Destination Wedding in Edinburgh, Scotland

I have an intimate destination wedding in Edinburgh, Scotland to share with you today! Alex and Anthony’s destination wedding was a fun-filled and ultra personal celebration of love as they were was surrounded by only their closest friends and family on their wedding day.

Before I share the gorgeous wedding photos from Orange Lemur, let me tell you a little bit about this couple. Alexandra, who goes by Alex, and Anthony were friends for many years before they started dating. Anthony decided to propose marriage to Alex on a rainy day at the National Zoo in Washington, DC. Anthony is English and his parents were unable to travel to the U.S. for the wedding. They couldn’t go back to his home country to marry because England requires a period of residency in order to obtain a marriage license. Scotland, however, is close enough to the groom’s parents and family, and allows couples to mail in their marriage paperwork in advance of arriving in country. So, they settled on a destination wedding in Edinburgh!

A few days before their wedding ceremony, we all traveled to Scotland to help them prepare for the wedding and celebrate. It is rainy everyday in Scotland, call it the local charm, but these two didn’t care and it added to the gorgeous setting on their wedding day. Thank you so much to Orange Lemur for sharing Alex and Anthony’s destination wedding photos from Scotland.

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Their DIY wedding stationery was inspired by Penguin Publishing’s iconic orange trim. Alex and Anthony infused their wedding day details with their favorite fictional characters, from the wedding invitation’s postage that had Harry Potter and Batman photos, to their LEGO wedding cake topper to their vintage horror movie poster-inspired reception table numbers. It was truly a personal wedding celebration in a destination setting that everyone who was nearest and dearest to them could attend!

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The beauty of a destination wedding, I’ve discovered as a wedding planner and a wedding guest, is that couples are not always bound to a Saturday event! A destination wedding on a week day or off-peak time means that you can get good deals on wedding vendors and venues that might not otherwise be booked. Your guest are already traveling and taking off of work, why not have a mid-week wedding!? Alex and Anthony had a Monday wedding celebration, which in hindsight was really brilliant. Many of us left the U.S. on Friday night, arrived in Edinburgh on Saturday morning. We recovered from jetlag long before Monday afternoon with enough time to truly celebrate their wedding!
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Alex and Anthony did a “first look.” However, the pre-wedding ceremony concept of a “first look” has not yet caught on in Scotland, but Alex and Anthony are very glad that they decided to move forward with the idea. There is a quaint park just steps from the hotel in Edinburgh, and the rain stopped only long enough for Jan from Orange Lemur to capture some sweet photographs of Alex and Anthony during their “first look.” I love this image of Alex walking out of the hotel on her wedding day…

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After their first look, they moved inside for their personal and meaningful wedding ceremony. For their wedding ceremony, Alex and Anthony embraced the traditional Scottish wedding. Alex and Anthony opted to have their siblings stand by their sides during their wedding ceremony. Alex with her two brothers and Anthony and his sister, who also resides in England, near his parents.

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Alex and Anthony mailed in their marriage registration paperwork to Scotland weeks in advance, and they picked up their marriage schedule upon arriving in Scotland 10 days before their wedding ceremony. The marriage schedule is similar to a marriage license here in the U.S. and it is then signed by the couple, their witnesses and the celebrant as the last part of the wedding ceremony. After Alex and Anthony signed their marriage schedule, the celebrant led the entire group in a traditional Scottish blessing, complete with a shot of whiskey for all.

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After the marriage ceremony, couples and their wedding guests move to what is called a drinks reception in Scotland. This drinks reception is much like what Americans refer to as the cocktail hour, which is that time after the wedding ceremony, but before the reception starts. However, the drinks reception in Scotland is typically 105 minutes long. Afterwards, Alex and Andy’s wedding guests were seated for what they call a wedding breakfast in Scotland, which was a multi-course seated wedding reception dinner.

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Toasts and speeches are a large part of the Scottish wedding custom. It is expected for many folks to speak during the wedding breakfast. Both of Alex’s parents spoke, plus Alex’s younger brother and Anthony’s sister. The remarks ranged from hilarious, to touching, to very emotional!
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After the wedding dinner, there was dancing! Lots of it! And with the Scottish wedding tradition, there was a light buffet with sweet and savory snacks offered by the hotel.
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Thank you so much Alex and Anthony for letting me be a part of your destination wedding day! I wish you nothing but the best and many lifetimes of happiness.

The following wedding vendors contributed to their wedding:

Photography: Orange Lemur

Venue, Catering: The Bonham Hotel

Florals: Rouge Flowers

Cake: Liggy’s Cakes

Hair & Make Up: City Brides

Coordinator: Bellwether Events

Celebrant: Jackie Grant

Harpist: Deborah Shaw

A New Ceremony Reading to Consider

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

 

– Justice Anthony Kennedy,

OBERGEFELL ET AL. v. HODGES, DIRECTOR, OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, ET AL

Happy FIRST Anniversary Jessica and Joe!

