Low-budget intimate autumn Dumfriesshire country house wedding of two brides whose flowers cost just £36

Jenny Wells & Karina Mclean

2nd October 2021

Venue | Friars Carse, Dumfries and GallowayPhotography | Cara Frew Photography

two brides standing in the grounds of Friars Carse

“Karina and I had been together for two years pre-engagement. Our engagement, on a visit to Loch Uaine in the Cairngorms, was incredible!

We were lying cuddling on a sandy part of the shore, when Karina and our dog Leroy went off for a little walk. A few minutes later, they came back with Leroy wearing a bandana asking me to marry Karina! Turns out she had been carrying the ring for a while until she found the perfect place and moment to propose.

When it came to getting wedding plans underway, the most important thing to us was to book Lindsey Mason Ross as our humanist celebrant. We didn’t want anyone else – so much so, we changed our original wedding date to one that Lindsey was free. Our families loved her and we had so many comments from guests afterwards saying it was the first wedding ceremony they’ve sat through that wasn’t boring.

Covid then forced us to change the date – again! We had to push our wedding back by a year, but all our vendors were brilliant and we managed to reschedule with no issues at all.

We chose to marry at Friars Carse in Dumfriesshire. It’s a wonderful venue that offered everything we wanted: amazing accommodation and stunning grounds that include a forest, a river and marquee. Even better, it’s only a few miles from our home and halfway between both our families. Kelly Muir, the venue’s wedding co-ordinator, was fantastic.

We had 33 people for ceremony and reception – our closest friends and family only. We had our dog Leroy by our side throughout the whole day too! We even opted to give up the honeymoon suite as it wasn’t dog friendly. He’s our baby and we can’t praise Friars Carse enough for everything they did to accommodate him.

We desperately wanted to be married in the forest at Friars Carse. We envisioned our whole wedding amid the trees, surrounded with fairylights and candles. However, in good old Scottish style, it started pouring down a couple of hours before our ceremony, so we were forced to move everything indoors.

We found out afterwards that rain on your wedding is apparently very good luck, so we’ll take it as a bonus. And the photos of us in the rain were amazing!

We lined up the incredible Jessica Sharpe to sing during the ceremony. We are both laid-back people who are completely in love and wanted people to feel this during our day. I walked down the aisle as Jessica sung It’s Alright by Lady Gaga, then Karina walked down the aisle to Hold My Girl by George Ezra. Jess’s singing was a real stand-out moment for us both.

Not only is photographer Cara Frew unbelievably talented, she’s also a lovely human. She made us feel so at ease; that was important to us. She captured the day brilliantly. We both sobbed with joy when we received our photos!

Looking back, the only thing we would’ve changed about our wedding is booking our photographer and videographer for a full day, instead of just half a day. We didn’t think there would be anything worth photographing or filming but, in hindsight, we wish we’d had them at our reception too – as there was certainly a lot on the go.

We bought a paddling pool from Tesco for £5 and filled it with balls we bought for £10. The kids (and big kids!) absolutely loved it. Playing in our DIY ball-pit during the reception with my wife, granny, nieces and nephews is a moment I’ll never forget.

Our band The Moot were sensational. They even allowed Karina a shot of their instruments – a big highlight of her day.

Our wedding flowers were a total bargain. I made all the bouquets and centrepieces myself using reduced-price flowers from ALDI. They cost a grand total of £36 for three bouquets and all the centrepiece flowers.

We spent around £5,000 on our wedding. We didn’t keep a strict tally on the budget but we knew we didn’t want to start married life worrying about finances, so were adamant to keep a small budget.

We had two ‘guestbooks’ that went down a storm. We had the obligatory Polaroid for guests to take their own snaps and stick in a book along with a message. We also had a small business called Wagtails Wood Art make an alternative guestbook from the lid of an old whisky barrel that everyone signed. It’s now on the wall of our office and makes us beam every time we see it.”

Celebrant Lindsey Mason Ross, Humanist Society ScotlandJenny’s dress Wed2BEBridesmaids’ dresses ASOS Hair Isobel Finlay, Station 49Makeup Aoife Argue and Marie Argue-Haslam, Athena BeautyCake Gail BaileyFlowers ALDIStationery Designed on Canva, then printed via FreeprintsVenue decor The Wedding RoomCeremony music Jessica Sharpe Reception music The Moot Filmmaker RMH Productions – Wedding Films

exterior of Friars Carsea personalised photo wedding card to my beautiful wifeorange and green wedding flowersthe stem of a bouquet in a vase with missing you bouquet charma bride wearing a checked suit sitting on a window ledge patting a dogan excited flower girl walking down the aisle throwing petals with a person in a kilta bride wearing a suit walking down the aislw with a dog and a man in a kilta dog walking on a tartan carpeta wedding ceremony of two brides at Friars Carsetwo brides kissing at wedding ceremonytwo brides walking back up the aisle at Friars Carsetwo brides walking their dog in the grounds of Friars Carsetwo brides kissing in the grounds of Friars Carsetwo brides walking on a path with their dog at Friars Carsea bride making peace sign with two bridesmaids wearing dark orange dressesa marquee at Friars Carse set for a weddingpumpkins personalised with white pen writing for a weddinga kraft card and mirrored table plan with green leavespersonalised whisky barrell by Wagtail Woodpersonalised paper sweetie bags for a wedding with wooden tongscrisp and peanut wall at a weddinga hexagonal wedding cake stand and buttercream wedding cake with peach and white balloons in a marqueedetail of a buttercream wedding cake with leaves and pine conesa table decorated with balloons and a bottle of wine at a weddinga bride wearing a checked suit and bow tie making a speech at a weddingtwo brides holding hands with dog looking on

Tags:
Aldi, ASOS, Athena Beauty, Canva, Cara Frew Photography, Freeprints, Friars Carse, Humanist Society Scotland, Jessica Sharpe, RMH Productions – Wedding Films, Station 49, Tesco, The Moot, The Wedding Room, Wagtails Wood Art, Wed2Be

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