A laid-back, seaside celebration was just the ticket for these two happy-go-lucky lovebirds. Here’s how Annina and Vincent planned an Insta-worthy wedding in just three months

Annina Dowman & Vincent Box 

24th April 2021 

Venue | St Andrews Registry Office, then the bride’s family home
Photography | Dougi McMillan Photography 

“Vincent is from Reunion Island and we met in 2016 when I started working there as a language assistant. We got engaged in December 2020, but there was no real proposal – it was just something we talked about. We’d moved back to Scotland and felt ready to get married.

Covid restrictions meant there would always be issues, but we just decided to take everything as it came. Sadly none of Vincent’s family could come because they are all overseas, and international travel wasn’t possible. We had also booked a reception, an Airbnb and rooms at Fairmont St Andrews, which all had to be cancelled.

I knew straight away that I wanted us to tie the knot in St Andrews. It’s near where I grew up, and Vincent particularly appreciates the architecture and the old abbey. We were also keen to be close to the beach to get some stunning seaside photos. It is simply the most beautiful town.

Vincent really wanted to wear a kilt, so he trawled the internet for kilt-spiration! However, he had issues getting the correct measurements as we had to buy everything online. Eventually we were able to get him one from Houston Kiltmakers in Paisley. They were so flexible and Vincent looked amazing.

My wedding outfit was an absolute steal – the dress, cardigan and jewellery came to just £130. I got the cardi last-minute from ASOS because I thought I was going to be cold. I love the details on the buttons. My best friend also customised my shoes to say ‘Mrs Box’ on the soles. Another friend at Studio East also did matching calligraphy-style nails which read ‘I love you’. Her nail art is incredible.

The flowers were my favourite wedding detail. They were made by Nicola Walker of Wildly Beautiful Flowers, a florist in Blebo Craigs, near St Andrews.

I walked down the aisle to Ti Mamzel by Basse Terre. It’s a Creole song from Reunion that we love, and we wanted to include something from Vincent’s culture.

Gordon Miller officiated our civil ceremony, and afterwards we shared a Zoom link so absent family could join us for a toast. Our reception was meant to be at The Bothy in St Andrews. Instead, we ended up having a glass of fizz in my mum and dad’s garden in Blebo Craigs. It turned out to be so lovely, and we were blessed with the weather.

My mum recommended photographer Dougi McMillan to me. I looked through his Instagram and I really liked a lot of the pictures he had done. He’s a chilled-out guy who can take really creative shots and he was open to any ideas we had to share.

Vincent loved it all too: walking through St Andrews along the harbour to the wedding, taking photos with Dougi, the dancing, the food… everything! It was just a fun, relaxed day. In the evening my dad played his saxophone and we danced to traditional Maloya music from Reunion Island.

I was surprised by how much of a high I felt for so long after the event. Everything happens for a reason, and we are so lucky to have such fabulous friends and family who sent so much love our way even though they couldn’t be there on the day.

Because everything kept changing, we didn’t pin our hopes on anything. We were always happy to have a small wedding, but now we’ve realised we’d like another, bigger celebration. This will take place on Reunion Island in October 2022. It will feature a church ceremony with all Vincent’s family and mine are flying over too. I can’t wait for a tropical wedding!” 

Top tip: “There was a lot of paperwork – especially because Vincent is from Reunion. It was stressful, so I’d suggest other couples make sure they have all their admin organised in time. Also be flexible and go with the flow; sometimes things are out of your control.” 

Venue St Andrews Registry Office, then the bride’s family home
Photography Dougi McMillan Photography 
Bride’s dress Dressmezee
Bride’s shoes and cardigan ASOS
Bride’s jewellery Lovisa
Bridesmaid’s outfit H&M
Mother of the bride dress Fenn Wright Manson
Groomswear Houston Kiltmakers
Wedding rings Glamira
Catering Patrick Gilmour 
Flowers Wildly Beautiful Flowers
Makeup Aimee Wizniewska
Nails Aimee Burns, Studio East

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