Fairground fun at this boho Brisbane House Hotel wedding

Elizabeth Walker and Maciej Kowalski

13th May 2023

Venue | Brisbane House Hotel, Largs
Photography | David Long Photography

bride and groom on colourful teacups fairground ride

“Maciej and I were together about two-and-a-half years before he got down on one knee and popped the question at home in August 2021. He had already sought my father’s approval ahead of the proposal and had shown his mum and stepfather the engagement ring in secret when they had been over from Poland visiting us.

I said yes, of course, and we cracked into my favourite bottle of champagne that he’d had chilling in the fridge.

We enjoy taking trips to Largs for fish and chips and ice cream, so it’s a place that already holds happy memories for us both. Brisbane House Hotel is a gem of a venue right next to the promenade. We loved that it had outside facilities for our 100 guests to relax and soak up the views of the sea and plenty of accommodation for friends and family to stay over.

We knew Largs would also be a winner as a beautiful backdrop for our wedding photos. We were keen to incorporate the fun of the fair and the ice cream stall. I also wanted to include the iconic Nardini’s, a place I visited a lot growing up. It was also where I got my first Saturday job as a waitress.

We lined up David Long as our wedding photographer after seeing his work on Facebook. We were looking for someone who would be able to accommodate our ideas for our photographs and embrace our chilled and fun approach to the day. David certainly did that, even stopping traffic for us as we recreated the Beatles’ iconic ‘Abbey Road’ album cover with myself and my bridesmaids on a zebra crossing!

We stayed at the hotel from the Friday to the Sunday. On the Friday, we enjoyed a trip over to Millport on the ferry, cycled around the island and enjoyed a picnic with friends and family, before welcoming more friends from near and far back at the hotel. We had guests travelling from Poland, England and Iceland, so it was nice to have dinner and drinks to catch up with everyone.

We budgeted £12k but spent nearer £14k. It was important to Maciej and I to source local suppliers. They were all amazing and went above and beyond for us.

Case in point: Sharon’s Bridal Boutique in Kilwinning. Sharon was so accommodating and patient during my appointment. I was over the moon when I discovered that my chosen dress was from the ‘Preloved Reloved’ selection at the store. I was touched by the idea that my gown had a history, and that I was part of a sustainable story.

We first met celebrant Janice Hendry from Fuze Ceremonies at Brisbane House’s wedding fair. She was brilliant to deal with from the outset and helped tailor a personal ceremony that would tell the story of how we met and share our happy memories together with all our guests.

We incorporated both Scottish and Polish traditions during our ceremony too. We had a traditional Scottish handfasting, my mum sung a song blessing our marriage, and Maciej’s stepfather performed a Polish blessing. After the speeches by my dad, Maciej and best man Chris, we all had a shot of Polish vodka as a toast, something else that happens at weddings in Poland.

Getting the music right was important to us. I walked down the aisle to Al Green’s ‘Let’s Stay Together’; we signed the marriage certificate as Led Zeppelin’s ‘Thank You’ played; and walked back up the aisle as husband and wife to ‘You’re My Best Friend’ by Queen. Our first dance was The Cure’s cover of Adele’s ‘Love Song’. The DJ in the evening took requests too. Everyone was up dancing all night.

Alongside the wonderful memories and amazing pictures we have, I asked my florist Samantha Kennedy if she could use wildflowers in our bouquets that would dry naturally. They have all turned out beautifully and are my favourite keepsakes from the wedding.

Top tip: “If you have a supplier in mind that you like, don’t hesitate to book them. We discovered that many book up quickly and you could end up disappointed if you are not able to get them.”

Venue Brisbane House Hotel
Photography David Long Photography
Celebrant Janice Hendry, Fuze Ceremonies
Bride’s dress Sharon’s Bridal Boutique
Bridesmaid and flower girl dresses David’s Bridal
Makeup MakeMeUp by Claire, based at The Studio in Prestwick
Hair Linda Kay McGhee
Nails Unique Nail by Jodie, Saltcoats
Groomswear Tailored tartan suit from Clyde Kilts
Rings Ernest Jones and Chisholm Hunter
Cake West Coast Cakes
Flowers Samantha Kennedy Florist
Stationery Abbey Screen and Digital Print
Favours ‘Grow your own love’ flower bombs in biodegradable personalised favour bags Evening DJ and additional ceremony and venue decor C&J Weddings

five men holding glasses to toasta bride hugging a man in a kilta man in a kilt entering a door with a blurred out head in foregrounda table setting and menu with flowers at Brisbane Houseflower and foliage wedding moongate arch with all you need is love neon sign in middlea person wearing a tartan jacket and tiea bride and man in kilt walking down aisle as guests look ona bride and groom wedding ceremony at Brisbane House Hotela bride and groom holding hands during a wedding ceremony at Brisbane Housea bride and groom exchanging rings as person holds black foldera bride and groom kissing in front of a floral and foliage moongate archa person singing a document as others look ona bride sitting on an ornate cream throne style chair with a man in a tartan suita bride and groom walking up aisle at Brisbane House Hotela bride and groom linking arms as they drink a shota bride and groom walking along Largs esplanadea bride and 4 bridesmaids wearing mint green cross the road outside Nardinis in Largsa bride and groom smile outside a colourful fairground token stallbride and groom on colourful teacups fairground ridebride and groom on colourful teacups fairground ridethree bridesmaids on colourful teacups fairground ridebride and groom walking along Largs esplanadea wedding party waving at Largs ferry terminala wedding party at Largs ferry terminala wedding party waving to a CalMac ferry in Largsa blurry image of a bride and groom sharing an ice cream with ice cream stall in backgrounda bride and groom walking with ice cream in hand in largs with people ina bride hugging a giant pink and purple foxbride and groom sitting on a stone wall with grass in foreground and bushes in backgrounda groom in a tartan suit being held horizontally by a bride and 4 bridesmaids wearing minta groom in a tartan suit being held horizontally by a bride and 4 bridesmaids wearing minta groom in a tartan suit being dropped by a bride and 4 bridesmaids wearing minta smiling bride and groom holding hands in a garden with tree in backgrounda bride and groom laughing while sitting on ornate cream thronestop table at Brisbane House with bride and groombride and groom laughing while sitting on ornate cream thronesa white and gold three tier wedding cake with flowers

Read all about the gorgeous renovation of the honeymoon suite at The Busby Hotel’s (Brisbane House Hotel’s sister venue) here

Got your heart set on marrying in Burns’ country? Check out some of Ayrshire’s best wedding venues here