A Classic, Cosy & Dark Academia Inspired LGBTQIA+ Wedding at the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh

Classy LGBTQIA wedding two brides 1

Sophie and Daphne’s elegant and effortlessly glamorous early Spring wedding was held on 14th April this year at the breathtaking Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh.

People sometimes ask me if I ever tire of weddings. How could I, when I’m surrounded by uplifting and inspiring imagery and stories like this every day? It genuinely only strengthens my passion for what we do here at Love My Dress.

This gorgeous wedding is full of love and joy. You can quite literally feel the emotion of the day through these beautiful images captured by Natalia Swiader – it’s palpable.


As a plus size bride I was almost terrified to try on dresses that would not fit me. But then I found Heart a Flutter bridal boutique, where body positivity is at the forefront of what they do. They made the process so easy and joyful.

They made me feel beautiful and like I belonged in those amazing dresses. I will forever recommend them to anyone looking for a wedding dress!

The Aesling brand is inspired by architecture. My dress is called Sistine and I was immediately drawn in by the sleeves and the open square back.

My shoes were from Rainbow Club and my accessories were from Botias Accessories.


My dress was by the designer Lois Wild, at Cutting Edge Brides. From the get go I knew my dress was to be short – so where else to go than a short dresses specialist.

Cutting Edge Brides had all the dresses I had saved on my phone in stock and I tried them all! Of course, after trying those – I actually went with a completely different dress. Suzanne listened so well to my comments, and even though I did the trying on alone, I felt like her feedback was genuine.

I wanted my wardrobe to reflect my style, which is heavily inspired by late forties/early fifties fashion. A perk of a shorter wedding dress? Twirling!

My shoes were LAB by AG and my accessories were from Maggie Mowbray Millinery. I had tried several other hair accessories, but none of them seemed to suit me and the dress. Then one day I was checking my hair stylist’s Instagram and saw her tagging this lovely hat and I went to see what else this Maggie had made. On her site I was immediately drawn to ‘Iantha’. It was a veil without being a veil, with lace flowers matching my dress, and when seeing them together I fell in love all over again – with both the dress and the headpiece!

I wore Ricci Ricci by Nina Ricci; i has been my perfume from before even dating Sophie! I wanted to be myself as much as possible.


We each wanted to have our own moment, so we walked down the aisle after each other.

We decided not to follow the tradition of having someone walk us down the aisle. It’s a very personal choice but for us it’s what we were the most comfortable with and what makes the most sense.

The bridesmaids walked down the aisle first to a violin cover of Auld Lang Syne. We only gave our bridesmaid a colour and then let them shop for the kind of gown they wanted. Our main goal was for them to feel comfortable and beautiful and we thought that was the best way to do it!

Daphne walked down the aisle to Moonlight Serenade by Glenn Miller. Sophie walked down the aisle to Can’t Help Falling In Love, Haley Reinhart cover.

Sophie is French and Daphne is Dutch and we were having a civil ceremony. Instead of trying to fit as many traditional celebrations from each country we decided to include a Scottish one since we got married in Scotland! We did a Quaich ceremony, where we shared a drink from the Quaich.

We saved the bottle of Whiskey used during the ceremony and are planning on having a drink from it for each anniversary!

We included a recording of a Scottish poem ‘Ae fond kiss’, sung by Hozier. Which created some confusion with our celebrant who thought Hozier was going to be there! Sadly not though!


Daphne, on why she chose Taylor and Hart for Sophie: I had a very specific style in mind for Sophie: as sparkly as possible. As she is not the most avid ring wearer, I didn’t want it too big. After trying several jewellers and not quite finding what I was looking for, I was targeted with an ad that showed two women.

I am a sucker for representation, so I clicked and found that with Taylor and Heart I could pick exactly each element of her ring – from the band, the stone, the setting – the works! And of course a matching wedding band. They were extremely lovely and were a dream to work with.

Sophie, on why she chose The Antique Jewellery Company: I only knew one thing when I went ring shopping, that I wanted something vintage, something with history. I didn’t want to go in with a specific style in mind as that’s not always possible to replicate when shopping for something vintage.

I looked around online and immediately fell in love with a pearl ring from the Antique Jewellery Company. When I went to the shop I only had to see it once and knew that was the one!


Natalia Swiader was our photographer and I honestly don’t know where to start to tell you how amazing she is. She is the reason we found our venue; we found a picture she did of a bride in the hallway of our venue.

We knew instantly that we wanted to work with her and in that venue. Nothing else.

I can’t say enough how professional, talented and hardworking Natalia is.

She gave us the moody style of picture we wanted, but also the candid ones that no one else would have thought about, and the maybe slightly more modern with flash on pictures.

