A week before Christmas, Mhairi and Robert had the classic, romantic winter wedding of their dreams

Mhairi Watson and Robert Pottage

17th December 2022

Venue | Mansfield Traquair, Edinburgh
Photography | Derek Christie Photography

“Rob and I got together on the 1st August 2017, and three years to the day on 1st August 2020, he surprised me with a trip to Liam Ross jewellers in Edinburgh so that I could design an engagement ring.

Once I had worked with Liam on the ring and finalised the design, Rob took over and I was told to put it to the back of my mind. A long four months later on 22nd December, I turned 30 and Rob surprised me with a night in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Edinburgh.

The room was covered in candles and there was Rob standing by the window with a view of Edinburgh Castle, holding a box. I immediately started to cry and he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was a beautiful moment I will never ever forget.

I’d never really thought about it prior to getting engaged, but as soon as we were I knew it needed to be a winter wedding. I love deep jewel colours and everyone is always so happy in the lead up to Christmas it makes sense to celebrate then. Rob has sisters in the US and Australia so it was important that they could make the wedding too.

Rob was really keen to get married in Edinburgh, so once we had picked the season, it didn’t take long before we had our hearts set on Mansfield Traquair.

Once we’d secured the venue, our harpist, Sarah MacNeil, was actually one of the first things I booked. I really thought she brought everything together to give the romantic, classic tone of the day I was going for.

The music we picked was also very personal to us. The song I walked down the aisle to was the ‘Portuguese Love Theme’ from my favourite film Love Actually, and we had Jack Johnston ‘Better Together’ on the harp playing when we signed the register which is a song we listen to together regularly. We also exited our ceremony to ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ by Marvin Gaye which is very ‘us’.

Rob and I actually got together after I climbed a Munro to grab his attention and from then on we’ve gone on to climb lots of hills together – even climbing Mount Kilimanjaro on our honeymoon – so it was a very fitting way for us to walk into married life together.

When we got engaged we were very much in the thick of it Covid-wise, so I wanted to make sure I planned the wedding far enough in advance that it wasn’t going to affect our day. So far in advance in-fact, that the original humanist I had booked pulled out as she decided to no longer do the job.

But, it actually worked in our favour as it was around the time of my sisters’ wedding and that’s when I knew I wanted Amy Lawson, the humanist celebrant from Fuze Ceremonies, who married my sister and brother-in-law, to also marry Rob and I.

Robs’ sisters were our witnesses and his nieces and nephew read a reading that we had chosen. Amy had asked both Rob and I to tell her in secret three reasons why we love each other, and she read them out to everyone on the day – which was probably up there with one of my favourite moments.

In the days leading up to it I was really quite nervous. It’s such a huge day and I’d put such an enormous amount of effort and planning into it, I just wanted it to go well. My mum and my bridesmaids really helped though and assured me it was normal to feel this way.

I am so close with my mum that I asked her to walk me down the aisle, which was really special. There is no one else I would have give me away to Rob. Further to that, it was my sister Kara who did a speech – she is my rock and knows me better than anyone.

My sister did so well, the perfect mix of heartfelt and funny. During her speech she started to talk about the missing person at the wedding and I was very confused… then she proceeded to get Bunbuns (a little bunny I’ve had since I was a little girl and can’t sleep properly without) out of her handbag! I was absolutely mortified but it was so funny, and deep down I’m so glad Bunbuns was part of our special day!

Rob also smashed his speech, he was really quite worried about it, wanting to make sure he mentioned all the relevant people, but he absolutely nailed it. Rob really is a genuine person who is good to the core and I was so proud of him throughout.

The day itself consisted of 100 day guests and an additional 20 evening guests – all of whom raved about the following big three: our stunning venue, the amazing food and the fabulous band.

Part of what attracted me to Mansfield was that the venue alone with the PEA Lighting and the murals is just breathtaking, there was no need for any further decor. For our wedding favours we had Lindt chocolate reindeers that, with ivory ribbon name tags, also doubled up as name places. They fit in with the decor perfectly.

Heritage Portfolio, Mansfield’s own caterers, really smashed it. We just picked one menu choice and people could request a vegetarian/vegan option if necessary. So many people commented on it being one of the best wedding meals they’d had.

My one non-negotiable was that the band included a saxophonist, so I found Studio Wedding Band. They sounded good on the videos I’d watched, so I just went for it and I’m so glad I did. With ceilidh music, a conga line and more, the dance floor was packed all evening.

My favourite wedding detail had to be my Suzanne Neville ‘Amber’ gown. I had so many compliments and I truly felt like royalty in it. I had seen the dress online and fell in love instantly. I found my nearest stockist, Rachel Scott Couture in Edinburgh, and took my mum and my sister to my first appointment.

It was everything I ever wanted in a dress – stylish, classic and elegant. I said yes to the dress there and then! I knew I wanted my hair up to show off the neckline, so on the day, Melanie, from MHM Styling, went for a modern bun and I loved everything about it.

When it came to capturing the day, we had Derek Christie as our photographer and Ashley Hope as our videographer.

I had followed Derek Christie for a while and always really liked how he captures the essence of the whole day and manages to tell the story of your wedding through his photos. I find his photos to be full of love and happiness, full of colour and light which attracted me to his work in the first place.

At first, Rob really wasn’t keen for videographer, as he felt it may be intrusive, however, Ashley filmed our friends’ wedding and she was so discreet and the video she made was beautiful so we asked if she was free on our date and luckily enough she was. We cried even just watching the teaser video back – it’s definitely our favourite keepsake from the day.

Looking back, there’s not a thing we would change. It sounds so cliché, but we were both so in our element and really had the best day of our lives.”

Top tips: “Be as organised as you can be! Once you decide on your date and venue, really get cracking with suppliers. But also, don’t panic – quite often suppliers will get back to you with their recommendations for other suppliers if they are already booked up.

Embrace the planning stage and allow your friends to help you. They will be so pleased to be involved, so take all the help you can get and enjoy girly nights of everything wedding related!”

Venue Mansfield Traquair
Photographer Derek Christie
Videographer Ashley Hope
Celebrant Humanist Amy Lawson from Fuze Ceremonies
Wedding dress Suzanne Neville’s Amber gown from Rachel Scott Couture
Veil and hairband Celine Veil by The Couture Veil and the thin Victoria Band, made by Rachel Scott herself, both from Rachel Scott Accessories
Bride’s shoes Coast
Bridesmaid dresses David’s Bridal
Flower girl dresses Star Bridal Boutique in Markinch
Mother-of-the-bride outfit Condici dress and hat from Catwalk in Falkirk
Groomswear MacGregor and MacDuff with their Water of Life tartan
Flowers Narcissus Flowers in Edinburgh
Cake Liggy’s Cake Co. in Edinburgh with flowers from Narcissus
Vegan/gluten-free bakes Mimi’s Bakehouse
Catering Heritage Portfolio (part of Mansfield Traquair)
Stationary Larach Creative Print, Glasgow via Etsy
Venue decor all Mansfield’s own
Engagement/wedding rings Jewellery by Liam Ross
Ceremony and drinks reception music harpist Sarah MacNeil
Bagpiper Mhairi’s cousin Hamish
Reception music Studio Wedding Band via Hire a Band
Transport Edinburgh Classic Wedding Cars
Hair Melanie from MHM Styling
Makeup Rae Mathieson

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