Family-focused Edinburgh wedding with a surprise appearance from a Highland cow!

Kirsty Allan & Dave Pugh

24th September 2022

Venue | St Mary’s Church and Melville Castle, Midlothian
Photographer | Jennifer Glen Photography

a bride and groom carry a flower girl

“After 18 months together, Dave proposed on a family holiday in Aberdeenshire. He took me out for a lovely meal at the Seafield Arms in Cullen and I was quite nervous – I had a feeling this could be the moment! However, when he didn’t ask me at dinner, I figured I’d be waiting a while longer.

We went on a drive to Portsoy afterwards. There’s a spot there that I visited with my grandfather (who I sadly lost the year before), so when we walked up the hill to see the amazing view, and he asked me to be his wife there. It was very special and emotional.

We had 70 of our close family and friends at our wedding, with 20 of them being children. The biggest factor in our plans was ensuring that everything was enjoyable, relaxed and family friendly. We wanted to make it a day for our little girl to remember and treasure.

We had friends travelling from the north of Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland to join us. We needed a central location that offered accommodation and parking, so Melville Castle on the outskirts of Edinburgh was ideal.

Our Christian faith is very important to us both, so we wanted to get married in a church. We were fortunate that the most beautiful church, St Mary’s in Dalkeith Country Park, was just down the road from Melville Castle. My Pastor, Barry Douglas, has been supportive to me throughout highs and lows, so it meant the world to me that he would marry us.

I created all our invites and stationery. I enjoy doing a little bit of graphic design so it meant I could make them exactly how I wanted. My auntie and I also made each person a glass coaster inscribed with their names as a favour, while the kids all had their own named drink bottles, gifts and teddy bears.

I chose a traditional-style lace dress from White Rose Bridal. I had dreamed of getting a pair of Sophia Webster’s crystal butterfly pumps for a long time, so I treated myself!

My friend Steph has just started a wedding design and styling company called 117 Event Styling, so she was the natural choice to help us finesse the venue. We particularly loved the signage and the amazing kids’ area she created.

I really enjoyed getting ready in the morning. One of my best friends, Miriam, is a beautician and knows what I like and what I don’t in terms of makeup. Most importantly, she made us all laugh and kept us calm.

Our photographer Jennifer Glen was also fantastic. We wanted to have someone that we could build a relationship with, and we were impressed with her work. When we met her on Zoom, we really appreciated her honesty, warmth and understanding of our story.

We had a pre-wedding shoot with her and the images were so beautiful I was moved to tears. Our wedding photos are equally amazing and we are so thankful to her for capturing memories that we can cherish forever.

One of the day’s biggest surprises was the appearance of a Highland cow! I’ve loved them since I was a little girl, so unbeknown to me, my dad arranged for one to greet us back at Melville Castle. We got to take her for a walk and brush her hair. Our daughter loves them too, so she was also very happy!”

Top tip “Be decisive! I have a very busy job and with only six months to plan, it was difficult to find adequate time,” recalls Kirsty. “I did as much as I could in the evenings and tried to do what I could in big chunks, as quickly as possible.”

Ceremony venue St Mary’s Church Dalkeith
Reception venue Melville Castle
Photography Jennifer Glen Photography
Officiant Pastor Barry Douglas
Bride’s dress White Rose Bridal
Bride’s shoes Sophia Webster
Bridesmaid dresses Needle & Thread
Flower girls’ dresses Wed2B
Hair Vicky Lee Hairdressing
Makeup and nails Miriam’s Beauty Room
Mother-of-the-bride outfit Bear Necessities
Groomswear Slater Menswear
Cake Clarnico Cakes
Flowers Crystal Blooms
Venue decor 117 Event Styling
Ceremony music Two of the bride’s best friends sang
Drinks reception music Fraser Urquhart Pianist
Photobooth Party Snappers Photobooth
Filmmaker Next Scene Films
Transport Aston Martin, organised by the bride’s dad

a bride and bridesmaid getting ready in matching pyjamasa denim jacket embellished with studs and the name Kirsty; a bridesmaid helps a flower girl into her dressa bride poses with two flower girlsa bride getting her hair done; a close up of the bride's wedding shoesthe bride in her dress and veil speaks to her flowergirla full-length shot of the bride in dress and veil; the father of the bride sees her for the first timethe flower girl in her dress with the bride in her pyjamas; two flowergirls getting readythe flower girls walking down the aisle; the flower girls outside the churchthe bride and father of the bride walk down the aislethe bride and groom look at each other at the top of the aisleblack and white image of the bride and groom walk back down the aisle holding hands with their daughterthe bride, groom and their daughter leave the church and are showered in confettithe bride and groom as confetti is thrownthe bride and groom embrace and smilethe bride and groom pose underneath a tree; a black and white photo of the bride and groom laughingthe bride and groom under a tree; the groom hugging his daughterthe bride hugs her daughterthe bride and groom pose on a lawn with trees in the backgroundthe bride and her bridesmaid; the bride and groom under a treethe groom crouches and laughs with his daughtera man leads a Highland cow onto the lawnthe bride brushing a Highland cow's fur; the bride posing with the cowa piper plays next to an Aston Martin; the piperthe bride and groom pose by an Aston Martinthe bride and groom walk into the reception, through a floral and balloon archa three-tired white cake decorated with green foliage; a closeup of a sweets tablea closeup of the bride's bouquetthe bride laughing during a speechthe bride and groom and their family during the speeches the bride and groom and two flower girls pose in the photoboothblack and white picture of the bride and groom climbing a staircasethe bride and groom cutting the cakea black and white photo of the bride and groom cutting the cakea group of guests plus the bride pose for the photobooththe bride and groom pose in front of double doors