An Outdoor Handfasting, Vintage Inspired Humanist Wedding…

I do so love it when a proper Love My Dress devotee get’s to grace these blog pages with their beautiful wedding 😉 “I absolutely love your blog! And still regularly visit it and follow you on Facebook!! (I’m not obsessed at all…!)” says Alice, the lovely Bride here, who arried her Beau Matt, on 21 July – a date chosen as it was the 4th anniversary of the couple’s first day. How romantic 😉 

First up, lets look at a little video of the happy couple, produced by the fun duo that are ‘Sassy n Frank‘…

 Love My Dress Wedding Blog –  Film Copyright (c) 2011, Sassy n Frank

Isn’t that fun? Love those moody shots there Matt and Alice! 🙂 The couple, who are a success story, chose to tie the knot at the beautiful location that is Culcreuch Castle in Fintry, Stirlingshire, Scotland as their venue {more on that in a bit} and the whole day was styled to perfection by my friend Kim Groves, former owner of The Fine & Funky Events Company.

Alice wore two dresses on her wedding day.  Her ‘day dress’ was a 1950’s inspired number called ‘Paris’ by Forget Me Not Designs.  Her evening dress was ‘Norah’ by Victoria Jane.  Both dresses were purchased from the Bride to Be wedding boutique in Reading…

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2011, Assassynation


“I found it really hard to choose a dress. I put on so many beautiful wedding dresses and liked a lot of them but did not love them. I saw Paris when I was walking past  Bride to Be after work and they had her in the window display and I knew I had to try her on.

 I made an appointment and when I got to the shop I chose a number of dresses to try on. As soon as Paris came on, I just came alive, I was twirling round the store, bouncing about, I didn’t want to take her off and I knew she had to be my dress!”

Just ever so slightly in love with Alice’s wrist corsage there…

1950s style wedding dress

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1950s style wedding dress

1950s style wedding dress

Alice’s beautiful lace 50’s style wedding dress in all it’s glory…  

“All the staff at Bride to Be – the boutique where I got both my dresses from, were really helpful and best of all they allowed me to have my mum present during the fittings (who lives in Australia) using Skype via their internet connection and my laptop….”





Fluff that petticoat! 😉


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“Matt’s day suit was pure luck. I was kind of searching for an early Beatles type suit and it was pure coincidence that Debenhams happened to have the perfect suit (I did think at one point that we would have to have it made)!! It was a Ben Sherman suit in a plum tonic colour…”


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“We chose Scotland because neither of us wanted a religious wedding, and I wasn’t too keen on a registry wedding. So I looked into it and after considering the options I thought a humanist wedding would be most in keeping with our beliefs and most importantly would be very personalised to us. So Scotland being the only place you can legally have a humanist wedding in the UK was chosen for that reason.

It took us three visits to Scotland before we found our ideal venue at Culcreuch Castle. Culcreuch had something extra special about it. From the moment we drove through the entrance and made our way up the long winding road – past sheep, the lake with people fishing and the clincher, the gorgeous oak tree we were married under – we were in love with the place – hook, line and sinker!! Such natural beauty and the feeling that you are far away from everything – truly magical…”


Culcreuch Castle Scotland



“We hired the very talented Kim Groves from the Fine and Funky Events Company as our Stylist. We LOVED all her fun, quirky and cute ideas and the day would not have been the same without her creative input. 

She not only helped with the styling of the day, but also put us in touch with Sassy our photographer and with Natalie from Purple Peacock Stationary, whose ideas helped me finalise the look that I wanted for our stationary, which we made ourselves.



“The very first thing we decided when we started planning the wedding was what ceremony we wanted. This to us had to be the most important and considered decision because it is what a wedding is all about; two people making a lifelong commitment to each other in a meaningful and personal way.

I spent a lot of time looking into different types of ceremonies; whether they were legal or not, would they allow us to marry outside (a dream for me as I always wanted something really natural)…? And then took an equally long time choosing the celebrant.

I carefully considered the statements on their pages on the Humanist Society of Scotland webpage and emailed a few celebrants. We knew all of them would deliver a personalised ceremony in keeping with our values, but we wanted someone who would also share our humour and our fun side too – Mary, our celebrant, did all that and more!”

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 “We really enjoyed the handfasting ceremony as neither of us nor our guests had been to a wedding with this ceremony. We really liked the symbolism of being tied together for life and the tartan knot now serves as a beautiful reminder of the promises we made to each other and so we have it on display in our living room…”




“For the tea party, Kim from  Fine and Funky Events supplied all the vintage crockery, decorations and giant games. She made the courtyard look like a magical hideaway! A guest said that when he entered it looked like a scene from Alice in Wonderland.

