Book & Bee Illustration at Restoration Yard

How to plan the perfect wedding

So you got engaged this Christmas. Congratulations! Woohoo. What next? Here Thea Griffiths, wedding coordinator at Restoration Yard and Dalkeith Country Park, shares her top tips for planning your perfect big day

Take a breath, enjoy the moment and take some time to discuss what you both really want from your big day

So are you looking for a big formal affair or something a little more, low key? Are you both on the same page when it comes to the type of day you’re planning? Now is the time to set that straight, create a realistic budget, think about guest numbers and start looking at venues that might create just what you want, when you want and with the people you want there.

St Mary's Church Wedding at Dalkeith Country Park

Don’t be overwhelmed by the big venue search

In Scotland you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to unique wedding venues. Certainly around Edinburgh there are so many beautiful wedding venues from castles to beautiful bespoke bolt-holes. For weddings at Restoration Yard in Dalkeith Country we offer a very, personalised service. We can create a full-on formal day with a church wedding followed by traditional wedding breakfast but we also find that many couples are just as happy with a simple BBQ on the lawn. That’s why it’s important to get the right venue for you. They should be able to create something that feels very ‘unique to you.’ A sweep across the internet on a unique wedding venue hunt may overwhelm but boil it down to three or four you’d like to see in person. When couples come to see us they often come away surprised by how bespoke I can make their wedding day. That’s not possible to convey via an internet form, no matter how detailed.

Enjoy yourselves

Planning a wedding shouldn’t be a task. It’s meant to be fun. Don’t get stressed and embrace the joy. Go wedding dress or suit hunting with family or friends to make it more of an occasion than an onerous problem.  Also, make some ‘you’ time for the two of you as a couple to relish in the fun stuff. Spend an evening listening to your favourite tracks, listening to the potentials for the ceremony or the first dance. Make lists of all the quirky things you’d adore to be part of your day. Perhaps you’re a dog lover and your four-legged friend must be the ring-bearer? We’ve had a few special dogs enjoy being part of weddings at Restoration Yard.

Think about what your guests might like

Weddings are wonderful things for bringing together all generations. However, that can mean a real mix up of guests’ needs. Will there be lots of kids? Do you need to think of a little entertainment for them? That could simply be some sticker books on the table (pic of sticker books from store at Restoration Yard) or it could be a room of cute wigwams for when those little people conk out later. We love Wigwams and wishes . Also, your more mature guests might find the band or DJ a bit much and need a chillout zone. At Restoration Yard, we have our lovely Boudoir which has played several roles at different weddings. It can be a crèche or it has been a little respite area for older guests to enjoy away from the throng.

Food for thought

Food is very much part of the day. From those reception canapes to the wedding breakfast, food is often the talking point at a wedding and it’s often the thing that couples worry about getting right. It’s why I work very closely with our chef to make a bespoke menu for every couple who choose to have their wedding at Restoration Yard. We enjoy our couples’ input and finding a way to express their personalities through delicious, locally sourced food.

Personalise, personalise, personalise

Personalise your wedding at restoration yard in Dalkeith Country Park

People want to come to your wedding to celebrate the two of you. Personalise their experience where you can by bringing the day alive with your personalities. Perhaps that’s a photo gallery of the two of you through the ages? Or perhaps a flower wall of your favourite blooms? We love Wild Flowers for their artistic installations.

Thank you to wedding photographers Helen Pugh Photography and Claire Fleck Photography for the images in this feature