This Isle of Lewis couple had an emotional first look on a white sandy beach with their two young sons, before heading to a local barn to make it official and party the evening away

Cara Gilmour and Cameron Macleod

5th May 2023

Venue | Laxay Barn, Isle of Lewis
Photography | Eleanor MacKay Photography

“Cameron and I will have been together 11 years come September. We got engaged in May 2020, at the start of the pandemic. We were at home with our son and the sun was shining – it was a beautiful day that I’ll remember forever.

We had 60 guests join us all day. We weren’t planning on getting married straight away, so while the pandemic didn’t affect us too much in terms of wedding plans, it did seem to make smaller weddings more acceptable which was to our benefit. Our budget was around £10,000.

We wanted a relaxed wedding that we could make our own, so chose a local barn as our venue. I booked the brilliant Onboard Hebrides to help me plan everything and it was the best decision I made. We met up about once a week for the final month or so just to go over everything and the majority of items we used to decorate the barn were supplied by the company.

I made all the invitations and save the dates myself. I also made the table plan using a mirror and some card. My talented sister-in-law, Tina, baked our wedding cake and did my makeup, while my wonderful mum did all the wedding flowers – it was very much a family affair!

A first look was important to us on our wedding day. Neither Cameron nor I enjoy the spotlight on us, so having that time on the beach with us and our boys before the madness of the wedding itself is something I’ll treasure forever.

We absolutely adored photographer Eleanor MacKay’s photos. She was great at guiding us through everything and made the whole process so relaxed that we never knew she was taking half of the photos she did.

As we’d had a few family emergencies in the run-up to the wedding, the big day itself was quite emotional, mainly because everyone we loved was able to make it in the end. These issues gave clarity that although a wedding day is a big deal, there are plenty more important things in life.

The night before the wedding, I went to a close friend’s house for a girls’ night. The morning of the wedding was relaxed getting my hair and makeup done. My nervous shaking only started the second I heard the music playing to walk down the aisle! Thankfully I had my kids and my dad there to walk with me.

I walked down the aisle to Duomo’s ‘Wildest Dreams’. The ceremony was short and sweet and led by a registrar from the local council. My favourite moment was walking out the barn as Mr and Mrs. By that point, the nerves had eased, and we were ready to enjoy the open bar and baking that many of our guests had made.

We had a bouncy castle in between the ceremony and the meal. It went down a treat with the kids and adults alike.

We didn’t do speeches. Instead, we just said a quick thank you to our guests. We also did the meal a bit differently too. We ditched the traditional three-course format and laid on a grazing table by Onboard Hebrides; a Chinese and Thai buffet from the Bridge Centre Café, finished off by puddings from local baker KSF’s Bakes.

Our reception was so much fun. People drank and danced to a Spotify playlist and because the wedding was so small, everyone mingled and seemed to have a great time. The good weather meant that guests were able to mix outside too. We weren’t planning on doing a first dance, but our guests pulled Cammy on to the dancefloor while I was dancing. We think it was while U2’s ‘Beautiful Day’ was on!

I honestly don’t think I’d be able to pick a favourite part of the day as I loved every minute of it.”

Top tip: “For us, our wedding wasn’t going to be the biggest day of our lives as we already had our two beautiful boys. My advice would be to enjoy every minute of the process/experience and not to take everything too seriously; people will have an amazing time whether you spent lots of money on your big day or not.”

Venue Laxay Barn
Photography Eleanor MacKay Photography
Celebrant Council registrar
Bride’s dress Custom-made by K’s Stitches Stornoway
Bride’s and bridesmaid’s earrings Islewear 
Bridesmaid dress SilkFred
Hair Carol at The White Rooms
Makeup and cake Bride’s sister-in-law, Tina
Nails Amara Studios 
Groomswear Own kilt from Celtic Clothing
Wedding rings Etsy
Flowers Done by the bride’s mum
Table plan and stationery Homemade by the bride
Favours Sea-glass place-names
Catering, decor and event planning Onboard Hebrides
Chinese/Thai buffet catering Bridge Centre Café
Desserts KSF’s Bakes

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