Love is patient... but we are not! Blog Co-Founder Lauren and Matthew's Secret Edinburgh Elopement

Friday, December 10, 2021

Mr + Mrs Prichard

10th September 2021 | Dunbar's Close

Instagram: @prichardwedding | Guests: 1 | Photos: Meggy Mac Photography

This introduction is not like the others as I'm writing it about my own wedding (finally!) - it was quite surreal completing the wedding questionnaire I created for our lovely brides about myself. We were due to get married on 12th September 2020 but when Covid hit we postponed until 10th September 2021. With just six months to go, we postponed again until 2022 to make sure that family and friends abroad would be able to attend restriction free. With this decision, we made another, to get married in secret on our 2021 date and have our humanist celebrant perform a blessing ceremony one year later at the big wedding. With my granny and our photographer as our witnesses, we finally became husband and wife in Edinburgh, the beautiful city we are so lucky to call home. - Lauren aka Mrs Prichard, Blog Co-Founder
How did you choose your venue?
When we started wedding planning a few years ago we originally wanted to get married in Edinburgh city centre but chose our beautiful venue in the Scottish Borders, so when we decided to elope we knew we had to get married in the centre of Edinburgh. Dunbar's Close is a gorgeous secret garden on the Royal Mile and considered to be one of the city's hidden gems and was just so peaceful. We took quite a big chance choosing an outdoor ceremony location with no shelter but after a wet morning the sun came out just as I was in the taxi on the way there. We hired a gorgeous 16th Century Airbnb cottage for our meal and wedding night - it was just beautiful. 
Tell us all about your wedding theme...
We had been planning our big wedding for almost 3 years and had chosen a rich autumnal colour scheme of deep burgundy, nude and champagne gold which beautifully complements our Georgian stately home venue in the Scottish borders. For our elopement we wanted to do something completely different with neutral tones, and a boho city chic kind of vibe with lots of dried florals. I basically got to plan my 2 dream weddings!
Did you have have anything unusual at your wedding?  
I suppose not telling your friends and family that you’re getting married is quite unusual! We tried not to tell anyone (of course Tiffany knew!) which made it more exciting and it was so lovely receiving phone calls and messages from everyone when they found out.
Tell us about the ceremony...
We had a humanist ceremony, our celebrant Andy is so wonderful and the ceremony was so emotional. We wrote our own vows and barely stopped crying throughout them, Matthew’s words were just so beautiful. My granny was our witness and chose a reading for us which was a surprise on the day. We also incorporated a traditional Celtic handfasting to symbolically “tie the knot”. When we decided to elope in secret we asked Andy if he could take a blessing ceremony at our big wedding in 2022, where we will remake our vows in front of our loved ones. We felt that having a ceremony next year was still important. 
Advice for future brides…
I have 3 key pieces of advice for brides to be. 
1. The first would be that if you’re considering an elopement or anything different for your wedding day but are worried that people will talk you out of it – don’t tell them. Don’t make decisions based on what others think you should do, in the end it really is all about you and your partner.
2. Always allow yourself so much more time than you think you need. Things will go wrong on the day; makeup artists will run over, taxi rides will take longer, roads may be closed… Part of the Royal Mile was closed so what should’ve been a 4 minute taxi journey turned into a 20 minute one! This all eats into your time. I also wouldn’t recommend going out to salons to get your hair and makeup done, the call out fee can be so expensive (especially if it’s just for one person) but I wish I had paid it as I ran out of time and was late.
3. My final piece of advice would be to do something fun with your nails! It’s a small detail that won’t be hugely noticeable in your wedding photos but it’s something people will notice on the day and love. I decided to have nude nails with white stars nail art and I loved them so much. It’s something small you can do something really fun with and I don’t think any bride would regret it.
Top money saving tip: Elope! But asides from that, choose a venue that is owned by the council or the National Trust. Dunbar’s Close is a public garden which meant it wasn’t expensive to get married there, and although it was open to the public no-one came anywhere near our ceremony area. Another way we saved money was getting black cabs around the city instead of hiring wedding transport, but that’s not always possible depending on venue location.
Favourite wedding supplier: I honestly couldn’t choose, they were all incredible… Maria (Maria Manuscript) made us the most beautiful items including my ribbons and jacket and styled everything to perfection, she made my dreams come to life. Meg (Meggy Mac Photography) captured everything so beautifully, we couldn’t have asked for a better photographer and we had so much fun with her on the day – it was like hanging out with an old friend. Andy McSorley, our humanist, created the loveliest ceremony for us and was so accommodating of our changing plans. Our other suppliers were all amazing too!
Tell us all about the dress…
If you’ve been following us for a while you might have read my dress shopping experience as a plus-size bride. I absolutely adore my wedding dress but after lockdown it was too small so I’ve decided to save my main dress for our big wedding. My elopement dress was an ASOS purchase (probably my biggest bargain find at £170) and I loved it – I felt like a sparkly princess! I have had so many compliments on the dress and I love the way it’s caught the light in our photos.
Did you make any wedding DIYs?
There weren’t many DIYs to be made for our elopement but I did stick one of our silver sixpences to the bottom of my boots which was so cute. I suppose our confetti was a DIY too as I just bought a bunch of reduced roses in Aldi and pulled all of the petals off, it was so inexpensive and also biodegradable.
Favourite wedding planning moment: I have absolutely loved planning my wedding which became two weddings but my favourite moment has to be starting this blog with Tiffany in the first lockdown back in May 2020. We had no idea what it would grow into and the fact I’m now featuring my own wedding is so surreal! The online bridal community is very special and it was through our wedding Instagram pages that Tiffany and I met so I’m very grateful that planning my wedding gave me a best friend and a business.
Worst wedding planning moment: Covid aside (obviously) I think it was getting my hair done on the morning of the wedding! I had been the day before to have my hair pin curled but my hair wouldn’t hold a curl and I ended up with a hairstyle that was nothing like what I wanted. I was trying not to cry in the hairdresser as I could tell she was stressed too! 
What was your favourite part of the day?
This is a very difficult one to answer as the whole day was truly magical! I absolutely loved going to get an ice-cream at Mary’s Milk Bar (we’d asked her to make our favourite flavour violet especially) and walking through Grassmarket. It’s a very scenic area with Edinburgh Castle as a backdrop and strangers kept shouting, cheering and saying congratulations which was just lovely! At that time our friends and family still didn't know we were married so to have strangers see and congratulate us was quite surreal.
Favourite celebrity bride: Chloe Lloyd. I’ve followed her on Instagram for years and her wedding was such a dream, she looked absolutely stunning. I loved every detail of her and Josh’s wedding and my nails were actually inspired by hers. 
Funniest moment of the day: When we took our champagne pop photo Matthew accidentally sprayed it all over me and my face was dripping wet! 
Wedding must-have: Comfortable shoes! I was so glad I decided to wear boots for walking around on the cobbles as walking in a wedding dress is tricky enough.
Favourite wedding photograph: This is possibly the hardest question but I think it would be the one where we are surrounded by greenery in the garden of our Airbnb. The rest of our gallery is very urban and this is like an enchanted forest. The photo was Matthew’s idea and I was sceptical which makes me love it even more as I planned every inch of our wedding day and it’s a good reminder that my husband sometimes has good ideas too (hehe…)
What was your favourite wedding purchase?
I loved everything Maria Manuscript made and styled for us. Maria made my beautiful bouquet ribbons with calligraphy, one had our first dance song and the other had my vows in Spanish which was very personal to me. She also made my leather jacket and our signs and calligraphy candles. On the day Maria styled our Airbnb cottage for us and when we returned after our photos it took my breath away! She did the most amazing job and our elopement would not have been the same without her.
Tell us about the cake...
Our wedding cake was another amazing bargain at £26 (yes, really!) as it only had to feed 2 of us. We ordered it from our favourite local bakery Cuckoos and our stylist Maria added the gorgeous flowers provided by our florist. We also had a little treat box of cake pops and cookies which we took on our minimoon with us.  
What was your first dance song?
Despite it just being us two in the evening we decided to still have our first dance. We’ve had the song picked out for years: Tom Odell – Grow Old With Me. I had the lyrics written in calligraphy on my bouquet ribbons. The first dance was one of my favourite moments of the day, it was so emotional and nothing else in the whole world mattered in that moment because we were both just so happy. When the song finished Taylor Swift - You Are In Love began to play from our wedding playlist on shuffle and we both started to cry as I used to play that song all the time when we first met when we were 16.

