Tartan, twine & wine – the first wedding at GG’s Yard

After falling in love with the future vision of their venue while it was still at the planning stage, Claire and Mark took a leap of faith and booked it, becoming the very first couple to be married at GG’s Yard in Dumfries & Galloway. With the help of family and friends, plus an incredible team of suppliers, they planned their day from 250 miles away, embracing rich winter colours and rustic styling. We love the way their photos and film tell the story of their day…

How did you two meet?

We met on a work night out in August 2011 and following this we went on a few dates getting to know each other. After a few months we moved in together and the rest is history.

On our 5th anniversary, we went to Stonehaven and worked our way along the coastal path to the beach below Dunnottar Castle and started skimming stones like usual. 

Mark was pretending to look for the perfect stone as I merrily skimmed away. 

When Mark went to propose, a bus load of tourists decided to walk onto the overlooking path so he had to stall. He had the ring on his pinkie so he couldn’t skim a stone just in case. 

Eventually the tourists left and he picked up a stone and whilst on one knee, offered the stone to me and on doing so he also offered the ring. 

After a short delay and having to be prompted for my answer, I said yes!

We were inspired by…


We did all our planning and organising ourselves, and roped in friends and family for assistance along the way. We had to due to the distance between our home and our venue (250 miles). 

Our theme was rustic country feel with a winter twist.

We are from Scotland and we loved the venue. Our family are mostly based in Scotland so we wanted to ensure we had somewhere that was available for most to be able to attend within a reasonable travelling distance. 
We are both all season type of people so winter in Scotland didn’t really phase us from marrying at this time of year.

Tell us more about your venue…

GG’s Yard is a rural rustic venue, it’s a brand new converted steading finished to a high standard. 

We were the very first wedding at this venue and were so excited to be. We watched the whole venue be transformed from day one. 

When we booked our date, we were stood in a muddy puddle on top of a pallet – a lot of faith went into the owners’ hands as they were still waiting for planning permission to be finalised. 

Once this was finalised, it was full steam ahead for the conversion. The venue turned out just as we imagined and better, exactly like the initial mood boards we were first shown. 

On the day, it all ran seamless, you wouldn’t know this was their very first wedding. From set up to tidying up it went without flaw, the staff are a credit to their employer.
 Everything they did was spot on.

Maybelle is GG’s in house florist and we knew we wanted to work with her as she would have the best insight into the venue with it being brand new. 

Maybelle worked alongside the GG’s team during the conversion so was able to keep progress on any small touches that may have been required to the venue. 

As it turned out, the décor of GGs was so stunning that we felt for our day, minimalistic use of flowers around the venue was our preference. 

The colours we chose were warm reds and cream to tie in with our rustic winter style. Maybelle knew exactly what we wanted as soon as I started sharing my ideas with her. She took on board what we didn’t want included and she worked her magic to produce our stunning flowers. We had bridal bouquets, groom and bestman buttonholes prepared along with a small selection of additional arrangements throughout the venue to bring out the warm red tones.

We love the way your photos and film tell the story of your day…

Our photographer, 

Giles got our style from the very beginning. We wanted romantic relaxed, candid photos and Giles delivered exactly that. 

We met with Giles a few months before our day to finalise what we were after and locations for our photos. As Giles had been involved in the GG’s story as they have converted, he already knew where would be best for our group shots and being local to the area, when we asked for beach photos, he knew all the best spots. Our photos tell the story of our day – romantic, relaxed, happy and enjoying the company of our guests.

We wanted our video to tell our story of our day and Drew and Tracy (Jst Married Wedding Films) did exactly that. 

From our first consultation to commencing our filming on the day, Drew and Tracy knew the area and our venue so this was great, it made our job much easier, they also knew our photographer too which meant they were able to work together throughout the day. 

We requested video footage at the beach and these shots and footage are simply stunning, we couldn’t have been more pleased with them. The weather was kind also which made shooting our video that much easier – although it doesn’t showcase how cold it was, it was all masked by the beautiful blue skies.

Although two separate companies, the way they worked together was seamless. It was so much fun and such a laugh – both have told our story just as we wanted them to.

We are in love with your dress! Tell us more…

It took me quite a while to find ‘the dress’. I was adamant that I knew exactly what I wanted, however on trying on that particular dress, it was not. 

My dress ended up being what I said I didn’t want – strapless! However, with the help of my bridesmaids suggesting I try on different styles and picking out alternatives, I soon was on my way to knowing what I wanted. 

Before Ashley at Avorio had the zip fully up on ‘my dress’, I could tell that it was the one – albeit from that day it was around the 8th or 9th one that i had tried on. Ever since that day, every time I had it on for fittings and trials, I knew I picked the right one. I couldn’t wait to wear it and show it off to everyone!

I had my belt handmade by an Etsy designer – Jane Gardner. I had seen a belt that suited my dress and asked the designer if she could make something similar. The results were stunning and I adored how it complemented my dress

. I wore it with a birdcage veil and headband.

My shoes were handmade for me by the Crystal Shoe Company, an independant shop on Etsy.

And what about the groom?

We had Mark’s kilt handmade with the Weathered Young tartan for our day, due to this we choose a supplier close to our home as this made it easier for fittings etc. 

Due to the exceptional service we received throughout this period, we decided to stick with them and have our bridal party kilts for dads, bestman and usher hired. As they had made Mark’s kilt, they were in the perfect position to know what tartan would match it to ensure the kilts fitted with our theme.

All the staff at Georgian know their stuff, everytime we were in we were made to feel so welcome, they knew us and all about our wedding.

What did you kick off the dancing with?

Our first dance was Ho Hey by Lumineers, sung by our band. The band were just amazing and kept the dancefloor packed all night. 

We initially heard them and booked them before seeing them live in Glasgow. There was a last minute change of female lead singer however if anything she made the band even better.

They were unbelievable, gauged the crowd and also threw in a couple of ceildh songs. Our guests had so many compliments on the band!

Tell us something surprising about your day…

My brother’s Land Rover Defender 110 was transformed into wedding transport for us to be taken to the beach

. We had fantastic blue skies – this was a surprise in itself, given it was the 1st of February and that we had guests stuck in snow whilst travelling the day before.

Any advice?

I’m sure everyone says this – relax and enjoy the day. It passes so quickly so try to take a moment to take it all in, watch your guests enjoying themselves and most of all, make sure you enjoy yourself.

What’s the one truly unforgettable thing about your wedding day?

The fact we were the first wedding at our venue. 

We wrote our own vows, although I was a little hesitant at first I am absolutely delighted that we did and it’s now something we will always remember.

We love the story of Claire & Mark standing on that pallet, in a muddy puddle and falling in love with their venue. Anyone else taking a leap of faith? x


VenueGG’s Yard, Laggan
PhotographerGiles Atkinson Photography
Filmmaker Jst Married Wedding Films
Florist – 
Maybelle Thomson
, GG’s Yard
Make-up artist – Nicole Hunter, VIP Brows
Wedding dressBlue By Enzoani ‘Irvine’
 by Avorio Bridal, Fochabers
Shoes – 
Bespoke by The Crystal Shoe Company, Etsy

Accessories – Belt by Jane Gardener via Etsy
 and headband and birdcage veil from Avorio Bridal
Groom’s outfitGeorgian Dress Hire
StationeryThe Papeterie
Alfie Loves Cake
Musicians – Velvet Noir
 via Coast Entertainments

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