This blog is going to be considerably longer than most, for the simple reason that I know this bride and groom a lot more than most of my couples. In fact, I have known the groom Kevin my whole life – he’s my cousin! So as you can imagine I have so much more inside scoop on this couple and have been lucky enough to have been part of their story; from meeting, getting engaged, attending their engagement party, the hen party to then being one of their wedding guests. Sorry for the childhood picture to kick this one off Kevin, but I can assure you there were a lot more embarrassing ones than this.
We received the news on the 1st of January 2017 that my much older cousin (older by one year) had popped the question to Lisa, his girlfriend of six years, at the Edinburgh Hogmanay street party at exactly midnight as the fireworks went off across the city. The whole family were ecstatic as this was going to be the first family wedding in a LONG time. The couple couldn’t wait to get married and started the planning quickly after, booking a venue local to them in Ayrshire. Unfortunately after having their venue and date booked for several months, complications and a change in circumstances with their venue meant that the couple were unable to have the wedding they had planned, and ended up back on the venue hunt.
After hearing about Lisa and Kevin’s issues, I mentioned to my Aunt Clare – Kevin’s mum – that if there was anything I could do to help to let me know. The couple were now looking at Glasgow City weddings and we arranged for them to come and visit Òran Mór’s Auditorium, as they hadn’t even considered Òran Mor as an option. Harry Potter enthusiast Lisa, fell in love with the space immediately as the high ceilings, pillars and arches reminded her of the Great Hall from the Harry Potter films – Kevin I can confirm also really liked the venue, but for very different reasons. Our diary was free for Friday 19th of July 2019 which was the date the couple had originally booked for their wedding, so everything was falling nicely into place. Lisa and the rest of the family quickly became Òran Mór Weddings Instagram stalkers and the wedding planning kicked off again, but with me as their wedding planner – yay!
On Friday 19th July 2019 Lisa, her mother Helen, her six beautiful bridesmaids and two flower girls spent the morning of the wedding getting ready in the Hilton Grosvenor with hair stylists Hair by Yasmin and Christina Royal Glamour and make-up artists Marisa Brown MUA and Sophie White MUA.
Lisa’s Maggie Sottero dress from Opus Couture could not have been more perfect for her. Her bridesmaids and flower girls, who were a mixture of nieces and best friends, were all dressed beautifully in a three quarter length, summery blush Chi Chi London dresses. Helen, Lisa’s mother looked exceptional in her navy dress from JJ’s House and could not have been prouder of her youngest daughter on the morning of the biggest day of her life. Lisa’s brother, Stefan was walking her down the aisle and was completely overwhelmed when he saw his baby sister first for the first time in her wedding dress.
Kevin decided that the evening before the wedding he would stay locally in Irvine and spend the morning of the wedding getting ready with his best man and groomsmen in his home. The boys arrived to the venue an hour before the ceremony to greet guests and to meet humanist George Smith from Fuze ceremonies. Kevin and his groomsmen were dressed in Kilts from Slanj Glasgow and I have to say, it was an emotional moment for me seeing my cousin who I have shared life long memories with, arrive to the venue ready to marry his soul mate. We of course captured this moment with a pre-wedding selfie!
It was finally time for our beautiful bride to make her way to the venue, lead across the busy Byres Road by The Paisley Pipers, followed by her girl tribe and ready to marry the man of her dreams. A proud Helen watched on as her son Stefan walked her youngest daughter down the aisle, accompanied by the sounds of the Cairn String Quartet.
The couple booked the standard fairy light package with Make Believe Events and ivory seat pads for our gold Brentwood chairs. The aisle was lined with eucalyptus, hurricane vases with candles and stacked vintage books kicking off the first insight into the couples chosen book theme.
Kevin and Lisa were pronounced the new Mr & Mrs McCowan and exited the aisle to Friday I’m in Love by The Cure – a very appropriate song for a Friday wedding – before joining their guests at the bar for a glass of well needed fizz! The celebrations began at the drinks reception and the atmosphere was set perfectly by Declan Hegarty Music on guitar and vocals. Lisa had spent months before the wedding getting creative, creating her book case table plan and a Polaroid picture display on a wooden crate which were displayed at the drinks reception for guests to admire. The couple were gifted an A1 canvas with a hand drawn pictures of Òran Mór by Angelkin Art, personalised with their names and wedding date for guests to sign as a guest book which was displayed during the drinks reception.
