My Scottish-Mexican Wedding - photos, scrapbook, resources and some advice.



Hello everybody! I am very happy to share with you the following story. The reason for what I have been absent and away from this blog, is due to what is going to be unfold below.  

So here it goes:

I’ve been married before.

That simple phrase followed me during all these months of my wedding planning. Every bridal shop, every vendor... I just felt the need to mention it in advance. "I've been married before". And, in a way, although I felt uncomfortable, I also thought that saying it that way would put me rather on an experienced bride-to-be position “Oh well, I am used to this, I know how it goes, I know how it feels, been there, done that”. 

Oh my, I had no idea.

During all this time I felt conflicted about getting married for the second time. My first wedding happened to be a big Mexican wedding including all family and all friends, brother and sister's friends, a big, fat one like the ones, yes, so typical of Mexico full of warm smiles, extravagant presents, and loads of second cousins. We all had a great time and it was great fun. But now that I look back, my first wedding was more like a big party and no that much of a two people joining forces together on their wedding day. 

This is your wedding, this is THE wedding of your life” my best friend said about my second wedding. I just couldn’t get it. I had a marriage before, and that was it.  And this is a second wedding, that’s it.  “I can easily do it” I used to tell myself.

However, nothing in the world would anticipate that this time, I was on the verge of preparing a wedding in a different country, hence, it involved a particular etiquette that required my consideration and a very VERY different way to organise things. 

* * *

Matt and I got engaged last November while I visited him in London. His proposal, was expected. Simple, yet romantic, he got down in one knee. I was wearing pyjamas. He gave me his grandmother’s engagement ring. It fit perfectly. Magically.

Eight months passed away from each other applying and waiting for my fiancée visa to get back to the UK.  When I finally managed to do it, Matt and I had exactly 6 months to get married and submit a second application to the UKBA for a FLR permit. That including, not only the settling of a new life, a new home, a new lifestyle, keeping up with my job in Mexico and making everybody happy organising a wedding. This meant we just couldn’t go and elope. That sounded tempting, but we were going to break some people’s hearts. Probably many. This was Matt’s first wedding, how could I ask him to feel the same way? I was somehow, looking for a simple thing really, quick, intimate, just the two of us.

Certainly, impossible.

However, I would had never imagined how life challenging these few months would be for me and I thought I should share with you what I have learned. 

So, Brides-to-be, here it goes:

First of all, you can NOT be a perfect bride.

I know this sounds a little bit obvious. But believe me, you need to remind yourself of this one. People expect you to be a radiant, glowing, and still being-yourself  bride. They say such things as you will look beautiful and just perfect, which is nice, but, what if you just don’t feel beautiful and perfect? What if you feel too old to be a bride, like, in my case? What if you do not feel like a cheery giggly lady, but more like a mature-a-bit dark, woman-with-a-past kind of bride-to-be (again!)? 

It is tricky to fall into people’s expectations and start to get anxious. Magazines suggest that you have to be a perfect bride too, that you have to look like those lovely young ladies you see on ALL bridal magazine covers. And you can either believe it or not. It is also fine not to take it. So you have to be wise what you decide to carry with you or not. Maybe you can pretend the whole thing and make up your mind and decide you want to feel like a princess. Maybe you just can’t feel that way. Either way, it is okay, it is your wedding day and you are allowed to feel how you want to feel. 

* * *
Time passed and at the very last month of planning, I found a post on Etsy Weddings by Meg Keene  “On Wedding Day Joy”. The article certainly changed my views on my wedding and I thought how relieved I would had felt if I had found Meg’s book earlier this year. I absolutely recommend this book for all the brides-to-be. READ IT NOW! By that time, I wasn’t feeling happy or joyful or excited about my wedding. On the contrary, I felt I was carrying this heavy burden of planning absolutely everything. Because, you must know, I am an event planner control freak, and I find it very, VERY difficult to delegate things. I’d rather do it myself, even if that means I will turn into the most terrifying bridezilla. This reminds me of a second thing I learned:

Lesson 2: It is FINE TO BE A BRIDEZILLA. 

I mean, you deserve to feel that way. I bet your family and a handful of friends are helping out. But most probably, you are the one who is planning absolutely everything and who is making decisions every single minute of the day. You deserve to be stressed and it is also fine. Bear in mind, this will also be a test for your relationship. How much will the groom take it? I am very happy to say Matt was all the way with me. He might not helped completing an Autumn wedding mood board in Pinterest, but he was there, listening, cuddling, caring and embracing this "experienced" drenched in tears bride-to-be.

