Hannah Mackinlay & Lee Dickson
19th June 2021
“Lee and I got engaged on Christmas Eve, three years after we got together. We had agreed not to do presents that year as we’d just been on holiday and spent a fortune. I got back from work that day to a present lying on the bed.
Initially, I can’t say I was best pleased that Lee had broken our ‘no present’ rule – I had got him absolutely nothing. While opening it, I soon realised that it was not the small ‘token’ gift he had said it was, but, in fact, a ring! I had to let him off, haha…
The following December (2020), we decided to go for it and book a venue. We had no idea what would happen over the next year, so we had to just hope for the best. Not long after setting the date, we went back into another lockdown with strict wedding rules in place.
Guest numbers was one of the thorniest issues to navigate. They changed so many times in the run-up to our wedding, it made inviting people a bit tricky. We had asked would-be guests to save the date, but had warned them that it could change.
We took a risk booking during the pandemic, but thankfully it paid off. All we wanted to do was get married and have all our favourite people together. Due to Covid restrictions, we weren’t allowed to have evening guests attend. In the end, we had around 40 people all day.
Fruin Farm near Helensburgh was the first and only venue we went to see. As soon as we had the tour, we knew it was for us. Its barn has a lovely feel and our hearts were set on the ceremony being there. Once you have made that first decision, it suddenly makes planning the rest a lot easier.
We were extremely lucky that the venue supplied most of the decor for us. We weren’t too fussy about the specific details, but their general style suited us to a tee.
Neither of us are religious, so we opted for a humanist ceremony. Stephen McLaren had married our friends a few years before and was brilliant, so we were delighted when he said he was available for ours. Our ceremony was personal, light-hearted and funny thanks to Stevie – he totally nailed it!
Rachel at Rachel Scott Couture in Edinburgh was outstanding: professional, reassuring and just amazing at her job. I walked in to the boutique totally clueless, but very quickly, with her careful guidance, she managed to help me pick the most amazing dress – a bespoke version of Sassi Holford’s Amber gown. Not only that, I think she probably holds the world record for the quickest dress turnaround as it was fitted and ready to wear within six days.
One of the only traditions I was keen to keep was my Dad walking me down the aisle. We drove to the wedding together in his car, just the two of us, and he managed to keep us both surprisingly calm.
We had a very relaxed meal without a seating plan or a set menu to avoid too much formality. Also, as neither of us really like being centre of attention, we ditched the speeches. However, on the day, the two best men insisted on giving a small one each. We were both let off lightly and managed to escape unscathed (mostly!).
Initially, I was planning to bake our wedding cake myself. In hindsight, I’m not sure what I was thinking! The day before the wedding, my Mum surprised us with the most amazing cake. It was a million times better than anything I could have made, and a lot less stressful.
Our photographs are 100% our favourite keepsake from the day. I cannot stress enough how comfortable Danielle Christine made us feel. Neither of us are particularly good in front of the camera, so it was no easy feat for her to be able to get such beautiful photos. Her calming, kind nature made us forget that she was even pointing a camera at us at times.
To top it off, she carried around a secret speaker playing music which made us relax even more when having our photos taken. By the time we got to bed that night, we already had a few sneak peeks sent through, which was a lovely way to end our day.
Everyone says it, but we were surprised at how quickly the day goes by. Nothing prepares you for how much of a whirlwind it is, so savour every single moment.
Our wedding was one of the first proper events most of our guests had been to since the start of the pandemic. Everyone was just so happy to finally be together and have something to celebrate!”
Top tip: “When you’re shopping, ask someone to take small video clips of you wearing any dresses that you think you like. Trying on wedding dresses for the first time can be a bit overwhelming, so it gives you a chance to look back at them without any pressure. It can surprisingly change your opinion on what you thought was your favourite.”
Celebrant Stephen McLaren, Humanism in ScotlandBride’s dress Sassi Holford at Rachel Scott Couture Bride’s shoes Sophia WebsterBridesmaids’ dresses ASOS Hair Molly Drumm HairMakeup Laura Shirley Makeup
Groomswear House of Argyll
Cake CAKED by Catherine
Flowers Murrays Florist
Favours Chrystal’s Shortbread “A family favourite,” says Hannah. Transport Double Six Chauffeur Limousines