This arty Glasgow couple headed to their favourite city spots for a non-traditional union with their nearest and dearest

Clara Weale & Alexander Hoyles

29th September 2022

Venue | The Kibble Palace, Gloriosa and Queen’s Park Bowling Club
Photography | Theodora van Duin

“Our engagement wasn’t a formal thing; we just decided together that we wanted to get married. After previously being fairly certain we weren’t ‘wedding people’ we realised that we liked the idea of making a formal commitment to each other and that a wedding didn’t have to be totally trad.

We had our ceremony in The Kibble Palace in Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens. We chose it because it would be suitable for any weather conditions, it’s affordable and is a nice, bright, light space full of plants. We also liked the idea of it being somewhere iconically Glasgow that we could easily revisit as it’s open to the public. We look forward to taking our daughter (who Clara was six months pregnant with at the time) there when she’s a little older!

The meal and food were very important to us. Our reception was split into two parts: first, a welcome drink and sit-down sharing meal at Gloriosa, which we picked for its excellent food, wine and decor. Then for the ‘party’ part, we had a more traditional reception at Queen’s Park Bowling Club. It has a pretty classic, nostalgic sort of feel, was local to us and many of our friends (no expensive taxis home or hotels after too many wines!) and it was also affordable and available.

Clara busied herself creating a wealth of floral arrangements the day before the wedding. She ordered frilly pink tulips, bright blue delphiniums and bundles of sweet peas and sourced glass celery vases to use as table centrepieces for the Gloriosa meal. We also made DIY paper decorations of stars and moons for the bowling club reception.

We had a coffee morning for our guests before the ceremony. We made the coffee (and even bought a new filter coffee machine for it) and served cardamom buns. There’s often such a long time between arriving and eating at a wedding, so this was a nice way of ensuring everyone was fed and it allowed a chance for a more casual hello and catch up pre-ceremony. We had 30 guests at the ceremony, another 20 at night.

We kept traditions such as the exchange of rings and promises in our humanist ceremony. But we wanted to exclude anything that involved a bridal v. groomsmen dynamic. We did away with the gendered division of friends and family for the bridesmaids and groomsmen; we didn’t do the ‘giving away’ of the bride, and we both entered and exited together.

The joyful exit after the pronouncement to ‘How We Met, The Long Version’ by Jens Leksman, along with the confetti throw, was such a great moment!

Our guests were greeted at the drinks reception with margaritas and snacks. Food was served sharing-style as we’re into the idea of communal eating as a way of showing care and socialising.

We had seen photographer Theodora van Duin’s work through Instagram as we have mutual friends and Glasgow’s creative and arts community is fairly tight-knit. We knew we wanted someone comfortable with natural light and getting genuine, candid images of everyday people. It was more about seeing the day through someone else’s eyes and having the key moments captured thoughtfully for us to look back on. Thea fitted the bill perfectly.

The reception was fun and messy. We did karaoke, had a DJ and enjoyed pakora and samosas from Ranjit’s Kitchen. Our first dance was to ‘Under Pressure’ by Queen and David Bowie (as karaoke rather than a dance!). The biggest surprise was how our wedding could be so momentous but at the same time so joyful and everyday.

Ceremony venue The Kibble Palace
Meal venue Gloriosa
Reception venue Queen’s Park Bowling Club
Photography Theodora van Duin
Celebrant Jude Williams
Bride’s dress Cecile Behnsen
Alterations Rosana Exposito
Groomswear Arket
Cake Sneaky Beets
Gluten-free cake Wild Flours
Coffee Grain and Grind
Cardamom buns Deanston Bakery
Evening snacks Ranjit’s Kitchen
DJ Monster Hospital
Hair Rochelle Jolley at Curlach

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