Cairi and Tom found everything they wanted in the Loch Lomond Arms Hotel in beautiful Luss, and incorporated their shared love of music, and Tom’s Swedish heritage into their autumnal wedding day.
Find out more from the bride, and see the gorgeous photos from Struve Photography…
“Tom and I were both music students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland; he had amazing lamb-chop sideburns which caught my eye across the orchestra and after a bit of nudging from my friends, I decided to pluck up the courage to talk to him. Tom was completely clueless that I liked him – eventually he cottoned on!
He proposed to me on my birthday at the red squirrel hide in the Queen Elizabeth Forest in Aberfoyle. Surrounded by birds, rabbits and squirrels I felt a bit like a Disney princess!
The first thing we decided on was the time of year we wanted to get married in, and we chose autumn: we both liked the idea of the colours in our photographs, and thought that the weather would be better in September/October (although it didn’t quite work out that way!).
From the first venue we looked at, I said I wanted a space which had enough room for a good ceilidh. The Loch Lomond Arms Hotel in Luss definitely delivered. We loved the fact that the entire day could take place in the one location and that there was enough room for our guests to stay overnight in the hotel and cottages.
The deciding factor was the staff at Loch Lomond Arms Hotel – they were so friendly and open to our questions and suggestions from the start and that allowed us to create our own special day.
Nothing seemed too much trouble – Tom and I are both vegetarian and I have food allergies as well and the chef created a fantastic meal for us to enjoy alongside our guests.
I think Tom ended up being more into the wedding planning than I was – he had a spreadsheet with what was happening and when and who was helping with each task. We didn’t have to look far for a pair of helping hands.
Six months before the wedding, I was diagnosed as being dairy intolerant, so our original plan of a big cheese cake and oatcakes went out of the window. Luckily my favourite cafe in Garnethill, Singl-end, cater for private functions so they created some mix and match cakes for us, including vegan Victoria sponge and chocolate olive oil, which were delicious.
I was really nervous about dress shopping; I’m a jeans and trainers kinda girl and am very rarely found in a dress. Before going shopping, I spent most evenings looking online and in magazines at different styles, and my mum and I were always messaging backward and forward with different ideas that we liked.
In the end I knew that we were looking for a dress with long sleeves, a fitted silhouette and not a lot of sparkle.
It’s a family tradition for my granny to come and help pick the bride’s dress, so we decided on two boutiques. Eleganza Sposa ended up being the first and only place we visited; they were holding a Martina Liana trunk show on the day we visited.
I’d booked in to two bridal boutiques, but Eleganza Sposa ended up being the first and only store I went to, they were holding a trunk show for Martina Liana/Essence of Australia on the day that we visited.
The dress I chose was from that trunk show – a heavy satin skirt, illusion lace top and long sleeves. After saying I didn’t want sparkles, I did have a few pearls and sequins across the body which I loved!
We found Kirstin (Struve Photography) through recommendations and an internet search.
We instantly loved her style of photography – she seemed to capture the sense of fun and intimate moments in the most natural way.
She also had Scandinavian roots and with Tom’s connections to Sweden, there was a draw there too.
Music was always going to be a big part of our day as we’re both musicians.
My brother (a professional singer) sang and was accompanied by Tom’s brass quintet (Stockholm Chamber Brass) they were joined by our close friends Mark O’Keeffe (on trumpet), my bridesmaid’s husband Kenny Carlyle (on Cajon) and Tom’s Brother Matt Poulson (Ukulele).
The bits that stand out to me from our day are actually the times when the day didn’t go exactly to plan. I got so nervous that I said Tom’s vows, and a guest looking for a different wedding crashed into ours while we were signing the register. They made us and our guests laugh!
After 11 years, not much has changed for us after the wedding. I’ve loved Tom for a long, long time, but finally being able to call him my husband definitely takes some getting used to – I grin every time I say it.”
Hair + make-up: Laura Gray Bridal
Music: Stockholm Chamber Brass + It’s No’ Reel