This family-focused wedding had the bride’s grandpa as part of the ceremony, 20 children join the celebrations and a fabulous Ibiza-style party to round off the day!

Alice Cairns and Thomas Scobie

8th July 2023

Venues | Saint Joseph’s Parish, Clarkston, then Strathaven Hotel, South Lanarkshire
Photography | JH Weddings

“Christmas Eve: we had just had food in our flat and Thomas insisted we went for a walk. I think I pulled my trackies on over my pyjamas and we walked down to the V&A in Dundee where he dropped to one knee. All I could do was say ‘are you joking?’ – he took me by complete surprise!

My mum had suggested the Strathaven Hotel as we had family connections in the area. We went along to the open day and loved it. The staff were all amazing and we knew right away it would be perfect for us. I have a huge family (I am one of seven children) and we have many friends, so we knew we’d need a big venue.

We ended up having 144 day guests and another 30 at night which was perfect for us. We loved that the venue had a private bar that could be used only by our guests – it suited the party vibe we wanted to go for.

I always knew I’d get married in church. Our service took place at St Joseph’s Church in Clarkston. My grandpa John Cairns is actually a deacon so was able to be part of the service. It was nice to have a familiar face at the top of the aisle and some funny moments together.

We met our photographer Jarek Hamala, aka JH Weddings, at The Scottish Wedding Show and instantly felt at ease. We wanted someone relaxed and professional without being overbearing. Jarek captured all the important moments perfectly alongside all the smaller details – especially all our incredible venue decor.

My sister Kathleen owns event styling company KC Events and set up our whole wedding before becoming a guest! We didn’t have a theme as such. We started out with old glass bottles with candles and wanted touches of baby pink and sage and Kathleen ran with it from there.

She arranged details I wouldn’t have even thought of: we had a stunning neon sign behind the top table with our name on it; an amazing LED dancefloor and a photobooth to capture the antics later on. I genuinely think you do need family to pitch in on wedding plans – it makes life so much easier. And it helps when they can do an incredible job like my sister!

The food at the venue was outstanding. We had a tasting before our wedding and settled on three delicious courses offering fish, meat and a vegetarian option. We also had 20 wee ones join us, so it was important to be able to cater to their needs too. We couldn’t have imagined having our day without all the children there. Being from such a big family, they are a huge part of our lives.

The one thing we definitely knew we wanted was a big party. Our band Graceland really got what we were looking for and kept everyone going all night. The lead singer of the band even dived off the stage! Our first dance was ‘Wagon Wheel’ by Darius Rucker.

We also had a saxophonist perform for an hour which was brilliant. It felt like a party in Ibiza and we’ve actually had people tell us how it’s inspired them to go!

Top tip: “Get your family to pitch in and help with the organising. I work full time and I didn’t realise just how difficult it would be to coordinate so many things. Most suppliers were opened during my working hours, so it was hard to navigate around that. Having helping hands will always be of benefit!”

Ceremony venue St Joseph’s Parish
Reception venue Strathaven Hotel
Photography JH Weddings
Bride’s dress Enzoani from Reeta Fashions
Bride’s shoes Steve Madden
Bridesmaid dresses ASOS
Mother of the bride outfit House of Holland
Makeup By Louise MakeUp
Groomswear 8 Yards
Wedding rings Tom Wylie Jewellery
Flowers Wild Petals
Flower crown Fern and Ruscus
Cake Annie’s Creative Cakes 
Stationery and decor KC Events
Entertainment Graceland
Bouncy castle Bounce House Glasgow

Bride and groom jump on a white bouncy castle

(Photo: JH Weddings) 

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