Louise Downie & Jamie Stewart
20th May 2022
“We met in the summer of 2013, and got engaged seven years later while staying at The Kenmore Club in Perthshire. We walked up to Black Rock Viewpoint and Jamie proposed there, overlooking the loch.
Our plan was always to have our wedding at home on our family farm. It’s been in my family for over 100 years, and I think it’s amazing that it’s been in the family for so long! My dad converted one of the old sheds in the grounds into our venue, which we kept calling the ‘wedding shed’. Since our wedding, we have made it available as a blank-canvas venue for other couples to hire out as Ellands Wedding Shed. The first wedding (after ours) will take place in May, which I’m very excited about.
We got married in Dyke Parish Church. My dad and his siblings were all christened there, and it’s where my auntie got married, so it’s always been close to our family. My bridesmaid’s husband Ross piped me in with ‘Highland Cathedral’ (which was my granny’s favourite), and my sister Ruby Jean Downie, who is an opera singer, sang two songs while we signed the register. Jamie and I love singing so we chose really upbeat hymns and asked our guests to sing super-loud!
After the ceremony we headed to the farm, stopping at Brodie Castle on the way for photos. By the time we had done that, everyone had arrived and we had plenty of time to mingle. We provided unlimited canapés so that nobody was hungry (very important), and when the time came for our group photo, our photographers Eilidh and Laura climbed into the basket of the forklift truck to get an aerial shot. They are sisters and good family friends. During my pony club days, I used to get their ponies when they outgrew them! I absolutely love their style; the photos are amazing.
Our theme was rustic, DIY chic. I used Instagram and lived on Pinterest to get inspiration. We had lots of hanging greenery in the shed, which our florist got from our garden and my granny’s garden. Our tables were named after places we had lived and we had two bars: the Ski-Bike Bar, which was made by my dad, and the Land Rover Bar, which was my grandad’s Land Rover – and also our wedding car!
It was very important to us to support local farmers and champion Scotland’s great produce. We had all of our favourite foods, including a seafood platter, roast sirloin of beef from the Black Isle, and a profiterole tower for dessert.
Over the last few years we’d been to a lot of weddings with long tables and we loved it. My mum was against them (she wanted circular tables!) but it worked really well, especially the social aspect of having people sitting on either side of the top table.
We used to live in Earlsfield, London, and Jayson Norris played at our local pub, The Wandle. It was just him and his acoustic guitar and he was amazing, a real crowd pleaser, so we asked him to come up and play at our wedding. He was great, and it was lovely to have that little slice of London there with us. One of my best memories is of everyone dancing so much at night. I’m very glad I wore wedge heels, as they were so comfy. Our first dance was to ‘You’ve Got The Love’ by Florence + The Machine.
My dress was a second-hand Sassi Holford. I had been to Sassi Holford and fallen in love with it, then my friend told me about an app called Stillwhite where someone was selling the same style in immaculate condition. So that was amazing. I then had my jacket made at Sassi Holford, and got everything taken in and tailored at a tailor in Wimbledon Village.
The day after the wedding, we invited all of our 126 guests back (as well as other people we knew locally) for a second celebration. There were about 250 people in the shed that day, we had a hog roast and Jayson played music too. It was really relaxed and a nice opportunity to debrief, as well as catch up with people we hadn’t seen yet. Our dogs were there too, roaming around.
The highlight of our wedding was definitely having all of our family and most important people all together in the one place. A week after the wedding, my older brother Tom moved to Melbourne, so now I’m extra-appreciative of having that time together.”
Top tip: “Book things as early as you can so that you’re organised, and then try not to stress on the day. All the little details you worry about are things other people don’t care about. We didn’t even have favours! I think as long as everyone is there and the vibe is good, that’s all that matters. You being calm and enjoying everything that happens makes everyone else feel at ease.”
Ceremony venue Dyke Parish Church
Reception venue Ellands Wedding Shed
Photography Eilidh Robertson Photography
Bride’s dress Stillwhite
Bride’s lace jacket Sassi Holford
Bridesmaid dresses Coast
Makeup Beauty by Leah
Hair Curl me Crazy – Wedding Hair by Anna
Catering DM Event Catering
Cheese ‘Cake’ Connage Highland Dairy
Flowers Blooming Lovely Flowers at Udale
Chairs, glasses and crockery Aye Do Events
Tables Grant Event Hire
Neon sign Kustom Neons
Drinks reception music Capella String Quartet
Music Jayson Norris
Invites and menu Hazel Kidd
Orders of service Piccolo Press
Name tags and table plan Clare Warren Calligraphy
Filmmaker Ross Wilson Photography