A beautiful travel-themed real wedding at The Waterside Hotel, Ayrshire

This real wedding at The Waterside Hotel, Ayrshire, is one that’s pretty close to my heart. Stu and Sharon are dear friends of mine, so I was fortunate enough to be there on their big day to celebrate with them last August. And celebrate we did!

It was a day packed full of lols, great music and happy tears. Stu and Sharon are one of the coolest couples I know: funny, laid-back and always with a tale to tell about the latest adventure they’ve been on, and their day completely reflected this.

Though they didn’t have one definitive theme, their love of travel certainly inspired some of the details of the day, with each of their tables being named after a place they had holidayed together.

Read on to find out all about their wedding, as told by bride Sharon…

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Couple on beach holding hands

We had around 11 months between the the start of planning and our wedding date, and it was slightly overwhelming at first with regard to suppliers telling us that we “would struggle to get things booked at such short notice”, but we managed fine!

We really enjoyed the planning process – my mum was a great help, and we had lots of laughs along the way.

Our advice would be not to panic. Once we had our venue booked, everything else fell into place, and we just tried not to get too stressed over anything!

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Couple on beach

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Couple on beach together

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Couple by beach

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. The Waterside Hotel exterior

We looked at four other venues before we decided on the Waterside.

The hotel had a modern and bright feel, with stunning views of Arran from the grounds. it was the perfect size for our requirements. They only had two dates left for 2017, so we made our mind up on the spot, and went for one of those!

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. The Waterside Hotel function room

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. flowers

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Table decor

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Favour

We used the Kyle suite for the whole day, which had access to a private garden leading to the beach.

We didn’t have a theme, but added our own stamp to the ceremony room by adding potted geraniums, which were grown by me and my new mother in law. These complemented our florist’s flowers, and allowed me to take them home to have as a lasting reminder of our day.

We stuck to a mix of blues, pinks and creams as our colour palette. We made our own fudge as wedding favours, which kept us busy in the run up to the wedding! For our younger guests, we filled buckets with snacks, games and activities to keep them occupied during the speeches and meal, which were a big hit.

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Bride gets make-up done

I used the SWD forums to look for recommendations for make-up artists, and from there found Jacqui Harrow who was excellent, she gave me great skincare advice to prep for the wedding, and achieved a lovely natural look, which lasted all day and night.

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Bridespeople

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Bride walks down the aisle.

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Best man plays guitar

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Bride and groom ceremony.

Stuart plays bass guitar in the band Pelts, and he proposed to me with a song that he had written with the band so I wanted to incorporate that into our ceremony.

Our best man Graham is one of the singers in the band, so we made it one of his best man duties that he brought along his guitar! Along with band member Ralph, they played our song as I walked up the aisle. The song means so much to us, so it was beautiful to hear it as part of our ceremony.

I loved having all of our families around us sharing our day. My brother and cousin and her children were my “bridespeople” and Stuart’s brother gave one of our readings. Seeing all our parents and family so happy and looking very dapper at the top of the aisle was really heartwarming.

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Children ceremony

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Bride and groom with family

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Bride hugs guest

Our ceremony was beautiful and quite emotional. Two of our younger guests, Luke and Hayley, stole the show by reading Some Things Go Together by Charlotte Zolotow, complete with handmade props. We signed the register to Boney M’s River of Babylon, which got all the guests laughing!

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. DIY wedding cake

I made my own four-tier cake (fruit, sponge, lemon drizzle and rose). I trawled through a lot of Pinterest boards for inspiration before coming up with a floral and bird design. We also had a lovebird cake topper made by my brother Max.

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Table name

I love flowers and had a very definite idea of how I wanted to use flowers throughout the ceremony and reception. I wanted a mix of hydrangeas in pinks and blues, mixed with a range of summer flowers, but nothing too over the top.

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Bride in dress.

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Bride smiling

As my dress was very simple, I wanted my accessories to stand out. One of the first things I purchased was my brooch bouquet, which came from Bridal Bliss.

When at the studio designing this, my mum spotted a headpiece in the form of a large bow in the corner of the room. I tried it, as a bit of a laugh more than anything, but the instant it was on, I fell in love with it. It was a real statement piece! Karen at Bridal Bliss teamed it with a birdcage veil, which I wore during the ceremony.

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Bride close-up

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Brooch bouquet

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Bride shoes

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Bride's Charlotte Mills shoes

I had two pairs of shoes on the day, my day shoes were Hermione, by Rachel Simpson, which withstood sinking into wet sand on the beach admirably then I changed into Etta by Charlotte Mills for dancing. I loved the sparkly bows, which complemented my headpiece. Both pairs were really comfortable, essential for a long day on your feet!

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Groom and best man

Stuart’s bespoke kilt outfit was supplied by The Kilt Studio in Bathgate, Alan and Barbara were brilliant and fun to deal with, and were able to source his chosen tartan (Brown Modern) despite its rarity.  His shoes, featuring the same tartan, were from Buchanan Bespoke, Glasgow (and were a birthday gift from his amazing wife!).

We had a large number of children attend the wedding, and we loved seeing them playing and dancing during the day, well into the night, some of them on the dance floor in pyjamas! They were all so well behaved, and brought a lot of fun to our day.

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Baby

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Kid playing at wedding

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Little girl with camera

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Guest with camera

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Place name

Initially, we planned to create our own stationery, but we met Anna from Origami Fox at the Scottish Wedding Show, and really liked her zig-zag design. We incorporated our mutual loves of music, travel, sport and rollercoasters into our invites, table plans and thank-you cards, all of which looked incredible.

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Table plan.

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Joint speech Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. joint speech

After agonising over our speeches during the run up to the wedding, we decided very last minute to do a joint speech. This was one of the best decisions we made. It took the nerves away, as we were stood up together as a team. The father of the bride and the best man’s speeches were hilarious, and had everyone smiling from ear to ear.

Our evening entertainment was provided by Flung Aboot. We first heard them at a band showcase evening, and we would highly recommend an event like this when choosing a band. They were very different from everything else we had heard, and instantly filled us with joy.

Our day was simply perfect; we wanted a laid-back, fun-filled day and that’s exactly how it turned out.

Real Wedding at The Waterside Hotel Ayrshire. Laura A Tiliman Photography. Couple kiss

Photography: Laura A Tiliman Photography | Venue: The Waterside Hotel | Stationery: Origami Fox | Florist: Flowers by Cherry Blossom | Bride’s dress: Berketex | Bride’s headpiece and brooch bouquet: Bridal Bliss Online | Bride’s shoes: Rachel Simpson + Charlotte Mills | Groom’s kilt: The Kilt Studio | Hair: Make Up Lounge | Make-up: Jacqui Harrow Make-up Artist | Band: Flung Aboot