A classic Scottish country house wedding in Fife with white roses, gold accents and a very cute Cockapoo

Hollie Falconer & Stuart Calder

20th March 2022

Venue | Balbirnie House, Fife
Photography | Casey Stewart Photography

a bride and groom walking through confetti outside Balbirnie House

“Stuart’s intention was to propose during a holiday to Bali. Like many others, our getaway plans were curtailed due to Covid. However, after purchasing the ring, he was too excited to wait much longer, so as soon as restrictions eased, he booked us a night away in Glasgow. We got engaged at the Kimpton Blythswood Square and then celebrated with cocktails into the wee hours.

My first major wedding decision was my makeup artist. Even before our engagement, I knew I needed Heather Niblo Makeup Artistry to glam me up. She had done my makeup a few times before and always made me look and feel amazing.

When Stuart and I spoke about our dream wedding, we both described the same thing: a long winding driveway leading up to a stunning venue with lots of outdoor space for pictures; a bright, open room to have the ceremony in; and accommodation for all of the bridal party to stay in the night before. Most importantly, it had to be dog friendly so our little cockapoo Ted could be there with us. Balbirnie House ticked every single one of those boxes.

We have to give a massive shout-out to Balbirnie’s Master of Ceremonies, David. He was incredible from start to finish. He helped to get the boys dressed in their kilts in the morning; he lifted the train of my dress during our couple’s photoshoot; and ensured the reception ran faultlessly. Our wedding was absolutely seamless and it was all down to him.

Gordon Bond from Independent Humanist Ceremonies was our celebrant. He hit that sweet spot between professional and humourous admirably. We wanted to include some Scottish rituals, so we got a quaich engraved from which we drank a blend of whiskies. We also ‘tied the knot’ in a handfasting using a cut-off from my wedding dress and the tartan Stuart was wearing.

I made a very last-minute decision to change my entrance music. It was originally meant to be River Flows in You by Yiruma, but I couldn’t hear the song without being in floods of tears! I walked down the aisle to the classic Pachelbel’s Canon In D instead.

Another important musical choice was booking a saxophonist. I really wanted to incorporate an element of surprise (including for the groom!) and came across Chris Hardie. He performed a mix of classic dance anthems and Ibiza bangers which went down a storm with our guests.

Our favourite keepsake from the big day? A personalised vinyl record of our first-dance song, Runaway by The Corrs gifted from my sister and her partner.

We ditched the obligatory Loch Lomond at the end of the night. We didn’t feel like this song represented us at all, so we opted for Last Dance by Donna Summer instead. (Although there were a few more after this, as we simply didn’t want the night to end.)

We met photographer Casey Stewart at a wedding we’d previously been guests at. We loved his banter, personality and pictures. He was our first-choice photographer and he didn’t disappoint – he kept us laughing all day.

The best man’s speech has got to take the crown for funniest moment. He had been nervous about it for months before, but he smashed it on the day. It was funny, sentimental and cheeky all at once.

It was unforgettable being in a room surrounded by all our closest friends and family and watching them all have the best time. Due to Covid, it had been such a long time since everyone had got together like that, making it all the more special. The love and support we felt at our wedding was incredible.

We’re so glad that we hired a videographer because there is so much of the day that goes by in a blur. We now can’t wait to see the film and have cosy nights in watching it all back.”

Top tip:  “It’s easier said than done, but please try not to stress about the little things,” urges Hollie. “Focus on what the wedding is about and – most importantly – who it’s about. You’re going to look back and remember the most amazing day spent with all your closest friends and family, not the small stuff.”

Celebrant Gordon Bond, Independent Humanist Ceremonies
Bride’s dress Bijoux Bridal Boutique
Bridesmaids’ dresses Lipsy at Next
Hair LOX by Lindsay
Makeup Heather Niblo Makeup Artistry; Karen McCallum Makeup
Nails Kirstin Lianne Nail Studio
Groomswear Slanj Kilts
Cake and fondant cookie favours Cake’s My Middle Name
Additional favours Gin, vodka and whisky liqueurs made by the groom’s dad
Flowers Sister Sister Bouquets
Stationery Made by the bride using templates from Etsy
Venue decor Enlighten My Day
Wedding film Cinematique Film Company (scroll on to see)
Saxophonist Chris Hardie Sax
Reception entertainment Fresh Entertainments

a bride and her bridesmaids getting ready on wedding morning at Balbirnie Housemen in kilts, a man with bagpipes and a dog standing on a red carpet in formation at Balbirnie Housewhite roses ceremony arch and chiavari chairs set out for a wedding ceremony at Balbirnie Housedetail of a gold personalised name cake toppera bride posing with 4 bridesmaids wearing burgundy standing in front of a windowa man in a kilt looking delighted and surprised as he looks at a bride wearing a veila man in a kilt walking a bride down the aisle while guests look ona wedding ceremony of a bride and grooma bride dabbing her eyes with handkerchief during wedding ceremonya cockapoo at a wedding ceremonya bride and groom performing a handfasting during a wedding ceremony in front of a white floral archa bride and groom being showered in confetti outside balbirnie housea wedding guest group photo outside Balbirnie Housea bride with 4 bridesmaids wearing ruby halterneck dresses in the grounds of Balbirnie Houseblack and white image of bride and groom kissing in the grounds of balbirnie housea bride and groom walking in garden at balbirnie house holding handsa bride and groom posing outside with a cockapoo on a leada bride and groom walking in the grounds of Balbirnie House with a cockapoo on a leadportraits of a bride and groom at Balbirnie Houseballroom of balbirnie house dressed for a wedding dinnerminiature personalised wedding favour bottles filled with gin and whiskyiced wedding biscuit reading mr and mrs calder with wedding datea bride and groom entering a room cheered by wedding guesta laughing bride and groom with guest sitting at a top tablea groom making a wedding speech while other guests claplaughing wedding guests at Balbirniea bride and groom cutting a gold and ivory striped wedding cake on a loga bride and groom pose as wedding guests take pictures on their phonesa bride and groom do their first dance at balbirnie house as guests look ona bride hugging a man in a kilt and dancing with the groom