Stace and Mike's Colourful Chilled Wedding at Kippilaw House, Melrose

Monday, August 16, 2021

Mr + Mrs Struthers

8th May 2021 | Kippilaw House, Melrose

Instagram: @stacehen @struthersmike | Guests: 25 | Photos: Glicious Foto

With 25 of their nearest and dearest there to witness, Stace and Mike were wed in a beautiful outdoor ceremony in the woods surrounding their stunning venue; Kipplaw House. They opted for a colourful theme, and boy did they deliver! The veil, flowers, flower girls outfits, decor; all planned perfectly to create their multi coloured wedding of dreams! The now Mrs Struthers tells us all about their wonderful day... 

Tell us all about your wedding theme and colour scheme...

From the beginning we wanted our theme to be colourful. We weren’t too strict on a theme as such, we were more interested in having a relaxed, informal day and adding little elements of us into the mix. We added a few little décor details as a nod to our love of travelling and a few nods to our relationship roots of meeting through working in our local cinema (The Pavilion in Galashiels)

What kind of ceremony did you have and did you have any readings? 

We had our local registrar in the Scottish Borders marry us. We are both originally from the Borders and so someone local felt like the right choice and we were able to make the ceremony really personal too. We had a few readings that we chose during our ceremony, “I Love you" by Deanne Laura Gilbert, a short reading called Walk with me, which we found but we’re not sure who wrote it which goes, “ Do not Walk in front of me, I may not be able to follow, Do not walk behind me, I may not be able to lead, Just walk beside me and be my friend.” Our ceremony closed with a reading from Captain Corelli's Mandolin.

What was your favourite part of the day? 

It was all such an amazing experience but I think when we were sitting at our table for the meal and we were both able to take a moment to just look at our guests and watch them all come together, that was really special. Seeing our families and different friends groups in one place and showing us support, it was a really nice moment to just sit together and to realise we have the best people with us, sharing our day.

What was the most emotional moment of the day? 

There were so many moments in the day where I nearly cried, receiving video messages from some of our guests who couldn’t come due to travel restrictions, or when my mum and sisters saw me for the first time (Covid restrictions meant that so much of the planning was done alone or with only my maid of honour so it was a nice surprise for them to see me in my altered dress and all the details etc.), or our first look. But I held it together in these moments. The emotion hit me when, at the end of his speech, Mike performed a song, which he dedicated to me. I couldn’t hold the tears back at that point. It was such a special part of our day, it had lots of people crying, even some staff at the venue.

Any advice for future brides… 

Don't sweat the small stuff. We married during Covid restrictions, faced postponements and last minute venue changes which changed the whole day we planned but in the end we had the best day, even with 99 less guests than we originally planned for. In the moment, you forget all the drama and challenges and little things. During our first look, Mike asked me if I had my vows. I realised I had forgotten to write them down and only had a draft on my phone, so during our ceremony, Mike had to pull my phone from his sporran so I could read them to him. It wasn’t the way I planned it but it was a funny moment.

Song you walked down the aisle to: “At last” by Etta James, it felt fitting after waiting so long. We had just celebrated our 10 year anniversary and were nearing 3 years engaged after postponements.

Song for walking back up the aisle as a married couple: We had planned for “Send me on my way” by Rusted Root but we were rained inside before the end of the ceremony.

First Dance: The Wolves & The Ravens by Rogue Valley

Did you make any Wedding DIYs? 

We DIY'd so much of our day. I love crafting so it made sense to add some DIY'd bits. All of our décor was made by us, with the help of our bridesmaids too and I made the bouquets myself using artificial flowers. I also made stationary items such as invites and menu cards etc.

Wedding must-have:

People you love, good food and some music. It’s all we needed.

Did you have anything unusual at your wedding? 

We are both Scottish so we added some Scottish elements onto our day such as a Quaich ceremony and reading (A Quaich ceremony is a Scottish traditional two handled cup. The Quaich is often referred to as the love cup as you each take a handle to take a drink, showing you trust one another to share the cup). It’s traditionally done with Whisky, but we opted for a drink we both liked and had a gin tinnie. It was nice to add Scottish quirks to the ceremony. We also did a handfasting.

We added a games table to our day which was great. Playing Uno and doing the limbo during breaks from dancing, it was a fun night.

