Guests wearing chic all-black wept tears of joy as hairdressers Charlie and Peter married by candlelight, then partied to drag-queen DJs at the cool Edinburgh wedding venue

Peter Mellon and Charlie Blyth-Lafferty

30th September 2023

Venue | Ghillie Dhu, Edinburgh
Photography | Meggy Mac Photography

Charlie and I are hairdressers at Medusa in Edinburgh and met when he started working at the salon in 2017. In the staff room that first morning I thought, “he’s going to be my boyfriend,” and asked one of my colleagues to engineer a night out the following Saturday. We got together that night and the rest is history.

I’d start most days by saying “Good morning. When are we getting married?” jokingly to Charlie. He’d always reply with a date, but add a month on every time. So, when he actually did propose at home on Christmas Eve 2022 with our cats Ruu and Sia by our sides, I was totally blown away.

Unbeknown to me, he’d bought an engagement ring with the intention of proposing the year before. The ring had travelled the world with us on holidays all through 2022, and he’d even shown his nana, but he says the time never felt quite right.

We knew straight away that we wanted an all-black wedding and for everyone to cry tears of joy – go big or go home has always been my mantra, after all! We decided that ‘Billionaire’s Funeral’ was a super-chic aesthetic that would tie everything together. We asked all our guests (95 day, 160 night) to wear black.

I immediately started thinking about suitable venues. We needed a dark backdrop, but didn’t want it to look gothic. We’d hosted events for the salon at Ghillie Dhu before and thought it was perfect, so jumped into planning by emailing them on Christmas Day to enquire, then visited in person as soon as we could in the new year to book a date. We had nine months to pull it all together.

My Instagram discovery page and Pinterest board were soon filled with wedding ideas. A word of caution though: a lot of what you see on social media isn’t always practical for weddings, so keep that in the back of your mind. The idea I’d spotted for balloons at our evening reception, for instance, wouldn’t have worked in real life, but thankfully our balloon supplier Float and Co. kept us right.

Our ceremony setting was inspired by candlelight concerts. It was spectacular. 
I used every spare moment in the day to plan our wedding. While my clients were getting shampooed, I’d be online ordering 100s of flickering LED candles! We went three times over our initial budget, but wouldn’t change it for the world.

We set up our ceremony seating differently. We had three long rows facing the aisle on each side, a bit like a catwalk, so that no-one ever felt like they were at the ‘back’.

Our bespoke black tuxedo suits were from The Edinburgh Tailoring Company. We’d only given ourselves six weeks to sort them out, which was a bit of a tight timeframe. My jacket was backless, so I had to have three or four visits to get the fit bang-on.

I accessorised with a black tulle cathedral-length cape to swoosh down the aisle in, then changed into a Zara suit for the evening. I customised the jacket with ostrich feathers myself.

I cherish the time we spent together getting ready on the morning of the wedding. We woke up together at the Rutland Apartments and went to Starbucks and McDonald’s for breakfast, something we’d never ordinarily get to do. We didn’t get a day off from doing hair though – I gave my mum and gran blowdries and Charlie sorted his mum and sister.

The moments we entered the ceremony will be forever etched in our memories. We looked at one another and held hands as the curtains opened for us to walk down the aisle together. Seeing everyone’s faces look at us as ‘Gift of a Thistle’ from the Braveheart soundtrack played was incredible.

Our ceremony was written by celebrant Jill Law. She kept us on the right track with our plans throughout. Getting announced as ‘Mr and Mr’ was an incredible feeling.

Our photographer Meggy Mac and videographer Blvck Sheep Media were both fantastic. After the ceremony, we went across the road to the Johnnie Walker Experience where we’d booked the rooftop for our couple’s portraits and videos.

Me, Charlie and Charlie’s dad did speeches. Charlie wrote his in five minutes! I’d googled ‘how to make people cry’ and succeeded. Thankfully the guests all had black napkins to chicly dab away their tears! We’d also hired in dramatic black Chiavari chairs, high-gloss candelabras and charger plates from 88 Events Company to complement our theme.

We didn’t really want to do a first dance. We danced together to ‘Hold My Hand’ by Lady Gaga for 50 seconds, but then drag queens (and the evening’s DJs) Violet Grace and Amy L’Amour burst through curtains to perform and get the party started!

We booked Drums N’ Roses for 10pm to keep the night’s tempo up. The drag queens DJ’d til 1am, before we retired to the bar downstairs at Ghillie Dhu with about 15 of our closest friends to wrap up the night.

We really thought about creating an experience for our guests. So many of them say it’s the best wedding that they’ve ever been to. The nine months’ timescale didn’t faze us. If we’d had another year to plan, we’d have only made it bigger and even more fabulous!

Top tip: “Get ready together the morning of the wedding. It really was such a special start to the day and it helped us feel chilled and totally at ease for the main event ahead.”

Venue Ghillie Dhu
Photography Meggy Mac Photography
Filmmaker Blvck Sheep Media
Celebrant Jill Law,
Grooms’ suits Edinburgh Tailoring Company
Peter’s tulle cape Etsy
Peter’s evening suit Zara, customised with ostrich feathers
Rings All Diamond
Stationery Etsy
Cake Kik’s Kakes
Dried flowers Hidden Botanics Weddings
Balloons Float & Co.
Favours Wella hair products and Tequlia Rose miniatures
Chairs, candelabras and charger plates 88 Events Company
Content creator Jessica Lake Photography (based in USA)
Piper Mike Pretsell, Edinburgh Pipers
Drag queens and DJs Violet Grace and Amy L’Amour
Evening entertainment Drums N’ Roses
Wedding sketcher Mark Kirkham, Edinburgh Sketcher

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