Came Out Too – Thankfully! - Real Life Weddings

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Came Out Too – Thankfully! - Real Life Weddings

RLW

PAMELA MCKILLOP AND STEVEN MACGREGOR

WEDDING DATE Sunday 29 June 2008

CEREMONY Girona Cathedral, Spain

RECEPTION El Celler de Can Roca, near Girona

PHOTOGRAPHY Archibald Photography

www.archibaldphotography.co.uk

T: 0845 230 5155

model for love

The wedding of Pamela and Steven brought together

all the best bits of two fun-loving cultures, and the sun

came out too – thankfully!

Devising the perfect proposal can take

considerable thought, precision planning

and expert timing, but it’s the off-thecuff

efforts that can often have the greatest

impact. And the latter was certainly the case for

Pamela, 30, when childhood sweetheart Steven,

32, popped the question on Christmas Eve

2006. Although the set-up wasn’t quite what the

groom-to-be originally had in mind...

Steven bought a diamond-encrusted eternity

ring from a family jewellers in Girona [in Spain,

where the couple have been based for the last five

years] but kept it hidden at their house for months

in order to propose when they were at home with

their families at Christmas.

“There’s a park between our family homes in

Motherwell and it’s where we would walk to spend

time together when we were

teenagers. I think it was Steven’s

plan to walk through there on

Christmas morning and ask me.

But I’m such an excitable girl at

Christmas that after we’d been

to Midnight Mass I wanted to

open presents.”

One box in particular had

caught her eye and after some

gentle persuasion her beau relented and allowed

her to open it.

“Eventually poor Steven had to do an impromptu

proposal under the Christmas tree with ‘Die Hard’

on TV in the background,” she says with a giggle.

“But it was all good, he couldn’t have chosen a

more beautiful ring and it was really lovely to

celebrate with all our family together the next day.”

The homely proposal also set the tone for

their wedding in June 2008 – a four-day-long

celebration with family and friends at the couple’s

adopted Spanish home.

“From the start we knew we’d get married in

“In Spain the bride and

groom enter the room to

music and everyone gets

on their feet and swings

their white napkins round

in the air”

Spain,” says Pamela. “It was an opportunity to

share our life here, if you will, with everybody back

home and not only to show them how far we’ve

come – because living abroad can actually be very

difficult – but also to show them how beautiful

Catalonia is and to share its customs. And, most

importantly, its amazing food and drink!”

Locals choosing a venue, she explains, would

generally consider the quality of the food on offer

to be the main selling point, but the MacGregors

were able to combine a great location with truly

superb food by holding their reception at Mas

Marroch, just outside Girona city centre. This

beautifully restored Catalan farmhouse is set in

gorgeous gardens and provides the function area

for the world-renowned El Celler de Can Roca, a

two-Michelin star family-run restaurant which sits

rather conveniently just behind

Pamela and Steven’s home in

Girona.

Finding Pamela’s dream dress

was a surprisingly easy process.

In fact she bought it – after

spotting a Spanish model

wearing it in ‘Hola’ magazine –

before they had chosen a venue

or had even decided on a date!

It is a simple drop-waisted design with taffeta at

the bottom and Art Deco inspired lines on the

bodice. On the day Pamela complemented it with

a wrist cuff from the same designer and sparkly

earrings from online store Glitzy Secrets.

“I took the magazine into the Rosa Clara bridal

salon in Girona and asked if they had it. I was so

surprised when they said yes – I tried it on and

paid a deposit there and then!” she laughs. “I

love that celebrities here wear the same dresses as

everyone else does.”

Pamela had done a bit of star spotting before the

wedding too… Visiting what she thought was a

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wedding fair, a trip to Barcelona ended up with her accidentally gate-crashing

Bridal Barcelona Week instead! Once at one of the world’s largest bridal trade

fairs, she rubbed shoulders with her style hero – Chanel guru Karl Lagerfeld,

who designs a bridal collection for Rosa Clara.

It was one of a few “comedy of errors” they stumbled across while planning the

wedding, she says. The couple assigned roles to help them organise the event.

Steven was in charge of budgets and chasing up the Spanish suppliers to ensure

everything was in place for the big day, while Pamela, the “artistic director”,

kept things on trend thanks to advice from her Mum and Dad and the regular

shipments of wedding magazines they sent over.

Her fashion fabulous fascinator, made-to-measure by milliner Beth Morgan,

even managed to grab the attention of its designer and she later asked Pamela to

be a model for the brand. The bride-to-be sent pictures of her dress and some

notes and, after a few days, received the mocked up ideas.

“I heard Beth’s name being mentioned on a wedding forum and when I

opened my wedding scrapbook I already had two pictures of her designs cut out.

So I got in touch with her and we got on really well from the start – she’s a gem,

loads of fun and really imaginative. And I love my fascinator, it went perfectly.”

