James McMinn & Leila McLaren
10th May 2019
“The proposal was all planned out. I even bought a drone for the occasion! The plan was to head up Ben A’an and get down on one knee at the summit, but on the day it was raining heavily and Leila was in a housework kind of mood.
So, I had the challenge of convincing her to come out for a dog walk to a local waterfall. It was pouring and the path was overgrown and slippy. I launched the drone overhead and asked her to join me at the edge of the water for a photo. When she was (reluctantly) posing, I got down on one knee and popped the question.
We set about finding a venue first. Leila had always wanted to marry in a castle but after checking out a couple, we felt that they weren’t up to modern standards inside. Inglewood was the third place we visited and we knew the wedding just had to be there. Everything about it was perfect: the staff are so friendly and helpful and there’s a beautiful staircase that becomes the aisle. We were sold.
I’m a traditional Scottish guy, so we had all the groomsmen in kilts. A ceilidh was also a priority (we adore them), as was a handfasting. Our mothers drank from a quaich during our ceremony too.
Being able to have live music made the day. We were honoured to have our family friends, Justine and Ewan McKay, play during our ceremony. Afterwards, a piper led us into the reception and, later still, the amazing Corra entertained us and our guests with a mix of Scottish ceilidh music and covers all night. They made our evening. Everyone was up dancing, including Leila’s 84-year-old papa, who had a blast swinging his kilt!
Leila took my breath away. I will never forget seeing her walk down that staircase aisle. She bought her vintage-inspired gown from Charlotte Grace in Doune. It was the first she tried on.
The seating plan was tricky, but once we sat down and thought about it, it eventually fell together. For everything else, we kept an open mind and were willing to listen to our suppliers, which paid off. Make sure you book them as early as you can. And try to delegate! I know Leila’s ’maids took some pressure off.
Top tip: “Enjoy your day and remember it’s about the two of you. Concentrate on making yourselves happy. We had stressed about it for over a year and, in the end, were shocked at how smoothly it all went.”
Brides’ dress Charlotte Grace (01786 842424)
Bridesmaids’ dresses Wed2B
Groomswear House of Henderson
Mother-of-the-bride outfit Bear Necessities
Celebrant Les Gray at Independent Humanist Ceremonies
Flowers Green Pea Studio & Garden
Venue decor Eze Events
Filmmaker ViewGo Events
Makeup Nadine Grant Makeup Artist