Nicola and David drew on their expertise to create their dream wedding: the bride took inspiration from her job at a wedding magazine (and also baked the cake!) while the groom designed the stationery personalised to each guest

Nicola Smith & David Hamilton

26th October 2019

Venue | The Stables at Cromarty Arts Trust, Inverness-shire
Photography | Simon’s Studio

“We got engaged in September 2018 and told everyone the following month. It gave us time to have my engagement ring custom-made by Katie Lees Jewellery, so we’d be able to show it off at the same time as announcing it to our family and friends.

The venue was the first thing we settled on. We both knew we wanted to get married up north. David’s from Inverness and I’m from Glasgow, but I didn’t fancy a city-centre wedding. The idea of exposed beams and foliage tickled my fancy, so that’s where my Googling started. I typed in ‘exposed beams Inverness’ and, miraculously, The Stables at Cromarty Arts Trust came up.

It’s a wonderful building. With its white brickwork and long, dark wooden beams, it was the perfect fit for our vision. It only caters for five weddings a year which gave us an air of exclusivity. What’s more, we could have the place all to ourselves, meaning everyone around us was part of our wedding.

Alicia MacDonald at Fuze Ceremonies married us in a humanist ceremony. She took the time to get to know us, which we really appreciated. We met up with her and talked through our relationship and chatted over email regularly. She worked with us to develop a script and was really supportive of our decisions for our ceremony.

Before we got engaged, I was writing for Tie the Knot Scotland. It meant every day at work was an opportunity to get ideas for my wedding. I felt drawn to a natural, green aesthetic, while David is mad into bikes. To bring our interests together, I bought lots of silk flowers and wrapped them around two of his bicycle frames.

As David is a graphic designer, he designed our stationery. For place settings, everyone’s name was written in a different typeface that he felt suited them. When the placecards were turned over, on the back was the name of the typeface, the weight it was printed in and the size of type. It was a great talking point for guests and something for them all to treasure.

I made the wedding cake as I love baking. I whipped up my signature madeira sponge with raspberry jam and buttercream and decorated it with fresh flowers. Admittedly, it was pretty manic setting it up at 7am on the day, but I don’t regret doing it.

I took inspiration from Meghan Markle and walked myself halfway down the aisle. I’ve always felt independent and identify as a feminist, but I still wanted to include my dad in the aisle walking tradition, as I knew it was important to him.

I haven’t changed my name since marrying David. I’m still Nicola Smith and probably always will be. I’ve had the name for 29 years and changing it didn’t feel right to me. Luckily, David’s not bothered about me keeping my name, so I didn’t feel pressured to change it or any guilt for not adopting his surname.

Neither of us enjoy posed pictures, so we wanted someone who could record our day in an artistic way. Simon Lees’ (of Simon’s Studio) photography is so unique. A lot of my family had never seen anything like it. His skill at capturing moments of emotion are second to none. I remember feeling completely elated all day, which is clearly visible in the pictures. I have a double chin from laughing in so many of them!

We enlisted a lot of our friends to help on the day. David’s friend Tristan is a sound engineer so he was our DJ. It was incredible what he did with just two speakers. Our friend Blair was our master of ceremonies. To make his announcements, he rang a bell. It was hilarious!”

Top tip: “Note to brides-to-be: you won’t sleep the night before the wedding. I had to stop looking at the clock when I saw 2am, because I had to be up at 7am. For some crazy reason you won’t be tired the following day. So don’t fret if you can’t drift off the night before.”

Venue The Stables at Cromarty Arts Trust, Inverness-shire
Photography Simon’s Studio
Bride’s dress Suzanne Neville at Eleganza Sposa
Rings Katie Lees Jewellery
Groomswear Slanj Kilts
Celebrant Alicia MacDonald at Fuze Ceremonies
Catering Good Highland Food and Cheese and Tomatin
Cake Made by the bride
Flowers Magpie Creative (no longer in business)
Stationery Made by the groom
Venue decor Virginia’s Vintage Hire
Entertainment Spotify playlists
Hair and makeup The Dolls House

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