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All weddings big and small – part one of our guide to planning your special day

Whether you’ve just got engaged or have postponed your big day during the last 12 months…  current wedding planning might not be exactly how you expected – but things are beginning to look up!

With the restrictions on weddings and receptions beginning to lift in coming weeks and months,  we have spoken with some top Scottish suppliers to bring you some top tips and advice when prepping for your big (or small!) day…

Weddings that have been able to go ahead in the last year,  and for the time being,  are of course limited to much smaller numbers of guests and conditions,  however,  an intimate gathering does have its benefits too…  In fact now could be the perfect time if you don’t want to go overboard on budget – some venues are offering a waiver on minimum guests surcharge for example – or if you want to remove the potential headache of a large guest list.  Gillian Reith of Three Sisters Bake tells us their venue – Killearn Village Hall – normally has a minimum guest count of 75, ‘for the duration of the pandemic we have waived these minimum numbers and any surcharges so it is possible so have a smaller and therefore more budget friendly wedding at the moment’.

Small and personal

With so many couples opting to postpone their day there is also an opportunity to secure a venue that would normally be booked out years in advance.  The same can be said for other services – Craig, of Craig & Eva Sanders Photography, says  ‘Our clients generally tend to be for bigger weddings and almost all of them have moved their date to later this year or onto 2022.  This has opened up many weekends that would otherwise be fully booked for us.’ – if you are looking to book a small wedding sometime this year then perhaps a supplier you have your heart set on may have dates opening up.  Craig’s advice is definitely to contact your suppliers of choice as early as possible – but with the wealth of talent in the industry you are bound to find someone you love for everything from photography, hair and makeup down to florists, transport and venue!

Videographer Mike Stark says he has enjoyed the luxury of more time with the bride and groom at recent smaller weddings,  ‘This allows us to get some really nice relaxed shots with the couple, with no concerns about timing’. With up to 50 guests allowed at your wedding/reception from April 26th,  this relaxed,  intimate ceremony and evening reception may well be the type of gathering more suited to some couples.

Planning in a virtual world

At Blair and Sheridan we have adapted the way we work in the last year and been able to offer one-to-one design consultations via Zoom, email and telephone which has been highly successful – a service that we will be continuing to provide.  As such we have been able to continue with our bespoke jewellery service with many engagement and wedding ring designs being crafted by our in house jewellery design and goldsmith team despite not being able to open our doors for most of 2020.

Red gold teamed with a trilogy of pear shaped diamonds were selected for this beautiful engagement ring design

Red gold teamed with a trilogy of pear shaped diamonds were selected for this beautiful engagement ring design

Many industry suppliers and venues have made use of similar virtual settings.  Three Sisters Bake have also been conducting Zoom consultations;  ‘We now offer a venue booking option with 100% refundable deposits upon viewing if required, when these are allowed again.’  Mike Stark agrees,  ‘We have had plenty of couples book based only on virtual meetings – some are US based, but most UK based. Whilst zoom will never replace the benefit of meeting in person, it’s certainly been a worthy stand in.’

Our top five tips for couples looking into wedding planning in 2021:

  • Be prepared to be flexible
  • Contact your first choice suppliers as early as possible
  • If you are happy with a small wedding then now is your time – contact suppliers you perhaps ruled out before as they may have cancellations this year.
  • Don’t make any bookings based on price alone!
  • Research is key! The best industry suppliers are well reviewed on social media, wedding blogs and of course word of mouth.

Some couples managed to get married towards the end of 2020 with the plan to have a reception later this year too.
There are no ‘rules’ and anything goes, make the day your own!

Thanks to our friends & contributors:
Craig and Eva Sanders photography (2 main images used above) – craigevasanders.co.uk
Mike Stark Videography – rplweddings.com
Three Sisters Bake – threesistersbake.co.uk