Michael & Leanne’s Heartfelt Offbeat DIY Wedding at Cortes House, Aberdeenshire
I knew Leanne & Michael were going to be our Joy Story friends as soon as we met them. Their house is filled with objects from think geek, including an 8-bit vase that I have been asking my husband to buy me forever (he still hasn’t). Everywhere I looked in their house was filled with personality, I remember thinking, “This couple are so geeky and cool!”.
We knew the wedding would be the same, and it was. These are two people who wanted to be married and to do it in their style. Which we loved! There were so many personal and unique touches to Leanne and Michael’s wedding, it was a masterclass in how to pull off a DIY wedding with the help of your family and friends.
They hired Cortes House in Aberdeenshire, an amazing country manor and set about turning it into the beautiful wedding space you see below. Every room had a fun new function. There was a PlayStation with a projector in the basement and racing car simulator seats too! There were board games in the library, alongside an ice cream cart from Portsoy Ice Cream and a photo booth later on too. The dining hall was now the dancefloor, the bedrooms were hair and makeup prep stations and the beautiful central staircase of the house a plan B for an indoor ceremony in case of rain.
We needn’t have worried, even though it was October, it was a beautifully mild and sunny day! The ceremony would take place outside in the beautiful gardens as we hoped!
As you can see below, this Cortes House wedding was not a “wedding” but “That Wedding Thing”. They didn’t want your usual traditional affair, but a wedding that was truly them.
Leanne handmade the paper origami flowers for her bouquet, they were gorgeous, and she can keep them forever!
When she told me she was inspired by Offbeat Bride, I knew we were a perfect fit, it’s my favourite wedding blog and the reason I (Sarah) wanted to have a wedding in the first place.
To me weddings had always been the traditional big white debacle – no thank you. Discovering blogs like Offbeat Bride you suddenly realise a wedding can be whatever you want it to be! It’s just a party with two people getting married, it doesn’t have to be all monograms and chair covers, the world is your oyster folks, especially these days with so many awesome and quirky small businesses popping up to help your awesome wedding ideas come true! And not forgetting family and friends to help out too. Which at this wedding they did, lots!
As soon as we arrived, Leanne’s Dad was wrangling giant LOVE balloons downstairs and tying them to the outdoor railings for a backdrop. Friends were putting out chairs for the seating arrangement, and Michael, well he was playing PlayStation – but it was his wedding day – we’ll let him off! 😉
The humanist ceremony was such a great fit for this wedding, full of love and laughter. Leanne & Michael wrote their own vows and heard them only for the first time at the ceremony. As fate would have it they both included lyrics from the same Death Cab for Cutie song in them! They are so made for each other!
For food, they had an outdoor BBQ catered by Eatbeetroot with delicious burgers, sausages and vegan tacos! Don’t mind if we do, thank you 🙂
The weather stayed great all day, enabling the guests to mingle inside and outside the house; it was a very chilled vibe which I think is exactly what they were going for. At night the dancing began and the photo booth was filled. Everyone just looked so happy, they definitely had the ‘that wedding thing’ of their dreams. Enjoy the fun filled photos below!
Many congratulations to Leanne & Michael on their awesomely offbeat Cortes House wedding thing!!
~Sarah (& Kristeen)
Bonus photo of Kristeen and I enjoying our turn in the photo booth and signing the guestbook!
Leanne & Michael also left us a lovely review about how much they value photography, which we just loved!
“Photography was always one of the important parts of the wedding for me, and thanks to Kristeen and Sarah my husband now agrees. From the first meeting I felt at ease with them and it was a joy to have them with us on our day.
They recommended an engagement shoot and it was well worth it, I love those photos and learned to relax and trust them and by the time the wedding came they felt like friends and was lovely to have them with us.
Many of our guests commented on how friendly they were. There was a Pinterest photo I’d seen with sparklers and despite not having done that type of photo before they were up for trying and practiced before which was really appreciated.
They captured so many moments from our day that I missed or might have forgotten. I love our photos and only wish I could have them all on display! These ladies are lovely and talented and one of the best decisions we made in planning our wedding.”
Cake – Claire, Friend of Leanne & Michael
BBQ – Eatbeetroot
Ice Cream Cart – Portsoy Ice Cream
Dress – Romantica, Bride’s Delight, Aberdeen
Photo Booth – Fabby Fotos