Wedding in Edinburgh


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Welcome to the Diary of a Wedding in Edinburgh

On Saturday October 27th I married Stuart in the Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh. In this diary, which I've kept for over a year you can read about my experiences of planning the wedding, including choosing and booking a wedding venue, finding the perfect wedding dress, arranging flowers, cake, a photographer and a band, plus my trials and tribulations along the way.

Stuart and I after our wedding ceremony at the Balmoral
Photo by PhotoCom

Since this is a blog, you will find that all the posts are in reverse order. You can either browse the blog and scroll down to see my last few posts, or use the links below to navigate. If you have any comments or questions please feel free to use the comments facility to leave your feedback!

Our Wedding Day

Wedding Venues in Edinburgh

Wedding Planning

Wedding Ceremony

Wedding Music

Wedding Books

Wedding Photography & Videography

Wedding Dresses & Bridesmaid Dresses

Wedding Flowers

Wedding Cake

Wedding Stationery

Wedding Jewellery & Accessories

Hair and Beauty

Hen Weekend


Misc Ramblings


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Our Wedding - Saturday 27th October 2007

The half hour before the wedding ceremony was a bit blurry - after some photos of me with my bridesmaids and mum & dad in the room, the registrar came up to the room to speak to my sister Karen (one of the witnesses) & I, basically to let me know what would happen during the ceremony, where I had to sign and to check that I was in fact wanting to marry Stuart and hadn't previously been a man (!)

After that, it was down to the front door for some photos and then into the ceremony room with the Piper, my dad and the bridesmaids.

The ceremony was really nice and went really well. Kirsteen & Michelle did lovely readings and Stuart & I managed to happily get through to vows and ring exchange.

Here is a photo of Stuart & I with our witnesses Karen and Simon after the signing of the register.

Karen, Me, Stuart and Simon after signing the register
Photo by PhotoCom

Stuart & I after signing the register
Photo by PhotoCom

After the ceremony we went to the room next door for some more photos and a much needed glass of champers while the guests went downstairs tot he Waverley Suite for some pre dinner drinks.

Me after the wedding ceremony
Photo by Robert Brown

There was about an hour or so of photography - after which I felt I had lost the ability to smile. Thankfully the champagne helped us to continue with the smiling and the posing.

Here are a couple of the photos.

Stuart and I with Jeff, Karen & Emma, Dad and Mum:

Stuart, Me, Jeff, Karen & Emma, Dad, Mum
Photo by PhotoCom

Stuart and I:

Stuart & I
Photo by PhotoCom

After the photographs we had a little while to mingle with the guests and drink a little champagne, then it was time for the lineup. Morris, the master of ceremonies must have got the point across to the guests about being quick as it was the quickest lineup ever -it took less than 5 minutes for around 60 guests to greet our parents and Stuart and I!

We had decided to have the speeches before the meal to allow everyone to relax. My Dad's speech was funny and nice and short, although I think he did embellish the truth a bit (i.e. Stuart and I meeting for the first time across a meeting room at work!). Stuart's speech was very nice and quite emotional. Simon's speech was quite hilarious and suitably embarrassing for Stuart :-)

Our meal was lentil and tomato soup, followed by chicken in red wine sauce with veg & potatoes then apple tart. It was quite disappointing as the food was nowhere near as good as it had been in our tasting and mine was pretty lukewarm as well, so I hope it wasn't like that for everyone.

After dinner there was a bit of a break and some drinks while they turned round the Holyrood suite ready for the evening reception.

The evening reception was great - our band Pulse was excellent, we managed to cut the cake ok and get through the first dance without tripping up.

Here's a cake cutting shot.

cutting the wedding cake

Overall it was a fantastic day and we had a great time. When we got back to our room after the evenng reception the Balmoral had left a bottle of Bollinger on ice and some chocolate dipped strawberries which was a nice touch and we "forced ourselves" to polish of the champagne, which was a lovely end to the day.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Wedding Photos - Before the Ceremony

At 2pm we had a visit from our Photographer - Roman of Photocom who took lots of photos of myself, the bridesmaids and my Mum and Dad.

Here are a few of the photos taken of us before the ceremony.

Me, feeling a little nervous by this point:

Photo by PhotoCom

Stuart outside the Balmoral Hotel before the ceremony:

Photo by PhotoCom

Stuart with his best man Simon and two ushers Chris and Tommy:

Photo by PhotoCom

Me with my Dad and three bridesmaids Karen, Jenny & Kirsteen before the ceremony.

