As a personal stylist, it’ll come as no surprise that Hayley Charles knew exactly what she wanted when it came to marrying Mark Ibbotson.
Now, after a January honeymoon (shopping and sightseeing in New York followed by two weeks of Mexican sunshine). she tells us all about it...
“Mark is a huge romantic and proposed by ticking off two items off of my bucket list – a trip to Venice and a yellow diamond. He’d been working secretly with jewellers in Dubai to design my ring and it was absolutely perfect.
Picking the date was easy. We got engaged on 2 November 2017 and looked to see when it next landed on a weekend – it did just that in 2020!
Venue-wise, we found it quite easy. As a stylist, I have a good understanding of the inner workings of most of our local venues… but instantly discounted every one I’d been to with a bride or for a photo shoot because I wanted everything to be a surprise! This whittled it down nicely and we felt that Meldrum, with its mix of modern and traditional décor, fantastic food options and flawless bedrooms, was ideal.
We brought the outside in with sumptuous floral arrangements and fantastic geometric-style plinths, and focused on strong navy, gold and burgundy tones.
There was lots of DIY, largely focused on our passion for travel. We named our tables after the places we’ve been in the past ten years and, as a surprise, my mum made a postbox covered in postcards from everywhere we’ve visited. She also decorated our guest book table and the bar area, whilst Mark’s mum baked the most amazing shortbread for our favours.
I even ended up going a bit of DIY with the bridesmaid dresses, altering the neckline, sleeve and length to make sure they were comfortable… and great for dancing!
When it came to my own dress, I’d always known I wanted something classic and timeless but was really open-minded. In the midst of booking appointments at boutiques, I noticed Eleganza Sposa was holding a trunk show (when a designer takes over a shop and brides try on new season dresses that aren’t yet in production).
My bridesmaid spotted one tucked in the corner, which the rep said hadn’t been hugely popular due to its simplistic design. It was made with mikado (a very heavy, sturdy fabric, which I love) but it was strapless, which I wasn’t so keen on. Open to anything, I tried it and before I even stepped out of the dressing room I was shouting: “I’ve found it!”
The transaction was done there and then. To this day I still don’t know if the dress actually went into production – but that makes it feel a little more special.
I opted for a red lip and kept my accessories simple with silver tones, including the most amazing pair of sparkly Jimmy Choo’s! My grandmother was keen for me to wear her pearl necklace but it didn’t work with the dress. So, I saw it as an excuse to get creative and worked with RedRocks Jewellery to incorporate the pearls into beautiful statement earrings.
Mark loves dressing up in a kilt and wanted a tartan he could wear again with a variety of jackets or waistcoats. He went for Midnight Pride and had his party in the same kilt but different jackets to make sure he stood out.
Our wedding day was incredible. Laughing, dancing and celebrating with our family and friends was a huge highlight, as was our ceremony. And being foodies, we wanted to treat our guests well! There was a range of light but tasty canapés and a choice of three items per course for the wedding breakfast – we wanted our guests to enjoy looking through a menu and picking what they wanted.
From the beginning, I asked Mark to pick a song for the first dance and surprise me on the night. So, he went for Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day. It’s my ultimate favourite song and the lyrics mean a lot to me. He did good!
For the rest of the evening, we had Phase4. Throughout wedding planning, we maintained that we didn’t want ‘typical wedding music’ and they blew us away with acoustic and upbeat versions of Stereophonics, Oasis and Green Day. They pulled it out of the bag – we danced to every single song and the floor was always full. My dad even made an appearance on stage!”
Little White Book
- Venue: Meldrum House Hotel
- Groom’s outfit: McCalls Highlandwear
- Hair: Michelle Reid Hairdressing
- Make-up: Rae Mathieson Makeup Artist
- Photographer: Deeside Photographics
- Videographer: Made with Love
- Stationery: You are Invited
- Cake: Gourmet Cheese Co.
- Flowers and décor: Hay’s Flowers
- Piper: CDC Piping
- Music: Phase4, Myke Black
- Humanist celebrant: Rachel Donald