FINAL DESTINATION - Real Life Weddings

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FINAL DESTINATION - Real Life Weddings

RLWin south Ayrshire, so a west coast wedding was always the plan. As was acity wedding. They had ruled out anywhere that relied on good weatherto make the most of the facilities, and definitely didn’t want a venue withtoo many restrictions placed upon them. “The main thing for us was tohave something a little bit different,” Melissa explains. “We started thatby having a winter wedding in the evening... in a venue that ‘doesn’t reallydo weddings!’”Choosing the beautiful Kibble Palace in Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens forthe ceremony was slightly nerve-wracking; they were one of the first couplesto be married there. “Because it’s open to the public and often has eventson, it was only on the day that we actually got to see everything laid out.”Once the couple had permission from Glasgow City Council to usethe venue, they dealt directly with Ewen Donaldson and his team at theBotanics. “They were absolutely brilliant. Early on, my Dad and I went tomeet with them to run over the ideas we had and they were so supportive.”Òran Mór across the road was an easy choice for the reception. Not onlyis it another beautiful building, but they also loved the idea of celebratingin a live music venue. “We went to look at Òran Mór in the summer andthought it was really lovely but would be so much better in winter at nighttime!” Melissa says. “The venue has a lot of character, plus we’ve been thereto see some of our favourite bands in the past, so it means a lot to us.”With two cool city venues bagged, Melissa could start looking for asuitably fabulous dress to do them justice. “I was looking for somethingquite sleek and slinky to suit the feel of the venues... actually I don’t think Iwould have fit down the aisle in Kibble if I’d been wearing a big ballgown,”she laughs.Being adamant she didn’t want a strapless dress made the search a bitmore difficult. “Dress shopping was fun but then you have those momentswhen you think you’re never going to find what you’re looking for.”But with the help of Mum, who was on permanent dress duty, the brideto-befound just the thing in Glasgow salon Anne Priscilla Bridal. “Theservice was great in there, and the girls who do the dressmaking and finalfittings were fab.”The bridesmaids, big sis Emma and best mate Marigold, helped too, andwere duly rewarded with beautiful dresses of their own to wear on the day.“I loved the bridesmaids’ dresses – I wouldn’t have minded one formyself actually!” Melissa laughs. “It was a challenge to find a dress thatsuited them both, as Marigold was six months pregnant and my sisterhad had a baby earlier in the year.” Thank goodness for empire lines!Even so, Marigold’s Mum had to undertake emergency alterations theweek before the wedding to ensure the dress fitted comfortably over thebaby bump.Thanks to very supportive families and Melissa’s well-practiced knackfor project management, she took the wedding planning in her stride,and it certainly helped to have Ryan take charge of the Humanistceremony. “That was quite a big job for him,” she notes, “because witha Humanist ceremony you can write a lot of the service yourselves.”Melissa was still cool as a cucumber on the morning of the wedding,which is more than can be said for her bridesmaids... “I got texts fromboth of them saying, I’m nervous! But I was fine and just glad to see thatit was a nice sunny crisp morning.”Having narrowly avoided bumping into the groom on the way backfrom the hairdressers, Melissa and crew finished getting ready at herparents’ house. Ken and Janet Thomson, of photography companyTeam Thomson, split up for the morning, with Janet covering the girls’preparations while Ken captured the boys on film at the plush HotelDu Vin at One Devonshire Gardens.“I saw Team Thomson in Real Life Weddings magazine, and reallyliked their style,” Melissa recalls. “As soon as I spoke to Ken I just knewthat he was right for us. He was so enthusiastic about Kibble and I justfelt that he really got what we were trying to do with the wedding. Theywere brilliant on the day too, not in your face at all – Janet even helpedme get my dress on!”With the ceremony starting at 5.30pm, there was plenty of timefor the bridal party to spruce themselves up. Even so, it was a wee bitrushed getting everyone out the door. “Was I on time? Of course – myDad used to be a policeman!” she laughs.And by the time she arrived at Kibble, the bride felt 100% ready.“When we first got there I peeped in and had that feeling of, I can’tbelieve all these people are here for us, it’s amazing.”MELISSA & RYAN’S SUPPLIERS162 RLW SUMMER 2009www.reallifeweddings.co.ukwww.reallifeweddings.co.uk RLW SUMMER 2009 163


