A classic and elegant wedding at The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa, St Andrews

Elizabeth had dreamed of walking down the aisle to the wedding processional from The Sound of Music since she was a little girl and, the day after Thanksgiving
2021, Andrew popped the question that would put the wheels in motion.

Old Course wedding - Leslee Mitchell Photography

The pair knew they wanted an extended destination wedding and, after considering locations near and far, landed on Scotland.

“It was the perfect fit,” remembers Elizabeth.

They decided to marry at Holy Trinity Church in St Andrews and, with the groom at his happiest on the golf course, the Old Course Hotel was ideal for the post-ceremony celebrations.

Despite organising from afar, Elizabeth adored the process (“I love hosting parties and events personally, and this was a big passion project!”) but admits she couldn’t have done it without the team at the Old Course and her US-based wedding planner, Amos Gott – after all, she was attempting to bring more than 100 people (only one guest was Scottish) and some must-have suppliers across the pond!

Thankfully, Elizabeth had pretty clear ideas about styling her special day, which helped.

“Everyone who knows me knows I’m drawn to a mix of classic and glam.

“So, I wanted a feminine and whimsical but timeless colour palette.”

She opted for blush pinks, white, lavender (her great grandmother’s favourite shade and one she always knew would be part of her wedding), and gold.

A VIP shopping experience

Having fallen for Sareh Nouri’s beautiful fabrics and timeless designs before even hitting the boutiques, it was no surprise that Elizabeth was in awe when she visited the bridal designer’s flagship store in New Jersey.

“Sareh was there to help me find my perfect dress and I truly could’ve chosen any of the ones I tried on because they were all so beautiful and of such high quality.

“I fell in love with a beautiful dress with handmade floral lace.

“It was so unique from anything else I’ve seen.”

Sareh customised the dress and extended the train before the bride added a tulle wrap and a bespoke veil with hand-sewn floral lace appliqué.

She polished off her elegant look with Jimmy Choo wedges that were “beautiful yet comfortable for the cobbles” and two pairs of earrings – one set for the
ceremony and one for the reception.

You may think that with an epic 11 bridesmaids (did we mention the 10 groomsmen too?) finding an outfit to flatter would be tricky, but Elizabeth struck gold at the Amsale flagship store in New York.

“I wanted something classic that the girls would look and feel beautiful in, and that was great quality.

“I chose the Jaylin dress in the ballet colour, in silk faille material. They were stunning.”

The night before the wedding was a significant one because that’s when Americans host a rehearsal dinner and do most of their speeches.

So, Elizabeth and Andrew enjoyed a beautiful cocktail supper at Seafood Ristorante and stayed up much later than planned, celebrating with friends.

Sleepy but excited, Elizabeth prepped with her girls in the morning and admits the fact she’d been able to bring her hair and make-up stylist, Melody, from the
States was a definite wedding highlight.

Another, of course, was walking down the aisle.

“It was an ethereal moment. I felt the most beautiful I have ever felt, and so joyful and at peace knowing that when I left the church I would be married to the love of my life.”

They wed in a traditional, religious ceremony, complete with communion, and followed it up with a romantic rose petal toss.

Cocktail hour

On arrival at the Old Course Hotel, guests were greeted by a piper who also led them into the wedding breakfast after drinks and canapés – known to us as a drinks’ reception, it’s ‘cocktail hour’ in the States and the order of proceedings is slightly different.

“Our band kept things lively and put guests in the mood to celebrate with some classic swing music.

“We kicked things off with our first dance, then dinner was served,” explains the bride.

“We served Anster cheese soufflé, beef wellington, and creme brûlée.

“I was so impressed with the dinner service and the quality of food for each guest.

“Good food is necessary for a great party, in my opinion!

The remainder of the evening was for dancing and Elizabeth remembers almost every guest being on the dance floor the entire night – the perfect end to the couple’s week of festivities with their nearest and dearest.

“Most people only get to celebrate for a day or two but a smaller destination wedding allowed us to really lean in and celebrate for multiple days,” recalls Elizabeth.

“We made sure to have at least one ‘special moment’ with each guest and these are memories I will hold dear for the rest of my life.”

Old Course wedding - Leslee Mitchell Photography

Photographer’s Credits

These photos were taken and supplied by Leslee Mitchell Photography

“The majority of my wedding clients are strangers. The Johnsons are a family I have loved for years. The opportunity to create
something special for a family who has followed and supported my work for so long is a remarkable experience that is almost indescribable. It’s like a gift; undoubtedly a career highlight. The day was one exciting moment after another.”