When Frenchwoman Marie-Claire Lafont moved to Edinburgh and opened her own cafe Marie Delices she never dreamed she’d fall in love with a “wonderful” Lithuanian man. But Rokas Stonys stole her heart and the two set about creating the perfect “melting pot” DIY wedding on a tight budget.
Marie-Claire tells us all about it…
Images by Viktorija Viksvaite
I’m passionate about food and Scotland and coming here was the best decision of my life. And as life is surprising I met my husband here. When I told my family they thought I met a Scots man!
Having set up my little business and Rokas having also opened a Lithuanian shop, I can assure you that our wedding budget was almost non-existent!
So this is where the fun begins!
Our wedding was very unusual. Not the type of “classic” wedding. We did a big DIY wedding where we did absolutely everything ourselves on a very tight budget, but it ended up being an amazing family and community affair.
My dad is French, my mum is Vietnamese and if you want to push it a bit more my grandma is also Italian. We wanted to include our French, Vietnamese and Lithuanian backgrounds and celebrate Scotland at the same time.
We didn’t have any special theme in particular, but we wanted something very relaxed and informal, with a rustic romantic feel. I love pink and hessian so decided to incorporate these colours and textures for the day, with blush and brighter pinks, hessian and lace and touches of green.
My lovely customers and neighbours helped me so much to organise everything beforehand, it was amazing.
I am so grateful to everyone and will be thankful for the rest of my life!
We got married in Duddingston Kirk. I love medieval cities and this kirk is almost 900 years old and has such a strong history.
The district is so pretty and the secret Dc Neil’s gardens around it are magnificent with all those beautiful flowers, plants and the majestic loch.
It also has a big community hall which means we wouldn’t need to move to a different location.
We had our ceremony in the kirk, then headed to the beautiful gardens near the loch for pictures and drinks and canapes and then on to the church hall for our evening buffet and ceilidh.
When I met Rev Jack we agreed I would help them open a tea room next to the gardens and in return they would help us to organise this wedding. It worked out beautifully.
I got my dress at a Rachel Scott Couture sample sale and my mum made a bespoke Vietnamese traditional dress.
The bagpiper was a customer who’s now retired and our friend Nan did all the favours.
The food was all made by me and my staff. We made a big classic chocolate and raspberry cake, lots of French tarts and other cakes with my favourite flavours. My mum also did an informal Vietnamese buffet where people could just take food and sit wherever they wanted.
The alcohol was a mixture from my neighbour who has a wine shop and Lithuanian alcohol that our family bought in duty free.
My friends also helped to make a few bouquets.
For our opening dance we wanted again something not classic and which would incorporate our backgrounds. So we did a bit of Vietnamese traditional dance, then some Lithuanian polka and ended up with Highland dancing!
Rokas did so well.
It was such a great day, but it went so quickly! Seeing everyone enjoying a real ceilidh was so nice and so unusual! People were very relaxed, there was nothing formal and they all had good simple food and they just had fun!
It was priceless seeing all those French, Asian and Lithuanian people singing English hymns!
Trash the dress
Images by Jean Garrett
Ten days after the wedding we flew to Mauritius for a dream honeymoon.
The evening of the wedding I ended up mostly in a black t-shirt and kilt, instead of my dresses as I was just so tired and wanted to feel relaxed and comfortable. I regret it a bit so we organised a trash the dress shoot during our honeymoon.
Happily ever after…
Images by Moonrabbit Wedding Photography
And to celebrate our anniversary, we did a different photoshoot in the woods with Moonrabbit Wedding Photography as I wanted to have some beautiful pictures to remember the date and also have the last occasion to wear my Vietnamese dress that I wore a very tiny amount of time last year.
I’m so happy. Being married to the one I love is one of the best feelings I came across. You just feel like a unit, like a family, and I didn’t know it would strengthen our relationship, but it did.
We are so happy now and I feel that our relationship is much stronger. I didn’t know I would feel that way but somehow you feel different. It’s an amazing feeling!