Seeing their hard work come together was quite something too. The palacewas beautifully decorated, that cosy wintry feel enhanced by plenty of candlesand fairy lights. “I loved it,” Melissa smiles. “It felt really romantic. We hiredan Edinburgh company, Carnival Chaos, to do the décor for both venues.Working with Mary Cameron from the company was brilliant — she was socreative and professional. She fell in love with the venues too and wanted tomake them look their best.”The Cairn Quartet played as Melissa and her Dad made their way downthe aisle. “I was really happy, then just for a moment I thought I was going tofeel overwhelmed; when you walk down the aisle you can hear people going,‘Ahhh!’ and I suddenly thought, surely I’m not going to cry here?”But she kept it together, enabling her to take it all in when the ceremonystarted. “I was so happy, I really embraced the moment. The ceremony was myfavourite part of the day.”Written to be uniquely personal to the couple, the service was full of funnystories and lots of laughter. “We wanted to fill in the gaps for people whomaybe knew one of us but not so much about us as a couple.”And the couple had had plenty of guidance on the content from Humanistcelebrant Mandy Evans-Ewing. “She was brilliant, she kept us right and wasreally supportive of what we wanted to do.”After quite a bizarre rehearsal the week before (with the great Glasgow publicfor an audience), Melissa and Ryan both managed to exchange vows for realwithout any trouble. “Except that I started laughing because Ryan’s tummywas rumbling – I think people were wondering what on earth I was laughingat, because nobody could hear it apart from me.”Once they’d stopped giggling, the couple exchanged the wedding rings they’dbought from Ian Mundie and Son. “They’re a family business and offered us afantastic personal service.”As the register was signed, the string quartet played a special arrangementof the Elbow song ‘One Day Like This’ that they learnt for the service. “Thatwas lovely because we’d been to see the band just a couple of weeks before.”After celebratory Champagne all round at Kibble, the piper led the partyover to Òran Mór in a procession. “It was lovely. We had little lanterns guidingus down the path to the main road and the whole wedding party crossedthe road together... it must have been some sight! Cars were beeping at us,probably because they were getting held up though!” she laughs. “I’m amazedeverybody managed to get across the road without getting squished actually.”To help warm people up before dinner, guests were treated to mulled wineand whisky on arrival at the reception. While friends and family found theirseats, Melissa and Ryan were giggling about the little twist they’d added tothe next part of the festivities... “Sometimes it’s so formal when the coupleare announced, but we’ve always thought you could have some fun with that,so we were played in to the theme tune from ‘Rocky’. That was a surprise foreveryone and got a lot of laughs. Ryan was loving it as well, pretending he wasa boxer!”Food was one of the most important aspects of the day for Ryan and Melissa,and after exploring a few options they plumped for a winter warming menuof spicy parsnip soup, fillet steak with peppercorn sauce, then apple crumbleand custard. “We wanted the meal to be prepared in a home-cooked style,nothing too fancy.”One part of the proceedings where Melissa was keen to stick to tradition wasin giving the speeches after dinner. “I quite like it at weddings where you’vehad some food and wine and it’s nice to sit back a bit and just listen before youhave to get up and dance.”Once they did get going all the speeches went down really well. “I rememberthat with Ryan’s, the longer he went on the more he got into character, addingin lots of actions and gesticulating,” Melissa laughs.For their first dance the couple bopped along to Lionel Ritchie’s ‘All Nightbe inspiredFor Melissa and Ryan it was all about investing a little timeand effort into adding a few personal touchesMusic is the other love of Ryan’s life, so the couple decided to name all their tables aftericonic album titles. “We had some great nights in the pub with [stationery designer] NialSmith, sharing a bottle of wine and deciding which albums to choose,” Melissa says.“Planning little things like that makes you feel like a strong couple, during what could be astressful process. It brings you together.”Rather than hand out traditional favours, the couple put a song quote on every guest’splace card; “Each person at the table had a different lyric, so it did take lots of effort toprepare, but it was fun to do. It also gave people a good talking point; it was a bit of agame trying to identify which song the quote belonged to. I liked that we gave favours thatmeant something to us and lots of people said they loved it.”Another personal touch came to light during the meal – the couple had written thewedding breakfast menus in their own unique style, as Melissa explains: “Food was reallyimportant for us and we had a couple of tastings at Òran Mór. We were also inspiredby the menu style of The Butterfly and the Pig pub in Glasgow. We were looking forsomething that was fun and wacky rather than snotty and wanted people to see it andknow it was from us. So for example instead of just saying ‘rhubarb crumble’, we had‘Let’s get ready to crumble’.”164 RLW SUMMER 2009www.reallifeweddings.co.ukwww.reallifeweddings.co.uk RLW SUMMER 2009 165


