Relaxed summer tipi wedding in the Borders with a local focus and unusual 1930s-inspired wedding dress

Lara & Craig

28th August 2021

Venue | Hartree Estates, Scottish Borders
Photography | Zoë Alexandra Photography

a bride and groom walking in the grounds at Hartree Estates

“Craig and I met over ten years ago at art school. We were in Brazil visiting friends for Hogmanay 2019 when Craig proposed in a quiet spot with a ring he handmade.

The first decision we made was to get married in our native Scotland. We are both Scottish but don’t live there anymore, so we wanted to go back to our roots.

The driving force behind our wedding was simple: we wanted a day with all our loved ones in one place for a drink and a dance. As long as everyone was well fed and had fun we were going to be happy.

We booked the first and only venue we went to see, Hartree Estates. This tipi venue, in the countryside of the Southern Uplands, is truly idyllic and the team’s straightforward and relaxed attitude was exactly what we wanted. It also has a focus on local suppliers and produce – a real selling point for us.

We count ourselves extremely fortunate that we managed to book our venue just before the pandemic hit. We were the first wedding Hartree hosted without Covid restrictions on the original date we reserved.

We are not fussy people and aimed for an outdoorsy, rustic wedding without unnecessary frills. It all came together naturally, mainly because of our fantastic venue and suppliers.

We had stunning blooms from Cloudberry Flowers. They are all grown in owner Catherine’s garden in the Borders and she picks whatever looks best that day. We arranged many of them nonchalantly in old whisky and gin bottles.

We kept our humanist ceremony short and sweet. Our celebrant Mark Reilly was outstanding. He did an unbelievable job of making everyone laugh, but also presented the serious, heartfelt bits really well. In short, it was a perfectly pitched ceremony.

My dress was a vintage-inspired silk dress from an amazing London brand called The Own Studio. I first came across them on Instagram and adored their work. As soon as I put on my dress, I knew it was The One.

I also treated myself to a pair of shoes that I’d wear again for special occasions. I found a gorgeous dark green pair from New York brand Loeffler Randall.

Craig wore his own outfit. His Grant tartan kilt was a previous present from his dad. As a wedding gift, I got him a handmade sgian dubh by Loch Ness-based Rainnea Studio.

Our 80 guests raved about how good the food was. We worked with Pickled Haggis in Biggar to design our meal. They specialise in relaxed, platter/family-style dining with an ethos of local, organic ingredients. They even managed to incorporate some produce from the Estate’s garden and were transparent about budget, both of which we really appreciated.

The fact that we were all able to get together and dance was a big deal. The wedding was three weeks after the ‘no dancing’ rule was lifted and you could tell everyone was ready to let loose! Our first dance was Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.

We wanted our photos to be unposed and relaxed. Photographers Zoë and Sam were amazing, capturing genuine reactions and emotions. Some of the best photos are simply people laughing and enjoying themselves.

We also adore the unique aerial drone shots of us lying on top of our campervan. Even though they were taken just for fun, they’ve ended up being some of our favourites.

We wouldn’t change a thing about our wedding. We were blown away by how much everyone cared about the day. So many people went out of their way to make the day special and we can’t thank them enough.”Top tip: “Do things your way and try not to get too overwhelmed by all the planning. Each time you book something or make a big decision, celebrate with a wee drink.”

Celebrant Mark Reilly, Humanist Society ScotlandBride’s dress The Own StudioBride’s shoes Loeffler RandallHair Lilly Lu Hair & BeautyMakeup Beauty by ShonaGroomswear Geoffrey (Tailor) KiltmakersCatering Pickled HaggisFlowers Cloudberry FlowersCake made by family friend, RaeStationery Papier Bride’s wedding ring Rachel Boston
Groom’s wedding ring made by bride, LaraFavours Cancer Research UK pins and a Tunnock’s Caramel WaferMusic Spotify playlist


a wedding bouquet by Cloudberry Flowers and a small coral beaded bagimage of tipi in the grounds at Hartree Estates in Biggargreen bow shoes by Loeffler Randalla bride wearing a dress by The Own Studiosurprised bridesmaids wearing green dressesa black and white image of a lady hugging a bridetwo men wearing kilts at Hartree Estatesbridesmaids wearing green walking at Hartree Estatesa bride on the arm of a man and woman during an outdoor wedding ceremony at Hartree Estatesa groom smiling in the grounds of Hartree Estateswedding readings by bridesmaids wearing green during an outdoor wedding ceremony at Hartree Estatesan outdoor wedding ceremony of a bride and groom at Hartree Estateshands intertwined of a newly married couplea confetti shot of a bride and groom outdoor at Hartree Estatesportraits of smiling bride and groom at Hartree Estatesa bride and groom laughinga bride and groom walking in the grounds at Hartree Estatesa groom kissing a bride on the forehead at Hartree Estatesa bride and groom under a tree at Hartree Estateswedding tipi dressed for dinner at Hartree Estateswedding cake with flowers by Cloudberry FLowers and vase arrangements by Cloudberry Flowersflowers in gin bottles by Cloudberry Flowersa laughing bride and groom during speeches in a tipia bride cheering and clapping during her wedding speech in a tipia toast the married couple in black and whitewedding food for sharing by Pickled Haggisa lady and a man posing for a photo with a bottle of Brosea bride and groom cutting a wedding cake in a tipi at Hartree Estatesa bride and groom sitting on their campervan and an aerial drone picture of them lying on campervana converted campervanaerial drone image of a bride and groom lying on top of a campervan in the grounds of Hartree Estatesa bride and groom on the dancefloor in the tipi at Hartree Estates