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It is 9 months almost to the day that I will be saying the proverbial “I dos” and I am now in full wedding planning mode, which is scientifically defined as complete consumption of your brain and inability to fall asleep due to uncontrollable urges to trawl pinterest for favour ideas and place name settings! I never thought it would get to this stage. I was so sure I would be calm and measured and organised since I work in the events industry and I gave myself 18 months to plan the wedding. I started out thinking, “this will be a breeze”… and it was a breeze… up to a point.

So here is part 1 of my story detailing all the stuff that was a breeze.

We got engaged in December 2014 and agreed we would plan to get married in June 2016 allowing us a generous 18 months to plan the wedding. Since we are planning to get married in the UK but we live in Dubai, we thought this amount of time would be necessary and we weren’t wrong. We have had to sacrifice all our annual holiday time and flight money for trips back to the UK for appointments with wedding people which is why we are planning three honeymoons!

Myself and my fiancé are both British but as I said living in Dubai. My parents are originally from Scotland and my fiancé’s grandfather was a Macdonald of Clan Ranald so it only felt right that we get married in Scotland and my favourite city in the world, Edinburgh.

All the major decisions were actually really easy because these are the things that I have been dreaming about for years before I even got engaged (n’awww). I found the dress within days of getting engaged (it was the second dress I tried on), we found the venue on a 3 day visit back to the UK in January and with that I chose my photographer then I already knew the band I wanted because they performed at my brother and sister’s weddings. 

So what have I picked?…

The Venue

We were blown over by the beauty of remote halls and manors in the Scottish countryside, but we needed to have accommodation for all our guests since they were in the middle of nowhere and any venues that were big enough to house all of our 150 guests had really small reception rooms. They often said they could accommodate up to 400 guests but this was in a marquee and we felt that you could have a marquee anywhere. That just didn’t feel special to us so we did a bit of a U-turn and decided to focus on Edinburgh city centre and find a hotel in the city that people could stay in. We looked at 6 absolutely stunning venues and were completely spoilt for choice in such a beautiful and historic city but we decided on The Signet Library on the Royal Mile.

There is an upper and a lower library, the latter of which is still a fully functioning law library during the week, which was a nice link since my fiancé is a lawyer and I studied Law and Business at university.

The Photographer

As I previously mentioned, I found our photographer by looking at blogs of previous photographers that had worked in that venue and found Elemental Photography. I wanted to use a photographer that was familiar with the venue and therefore knew the hidden locations that they have seen make a good photograph. 

The Band

This was a very easy decision that had been made before me and my fiancé were even together! My sister had a band at her wedding called Callanish who are a troop of musicians in Scotland under the label Banana Row. The idea is that you select a playlist of music and the musicians that are most relevant and experienced to that style of music perform at your wedding. They also play a mixture of contemporary wedding music and Ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee) music which is traditional Scottish gaelic folk music accompanied by set dances that the guests join in with. You usually have a ceilidh caller who will explain the dance before you start and then when the music begins you have a mixture of chaos and hilarity as your uncle spins your best friend around the dancefloor! It is a great thing to get all your guests better acquainted and by the end of the night there are so many funny stories to tell.

The Hotel

This was the toughest part of the first wedding planning phase because we were looking for a happy compromise between a hotel that was luxurious enough for us to get ready in and for the honeymoon suite but also not asking our wedding party guests to pay an arm and a leg. Edinburgh is extremely expensive during the summer months too so it really was a mission to find the right solution but I am happy with the hotel we landed on, The Dunstane.

The Invitations

With us getting married in a library and drawing inspiration from another wedding that took place at our venue, we decided to go for a book theme for our wedding invitations. I also famously love penguins so we went for a penguin book design as follows:

Questions I’m facing

Myself and my fiancé have many passions and lots of ideas come from that but with all these ideas there is no obvious theme. For instance we want:

• Middle Eastern food in the evening

• Rugby player table names

• Paper from a typewriter to display the table plan since it will be one long table and the typewriter fits the book theme

• Personalised tin of mints for the favours

• Ice luge in the shape of a camel

• Polaroid camera to take selfies on for our guest book

• Then we want to try and get the Macdonald tartan in somewhere too

So is this a recipe for a messy and unrefined event or is it a nice way to channel our personalities into the wedding day? I feel like pinterest has set the bar really high in terms of unique quirky ideas that follow one lovely theme but then surely the day is about us right so our theme can be… ‘Us’?

So that is all the good stuff that has been a breeze so far, stay tuned to find out more about the disasters and challenges that I have become aware of planning our big day.