Natalie and Steven fell in love with the Scottish charm of the Loch Lomond Arms in Luss; they now live in London, but wanted to have their winter wedding somewhere cosy, surrounded by stunning scenery.
Photographer Simon Lees of Simon’s Studio Wedding Photography captured their special day.
Here, bride Natalie reminisces about the wedding…
“We live in London now, but we knew that we wanted to get married at home in Scotland, and to have a venue that would reflect Scottish tradition.
There isn’t a location more quintessentially Scottish than on the banks of Loch Lomond.
We knew from the start that we’d have a winter wedding, and immediately fell for the cosy charm of the Loch Lomond Arms Hotel.
Accommodation was also important to us as the majority of our guests would be travelling and staying overnight, and the Loch Lomond Arms were so helpful with this. Luss is such a small village, but there are plenty of B&Bs or lodges within walking distance to the venue, so everyone could stay.
We knew it would would be a special location as when we visited for the first time on a wet and windy day in January, the views from Luss Pier were still breathtakingly beautiful.
We couldn’t believe our luck on the wedding day; we woke up to sunshine after preparing for rain the full year!
We are lucky that we both agreed on what the main priorities of our wedding day would be, so it was easy to plan it together.
Finding the venue was a challenge, but as soon as we did, everything else just fell into place.
We got our first choice of suppliers, which was amazing, and it meant we didn’t have to stress about finding alternatives.
Our day was the perfect winter’s day: crisp, dry, low sun, not too windy. It was a massive gift to us to have the perfect weather, and our photos are just stunning!
Steven and I had some quiet time away from the guests, getting images on the loch. Simon, our photographer, drove us away from the venue, we parked the car and walked up a quiet road, glasses of champagne in hand, and clambered down the banks, in my heels and all!
It was worth it; we got the most beautiful images as the winter sun was setting.
When you think of planning your wedding, you have a very specific image in your mind and question whether you’ll be able to make this ideal a reality.
I wanted a relaxed day filled with family, friends and flowers, and that’s exactly what we achieved together.
Steven and I planned the whole day as a couple, and basically lived in each other’s pockets, making all the decisions so that the end result truly reflected us as a couple.
We didn’t have a theme as such, we wanted warm winter feels with wine tones and rich colours, so that everyone would feel cosy in the weather.
The ceremony was particularly personal to us, and it was the most important part of our day.
We worked closely with Jane, our celebrant, to keep our vows within tradition but also allow us some freedom to personalise.
We included a small part of my family history at the beginning with my Nana gifting us the silver dollar my late grandad gave her on their wedding day in 1955 to wish us happiness, luck and prosperity.
We picked readings, wrote our own vows and had a traditional Scottish handfasting to bring the ceremony to a close.
Everyone’s emotions were running high and even Jane shed an impromptu tear at the start!
Another detail of the day that stands out was seeing our flowers for the first time. Di at Myrtle & Bracken doesn’t do mock-up bouquets. When I met with her, we went over the style and colour scheme, and she freestyles it.
My only specific request was to include my favourite flower, protea, but we didn’t even know if it was in season.
When I went back to our suite to put on my dress after spending the morning getting ready in my mum’s cottage, the bouquets were all laid out waiting for us.
They were exactly as I had imagined, and this was the first time in the day that tears came to my eyes! It sounds ridiculous, being so invested in your floral arrangements, but I was so anxious about what they would look like, and seeing them put my mind at ease that the rest of the day would be exactly as I’d planned.
Steven also did a fabulous job at hand-drawing our table plan in a blueprint style, and we created the welcome sign together. Our bedroom mirrors and a chalk pen were all we needed.
After the ceremony we had a champagne drinks reception but also provided our guests with signature cocktails, a Cucumber Collins for me, a Mint Julep for Steven and an alcohol-free Arnold Palmer for those guests being sensible.
Steven also designed our drink menus from scratch; I am very lucky to have such a creative husband as my talents are lacking in the crafting department. These were small but significant personal touches for us and I
think the finishing result was better than anything we would have bought (although we are biased!).
We’d been together for 10 years before we got married, and already lived like a married couple, but having this finalised by law does make you feel different.
You put so much energy into planning a wedding without even knowing you’re doing it, so when the day is over it’s such a weird mix of extreme emotions! We both love being married.
That little slip of paper is 100% worth it.”
Cheese cake: IJ Melis