Lauren McNaught & Diane Ashby
6th August 2022
Venue | Strathaven Hotel, South Lanarkshire
Photographer | For Love and Thistle
“Diane and I had been together for three years before she proposed. We were house-sitting for friends and having a cosy night in, but it couldn’t have been more perfect. She’d asked for my dad’s permission to marry me, which was one of the few wedding traditions that mattered to me.
We simply enjoyed being engaged for a while before we started planning. The first thing we sorted out was our venue. We wanted to host everything under one roof and accommodation was a priority, as we had friends and family travelling from down south who wouldn’t want to drive.
From the moment we saw the Strathaven Hotel we were sold on its standout features. Its events staff are brilliant at what they do and treat your wedding as if it was their own (shout out to Morgan and Gillian!). Our big day wouldn’t have been what it was, or ran as smoothly if it wasn’t for their input.
We wanted our wedding to be simple but very ‘us’. My cousin gave us the best advice early on: it’s your day so make sure it’s what you want, not what others might want.
The Disney film Up was a major inspiration. Throughout our relationship, anything sentimental has been themed around the movie. We had colourful balloons and wore rainbow Converse, but the main drive was for the day to be relaxed and enjoyable for everyone as possible.
The ceremony was a massive hit. We both walked down the aisle with our dads, Diane to Savage Garden’s I Knew I Loved You and me to Ruelle’s I Get To Love You. It was a humanist ceremony so it gave guests an insight into the side of our relationship that only we see. Later on, our first dance was to Just You and I by Tom Walker.
Our excellent celebrant Sandy Geddes from Independent Humanist Ceremonies was complemented by so many of our guests about the service. Everyone loved it and still talks about it now.
We have a lot of crafty and creative people in our lives who helped us make so many of the bits for our wedding. Our friend Vicky handmade a ring box that Diane used to propose and it featured again during the ceremony. We now treasure it. A family friend who’s an ex-florist done our flowers and as they are artificial, they are now displayed as a gorgeous keepsake in our house.
We had unexpected drama four days before the wedding when our photographer pulled out! Holly at For Love + Thistle was recommended to us and when we looked at her Instagram feed, we couldn’t stop scrolling through her amazing photos. They were natural, beautiful and most importantly – fun! We can’t thank her enough for cancelling her first full weekend off in months to capture our day. We love our images so much.
61 attended all day and there were around 120-130 in total for the evening reception. Having our friends and family together under one roof was an undoubted highlight, as it doesn’t happen too often. A personal standout memory was when Diane changed into a white dress and heels and surprised all our guests during the reception. The reaction to it was absolutely priceless and everything we hoped for!
What surprised us most about getting married? The feeling that Diane and I are now an ‘official team’, the Ashby-McNaughts! I don’t think either of us expected that added sense of being part of something that is just the two of us.”
Top tip: “Set time aside to deal with things every couple of months to start with (we gave ourselves around two years to plan). When we were a year out, we started to look at stuff every month, then from six months out, we made time weekly,” says Lauren. “Oh – and if you want the most unreal confetti pictures, Flutter Darlings is the brand to buy.”
Venue Strathaven Hotel
Photography For Love + Thistle Photography
Celebrant Sandy Geddes, Independent Humanist Ceremonies
Lauren’s dress Wed2B
Diane’s suit Slater Menswear
Hair Amy Gillespie
Makeup Charlie Campbell, Bang Bang Beauty
Nails Devine Beauty
Cake Made by friend Vicky
Flowers Family friend Sharon
Venue décor A mixture of homemade and help from friends
Wedding rings John McKay Jewellers
Reception DJ Raymond Byrne
Photobooth Blue Parrot Events
Confetti Flutter Darlings