Updated: Jul 13
As I mentioned in my last post – I guess our wedding was pretty unusual despite being pretty traditional.
Full disclosure, I had a four-part series written and it’s somehow completely disappeared from my laptop, and I’m feeling pretty disheartened at the moment so not sure I can commit to writing that much again! But I’ll try my best.
From our engagement until the big day we had just nine weeks to plan and prepare, so everything moved really quickly.
The main thing we had to consider was that we needed somewhere to actually host this wedding! Our ceremony was held in St Patrick's in Old Kilpatrick and it was beautiful. I’d dreamed of getting married there since I was a kid.
That was all well and good, but there was the small matter of our evening reception. The church itself doesn’t have a hall, otherwise that would have been a sensible choice!
We thought long and hard about it, there weren’t really any venues nearby that would have been able to give us what we wanted – and knew we could realistically achieve.
It was actually Simon that had the idea of the marquee.
An outdoor reception would spark fear into the hearts of most, but one of Simon's best traits is that he’s a do-er. So we spoke to my work, Young Enterprise Scotland, based in Rouken Glen Park, who were all too happy to let the site be taken over for our big day.
The marquee was our biggest cost and definitely our biggest stressor. I’m not going to name them nor could I ever recommend them, but they supplied the marquee, some of our tables and the chairs. In fairness we were on a budget and they were literally the only option we could afford.
All in I think we spent just over £3,500 – but this was still about £7K cheaper than the other quotes we received.
The biggest lesson I learned is that I should invest in a decent marquee – I’d have saved myself a fortune!
Being your own planner is stressful, and I’m not the most chilled out person to begin with so I did find myself struggling. You do need people to delegate to.
For a lot of our site-based stuff this fell to my boss Mark, who was a very willing volunteer. However, all of my colleagues at YES were amazing throughout the whole thing. From my slight wobble the day before my wedding when I thought it looked shit, to the day after when they helped me pick up cups and napkins from around the site.
We made use of the resources on site too, the Eco-Lodge was ideally placed for toilets and the Boardroom served as a toasty breakout space. We had quite a lot of older people and kids at our wedding, so were aware they might not want to be right in about the action all the time.
The other room used was our Classroom, it’s since had a pretty dramatic facelift but was the perfect venue for our drinks reception and later on my mum’s friend Kate used our industrial kitchen to supply the buffet to feed the masses.
It was a decent space to cover, and we also had our Greenhouse which was earmarked for our photos, so the next thing we had to consider was our décor.
As I mentioned before, our budget was near enough non-existent so things were going to be homemade, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t still deliver. Poundland, eBay and Home Bargains became my best friends, the money we did spend was in there.
The year before we got married, Simon’s sister had her wedding in the Highlands and it was easily the most beautiful wedding I’ve been to, so I pinched a couple of Maxine’s ideas, (she’s very creative and manages to make crafty things look far easier than they are!) I had everyone I knew collecting jars and bottles for me to begin my table centrepieces.
I quickly decided that we were going to go for a pretty rustic looking style, our tables would be set out in three long rows so this made it much easier.
Firstly I measured the full length of each row and ordered rolls of jute fabric, this wasn’t particularly expensive; this is similar to the style we went for.
We ran one roll down each table, and had them laid with paper tablecloths underneath. This transformed the tables instantly from pretty knackered looking trestle tables into something a bit nicer.
Next I knew I wanted slices of wooden logs, so Simon's mum was able to source these from her work. We had to wait for these to dry out but it needed to be done slowly to avoid cracks occurring from rapid temperature changes. This wasn’t something I was too bothered about as I think it would have added to the overall character. The wooden logs were then dotted along the tables ready to be dressed up.
I had a full production line of centrepieces going in the run up to the big day, I was creating them, Simon was and our mum's were. Each of the glass bottles and jars we’d collected in the run up were given a scrub and repurposed. Some became candle holders, some held fairly lights and others held flowers.
I bought loads of crafting materials as mentioned above, things like ribbon offcuts in pale pink and pale blue, lengths of lace ribbon, pom pom trimmings and glitter pens just to name a couple.
No two jars were alike, I loved the sporadic nature of our decorations and it pulled together so well at the end.
I didn’t have anything specific in mind for my flowers but I knew there wasn’t much point in spending a total fortune on them. We were lucky that Simon’s mum and stepdad had offered to pay for our flowers, so we raided all of the nearby Lidl’s and Asdas for anything pink! I love Gypsophila so that played a huge part in our arrangements along with pink roses and Gerbera daisies.
The great thing about making your own decorations and not hiring is that you can use them for years later as a little reminder of your big day.
I still use a few as vases, but have others to keep cotton buds in, some hold makeup brushes and others keep little knick knacks together like kirbys and bobbles.
The next part in my wedding series will be looking at your catering and wedding prep – I’ll try not to leave it so long till the next part!