Diary of a Bride - St Andrews in the Square
Catherine & Douglas, Summer 2011
Thurs 22nd Sept, One day to go……
Getting married on a Friday allowed us the luxury of dropping into the venue with the cake, table decorations etc throughout the week, so there were no last minute rushes! I had an early appointment to be beautified, so Douglas and I parted early in the morning – the next time we’d see each other would be at the altar! My day was spent rounding up my closest friends as they arrived into Glasgow. I had booked a hotel apartment just round the corner from Central Station, so it was a great way for all the girls to catch up after the hen and for us to have a quiet(ish), fun, girly evening before the big day. Knowing how much I like my space whilst getting ready, my MOH and I booked in to the nearby Raddison and we retired after a few drinkies with the girls, about midnight. It was lovely to spend time with my childhood friend Lucy who had flown all the way back from Canada, and we went to sleep giggling like we used to do when we were wee. Douglas had two cards delivered to the room: one to be opened that night and the other to be opened in the morning. The first had me in floods of tears, with a message from my beautiful friend Joyce who passed away earlier in the year. It was so thoughtful of Douglas to make her a part of the wedding, even if she couldn’t be there physically.
Fri 23rd Sept, The big day…….
My morning started a smidgen earlier than anticipated and true to my earlier form that week, I was wide awake at 4.30am! I couldn’t even get up and about for fear of waking Lucy, so I had to just lay there and curse my nerves. Still, 3.5 hours sleep is better than none at all, eh?! At a rather more Godly hour, we headed downstairs for breakfast, plundering the sweet cakes and pastries for sustenance as we knew that dinner wouldn’t be served till around 5pm. Any excuse! I couldn’t resist some form of communication with my intended so we kept each other amused with our mutual tales of calamity – Douglas managed to make a 2.5 cm gash on the side of his cheek, shaving. I was sporting a new addition to my (soon to be photographed very closely) face: a second chin, in the form of Mount Vesuvius, cringe. Advice? Do not have a facial within a week of your wedding!
You may be wondering what was in the second card? Suffice to say there were some very sweet words from Douglas :) Who knew he could be such a softie? It really gave me a boost and settled any little nerves that were stirring.
Lauren, our make-up and hair artist arrived around 9am. I was initially surprised that she suggested such an early start (with a ceremony at 2.30pm and a venue so close), but with several girls to glamourise, and my second chin to disguise – she couldn’t have arrived a second too soon! She was such a lovely, calm person to have around and chatted away as though she were one of my old friends. I’d already had a trial with Lauren, and after trying a couple of styles we decided to compliment my relatively simple dress and accessories with an all-out ‘Vintage Hollywood glamour’ look. It did feel like I was wearing a heck of a lot of make-up but trust me, it lasted the distance and withstood all manner of assaults, blub blub, and I hope it was reflected well in the pictures. I guess that’s for you to judge! It was great to have my hair and make-up done in one setting and saved a lot of stressful running around all over town.
The friendly staff from Florette of Paisley, delivered the bouquets around midday, I was thrilled with the results and they were just as I had imagined in my consultations with Karen. Shortly after, Nick arrived to capture the ‘getting ready’ shots, and within no time at all my self consciousness melted away as he magically blended in to the background. That really is a talent, Nick! My other bridesmaids arrived just in time, before he had to be spirited off to capture Douglas and his groomsmen greeting our guests.
The girls helped me into my dress, cue tears from Mum, ahhh. That’s when things really hit home – I was getting married in an hour!! It wasn’t until I decided to have an emergency loo stop that I realised to facilitate such a venture required full dress removal. Thank goodness there is a separate bridal room at St Andrews in the Square!
A wee glass of bubbly later, and it was time to make our way down through the lobby and out in to the busy street to step into our silver, classic Rolls Royce and Bentley, from Ecosse Classic cars. We attracted a fair bit of attention from passers-by which made it seem even more exciting! I had the same driver that had just dropped off Douglas and his best man, and it was nice have a laugh with the driver and banter along the way. As we approached the venue, a tourist bus stopped right in front of us to photograph the building and my gorgeous bridesmaids. It was quite a funny moment and helped keep us relaxed and amused.
I cannot explain how happy it made me to see my beautiful nieces and my brother waiting outside to greet me. I was fit to burst with excitement! Keith, our talented and friendly piper, sounded fab and gave a real sense of occasion as we made our way into the vestibule where the vicar, Dr Rev. David Donaldson, was there to give a reassuring word before announcing my arrival. Our close friends from the brass band that Douglas and I play in, had the guests welling up with their triumphant rendition of Jeremiah Clarke’s Trumpet Voluntary as I walked down the aisle on my brother’s arm. I was grinning from ear to ear the whole way down and when I saw Douglas’ beaming face, a dozen lottery wins couldn’t have made me any happier. People commented afterwards that all they could see were teeth down the front of the altar; we were both smiling so much. David gave a lovely service, with readings from our friends Nicole and Edward – the traditional Corinthians 13, and the Irish Blessing which is full of kind wishes for the future of the happy couple. The band led our hymns ‘Praise my Soul the King of Heaven’, and ‘Love Divine, all Love Excelling’ and my one year old nephew, Noah; made us all giggle with his excellent singing. It was such a personal thing to have our own friends play at the wedding and all of our guests agreed that the live music made it really special. Many thanks to Tom McCrone for conducting and arranging the music. The ceremony went without a hitch and we left feeling like a King and Queen, to Handel’s Trumpet Tune and Air.
