Joan McGarian and William Nairn Chisholm

21st December 2016

Venue | Drumtochty Castle, Aberdeen
Photography | Blue Sky Photography

“We were engaged for two and a half years. It made planning much more of a pleasure to organise and gave us the pick of suppliers. We also had a lot of guests travelling from afar to be with us on our big day so the long engagement gave them plenty of notice to arrange travel and accommodation.

I’d always wanted to have a wintery wedding, so it was easy for me to incorporate Christmas trees, holly and ivy into our styling. I’d struggled with a colour scheme for quite a while, but it helped that Nairn’s army mess dress is red, black and gold – they compliment this time of year nicely.

I’m a bit of a cynic, sometimes believing that weddings are often the same event with different brides and grooms. Nairn’s regiment played a defining factor in our day with uniforms and regimental colours, it made the wedding feel very entwined with our lives.

When our humanist Leigh asked ‘if anyone knows of any reason why Nairn and Joan cannot be wed’, the Guard of Honour pulled their swords to protect my honour. It was an unforgettable moment. It’s a tradition, so I knew it was happening but it still made me feel super special. For all of the times I’ve been mad at the army for taking my boyfriend/fiancé/husband away, this won ground back.

We provided the drinks on the day – if you do the same, listen to the venue staff. We bought double the booze the team recommended and we are still drinking the leftovers 11 months on! In fact, the morning after the wedding, they told us we had enough alcohol left over to do it all over again.”

Top tip: “I sold my wedding dress and bought a handbag! I loved my dress and everything it represented but realistically, what was I going to do with a big white frock? I popped it on and sold it a couple of weeks later for about a third of what I paid.”

Dress Suzanne Neville from Carina Baverstock Couture
Jewellery Tiffany & Co
 Kurt Geiger
Bridesmaids’ dresses Ghost
Groomswear Groom’s own Royal Tank Regiment Uniform
Venue décor A Vintage Tea Party
The Fine Cheese Co. and a fruit cake baked by the bride’s mum
Flowers Hay’s Flowers
Wedding website Squarespace
Entertainment Capella String Quartet and A-Side Soul
Filmmaker Derek Allen Cameraman & Editor
Hair Lauren Tattersall of Beau Cheveu
Makeup Francine Ray