From tug-of-war to tossing the caber, the guests at this rustic Scottish wedding got to star in their very own Highland Games!
How they met
Victoria confesses to being under the influence of alcohol when she first met Richard in a bar in Inverness – but she quickly fell under his influence instead. “He was over from Northern Ireland for the weekend, so we swapped numbers and kept in touch for a few months before we agreed to arrange a date,” Victoria recalls. “We decided to meet up in Paris – why not?!”
Richard blew Victoria away with his New Year’s Eve proposal in Reykjavik. “He asked me to marry him at midnight, as the sky exploded with fireworks – incredible,” she smiles. “I was massively surprised – it hadn’t been “As I walked down the on my radar at all – and did a lot of happy screaming and crying before phoning my family. My dad confessed that Richard had asked his permission the week before. I couldn’t believe he and my mum had kept it quiet!”
The bride’s outfit
Victoria was originally looking for a tea-length 1950’s-style dress, but her heart was stolen by a full-length Alan Hannah dress from Blush Bridal Boutique in Belfast. “It was the first dress I tried on during my hunt,” she says. “I then went to about 15 other shops to be sure, but I couldn’t find anything that compared. I surprised myself by picking such a ‘bridey’ dress, but it really suit me.” Victoria wore her dress with a hairpiece from Etsy and Jimmy Choos – a surprise gift from Richard.
The groom’s outfit
Richard’s outfit was a total surprise to Victoria. “He chose it all by himself – to this day, I don’t know where he got it from!” she laughs. Richard wore the pale blue two-piece with a crisp shirt and a vivid blue bow tie. “He looked like a handsome devil,” says Victoria.
As well as Victoria’s two sisters, Nicola and Corinne, the bride was accompanied by a massive entourage of younger bridesmaids and pageboys. “We had four of each – our nephews and nieces,” says Victoria. The dresses were all made to measure.
Victoria and Richard were married in the great outdoors, under a cedar tree – known as the loving tree – in the grounds of Bunchrew house, a 17th-century Scottish country house hotel. “We had a traditional Scottish handfasting ceremony, a symbolic act where our hands were tied together with a ribbon, representing our union,” Victoria explains. The bride walked down the aisle to Sigur Ros, and a piper played the happy couple out after they had – literally – tied the knot. Victoria had a surprise guest as she walked down the aisle. “As I walked down the aisle, a hare darted across my path!” she smiles.
Florist Angela hunter designed Victoria’s beautiful bouquet of ivory and blue roses, spray roses, bouvardia, thistles and crystals, bound with organza and secured with a diamond clasp. Angela also created table centres based on vintage teapots, and Victoria and Richard added flower-filled jam jars, dotted around the venue and hanging from trees.
Victoria and Richard based their reception around the Highland Games. “We wanted people to have something fun to do during the quieter times, and it was a real labour of love for Richard,” Victoria explains. “We had a sack race, a tug-of-war, a not-so-traditional pineapple and haggis shy, and even a caber to toss.” After working up an appetite, the guests dined on a trio of salmon, followed by steak and then blueberry crème brulée.
“We wanted a relaxed summer fête theme, with a vintage feel,” explains Victoria. The venue was styled to perfection by Butler & Taylor, and Victoria’s mum handmade bunting, as well as toy Scottie dogs, which were hidden around the grounds for the children to find. “We also hada gramophone DJ playing during the afternoon, and a ceilidh band in the evening,” Victoria adds.
The head-turning blue and white three-tier cake was inspired by a wedding blog and put together by local baker Harry Gow, finished off with miniature bunting and cake toppers from Etsy.
The couple chose a fabulous newlywed break in gorgeous Croatia.