Marrying at their local church was an important aspect of proceedings,

particularly for the groom, and its location certainly created the wow factor, as

the bride explains. “Steven goes to Mass every Sunday at Girona Cathedral and

it meant a lot to him for us to get married there. It was also one of the things

that people loved most about the day and it wasn’t difficult to organise – we just

asked the priest and he told us when it was free.”

Eventually they opted to hold their wedding at 5pm on a Sunday – to fit

around the reception venue’s busy schedule – and the timing was perfect for the

laidback vibe they wanted to create. It also meant that guests had time to get to

know each other at the various pre-wedding events prior to the big day.

“We are so honoured and, as it turns out, were really lucky to be married there

because this year they found historical artefacts at the cathedral and the whole

aisle is now the site of an archaeological dig,” Pamela adds. “It was so important

to us to stand up and say we loved each other in front of all our friends and

family. It definitely changes things. There’s a sense, this feeling, that you’re a

team and it’s official.”

Their religious ceremony marked the first of a few Scottish elements to the day,

with Father Brendan Slevin, chaplain at Strathclyde University, where Steven

studied, flown over to say the Mass. The strains of Scottish folk song ‘Wild

Mountain Thyme’ were heard during the service too – although the final result

wasn’t exactly as the groom had planned. “Steven wanted a Scottish hymn called

‘Holy Is His Name’ played during the ceremony. It’s a really beautiful hymn

but the choir didn’t know it and were having real difficulties with it, so on the

morning of the wedding he was up in the choir loft kind of directing them.”

This last-minute tutorial meant Pamela, who is normally “very punctual”, was

about 20 minutes late for the service – as requested by her groom. And as a result

her walk down the aisle was more akin to a march.

“I rushed my poor Dad down the aisle because I felt guilty that we were late,

so I went too quickly. I had this really beautiful music but I was at the top in

about ten seconds. In the pictures you can see my Dad’s feet practically lift off

the ground!”

Although pitch-perfect, the choir’s rendition of her groom’s favourite hymn

meant the end of the ceremony took a much gentler pace.

“It was supposed to be fast and happy but it was so slow, it almost sounded like

it was being played in slow motion. Steven and I changed the words to ‘Slowly

schemes & themes

“Broadly our theme was

black and white with an

element of Art Deco. We

were looking to keep

things simple, elegant

and a bit glamorous.

I really like Art Deco

because everything has

really clean lines and

is very modern. The

invitations, which we

made ourselves, were

Art Deco and the venue

itself was black and white

inside. The tables looked

really pretty, our flowers

were white hydrangeas

set in tall vases, and featured Art Deco images by Erté. The

tables were named after the pictures, which I took out of a book

and laminated, so we had names like ‘Symphony in Black’ and

‘Angel Melody’. But nothing was too over the top, it wasn’t really

themey or in your face. In Catalonia they have modernisme

[Catalan for modernism], which is similar. So like many of our

ideas, the theme was inspired with a wish to keep things local.”

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ide to bride

“I made a scrapbook – I called it my

themes and ideas book. It was so much

fun to do and now it’s a great memento.

It keeps you really clear about your ideas

and means you don’t get completely overwhelmed by

all the options. Things like going in to see a florist could

be quite an ordeal because everything is so beautiful

and you get carried away, but if you’ve already been

through every magazine and cut out what you like then

it’s much easier.

“I would also say if you’re coming from the UK to get

married in Spain then definitely get a wedding planner.

I speak Catalan and Steven speaks Spanish, so between

us we were completely covered but still found some

things – the legalities in particular – very difficult.”

how we honeymooned

“We went to Taormina in Sicily for our friends’ wedding and

then onto Positano on the Amalfi Coast. Then we went to

Rome, Venice and Milan. We stayed about three or four days in

each place and just travelled between by train, which was great

because I’m scared of flying.

“Positano is just heaven and we stayed at Le Sirenuse Hotel,

which is a lovely story. When I was 17 I

went on holiday with my friend Debbie

to Sorrento and sent Steven a postcard

saying: ‘When we get married I want

to stay at Le Sirenuse in Positano

on our honeymoon’. Then when we

were on the flight to Sicily there was

really bad turbulence and I was really

frightened until Steven pulled the

postcard out from his pocket – he’d

had it all that time.”

Pamela & Steven

and, of course, ‘Loch Lomond’ to end the

night. The Scots also orchestrated the

obligatory sing-along on the bus home!

But well before the partying began in earnest, the couple took direction from

Scotsman Mark Archibald, the wedding photographer they’d flown over to

capture their day. “It was important for us to have a Scottish photographer

because you spend a lot of time with your photographer and other people have

to be able to understand what he’s saying.”

