Sunny July wedding with lots of pretty flower details at new barn wedding venue in Aberdeenshire

Hannah Slesser & Keith McLean

16th July 2021

Venue | Schivas Steading, Aberdeenshire
Photography | Zoe Rae Photography and Louise Malcolm Photography

bride and groom in a field of flowers

“Keith and I got together in December 2015 and, three years later, he popped the question on the banks of Loch Lomond on 10th April 2019.

We were supposed to get married 18 months later, but with many Covid-related postponements, it turned out to be two years and three months later. It was a case of third time lucky with the date.

The pandemic also meant we had to rethink a lot of things: the seating plan was based around households; mask-wearing was mandatory during the ceremony, and we had to sit down when eating and drinking (inside and outside). We were allowed to have a first dance but there was no dancing for our guests and the wedding had to wrap by 11pm. We still had the best day of our lives despite the restrictions.

We decided early on that we wanted a local venue that we could style ourselves and that offered accommodation for the bridal party. When we went to visit Schivas Steading, it was a shell of a building. All we had to go on were the plans, but the venue’s manager shared her vision and we felt that we were in safe hands.

We opted to have a civil ceremony. The more traditional vows were important to us, but we didn’t want a religious service. We spoke to our local registrars and they were more than happy to tailor the ceremony to suit us, including the sharing of the whisky quaich.

Getting ready in my parents’ house with my bridesmaids was a part of the day I’ll treasure forever. Leaving from there in a gorgeous vintage car from 1st Class Wedding Cars with my dad by my side was pretty special. When we arrived at the venue, our nephew ran up to give me a hug which got me all emotional!

Wedding dress shopping was a breeze thanks to Midnight Elegance in Inverurie. Kathy at the boutique listened to what I wanted and suggested I try a Justin Alexander dress. All I can say is that it’s true what they say: when you have found The One you know.

Cake tasting was a highlight of wedding planning. Cakes by Kirsty helped us design our dream wedding cake and it was absolutely delicious.

Our wedding meal, made by Kate’s Bespoke Catering, was fantastic. Guests could choose from chicken liver parfait or tomato soup to start; haggis-stuffed chicken or roast beef for main; dessert was sticky toffee pudding or Eton Mess panna cotta.

Our venue decor company Cymbeline Events went above and beyond. Amy is truly a genius. She was a joy to work with and made everything so much easier. We can’t thank her enough for all the hard work she did for us.

Keith is not a natural in front of the camera, and photographer Zoe Rae listened to what we wanted and made us both feel completely at ease. Her second shooter Louise Malcolm was also a star (she was hilarious and somehow got our nephew to constantly smile). Our photos speak for themselves; we are thrilled with them.”

Top tip: “Try not to stress if you notice something wrong. The day whizzes by so fast, no-one will notice a little mistake – it’ll just be you!”

a vintage car with a wedding ribbona smiling bride with dad in back seat of a vintage wedding cara black and white image of a groom looking at his pocket watchconfetti basket on a table and a wedding chalkboard welcome signa blue suitcase for wedding cardsa bride walking down aisle with dada bride with three bridesmaids wearing dark reda black and white image of a man shaking a groom's hand with bridea bride and groom looking at one anothera bride and groom kissing during a wedding ceremonya bride and groom kissing as guests look on at wedding ceremony at Schivas Steadingan excited bride with hands in aira bride and groom being showered in confetti at Schivas Steadinga bride and groom with guests outside Schivas steadinga bride kneeling to talk to a young male guest at a weddinga bride and groom in the grounds of Schivas Steadinga bride and groom with parasol at Schivas Steadinga bride and groom kissing in field of flowersa bride kissing a young male wedding guest and a bride and groom beside a swing tied to a treea bride and groom posing in woodlanda bride and groom outside schivas steadingwedding table and wedding plan at Schivas Steadingchocolate wedding favours on a plateNc'Nean gin on a table and Schivas Steading set up for a wedding dinnera floral table marker at Schivas Steadinga black and white image of a bride and groom at Schivas Steadinga bride and groom on stairs at Schivas Steadinga bride and groom with wedding sign at Schivas Steadinga bride and groom with a wedding cakeRegistrar Elaine Adam
Bride’s and bridesmaids’ dresses Midnight Elegance
Bride’s hair accessory RedRocks Groomswear Haddo Highlandwear
Cake Cakes By Kirsty
Catering Kate’s Bespoke Catering
Flowers Flowers by Judith
Stationery Love Paper Co.Venue decor Cymbeline EventsReception band The Last Resort
Photobooth Fabby PhotosHair Nethermill Salon
Makeup Emma Thomson MUA
Wedding film Scott Cassie Videographer  Transport 1st Class Wedding Cars