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Shared love stories: Katie and Fezan at Greenbank Garden

A bride and groom kiss as they stand on the lawn in front of Greenbank House. The groom wears a kilt and the bride wears a long white lace dress. She carries a bouquet in one hand.
Katie and Fezan at Greenbank Garden | Image credit: Fotogenic
We spoke to Katie and Fezan after their big day to find out a little more about why Greenbank Garden was their dream wedding venue.

Why did you choose Greenbank Garden for your wedding?

We chose to have both our ceremony and reception at Greenbank Garden. Fezan grew up in the southside of Glasgow so it was near to home for him, although neither of us had ever been. It was my mother-in-law’s suggestion that it would make a great wedding venue.

We visited Greenbank Garden for the first time a couple of months after getting engaged and immediately knew that it was the perfect venue for us. It was the only venue we visited. The whole place felt so peaceful and a world away from the city, despite being only 20 minutes outside of Glasgow. The gardens were absolutely beautiful and really fun to explore.

We immediately felt relaxed in the gardens, which was the atmosphere we always wanted for our wedding – so we couldn’t wait for our guests to be able to enjoy the gardens with us on the big day. We also loved the idea of being able to incorporate the outdoors into our wedding day. We had three giant inter-connected tipis set up in the gardens for our reception which were really great.

What type of ceremony did you choose and why?

We had a humanist wedding ceremony and were very happy with this decision. We both loved the humanist values and felt it suited well with the style of ceremony we wanted and it could easily be tailored to our wishes. We met virtually with our celebrant several times before the wedding and he was able to write a great ceremony.

We had unique wedding vows which we chose as a couple and included a reading from my brother of a slightly altered ‘Union’ by Robert Fulghum, which we felt reflected our story as a couple really well.

How many people attended the wedding?

We always thought we would have a fairly small wedding but it very quickly added up to around 150 people for the ceremony and reception, which was a really great size. The atmosphere was a lot of fun but still small enough to feel intimate and to be able to mingle with everyone. We didn’t have evening-only guests – we always wanted all our guests to be present for both the ceremony and reception. Having the whole day at one venue made this easy!

Did you have an idea of what you wanted your wedding day to be like before you started planning? If so, did that change?

We wanted our wedding to feel relaxed and fun, nothing too formal, and we stuck with this. We also always hoped to have our ceremony outside. With Greenbank Garden as our venue, they have a stunning lawn area which can be set up to make a great outdoor aisle leading down to big stone pillars and tall trees. We planned for an outdoor ceremony here and kept our fingers crossed, knowing that an outdoor autumn wedding in Scotland was a gamble.

Come the big day, there was heavy rain with thunder and lightning on the weather forecast so we had to make a last-minute change to have our ceremony inside our tipis. This was a magical setting as well, which felt very intimate – and luckily the weather held off long enough for us to be able to have our drinks reception and photographs outside following the ceremony.

Favourite wedding detail?

We brought in Scottish and Asian elements to our wedding in honour of both our families. It is a tradition in Asian weddings for the bride and bridal party to have mehndi (henna) done on their hands and feet for the wedding day. Myself, my mum, mother-in-law, my sister and my three sisters-in-Iaw spent an evening getting mehndi done and it looked really incredible. The intricate details of the design were so impressive and I absolutely loved having it! I loved being able to incorporate this detail into our wedding and it looked really great with the lacy detail of my wedding dress sleeves.

Were any wedding traditions important to you to include?

Fezan had never worn a kilt before. My dad gave him some of our family tartan and he had a kilt made that matched my brothers, which was really special.

My dad walked me down the aisle, which was something I always knew was important to me. We also included the tradition of drinking from a quaich at the end of our ceremony as a symbolic gesture which was fun! Other than that, our ceremony was fairly untraditional I think.

What were the highlights of the day for you?

Too many to name!

Our ceremony was really great – we had a fantastic celebrant who created such a unique ceremony that was very personal to us. A lot of our guests commented afterwards how much they had enjoyed the ceremony and we have had several people asking for our celebrant’s details since.

I also loved the time following the ceremony when Fezan and I went away to have photographs taken. We disappeared into the gardens and spent an hour or so walking around with our photographer nearby and just enjoying the feeling of being just married! Our photographer captured so many incredible candid photos and it was really nice to have this time, just the two of us in amongst the business of the day.

The other highlight had to be the ceilidh – all of our guests were up on the dance floor and the tipis were completely full of people dancing. It gave me genuine goosebumps to see everyone we loved there and looking so happy – it’s a moment I’ll never forget.

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

I have so many that I absolutely love! These two are definitely in my favourites – the first because it reminds me of the great time we spent in the gardens following our ceremony, and it shows off how great the venue looked! And the second one as we leave our wedding ceremony because it just conveys the absolute joy we were feeling!

“Don’t be afraid to do things differently and make the wedding really reflect what matters to you as a couple!”
Katie Shah
A bride and groom dance together, holding hands. The bride turns her head to the camera and smiles, whilst the groom beams at her. Fairy lights hang overhead.

Shout-outs to star suppliers

Our celebrant Derek Powell from Humanism Society Scotland definitely deserves a shout-out for being absolutely fantastic and creating a great atmosphere for our whole wedding.

Our photographer and videographer were also excellent – both from Fotogenic of Scotland. We had talked in a lot of detail beforehand, which meant that on the day it felt very easy and natural. They were relaxed and easy-going, and didn’t mind if things didn’t run quite to time. The results of their work are stunning!

A bride and groom walk towards Greenbank House, away from the camera, across the lawn. They have confetti on them. The bride carries some of the length of her dress in her arms.
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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 >