Wedding Q and A with Jen Clarke and Sean Smith
Jen & Sean were married at Colstoun in May 2017, shortly after I asked Jen a few questions about their wedding and Colstoun experience. We like to think of Colstoun as truly unique not your average Scottish barn wedding, striving to be different and most importantly a special experience for everyone who comes through our gates. As you'll see through the pictures and words below Jen & Sean definitely managed to create a truly special weekend, something that was unique and will be remembered by their guests & all of us at Colstoun for a very long time.
How did you find out about Colstoun, and what made you choose us as your venue?
Word of mouth!
We knew we wanted a relaxed wedding, but also a beautiful setting, both indoors and outdoors. Nothing we'd seen was up to scratch, and it felt like we'd looked everywhere!
At a wedding fair, I was relaying our struggle to our friend Solen who told us about the coach house at Colstoun which was, at the time, still being renovated. We got in touch and Cameron invited us for a visit to see the work in progress.
As soon as the car pulled into the driveway, I knew that Colstoun was the place I wanted to get married. I got goosebumps as we drove down the beautiful tree lined driveway, and when the incredible coach house came into view, that was it.
We were really taken by the beauty of the whole estate, but also the ethos that Colstoun has. We were thrilled that we were able to do everything the way we wanted it.
It was great that the estate had lots of bedrooms and cottages for our friends and family to stay over too, as we wanted our guests to be able to relax and enjoy themselves without worrying how they were getting home. On the night of our wedding, we had a great time sitting around the fire pit roasting marshmallows after everyone else had left, and the group breakfast the next day was really good fun.
It really was the perfect place for our wedding weekend, and I was so happy to have found it!
How did you come up with the idea of putting an arch in the Poly Tunnel & turning the orientation of the ceremony around?
Initially, we had our hearts set on an outdoor ceremony. Before booking our date, I'd checked historical rainfall figures for East Lothian, and May showed by far the lowest chance of precipitation, so we went for 20th May and kept our fingers crossed.
In the run up, we planned the whole day around having the ceremony on the lawn outside the coach house, and the centrepiece of this would be a floral archway beneath the copper oak tree. Our very talented friend John Bailey built us our beautiful arch, and the bridesmaids & I made the floral garland to decorate it.
But, of course, luck wasn't on our side. The day before the wedding, the forecast was looking like 100% rain all day, and with a gentle prompting by Cameron, we decided not to risk it (thanks Cameron - turned out to be very sound advice!).
So we brought the arch inside the poly tunnel so that our guests would walk under it as they entered. We decided to turn the perspective of the poly tunnel as the view into the walled garden was so pretty - that view, framed by our lovely arch, made it the perfect backdrop. It still felt like we were in the Walled Garden, just under a waterproof covering.
Everyone has said how unusual our ceremony was. Nobody had ever been to a wedding in a poly tunnel before, that was for sure! It truly made the day for us, and, in the end, I was glad it rained. It made our day so unique. The poly tunnel was so charming, and the diffused light in there made our photos look incredible.
What was the most favourite memory of your wedding weekend?
There are so many to choose from!
I'd say the most poignant moment was definitely right before the ceremony, as I approached the poly tunnel with my dad and my bridesmaids. Seeing the silhouettes of our guests inside, hearing them laughing and talking with the string quartet playing mixed with the sound of the rain on the canopy was incredibly exciting. I will never forget the butterflies I got when my last bridesmaid turned from me, smiling, and disappeared into the poly tunnel before it was just my dad & I left to do the same. That was the moment it all felt real, and I was so excited for the day to begin.
We loved your Wedding Cheese Cake and it was one of our most popular posts on Instagram, how did you come up with the idea and where did you get the cake from?
Another incredibly talented friend of ours, Lewis Gill, owns Grams - a health food cafe specialising in dairy free, gluten free and refined sugar free cake. The cakes are usually sold in individual slices and are like miniature works of art. We knew that a whole wedding cake created by him would look stunning - and it did! He did such an excellent job, and we received so many compliments on it. Best of all, it suited all of our guests' dietary requirements, of which there were many!
Do you have any words of advice for couples currently planning their wedding?
Don't be afraid to ask for help! Your friends and family will want to be a part of your big day, and will want to help make it happen.
Sean and I were absolutely blown away by the generosity and sheer creative talent of all of our friends and family. Everyone we know and love pulled out all the stops to make our day what it was, and it meant the day wasn't just a celebration of Sean and I's love for each other, but also a celebration of the love of our friends and family.
And, of course, always have a wet weather option! ;)
Venue: Colstoun Coach House