Today’s Scottish stunner of a Jewish wedding is right out of a fairy tale. Nicole and Jonny’s day at Duntreath Castle in Scotland was chock full of dreamy florals, with the elegant grounds and gardens serving as a stunning backdrop to the festivities.
These two made the most of their Scottish setting, with a piper greeting guests as they arrived at the castle, creative Scottish-themed canapà©s (mini glasses of Irn-Bru, anyone?!), and a whisky bar featuring bottles of malt from each of Scotland’s whiskey regions. Love it!
The couple planned their wedding all the way from Sydney. Luckily, Nicole’s parents in Glasgow had just retired at the time of the couple’s engagement, and they were able to devote themselves to wedding planning fulltime!
From meeting with vendors in the couple’s place to building the chuppah–Nicole’s dad made it from scratch, and her mum turned her own wedding dress into the canopy! This wedding was truly a family affair…
Photographer Ashley Coombes documentary-style work captured the day perfectly. Now over to Nicole to fill us in on all the details.
How We Met
Nicole, the bride: We met through close friends who introduced us.
A Scottish Castle
We chose Duntreath Castle in Blanefield, as we wanted an exclusive Scottish venue where none of our guests had been before. It has beautiful grounds, which we knew would compliment photos, and it also provided a stunning backdrop for guests to enjoy during the reception. The castle, with the Scottish flag flying, made it an easy choice. We liked the fact that it was a blank canvas and somewhere we could make our own.
A Garden-Themed Day with Sweet Rustic Touches
As the castle grounds were so beautiful, we wanted to compliment this with bright garden flowers and lots of greenery. We had different foliage and olive branches running across the trestle tables. We used hessian material on the tables, as well as for the table plan, which all linked to the invitations. Small wooden hearts and Scottish jute featured throughout the wedding too. I wanted a natural garden theme and our florist created this perfectly. My parents retired eight days before we became engaged, so their retirement came to a brief halt and they became our full time wedding planners! Living in Sydney at the time made it very complicated for us to meet suppliers, so we were very lucky to have extremely creative and organised parents.
Invitations Full of Hearts and Hessian
I wanted to keep this theme of wooden hearts and hessian running through everything. I designed the invitations in conjunction with Stationery by Suzanne. We had lots of comments about how original they were and we were very happy with the handmade feel.
Familiar Faces for Hair and Makeup
I chose my childhood hairdresser to do everyone’s hair. She was the only person I could feel comfortable with, and I knew she would keep me calm throughout the day. As she was also coming as a guest she spent the morning hairdressing with rollers in her hair! My makeup was by Julia from One Lounge. Julia has been beautifying my whole family for many years so there was no one I would have rather had. Julia stayed until after the ceremony to touch up all our makeup which was a really good decision. Having my hairdresser at the wedding was also very useful after all the Israeli dancing!
An Unexpected Gown
I started looking for dresses in Sydney and fell in love with a lacy backless dress. On a visit back to Glasgow I went to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo in East Kilbride. Having not had great experiences in other shops, I was so happy with the service I received here. They were so helpful and let numerous people come and view the dress with me, including my dad! I ended up choosing a dress that I didn’t want to try on as it was’t backless, but when I put it on everyone knew it was the one.
The detail on the back was amazing and I loved the long train. I chose a simple veil to which my dressmaker added lace from my dress material as a finishing touch. Little lace sleeves were added for the ceremony that were later removed.
Keeping It in the Family
I wore my sister’s pearl earrings which were perfectly simple and complimented the beads on the dress. Jonny’s step-mum gave me her diamond bracelet to wear, which she wore when marrying my father-in-law. My sister-in-law has since worn it at her wedding also! My garter was made from lace taken from my mum’s wedding dress.
White Satin Heels
I originally didn’t want ‘wedding’ shoes but couldn’t find any that worked with my dress. I chose a satin white pair with a t-bar to keep me secure through all the dancing. However, straight after the photos I changed into satin white block heels, which was the best decision as I could then dance the night away pain-free!
A Classic Black Tux
Jonny wore a classic black three-piece tuxedo from Gieves and Hawkes. I bought him a watch as a wedding present, which he wore alongside his late grandpa’s cuff links.
