Ailsa and Kieran had to put plans for a big wedding party on hold, but decided to have a small ceremony and dinner at Fruin Farm when Covid restrictions allowed in August 2020

Ailsa Morison & Kieran O’Shea

3rd August 2020

Venue | Fruin Farm, near Helensburgh
Photography | SimonsStudio

“Kieran and I met while studying psychology at the University of Glasgow. We were together for about seven years before getting engaged.

During our relationship, we spent a lot of time visiting my grandparents in the Lake District, who have been married for an incredible 63 years! In November 2018, Kieran proposed at some beautiful gardens in the area, overlooking a lake. After I said yes, we spent the weekend celebrating with close family.

Our original large wedding for 120 guests planned for May 2020 didn’t go ahead due to Covid-19. We didn’t want to wait to get married, so used a budget of £2,000 to host a ceremony and small reception in August 2020. We postponed most of our suppliers until later in 2021, when we are hoping to throw a big reception party.

It was really difficult to make any firm decisions as government guidance was constantly changing. However, we came up with a plan A, B and C, including potential venues (e.g. indoors and outdoors) and let our most important people know. When restrictions started to ease, we had about three weeks to confirm plans and make decisions about smaller details.

All of our suppliers were super and helped us to pull together our wedding at very short notice. Their flexibility was so valuable in the current times and we are immensely grateful for all of their support.

We chose to get married at Fruin Farm near Helensburgh as it’s a perfect location for a small, intimate wedding. The setting is beautiful, filled with greenery and it has a very relaxed and calming vibe. We chose to have our ceremony in the barn, had drinks and canapes outside (overlooking the sheep and llamas!), then had a small dinner in the reception area.

We had 15 people attend our ceremony and eight people for dinner. We had always wanted our wedding to feel relaxed and personal, so it was easy to capture that in our new, smaller plans.  

We added lots of little touches to personalise our day, such as an engraved wooden ring box, light-up letters of our initials and homemade confetti cones. Our wedding cake was made by a family member using a special family recipe. My dad also painted a wooden crate for us, which was decorated with lots of photos of our relationship over the years.

We also had pin badge favours from Macmillan Cancer Support, a charity close to our hearts. Gin and tonic had played a wonderful part in our relationship, so we also used lots of mixed gin bottles filled with flowers in for our décor.

I treated us to some fancy Ester and Erik tapered candles. We initially agreed they were over budget for our bigger wedding, but when plans changed to a smaller event, I had an excuse to buy them! They looked beautiful on the tables and throughout our venue. We are hoping to re-use them for future special occasions, including our first anniversary.

We had a humanist ceremony led by Suzanne Teed from the Humanist Society Scotland. A friend was married by her and we loved her relaxed and humorous style at that ceremony. After meeting her for a drink, we knew that she would be perfect for conducting our ceremony – it would be impossible to not feel at ease in her company. She was immensely helpful with the process of writing and personalising our ceremony and she became a really special part of our day. Suzanne even provided a surprise sharing of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange due to us having had one on our first date!

Photographer Simon Lees from SimonsStudio was fantastic. We had previously met him my brother’s wedding and really liked his work. We loved his naturalistic photography style and the fact he puts you at ease right away – he’s brilliant to work with!

My wedding dress was by Enzoani, bought through Opus Couture in West Kilbride. The staff at the boutique were fantastic: friendly, helpful and take a lot of care in their work. From trying on dresses, right through to doing fittings, it felt like they were personally invested in making everything come together.

Floral Menagerie’s flowers are stunning, wild and full of character. Florist and owner Lisa Gaston is an absolute pleasure to work with. We had a lot of contact throughout planning for our original venue and then a sudden overhaul of ideas and plans due to our smaller ceremony. Lisa was flexible throughout and we always knew we were in safe hands.

If the circumstances had been different, we would have loved to have had our bridesmaids, groomsmen and wider family and friends present. We missed having a lot of people being there, but still felt love and support from everyone through messages, cards and gifts ahead of the wedding. Seeing the joy and happiness on our immediate families’ faces was lovely after months of uncertainty about whether we could go ahead or not.”

Top tip: “We used an Excel spreadsheet to record all of our suppliers, decisions and payments throughout wedding planning. This really helped us stay organised and proved to be extremely important when it came to trying to move all of suppliers and renegotiate contracts due to coronavirus.”

Venue Fruin Farm, near Helensburgh
Photography SimonsStudio
Bridalwear Opus Couture
Groomswear McCalls
Celebrant Suzanne Teed, Humanist Society Scotland
Flowers Floral Menagerie
Cake homemade chocolate cake to old family recipe by sister-in-law, Becca
Favours Macmillan Cancer Support
Rings Mr Harold & Son
Hair and makeup Emma Motion Makeup Artist
Gift list The Wedding Shop

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