Laura Davidson & Gareth Montgomerie
22nd May 2021
Venue | Buittle Castle, Castle Douglas
Photography | Hemera Visuals
“Gareth and I got engaged on Christmas Day 2019, right beside the tree. I don’t like to mess around, so planning commenced on Boxing Day and we had our venue booked eight days later.
We knew of Buittle Castle locally, as it sits between our two hometowns. This seemed apt and, when we’d driven past it the previous summer, we realised how much character it had. The venue had never hosted a wedding before ours, so we had a real opportunity to make it our own.
Both of us wanted a relaxed, Scottish celebration with rustic touches. We looked for inspiration locally: there’s a wonderful community of suppliers in our area. Through browsing their Instagrams and talking to them, we were able to agree pretty quickly what did and didn’t suit our taste.
I’m very organised; Gareth not so much. He was happy to let me project manage, and I basically had it all booked within four weeks. Then, Covid hit. There was a lot of uncertainty along the way, so we had to accept that it was out of our control, and that what would be, would be. We simply booked everything and hoped for the best. When it was announced that we could have 50 guests, it felt like we had won the lottery!
I purchased my Justin Alexander dress from Edinburgh boutique Pretty Woman. I wanted something contemporary and cool, and so I chose a gown with a modern twist: a simple A-line chiffon skirt, ethereal train, and illusion bodice with beaded detail. I visited other shops, but I’d seen this dress online and knew it was the one.
Where we could do, we wanted to get our friends involved. Colin Reilly, who is a good mate of Gareth’s, married us in a Christian ceremony. He made it very special and put everyone at ease. My best pal Bruce was our master of ceremonies, and family friends Shona and Norrie drove the bridal party to the venue.
I know nothing about flowers. Flowers For You was recommended by a colleague, and they knew exactly what we wanted, even when we didn’t. They created arrangements with peonies, roses, thistles and eucalyptus, in muted tones of apricot and cream. Plus, with only a day’s notice, they also pulled out the stops to make a centrepiece for the top table.
It was really important to me that my dad walked me down the aisle. We did this to Rabbie Burns’ A Red, Red Rose played on low whistle and guitar.
The non-essential item I couldn’t resist was our bar by Love Fizz. It really added to the atmosphere on the day. With the sun shining, drinking outside felt like we were in the Mediterranean! Eilidh and her team sourced wine and even helped us decorate the hall with lights.
All of our suppliers were faultless. A photographer with a natural style who could make us feel relaxed was top of our wish list. Cameron at Hemera Visuals was a real blessing, capturing our memories beautifully. My makeup artist, Beth Mercer, was so calming and created a wonderful look.
Our caterers, Caterbirds, suggested a tapas meal. The plates were delicious, and the owner, Peter, supported us through many months of uncertainty. He went above and beyond, advising on much more than just the food – I think we would have had a meltdown if not for his wisdom.
Ideally, it would have been great to have our original guestlist. That way, we would have been able to celebrate with all of the people we love. However, after the 18 months of ups and downs preceding it, we were just so grateful to have had the wedding that we did. Plus, it gives us an excuse for a big party sometime soon!
The guests told us that they all had a fantastic day. Ultimately, it was the best man’s Mustang (also the bridal carriage) that was the real talking point of the day. All the women wanted to have their photo taken on the bonnet, while the men wanted to drive it off into the sunset!
What surprised us most was how quickly the whole thing passed. I know people warn brides and grooms about this, but in the moment you don’t think about it. On reflection it really was the fastest – and happiest! – day of our lives.”
Top tip: “Plan a day that truly reflects you as a couple. It’s the one day of your lives that people really get to celebrate you being together. Also, don’t be afraid to question your suppliers – we had to stand our ground after one tried to change the goal posts of the original agreement.”
Marquee Queensberry Event Hire
Bride’s dress Justin Alexander at Pretty Woman
Bridesmaids’ dresses Debenhams
Mother-of-the-bride dress Isobel Florence
Groomswear Anderson Kilts
Wedding rings Rachel Boston
Venue decor The Wedding Room
Bar Love Fizz
Cake Fat Bottom Girls Cakes
Music Shore Road
Flowers Flowers For You
Makeup Beth Mercer at B Beautiful
Hair Kishana Fernando Hair