Real Weddings

A Classic Wedding at a Historic Library in Edinburgh

Photography by Melody Joy.

With Edinburgh’s expansive, mountainous terrain as the backdrop, delicate white florals framed the aisle and altar as Myranda and Paul exhanged vows during an intimate ceremony.

The couple’s alluring reception dinner exuded grandiosity, held within the historic library at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. A decadent, ambient tablescape unfolded beneath the towering curved ceiling and walls of ancient books with a palette of black and dark timbers, softened with white florals and candles. Glowing chandeliers hung from above, adding to the romantic atmosphere.

Photographer Melody Joy artfully captured the hypnotic Scotland wedding.

library wedding venues

library wedding venues

Our Story

Names / Myranda Mears & Paul Hollwedel

Location / Edinburgh, Scotland

Wedding Date / July 10th, 2023

Guest Numbers / 34

library wedding venues

How We Met

Like many couples our age, we met online. Once we matched and started conversing, there was a true spark, we then decided that we wished to meet in person. I shared with Paul that I was leaving for an unexpected trip to Paris and would be in touch when I returned. Paul thought I had forgotten about us due to extending my trip. This led to an exciting and meaningful first hike of many in the foothills of the Tahoe National Forest. From the first encounter we knew we were each other’s perfect half.

 

Our Engagement Story

The Northern Coast of California has always been a special place for us as a couple, whether it be celebrating big milestones or making the trip for some rest and relaxation. When it came time to propose Paul enlisted my brother’s help to pull off the big surprise. As we were on the beach, he suggested we take photos, we were posing for the camera when he grabbed my hand and I felt him get down on one knee. He to ask me if I would continue to spend a lifetime of adventures and happiness with him. I thought what was going to be a day of hanging out on the beach relaxing turned out to be one of the happiest days of my life.

 

What we love most about each other…

Myranda: There are so many reasons to adore Paul but what I love most about him is the selflessness for others and the love he has for his family. He’s my home.

Paul: This is a long list, but what I love most about Myranda is the way she loves and supports the people she cares about the most. She would do anything for the people she loves.

library wedding venues

The Setting

 

Wedding Location

Our first major holiday together was to Scotland. While exploring the captivating and historical essence of Edinburgh, our love truly solidified for one another. Thus, it was the perfect city to have our friends and family come together to celebrate. In the midst of planning, we took a trip to find the perfect ceremony location in our favorite city.

Wandering through sites we sat atop Calton Hill brainstorming ideas with a view of Arthur’s Seat, it was there taking in the landscape that we had the brilliant idea of having the ceremony right where we were sitting. This location overlooks the entire city skyline as well as panoramic views that would show our guests why we fell in love with the wonder, magic, and history of this of the city.

 

Aesthetic

The overarching aesthetic was timeless black tie, monochromatic, and whimsical disco. Our inspiration stemmed from the imagery associated with the disco era in New York City. We infused elements of dark academia throughout, balancing the ambiance with the brightness of all-white floral arrangements.

Preparation

We chose to have a lowkey morning soaking up our time with one another, before going our separate ways to get ready. The two of us walked hand in hand over to where Myranda and her bridal party were getting ready. After I said my goodbyes, it was time met up with my groomsmen to go for breakfast and a refreshing dip in the North Sea a tradition with my lifelong friends before one gets married.

library wedding venues

library wedding venues

library wedding venues

library wedding venues

Photography

I discovered Melody Joy’s work on Pinterest and instantly admired her cinematic style and the way she tells stories through her imagery. The moment we chose to have our wedding in Edinburgh I knew I needed Melody to capture our magical day. We absolutely adored how she documented the joy and love throughout. Every photo is a work of art with Melody, and we personally look forward to working with her any chance we can.

 

Videography

After going through countless portfolios with our wedding planner Jamie Neil, he led us to contact with David James. David’s style of videography partnered with historic and moody aesthetic of Edinburgh made for perfect pair to document our day.

library wedding venues

library wedding venues

library wedding venues

Style Notes

 

Ceremony Décor

For the ceremony, we as a couple wanted to let the natural beauty of the stunning landscape to be the focal point. Our style team, Gloam, went with sleek black chairs and shin high white florals lining the aisle to encapsulate the monochromatic feel. To truly create our whimsical fairytale we hired Cairn String Quartet to play music before during and after the ceremony.

 

Reception Décor

The true party began at the reception. While we wanted the space and décor to feel fun and showcase our love of music, we still wanted to keep the moody ambience the venue naturally exudes. The design team at Gloam executed this by elegantly placing disco balls balanced with white florals in every room, as well as hosting dinner in the library.

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Wedding Planner & Stylist

We worked with Jamie Neil from award winning Timeless White wedding planners based out of Edinburgh. From the first meeting we had with Jamie we felt that he understood the vision that we were going for. Jamie was an essential piece to helping create our dream day from vendor suggestions to ease of planning an international wedding. For styling he presented Gloam’s work from previous weddings, and we fell in love. Working with Gloam allowed us to use the same vendor for every moment.

