Scottish Sophistication…A Real Winter Wedding
by Elisha Clarke Photography

With the cold snap rearing it’s head again, and Winter returning in full force, I thought it was the perfect chance to showcase this beautiful city wedding by Elisha Clarke Photography! Gayle and Martin chose the rather auspicious date of 11/11/11 at 1.11pm to get married, and have Winter Wedding Chic down to a ‘t’!

Gayle and Martin met while studying at Glasgow University, and have spent the last few years living between Scotland, Ireland and the USA! The proposal came after nearly 10 years of dating, with Martin choosing another auspicious date to propose…which didn’t exactly go to plan!

“Martin proposed to me the day after my 30th birthday in 2009. It was meant to be on my 30th birthday but I was feeling rather blue about the big 3-0 so after work I took myself out for a few Guinness. A few friends joined later and then a few more and by the time Martin arrived I was rather the worse for wear and would probably not have remembered the proposal if he had done it! The next day, in my PJs with streaky old make-up all over my face and a headache, he told me he forgot about a birthday present and to get it out of the fridge. I opened it and found a bottle of champagne which I grabbed as he said “It’s to go with this…”and a I turned back round he was on one knee with a ring.” 

They felt that their native Scotland was the best place to bring 5 generations of their family and all their friends together. I love the idea also of travelling back to your roots and surrounding yourself with places and memories from the early days of your relationship!

“Glasgow was the most logical choice as we both attended university there and that is where we met. My husband found our venue, 29, online and we chose it because we could have our whole day there – our humanist ceremony, dinner and dancing. We didn’t want our guests travelling between different locations. It was also dead centre in the city and was surrounded by so many iconic locations we had visited and experienced whilst dating as a young couple. It was perfect.”

A private members club in Glasgow, 29 certainly looks like a stunning location for a city winter wedding with it’s cosy but contemporary feel. This setting along with their special date were the perfect starting point for a style to evolve.The rich jewel tones in Martin’s kilt, made with Spirit of Scotland Tartan, provided the inspiration for the colour scheme for the day with it’s rich purples, greens and blues.

“We didn’t choose a direct theme or concept – it seemed to develop naturally. We chose November 2011 as our first available chance to have the ceremony. My bridesmaid then suggested to have it on the 11th to make our date 11.11.11. This appealed to us as being very special as after 12.12.12 there are no more unique dates like this! We chose 1.11pm to start our day to match this theme.”

Humanist ceremonies are becoming more and more popular and can be the ideal balance between a civil and religious ceremony. They give you the chance to put a lot of your own personality and story as a couple into the ceremony, case in point being Gayle and Martin’s original ceremony music list!

“A humanist celebrant was recommended to us by a few people and was perfect for us. St Martin’s Orchestra played Iris by the GooGoo Dolls, Exogenesis Symphony Part 3 by Muse and traditional bagpiper played an exit from ceremony”

Their main priorities for the day were finding the right photographer, venue and ceremony for them and their guests.

“Your photographer is key, research and budget well and if you can invest a little more from somewhere else (eg – we got a very basic, cheap cake as it gets eaten and is not a lasting memory). They will truly capture your day the way you want it to be and are pivotal in making sure your day is captured as you want it.” 


Cleary Martin and Gayle did their research well and came up trumps with Elisha Clarke as their choice of photographer! Aren’t the images above simply stunning? There are so many amazing photo opportunities in a city like Glasgow and Elisha has more than maximised it’s potential with pictures at the Gallery of Modern Art.

Making their entrance in traditional style with a bag piper certainly got the party off to a good start, but after that they were determined to do things their own way!

“We didn’t want to go with certain traditions as we are very relaxed and wanted the day to reflect us. For example, myself and my bridesmaids wore pink Converse after the ceremony as we all prefer comfort over style! We chose a “centre” table instead of a “top” table as we didn’t want to feel we were on display at the top of the room, but rather at the heart of our family and friends around us. Kids were all welcome – we had a separate colouring/play table set up for the meal so that they could be taken for a time out from their seat at the main tables if they needed it.”

I know Gayle and Martin said they didn’t spend too much on the cake but it looks amazing! It just shows how a few well chosen details can transform a plain white cake into a showstopping feature!

Any advice for future couples just starting into the planning fun?

“Have fun in the planning part, it shouldn’t be a bundle of stress. Don’t be afraid to not follow the “normal” traditions, the whole day should reflect you, even if you think people might think your ideas are a bit unusual or non-traditional. Don’t stress at the last few things that you think aren’t falling into place, they will and even if they actually don’t, it will not affect your special day.  Personally, I’m glad I didn’t spend a fortune on a dress, the one I got I loved but I didn’t have the thought of finding the perfect one. After the ceremony, does it matter if it gets a bit dirty? Not at all!”

Great words all round, and I think mentioning the dress is really valuable advice. So often there can be huge pressure put on brides to find “The” dress, but as long as you are comfortable and happy that’s all that matters!

Huge congratulations to you both, and wishing you all the best for your life in the U.S! It’s refreshing to see such a stunning city wedding, full of contemporary glamour!  And to Elisha thanks for sharing another set of gorgeous photos on Style Serendipity (you can see her beautiful styled inspiration shoot here) and be sure to explore her blog!

Wedding Details: Photographer: Elisha Clarke Photography | Wedding Dress, Bridesmaid Dresses and Shoes: David’s Bridal | Veil & Accessories: Hair pieces made by family friend, Winter shrugs: Accessorize | Venue: 29  Glasgow | Coordinator: David Smith | Makeup: Parima Barghgir | Groom’s Suit: Kilt attire McGregor & McDuff | Cake: Gift from family friend

Posted in Real Weddings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

7 Responses to Scottish Sophistication…A Real Winter Wedding
by Elisha Clarke Photography

  1. Favourite shot has to be the bride sitting down with her converse showing. Brilliant.

  2. Yep, agree, shot with bride and converse – genius!! It’s so fascinating to see that some photos lend themselves better in colour, whereby others are a must in black and white. Really nice shots of a great wedding.

    • Ciara

      Thanks Tina! I loved the shots in the National Gallery, they look amazing in black and white and such a lovely setting for photos!

  3. Martin's Mum

    Photos are stunning, as is the beautiful bride, and of course, my handsome son Martin. A day to remember forever !

  4. Thanks again Ciara. I can’t praise Gayle and Martin enough for being so open and cool! Not to mention how gorgeous Glasgow was! Here’s to more weddings like this!

  5. Such a beautifull wedding. I am so glad to know these two. They stayed at our Lodge in Sedona and I was blessed to become friends.

  6. Just love this couple. Met them in 2011. Can’t wait to see them again.
    And then they’ll show me around Ireland.

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