Colourful alternative two-part wedding with Covid elopement at The Bothy in Glasgow and pizza-party reception at Duntarvie Castle

Jenni Laurie & Calum Glen

6th March 2021 (ceremony) and 16th April 2022 (reception)

Venues | The Bothy, Glasgow and Duntarvie Castle, West Lothian
Photography | PJ Phillips Photography (ceremony) and Fotomaki Photography (reception)

a bride wearing a flower crown and groom wearing a kilt standing next to a wall getting showered in white confetti

“Calum and I’s original wedding date should’ve been 6th June 2020. Like many 2020 couples, we made the decision to postpone our big Glasgow wedding for 150 guests until March 2021. However, in December 2020 we found out that our original wedding venue would no longer be operating, so the wedding we had initially planned wouldn’t be going ahead there.

It turns out that March is a significant month for us as a couple. We met in March 2017, got engaged in March 2019 and moved into our first home together in March 2020, so rescheduling until March felt like it was meant to be.

We came across The Bothy in Glasgow and its private dining room which is perfect for wee weddings. Our new plan (at that point) was to have a small wedding ceremony and meal for 20 people there, and then have a bigger wedding reception in 2022.

When we moved house from Glasgow to West Lothian, we discovered that Duntarvie Castle (just outside our village) had a wedding and events space. My family have known of the castle and its ongoing restoration for a long time and have always been interested in its story. We met with the venue’s wedding co-ordinator Tricia in late December 2020 and booked our reception date that day. I had always secretly wanted a DIY-style venue, so Duntarvie ticked that box.

Come 6th March 2021, we were still in full lockdown and weddings were restricted – but we were determined to get married. Our ceremony at The Bothy was just us, registrar Katrina McDiarmid and our incredible photographer Patrick from PJ Phillips Photography and amazing florist Natalie Dalziel Flowers acting as our two witnesses.

Natalie was an absolute godsend and so accommodating. We got on like a house on fire from the moment we first met and she understood our vision for the day. As well as kindly agreeing to be a witness, she made the most amazing floral headpieces and bouquets.

Patrick also goes above and beyond for his couples – as evidenced by his signature on our marriage certificate! His style suited us down to the ground and he immediately made us feel at ease. Even though he wasn’t available for our rescheduled reception, we found an equally talented photographer in Sarah at Fotomaki Photography.

We got ready together on the morning of our ceremony. We had no other choice thanks to lockdown. It was actually one of the moments from the day that we will cherish the most.

My Dad didn’t walk me down the aisle like I’d always thought he would. And getting married without our family and friends present was never part of our original plan, but like so many others, the pandemic made us realise that above all, we just wanted to be married.

Being able to wander the deserted streets of Glasgow whilst having our photos taken was surreal and another unforgettable point. People always advise newlyweds to take some time together as a couple on your wedding day. That was our only option – and it was perfect!

Our main priority thereafter was to throw one hell of a party at Duntarvie. I spent the day before the reception decorating the venue with some friends. I made the table plan and ‘All You Need is Love’ neon sign myself and hand wrote acrylic signs with all our favourite song lyrics to use as table names. I also made every guest an individual mini macramé hanging as a favour.

Choosing pizza van Woodfired Guys as our catering was a purely selfish move on our part. However, it turned out to be one of the best decisions we made as it went down an absolute treat with our guests.

We booked The Upbeats for our original wedding and – after two date changes and one venue change – we finally got to see them play. They were absolutely amazing and even learnt our first dance for us.

Our first dance was to American English by Idlewild. We talked about this song on our first date back in March 2017 and have seen it played live together more than once.

I bought my Made With Love Bridal dress from Unbridaled in Ayr. My seamstress Elizabeth Wallace in Kilmarnock removed the lace wings from the back of the gown and replaced it with fringing, which is much more me.

Top tip: “Don’t make decisions because you think they are what other people want. The day is about you as a couple, so don’t be afraid to change the traditional wedding ‘rules’ to suit you. There’s really no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to do it.”

Registrar Katrina McDiarmidBride’s dress Unbridaled BoutiqueAlterations Elizabeth WallaceBride’s personalised leather jacket Handpainted by The Mermaid EffectGroomswear Own kilt with new jacket from Andrew Brookes Tailoring Cake Three Sisters BakeCatering Woodfired Guys Flowers Natalie Dalziel FlowersFurniture hire Virginia’s Vintage Hire Favours, on-the-day stationery and dried flower decor at reception All handmade by bride Jenni (visit her Instagram here)Reception band The Upbeats

a bride and groom doing a first look outside The Bothy in Glasgowa bride and groom laughing during their elopement wedding ceremony at The Bothyan elopement wedding ceremony at The Bothy in Glasgowa bride and groom at Loch Lomond and on Ashton Laneleft image shows a bride and groom pose against a painted wall on Ashton Lane in Glasgow and right image shows a bride and groom on the banks of Loch Lomonda bride carrying a bouquet by Natalie Dalziel Flowers holding hands with a groom and walking along Ashton Lane in Glasgowa bride and groom walking underneath a green Barrowland sign in Glasgowa bride and groom kissing on the banks of Loch Lomonda bride and groom dancing on the banks of Loch Lomondgroom opening a bottle of prosecco on the banks of Loch Lomonda bride and groom toasting with white tin camping cups on the banks of Loch Lomondmarquee at Duntarvie Castle decorated with chairs from Virginia's Vintage Hireivory buttercream wedding cake by Three Sisters Bake with rustic wedding decor in backgroundwedding flowers by Natalie Dalziel on a wooden hexagon ceremony archa bride and groom led by a piper next to a bare treea black and white framed pin board sign that reads we waited ages for this – please party accordingly"a bride and groom with wedding guests group shot in the grounds at Duntarvie Castlemacrame wedding favours on a chip board backgrounda man wearing a suit pointing while making a speech on the top table at a weddingWoodfired Guys pizza trailer at Duntarvie CastleWoodfired Guys making a pizzathe Woodfired Guys pizza ovena bride wearing a black leather jacket with groom wearing a kilt against a cloudy blue skyleft image shows a bride and groom kiss below a wooden hexagon ceremony arch; right image shows a bride and groom walking in the grounds of Duntarvie Castledetail of a bride wearing a black leather jacket handpainted by The Mermaid Effect and groom wearing a kilta bride and groom hugging under a tree at Duntarvie Castlea bride and groom walking at Duntarvie Castlea bride and groom pose under an all you need is love neon sign at Duntarvie Castlefirst dance of a bride and groom at Duntarvie Castlea bride being spun round wearing a dress with fringed back detailwedding guest holding a sign reading I'm here for the boozethe marquee at Duntarvie Castle filled with wedding guests at nighttimewedding guests sitting around a fire pit at Duntarvie Castle

Tags:
Andrew Brookes Tailoring, Duntarvie Castle, Elizabeth Wallace, Fotomaki Photography, Katrina McDiarmid, Natalie Dalziel Flowers, PJ Phillips Photography, The Bothy, The Mermaid Effect, The Upbeats, Three Sisters Bake, Unbridaled Boutique, Virginia’s Vintage Hire, Woodfired Guys

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