Neither Lauren Dixon nor Neil Mandt thought that they'd ever find love in L.A., so they took to Match.com — and found each other. The couple loves to travel (they've visited over 120 countries between the two of them), so Neil knew he had to make the proposal memorable. Neil couldn't think of anything more romantic than the Taj Mahal, built by the emperor to honor the memory of his wife, so Neil invited Lauren to join him on a business trip to India and began hatching a plan. Neil is a producer, writer, and director, so of course there needed to be video cameras present, but it wasn't until 1 a.m. the night before he popped the question that he got his permit to bring cameras in! A few clever ruses and a fake Wikipedia page purported to be about the Taj Mahal (but actually containing his proposal!) later, Neil asked, and Lauren said yes. (Watch a video to see how it all went down!)
When the time came to say "I do," the couple invited 85 guests to join them in Scotland for five days of whisky tasting, ghost tours, and other activities in Edinburgh, then drove north to Fettercairn for the October 8th, 2014 wedding at Fasque House Estate. They worked with planners on both sides of the Atlantic (Orange Blossom Special Events in Los Angeles, and Weddings by Sara Jane in the UK) to create a wedding that highlighted the beauty of the estate, all photographed by John Konkal Photography.
Gold-and-grey invitations, topped with the couple's crest, were sealed with gold wax and a custom stamp.
Lauren kept her bridal look simple, wearing silver Burberry flats, delicate diamond studs, and a blue pin that belonged to her grandmother. "My sister wore the pin on her wedding day, too," says the bride.
Her figure-hugging gown was a Nicole Miller design, with a glamorous sweeping train and embellished illusion neckline. Pink roses and white dahlias added some extra romance to the bride's sophisticated look.
For a wedding in Scotland, it was only fitting that the wedding party be decked out to match the venue. The groom and his groomsmen wore kilts, and Lauren's bridesmaids wore chiffon dresses in emerald green.
The ceremony took place in the estate's 150-year-old chapel, with a bagpiper playing as guests entered.
Though the setting was traditional, the couple went modern with the music. Lauren walked down the aisle by "She" by Elvis Costello, with the doors to the chapel dramatically opening just as the lyrics began, and the bride and groom walked out as the "Love Theme" from Love Actually played.
Inside, guests sat at classically dressed tables topped with pink-and-white centerpieces for a meal featuring vegetables grown on the estate grounds, chicken stuffed with haggis, and glasses of locally-blended Scallywag Scotch Whisky. Each table was named after a city Lauren and Neil had visited together, and included a picture of them from the trip.
One of Lauren's favorite memories from the wedding took place a few days earlier, as 38 male guests descended upon a kilt shop to pick up their rented Scottish formalwear. "None of them had ever worn a kilt before, so in addition to being measured and all that, they had to learn how to physically wear the garments," Lauren laughs. "We figured it would be overwhelming, so we made sure to follow that up with a beer tasting at the pub next door!"
And of course the couple headed to another far-flung destination for their honeymoon, jetting to Reykjavik, Iceland to bask in newly-wedded bliss.
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Fasque House Estate || Wedding Planner: Orange Blossom Special Events, Weddings by Sara Jane || Bride's Wedding Dress: Nicole Miller || Shoes: Burberry || Jewelry: Ben-Amun || Makeup: Chicabelle || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale || Groom's Attire: 21st Century Kilts || Groomsmen's Attire: McCalls Highlandwear || Ring Bearer's Attire: Little Legs Baby Kilts || Florist & Rentals: Supernova Wedding Design & Flowers || Invitations & Paper Goods: Orange Blossom Special Events, Copper Willow Paper Studio, CW Designs || Music: bagpiper - Thistle Piping, reception - Callanish Music || Catering: The Arch Bistro || Videography: Weddings by Mallard || Photography: John Konkal Photography