I also learned:

Lesson 3: People put some much hope on you. You decide if you want to carry it or not.

First of all, you have to remind yourself that you are a single individual person, you are a human being, you have your flaws and  imperfections. Do not take what you do not want to take. Or take that it and you can manage later what to do with it. One day before the big day,  my sister-in-law asked me to wear a Virgin Mary medal that belonged to her grandmother who sadly passed away last year. It was in form of a necklace and I already was struggling with the dilemma to sport a bare neck or wear a necklace my dad had been carefully carrying all the way from Mexico. How to manage both petitions and not break anybody’s heart? Including mine? Those are the dilemmas you can face on your wedding day. And those are exactly the moments when you have to carefully listen to your heart and follow what your instinct tells you to do. Being a bride has the right to have certain perks. You have worked for it, so remember to use them. I decided to wear my dad’s necklace and wear the medal attached to a pin close to my heart.

Lesson no. 4: You have no idea.

I was prepared for our ceremony to feel gritty and grey, like my first wedding which was held in a Catholic church under a yet more Catholic long service. It has been a long time since I do not go to Church, so naturally, I had built a distance with everything religious since college. However, I didn’t expect that the ceremony would feel so different. Matt and I agreed to have a spiritual ceremony rather than a civil service, and the only church or congregation that would do that for us was Matt’s parents' Christian group. I was looking for the big party and to relax. I didn't expect anything from the ceremony and most of all, I just wanted it to be short. Probably you wont believe it, but the atmosphere turned simply into pure magic.  Our ceremony felt as if timed had stopped for a moment, and it felt so intimate and personal. I had this moment of feeling overwhelmed, I almost started to cry. It felt like yes, like a wedding, the wedding of my life.



* * * 

I must say one last thing. That cheery giggly bride-to-be mood can really get you when you least expect it. For all the duration of those dreadful 6 months preparing a wedding, being rather dull and not super poppy bubbly Cameron-Diazesque in My Best Friend's Wedding, hit me the night before my wedding. I was sitting with my best friend Lourdes, my sister and my brother. We had just finished all the decorations and we were enjoying a quiet glass of chardonnay. I was feeling rather tired, exhausted, I knew I had to go to sleep and not drink as those lovely bridal magazines tell you not to do. At 10 p.m. or so, the unexpected happened. Two of my dearest friends from Mexico arrived to the pub, having travelled all the way from Mexico via Paris via Glasgow, up across the 4 hour bus trip up to Fort William, Scotland. It hit me. I saw them and we just started to scream like 5 years old girls. 

Yes, mature ladies, it is possible to feel that wedding joy again.

* * * 


So I also thought that it would be nice to share some pages of my wedding scrapbook in case there are some brides-to-be looking for an autumn-fall inspiration. This is how it worked for me:


Early this year, Matt and I were very optimistic and thought I was going to receive my visa sometime before summer, so we had decided August 3rd. for our wedding day. I started my wedding scrapbook brainstorming for August-harvest related things and doing a little bit of research about "Lughnasadh": 


Silly me! I received my visa in June, so of course, we had to move the date for later this year. By that time, Matt and I agreed that I had to design our wedding invitations. This page shows an early drawing and some notes regarding the kind of ceremony we wanted. Please note the doodle on the left at the centre with two head profiles. That is Matt's suggestion of how our invitation should be:

The following page shows some of the ideas I had for the  flowers and colour palette. I decided it was best to look back to my previous Poufs, shut the wedding blogs for a while, and chose the pouf you see on the right hand side . I printed it in high res to be both the palette and the wedding theme: a secret garden. I think every bride-to-be should turn back to what she already is or has. Look for inspiration on what you have already done, and do not let every magazine or cute French wedding blog shake the essence of who you truly like and are:

And this is the drawing board for some reception ideas and on the right you can see the final drawing for our invitations. I have used Moo.com for all my Pouf cards, so in order to save a little money, Matt and I decided to order the invitations and have them in postcard format.


********


Decoration advice:

HOW  I DID IT: 

1. First of all, I looked for a good Wedding Day Planner - I downloaded the following template from Bride de Force's blog. It became very helpful so I highly recommend it. 

