Italian-Orcadian wedding day in Ghillie Dhu, Edinburgh

When Italia meets Orkney; a tale of two people from different backgrounds meeting and falling in love, is there anything more storybook-perfect than that?

Mary and Ignazio met at a speed dating event and clicked immediately, culminating in a beautiful Edinburgh city centre wedding day filled with fun, laughter and dancing!

Take a look at the gorgeous shots by Justyna at Iris Art Photography, and hear the story behind them from bride Mary… 

“Our first real date was to Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh. Ignazio turned up in a smart suit with fancy leather shoes, so it was quite a hard and treacherous journey! We made it to the top and, after some more dates, we realised it was amore!

Three years later, back at Arthur’s Seat, Ignazio proposed. We grew up far apart in different countries. I was in the north of Scotland and Ignazio the north of Italy, but Orcadian-Italian seems to be the best combination!

We wanted our wedding to reflect both of our heritages. Some of Ignazio’s family came over from his hometown in Schio, in the Veneto region. They hadn’t been to Scotland before so it was a big adventure.

My family came down from Orkney, and my brother and his wife came over from America. It was so nice to bring everyone together for our special day.

We chose the Ghillie Dhu as our venue, for both the ceremony and reception. We love the Gothic feel to it, with the purple velvet curtains and the beautiful ceiling, and it’s not too formal. Kirsty, the co-ordinator at Ghillie Dhu was great.

Everything went smoothly and the staff were lovely to deal with.

The venue is dark, so we decided on a dark and purple colour scheme. Our florist created beautiful bouquets for me and my bridesmaids with bright hues.

Our table names were all bands that we’d seen together as a couple, including The Prodigy and Guns n’ Roses, and our first dance was Lovesong by The Cure.

You could say the day had a bit of a rock theme going on! Our table plan was a cool festival line-up style design, and we had props for photos at the reception: heavy metal hair, inflatable guitars and fake arm tattoos!

Most people wear traditional white without questioning why, but there are other options! I wanted to go for something slightly different with my dress, but just as beautiful.

The readings at our wedding were both from Edward Monkton. ‘The Love Monkey’ was read by my sister Alice and ‘The Lovely Dinosaurs’ by our friend.

It’s not so common for grooms to give speeches in Italy, so we did a speech together.

We ordered some red wine specially from the Veneto region, and the prosecco was from there too. One Orcadian tradition we had to have was a bridal cog. This is a handmade wooden bucket with handles containing a special mix of various alcohol warmed up with sugar and spices. It’s taken around all of the guests for them to have a sip!

And of course, the best dance during the ceilidh was the Orcadian Strip the Willow, where everyone lines up down the hall. It was great fun.

We just wanted to have an amazing day and not get stressed out by too many little details. The hardest part of the day was really missing my mum on the day and the run up to the wedding. She was a florist and she would have loved to help out with flowers.

We felt very warm and fuzzy after the day! Married life feels really good, and we have a lot of fun together.”

Venue: Ghillie Dhu | Photographer: Iris Art Photography 

Dress: Eternity from Simply Exquisite | Bridesmaids’ dresses: Jolie Moi from House of Fraser | Flower girl’s dress: Monsoon | Groom: Slaters

Cake: Patisserie Maxime | Florist: Pollination | Stationery: Printed at Edinburgh Copy Shop

Hair + make-up: Caroline Stewart Makeup Artistry