Swapping speeches for a pub quiz at a fuss-free, but fun-packed wedding

Katie Gardner & Gary Stead

26th January 2019

Venue | Brisbane House Hotel, Ayrshire
Photography | Emma Sanderson Photography


“We always knew that we wanted to get married in January, as that was the month we first met and I prefer winter to summer. What can I say – I’m a big fan of cosy nights in! Other than that, we were aiming for a simple wedding, without too much fuss or extra things to worry about.

Brisbane House Hotel in Largs hosted both ceremony and reception. I holidayed in the area growing up, so it holds a special place in my heart. We were sold on the hotel’s seaside setting. Not only that, the staff were amazing when I realised I’d messed up the seating plan and missed a few guests from their tables. Thankfully, they managed to sort it easily on the day.

I sadly lost my dad 12 years ago, so my twin brother walked me down the aisle. He wore my dad’s watch and ‘Here Comes The Sun’ by The Beatles played, while my big sister led the way as my one and only bridesmaid. The second song during the ceremony was one we discovered on Spotify by The Avett Brothers called, fittingly, ‘January Wedding’. We couldn’t believe it when we first heard it. We now know every word.

Our ceremony was performed by registrar, Emma Gillen. My auntie Norah spoke and recited a celtic blessing. It was originally sang at my mum and dad’s wedding, so it was a special moment.  The vows were over in a flash! All that time planning, getting ready in the morning, all the hype and then that’s it – done. You’re married in just 20 minutes.

We crammed in as much planning as we could from the moment we booked the wedding. We were aware that as the day itself edged closer, we’d have more and more to do. 

We ditched speeches. We didn’t want people to worry about standing up in a crowded room on the day as we wanted them to have a good time. Instead, we threw a pub quiz before dinner as Gary has always been a major fan of them. The groom did, however, take a few moments to thank everyone (including just a small slagging for his best men) and to toast me!

We had family travelling from as far as Australia. We really appreciated everyone being there for us. The day was so happy and chilled.”

Top tip:The best task we got out the way early was shopping for our rings. Don’t leave this to the last minute!”

Brides’ dress Olivia Cameron Bridal
Flower girl dresses
Marsha Marshal
Barclays Diamonds
Emma Gillen at North Ayrshire Council
West Coast Cakes
Samantha Kennedy Florist
Entertainment C&J Party Hire
Boutique Hair Spa

Nadine Grant Makeup Artist