After a well co-ordinated group shot on the steps outside (well done Nick for organising that rowdy bunch!), our guests headed upstairs for champagne and canapés whilst we had our portrait shots taken with the family. Nick had asked us to compile a list of a maximum of 10 portrait shots, which really helped keep things moving - I’ve heard couples complain about having to stand around for hours having pictures taken, but Nick’s approach had us done and dusted in no time so that we could mingle with our guests and have a wee glass of bubbly before the formal part of the reception. Another top tip from Nick was to provide an usher (Chris) with a list of people for each shot so that they can be easily rounded up!
Jacquie our wedding co-ordinator and her staff, managed to beautifully transform the venue from ceremony room to amazing dining area in no time at all, and again the flowers looked wonderful – the tall stems worked really well with the height of the ceilings – great job, Florette! Douglas is an architect, so it seemed a nice idea to create our table plan in the shape of a building plan, which we framed in a gilt, Victorian style frame in keeping with the impressive venue interior. For our table names we chose places we’d gone on our first dates, and Douglas sketched pictures of the buildings for each table.
Keith piped us into the reception and we were overwhelmed at the reaction of our guests and all the whoops and cheers. One of my English friends commented that she’d never seen anything like it, and was hugely impressed with the atmosphere that the piper created. Well, we did have three tables of RAF and brass banders making a lot of noise!
My brother Alan did an excellent job of stepping in at the last minute to do a ‘Father of the Bride’ speech, and Nick captured some fab shots of the fun and laughter. Douglas amazed me again with his funny and sweet speech and Mark, our best man, gave some great laughs at Douglas’ expense. I never really noticed the food much, to be honest, not least as I was trussed up tightly and had no room for expansion, but our guests assured us that it was very nice! Having the speeches before dinner allowed everyone to relax and enjoy their meal, Douglas in particular.
After dinner, Jacquie moved everyone upstairs to transform the dining area into a dance floor and Nick whisked us outside to capture some dramatic, dusk shots of the magnificent building. Unfortunately, my poor wee Granny took ill at this point and we had to cut this part of the evening short. My brother called an ambulance and they took a frustratingly long time (Glasgow on a Friday night, I guess) to get there. Luckily, we had a Doctor in the house and she took great care of Gran in the mean time. In all the excitement we missed the cutting of the cake, I fainted, and meanwhile our evening guests continued to arrive. Our ushers and the staff saved the day though, diverting guests upstairs and serving wine to distract them. When we were sure that Gran was going to be OK; I managed to gather myself together with the help of my lovely husband and bridesmaids, get hyped up on sugar and caffeine (good ol’ Irn Bru) and bloomin’ well got that show back on the road!
Amazingly, hardly anyone noticed what was happening and people were surprised when I told them afterward. Nick was so nice to hang around and ended up working late into the night, bless his heart. The shots he created from the first dance were astounding. One of our friends asked how much ‘Hello’ was paying us for the photos! We danced our first dance to Forever Young, by Bob Dylan, then the band (A-Side Soul, complete with brass section) kicked in with some soul/funk classics and we boogied the night away, throwing in some Ceilidh classics for good measure. It was such a great party and come lights on at the end of the evening, I really didn’t want it to end. We spent our wedding night at One Devonshire (where Douglas stayed the night before), and were treated like royalty. I slept like I hadn’t slept in a year! As many of our friends had travelled a long way, we decided to have a get together the following evening which was a great way to catch up properly. On the day you will be like a butterfly flitting around and it’s difficult to speak to anyone for any length of time. We had a couple of days chilling out at home before flying off to the Maldives for a deeply relaxing and much needed week in the sun. We were glad to have a few days either side as you really don’t realise how much stress you’ve been under until you finally come to relax.
On our return, Nick had uploaded our photos on line and we were able to get a sneak preview before our disk arrived. We really couldn’t have asked for more; he truly captured every aspect of the day, from the laughter of our guests to the grandeur of St Andrew’s in the Square. He’s such a nice person and really does blend in, something that many guests commented on. Fabulous, amazing, awesome, these words are overused and undervalued but in Nick’s case they really are true. Thanks Nick!
Florette of Paisley
Lauren O’Donnell, make-up artist
Ecosse Classic Cars
St Andrews in the Square and Café Source
Stories told by the Bride and Groom about their wedding day
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