The simplest strategy is often the most successful. At least that was Devin Hollars’ theory when he spied a beautiful stranger, Laura Towers, across a crowded room. “From the first moment I saw Laura, I was completely captivated,” he admits. Unfortunately, no one in his group of friends knew her, either. What’s a spellbound guy to do when there’s no one to make the introduction? “I just walked up to her and introduced myself.” Thankfully, Laura appreciated his candor (and bravery), and a lasting courtship was thus born. When it came time to pop the question, Devin arranged a surprise picnic at their favorite lakeside spot near Los Angeles. As meticulous as he is romantic, Devin even gave Laura an ivory vintage dress to wear to the celebratory dinner they shared that special evening.
As a production director for King Dahl Event Design in Southern California, Devin knows a thing or two about orchestrating an event—the pitfalls as well as the tricks of the trade. But when he and Laura decided on an intimate, culturally expressive wedding in Scotland, Devin’s repertoire and that of his mother, also an event coordinator, were tested. Securing legal documents and planning technical details from afar posed new challenges for the bride and groom, but even with the occasional obstacle to surmount, the process was well worth the magical results. This is evidenced by the “amazing” photos the couple received from their photographer Dee Parodi, who was wildly successful at capturing the emotion between Laura and Devin and the beauty of the unconventional location.
Laura and Devin chose to hold the ceremony and reception at Balgonie Castle, a 14th century residence situated along the banks of the river Leven in eastern Scotland. The massive, cavernous structure formed a dramatic contrast against the delicate details that styled the wedding. A rare, all-blue selection of flowers—roses, belladonna, thistle, sweet peas, hyacinth and hydrangea—were flown in exclusively from Holland and accented by crystal gemstones in the bouquets. While the groom and his party wore traditional kilts, the bride wore a contemporary dress fashioned after a beaded, Old World design.
For Laura and Devin’s twenty-one guests, the weekend’s schedule of events was printed on antiqued scrolls of paper, and at just a few moments past the specified time, Laura appeared on her father’s arm for the candlelit ceremony. “We had a bagpiper play ‘Greensleeves’ as Laura walked down the aisle. It was very intimate and touching… an unforgettable memory,” affirms Devin.
And then the feast: a simple presentation of Scottish fare—poached salmon, roasted lamb, carrot-coriander soup and crusty bread—was served with an array of wine and cocktails that included none other than Scotch whiskey. It was an understated gathering that was still so full of character, due in large part to such a rare location. Its true essence, however, was a result of Laura and Devin’s keen focus to keep the celebration cozy and timeless… much like the enduring honeymoon they took to historic European locales in Scotland, Ireland, Italy and France.