A Scottish/Australian micro-wedding at Norton House Hotel & Spa, Edinburgh
Laura and Luke exchanged vows close to their west Edinburgh home at Norton House Hotel & Spa.
But with the groom coming from Australia and his side of the family unable to travel due to covid, they ended up getting the movie star treatment, saying their “I do’s” with 60 households tuned in as they streamed their ceremony.
Despite their reduced guest list they still managed to have the perfect day, photographed beautifully by Luke Bennett Photography.
Read on to see how they pulled it off…
Laura was living in Australia when she first met Luke on Tinder.
Then they moved back to Scotland as a couple at the end of 2018 and after two and a half years together Luke proposed in a very special way.
“He prepared a special menu for our dinner – a choice of brunch foods (my favourite) with a proposal at the bottom of the menu,” says the bride. Cute!
Laura and Luke knew they wanted to marry in Scotland and initially hoped all his family and friends could travel from Australia so they wanted a large venue that could accommodate everyone.
However, the pandemic hit just after their engagement so plans were put on hold.
But they wanted to get married in 2020 and didn’t want to wait any longer.
“With all the uncertainty around restrictions, we decided to stay local,” says Laura.
“We live in west Edinburgh so wanted somewhere close to home so that even if travel was not allowed, we would be able to marry as planned.
“We also wanted to have somewhere with lovely grounds, in case it had to be held outdoors.
“We were so lucky that Norton House fitted this criteria and were available on the day we wanted.
“They were amazing!”
The couple stuck to a small guestlist with only Laura’s parents, siblings and plus-ones and bridesmaids and their plus-ones.
But not one to be defeated, Luke researched how to broadcast the wedding to others.
“We had around 60 screens tuned in from home,” says Laura. “Guests were present via Zoom from Australia, New Zealand, Cambridge, Shetland and the Outer Hebrides.
“We were so happy they could be involved in the day.”
With Luke marrying so far away from home they wanted to incorporate a bit of a Scotland/Australia fushion in their décor.
Laura drew a picture of a unicorn and kangaroo which they used on their invitations and they also used a colourful ribbon pattern with these animals and some green for their handfasting.
And Luke also gave a nod to his own Scottish heritage with his choice of dress.
“He wore Henderson tartan (his mother’s maiden name), and the Campbell tartan (Laura’s maiden name) is also quite dark green, which is why I chose that colour for my bridesmaids,” she says.
The couple also included some DIY details in their big day with Laura making their gorgeous blueberry and lemon sponge complete with cake topper made with scraps of Harris Tweed.
Luke made their copper arch with materials they bought at B&Q.
When it came to shopping for her wedding dress Laura knew she wanted something more classic than “on trend”.
“I wanted to look back in 20 years and not feel embarrassed by the style – so hopefully I won’t!” she says.
“Shopping was a bit more stressful given the short time frame between wedding shops opening and my wedding date.”
Luckily though she was one of the first brides to get an appointment with Gwenne Wedding Services after shops opened after the first lockdown.
“I had chosen a few dresses from her website to try,” says Laura.
“The first couple weren’t quite right but based on the aspects I had picked up from those, Gwenne picked out THE dress.
“I knew I had to go for it when it made my mum cry over Zoom!”
Laura accessorised with the Links of London charm bracelet her nanny gave her for her eighteenth birthday and a pair of pearl earrings she bought in Australia.
For her something borrowed she added her mum’s bracelet and necklace.
Planning for their wedding was pretty stressful, particularly with all the uncertainty surrounding travel and numbers.
However, once she’d iced the cake, Laura and her mum were able to enjoy themselves with manicures at the hotel followed by dinner with her dad.
Luke stayed home with a takeaway pizza!
Then on the morning of the wedding the bride woke up early and “very excited”.
The hair and make-up team from LMQ Hair & Beauty arrived and got to work making Laura feel amazing.
“I don’t tend to wear make-up day to day, and my idea of night out make-up is probably what most ladies would wear day to day, so getting my make-up done was daunting!” she says.
“But the guys at LMQ were understanding and made an effort to make sure the make-up was natural and understated but in a way that ensured it would last the whole day – and through my tears of joy!”
Walking down the aisle Laura had her sister Hannah and two of her best friends Jordanna and Catherine-Anne by her side.
Luke’s sister Kirsty in Australia and one her other best friends Corrie in New Zealand were bridesmaids in spirit, watching on Zoom.
Laura’s brother Iain stood beside Luke while at home his best friends Mat and Emma were honorary grooms(wo)men.
Laura walked in to Highland Cathedral and felt “so happy” walking down the aisle.
“It was really lovely to see Luke at the arch he had made,” she smiles.
“He looked so pleased and couldn’t hide his smile!
The couple opted for a humanist ceremony conducted by Lenny Love from Celebrate People.
“We were drawn to him because he had spent some time in Australia and we thought he seemed really approachable when we met him on Zoom,” says Laura.
With their ceremony broadcast over Zoom the couple decided to have their speeches immediately after with prosecco for the guests who were present.
Luke’s best friends gave a speech as well as his mum and dad and Laura’s nanny.
“It was lovely to have these recordings played so that they could feel part of the day without being present in person,” says Laura.
Then Laura’s dad and Luke each gave a speech in person.
“Luke had told me days before the wedding that he was looking up what to write in the speech – ‘Oh, I should mention how nice you look! Ok, I can do that!’.
“So, on the day he looked at his notes before telling me I looked beautiful – and I couldn’t help calling him out!”
Following the speeches the couple and their guests enjoyed their meal and drinks in the hotel restaurant.
“The night still went by really quickly chatting with our guests,” remembers the bride.
“It was really laid back with lots of laughter and wine.”
Now it’s all over they can reflect on what’s changed.
“It’s lovely being married!” says Laura.
“We each feel more secure in our relationship.
“I’m gradually getting used to referring to my ‘husband’ and wearing a ring at work!
“It brought some joy to us and those around us in the crazy year that was 2020.”