2. I opened only 3 boards on Pinterest: one for decoration ideas, one for bridal and one for guest favours ideas. That's it. I recommend that you stick to as few boards as possible! You will need simplicity and practicality! I also pinned what I absolutely LIKED. 

3. I tossed away mainstream magazines and brochures that were not pairing with my scrapbook and boards. I aimed to get everything from Etsy and small vendors and artists. Going to the Glasgow Wedding Collective Fayre in September was an amazing idea as most of my vendors were hired on the spot. 

4. Once you manage to put all your ideas together, I recommend that you create a Decoration guide for your venue and vendors. This is how it goes:


INSTRUCTIONS:
Create a document in Word and divide into sections. The first page should include your colour palette and a description of your theme. It is extremely important that you illustrate your ideas with images and invest in good quality colour printing when you hand this guide to your wedding venue or wedding organiser.

The second page should describe how you would like the venue to be set up. This page should include all details of what do you want

The following section should describe your cake table and what do you want to have on it.

And the final section should be about the Guestbook table. In our case, we decided to purchase several vintage postcards from Mexico and Scotland so guests could send us a message.

I have uploaded the following slide share file with my Decoration Guide:









And then the wedding day arrived:
























In a way to honour our family who couldn't be present, we printed several photos and put them in mismatched frames on the cakes table.




For the table plan, I bought some nice tags from lovely stationers Riky and Nina and I got some used buttons from a seller in ebay. My dad helped me glue the buttons and I wrote all guest's names. My brother helped me set up the beautiful table plan on this wall shelf.









All flowers and centre pieces were provided by Little Botanica in Glasgow. They managed to balance both Scottish and Mexican elements. They did an outstanding job! The flowers included autumn berries, succulents, ranunculus, scabiosa seed heads, dahlias, anemones, spray roses and cactus. See below for vendors details. 




Like many couples do, we decided for postcards instead of a Guestbook. I found on Etsy a seller in Richmond, Virgina who sells both vintage Mexican and Scottish travel postcards. The typewriter and props were provided by Butler & Taylor in Glasgow.




My cheery giggly bridesmaids. I still believe in fairy godmothers. 






All photographs except my bridesmaids (Luza Alvarado) are Caroline Weiss. 

I want to send a big thank you for all staff at The Moorings Hotel, specially to Aileen, Catriona, Christina and Ana. José R, Annie, Lourdes, Pete Thurston and Connor Black for all your help too!

My friend Luza Alvarado blogged a few days after the wedding and you can find her post in Spanish here

VENDORS:

Photography: Caro Weiss

  • Bride's Shoes: Topshop.
  • Stationary, craft supplies: Ricky & Nina, Etsy, Plymouth. 



Thank you for reading!

xxx




Comments

  1. Gracias Gaby por compartir tan bonita experiencia, y saber que nos hicieron felices a todos,sabemos que hay algo mágico en ello y sobre todo AMOR que Dios los cuide mucho y que todo este periodo de espera del nuevo Bebe de la familia va a ser un bonito acontecimiento, les deseo lo mejor a ti y Matt: Pa

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  2. ¡estoy muy conmovida de leer este post! Nunca pensé que tantas cosas te pasaran por la cabeza, que eso del "haber tenido una boda", fuera una huella de agua que se apareciera una y otra vez (yo tengo esa huella de agua ¿qué será de mí cuando, si es que algún día me vuelvo a casar?).

    Yo te vi, te sentí perfecta. Yo te vi y te senti feliz. Te vi y te sentí justo como estoy segura que se siente alguien que está construyendo una historia propia, una historia maravillosa llena de su vida. Te sentí construyendo la felicidad.

    El post es inspirador, no sólo por los consejos, sino porque rompe el cliché de lo que "se supone que es una novia". No sé explicarme, te escribe tu amiga divorciada por la segunda vez del mismo maridito, la loca amiga que hace tantas cosas por impulso. No sé explicarme pero aquí, en tu territorio de maravillas, burbujea no sólo el encanto, sino la vida, la buena vida. Y me inunda un gran cariño y sólo tengo que desearte una y mil veces, miles de parabienes. Gracias por abrirnos brecha, por compartir, por vivir tu vida y hacer cosas hermosas. Besos

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  3. woo ! it a beautiful article for wedding ideas in free wedding planner android app

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  4. I am looking for wedding reception venue exactly where I might make my marriage ceremony a lot greater. Do you have any suggestion for wedding day location? Please assist if you are aware of.

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