Music-loving couple Rachael and Brian’s crisp December wedding turned those down days between Christmas and New Year into a proper festive shindig for family and friends

Rachael Anderson & Brian MacDonald

29th December 2019

Venue | Inglewood House and Spa, Alloa
Photography | Jenniflower Photography

“In April 2017, we went on holiday to Cuba for our respective 30th birthdays. On the first day there, Brian proposed on the beach. Even though we had been together for six years, it was completely unexpected and made the already celebratory holiday even more special.

We didn’t start scouting out venues until December 2017. We had both agreed we wanted a Christmas wedding, so it made sense to visit them at that time of year. The festive period is about family and friends to us, so it seemed the perfect time to get everyone together, throw a party and have as much fun as possible!

We were after a venue that felt warm and cosy. When we saw the large hall fireplace at Inglewood House and Spa in Alloa, it really sealed the deal – and of course its Christmas decorations and all-round festive atmosphere didn’t hurt either.

Our humanist celebrant, Beverley Bryant, was fantastic. It felt like we had known her for years and she made us feel completely at ease. During our ceremony, we asked my two sisters and Brian’s older brother to say a few words for us – their contributions made it all the more personal and special.

Similarly, photographer Jennifer from Jenniflower Photography was a dream to work with. We didn’t want to ‘stage’ any of the day; we just wanted loads of happy, candid memories to look back on and she certainly delivered.

I was so fortunate to be able to get my Modeca dress a season ahead, as it was still on the catwalk when I needed to order it. I knew I wanted something with sleeves and there wasn’t a lot of options from the 2019 collections. The staff at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo Bridal Boutique in East Kilbride were angels. They went above and beyond to help me source my perfect dress.

Music played a big part in our day. I walked down the aisle to Caledonia by Dougie MacLean, a beautiful song that means a lot to us. Our first dance was Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac, but we put our own twist on it. Brian is a musician, so he altered the start to a slow, acoustic version. We started dancing to this and – as the wedding party took to the floor – our band Strange Bru sped it up to the original tempo. It was so much fun and better than we ever could’ve imagined. Because it was so upbeat, it really took the ‘first dance’ pressure off us. My daddy-daughter dance is also a moment I’ll cherish forever.

One of our biggest bargains was our videographer, Michelle Gillan. She had just started out making wedding films when we secured her. As she has since become more established in the industry, her prices have changed. She was absolutely fantastic and we count ourselves fortunate to have worked with her at the outset.”

Top tip: “Make it a team effort. You’re entering marriage as partners and equals, so this is the best place to start learning how to work together, make joint decisions and support each other. Because we did all of that, we never really experienced any planning-related stresses.”

Venue Inglewood House and Spa, Alloa
Photography Jenniflower Photography
Celebrant Beverley Briant Humanist Celebrant
Bride’s dress Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo Bridal Boutique
Groomswear MacGregor and MacDuff
Flowers Beau Bouquets
Venue décor Eze Events
Cake Liggy’s Cake Company
Piper Matt Wilson
Reception band Strange Bru
Wedding film Michelle Gillan Films
Hair and makeup HV Wedding Specialists

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