Kirsty Smith & Euan MacNeish
28th May 2022
“Euan and I had been together for almost three years when he popped the question one night at our flat in Leith. We were having an Italian-themed early birthday celebration for him, and I came into the living room as one of our favourite songs was playing. We had a little dance then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!
We decided we wanted to get married in, or near, Edinburgh, where we live. We thought it would make life easy for our friends and family having a good choice of accommodation and travel options. We visited The Seton Garden near Longniddry in East Lothian on a beautiful, sunny day and intuitively knew it was the perfect venue for us.
It was somewhere we could personalise, without being totally DIY, and we felt that it would help us create the laid-back vibes we wanted. It’s a marquee wedding venue but there are permanent toilets, outdoor lighting, and power already in place. We invited 110 guests during the day, with 20 more in the evening
Craig Wood coordinates the weddings at Seton Garden and is also the on-site caterer. He was absolutely fantastic to deal with and the food was outstanding. We had veggie sharing platters to start, a choice of Middle-Eastern inspired lamb, seabass with chimichurri sauce or a vegetarian tart for main, then a trio of banoffee pie, chocolate cheesecake and lemon meringue pie to finish. We had a barbecue in the evening, and we couldn’t resist mini doughnuts from Kilted Donut in place of a traditional cake.
We wanted colours, wildflowers, garden-party vibes and, most importantly, to have a laugh. We adored our flower installations by East Lothian florist Pixie Rose Flowers.
We didn’t have a traditional top table. Instead, we were seated at a round table (as was everyone else) and had our table in the middle of the room, so we were surrounded by friends and family. This layout came into its own during the speeches…
My dad started with a wonderful rumination on teenage rebellion and my career as a fundraiser. Euan was up next to say some lovely things about everyone, before bridesmaid Hilary took over and delivered a beautiful, heartfelt speech that also managed to fit in plenty of gags. The three best men did a joint speech and even though it was essentially a character-assassination of Euan, it somehow felt very loving at the same time!
The ceremony was also great. Celebrant Stewart did a sterling job keeping everything relaxed and fun. We decided we wanted to do a ring warming and drink from the quaich during our ceremony. My parents’ friend made the wooden quaich which made it even more special. My good friend Alice French is an amazing harpist and played during the ceremony too.
We wanted natural photos and a photographer that was going to be relaxed and easy to get on with. Luke Bennett ticked all our boxes! He’s such a lovely person; he put everyone at ease and made the photos great fun. His photos captured the spirit of the day – the fun, love and happiness really shone through.
Our band Field of Stars played a mix of covers and three ceilidh dances. Our first dance was to ‘Real Love Baby’ by Father John Misty. We were worried that the dancefloor was going to be empty – in hindsight that was ridiculous. They gave us a lot more than music; they created an incredible atmosphere that gave everyone permission to just let their hair down and have a really, really good time.
Our guests loved how relaxed the whole day was. We got so many compliments on it. We loved the little, unexpected friendships that sprung up on the day. Having all your favourite people in one place is very special indeed!”
Top tip: “Share the planning equally and don’t be afraid to ask friends or family for help. Our experience was that people were only too happy to be involved. Some of the best advice we got was to keep the momentum up and not to second-guess things once you’ve made your call.”
Venue The Seton Garden
Photography Luke Bennett Photography
Celebrant Stewart Struthers, Humanist Society Scotland
Bride’s dress Vagabond Bridal from Heart Aflutter Bridal
Bridesmaid dresses Dessy and Sisterhood Bridesmaids
Hair Hair by Ava Spence
Makeup Alannah Carson
Nails The Nail Gal
Groomswear MacGregor and MacDuff
Wedding and engagement rings Pauline Edie Jewellery
Flowers and venue decor Pixie Rose Flowers
Doughnut tower Kilted Donut
Catering Craig Wood Catering
Ceremony music Alice French Harp
Wedding band Field of Stars