Winter Wonderland


Winter Wonderland

Swooning over Jodie Wilson and Stephen George’s picture-perfect winter wedding, you might be surprised to hear it almost didn’t happen… Three times! Jodie explains how they pulled together their rustic and romantic wedding!

“After a few chance meetings, a Facebook friend request and approval from our family dog Maxx, I knew I was onto a good thing with Stephen. Deciding to get married was bittersweet – in October 2017 he found out he had skin cancer and, at home on the couch after a day of tears, he said that although he didn’t know how long he’d have, he wanted to be with me forevermore. Thankfully, though, Stephen has recovered well and had positive check-ups so forever should be a long time.

Like many couples, we had to cancel our wedding a couple of times due to the pandemic. When it came to third time lucky, we happened to have booked a stay at Glen Tanar’s Tower O’Ess (a wee holiday with our dogs) and realised they offered weddings on the estate. We decided there and then to book an intimate wedding, just 16 weeks away. The next priority was an amazing photographer to capture
every moment.

We wanted a very relaxed vibe, just a day about us finally getting married. So, we kept things simple with DIY rustic décor, lots of candles and dried flowers, and added a bit of timeless winter sparkle with our outfits. My look was all about vintage glamour – a 1920s-inspired fit-and-flare dress with lots of embellishments, and my bridesmaids followed suit in gowns adorned with sequins.

We’d planned to stay in the lodges at Glen Tanar the night before our Wednesday wedding but as we headed to collect our registration forms (with a car full of booze, décor and dogs) on the Monday, we had a call to say there had been no power since Storm Arwen hit on Friday. Emotions were high and we had no idea what to do. Suddenly we didn’t know where we were going to stay… Or get married!

We scoured Airbnb and found the amazing, dog-friendly Hillhead Hideaways in Keith. We unwound in the hot tub and tried to make a new plan, less than 48 hours before we were due to tie the knot. I didn’t care if the wedding was going to be outside in the snow, I just knew we weren’t cancelling a third time! Thankfully, on Tuesday afternoon Glen Tanar confirmed that although there was still no power, they’d cleared some trees and had a small room where we could get married by candlelight. So, we zipped over to decorate while there was
still daylight.

Luckily, the wedding day was fantastic. Although it wasn’t what we’d planned (and we had to cancel our evening reception and caterer) I’d say it was better than we could have ever imagined. It was very personal, about us as a couple sharing a moment with our nearest and dearest.

We had a humanist ceremony full of laughter and intimacy (there was hardly a dry eye in sight!) and afterwards, enjoyed nibbles from a local bakery, had a jig to the bagpipes and played with sparklers.

Unfortunately, the aftermath of the storm meant no meal, so we headed to The Boat Inn, Aboyne, for informal speeches over a farewell drink. We had an impromptu first dance to Glasgow City Police Pipers played by our best man Chris, which was just magical. And when we returned to the lodges with the bridal party, we had a wee dance to our original song, Love You ‘Till The End by The Pogues.

Reflecting on it all, we’d encourage other couples to try not to stress about the finer details. All that matters is you get married to the person you love and everything else will come together – it did for us!

Jodie's Little White Book

Bride’s jewellery: The Fairy’s Workshop

Bride’s outfit & hairpiece: Avorio Bridal

Bride’s shoes: Chi Chi London

Cake: Evelyn's Cake Boutique

Celebrant: Neil Lynch

Flowers: The Artisan Dried Flower Co.

Food/drink: JG Ross

Hair: Michelle Reid Hairdressing

Make-up: Caelin Reid Makeup

Photographer: Danielle Leslie Photography

Piper: Best man, Chris Mackenzie

Venue: Glen Tanar