Atmospheric and intimate winter solstice wedding with cute dog that was rearranged in just six weeks

Deborah Turnbull & Greg Reid

21st December 2020

Venue | Meldrum House, Aberdeenshire
Photography | Nicola Stewart Photography

a bride and groom kissing in front of a Christmas tree at Meldrum House

“Greg and I had been together about 18 months when he popped the question. We were on a staycation in Knoydart in the Highlands. It was just the two of us and our wee dog Rolo on the beach – it was the best day!

We originally booked Aswanley as it’s full of character and has gorgeous grounds. However, owing to the pandemic, we decided to bring our wedding forward by 10 months. We instead ended up getting married at Meldrum House. It was idyllic and cosy – ideal for the time of year.

We left ourselves just six weeks to pull together everything for our new date. For our original October date, I spent ages thinking about all the little bits I could do myself in order to save money. It was actually quite liberating just paying a hotel and letting them do everything!

Even so, we still added a lot of our own personal touches: I made our table plan and I painted my own leather jacket – it’s my favourite keepsake from the wedding. We got my friend to paint signs and dotted The White Company’s winter candles around the venue to add to the festive atmosphere. We also made our own sloe gin and decanted it into little bottles for our guests to take home.

The restricted numbers didn’t bother us: we were in the frame of mind that we just wanted the best day with our closest friends and family. Nothing else mattered. We had 15 guests.

We live-streamed our humanist ceremony, led by lovely celebrant Rachel Donald, to Greg’s sister and one of my bridesmaids who lives in Australia. My sister (also maid of honour) and her husband organised for our missing guests to record messages for us on a website which was really touching.

I’m a romantic at heart, so most wedding traditions were important to me. After watching Father of the Bride a million times, having my Dad walk me down the aisle was one of the most important ones. I’m so glad and lucky to have had him give me away.

The girls at Elmar Bridal were brilliant at helping me find a dress. I was shopping off the peg, so I was worried that my options would be limited. Not so. I opted for a simple, elegant satin dress with pockets – exactly the style I had in mind from the outset.

We wanted atmospheric pictures and adored how photographer Nicola Stewart highlights every emotion and moment in her pictures. Both her and our videographer Ali captured the day amazingly.

Seeing our dog Rolo after the ceremony and getting our couple pictures taken was one of our favourite parts of the day. We were on such a high after getting married! Consequently, my favourite image is the one of Greg holding our pup and me kissing him as it sums up our little family perfectly: happy and in love.

Due to Covid, we weren’t allowed to dance, so we just had music playing from our phones. We also played the ‘Mr and Mrs’ game instead which was fun.”

Top tip: “If you’re getting married mid-winter, don’t have the ceremony too late in the day. In hindsight, we should’ve got married a little earlier so there was more time for pictures outside. We didn’t take into account that we were getting married on the shortest day of the year.”

Celebrant Rachel Donald
Bride’s dress Elmar Bridal
Bride’s shoes Ted Baker
Bride’s accessories Tiffany & Co.
Groomswear Gibbs Menswear
Bridesmaids’ dresses ASOS
Cake Couture Wedding Cake by Sweetcheeks
Flowers Hay’s Flowers
Stationery Love Paper Co.
Favours homemade sloe gin
Engagement and wedding rings ROX
Piper Julie from Thistle Piping
Filmmaker Ali Stewart, Flat 4D Media (scroll down to see video highlight)
Hair Gemma Taylor Hair
Makeup Tracey Cepeda Makeup Artistry

a wooden wedding welcome sign on an easela personalised wedding champagne glass and a wedding veil embroidered with Future Mrs Reida black leather jacket painted with leaves and the words Mrs Reidsoles of a groom's shoes reading Game Overa bride walking down the aisle on the arm of a man with groom looking ona wedding ceremony of a bride and groom at Meldrum House with celebrant Rachel Donaldbride drinking from a quaicha bride's funny expression after drinking from a quaicha bride and groom hand in hand at Meldrum Housea bride and groom holding hands and walking at Meldrum Housetwo dogs on leads being held by two people a-bride-and-groom-with-their-dog-in-front-of-a-staircase-at-Meldrum-Housea-close-up-of-a-white-bridal-bouquet-by-Hays-Flowers a bride and groom walking in the grounds of Meldrum Housea black and white image of a bride and groom kissing at Meldrum Housea bride and groom head to head by a pond at Meldrum Housewedding shoes with personalised soles being carried by a groom in a kilta bride and groom in a doorway at Meldrum Housea bride and groom in the grounds of Meldrum Housethe back of a bride and groom walking in fields at Meldrum Housea smiling bride and two bridesmaids wearing navy at Meldrum HouseThe White Company winter fragrance on a basket of rose petalsa personalised bride festive candlea chiavari chair tied with a hessian bow