Bridesmaids in Wrap Dresses
My sister was my maid of honor, while Jonny’s sister and my two best friends were my bridesmaids. The sisters wore one color and the bridesmaids a complimentary color. I chose wrap dresses as I wanted to make sure they all felt comfortable, and each could wear their dress in a choice of styles as they preferred. They each looked really amazing, and I was glad I went with neutral colors so that the flowers stood out against the dresses.
A Handmade Chuppah
My dad built the entire chuppah from scratch, which was incredibly special. We used my mum’s wedding dress as the chuppah canopy, which we will hopefully pass on to our children to create a family tradition. The lace was set against bright flowers and greenery, which complimented it very well.
A Ceremony Full of Personal Touches
My former headteacher at the school where I taught for four years was our rabbi. He was such an inspirational boss–there was no one else I wanted to marry us! Having a love for Scotland, he enjoyed talking to the piper and drinking Scotch whisky at the tisch. We sourced our ketubah in Jerusalem some weeks before the wedding, which made it very personal and special to us.
A Scottish Finale
I walked down the aisle to Eishet Chayil. Our first dance was Loving You by Paolo Nutini, which we love and reflected the Scottish theme. The night ended on Auld Lang Syne and The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond, as any good Scottish wedding does!
Green Thistle Buttonholes
April from Endrick Blooms was the most amazing florist. Peonies, Amaranthus, Viburnum, Olive, Alstromeria, Orchids, Grevillea, and Eremurus were the beautiful flowers that we included in all our arrangements. We had green thistles in the buttonholes to tie in with the Scottish theme.
Our Fabulous Photographer
We looked at a number of photographers’ websites while living in Sydney and spoke to a few over Skype. We decided on Ashley Coombes because of his documentary style photography, and when we finally met in person a few weeks before the wedding, he went over all the details with us and made us feel extremely comfortable. We were incredibly pleased with his photographs, especially those of the Israeli dancing where he got right in the middle of the action!
We actually chose not to have a cake. This was one area where we felt we could save on costs, as we had been to many weddings before where we had not even seen the cake! Our food was by Encroute Kosher Catering, who produced highly creative and tasty food. We chose some Scottish-themed canapà©s, including mini-burgers accompanied by mini-beer glasses of Irn-Bru! In terms of the main meal, we had an Israeli sharing plate for starter, Thai coconut chicken for main, and a trio of our favorite desserts!
A Scottish Piper
We had a piper who piped in the guests as they arrived at the castle. He stood at the top of the castle keep, which was a beautiful way to welcome our guests. We chose Storm Function band who were amazing! We spoke to them a number of times on the phone before the wedding, and the lead singer, Sara, even came up prior to the wedding for a site visit to help us decide where to place the stage. Their set was really energetic and kept the party going throughout the night.
A Family Affair
The whole family became involved in making things for our wedding. My dad not only built the chuppah but also our bar. He found old crates and spent hours in our garage designing and building it. My dad also cut different sized wood pieces, which my sister then used to make the blackboard signs for the day. My mum’s close friend also amazingly handmade all the Black Watch tartan kippahs.
Taste of Scotland
Being in Scotland and with so many English guests coming up, we wanted to give them a taste of Scotland so we sourced two vintage whisky barrels to become our own whisky bar, displaying a bottle of malt from each of the six whisky regions of Scotland.
Mementos of Our Loved Ones
We wanted to remember our family who couldn’t be with us but didn’t want references in the speeches to make everyone cry. We placed photographs and personal items that reminded us of these people in a special display of vintage wooden crates, complimented by some of the florist’s greenery. It was a very visual way to remember all our loved ones who are no longer with us.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
A close friend took me to the side of the marquee for a few minutes to look around at everyone enjoying themselves, and I am so grateful for this as it allowed me to really appreciate all the hard work that had gone into the wedding by so many people and to feel very thankful for all our friends and family who had traveled, making it a truly special day for us.
Nicole & Jonny’s little white book
Photography – Ashley Coombes
Videography – CPD Film
Venue – Duntreath Castle
Bride’s dress – Allure Bridals purchased at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo
Groom’s attire – Gieves and Hawkes
Makeup – One Lounge
Flowers – Endrick Blooms
Catering – Encroute Kosher Catering
Band – Storm Function
Invitations – Stationery by Suzanne