Where did you spend your honeymoon?
With so many travel restrictions at the time we decided to have our big Lake Como honeymoon next year, I couldn’t face planning something else that could be cancelled. Instead we went to Carberry Tower for a few days for a minimoon and it was so lovely and relaxing. We had a huge suite and loved ordering room service.
What food did you have at your wedding?  
Originally when we were planning our elopement we thought about going to a fancy restaurant for a meal after the ceremony, but in the end we went with something that was more “us” and ordered pizza. We contacted Civerinos in advance and asked if they could make the pizza heart shaped for us since it was our wedding and they went above and beyond! On the wedding day when they brought it they didn’t charge us for it and said it was their wedding present to us (so kind!) and they even included steak and cheese fries and hot Nutella doughnuts. It was the best meal I’ve ever eaten. The pizza pics were snapped on my phone after our photographer left.
Our wedding truly was the best day ever and we are so grateful to our wonderful suppliers who made it happen, I would personally recommend every single one of them in a heartbeat.
Photographer: Meggy Mac Photography
Videographer: SensiFilm Productions
Ceremony Location: Dunbar’s Close
Celebrant: Andy McSorley
Flowers: Fiori
Bouquet Ribbons: Maria Manuscript
Styling and Calligraphy: Maria Manuscript
Dress: ASOS
Boots: Schuh
Suit: Hugo Boss
Transport: City Cabs
Pizza: Civerinos
From Brides Wifey, With Love xo

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