When you launch a business in one of Aberdeenshire’s close-knit towns, you become part of a lovely family – and these new connections can be pretty handy when wedding planning, as Amy and Cameron, owners of Banchory’s Birdhouse Cafe, found out.
After locking eyes in 2007 whilst waiting tables during their student days, Amy and Cameron quickly became a couple; then, four and a half years later, when neither could find work in their graduate careers, became business partners too!
“They say you really know someone inside out once you get married, but I’m pretty sure we already did through working together – we’ve never known it any other way,” laughs Amy. “We’re a good team – we have our separate areas of expertise, so keep out of each other’s hair.”
The week the café opened, Cameron added a little more excitement and surprised Amy (on her birthday, no less!) with a private dinner for two in their beloved eatery and topped it off with a sentimental proposal.
But with the business a firm focus, wedding planning took a back seat. Finally, three years later, they thought about venues and quickly fell in love with the only one they visited: Coo Cathedral was booked for Saturday, 29 July 2017.
Sourcing suppliers was pretty easy too, thanks to their local connections. They personally knew all but one of those who provided something for them on the day.
The creative twosome and their family had plenty of input too, pulling together a relaxed, country barn-style wedding – with a definite bird theme, of course! The tables were named after their feathered friends and intricate origami birds hung behind the charming altar, which was handmade by Cameron’s stepdad. He also fashioned a giant order of service out of weathered planks of wood, whilst Amy’s sister made a selection of quirky old-school lawn games. They personalised the venue too, creating themed sections, including a super-cute photo area and a secluded girly corner, complete with hair straighteners and flip-flops.
When it came to sweet treats, there was no question of whether it’d be DIY! The favours – fudge and honey – were homemade and Amy crafted a simple and elegant three-tier cake: a white and gold delicacy with a layer of maple syrup and white chocolate, one with chocolate fudge and one with lemon.
When the big day rolled around, Amy was a mix of nerves and excitement as she donned her beautiful gown (completely different to the style she thought she’d go for!) and headed down the aisle. It couldn’t have been more personal, with the registrar a Birdhouse customer and the couple sharing vows they’d each written.
A sunny drinks reception followed, with an incredible falconry display giving a nod to the bird theme and entertaining guests. A feast followed, topped off with Birdhouse-style tray bakes, courtesy of the bride’s mum: “We wanted to feed everyone as much as possible!”
In the evening, guests toasted with Amy and Cameron-themed cocktails (Pimm’s and rum mojito respectively) and got some healthy bride-versus-groom competition going with a tally for the most popular pitcher.
They were also treated to the debut of a brand new band. Having spotted the group at Banchory Beer Festival, the couple asked to book them for the wedding: “They said they weren’t a band – they’d just formed for a work competition and this had been their first gig,” explains Amy. “They agreed though, and put in so much effort to learn all our songs!”
Reflecting on the big day, Amy sums it up in one word: overwhelming – in a good way, of course: “The day before the wedding I walked down the High Street and everyone came out of their shops to wish me well. We’ve had so many cards and gifts from our lovely customers and some of them even came to watch us arrive at Coo!”