Emma and Allan used the pandemic to their benefit, culling their guest list and taking advantage of suppliers’ availability to plan their intimate winter wedding in just six weeks!

Emma Jackson & Allan Dodds

12th December 2020

Venue | Glenapp Castle, Ayrshire
Photography | Mad House Weddings

“Allan and I had talked about getting married over the course of our five years together, so I wasn’t completely surprised when he popped the question. We were walking in the grounds of Glenapp Castle in Ayrshire when he proposed on 28th September 2020.

Glenapp was the only venue we considered booking for the wedding as it’s highly regarded for its fine dining. We are foodies, so that really appealed to us. Our wedding menu ended up featuring many of our favourite dishes including scallops, venison and crème brûlée – yum!

Gillian Purdie and the rest of the team at the castle went out of their way to make our day special; they even upgraded many of our guests’ rooms.
We decided we want to get married quickly and set the date for 12th December 2020. That gave us just six weeks to plan everything – all in the middle of the ongoing pandemic!

Believe it or not, we found that the Covid situation worked to our advantage on many fronts. Firstly, it meant we could have the small, intimate wedding we had our hearts set on without offending anyone not invited. We had just 14 guests and got lucky as some restrictions eased up the day before our wedding. Two weeks later, we were back into full lockdown.

We also discovered that many suppliers we approached had good availability, thanks to the raft of postponements. For example, our florist, Blue Poppy Florist, is based in Fife and ordinarily may not have been able to travel all the way to south Ayrshire amid a busy ‘normal’ wedding season.

Our gorgeous, seasonal flowers ended up being one of my favourite wedding details. Blue Poppy went over and above to style the glasshouse we used for our ceremony at Glenapp, adding lots of rugs and other props to create warmth and bring the space to life.

We also treasure the hand-painted invitations that my sister created for us. Our families were helpful wherever they could be; my mum even made our wedding cake.

Our beautiful religious wedding ceremony led by Rev. Theo Corney was a real highlight of the day. I also thoroughly enjoyed getting ready with my sister and other family on the morning of the wedding. It was so relaxed and we practically had the castle to ourselves.

Allan’s morning didn’t go quite so smoothly though… He had swapped bags at the last minute and discovered he’d left many of his kilt accessories in the other bag back at home. Thankfully a few S.O.S. calls round secured help from a friend’s uncle who brought a sgian dubh, belt and kilt pin for him to wear.

My beaded dress was from Melle Cloche in Glasgow. I had to buy off-the-rail as I had such a short lead-time. Again, Covid worked to my benefit, as cancelled weddings meant the shop was quiet and there was more than usual to choose from.

Marrying in December, we couldn’t resist having some festive touches. We had little reindeer place settings; served mulled wine after the ceremony; then cosied around one of the castle’s open fires with champagne. I also found a fun ostrich-feather jacket online to keep the chill at bay while getting pictures taken outdoors.

On that subject, we really couldn’t praise our photographer Samantha at Mad House Weddings enough. Even though there’s a family connection (her eldest daughter is my goddaughter), we rated her real and honest approach to capturing our wedding. Her work is atmospheric and a touch darker, which worked wonderfully with the winter setting.

We occasionally thought that having a small wedding might not have the gravitas of a bigger one – but far from feeling just like getting dressed up for a fancy family dinner, it felt incredibly special. We got to spend quality time with everyone there.

Minister Rev. Theo Corney
Bride’s dress Melle Cloche
Bride’s shoes Freya Rose London
Bride’s makeup Honey and Violet Weddings
Bride’s hair The Makeup Lounge Troon
Groomswear Own kilt from MacGregor and MacDuff; jacket hired from McCalls
Wedding rings James Porter and Son
Flowers Blue Poppy Florist
Cake Made by bride’s mum
Wedding invites Handpainted by bride’s sister
Favours Personalised keyrings from Etsy
Piper Supplied by Glenapp Castle

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