our blogging groom | venues - family expectations vs what we want

Happy new year all you lovely folk. I hope you had a smashing time over the festive season and are at least 6 pounds heavier with a long list of resolutions that can wait until tomorrow (a little insight into my life there).

It was a pretty quiet time for us, family hopping on Christmas day, lots of Netflix, lots of food and little work. 

I don’t think the last of Edinburgh’s bells had fallen quiet before Cat chirped up with “Waaaahhhh we’re getting married this year”. And so the immortal words “the time will fly past” ring especially true. She has an app. The countdown is officially on.

As I’ve mentioned before, both myself and Cat work in the wedding industry. So when thoughts first turned to booking, it was definitely “this is going to be easy”. Haha, so naïve, so wrong.

There is an overwhelming number of things to think about when you have nothing but a blank diary date in front of you. More than I’d considered.

The biggest box to be ticked is the location. Our initial thought was the place we got engaged but they couldn’t take the booking. They suggested Christmas day. We were pretty tied to our date in October for a constant stream of logistical reasons so we politely declined.

Our remit for a venue was fairly simple. We don’t want to get married somewhere that we have worked a lot of weddings and we don’t want a venue that does a lot of weddings. These obviously aren’t major concerns for most people, but hopefully the logic is clear.  Having a venue that we don’t know inside out is important in making our wedding day feel special to us. Another important factor was marrying somewhere that we could have an influence in what the place looks like on the day. 

This seems like such a good idea until the realisation hits of what you’ve let yourself in for. An upside of a venue that hosts regular weddings is that there is an infrastructure that you can work with. In our heads a blank canvas meant free reign to decorate. That's true of course, but how do you decorate an empty room in a day, for one day?

You can do anything, and that in itself is a problem. And that's the tip of the iceberg. We're going to need to bring in a caterer, the caterer needs ovens, the ovens need a tent kitchen (I'm thinking GB Bake Off, I'm definitely wrong), the food needs plates and the guests (probably) need forks, maybe a knife if they're lucky. People need drinks and the drinks need a bar, which needs a licence and staff. It's October and it's Scotland, we need heaters. We need music, which needs a PA system (an iphone dock probably aint cutting it). It goes on, honestly. My hands are sweating typing this. And I know that there's something down the line that we've not even considered yet. Hopefully we will. But hey, if we don't, what's the worst that can happen? Right?

Last year, my friend, and supremo wedding photographer Jo Donaldson, posted a great set of wedding photographs at an epic looking venue (which you can see below), that I otherwise knew nothing about. We checked it out online, it looked great, we got in the car, we booked it the next day. It was the first venue that we went to visit (the same week we got engaged). We visited on a whim and the staff there couldn’t have been more helpful. They totally understand the type of wedding that people would want to have there and are so accommodating. It’s in a beautiful part of the country, it’s roughly the same distance from each of our families (East v West). We were shown around and I think had both decided before we’d even said a word to each other. 

Afterwards, conversations went along the lines of:

“We've booked Knockraich Farm as our wedding venue."

“Sorry, did you say…'farm'?"

If you are reading a wonderful blog like Braw Brides, then I’m sure the concept of a farm/barn wedding is nothing new to you. That’s not always the case and I guess stepping out of my own shoes I can see why it sounds so odd to a generation that have only ever known weddings in churches then hotels. There doesn’t seem to be much romance in horse $h!t and muddy fields. However, neither Cat or myself are very traditional. And so it is important to us that we don’t fall into a trap of thinking “well this is the way it’s supposed to be done”. Advice I give every couple I photograph, is that if you don’t want to do it on your wedding day, don’t do it. Traditions had to start somewhere and presumably that means they will end somewhere as new ones are started (your crazy 2016 idea could become the cake cutting of 2046!). 

So the approach the we have taken with our venue, and the one that we are taking more broadly, is that, if we want to do it and think it will make the day fun for us and our guests, then we will do it. If we don’t like it, we won’t, however sacred the tradition. 

We’ve realised that we won’t always be pleasing everyone and there might be some appeasing to do (an extra cocktail here, an extra piece of cake there).

We’ll try our hardest to make our day work for everyone and I’m happy with that.

I hope that everybody that we want to be there will, on the day, enjoy it as much as I hope we do.