Emily and Daniel’s beautiful Buckinghamshire wedding was a true family effort. From bridesmaids dresses made by her talented seamstress mum to Daniel’s dad secretly learning the bagpipes for two years so he could serenade them down the aisle, they threw an incredibly personal day, all themed around Daniel’s Carnegie family tartan.
The couple met at their favourite rock pub in Uxbridge and dated for nearly eight months before making it official. From there they moved into their first home – Emily’s family’s canal boat, which will play a crucial part in our story later! – before setting up home on dry land in 2015 and adding four “furry rabbit babies” to their household.
It was on the canal boat that Daniel popped the question, during a romantic weekend away to celebrate their “relationship anniversary”. They’d moored up for a meal at their favourite gastropub and, with Emily’s parents waiting outside, Daniel decided it was time to get down on one knee.
“I was ready to leave but Daniel was taking his time. I was conscious that my parents were waiting outside in the cold and dark. I told Daniel to ‘stop faffing about. He then came up to me, asked for a selfie (which he never does), and then started to say really lovely and romantic things to me (which he also never does). I then hugged him, looked up at him and said very bluntly, ‘That’s nice, I’m hungry’. Not sure where to go from there, Daniel dropped to his knee and pulled the ring out. In shock, I swore at him, then said no, giggled for a bit, then said yes.”
Exactly six years to the day after they met, the couple tied the knot on 3rd August 2019. Read on to see how Emily bagged a bargain on her stunning Pronovias dress!
Photography by Next Chapter Photography
The Wedding Dress
Emily wore the Alcanar dress from Pronovias, bought from Windsor and Eton Brides in Berkshire. She topped off her outfit with the most amazing array of shoes: a pair of custom-made Carnegie tartan court shoes for the ceremony; a pair of black Dr Marten boots with rose embroidery for the boat trip; and a pair of ivory, glittery, Irregular Choice shoes for the reception!
“My dress is an ivory fit-and-flare dress with lace detailing and no beading. It is strapless (which I never wanted) but I wore a custom-made, off-the-shoulder lace bolero to make it a two-in-one dress. I had sleeves for the day and then in the evening I took off the bolero so I could move better to dance.
“The original plan was for my mother to make my wedding dress as she is a very talented seamstress. I wanted to still experience bridal dress shopping and also get a sense of what I liked and what suited me.
“I had a really bad time with this as I went to four different shops, two local and two in London, and found nothing that I remotely liked. I was also put off by the fact that no sample dress fitted me in any of these shops despite being a UK average size. I know they would make the dress to my size but it was hard to see how it would look when it was fitting properly. Also, due to my size and no dress fitting, I felt very uncomfortable. I was about to give up on the dress shopping when my mum encouraged me to try one more shop that she found which had larger sized sample dresses.
“I was very apprehensive going to another bridal shop and really worried that I would feel uncomfortable again. At Eton and Windsor Brides, I was instantly put at ease. The lady in the shop was so welcoming, lovely and down to earth. I had a chance to look through the dresses first and pick out a few I liked. She also picked out a few after listening to what I wanted and also taking a gamble on what she thought might suit me. It was meant to be an hour appointment but it was almost two hours as the lady knew how much this meant to me and how I had bad previous experiences.
“I had that dress moment. I never knew the ‘dress moment’ actually existed until then. The lady in the shop picked this dress out for me and due to it being sleeveless I was very against it. I tried it on anyway because it was fun to try on lots of dresses. Initially I wasn’t happy with it but that was due to focusing on my arms not being covered. When she then got me to put a bolero on, I cried. My mum cried. I’m pretty sure the lady cried also. It was a special moment and I knew it was the one as I felt amazing and it ticked all of the boxes for the dress I was after. It was also a sign that this dress was meant for me as the sample dress fitted me perfectly which was on sale to buy for £350!
“I had a church length veil with a quartz crystal tiara from Howling Moon. My garter was made by my mother from vintage lace, the same silk thread my Grandmother made her wedding dress with and a pendant sown on from my other Grandmother who had passed away.
