Rustic + pretty big day at Carfraemill in the Scottish Borders

Morgan Milloy + Ben Dent

Saturday 15th October 2016

Carfraemill, Lauder

Photography | Alex Martin Photography

Many brides and grooms spend years planning their big day, but for Morgan and Ben things were a little different. The lucky pair won their wedding in a competition run by Carfraemill venue in the Scottish Borders after entering just a few days before they went to view it. “We fell in love with the venue anyway, even before we knew we’d won the competition. We got a call about three weeks after our visit to tell us the news that we were the winners,” bride Morgan smiles. “It was a dream come true.”

After coming down from cloud nine, the reality of the situation set in for Morgan hubby-to-be Ben; they only had 11 short weeks to actually plan the celebration! With little time to get prepared, the couple were anxious in the beginning.

“In all honesty, all of the stress and worry was at the very beginning of those 11 weeks when I wasn’t sure if it was too much short notice for our guests to make it,” says Morgan. “But about six weeks into planning, we had booked everything and it was just a case of paying everything off and finalising the smaller details.” Cool, calm and collected bride or what?!

One of the things Morgan did have to organise quickly was her dream dress, something she feared she wouldn’t find in time. “With such short notice to pick my dress, I was so worried about finding the perfect one. However, I did. It was in the third shop I visited and, as soon as I walked in, I knew I’d find my dress there,” she says.

The night before the wedding was a relaxed affair spending time with family and the wedding party, something very important to Morgan and Ben. “Carfraemill has a hotel which could accommodate our bridesmaids and groomsmen, as well as some of our family members on the night before the wedding,” says Morgan. “That meant we could relax, have dinner together and those who’d never met before could get to know each other. It was perfect.”

On the morning of their special day, bride Morgan was busy getting pampered with her mum, mum in law, ‘maids and flower girls in the venue’s adjoining cottage. “Ben got me a gift on the morning of the wedding which was a bag of all of my favourite things, but he surprised me massively by getting me a beautiful diamond necklace,” beams Morgan. Grooms, take note!

As guests made their way to the venue, Morgan was confident in their pretty setting. “We had a rustic theme for our wedding, set within a marquee. An amazing company called Get Knotted organised the decor and layout of the marquee for us and we met with them beforehand to talk it all over. It was more than we could have imagined ourselves; lots of twinkly fairy lights and candles set the atmosphere beautifully,” says Morgan.

One highlight, Morgan says, was that moment she walked down the aisle on the arm of her dad, seeing Ben waiting for her at the end and a room of happy faces to greet them. “The ceremony was humanist, and it was so lovely and relaxed – we laughed and cried throughout,” Morgan says.

Following the ceremony, the new Mr and Mrs Dent and their guests indulged in delicious canapes and a wedding feast created by the venue’s caterers. “The wedding co-ordinator at Carfraemill, Susan, organised different flavours of prosecco for the guests to enjoy after our ceremony, which went down a treat!” Morgan says.

In order to allow their guests to mingle, the venue set the tables out banquet style, lined with different heights of candles and natural flowers. Nearby, inflatable sofas created a chill out area where guests could mingle, and was also where the kid’s magic show took place during the day.

As night fell, Premier Disco kicked off a lively evening of celebration. “We selected songs beforehand which were added to a playlist, but James from Premier Discos took requests all night from our guests and everyone was up and dancing all night!” says Morgan.

Capturing the big day was the couple’s photographer Alex Martin, who they felt a rapport with immediately. “She’s so down to earth and her photographs are amazing. On the day, she kept everyone calm and organised; the whole process of the official photographs was so relaxed and quick,” Morgan explains.

So, how does it feel to be Mr and Mrs? “We’ve been through so much in the seven years we’ve been together that marrying Ben was like the beginning of the next chapter. You definitely get into a honeymoon period where you just want to see each other all the time and that’s a good thing. You’re reminded of how much you really love one another again,” smiles Morgan.

And the bride’s advice to couples getting hitched? “Don’t worry about the finer details; on the day noone is going to notice a spelling mistake on the table plan or a missing favour, everybody is in such high spirits that things like that don’t matter” says Morgan.

ABOUT ALEX MARTIN PHOTOGRAPHY

Based in the Scottish Borders, Alex Martin Photography is as creative as she is technical, capturing everything from breath-taking wide range images to intricate touching details. With her laid-back personality and professional approach, Alex brings a sense of calm to what can be a busy day, working with her couples and their guests to get the perfect shots.

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