Paddy and Rachel’s St Patricks’s Day wedding was all about the relaxed vibe. Combining elements of their Scottish and Canadian roots into their day these two enjoyed the planning as much as the day itself. That sounds like a great start to married life to us…
I met Patrick, who is Scottish, over Hogmany 2012 while I was visiting my sister in Edinburgh at a mutual friend’s party. I had only a few days left of holiday before returning home to Toronto, but we hit it off so well we decided to meet again and stay in touch upon my return.
After I left, we kept in touch by Skyping, texting and email until we decided to give it a real go. Quite a leap of faith, really! We met up again over Easter weekend in Edinburgh, and in May I moved permanently.
4 years later, Patrick proposed at the top of Arthur’s Seat, my favorite place in Edinburgh.
We were inspired by…
A combined effort between the both of us to have the wedding we always dreamed of, with Scottish traditions and including some of my Canadian influences. Planning the day together was as much fun as the day itself. We really enjoyed the whole process.
Tell us about your venue…
Every girl dreams of marrying in a castle, but in Scotland it’s an easy reality!
A priority for us was choosing a venue that was close to our home in Leith so that guests traveling from Canada and abroad didn’t have far to go upon arrival. Carberry Tower is located just outside Musselburgh, so it was only a 20 min drive from the city centre. The stunning mansion house was an easy and immediate pick for us.
The other great thing about Carberry Tower is that although it looks and feels like a castle, it also has modern touches that make it more current and comfortable – like renovated toilets!
The staff were amazing throughout the day and in the planning leading up to it. Our coordinator Amy was brilliant throughout the process and made everything really easy!
The other bonus was that the venue has 30 rooms for guests to stay. We were able to rent the entire place, which included use of the chapel, reception tent and music room, so that we could keep the entire wedding in one location.
And your photography experience?
We came across Neil by chance in searching for photographers online. We wanted a style of photography that felt real and unstaged. He captured the moments of our day without us even noticing he was there. We only met once, but knew straight away from his calm and relaxed demeanor that he was our man.
He sent us the preview link to our pictures the day after the wedding, which was lovely for sharing with relatives and friends around the world who weren’t able to make the wedding in person.
We love your dress. How did you pick it?
I wanted to find my dress in Canada to share the dress shopping experience with my Mom and bridesmaid. I ended up buying my Canadian designed Mikaella dress in a bridal shop in Toronto after trying on about 20 dresses in a number of boutiques across Ontario.
However, 6 months later, knowing that I was going to be sporting a baby bump being 5 months pregnant at the wedding, I had to have the whole top of the dress re-done to work with my growing body.
I had the a-line dress converted to an empire waist design by a lovely woman named Natalia Misslin; her shop is located on London Road in Edinburgh. She did a brilliant job of altering and fitting the dress, especially with the challenge of my week by week pregnancy changes. In the end, I ended up preferring the final version to the original.
And how about your flowers?
We were pretty relaxed about the flowers. Carberry was such a lovely venue on its own that we didn’t want to have too many floral decorations. We did however want special attention paid to the bouquets and button holes. We went with a look that was natural and green to reflect the time of year.
Seeing as the wedding day was St. Patrick’s Day, our florist was kind enough to dot the bouquets with shamrock as a good luck charm!
Something surprising about your day…
I was 5 months pregnant. There was quite a bump under that dress! Being a pregnant bride didn’t really bother me. The lack of booze and being on my feet didn’t seem to phase me.
It was a planned decision, so in looking back, it will simply be an additional element that made the day that much more special.
Enjoy the planning! It’s just a day after all. What I’ll treasure most was the planning leading up to our wedding. My husband and I had the best time making choices and updating spreadsheets together leading up to it.
My advice would be to not have a long engagement; 8 months was the perfect length of time to plan a wedding and keep the momentum going.
What’s the one truly unforgettable thing about your wedding day?
Having our friends and family all together to celebrate. It was a 2-week long visit by close family and friends and one of the first chances to share our life of 5 years in Scotland with the people we love.
I also loved our ceremony. It was so relaxed and felt very natural. We had Like a Prayer by Madonna played on the organ while signing our certificate – a small highlight for me!
Photographer – Neil Wykes Photography
Florist – Petals on the Shore, Edinburgh
Hair stylist and Make-up Artist – The Madeup Team
Wedding dress – Mikaela Bridal from Becker’s Bridal, Toronto and alterations by Natalia Misslin
Shoes – Talaria Flats
Groom’s outfit – Kinloch Anderson
Bridesmaids’ dresses – BHLDN
Stationery – Paperless Post
Celebrant – Edward of Fuze Ceremonies
Cake – Kitchen Disco