Your Wedding in Your Words: Louise & Mark

WOW! We were blown away when we received the photos from Louise and Mark’s stunning wedding here at Restoration Yard in June.

It was such a joy to be part of this beautiful couple’s special day. Their wedding was filled with laughter and fun, and their personalities shone through in every little detail from the laid back styling to the funky saxophonist in the evening!

We caught up with our happy couple post-wedding to debrief and relive all our favourite moments. Here’s what they had to say… (scroll down for the full photo album!).

How did you meet?

We did the very “millennial” thing and met on Tinder. Perhaps a bit of a cliché but Mark moved to Edinburgh from Belfast 6 months before and didn’t know a soul. Louise on the other hand knew most of Edinburgh and still hadn’t managed to meet prince charming. It was an instant connection and after our first date we never looked back. We ate tapas and drank some wine and it has sort of stayed like that ever since.

When and where did you get engaged?

Our engagement was perfect and very “us” – neither of us are in to huge romantic gestures, so instead we always try to find love in the little things. Louise loves three things (aside from Mark): Our dog ‘Poppy’, the sun and walking on the beach. Mark proposed at 7am on our usual dog walk on our favourite beach (Belhaven Beach in Dunbar) on the sunniest morning I had ever seen. It was such a happy moment and completely took  me by surprise.

How did you go about choosing a venue for your big day?

We knew we wanted a summer wedding and we didn’t want to wait very long so we quickly decided on summer 2019 and it felt right to do it a year to the date we got engaged. Neither of us are particularly formal and we love everything about the outdoors so we knew we wanted a venue that was going to be flexible and was a little bit different.

When did you first view Restoration Yard?

To be honest, we knew that the Restoration Yard was our perfect venue before we had even started looking. We live in Dalkeith and have a border terrier so we spend pretty much all our time at Restoration Yard and exploring the country park. We knew they did weddings so we made an appointment at the beginning of July and crossed everything that it would be perfect.

What did you think when you first saw it?

We were probably biased as we had already spent so much time there but looking at it through wedding planning eyes it was even more magical. The different spaces and the grounds are just incredible. However I think what I loved most was just the sense of calm I felt and still feel every time I go there, it is the most stunning, peaceful place.

What made you choose Restoration Yard?

We felt so lucky to be able to have our wedding in a venue that has such a big personal meaning for us both. Over the last three years we have had so many happy times together here and to be able to celebrate our big day with everyone close to us here was a dream come true.

Not only is it absolutely stunning, it allowed us to have the relaxed wedding we wanted but do it with such class. I wanted a wedding that represented Mark and I and Restoration Yard allowed us to create that instead of telling us what we could do and what people had done before.

Take us through your wedding planning process with the team here at Restoration Yard…

Initially we worked with Stephen who was brilliant at letting us come up with ideas and accommodating our ever-growing guest list. We met with Stephen several times to confirm the initial details and he was brilliant.

After the new year, we were introduced to Thea who to be honest has become such a good friend as well as being absolutely amazing at wedding planning. We were in touch with Thea weekly to run ideas by her, confirm suppliers, get advice and in the later stages do our food tasting and also drop daily packages of décor with her. Thea helped us with every aspect from the food to the music and without her we can truly say our wedding wouldn’t have been the same.

Tell us all about your wedding day…

We had 120 guests all day which included 10 kids!  We wanted a traditional ceremony so got married in St Marys Church which is situated at the entrance to the country park. It was a modern take on a church wedding and it was wonderful.

Mark and I love to party so we had a saxophonist playing in The Orangerie for our reception. It was such an amazing sight to see our family and friends drinking and dancing in the most incredible setting with epic music. Our theme was very minimal and chic but we mainly just wanted everyone to party like we do.

Our first dance song was Wild Love by James Bay. We both love that song and I think it sums us up, we always want to adventure and have fun together. The words resonate with what we love about our relationship.

The food was EPIC – we went for prawn cocktail and pate to start, for main we went for chicken supreme and braised beef bourginon with greens, salad and mashed potato, and we then finished with cherry pavlova and crème brulee. It was a feast and nobody went hungry.

We left the tables super plain – the view from The Kitchen is spectacular and we didn’t want to interrupt that. We had some menu cards and as favours gave everyone a drink token which seemed to go down well.

For the top table we had floral hoops and M&L letters made by an amazing small business called MacMade. We also opted for no seating plan – we hate forced fun and wanted all of our guests to mingle and it worked perfectly – the room was buzzing.

Which suppliers did you work with?

Bride’s dress: Sophia Grace Couture

Bridesmaids’ dresses: ASOS

Grooms Suit: Custom made by Andrew Brookes Tailoring.

Ushers: Next

Photographer: Claire Fleck Photography

Videographer: Tracey Largue Photography

Flowers: Liberty Blooms. We also had wild flowers in the Orangerie which were grown by Louise’s mum and arranged by 2 friends.

Hair: Morena Crolla Hair

Make-up: Mark’s twin sister Lynne worked for Bobbi Brown so we hit the jackpot there!

Music: Sam Irvine was our saxophonist for the reception. We had Euan Lawrence at Tartan Entertainment for night time and also Shades of Sax for a guest hour slot on the sax at night.

Any special shout-outs?

Claire Fleck our photographer is the best in the world at what she does, her photos told a story and captured all the moments we probably missed. She is so lovely and I just would recommend her to everyone.

Euan – our mate and our DJ – is an absolute legend and the top guy at what he does. There isn’t a party without Euan and we are so lucky to call him our friend.

Sophia Grace Couture (where Louise purchased her wedding dress) – Naydene and Hannah are incredible. They made me feel so at ease the whole time, I wouldn’t have gone anywhere else.

What was your standout moment of the whole day?

We drove down from the church in a gorgeous vintage wedding car, the driver took us all the way round the park whilst we sipped champagne. To have that 10 mins just us 2 and see all our guests walking down as well as all the families out and about in the park was so magical.

Then we arrived and saw all of our guests dancing and drinking to our favourite dance song being played on the sax in The Orangery – it was a pinch yourself moment. Mark’s was obviously seeing me walk in .. haha I wish.

Have you been on honeymoon yet?

We have – in true Mark & Lou style we went on an adventure to Canada. 6 destinations in 3 and a bit weeks – we hiked, kayaked, cycled and drank our way across the west coast and it was incredible. Highlights probably seeing humpbacks and killer whales in the wild and then a grizzly bear stroll right in front of our car. We love being outside and there is no place like Canada.

Would you recommend Restoration Yard to other newly engaged couples?

We would recommend it one million % – if you want a venue that allows you to use your imagination and create a totally personalised day.

Restoration Yard isn’t like any other venue we looked at, they didn’t tell us what we could have they asked us what we wanted. They worked with us to make sure our day was as close to perfect as possible – I love it because every wedding will be unique and different just like every couple is. We wanted an informal wedding that was executed with class and that is exactly what we got.

The Photos…