After all the catch ups,it was time to get down to business…Do you remember back in Palalom Beach in Goa around January 2014?
Well it was here that John proposed to a very surprised Karen and 16 months later it was time to plan the wedding and in typical JK style we had 2 days to cram it in. After a stroll along Ayr beach to discuss our plan of action, it was time to start the west coast of Scotland Tour. First up was a trip to Irvine to meet our photographer, Grant who had become a star since we had booked him via skype a few months before. He had won multiple awards including Scottish Wedding Photographer of the year. Luckily we had secured him before he was famous and today was simply discussing our good sides (both of Karens!) and discuss the day.
After a lovely chat with Grant we were on our way to West Kilbride in search of yummy cake and inspiration for a cake design. We were greeted by freshly brewed coffee and tea and a whole host of cakes to try. Emily was soon sketching designs as we munched our way through the cakes. The hardest part was deciding which flavour to choose and we had to try ‘multiple samples’ to be sure to be sure. As for a design she had some great ideas.
Last but certainly not least we were on our way to the venue, only a mile down the road, Seamill Hydro. Pulling into the carpark we were both nervous and excited. The reason?
We had booked the hotel via Skype after Karen’s Mum and Sister, Laura had gone to visit. The Hotel Inspector herself Janice Mack also gave it both thumbs up but shortly after we had booked we were faced with a dilemma – the hotel was about to undergo a refurbishment. Should we cancel? Should we stay the course? After multiple emails and calls, a change in contract we decided to go ahead with Seamill. So we were both incredibly nervous.
As soon as we entered Seamill and met Norman the manager we were assured this was a good choice. It became a great brainwave by Erica Barron as we stepped out the back of the hotel onto the lawn. The sun was shining as we looked over the water to Arran. Walking the unspoilt beach we knew we had made the right decision. The reception suite was even called the Brisbane Suite – fate? All we could do now was the hope we got such a glorious day next August. No pressure there Scottish weather.
It was almost time for dinner…When there is mention of food the Hamilton’s are never too far away…on que Mum and Dad joined us in the garden for pre dinner drinks before we enjoyed a meal looking out to sea. There was even time to give Dad a tour and for them to secure their rooms to stay. John was a bit starstruck when he saw Archie Knox across the restaurant but this was no big deal for the Hamilton’s as they people like him all the day.
Day 1 had been a success, we had a place to party, a cake to eat and an award winning photographer to capture the moments. Next we needed somewhere to get married and to smarten John up..
Day 2 started with a trip to St Margaret’s Cathedral to attend mass and meet Canon Keegans to discuss our marriage. Marrying a foreigner in Scotland was tricky business but soon we were up to speed with the paperwork that would be needed. It was time to look those Baptisim and Confirmation certificates. (A gentle reminder for Helen Rose to get looking!)
Knowing we could legally marry it was time to make sure John looked up to the job of a future Mr Hamilton. We jumped on the train to Glasgow and headed straight to a certain street which still makes Karen and John laugh…Sauciehall Street ( when they started dating John promised to kiss Karen before she could say Sauciehall Street).
Before long John was being measured from top to tail – all to ensure the perfect outfit could be found…
With the outfit sorted we strolled around Glasgow and took it all in. Bathed in sunshine she was looking very nice and we got some great photos of some of the more famous landmarks including the Duke of Wellington Statue and his more unorthodox headwear! Soon enough it was time for a celebration drink and dinner and there is no better couple to celebrate with than Laura and Coco, who had come through from Edinburgh just to meet us. The evening started with the four of us in mimicry of a group of jakies – drinking tins on a park bench in George Square whilst in the background the entire Glasgow Warriors team were parading the Magner’s League Trophy to hundreds of fans. (They had beaten Munster to claim the title!!!)
Quickly finishing our forbidden drinks we walked around the corner to our restaurant and proceeded to have a lovely night drinking Sangria and catching up over tapas. There were not 1 but 2 weddings being planned around the table and we giggled at the family dimensions of each. Karen and Laura both being the oldest and brought up in Ayr – both mum’s had the church, flowers and dress shops selected – of course they were the same! We also had 30th birthdays, new jobs and adventures to celebrate. The night went too quickly but that is always the way with old friends.
Day 3 of wedding research was to attend an actual wedding…there is not much better wedding to attend than a Texas/ Glasgow wedding – stetsons and kilts!
Our mutual friend Mark McAllister (the guy who introduced Karen and John) was marrying his American sweetheart Hollie in sunny Glasgow. It was a great ceremony and reception and Glasgow was putting on a good show for the considerable US contingent at the wedding. It was also a great catch-up with all the old JPM gang – Paula, Jennifer, Colin and soon to be Mr Carlin – John McLean (Yep you might have heard his name before!)
The dance floor was well and truly torn up!
Before leaving Glasgow City for the last time this trip we were able to meet up with Scott, Susan and Callum who we had not seen since leaving London back in January 2014. They had recently moved back to Glasgow and were waiting on the arrival of baby boy number 2 – Oliver.
Our time back in Scotland was almost up but there was time left for a big family meal in the Rupee Room before heading back to Karen’s house for champagne and dessert (a much delayed Engagement Party!). It was just amazing to see everyone again and celebrate!
The last supper’s are always the tastiest and with a sliver of sunshine hitting the back garden – Iain had the BBQ on. John was beaming as these are his favourite cuisine.
We cannot wait to go at Christmas and do it all again!