I can and can’t believe its already been a year since #notthefootballmannings got married in Old Town Alexandria. While the weather didn’t cooperate with our grand plans, they still had a delightful ceremony at Carlyle House, followed by a festive reception at Virtue Feed and Grain.

I hope you enjoy this great video of Jessica and Joe’s Alexandria, Virginia wedding by Ryan Geldermann.

JESSICA + JOE: Same Day Edit Wedding Video from Ryan Geldermann on Vimeo.

Ritz-Carlton Georgetown Wedding

I am back this week with another wedding where I was lucky enough to do wedding day direction for the sweetest couple. Anne and Ross had the most adorable and personal wedding at the Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown. They hpaired a vibrant coral and aqua color palette with table numbers from BHLDN and a bunch of awesome Etsy-sourced details (that card box!). Edge created some amazing floral designs to complement the creative paper goods. Of course my favorite detail of the whole wedding was the couple’s 14 year old American bull terrier Bridget, who participated in the portrait session and the wedding ceremony before retiring back to the hotel room. Many thanks to Jessica Schmitt for all the lovely photos!

 

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National Museum of Women in the Arts Wedding Reception

Laina and Gene worked with Well Dunn Catering and Edge Floral Event Designers to create their gorgeous and classic wedding reception at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC. These stunning photos by Eli Turner will show what a great job this team of professionals did. And that cake! Fluffy Thoughts absolutely killed it on that gorgeous wedding cake with the enormous sugar flower detail. The wedding was capped off with mini desserts and guests went home with personal splits of champagne.

 

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Wedding Ceremony at the National Museum of Women in the Arts

For years I’ve been dying to do a wedding at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC. When Laina and Gene reached out to me to handle day-of coordination for them, I was overjoyed to join the amazing team they had already assembled: Eli Turner for photography, Well Dunn for catering, and Edge Floral Event Designers handling the classic decor. The couple got ready at the St. Regis Hotel, and had their first look there as well.

 

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Wedding Reception at the Hotel Monaco in Alexandria

I am back with C & D’s wedding reception at the Hotel Monaco in Alexandria Virginia. Their dinner occurred in the hotel courtyard, under a clear top tent and string lights. Petal’s Edge filled the long dinner tables with modern bud vases from Ikea. Dancing was after dinner, inside the hotel in the Paris Ballroom. Sam Hurd absolutely crushed it with the photos, but in particular the couple’s portraits. Those ones in the tent at night – slay me. C & D looked long and hard for the right photographer, and they actually introduced me to Sam. I’m so thankful to have met him and worked with him.

 

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Alexandria, Virginia Wedding Ceremony

I absolutely adore this outdoor wedding at the Hotel Monaco  in Alexandria, Virginia. C & D had one of the best designed weddings I’ve seen, due to the fact that C is a designer, and both have a strong sense of style and taste. I love the modern palette of yellow, gray, black and white. We held the marriage ceremony in the courtyard, cocktail hour in the Paris Ballroom, dinner back outside in the courtyard (which you will see in the next post) and the dancing back in Paris. These gorgeous photos by Sam Hurd bring life to the day, I hope you enjoy them. Petal’s Edge created fantastic bouquets and a cool ceremony backdrop that you will be treated to in this post.

 

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Wedding Reception at Riverside on the Potomac

I am back with more from Sarah and Charles’ wedding at Riverside on the Potomac, in Leesburg Virginia. This historic red barn lends itself beautifully to a gorgeous, rustic wedding design. Family members sewed pillows for the lounge areas in both the cocktail hour and the reception. Purple Onion Catering helped so much along the way, providing chalkboard menus, mason jars for glassware, amazing hors d’oeuvres and the cutest mini pie display I’ve ever seen for the newlyweds. Lynnvale Studios created a great floral design with potted herbs and vintage bud vases filled with orange blooms. The Doug Segree Band kept the dance floor packed all night long, and invited guests to sing along with many favorites. Again, many thanks to Kristi Odom for the amazing photos.

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Leesburg Virginia Wedding: Riverside on the Potomac

Riverside on the Potomac is a simply lovely place to host a wedding! There are many wedding venues in Leesburg, Virginia but you cannot go wrong with this historic farm and barn! It was a no brainer for Sarah and Charles to book their wedding there, even though they booked it before it was even open for events! Sarah and Charles are volunteer firefighters, and that is how they met. They raise chickens together and we decided that since their 5 ladies could not attend the nuptials, we would incorporate a custom sketch of them in the stationery. You can see it on the invitation below, which was otherwise a DIY Paper Source project! When at Riverside, the bride gets ready in the residence, and the groom gets ready in the barn with the gorgeous horses. Lynnvale Studios did an incredible job on the florals, and the large bushes at the altar have been planted in Sarah and Charles’ yard. Many thanks to fearless photographer Kristi Odom.

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