CALUM + FINOLA
Let us transport you back to a warm summers day last July last year, when we had the pleasure of creating wonderful memories with our bride and groom, Finola and Calum.
With flashes of tartan, gorgeous blooms from Clare Jones, hessian runners mixed with pale pink shades and a room full of family and friends, Mr & Mrs MacAulay had a wedding day dreams are made of!
Scroll down to hear Finola’s thoughts on her special day, the planning stages and how you shouldn’t sweat the small stuff! Accompanied by a delightful selection of photos by the talented Liam Smith Photography, we hope you enjoy!
PICKING THE DRESS
I tried to keep an open mind and not overthink what kind of dress I wanted prior to going to any shops. I had heard people say that if you did, you would be disappointed. That the dream dress maybe wouldn’t quite fit the way you had always imagined or look quite right on you.
I booked my first appointment for one sunny summer Saturday at Pure Brides in Norwich. I had no idea what kind of dress would suit my shape so found it hard to get started. The girls at Pure Brides helped pick out a few different designs to try on. The second dress I put on was a Sottero & Midgley dress. As I walked out to reveal it I caught a glimpse in the mirror across the room. From that point on a couldn’t wipe the smile off my face, my mum and twin sister were crying and I knew that we had found the dress. The crisp white embellished lace layered over a light gold material underneath really made the detail pop.
It was perfect, and I looked no further - it really did make me feel so special.
SUITED & BOOTED
Calum had an easy decision. His family are Scottish, so he was always going to wear his kilt. The groomsmen hired kilts with similar colours to the MacAulay Hunting tartan that Calum and his family were going to wear with blue waistcoats and grey tie. Calum wore a grey waistcoat with navy tie so that he would look slightly different to the rest of the boys.
THE VENUE & DECORATION
I found picking venues to view really difficult. I felt like I had looked at every website of venues in East Anglia by the time we actually booked some appointments! During a week off work I just decided to pull the trigger and booked appointments for four different venues over the following couple of weeks.
The Granary Estates was the first venue we looked at. We both liked the character and charm of the Flint Barn and how this seamlessly connected to the glass walkway that looks out on to the courtyard garden. I think the big moment was as we walked around the corner and saw the Granary Barn - I think both our jaws dropped to the floor! It was such an amazing space, with high ceilings, rustic beams, and an airy feel. We saw another couple of venues but kept comparing them back to the Granary Estates. There was always something that didn’t quite match up to the emotions we both got on that first visit to the Granary Estate; so the choice was obvious.
Predictably, I had a Pinterest board full of ideas and themes that I had put together over the couple of months following our engagement. One theme stuck out as clearly being an overall favourite. A mix of soft pinks and lavenders with touches of hessian and jute twine: the typical country rustic look. Hall & Co helped make this theme a reality with soft white drapes, fairy lights, and hessian table runners.
The Granary Estates prop shop had loads of items that compliment the barns perfectly including the tree stumps for the table centrepieces, the crates used to make a photo display, and the ladder for the table plan. I spent countless evenings gluing lace and twine to jars, printing invitations and stationary, and scouring Etsy to ensure everything matched perfectly.
We wanted to add a personal touch and do something that would break the initial awkward small talk on tables where not everyone knew each other. Calum came up with the idea of adding two lines onto the back of everyone’s place name - the first stating how that person knows the newlyweds and a second with a funny comment or quote that would need explaining to the rest of the table. This was harder than we originally thought, but it was so worth it. As we sat down for dinner, we carefully watched as one by one friends and family found them and had to explain theirs to the table, some stories more embarrassing than others!
Clare Jones is one of the recommended suppliers for The Granary Estates. I checked out her Instagram account and fell in love with some of her creations. I told her the colours I wanted, emailed some pictures of things I had found and left the rest up to her.
I showed her a picture I had found on the Granary Estates website of some hanging flower spheres I liked, she laughed and said that the picture was actually of her own wedding a couple of years earlier. I think it was at that moment I knew we were on the same page and I could trust her to create beautiful but relaxed arrangements - she just ‘got it’!
My favourite pieces were the hanging flower spheres in the Granary Barn and also our gorgeous welcome arrangement at the door of the Flint Barn.
We decided on Hall & Co for our catering as we felt the sample menus really suited our tastes. Canapes included slow braised beef rib croquette and cornbread with goats cheese and tomato jam. They were delicious, and people were fighting over who got the last ones. Luckily we didn’t have to worry about that as they saved a special tray reserved just for us, which was such a nice touch.
We decided to have a traditional sit down wedding breakfast and after much deliberation our menu consisted of cured salmon with horseradish creme fraiche to start, followed by slow braised pork belly with confit garlic mash with the obligatory crackling. We finished with salted caramel s'mores brownie. We received so many compliments from our guests on the quality of the food that Hall & Co produced.
I spent five years in Scotland as a teenager and much preferred the ceilidhs to the discos. Although Calum is Scottish he had never actually been to one, so I had to really persuade him how much fun they were. It is such a good way to get everyone up and dancing. He eventually agreed and I found The Ceilidh Tree that were able to provide the ceilidh band and then also did a DJ set afterwards which gave us the best of both worlds.
It was so much fun! By the end no one cared if they were doing the right steps, we were all just enjoying flinging each other around and laughing while we did it. The evening went so quickly and I wish we had had double the time to dance!
We found Liam Smith online and loved his documentary style of photography. His pictures are beautifully shot and edited. They really stood out to us which is why we jumped at the opportunity to book him. Liam was so lovely and made us both feel at ease, at times we didn’t even realise he was there, but he managed to capture the day perfectly.
A couple of weeks after the wedding we received a slideshow that he had made out of some of our photographs. We relived the whole day again while watching it, the photographs had captured so many things that we had forgotten about or missed. The natural composition of them really enables you to appreciate how much everyone was enjoying themselves and have provided us with moments of our special day that we can keep forever.
TAKE MY ADVICE...
Your wedding day is probably the only day in your life where every single person you have ever loved, family and friends, are all together in one room - all there to celebrate you as a couple and the start of your new adventure as husband and wife.
I found the thought quite overwhelming, but it was simply just amazing. The day goes by so quickly, before you know it, it’s time to say goodbye to everyone. I feel for that reason it’s really important to be able to enjoy it and remember that if something isn’t quite how you imagined or doesn’t quite go to plan, only you know about it, and to be honest it really doesn’t matter!
Once you wake up on the day, let everyone else take the reins and just enjoy spending time with all the people most important to you.