Laura Wilson & Matthew Reynolds
19th March 2022
“Matt proposed at the summit of Meall na Teanga, a Munro above Loch Lochy. It took me completely by surprise and I thought he was messing around getting down on one knee to ask if I’d buy him a take away for dinner! It was beautifully sunny and afterwards, we had time at the top to ourselves to enjoy a dram of whisky from a hip flask to celebrate.
We had the whole wedding weekend at Newhall Mains on the Black Isle. We loved its rural setting and rustic charm. It had a beautiful courtyard, outdoor space and on-site accommodation that could sleep all of our guests. As a lot of our guests were travelling from Fife and the south of England to be with us in the Highlands, it was important to us that once at the venue, everyone could stay in the same place and relax all weekend.
All the venue’s cottages backed onto the main courtyard, creating the perfect social setting. It was really exciting welcoming our guests as they arrived and sharing the buzz and pre-wedding nerves with our guests. We enjoyed a BBQ and drinks with everyone that evening too.
We decided to walk up the aisle together to symbolise our joint decision to enter into marriage and mark our support for each other from the beginning. We didn’t want to adhere to the tradition of the groom ‘waiting’ for the bride, or the bride being given away, so Matt knocked on the door of the cottage where I was getting ready and we got to see each other for the first time on our own before the ceremony.
We had a civil ceremony conducted by a registrar Kathleen Campbell from Highland Council. We also incorporated a blessing from Matt’s dad, Paul, a retired minister and chose to include a handfasting ceremony.
We had 25 adults and four children in attendance. As it was a small wedding, everyone there was an important person in our lives. This made it impossible to choose bridesmaids / best men, so we involved our family and friends in other ways instead. Lynn, Hayley, Helen and my mum helped me get ready in the morning. Our friend Sally gave a lovely reading and we roped our friend Fraser into being our ceilidh caller and toastmaster.
Matt is a weather forecaster so for weeks he had been watching the weather trends and constantly weighing up the chance of it raining! We were so lucky that it was a warm and sunny day. The sunshine meant we could have our desired outdoor ceremony and could get stunning photographs on Rosemarkie Beach and with Ben Wyvis, the first munro we climbed together, as a snow-capped backdrop.
We first contacted Alison White because it was clear she wasn’t afraid to tramp through fields and go off-road to get gorgeous photos. Living in Nairn and getting married on the Black Isle, beach shots were important to us and luckily, Alison has a real talent for using landscape as a backdrop to frame her subjects.
When we got back from our photo session, the party had well and truly started as guests had cracked open the fizz while we were gone! They had made the most of the sunny day by playing croquet and garden games in the courtyard. It was great to see everyone so relaxed. Some people had even taken the opportunity to have a mid-afternoon nap to see them through to the small hours.
We were due to get married in October 2021 but sadly my Dad, Alan, died suddenly in September just a week before the wedding. It was a really upsetting and traumatic time for all of us, and something we are still adjusting to. We are so grateful to all of our suppliers for being so understanding and giving us time and space to grieve.
While the day was a mix of emotions, we made sure his presence was felt by displaying the speech he’d previously written, his photograph and buttonhole by the dining table and raising a glass of fizz in his honour. He was a man who loved his family and a glass of champagne!”
Top tip: “Get wedding insurance as soon as you’ve booked your date. You really don’t know what is round the corner. Having it in place meant we were covered for the rearranging costs that occurred after my Dad passed away. While it might seem insensitive to think about money at such a hard time, it really took away a lot of additional stress.”
Registrar Kathleen Campbell, Highland CouncilCharlotte Smith BridalBridal alterations and mother-of-the-bride outfit In-Stitches Hair and makeup Laura Ross and Stephanie Foran, The Dolls House InvernessGroomswear Slater MenswearCatering The Lunch Box BoysCake Black Isle Baking
Flowers CP Flowers Favours Small lavender bundles, wildflower seeds and tablet Engagement and wedding rings Roisin Connolly JewelleryCeremony music Isbel Pendlebury Harp