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Sophie & James Macdonald's Wedding, Edinburgh, Scotland

Everything everyone told me I would feel on my wedding day prepared me perfectly to not feel any of those things... I did not feel stressed, I did not have to accept that things will go wrong because nothing really did and anything that might have been improved was really only very minor. Sure the day flew by but I didn't get fixated on it flying by and that allowed me to feel really present in the moment and much calmer than I thought I would be. 

As soon as the doors opened for me to walk down the aisle I felt a wave of emotion with everyone I knew and loved in that stunning Cathedral and I found it very hard to keep my composure. With the start of the first hymn I was barely able to get any words out of my mouth due to the significance of the hymn we chose, Be Thou my Vision. 

But with the first words of our Priest, the amazing Rev Michael Adebanjo who was performing his first wedding ceremony in Edinburgh after just being transferred from Nigeria, "Good afternoon everyone" to which everyone politely and reverently muttered "Good afternoon" the Rev proceeded to shout to the congregation "I saiiiiid, GOOD AFTERNOON EVERYONE!"; the whole congregation lit up. From that point on, all the weight was lifted and I spent the rest of the service smiling from ear to ear and laughing along with all of our friends and family at his homily and dynamic presentation of the service.

Just to add more joy into the mix I had one of my bridesmaids and best friends perform Panus Angelicus and whilst many people are nervous when friends perform a song at a wedding there was not a single person who wasn't overcome by her stunning voice even making some of the manly men in the congregation reduce to tears! 

Finally as we were signing the marriage paperwork, one of my other childhood friends who was the organist on the day, surprised us by breaking into our school hymn! My husband and I met at school and a lot of the congregation were school mates who proceeded to break out into the chorus of the hymn. We have a video of this moment that I will treasure forever. 

I never expected the service to be the way it was and it is forever going to be one of my happiest memories. 

As my vocation I work in events and I had run through the schedule of the day over and over in my mind but with the suppliers we used, I needn’t have worried so much,  I couldn’t recommend them all enough. There is always the fear of the unknown and the fear that you have one shot at making the wedding that you always dreamed of but these guys are the professionals that do it day in day out and you can really let them lead you and trust that they know this process inside out. 

Planet flowers did an absolutely stunning job of the flowers, centrepieces, table plan display with the typewriter and the polaroid guest book station. 

The band offered a mixture of Scottish ceilidh music and contemporary music which our predominantly English guests absolutely loved. The dancefloor was heaving at all times and my poor Scottish Mum almost passed out from leading the ceilidh dancing all night!

Now onto the dress… I made the decision about my dress in record timing. It was the second dress I tried on and it was 5 days after I got engaged (bearing in mind we had 18 months until the wedding). I tried on about 20 dresses in total and just kept coming back to the features of that second dress I tried on. In all honesty it took a lot of the fun out of it because once you’ve found it, there isn’t much point in trying anything else! 

Having said that I live abroad so it was a blessing that this was such an easy decision. I had to go an agonising amount of time without seeing the dress and I went back and forth in my mind about whether I had rushed it or whether it was going to look how I remembered it. I needn’t have worried… on the day I felt like a Disney princess and importantly for me I was so comfortable. It was free flowing and my enormous petticoat allowed me to walk with ease. The cathedral length veil and the detachable train added the drama I wanted but allowed me to easily prepare for the chaos that ensued on the dancefloor in the evening. 

As for the venue, hair/make-up and photographers… I think these pictures tell you everything you need to know…

Photographer: Elemental Photography

Church: St Mary's Catholic Cathedral, Edinburgh

Venue: The Signet Library, Edinburgh

Band: Banana Row - Callanish

Flowers: Planet Flowers

Bridesmaids Dresses: Dessy

Hair and Make-up: Ann-Marie McElroy