A pretty Perthshire marquee wedding that didn’t let the rain put a dampener on the party

Georgina Webster & Ross Girvan

25th May 2019

Venue | Murthly Estate, Perthshire
Photography | Solen Photography

bride and groom laughing and hugging in the garden at Murthly Castle

“Ross and I both lived in Pitlochry and knew of each other, but we didn’t properly meet until a night out in our hometown. We went on a few dates and ‘officially’ became an item at our friends’ engagement party. I was at university in St Andrews at the time, and Ross lived in Fort Augustus, so it was a bit of a long-distance relationship for a few years.

We were together for about three years when Ross booked us a trip away to the French Alps. I was pregnant with our son, Magnus, and heavy snowfall meant it was a bit hard to get about. We went for a walk, but didn’t get very far – so Ross asked me to marry him on a dirty snow pile at the side of the road! He was popping his mini champagne bottle before I’d even said yes!

We were after a wedding venue that we could make our own and had some history. We knew we weren’t looking for a hotel function room; we wanted somewhere in a beautiful setting that we could decorate as we wished. Ross is a bit of a tree lover, so a spot that was surrounded by woodland was a bonus. (It was an obsession I hadn’t realised Ross had until we started looking at venues!)

We were bowled over by Murthly Estate in Perthshire. It was impressive, incredibly romantic and we could have it completely to ourselves. It has wonderful big trees, a beautiful river and a pretty walled garden. There is also a chapel by the main house that we could use for the ceremony. Despite neither of us being religious, it still felt spiritual.

We opted for a humanist ceremony as, based on attending friends’ weddings, we love how personal they tend to be. Our amazing celebrant Lara Celini from Humanist Society Scotland kept us right the whole way through.

The ceremony was our favourite bit of the day actually. We went all-out with traditions: we drank from the quaich, we had a hand fasting, the guests sang, we had a reading and my bridesmaid, Kirsty Fisher, performed while we signed the register. It was all special and – this will sound cheesy – there was an awful lot of love in that room.

Afterwards, us and our 130 guests walked to the walled garden where we had the reception in a marquee. It was a total team effort decorating the marquee. We had a lot of pink peonies, daisies and bunting made by my friend Ruth at Bruar Kelpies. I created all the signage – table plan, directions, place names etc – and printed a load of photos to dot about for decorations. We got some silver birch trees and hung lots of little origami birds from the branches that my bridesmaids spent ages making.

Our pressed flower-covered cake was absolutely divine. It was made by Flora Shedden who runs the amazing Aran Bakery in Dunkeld (she was a guest at the wedding too).

We had a hog roast from Highland Spit Roast and caterers Wilde Thyme provided the rest of the food. The latter basically ran the show, truth be told. They helped organise the running order of the day and the speeches, did all the setting out of furniture and layout of the marquee. Most of all, they just really put our mind at ease during the planning and throughout the day itself.

We want to give a special mention to the rain. It chucked it down solidly all day. But somehow, it made it even more special (and ultimately stopped people from wandering off). We embraced the downpour with our photographer, Solen, and second shooter, Alix. We laughed with them, we were weird with them, and they genuinely captured us. Solen’s photos are creative and a little different – she even used a puddle’s reflection to great effect.

Music is really important to us and we have a lot of very talented friends who we knew we wanted to play during the day. I walked down the aisle to the dramatic and romantic Hymne a L’amour by Edith Piaf. It was my granny’s favourite song.

Our friends Ben and Lisa played a mix of covers and original music for our drinks reception and got everyone in the mood to party. They also performed a rendition of one of Ross’ own songs which was awfully special. Hats off to band The Big Shoogle too for the incredibly intense ceilidh that kicked off the evening – they were brilliant, professional and really good fun.

The hardest part of wedding planning? The guest list was a bit of a nightmare. You never want to upset anyone or leave anyone out, but you can’t invite everyone. I got quite excited and invited a few people after cocktails one night and had to retract the invites the next day – it was very awkward.

It was overwhelming how much love we felt on the day from our friends and family. Everyone was there to celebrate us, which was such an amazing feeling. Everyone told us that you don’t have time to get drunk on your wedding day: not true…”

Top tip: “Consider hiring a babysitter or creche service if there’s a few little ones on the guest list. Our only slight regret is not organising one for our nieces and wee boy. Having another person there to solely keep an eye on them would have been handy to make sure everyone could’ve enjoyed the day fully.”

Celebrant Lara Celini, Humanist Society Scotland
Bride’s dress Rembo Styling at Apple Blossom Time [boutique closed down]
Bridesmaids’ and flower girls’ dresses Monsoon
Groomswear own kilt plus jacket from MacNaughtons of Pitlochry
Cake Aran Bakery, Dunkeld
Catering Highland Spit Roasts and Wild Thyme
Bar Mobile Measures
Bouquets and flower crowns Williamson’s, Perth
Venue flowers sourced and arranged by the bride and bridesmaids
Stationery designed by the bride
Hair and makeup Sarah Clarke
Marquee Myreton Marquees
Ceilidh band The Big Shoogle
Gift list Patchwork

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