Group shots were taken in the Gallery, allowing the couple to quickly nip off on their own with photographer Ian from Imac Images to the Botanic Gardens. Although Lisa and Kevin had initially envisioned a green, outdoor wedding in Ayrshire and completely switched to a Glasgow City wedding, with the Glasgow Botanic Gardens just directly across from Òran Mðr the couple still managed to get their green outdoor shots before turning back to the venue to celebrate with their friends and family.
Our Auditorium was set and ready to welcome guests to their seats at 4.30pm. The ivory seat pads and gold charger plates from Make Believe Events tied in perfectly together, finished off with a sprig of eucalyptus on top of each guest’s napkin. In the centre of each table was a stack of vintage books accompanied by a frame with an iconic couple from a novel with a matching quote. Lisa is a primary teacher and it was important to her to include her primary one class in her special day, they were excited that their teacher was becoming a Mrs! We discussed a few different options, but finally decided that having the children hand write each guests place card would be extremely cute. We made sure to put a note on the back of everyone’s place card to in case anyone had difficulty deciphering their name!
It was time for the new Mr & Mrs McCowan to be entered to dinner followed by speeches and a surprise video put together by Lisa’s colleagues and the primary seven kids at her school – which went down an absolute treat for both the bride and groom. Traditionally a groom will ask his guests to toast to his new wife with a glass of fizz. Lisa is known well by her friends and family for being the first at the bar to buy the shots on a night out, so it made much more sense to Kevin that his wedding guests toasted to his new wife in a more ‘Lisa’ esk fashion. Finally when Kevin took centre stage for his speech, he directed everyone to their own personalised ‘Lisa & Kevin’ shot glass and asked them to choose from the miniature shots in the table. He then asked that everyone be upstanding and join the happy couple in their first shot as husband and wife. Everyone in the room roared with laughter and knew exactly the sentimental value that this moment would have had to the couple.
Kevin and Lisa’s evening guests arrived at 7.30pm to join the party and further décor was added to give the room more of a party atmosphere. A surprise ‘Ye Dancin’ Sign from Make Believe Events was delivered, alongside some very large 5ft ‘ALWAYS’ led letters from Big Bright Letters. These items really set off the dance floor and made for a beautiful backdrop for the couples cake cutting. The wedding cake was something that had been discussed at most family parties for the last year, as Kevin’s mother (my aunt Clare) has made all of the family birthday and celebration cakes for over 30 years. To ensure that the mother of the groom was not completely stressed on the day of her son’s wedding, the cake was chosen to be a simple three tier sponge cake topped with flowers from Lisa’s florist Wild Things. A cake stand with an attached circular hoop was purchased, which the florist added additional flowers to, to give the set up even more of that wow factor.
It was time for The Big PaPas to really get the party started and Lisa and Kevin took to the dancefloor for their first dance. The couple had chosen a slow very of The Proclaimers song 500 Miles as their first dance, and just as the song hit the crescendo, the band switched to the traditional party version that we all know and love, the confetti cannons were set off and all of the guests joined the couple onto the dancefloor to celebrate. This really was an exceptional moment!
The band really kept the dancefloor full all night, and yes I was busting some terrible moves as well alongside Uncle Tony who was doing the iconic dad dancing most of the night! Unexpectedly the bride and groom were both called to the dancefloor along with their bridesmaids and groomsmen for a dance off, and what we were about to witness, I will never forget. Not only was my cousin Kevin doing the classic Homer Simpson floor spin in a kilt (very risky) but bride Lisa was doing the worm in her dress!
Our family certainly know how to party and photographer Imac Images and videographer Gavin Butler made sure to capture every moment! So much so that the couples wedding pictures were published in two Scottish wedding magazines, Tie The Knot Scotland and Scottish Wedding Directory.
The 19th of July 2019 will be a day that Lisa and Kevin will never forget, but also a day in my life that I won’t forget. Working with a family member on their wedding planning was really exciting and has certainly been the highlight of my career.
So to the Ritchie’s, the McCowan’s, the Ottleys and the Jensens – who’s next?