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Meet Asha, Our Wedding & Events Coordinator

Thinking of a wedding at Restoration Yard in Dalkeith Country Park? Set in wonderfully re-imagined 18th Century stables just a few miles from Edinburgh in Midlothian, Restoration Yard really is the perfect setting for your dream wedding. It’s a unique place to have some fun and let your imaginations run wild!

We know choosing a venue and planning your big day can be a little overwhelming, so we aim to make your experience as relaxed and easy as possible. Enter Asha Banerjee, our friendly Wedding & Events Coordinator here to make your special dream wedding at Restoration Yard a reality…

Asha Banerjee, Wedding & Events Coordinator

Asha's Background

Following my degree, I joined The Scotsman Hotel in Edinburgh and worked my way up to Assistant Restaurant Manager. It was there that I discovered my love and passion for the hospitality industry. Having run the weddings and events in the hotel from a Front of House perspective, I absolutely fell in love with the role and knew that weddings and events was the career path that I wanted to pursue.

There is no greater feeling than turning a couple’s vision of their wedding day into a reality.”

Before applying for the role, I had never actually visited Restoration Yard and when I came for my interview, I immediately fell in love with the place. Being the city girl that I am, Restoration Yard felt like an escape from the busy streets of Edinburgh and I always describe it to people as a little oasis outside of the city. The entire ethos of the company and its focus on mindfulness and wellbeing is so inspiring.

What are your top ten tips for couples planning their big day?

1. Do these five things first

If you are recently engaged, I really recommend doing these 5 things first:

  • Do not do anything for at least a week or more. Just enjoy being engaged and spend that time with your fiancé to celebrate this new chapter of your life. Do not start to panic about all the wedding planning that needs to be done because there is plenty of time for that!
  • Compile a guest list to give you an idea of how many day and evening guests you are looking to have.
  • Figure out what season you want to get married in or if there is a specific day that you want to get married on.
  • Set a budget – as annoying as this can be, it is good to start your wedding planning journey with a clear idea of how much you would like to spend on your wedding.
  • Start looking at venues – this is where you use your guest list numbers, ideal date/season for your wedding day and budget to find the wedding venue that is right for you and eliminate the ones that are not.

2. Get them booked

I think the 2 most important things to book first are your venue and photographer. I wouldn’t recommend booking any other suppliers or vendors until these two things are booked. If you have a specific venue or photographer in mind, you really want to make sure that they are both available on the date that you want before you plan anything else.  Once these two things are confirmed, it is a lot easier to start planning the rest of your wedding.

The Orangerie at Dalkeith Country Park

3. Re-purpose your decorations

A great way to cut costs is by re-purposing your ceremony decorations and flowers for your wedding meal and evening reception which means that you don’t have to spend a fortune on buying a lots of flowers for both spaces.

Table decorations in The Kitchen at Restoration Yard

4. Get the most out of your bouquets

Use your bridesmaid’s bouquets as floral pieces for your table decorations. This will not only mean that you will save money as you won’t need to purchase as many flower arrangements, but it also means that the bouquets are put to good use because more often than not they are put down during the meal and either get lost or are ruined because they are not kept in water throughout the day.

Bridesmaids in the courtyard at Restoration Yard

5. Give your photographer a first look

Bring your photographer to your wedding venue before the big day. This gives your photographer the chance to see the surroundings beforehand and spot good places to take different photos on the big day so they can have a plan of action. Photographers are usually very busy, especially during the drinks reception, trying to capture couple shots, group shots and shots of the venue. Coming to the venue beforehand means that they can be more prepared and know exactly where to go for different shots.

Restoration Yard Courtyard

6. Think about wedding favours

Favours can be such a nice idea and they can really elevate the look of your wedding meal tables. However, a lot of the time people will forget about them and they end up in the bin. Because of this, I recommend choosing a favour that can be put to good use e.g. seeds that can be planted or use the funds that would have gone towards favours and donate it to charity instead. Alternatively, go for favours that are personal to each guest e.g. a small thank you note, which means people are more likely to keep it.

Table settings in The Kitchen

7. Get crafty with your invites

I would not recommend spending a fortune on stationary design companies for invitations, table menus and place cards. There are so many terrific designs on Etsy for half the price or use a free tool, such as Canva, that has thousands of free template designs and get these printed instead. Also when you are thinking about how many invitations to order, think about the number of households rather than your guest count – you can save a lot of money by doing this!

Wedding reception in The Kitchen

8. Take some time for you two

A ‘first look’ is such a lovely idea which allows you to have that personal and intimate moment with your fiancé before your big day. A lot of couples find that they don’t get to spend a lot of alone time with their partner on the day, so this is such a great way to make sure that you spend that quality time with your other half. If you don’t want to do a ‘fist look’, I recommend scheduling a small 20 minute slot somewhere in your wedding schedule to give you that alone time with your partner.

Dalkeith Country Park

9. Layout your non-negotiables

Right off the bat, sit down with your fiancé and decide on the top 3 things that are priorities to you both on your big day. This means that when you start your wedding planning journey you are both aligned and on the same page which avoids a lot of disagreements further down the line.

10. Give yourself plenty of time

Leave enough time in the morning to take photos with your bridal party before you go to the venue. When you are getting your hair and makeup done, this time will go by so quickly and people forget to factor in time for your photographer to take pictures once everyone is ready. Getting ready almost always take longer than you think, so add an extra 30 minutes to an hour for this so that you have plenty of time to take photos and not feel rushed.

Planning a wedding? We'd love to hear from you!

Whether you're looking for a fairytale outdoor wedding ceremony in our historic Orangerie or at the local St Mary's Church; A reception on the lawn, in The Kitchen or even a marquee in the grounds. There are so many options for a wedding at Restoration Yard and we’re here to help you plan your perfect day every step of the way. Download our wedding brochure HERE or email asha@restorationyard.com.