And then for the evening reception she completely outdid herself; all her suggestions were perfect – vintage postcard bunting!!! And we hired a load of things from her, including an old typewriter for our guestbook, an old suitcase for our guest’s cards and a dress up photo corner. Our guests had so much fun and really loved the quirkiness of it all.”

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“Lisa Sanders from All About Cupcakes is the creative genius behind my quirky and very cool (in my opinion) cupcakes – both sets! I met Lisa through a friend who happens to be her next-door neighbour. She worked with me to help design both looks for my cupcakes: the cute and fun tea party cupcakes and the more formal looking evening ones in navy and white. Oh yeah, and they taste delicious too!”

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“We wanted something that people might use so opted for mini photo albums by Kate Aspen as wedding favours, and then decorated them ourselves with ribbons and used them like ‘escort cards’ so had labels with the guest’s name and table number…”


“My second dress was a later decision. Although I loved Paris to bits, I also wanted a dress that made me feel glamorous and a little bit sexy! 

Matt also wanted a “tuxedo looking” suit, something different for the evening, that would be easy to wear, so I found one from Moss Bros online that was perfect.”



Words of Wedded Wisdom…

“I think the most important thing for me (because I am such a stress head) was that I trusted and had excellent relationships with all my suppliers. They were all such talented and committed people who saw the vision that we wanted for our wedding and did everything they could to bring it to life – we were incredibly lucky! So my advice is that if you don’t get the right vibe from someone, then walk away.

Things that seem massive before the day are completely insignificant on the day. Loads of things didn’t go to plan on the day, but I was so happy that I either didn’t notice or didn’t care! I know it’s pointless telling brides-to-be who stress not to stress, so what I would say is do as much as you can without giving yourself a nervous breakdown!”

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“If you are not a very arty/creative person like me, get yourself a good events planner – my wedding wouldn’t have been half as interesting as it was without Kim Groves from the  Fine and Funky Events Company.  Kim is an amazing wedding planner; she makes you feel like your day is so special and unique. I would recommend her to anyone!

When it’s all over with, all you will be left with are the memories in your head and the photos/video from the day – so yes you really do need to spend that much money on a photographer, at least (but I would highly recommend you get a videographer as well), if you don’t want to be bitterly disappointed at the end or unless you are lucky enough to know a good professional photographer who will do it for free!

One last tip, do your couple photos before the ceremony like we did, that way you get more time to enjoy the day with your guests ☺”


Well congratulations Matt and Alice! It both looks and sounds like you achieved the day of your dreams 🙂

Big thanks to Sarah Lafford of Assassynation Photography for submitting these images…


We knew we didn’t want a boring, stuffy, traditional album so Sassy’s style was perfect – she is quirky, fun and takes such beautiful and natural photos. She really was a perfect match on what we wanted! So when she later came up with the idea of having Frank video the day as well, it was like I had died and gone to heaven!!

Two amazingly talented people recording our most special day – we couldn’t ask for more. The best thing is that  Sassy n Frank work so well together that on the day it seemed so natural to have them both there. It wasn’t like having a photographer hounding you all day long for a smile here and a pose there, as Matt put it, it was like being photographed by a friend…”


What a fine testimonial for one really very fabulous Photographer – I urge you to check  Sassy out if you are looking for similiar alternative style wedding photography. You can see more from Sassy here on Love My Dress.

That just leaves me to thank Alice and Matt for sharing their lovely day with all of us 😉

Let’s get some lovely feedback for this Bride and Groom via some comments below – it would be lovely to hear from other Brides planning an our door wedding, or a wedding in Scotland?

Click below for related content:- 

♥  Castle weddings
♥  Outdoor weddings
♥  1950s inspired weddings
♥  Humanist wedding ceremonies

Much love, 



Style Guide

Photographer – Assassynation
Videographer – Sassy n Frank
Venue – Culcreuch Castle

Brides Dress – Paris by Forget Me Not Designs from Bride to Be {daytime} +
Brides Accessories – Musarra and Co daytime headband + Midnight Boudoir evening headband

Brides Shoes – Benjamin Adams
Groom –Ben Sherman via Debenhams +  Moss Bros for the evening
Cake – All About Cupcakes
Flowers – Endrick Blooms
Chairs, Table Runners + Napkin hire – John’s Cater Hire
Hair Stylist – Angela Christie

Makeup Artist – Louise Paterson


Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.