Real Wedding – Emma & Gary Dunn – 11th November 2023

A gorgeous winter wedding that we hosted back in November was the wonderful Emma & Gary! They made their wedding their own by incorporating so many personal features, find out more about their day below…

Firstly a little bit about you.. 

How did you two meet? 

We met online via a well-known dating app. We met the week before the country went into Lockdown. 

Where did you get engaged? 

We got engaged in the city centre of Edinburgh where we first met. We had a wonderful lunch, followed by a walk down to where we first met, Gary proposed after some detours that Emma decided to unknowingly make on the way to the jewellers. After he popped the question, we went into a jeweller on George Street and had an amazing experience trying and picking out the perfect ring.

Picking your ring out may not be for everyone but it let Emma have a whole experience that not a lot of people get. Sitting drinking champagne and trying on different rings, making sure you are picking the right one for you was such an amazing experience. I even chose a ring that was different to the one I had initially though I would have even though I tried it on. 

Finding your venue and planning the wedding

What was it that first attracted you to Kinkell? Was there something that stood out when you knew it would be the perfect place for your special day?

Kinkell is a beautiful blank canvas that you can either leave in its natural beauty or make your own for the day. 

We had looked at quite a few different venues before we went to see Kinkell as we both initially had a different vision for the venue which meant we wanted to look at both and decide what would be best for us collectively. We looked at Castles and other barn venues but there was a lot of restrictions on suppliers and for some venues hidden costs. 

Kinkell is a “what you see is what you get” venue with the freedom and support to make your day exactly how you want it. Some examples that may seem small but played a huge role in our decision was the fact we could allow our guests a choice of different food options on the day, that we could use any supplier to decorate the venue to bring our vision to life. The venue is so beautiful inside that if it was raining, we could still have amazing pictures inside. Until we looked and spoke to venues, we had no clue that some would have so many restrictions on certain areas. With that being said, there was more work looking for and organising suppliers but we honestly think that additional workload was worth it.

The team at Kinkell were also very attentive, supportive and were always on hand to help. Even the day before and on our day, we had someone there keeping us calm and everyone right. They even took photos and videos for us to look at the next day which was honestly such a lovely surprise and addition to have! You can tell the team are invested and genuinely care, not once were we made to feel like an inconvenience, and they kept in touch before the wedding. Nothing was too much hassle and they kept suppliers right who arrived on the day as to how we wanted things set up.

Tell us a little bit about planning your wedding. Where did you start?

Once we had our date secured, Emma is very organised, so she had ‘save the dates’ sent out, meetings set up and paid deposits for all our “non negotiables” we had sat down and agreed on as a couple before we even chose a venue or date. 

We started to scope out the bigger suppliers first such as a Celebrant, Catering, Music & Venue styling. For us as we had plenty of time, so it was a fun and exciting experience! There were stressful times at points if we had to look for a new vendor we had already secured, the well-known table plan stresses most couples face. Overall because we had 18 months to plan, we had plenty of time to get everything in place and to make sure when the time came there was the least amount of stress. It was so important to us that we showed both our personalities on the day so made sure we done this in different ways. 

How did you decide on a colour theme or style?

We chose our favourite colours which are a classic combo. With our date being November and it being one of our favourite times of the year, it made sense to keep in with the warm autumnal theme. We had the colours in mind but had not settled on them fully until after we had a date as we were unsure what time of year we would get married due to our non-negotiables that we agreed on as soon as we got engaged.

Where did you find your suppliers?

Our photographer and venue stylist we had gotten from Kinkell’s recommendations list, and they were both amazing. The fact they both knew the venue so well gave us great comfort for being 2 of the key suppliers of the day.

For our Hair, Make-up, and Catering suppliers, these were chosen due to personal experience knowing the suppliers well and using or having received their services before. To know our Make-up and hair suppliers was a nice touch as they helped create a relaxed vibe in the morning which was great.

Our other suppliers we chose through either a lot of research, reviews, and meetings with them. Facebook groups were also great to join for recommendations and feedback for future brides and grooms.

Is there anything you wish someone had told you about before about planning a barn wedding?

Our biggest advice is making sure you are organised and willing to do the research into getting yourself the right suppliers. There is a lot of additional work some may say in comparison to a hotel wedding or a venue who only allows you to use specific suppliers but the freedom to hire who you want and create a day unique for you, in our opinion, overrides any additional work you may need to put into making your day the day you want it to be. 

We had a venue stylist Sarah for our day. We would 100% recommend spending the money to hire someone to help you with this as it is a massive job to “DIY” depending on what your vision is. We would have been more than stressed if we had gone down this route which we did nearly do until convinced otherwise. Best advice given to us. It also meant less to organise and tidy/ sell afterwards.

Was there anything that was important to you both to have?

The most important thing was that our day reflected us as a couple. It was so important that, not just for us, but our guests knew this was our wedding and to leave thinking “That was so Emma & Gary”. I think we done that well through incorporating little bits of us into our day. 

  • Andy our celebrant helped us personalise our ceremony.
  • We named the tables after our favourite board games we play together.
  • Favours were made by Emma’s dad (homemade bramble whisky and sloe gin) and Garys sister and Granny Christine made Scottish tablet.
  • Guest book was a personalised deck of cards as Gary collects different card decks. 
  • The string quartet focused on movie and game themed songs which had both our favourites included. 
  • The colours, décor, photos, food options, signs and even our dinner playlist had Emma written all over them. 

Anyone who knows us both well enough could have told you what reflected who and they did on the day and afterwards

Supplier shout outs 

PhotographerVictoria Photography

CelebrantAndrew McWilliam

Make UpPretty little birds 

Hair – The Ivy Hair

StylingAmbience Venue Styling Fife

Reception MusicCascada String Quartet

Kilt hire – Highland Kilt Connections

VideographerAshley June Films

CateringFood Creations

Entertainment Go2Events & Foxy Photobooth