(from a wedding coordinator)
Organising bespoke weddings from a venue's perspective gives you a unique insight into how to orchestrate a successful wedding. You might think that the mark of a successful wedding is that everything goes exactly to plan, the flowers are perfect and your meal goes without a hitch. Having seen dozens of weddings, I have to say, I disagree with that.
For me, a successful wedding is one where the celebrant brings a tear to everyone's eyes with their personal quips about the couple they are marrying, where the wee bridesmaid makes everyone giggle as they are convinced the day is about them, when the meal is pushed back half an hour because the photographer can't stop capturing the happy couple, when the band end up having as much fun as the guests and, most importantly, when the couple spend the whole day smiling from ear to ear, enjoying their perfectly imperfect day with their friends and family.
At Riddle's Court, we strive to make each and every wedding is personal to our couples and ensure the day runs without a hitch. The thanks, hugs and letters we receive after our weddings are the justification we need to know that our couples have had the best day possible within our much-loved venue.
So here are a few tips for a successful wedding, from one of the Riddle's Court wedding coordinators.
1. CHOOSE TRUSTED SUPPLIERS, AND TRUST THEM
Your wedding suppliers will be integral to your special day, so it's important you choose wisely. Get recommendations from friends, family, your venue and other suppliers and build an amazing wedding team of people and companies who will make your vision a reality.
Then you just have to trust them. When choosing a florist, choose someone whose style you adore and then allow them to do their best and most confident work for you. Florists are experienced and passionate individuals who know how best to work with different spaces and lights, choosing what is in season and using colours that compliment your palette. Let them be as creative as possible and you'll love the outcome!
The same goes when choosing someone to capture your big day. Browsing a photographer's gallery will give you an idea of their style and what you could expect from a wedding album. Consider where they have experience shooting and how that will work with your venue. Look at the kind of shots they've captured from previous weddings. Are they atmospheric landscape shots, personal candid shots or creative artistic shots? What kind of album do you really want? Most of all, choose a photographer who you like and would be comfortable having at your wedding, because they will be there all day!
2. PREPARATION IS KEY, BUT IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE YOUR JOB
Once you have your key suppliers organised, you should be able to sit back and let it all happen. Get a spreadsheet together for your suppliers, their contact details and important information about what they are doing. Then about one month to two weeks before the wedding, contact them all to confirm that everything is sorted and to find out what time they will arrive and leave, what equipment they will bring onsite and what they will require from the venue. Pass this onto your venue's wedding coordinator so they don't have any surprises on the day, and can get in contact with people if necessary. This way, you won't have to worry about a thing.
When it comes to the evening before the big day, try to limit final setup as much as possible. The less time you spend setting up, the better. In order to do this, you can do a lot in advance. Put your name cards in order so that you can whiz around the table, setting them out. Have tea lights ready in holders, packed tightly in a box, so that it's easy to put them into place. Prepare your guest book and have pens ready to go. Make signs to go around the venue ahead of time. Bring your favours and get them on the table in advance. As with everything, don't leave it to the last minute. You'd be better spending an hour at the venue, followed by a relaxing evening, rather than six hours tirelessly beautifying the building and a late night before the big day.
On your wedding day, leave the details to someone else. Make sure the best man or maid of honour have the day's plan, know where everyone's supposed to be and who to find to answer any queries. Take a hands-off approach to the day so that you can enjoy it as much as everyone else!
3. THE LITTLE TOUCHES
There are a lot of small things you can do that will not only make the day even better for your guests, but also to bring some uniqueness to your wedding. One of my favourite ideas that we've had at the venue was little 'comfort boxes' in the bathrooms. They contained tissues, face wipes, deodorant, hairspray, hair gel, sanitiser and mouthwash, and were very useful throughout the night! A lovely personal idea was stringing up photos around the building of the couple and their family throughout the years. This creates a nice talking point for relatives that either haven't met or haven't seen each other in years! A popular addition to weddings at the moment is a pic 'n' mix station, which goes down just as well with the kids as it does with the adults. Another wedding decided to have a homemade tablet station instead, as most of the guests weren't Scottish. One of our most unique weddings included a Wii room where we had a couple of screens setup and the guests had a quiet, fun place to go throughout the evening.
Something personal and unique goes a long way at a wedding.
4. DON'T FORGET THE KIDS
You may choose not to have young ones at your wedding, but if you do, don't forget them! If you want them (and their parents) to have as much fun as possible, make sure they are catered for. From a space to retire to if the ceremony gets too much, to a high chair at dinner; and from something to keep them quiet during speeches to entertainment whilst their parents let their hair down at the disco. If you consider them a little but, the day will definitely run smoother, much to the enjoyment of their parents!
A recent wedding here included a kids room with Duplo for the young ones, colouring books at dinner and even a mattress for those who needed a nap in the evening.
5. ENJOY AND CAPTURE THE MEMORIES THAT YOU WANT
This is your day that you have worked tirelessly to hand-craft and will be one of the best days of your life. It's a beautiful, romantic celebration of your relationship that you get to enjoy with everyone you love most in the world, so make sure you get out of it exactly what you want. If you want a morning getting ready with the amazing women in your life, get everyone together to get dolled up with a fancy breakfast spread and prosecco, and capture those funny memories with your friends. If you want a big group photo with everyone at the wedding, make sure someone arranges this and gets everyone in one space for one minute. If you and your partner want to get away from the venue for half an hour to get some photos in your favourite location, schedule this into your day. If you want a book of funny, memorable, kind words from your friends and family, make sure your guest book is in a prime place and that someone has been nominated to make sure everyone writes in it. If you have the perfect song to end your wedding reception, make sure the band know about it and make it the best song of the night.
There are so many moments and memories to be had at your wedding and you don't want to miss out on a single one. It is your day to please yourself and have the best time, so make sure you make it everything you want it to be.
We love weddings at Riddle's Court, and each one is just as exciting as the last.
Get in touch with our wedding coordinators to plan your bespoke wedding at Riddle's Court.
0131 510 8789