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Shared love stories: Ife and Paul at Mar Lodge Estate

A bride and groom stand on a road with autumn trees either side. The man holds the lady in his arms, and they are laughing.
Paul and Ife at Mar Lodge Estate | Image: Bolla Bello Photography
Ife and Paul got married in November 2023. We spoke to them after their big day to find out a little more about the role Mar Lodge Estate played.

Why did you choose Mar Lodge Estate for your wedding reception?

We chose Mar Lodge mainly because of our love for Scotland, and also because Ife has connections with Aberdeen. The stunning setting of Mar Lodge, particularly in autumn, captured our hearts – its natural beauty made the ideal backdrop for our special day. We couldn’t have chosen a better setting to get married.

What type of ceremony did you choose and why?

We decided to have a religious ceremony at nearby Crathie Kirk [13 miles away] due to our Christian faith. It was important for us to exchange our vows in the presence of God, as it would lay a strong spiritual foundation for us as we embarked on our lifelong journey together. Additionally, we wanted to include certain hymns that are significant to us and our families.

How many people attended the wedding?

We had 98 guests.

Mar Lodge with wispy clouds passing over the hills behind.

What did you decide on as the main inspiration behind the look of your wedding?

The main inspiration behind the look of our wedding was the beauty of autumn. We wanted to embrace the rustic charm of the season in a relaxed atmosphere. We also wanted a family-centred celebration, and Mar Lodge certainly offered that.

How did you personalise your big day?

We made sure that every detail of our wedding day was coordinated. In addition to the stunning venue, we chose a dress code colour that matched the colour theme of the day. We had a Nigerian wedding ceremony on Friday evening which was vibrant with colours, music, Nigerian food, and dancing, celebrating Ife’s Yoruba heritage. Both our families wore a colour-coordinated traditional Yoruba attire. We also involved our friends in the ceremony through coordinated outfits, which Ife’s mum organised from Nigeria.

For the ceremony, we read the Bible readings, which we carefully selected ourselves. Paul’s mum had dried rose petals for our guests to throw as confetti after the ceremony, which made for a beautiful moment.

The table names were inspired by our favourite destinations that we have visited together, which was a personal touch. After the meal, we had sparklers which was a fun way to involve everyone. Our photographer captured some incredible shots!

We had a ceilidh band (Iron Broo) for entertainment, and it was lovely to see our guests on the dance floor – especially the ones who had never been to a ceilidh. The band was brilliant at calling the dances and getting everyone on the dance floor. The kids also enjoyed the ceilidh as they stole the show! We had an open bar and danced the night away to some disco and Afro beats using our playlist. We also had different playlists for different activities throughout the day – the drinks reception, meal and disco.

For the transport, we booked two vintage cars which added an elegant touch to our day – an unforgettable experience!

Favourite wedding detail?

Our wedding cake was our favourite detail of the wedding. It was a stunning 4-tier cake with various flavours and colours that perfectly complemented our wedding theme colours. The tiers included a fruit cake, raspberry with white chocolate, and a Victoria sponge. Ife’s aunt baked the cake at Mar Lodge, which was a monumental task! It turned out absolutely delicious! The cake was decorated with fresh flowers from our florist Elaine, adding an extra touch of elegance.

A bride and groom stand behind a four-tiered wedding cake, ready to cut it. It is white, orange and green and is decorated with tumbling fresh flowers.
Ife’s aunt baked an incredible wedding cake! | Image: Bolla Bello Photography

What were the highlights of the day for you?

Both of us had a great time during our photoshoot! We arrived at Mar Lodge on the Monday before the wedding, and Louise was kind enough to show us the best spots for taking pictures on the estate and surrounding areas. During the reception, Ian (our driver) drove us to the chosen locations for our photoshoot. Despite the heavy rainfall from the previous week, the weather was perfect, making it an amazing experience.

During our ceremony, the minister sang a beautiful blessing over us that we will always treasure.

We had our families stay for the entire wedding weekend in the Lodge and cottages, which allowed us to maximise our time together and enjoy many special moments. We organised a Sunday brunch for post-wedding catch-ups and hired a BBQ for the day.

What is your favourite shot from the wedding photographs and why?

It’s hard to pick just one favourite shot from the wedding photographs because so many beautiful moments were captured. However, if we had to choose, the confetti shot perfectly sums up our emotions on our special day.

Additionally, the shots we took during our drive to Linn of Dee are stunning, as they beautifully showcase the autumnal colours, our personalities and our love of nature. Each photo is significant and reflects different aspects of our celebration.

“Louise and the team at Mar Lodge went above and beyond in making our wedding a memorable one. Although we stayed at Mar Lodge for a week, we didn’t have enough time to explore the area as much as we’d have loved. This just means that we will definitely be back for a more relaxed break so we can fully explore the beautiful area!”
Ife and Paul McKee
A bride and groom stand with their arms like stars on the wide path leading up to Mar Lodge.

Shout-outs to star suppliers

We had a fantastic experience with Lorraine and the Thistle Catering Services team – they were definitely our standout supplier. Our guests loved the food! Opting for the carvery menu for the wedding reception was the right choice, and the selection for the evening meal was just perfect. Lorraine also provided the MC and bar services, which made the entire experience even more memorable.

Thank you to Bolla Bello Photography for permission to share these images.

A bride and groom have fun in a photo booth, using eye masks that say My Wifey and My Hubby. A pink neon heart is lit behind them.
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A bride and groom stand on smooth rocks beside a gushing river. Pine trees grow on the far bank and mountains can be seen in the distance. Image: Hannah K Photography >