I first visited Dumfries House a few years ago as it was the location of a bridal shoot in Scottish Wedding Directory, and it’s held a special place in my heart ever since.
Located in Cumnock, Ayrshire, this grand Palladian country house is the stuff of dreams for anyone seeking a wedding venue with a sense of history. Built in the 18th century, it sits in a 2,000-acre estate and is filled with beautiful Chippendale furniture, glittering chandeliers and gilt-framed works of art. Swoon.
It’s not all about the Downton Abbey vibes, though; the venue also has a gorgeous contemporary pavilion, so you can enjoy the best of both worlds. I think that’s why I had so much fun looking through Emily and Austin’s wedding photos – there are shots inside the historic house showing off its ornate period features, romantic pictures in the stunning grounds and photos of the airy pavilion, decorated elegantly with paper lanterns and greenery. The pics, by Craig and Eva Sanders, are as dreamy as ever!
Read on for the lowdown on their big day from bride Emily.
When we first got engaged we did not have a specific theme or colour in mind. In fact we hadn’t initially considered dark purple/eggplant as the colour, but the bridesmaid dresses were one of the first decisions we made and it all stemmed from there. From choosing the bridesmaid dress and colour a lot of the other decisions went down a similar route. We wanted to have a reasonably big wedding as we both have quite big families but also wanted to include all of our friends.
We were recommended the venue by a friend and were actually very close to finalising another venue on the weekend that we viewed Dumfries House. From the moment we met the staff we knew that this was the right venue for us. It ticked a lot of boxes as it was close to Glasgow, the ceremony room is stunning, the pavilion is beautiful, there was ample accommodation for guests and we could have the ceremony and reception in the same location.
But it was the staff at Dumfries House that sealed the deal for us. Every member of staff that we worked with throughout the whole planning process was very professional but also very personable and remembered small details about how we wanted the day to look and feel. Evan and Louis’s attention to detail meant that on the run up to the day and on the actual day Austin and I didn’t have a thing to worry about – anything that we thought would potentially cause an issue they had already covered it. Dumfries House only carry out one wedding per weekend which we felt allowed them to spend the time and attention making each wedding special.
Before Austin and I got engaged I had thought planning a wedding would be an overwhelming experience but in the end I actually quite enjoyed it. I think a lot of people were waiting for me to have a meltdown and I was waiting for it myself but because I knew Dumfries House were on top of every detail, and I trusted everyone on the day (especially my florist), I didn’t have anything to worry about on the run up to the wedding.
My friends were incredible passing on advice from what they had learnt and always offering to help (I would have been lost if they hadn’t pointed me in the right direction at the beginning). My family were amazing, going above and beyond to help, coming along to multiple appointments. My parents let us plan our dream day, always encouraging us to go with what we felt was right.
Austin and I decided not to do favours and instead gave money to a charity, but we still wanted to do something a bit more personal for our guests. For the table settings we decided to print photos of the guests when they were younger and put them on small frames on the table. It took a lot of effort but I am so glad we did it and our photographer got some great images of the guests seeing their individual photos for the first time.
I have always loved fireworks and my parents had organised as a surprise a firework display during the evening buffet, it was spectacular and came as a pleasant surprise near the end of the evening.
The day after the wedding Austin and I were exhausted; we didn’t realise how much adrenaline had kept us going during the day and on the Monday after the wedding we were straight onto our honeymoon. It was so nice to get away and go over every detail on the plane journey out.
Austin and I had the most incredible day and it was the perfect way to start our next chapter and our married life together. So far life has not changed too much and we are adapting well to married life, tying to find another project to focus my attention on and I am still getting used to referring to Austin as my husband.
Venue: Dumfries House | Photographer: Craig and Eva Sanders | Filmmaker: Strawberry Wedding Films | Transport: St Clair Wedding Cars | Dress: Allure at Sarah Louise Bridal | Bridesmaid dresses: Sarah Louise Bridal | Groom and groomsmen’s outfits: Gilt-Edged | Celebrant: Reverand David Ness | Cake: Marks and Spencer | Florist: Myrtle and Bracken | String quartet: Cairn String Quartet | Evening band: Fabulous Shire Boys | Stationery: Stoneberry Press | Hair: Pin Up Hair | Make-up: Fuss Salon