and groom for sharing your gorgeous day with us, and congratulations! Thank you also to Izo Photography for sharing your beautiful images.
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- Melissa Mairs