With all the uncertainty in the world Jennifer and Gary were certain they wanted to get married. They decided to have an intimate wedding ceremony in Faskally Woods where Jennifer says she has 'no regrets about eloping – it really was the best day ever!'.
How did you hear about Opus Couture?
If you live in Ayrshire and you’re due to get married – you’ve heard of Opus! Also, a friend of mine used to work at Opus.
Let’s start from the beginning - how did your partner propose?
Gary and I have been going to Germany for New Year’s for a couple of years now. My birthday is at the beginning of January and the first year we went was the year I turned 30. I actually thought he was going to propose then…but he didn’t!
We went to Munich at the end of December 2018 and were due back home on the 3rd January for a birthday meal with my family. But on the morning of the 3rd, instead of going to the airport, Gary surprised me by telling me we’d be staying in Germany for an extra couple of days and we’d be celebrating my birthday at Neuschwanstein Castle – sometimes known as Sleeping Beauty’s castle. On the morning of my birthday we went up to the castle but it was extremely busy. So, after viewing the castle, we decided to go a walk along the lake that sits at the bottom of the castle. It was there, in the snow, with the castle and the Alps in the background that Gary got down on one knee and proposed in German. I had no idea what he was saying but the fact that he was on one knee, holding up a beautiful ring, I got the idea! He later gave me a birthday card, translating his proposal to me.
Next up - THE DRESS!
My dress is nothing like what I thought I wanted. I had originally said I wanted plain, lace, no sparkle and no train. Thankfully, Susan knows me better than myself!
I absolutely adore the beading and sequins on the bodice and I think it looks like delicate shells. I also love that the same detailing is on the train of the dress and I loved having a long train and extra-long veil!
At my first appointment with Opus, when I was trying on dresses, I just kept going back to my dress. It was just the one! I felt so comfortable and special in my dress. I still love looking at it!
Now for the big day - Did you have an inspiration, theme, colour palette etc?
Originally, we were meant to be going abroad to get married. The ceremony would have the beach in the background and we wanted the whole day to have a laid back, holiday feel to it. My engagement ring is aquamarine and my favourite colour is blue so my bridesmaids dresses were to be blue with a little blue in Gary’s tartan to compliment. I also wanted some thistles in my bouquet so I would have a little bit of home with me. But, then Covid happened!
We would love to hear a little more on your wedding day…
The wedding planner, venue, cake maker, you name it, every supplier abroad refused to cancel our wedding as “Covid isn’t that bad here”. We didn’t want to risk flying our family abroad during a pandemic so cancelled and lost all our deposits. We had another venue booked in Scotland for a home reception that we thought we could have instead but then this was cancelled too. It was all getting too stressful so we decided just to go away, the 2 of us with 2 witnesses and get married and worry about a wedding at a later date.
At the time, we were only allowed 5 people from 2 households. Paul, Gary’s best man, also happens to be a wedding photographer, so we asked him and his wife, Rachel, to be our witnesses.
We drove up to Pitlochry, the day before our wedding and it was typical Scottish weather – absolutely pouring down, despite it being July. But I had bought 2 large, white golf umbrellas just in case as our ceremony was to take place outdoors in Faskally Woods (where they have the Enchanted Forest light event).
However, on the morning of the 21st, the sun was shining on us and was 21°C! The 4 of us had a relaxed breakfast together and then the boys went a walk and Rachel and I started to get ready. I did my own hair and makeup after watching weeks of YouTube videos and had a little help from Rachel too.
Gary had an afternoon tea delivered to us so after we had something to eat, I got into my dress and then into a taxi to go to Faskally Woods. On arrival, Gary had also arranged a piper to pipe me along the side of the loch to where he was waiting with Paul and the celebrant – it was the longest aisle ever!
We got married outside in the gorgeous sunshine then Paul took some photos of us around the forest and at the famous viewpoint – The Queen’s View. Everyone was so kind to us, coming up to congratulate us and praising us for just going ahead and getting married despite the circumstances. The visitor centre also invited us in for drinks and gave us a painting of the Queen’s View as a wedding gift.
Once we finished having our photos, we went back to our hotel for some champagne! On arrival to the hotel, all the other guests came out of their rooms and clapped us. Some had got wind of our plans and had brought us gifts and cards which was so kind! The owners of the hotel also brought us some champagne. As it was such a beautiful, hot day, we sat out in the terrace with our champagne until it was time for dinner.
We went to the local pub for a traditional steak pie dinner and again, everyone was clapping us and congratulating us. We felt so special and really appreciated all the love!
It really was a day just about Gary and I and we look back on it so fondly. We were so lucky to have Paul take our photos and film for us, to have Rachel be my stand in bridesmaid, for Lesley, our celebrant, travelling up North to marry us, to everyone in Pitlochry that weekend for their kindness and generosity and for the sun shining on down us. It was the best day ever and we wouldn’t change any of it!
Do you have any advice for our future Opus Brides?
We have absolutely no regrets about eloping – it really was the best day ever! It would have, of course, been amazing if all our friends and family could have been there with us on the day but more than anything, we just wanted to get married. We had such a relaxed day that really was just about the two of us. We didn’t have the stress of making sure everything went to plan and all our guests were happy. We got married and just really enjoyed our day. We will get to celebrate with all our friends and family soon enough when it is safe to do so and that’s another thing to look forward to – especially after a year of not being able to see everyone. If anyone is stressed out about their wedding being constantly postponed, my advice would be, go and get married, have a day that is all about the 2 of you and have a big celebration at a later date. AND, you’ll get to wear your Opus gown twice!
Venue - Faskally Woods, Shores of Loch Dunmore, Pitlochry
Photographer/Videographer - Paul Nimmo - PN Designs
Florist - Unique Thistles
Celebrant - Lesley Anderson
Piper - Drew Sinclair - Thistle Piping
Hair/Makeup - Jennifer - The Beautiful Bride