She made us feel extremely comfortable and sometimes we almost forgot she was with us in the room.

To any couple out there, do yourself a favour and ask for her next availability!


Daphne: I knew my jewellery pieces were all going to have pearls in common. The trouble with pearls is that no two pearls are the same! So it’s quite amazing that my ring, necklace and earrings all came from different places and matched all beautifully.

My earrings are from Mette Hoj, who I spotted at a Christmas Market in 2020. My ring is from Antique Jewellery Company, of course chosen by Sophie. My necklace was quite the journey! I wanted a simple pearl pendant, ideally something antique, and I stumbled upon it at the Hampstead Antique Emporium in London.

First time I was there, there was no one at the counter. The second time the booth was closed! But the third time’s the charm and I secured a perfect matching pearl necklace.

Sophie: Pearls were going to be our matching details, the thing that tie us together. I’m not sure where I first saw my headband but it was love at first sight. I thought about it for days before finally giving in and ordering it. I wore it the whole day and it was so comfortable.

It’s such a statement piece and I got so many compliments about it!

Location & Vibe

Edinburgh and Scotland have had a special place in our hearts ever since we went on holiday here. It’s where we got engaged as well, and – us being efficient as ever – went to visit our venue the day after we said yes.

The college was the only venue on our list, all because of the library. We saw one picture of this room filled with books, dark wood and we knew that it was either there or nowhere.

When we thought about how we wanted to style our day, one aesthetic kept popping up: dark academia. Trying to describe this to our families and friends, we would say: think about a late night at the library studying, or very dimmed lights while reading a good book, wilted flowers and rainy days. We wanted something classic yet cosy.


We didn’t have specific flowers in mind, we had an inspiration board with examples of a colour palette and style of bouquet that we liked and we let Luly of Branch and Bramble. work her magic. She came up with the softest and most delicate flowers we could’ve ever wished for.

All the while creating two bouquets that reflected our personalities but complemented each other.


Our venue was already filled with stunning features: panelling wood everywhere, moulding on the ceiling, marbles, books everywhere. We didn’t feel like it needed specific decoration. However we did add some flowers on the fireplace and some candles here and there as well to stay in our main theme.

The Cake

Sophie: My dream cake was always going to be one by Butter and Bodoni. When you look at Lauren’s Instagram you can see very structural cakes, romantic cakes and some incredible sugar work! I was sold.

We had her tasting box twice, that’s how much we loved the flavours as well. In the end we decided on a London Fog as our bottom tiers and Lemon& Raspberry for our top tiers. As for decoration we once again let her work her magic.

We wanted to work with Lauren because she is so creative and has an amazing attention to detail. We were also a bit lost at what kind of design we wanted so it only made sense that we gave her almost total creative control for it!

Evening, Dancing & Favourite Moments

We did our first dance to ‘Simply The Best’, covered by Billianne. For us it represents joy and inclusion. It’s a cover inspired by the Schitt’s Creek version sung by Noah Reid.

Sophie: It’s difficult to pick just one favourite moment; seeing people we hadn’t seen in forever, being able to introduce them to each other, the food and cake!

Daphne: My favourite moment was Seeing Sophie in her dress. I had been very stressed the whole morning whilst getting ready and the second I saw her, I finally felt calm and excited rather than stressed.

Words of Wedded Wisdom

Hire suppliers you feel you can trust 100% and have a good feeling with. They will be your number one supporter and will make your day that much more special. We fully trusted them and let them do their own thing because we hired them for them and their creativity.

We would recommend having a Wedding Planner if only for the big day. We had a small and intimate wedding and thought that we would be able to handle everything on our own or with the help of our bridesmaids. Which we did, and everything went extremely well.

But having someone in charge during the big day would have given us the extra peace of mind.

We would have liked to take more time in the morning to just be in my dress before leaving for the venue. The second it was on, I barely got to adjust myself to get used to wearing a heavy dress, heels, make-up and a headpiece! I would’ve liked to have ha a few minutes of calm in my dress.It’s easy to lose yourself in all the details leading up to the wedding. Because we’ve all been doing so much for that day, imagining it, working on it, DYI’ing it.

It can become stressful and overwhelming, things don’t always go our way and we can’t please everyone or have the perfect date where everyone is available.

But the only thing that should be a marker of whether the day is a success is: did you marry the person of your dreams?
If at the end of the day, no matter what happens during that day, you are married: then it is a success! The rest are just details.

We stayed within our original budget give or take 10%. Having a smaller wedding meant that we could also indulge here and there because we didn’t have to cater to a very large group.


Credits & Thanks


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.