Vintage-styled family-focused wedding at an Ayrshire hotel with a cute dog in a kilt

Shannon Johnston & George Johnston

28th November 2021

Venue | Dumfries Arms Hotel, Ayrshire
Photography | Pulze Photography

a bride and groom with their Labrador wearing a kilt

George and I had been together just over a year before he proposed on Christmas Day 2019. He had wrapped up a large box which he wanted me to open last. When I did, it was just a big empty box! Then he pulled out a smaller gift, so I opened that box and inside was a ring!

Our first wedding-planning decision was the venue. We met at The Railway Hotel in Auchinleck, Ayrshire, so it seemed a no-brainer that we marry there. However, the hotel fell casualty to the Covid pandemic and sadly had to close.

We moved our wedding to the nearby Dumfries Arms Hotel. We could not have been happier; not only was the layout amazing, but the staff were very friendly and accommodating.

George and I set weekends aside to sort anything related to the wedding. This allowed us the time to close off from everything else and focus on our plans.

We had a rough idea of what we wanted the day to look like as we are fans of vintage style. That said, we are both minimalist and didn’t want anything too ‘overdone’. I spent a lot of time looking at Pinterest and Instagram for understated ideas.

I bought my dress online from ASOS. I adored that it was all-over lace and that it covered my full body. I felt so comfortable when I tried it on. My mum was a dressmaker, so she made some tweaks to make it even more ‘me’.

Our wedding cake by local company Louise’s Rainbow Bakes was a bit different from the norm. We got cupcakes made alongside a bigger cake. They were stacked onto a cake shelf with the main cake on top and the cupcakes below. It was simply plain vanilla sponge and icing with fresh fruit, but we absolutely loved it.

My talented stepmum, aka Allysons Flowers For All Occasions, did our wedding flowers. I put all my trust in her and she didn’t disappoint. They were stunning in every way. She even decorated the full staircase at the venue – such a beautiful touch.

I am a hair stylist so getting the styling right was important. One of my best friends Holly Dale did an amazing job of my vintage wave, topped off with a flower crown.

I did my little stepdaughter’s hair on the wedding morning. Plaudits to our makeup artist Hayley Findlay too, who did an outstanding job on the bridesmaids and I’s makeup.

We opted for a simple civil ceremony. I think the nerves from being in lockdown got George and I’s heads in overdrive and we were both very nervous about the ceremony. In the end, this low-key approach worked out wonderfully for us. We had 58 attend during the day with a further 120 at the reception.

The most memorable part of the wedding for me was entering the dining room to be seated for dinner. The piper played us in and it was a really surreal moment; I couldn’t believe that was us officially husband and wife.

We have a Labrador named Fury who is a big part of our lives. We had him brought over to the wedding and got some photos of him wearing his little doggy kilt that George’s mum had made. Getting our pictures taken with him is one of the undoubted highlights of the day.

Our photographer was Robbie Muir from Pulze Photography. First of all, he is such a lovely person; I knew I would feel at ease around him. (I’m not the best at getting my pictures taken, especially when all eyes are on me.) Also, his work is fantastic. He manages to capture every last emotion. I could not be happier with the photos we got back – they are out of this world.”Top tip: “My advice to other couples would be: take it slowly. I started rushing into things after the engagement thinking I was being ‘more organised’, but it ended up much more hassle that it really should have been. Just take your time and things will fall into place.”

Bride’s dress ASOS, but customised by her dressmaker mumBridesmaids’ dresses Bought onlineGroomswear Kilts 4 U
Cake Louise’s Rainbow Bakes
Favours Scratch cards and tabletFlowers Allysons Flowers For All Occasions
Hair HollyLocks HairMakeup Hayley Lashes & Beauty

prosecco glasses with gold Bride writing and a white wedding card post boxa person styling a young girl's haira lady wearing a navy blue lace dress smiling at another lady wearing a white flower crowna bride and groom posing on their wedding dayfour men in kilts walking along a road next to stone buildingspeople walking down the stairs at Dumfries Arms Hotela bride wearing a lace dress from ASOS walking down the aisle on the arm of a mana bride and groom exchanging wedding ringsa hand with a small skull tattoo on finger signing a wedding registera bride and groom walking up a white carpet aislebride and groom walking through a confetti shower surrounded by guestsbridesmaids, men in kilts and a bride and groom interlinking arms and walkinga bride wearing a lace dress and flower crown laughing with 4 bridesmaids wearing dusky green dressesa bride and groom posing with a green smoke bomba bride and groom standing in the garden at Dumfries Arms Hotela bride and groom with a Labrador wearing a kiltLucky in Love kraft paper wedding invite with red heartthe staircase at Dumfries Arms Hotel and a wedding welcome signa cupcakes and buttercream wedding cake by Louise's Rainbow Bakesa bride and groom on the staircase at Dumfries Arms Hotelhree men in kilts laughing at a staircase at the Dumfries Arms Hotela group wedding portrait at the Dumfries Arms Hotela bride and groom cutting their wedding cake and the back of a bride standing by a windowa bride and groom kissing in the grounds of the Dumfries Arms Hotel at sunset