Gillian & Garry – Happily Ever Hemmings

Today I am so excited to bring you a beautifully classic wedding with a contemporary twist, which took place at Norton House Hotel in Edinburgh last November – that I actually attended in person as a guest. Gillian and Garry met in 2012 after being introduced by a mutual friend, Gillian says “I had been single for a couple of years (and wasn’t getting any younger!) so thought, why not?”. Their first date was during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where they realised they had so much in common, including their love of guinea pigs!


The Proposal

Three and a half years after they met, Garry proposed on a quiet Sunday morning at home. I loved the intimate, personal proposal story and had to share it as a setting for their wedding story. Gillian was waiting for Garry to come back after a long offshore work trip, as they had planned a little holiday together for when he returned. Garry burst through the door “looking a little rugged and unwashed after hours of travelling” but he then produced a stunning gold diamond ring. The couple celebrated the engagement with a two-night stay at the Old Course in St Andrews to make the event even more special. Dreamy!



The Wedding

Gillian and Garry wanted to get married within nine months, which meant it was technically a “last minute wedding”. This shorter time frame actually helped them save a little bit of money as they were able to bargain with vendors. The day itself was based in The Garden Suite at the Norton House Hotel, which is a modern part of the hotel built later and added on for ceremonies and special events. After the meal, we moved through to the main part of the hotel, built in 1840, for continued bubbles to kick off the evening reception. The hotel layout allowed the couple to have more flexibility in their day in my
opinion, as they had their pick of different areas for each part.

My hubby and I stayed overnight for the wedding and I have to say I was very impressed with the hotel, it was very modern throughout but had kept a lot of the original traditional Scottish features. Our room was about the size of our entire flat in East London! I was devastated we were only there for one night! It was one of the nicest hotels I have ever stayed in, which gave the wedding that extra ‘je ne sais quoi’ for me.

Despite the mid November date, the sun shone for the happy couple, so they were able to capture some gorgeous photographs in the grounds of the hotel.


Gillian and Garry wanted to create a traditional and classic wedding with little vintage touches. They sensibly opted for neutral decor details rather than anything trend based so they wouldn’t look back at the day and cringe, very sensible!  I’ve seen this mistake too often!





The Flowers

The flowers were all created by Liberty Blooms and featured a selection of classic wedding flowers alongside a few Scottish touches like thistles. To add to the classic but vintage theme Gillian had gorgeous vintage pink Amnesia roses in her bouquet which matched Garry’s button hole. The soft pinks, blues and greens used in the flowers created a faded effect that perfectly complimented the whole wedding. Such a lovely, almost wintry, hue – and thistles are my absolute favourite. Combined with her lipstick and little bolero, Gillian totally nailed this soft colour palette.



The Dress

Gillian wore a classic a-line gown in white satin, which was a bespoke creation designed by Liliana Dabic at La Novia. The large bow at the back gave the dress a touch of fun vintage style, while the front looked classic and demure. Which I can tell you, had the guests in the ceremony room audibly gasping at how beautiful it was when she walked past us down the aisle.  You absolutely did not expect the dramatic plunging back, complimenting bow or gorgeous flowing train until you saw it for yourself. To match the vintage theme Gillian wore a handmade birdcage veil by Emma Gilvear Boutique, she also borrowed a sapphire and diamond bracelet from her mum and a blue garter from her mother-in law. To keep warm in the Scottish November weather Gillian wore a feather bolero from Liberty in Love, which was just the perfect colour of blush.


Keeping It Personal

There were lots of subtle personal details that added to Gillian and Garry’s perfect day which I absolutely loved. The tone of the day was also set by beers and bubbles pre-ceremony, and their minister and officiant was so relaxed and warm we actually thought he was a friend of the family (he wasn’t, but he was great). He also lightened the mood somewhat by (almost) taking a ‘call from God’, no less! (His mobile rang during the ceremony but he styled it out effortlessly, and in good humour – after telling us all to switch ours off, several times!)


Family and close friends were also key to Gillian and Garry’s day; the cute flower girl was the couple’s niece, a friend read a poem she had written especially about the couple as a surprise, and all of their stationery was bespoke and stylishly designed by a close friend of Gillian’s, Michelle at the Ruffled Paper & Design Boutique (you should have seen the hen party invites too! Stationery goals – and I’m a stationery designer…!).



Some Advice for Future Brides

When I asked Gillian what the best piece of advice she received was, she answered me with this very sensible slice of wisdom, “I remember calling my sister one night worrying about all the little things I still needed to sort. She told me that it’s no big deal, and it’s just one day. So yes, whilst it’s the one day you think and dream of on the run up to it, it’s really just one day. And it’s a day to enjoy the experience of, not worry about the little things.”





Gillian and Garry’s wedding was a true classic in the best and most elegant sense. The various vintage inspired touches and the large surprise bow on the back of Gillian’s gown all added little personal elements to make it a gorgeously beautiful, classic yet contemporary November day.





All photos kindly courtesy of Louise Anna Photography. 


Bride’s accessories: Birdcage Veil from Emma Gilvear Boutique. Feather bolero from Liberty in Love. Sapphire and diamond bracelet – borrowed from bride’s mum. Blue garter – borrowed from bride’s mother-in-law.
Bride’s gown: Bespoke design by Liliana Dabic at La Novia (belt also)
Bride’s shoes: Jenny Packham at Debenhams
Bridesmaid shoes: Next
Bridesmaid accessories: Coast
Bridesmaid dresses: Mori Lee at The Glass Slipper in Dunfermline
Cake: Liggy’s Cakes in Edinburgh
Caterer: Norton House 

Celebrant: Rev Peter Davidge
Ceremony music: Harpist Ruth Mackay
Entertainment: DJ Dan Moore, Hi-Life Entertainment
Flower girl attire: Dress, shrug and shoes from John Lewis
Flowers: Liberty Blooms 

Groom’s attire: Kilt & Suit Co, Hamilton
Groom’s shoes: Schuh
Groomsmen attire: Kilt & Suit Co, Hamilton
Groomsmen shoes: Schuh
Hair: Honey & Violet, Dunblane
Honeymoon: Thailand, booked via Trailfinders
Invitations / Stationery: Ruffled Paper & Design Boutique
Makeup: Honey & Violet, Dunblane
Photobooth: Blushbooth
Photographer: Louise Anna Photography
Reception venue: The Ballroom at the Norton House Hotel
Rings: Alan Cunningham Jeweller, Linlithgow
Transport: Definitive Class Cars
Venue decor: Ambience Venue Styling
Videographer: Wedding Utopia Film
Wedding planner: Lisa Lesutis (and team) at Norton House Hotel


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