We met on an online dating site! We both lied about our height- I ‘lost’ an inch to make me 5’11” and Ian gained and inch and claimed to be 6’. If we’d been honest we may never have met …
We’d already decided to elope and so I wasn’t expecting a ‘proper’ proposal. I was 5 months pregnant with horrible morning sickness and it was my birthday. Ian kept badgering me to go for a walk on the farm where we live but I wasn’t being very co-operative so in the end he gave up and cornered me coming out of the loo!
He said afterwards that he had wanted to propose in a field with the most beautiful view looking back over the farm, but then he got impatient and decided to ‘get it over with’- it was still a very special moment in spite of the setting.
Having looked at all of the usual destinations for the type of wedding we wanted, we found them to be commercial and impersonal. Once we saw the Crear website we couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else- it was so beautiful and individual. Kate was amazing and made the whole process completely stress free from beginning to end.
We were very busy in the run up to the wedding as Ian is a farmer and I was preparing to take maternity leave from my job as a science teacher- we were still organising Ian’s wedding outfit and ring the weekend before the wedding. Everything had been organised via email and telephone calls. As we hadn’t told anyone we were getting married there was no hype beforehand. There was just a moment as we set off on the eight hour drive from East Yorkshire, the day before we were due to be married, when we looked at each other and said ‘I really hope this isn’t going to be a disaster….’
We did have to cancel our first wedding date as my headmaster wouldn’t allow me to take a day off from work to travel to Scotland to collect the necessary paperwork (as this may ‘set a precedent’ and then teachers could be eloping left, right and centre!). We were devastated but Kate took it all in her stride, juggled some things around and ‘phoned me back shortly after with a new date that turned out to be even better than the original one- not only did we get to extend our stay at Crear but we also got the whole house to ourselves. With the exception of our last night where we shared it with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (who were fabulous and made our first day as a married couple even more remarkable).
Our wedding day was perfect. Genuinely. Our only guest was Ian’s much loved collie, Izzy, who was fussed by one and all and features in the vast majority of our wedding photo’s. We were married in the late afternoon after a lunch of fish and chips. Rev. McLeod performed a fantastic ceremony and passed on some very wise advice, Ian the piper was spectacular and Bart the photographer captured every moment beautifully. All of the Crear staff were incredibly accommodating, nothing was too much trouble and there was a lovely air of calm about our whole stay. We were rained off the beach but this wasn’t a problem at all as we were married in the stunning hall in front of a panoramic and very atmospheric view- and the sun came out for the photographs!
There isn’t a huge amount of choice when you’re seven months pregnant and getting married a couple of months from the date you start looking for a dress. So, I bought an empire line dress covered in very ugly sequins (the only one that fitted me), found a brilliant local dressmaker and ended up with a bespoke dress that I loved- thankfully the sequins were replaced with pretty chiffon daisies. Ian wore a tweed jacket, cords and the first new shoes he has bought since the age of eighteen (other than wellies!).
Our advice for future couples - Trust in the experts. Kate listened carefully to what we wanted, made helpful suggestions and, most importantly, was unflappable- even when we initially thought we were going to have to cancel the wedding.
We enjoyed our time at Crear immensely and explored the local region, visiting Lochgilphead, Tarbert, Inverary and Campbeltown- each lovely in its own way. We plan to return and explore the west coast of Scotland more extensively in the future. We don’t get much opportunity to travel due to Ian’s farm commitments, however our favourite holidays have been in the U.K, ideally somewhere like the Ribble Valley with lots of country walks and welcoming pubs.
Scotlands west coast did it for us…. Otherwise, probably Venice.
Our little boy is a year old now and has made our family complete. We hope to bring him back to Crear before too long so that he can see the beautiful part of Scotland where mummy and daddy were married.