Delicious food, cocktails and dancing made Carson and Ali’s cosy and colourful Twenties-influenced bonfire night wedding a day to remember

Carson Williams and Alasdair Hogg – now Mr and Mrs Williams-Hogg!

5th November 2022

Venue | Netherbyres House, Scottish Borders
Photography | Loraine Ross Photography

“Ali and I have been together since university. It was the 12th anniversary of us getting together the day after the wedding. To propose, Ali took me out for a tasting menu and wine pairing at our favourite local restaurant, but popped the question afterwards in the living room of our house – we needed to make sure the cats were included after all! It was about 18 months later we got married.

Our dinner tables ended up named after our two beloved cats, Brutus and Caesar. We even got special cat portraits made for the table centres. Netherbyres House, near Eyemouth in the Borders, was the first venue we visited. We instantly fell for its beautiful Art Deco-meets-maximalist style. Owners Sarah and Mike are such lovely people to boot.

As we got married in November, we wanted to incorporate warm autumnal colours and Art Deco styling to complement the setting. Burnt orange, burgundy and golds featured heavily and we gave the bridesmaids free rein to select dresses in those hues.

I am a fan of the vintage 1920s look of Eliza Jane Howell’s dresses. I ended up finding the label’s Zenith dress second-hand and got the hem taken up a little. I wore it with a shoulder cape for the ceremony and bespoke beaded sleeves in the evening. I also had a pale grey feather coat for nighttime.

I treated myself to lilac feathered pyjamas from Nadine Merabi for the morning of the wedding. I got plenty of wear out of them; Ali and I are both early risers, so I woke up at 5am that day! I chilled out and had breakfast with my bridesmaids before getting our hair and makeup done by AMM Hair and Makeup Team. Meanwhile, Ali and his best man Tom went for a wander down to Eyemouth Harbour to try and spot the local seals.

We worked with Paul Browett, AKA The Scottish Celebrant, on our humanist ceremony. He was amazing and helped us craft a personal ceremony. We asked a close friend to do a reading for the ceremony, but keep it a secret from us before the big day. She ended up writing her own poem which was such a sweet surprise!

One memorable moment was walking into our venue’s main hall before we sat down to dinner. Seeing our vision come to life for the first time – from the flowers and styling, to the table linens and cake design – was amazing. It was exactly what we had imagined.

We had sparklers, hot chocolate, and mulled wine outside seeing as it was Bonfire Night.

Great food and drink were our top priorities for our 60 guests. The majority of the four-course dinner menu was our idea, based on meals and flavours we love. We had burrata and roasted grapes to start; cacio e pepe for the pasta course; and braised beef shin with orange and olive gremolata, or roasted cauliflower steak with white bean mash for the main.

Dessert was our delicious wedding cake. I am a big fan of baking and we wanted something different to the ‘usual’ flavours. We picked hot toddy, miso salted caramel with apples, and tahini with blackberry and sesame for each of our three layers. We found Celebration Cakes by Rebecca Grace Banks after two other bakers cancelled on us. Her work was incredible.

The drinks flowed freely, too. We had lots of bubbles, his-and-hers cocktails for our drinks reception (spicy margaritas for me and boulevardiers for Ali), and served espresso martinis after dinner in place of coffee. We even had tequila in the quaich instead of whisky during our ceremony.

Getting the music right was a big part of our plans. We lined up David Williams Guitarist for our ceremony and he played acoustic covers of ‘Halo’ by Beyoncé as the bridesmaids walked in and ‘I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You’ by Elvis as I entered. We love Carly Rae Jepsen, so headed back up the aisle to ‘Call Me Maybe’, and walked into dinner by another of her songs, ‘I Really Like You’.

In the evening, covers band Wildcard made sure the dancefloor was full. Our first dance was to ‘I’m Yours’ by Jack Savoretti.

My dad, maid of honour, and Ali’s best man all made speeches. We really enjoyed them all – especially since they were the only parts we hadn’t planned ourselves.

Neither of us are particularly at home in front of the camera, so finding a photographer that made us feel comfortable was priority number one. Loraine Ross was confident, friendly and chatty. She did a great job of putting us at ease during our engagement shoot and on the day. Her photography style was also exactly what we had in mind: candid, but detail-driven. Our photos are beautiful, and we adore them.

Top tip: “Book the big things first – and then be prepared to be patient! We found that things go quiet until just a month or two ahead of the wedding, as vendors understandably tend to prioritise their closest wedding dates. That long lull can make you feel a bit uneasy, but trust that it will all come together. Remember: you might not do this every day, but your vendors do.”

Venue Netherbyres House
Photography Loraine Ross Photography
Wedding film A Cinematic Life (see below)
Celebrant Paul Browett, The Scottish Celebrant
Bride’s dress Eliza Jane Howell
Bridesmaid dresses Chosen by the bridesmaids themselves working with the wedding colours
Hair and makeup AMM Hair and Makeup Team
Groomswear Hackett London
Bride’s rings Kimaï
Groom’s ring Ernest Jones
Cake Celebration Cakes by Rebecca Grace Banks
Catering, venue decor and flowers Platter & Pop
Ceremony music David Williams Guitarist
Reception band Wildcard
Photobooth Blush Booth Photobooth

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