schemes & themesAlthough Melissa and Ryan’swedding had a very modern cityfeel, the bride is also a big fan ofthe vintage look and incorporated afew retro elements on the day. Aswell as having her hair and makeupdone in a 1960s style, Melissaalso hired beautiful old-fashionedRolls Royces and Jaguars for thebridal party to arrive in. “The cars were a nice burgundy wintry colour,and they fitted with our old school theme,” she says. “I loved theAmnesia roses in my bouquet too – the colour is really unusual,”she says.The cake was also a little different from the norm. “My best friend’sMum made it for us as a present, and it was lovely. I wanted it to be ahomemade cake that tasted amazing. I also didn’t want it to look tooperfect – instead I asked for something rustic and scrumptious!”there aremoments in lifewhen youwant the bestMELISSA & RYAN’S SUPPLIERSRLWbride to bride“People say, ‘Don’t worry about thedetails’, but I would say, do worryabout them; think about the thingsthat make it unique, and take the timeto think about what expresses your personalities.My advice is, don’t worry about the big things,about the things you can’t control. Remember thatyou do have control to have things how you wantthem, and you don’t need all the money in theworld to do it.”IAN MUNDIE & SONF I N E J E W E L L E RY-Est 1970-FIRST FLOORGORDON CHAMBERS82 MITCHELL STREETGLASGOW G1 3NATEL 0141 221 3148Long’. “We didn’t want anything too soppy, and that was the first song we dancedto together the night we met.”The newlyweds did dance pretty much all night long, partly due to the highlyentertaining Soul Kings and their funky set of 70s numbers. “I had seen them atsomeone else’s wedding and said at the time, ‘If we get married I definitely wantthem.’ I was practically prepared to change the date of the wedding to get them!”she laughs.“It was a perfect mix because the DJ played first to warm everybody up, then theSoul Kings came on, doing dance routines and speaking to the audience. It’s reallyfun and gets everybody up on the floor.”So much so that the scene reminded Ryan of the ‘Thriller’ video: “He said somepeople were on the dancefloor and others were chilling out with a drink and thenwhen the Soul Kings started up he just saw all these people coming towards him,it was like the dancefloor had been invaded!”With the Soul Kings leaving everybody wanting more, the DJ stepped up tokeep the party tunes going until 2am. “We finished up with the Elbow song we’dhad played during the ceremony.”Melissa knows that she and Ryan could have made things easier for themselveswhen planning the wedding: “Having the ceremony at Kibble meant it wasunknown territory really, but it was definitely worth the hard work because itwas even better than I imagined. And I think because the ceremony was reallypersonal, people connected with it.”Most of all Melissa and Ryan had been determined to avoid the stuffiness of aformal occasion; for these two, the key word was definitely fun. “All we wantedwas to have a good time with family and friends, and we’re so happy that theday felt exactly as we’d hoped it would. Just the fact that everybody enjoyed itprobably meant more to us than anything.”Want to know more about Melissa & Ryan’s wedding?If you would like to find out more about any of the suppliers involved in this weddingplease contact us on editorial@reallifeweddings.co.ukhow we honeymooned“We went to Cuba at New Year, it was fabulous. We were inHavana for five days and it was just amazing to be there andexperience what’s really a third world communist country thathas such a history to it. It was also the 50th anniversary of therevolution at the time, so there were lots of parties and it wasgreat to witness history in the making. After that we did theall-inclusive beach thing down the coast. It was quite a contrastto go from there to five-star foodand drinks on tap. But we wouldrecommend Havana to anyone;you’ll have Mojitos, cigars andmusic coming out your ears, andof course lovely weather. Anyonewho likes a cocktail or a cigarwill love it! This photo was takenduring a beautiful sunset onVaradero Beach, which is arounda two-hour drive from Havana.”Melissa & Ryan57 Miller Street,Glasgow, G1 1EB0141 222 2504www.annepriscillabridal.com166 RLW SUMMER 2009www.reallifeweddings.co.ukwww.reallifeweddings.co.uk RLW SUMMER 2009 167

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