“I wore a Moissanite necklace which was a gift from Daniel. I also wore my Mum’s diamond earrings which were made from the diamonds in her original engagement ring.”
Emily did her own makeup after practising for a year to find the style she wanted and perfect it for the day.
“I did my own makeup using Kat Von D and Urban Decay. My sister-in-law is a hairdresser so she styled my hair that morning.
“My makeup was pretty similar to how I would normally wear it. The reason why I did it myself is because I didn’t want to look different and I felt comfortable and confident with how I normally do it. I went for a vintage glam look with winged eyeliner and red lips.
“With my hair, I had my fringe how I normally would but I wore it in a messy bun with a bit of a quiff to give me some height behind my tiara.
“We forgot to ask the lady to show my mum how to get me into the dress. It was a very hot day and we spent a long time trying to figure out how to get this dress on me properly whilst my brother held a fan on my face to stop my makeup from melting! It was very funny. But it was then made better when my Dad first saw me with my dress on and he got very tearful.”
The Wedding Party
Emily’s talented mum created the dresses for her bridesmaids, while groom Daniel embraced his Scottish roots with a kilt.
“I had two bridesmaids and one bridesman. My bridesmaids and bridesman are my best friends. I had two flower girls and one page boy – my nieces and my nephew.
“Theis dresses were made by my Mum. The bridesmaids’ dresses were a ’50s-style navy tea dress with an ivory petticoat underneath and an ivory belt around the waist. The flower girl dresses were very similar, however, the skirt was made with navy organza to make it look more like a ballerina dress.
“I love the ’50s-style dresses and I feel that they complement all shapes and sizes so I chose them. My bridesmaids were very unfussy. I think they looked beautiful!
“The groom and groomsmen had crocheted buttonholes made by my mother too. Daniel wore a kilt made by MacGregor and MacDuff. It was a handmade kilt made with the Carnegie tartan and the top half was the modern jacket style in a navy tweed.
“The groomsmen wore suits from the Vintage Suit Hire Company which were grey tweed. The bridesman and my dad wore the same style suit but in navy.”
The Wedding Ceremony
Emily hired a white, convertible, vintage-style Beauford from Lux Wedding Car Hire to take her from her parents’ house to the church, and then from the church to the canal boat, which took them to their reception. They had a religious ceremony at St Margaret’s Church in Uxbridge, followed by a reception at Buckinghamshire Golf Club.
“I had two readings. The first one was a biblical reading read by Daniel’s mum. It was John 2:1-12, ‘The Wedding at Cana’, where Jesus turns water into wine.
“The other reading we had was read by my mum. It was a passage from The Velveteen Rabbit, my favourite book as a child, and she read it from the same book that she used to read me as a child. This book also meant a lot to Daniel as it was about rabbits and we have four house rabbits who are our furry babies.
“The hymns that we had were ‘More Love, More Power’, ‘How Great Thou Art’ and ‘Amazing Grace’. We had a band for the hymns as my dad normally leads worship in the church. My dad played the guitar and sang. My two bridesmaids also sang the hymns up front with the band. With ‘Amazing Grace’, Dan’s dad was able to join in by playing the chanter (electric bagpipes).
“A memorable moment was when my Dad said a prayer for us at the front of the church. It was a beautiful prayer that he wrote but also included a meaningful Celtic blessing. However, he did struggle to read this due to getting very emotional and teary.
“I walked down the aisle with my Dad. My bridal party walked in first, and following behind me and my dad was Daniel’s dad who played the bagpipes. The song I walked down the aisle to was The Skye Boat (the theme song to Outlander).
“It started by being sung a cappella by one of my bridesmaid’s aunties (who sings in West End musicals) and then followed by Daniel’s dad playing the bagpipes. At this point was when I walked into the church. Daniel’s dad learnt the bagpipes two years prior when Daniel said that he wanted bagpipes at our wedding. He learnt in secret until he played in a concert with Andre Rieu where he then felt he had to tell us.
“The most memorable and most special moment of the day was walking down the aisle and seeing Daniel for the first time of the day. I was trying very hard not to cry (which I just about managed).”