However, My favourite non traditional element was having my mum walk me down the aisle. Originally I had planned for both my Dad and my step dad to do it together but the restrictions didn’t allow for this and I didn’t want to choose between them both, so I asked my mum and it was a really special moment to share with her.

What was your favourite wedding purchase? 

My Veil, it was from ThisModernLoveBridal, on Etsy and it was the first thing I bought. Long before a dress. It was a real beauty and I had to get it and everyone had so many compliments about it. A close second would be my earrings from Wolf&Moon.

Tell us all about the dress and dress shopping… 

I had always imagined getting married in a short dress but after I bought my veil I decided maybe to look for a longer one. I went bridesmaids shopping with 2 of my bridesmaids and we spontaneously decided to drive to David’s Bridal in Braehead. After looking at a few bridesmaids dresses, we thought we would have a little peek at their bridal dresses. We didn’t have an appointment but luckily they had an opening a couple hours later. So after eating a huge burger and chips, I returned to try on dresses. It was very unplanned, as my black underwear made clear. I chose maybe 6 to try and there was one that I just loved. I was wearing it wrong but I loved it, the arms had hanging lace which I wore up on my shoulder and it transformed the dress into something I loved. I bought it on the spot and later had it altered to the way I wanted to wear it.

In keeping with my original short dress plan, I changed into a shorter, simpler dress which is ordered from Warehouse. I paired it with some funky doc martens and a denim jacket that one of my talented colleagues painted for me. I loved both my dresses and I'm so glad I changed into something less formal .

Tell us about your wedding cake...

After our wedding numbers were reduced significantly, we opted to downsize the cake too. We chose a single tier, colourfully iced cake with dried flowers on top. We chose a simple lemon sponge but it was delicious. I made us some cake toppers which were the two chairs from the movie “Up”, which is one of our favourites.

How did you choose your venue? 

When we began our search we knew we wanted something closer to home (We live in Edinburgh but are from the Scottish Borders and wanted to get married there) and somewhere with outdoor space. We always knew we wanted to get married outside. Eventually we found a cool yurt on a local farm but fast forward a year and a half and our already postponed wedding was hit with another blow and we had to change venues. Luckily, Kippilaw House, which we had spotted in our original search, was available on our date. With 12 weeks to go we changed the whole plan for the day and Kippilaw House ended up being such a great setting for our day.

Is there anything you wish you'd done differently?

The day was what it was and even though we forgot to do things, such as forgetting we had dried flower confetti, or the time getting away from us and things running behind, like almost forgetting to cut the cake until someone pointed out it was nearly 9pm. But we loved our day, flaws and all and the only thing we would change would have been to have all of our original guests there. But we chose to not wait any longer and just wanted to get married and we had to live with the restrictions that came with that.

Were there any surprises on the day?

The recorded messages from Mike’s older brother/ 2nd best man (Ryan) and my oldest friend/bridesmaid (Amber) were a special surprise. They live in Australia and New Zealand so couldn’t travel but their messages were such a nice part of our morning and we were able to stream our ceremony so they could watch. His brother even pre recorded a best man speech that we could watch. It felt like they were still a part of our day, which was so important to us. Also our 2 nephews, Alfie and Noah and one of our nieces, Emily (Our other niece Mya was in Australia and unable to attend), they decided to choose their own outfits for the day which were a surprise to me. They all paid tribute to my love of colour and tartan and it was lovely when I got to see them all dressed up.

Favourite wedding planning moment...

Seeing it all come together on the days before the wedding. We had all these ideas and choices we’d made but to see it all together and see our vision was so cool.

Worst wedding planning moment...

Our first postponement, then the venue change and having to uninvite so many family and friends. Planning during a pandemic was very unpredictable.

Tell us all about your Honeymoon...

For our original wedding date, which was 11th July 2020, we had booked to go to NYC and then on to Costa Rica, but due to Covid we had to cancel that trip. We didn’t feel comfortable booking another trip abroad so instead we planned a trip around Scotland and did the North Coast 500 route. It was an amazing trip and we are so glad we chose to have a staycation honeymoon. I would recommend it to anyone.

Photographer: Glicious Foto

Venue: Kippilaw House

Cake: Laura’s Cake Company

Dress: David’s Bridal

Bridesmaids Dresses: Asos

Suits: A1 Kilt

Wedding Rings: The Ring Maker / Caveman Bands

Celebrant: Wayne Downie

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