 

Flowers

The majority of my inspiration for the florals and my bouquet was drawn from the lace appliques of my wedding dress. I wanted the floral arrangements from start to finish to be white and understated, so that the natural beauty of the ceremony site and the rich history of the reception venue would be the focal points.

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library wedding venues

Stationery

I am an advocate of supporting small businesses, so I turned to Etsy to find the perfect Save the Date and Wedding Invitations. We found templates that we love and had them printed locally.

 

Favors

As a thank you for traveling I designed a special tote bag for all guests and filled them with snacks, goodies, and hangover cures. The design featured the saying, “Good Times are in your Future” with a disco ball. Which perfectly captured what we wanted this trip to be. We handed them out to each of our guests at the welcome dinner the night before the wedding, it was such a treat to see the bags make an appearance all throughout the city.

 

Cake

Not being big sweet tooths we decided to forego a cake and instead opted to have a champagne tower before dinner allowing our guest more time to dance the night away.

 

Food & Beverages

Saltire Hospitality provided us with a bespoke menu for our cocktail hour canapes, plated dinner, and desserts. For cocktail hour we curated his and her drinks to be served. For dinner guests enjoyed hand selected wine. An open bar was available for guests to enjoy during the reception.

Fashion & Beauty Notes

 

Bride’s Dress & Shoes

The designer of my dress was House of Flora. As soon as I slipped the dress on, I noticed that the floral lace were my favorite flowers and the celestial sparkle embellishments reminded me of Paul’s love of space and the stars. There was no question that this was my dream dress.

For the second dress of the evening, I wanted to boogie the night away. I wowed everyone by coming out in a beautiful purple feathered dress by Nadine Merabi worn with a pair of lavender Adidas Gazzelles. I truly felt like I was at a 70s disco club.

 

Bridesmaid Dresses & Shoes

I let my bridesmaids feel confident and powerful by choosing their own attire and shoes. My only requirement was that the garments had to be black.

 

Wedding Rings, Jewelry & Accessories

My engagement set has a pear-shaped pink sapphire set next to an antique diamond in a Toi et Moi setting, along with a band that fits atop the two stones with smaller diamonds. My wedding band is a classic gold ring that hugs the bottom of my engagement set. Paul is a lover of the outdoors and decided to go with a more rugged style of a brushed gold wedding band. Our wedding bands and engagement set are from Marrow Fine which is based in California.

For my wedding jewelry I wanted a classic look, so I turned to Jennifer Behar. I elected to wear the Vivenne Tiara to tie in with the floral aspects of my wedding dress and the Nadine style earrings went perfect with my headpiece.

 

Hair & Makeup

To go along with the timeless look I wanted to achieve, I chose to go with a hair style I grew up watching my mom wear, a classic French twist.

Due to my deep love and passion for makeup I felt empowered enough to create my ideal bridal look on myself. I took time over months to experiment with different colors and styles drawing inspiration from Mary Phillips. My final look focused on soft glam highlighting my natural features.

 

Groom’s & Groomsmen’s Attire

Paul enlisted the help of his two closest friends to curate his perfect wedding day look. The group chose a classic custom tux but with a flare. His tux jacket was made of forest green crushed velvet which complement the natural landscape of the backdrop. Another special element to Paul’s ensemble is a passed down bow tie, wedding day tradition among his friends.

The groomsmen wore black suits with black ties for a timeless look.

Myranda & Paul Wedding

The Details

 

Transport

We wanted to give our guests an immersive experience, so we hired The Big Red Bus as the primary mode of transportation. The driver took our guests to and from the ceremony location in style complete with their own commemorative original bus ticket.

 

Honeymoon

We chose Italy for the honeymoon because we both love history and food. We started in Rome but spent the majority of our time in Sorrento area. The highlights of our trip were taking a personalized boat day to the Island of Capri and a private cooking class.

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library wedding venues

Entertainment

We booked Sam Young to DJ our wedding through Tartan Entertainment, which was recommended by our wedding planner Jamie Neil. Myranda made a playlist of our favorite dance songs that Sam took inspiration from to create our perfect soundtrack. Sam’s music had everything from Disco to house music and had everyone on their feet grooving for hours.

 

Celebrant

We chose to ask Caroline Lambie to officiate our wedding. Her down to earth personality resonated with us as couple.

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Our Advice

 

A memorable moment…

We took a couple of hours before the ceremony to go out into the city with our photographer and videographer to capture our love within the city that holds our heart. This also gave us an opportunity to enjoy more time with our guests. Being able to have those few hours prior to the wedding helped us ground ourselves, enjoy each other without distractions, and embrace every moment together.

 

One thing I wish I knew before I started my wedding plans…

Honestly, there’s nothing we would change from our wedding experience.

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Our Contacts

 

Wedding Venue / Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

Stylist, Florist & Stationery / GLOAM

Wedding Planner / Timeless White

Photography / Melody Joy

Videography / David James

Bride’s Dress / Flora

Groom’s Formalwear / Anatoly & Sons

Wedding Rings / Marrow Fine

Hair & Makeup / Bonny’s Wonderland Hair and Makeup

Catering / Saltire Hospitality

Celebrant  Caroline Lambie

Entertainment /  Tartan Entertainment

Transport / The Red Bus

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