They’d seen Mark in action when Steven was best man for a friend’s wedding

at home, and were impressed by his easy-going attitude and the speed at which

he got the job done. “Then when we saw the photos we couldn’t believe it.

They were so stunning. I thought he captured people so well; he got their

personalities down to a tee. The images were modern and showed off Glasgow,

and that’s what we wanted him to do for Girona.”

Pamela says he did that and more – and his peers agree. With his images

of the MacGregors’ wedding Mark went on to win the Complete Wedding

Category at the Scottish Region Annual Print Awards 2009, run by the Master

Photographers Association. “We love love love our photos!” says Pamela.

“We will treasure them forever. They’re amazing and they’re so Girona.”

They are particularly grateful to Mark not only for the fantastic images

he caught of the couple on their wedding day but also for the shots of their

guests.

“My Gran hates having her picture taken but Mark has captured her

perfectly – laughing, relaxed, and it looks so natural. It’s not reportage

completely – there were a lot of set up shots – but it all looks so at ease.”

Although Pamela looked fantastic in the photos, the groom’s outfit

also made a firm style statement, with a modern take on the traditional

kilt outfit. He wore a MacGregor tartan kilt from the aptly named

MacGregor and MacDuff, teaming it up with a Dolce & Gabbana

jacket that had been shortened to suit. The final piece of the jigsaw came

in the form of a custom-designed sporran created by Jennifer Cantwell

at Sporran Nation… and the purchase of some thin kilt socks to cope

with the heat!

“It was a little bit hot on the day but then the week before it had rained,

so I’d prayed for sun,” she explains. “I thought the Scots would’ve killed me

if they’d come all the way out to Spain and didn’t have sun!”

They might have passed the first anniversary landmark but Pamela

and Steven still can’t believe how many people made the journey over to

celebrate their big day.

“Steven and I had been together for so long that it meant the day itself was

a big party for the whole family. Everyone got on planes and spent so much

money getting here and for a lot of people it was their summer holiday, so we

were so glad they had a great time, because we definitely did.”

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Is His Name’ and we were in tears of laughter listening to it.”

Once they had signed the register in a little side room, accompanied by the

bride’s friend Suzanne and the groom’s brother Stuart as witnesses, the guests

travelled by coach to Mas Marroch. On arrival they were welcomed with

pink Champagne and mixed tapas dishes such as fois gras, steak tartare and

sushi, as well as a risotto station – manned by chefs cooking to order – and a

cheese table. The couple’s Catalan friend Josep has a jazz band with his brother,

who provided the musical accompaniment on the day, with Josep’s wife Ruth

joining in to sing a version of Depeche Mode’s ‘Enjoy The Silence’ – the bride’s

favourite song. Amazingly enough, all of this took place before dinner was

served!

“I remember pretty early on talking to my Mum and saying that if we were

bringing people over from Scotland then they had to be treated well. That’s

what it’s all about. It’s the people that make the wedding and it’s your loved

ones, so you want to take care of them.”

Part of their care package included negotiating reduced rates and booking

hotel accommodation, as well as placing gift bags with thank-you cards, a guide

to the area, local wine and biscuits and the ladies’ favours (Spanish fans, of

course) in each of the rooms. Flights were the easy bit as Ryanair flies direct

from Glasgow to Girona.

The couple also created a slideshow featuring images of the wedding guests

through the years (and those who couldn’t make it to the wedding) to keep the

mood light while they were eating.

They played Motown music during the meal and chose the Darlene Love

classic ‘Today I Met The Boy I’m Going To Marry’ for their first dance, but

it was Depeche Mode who provided the soundtrack for much of the day,

particularly as ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ was chosen as the couple’s entrance

song to mark their arrival at dinner.

“In Spain the bride and groom enter the room to music, whereas in Scotland

you’d be piped in, and instead of clapping everyone gets on their feet and

swings their white napkins round in the air. So we were standing outside

listening to the music, then the doors opened and everyone was going mad

with their napkins. I think the Scots really enjoyed it – they were going for it

more than the Catalans.”

Earlier that day, Pamela had received a rather special delivery of her wedding

bouquet to honour another Catalan wedding tradition. “Steven didn’t have a

best man as such but he asked two close friends from Motherwell, Phil and

Stephen, to do one of the best man’s jobs in Catalonia – to deliver the bride’s

bouquet and read a poem, and they were delighted to be asked. That was a

really lovely moment, we were all really emotional – it was one of my highlights

of the day.”

Not to be outdone, the Scots taught the Catalans some traditions from home

when the DJ played Deacon Blue’s ‘Dignity’, ‘500 Miles’ from The Proclaimers

Want to know more about Pamela & Steven’s wedding?

If you would like to find out more about any of the suppliers

involved in this wedding please contact us on

editorial@reallifeweddings.co.uk

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