Photo by PhotoCom


Getting Ready for the Wedding (Sat 27th Oct 2007)

This morning I sprung out of bed at around 7am - Kirsteen claims that this is the first time she has seen me spring out of bed. We had a shower and a nice breakfast in the Balmoral of smoked salmon, cereal, toast, cheeses and fruit juice. I decided to save the fat boy fry up until the day after the wedding.

My wee sister Karen came up to the hotel at around 8.45am and we wandered down to the hairdresser - John Malcolm on Forth Street where we met Jenny and had our hair put up while drinking a glass of bucks fizz - a nice start to the morning.

Here's a piccie of my hair at the back:

My Wedding Hairdo

And Karen's hair at the back:

Karen's wedding hairdo

At 11am Jenny and Kirsteen went to Bobbie Brown at Jenners to have their makeup done and Carole came to the hotel to do my makeup.

Wedding Makeup

at 12 my Mum and Karen went to Bobbi Brown for their makeup and Jenny, Kirsteen and I had a much needed glass of champers.

Kirsteen practises her posing for later...

Drinkie for Kirsteen

I take the last opportunity to slouch in my dressing gown.

Pre Wedding Drinkie for me

Jenny enjoys her first drink of many ;-)

Drinkie for Jenny
The flowers arrived on time and were beautiful. Three bridesmaid's hand tied bouquets of black baccarat rose and Vandella Rose with a few Eringium Thistle and my bridal shower bouquet of Black baccarat rose, Vandella rose, White Cala Lily and Denrobium.

Wedding Flowers
Since the ceremony was starting at 2.30pm I decided to get into my dress just after 1pm so that we wouldn't be in a rush trying to get our dresses on.

Tying the Dresses


The Night Before the Wedding

On Friday Kirsteen and I checked into the Balmoral Hotel. We had a lovely room on the 6th floor with big windows, a little turret and fantastic views over the bridges and Arthur's seat.

Here's the view from one of the windows in our room:

View from our room in the Balmoral Hotel Edinburgh

Shortly after checking in we took a mad half hour dash to Berketex, picked up my wedding dress, Kirsteen & Jenny's bridesmaid dresses and walked back along Princes Street with the huge heavy bags.

Here is the front and back of my wedding dress:

Front of Wedding Dress

Back of Wedding Dress
And Kirsteen & Jenny's bridesmaid dresses:

Bridesmaid's Dresses

We both paid a little visit to the Balmoral's Spa for a french pedicure which was very nice and chilled out in their lovely relaxation room with candles, music and fruit juices - it's a shame I can't have that room the morning of the wedding!

In the evening we had a glass or two of Cava then wondered along to Le Sept for a quick bite to eat. I managed to restrain myself and didn't have my usual (French Onion Soup, Duck with Port and Berry Sauce followed by chocolate torte) - i settled instead for haddock crepes and a salad - better for the wedding dress tomorrow.

After dinner Michelle and Ailsa came round and we had a few more cavas (but not too many more for me as I didn't fancy being the hungover bride). Amazingly I wasn't feeling too nervous yet, but after my bedtime bath I found it a bit harder to get to sleep!

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Just Back from Honeymoon

I just got back from South Africa a few days ago. We had a great honeymoon and a fantastic wedding day. I will be posting some diary entries and more photos over the next few days so bear with me while I find all the photos, get them resized and try to remember what happened :-)

I will also be setting up a honeymoon blog all about my honeymoon in South Africa - Diary of a Honeymoon in South Africa


Friday, October 26, 2007

1 Day to Go!!

Well the big day has almost finally come! Everything is going smoothly and I am not feeling nervous (at this precise moment anyway). Yesterday I had a reasonably relaxing day - gym session in the morning again, some handwashing for the honeymoon in the afternoon (really should have done that before getting my nails done!), then went to Berketex with Kirsteen for her final bridesmaid dress fitting - the dress looks lovely on her.

The dining room is currently full of favours, order of services, kids pressies, wedding cameras and more and I am almost packed and ready to go.

Today my mum, sister Karen and baby niece Emma are coming over for a quick visit, then Kirsteen is coming round to help with all the stuff, which we are taking to the Balmoral hotel, where we are staying tonight. I think this is the first time I have ever stayed in a hotel in central Edinburgh so that will be a bit strange, but I am looking forward to staying in the Balmoral.

This afternoon we are picking up my wedding dress and the bridesmaids' dresses to take to the Balmoral, then chilling out for the rest of the day with a visit to the Balmoral Spa for a pedicure, and some general lounging around and perhaps a glass or two of champers.

The next time I write here I will be a wife! Until then....

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

3 Days to go!!!

It's now only 3 days to go until the big day!!!

At the moment I am scared to type as I have just been to the beauty salon and had some gel nail tips. I can't stop looking at my nails as I have never had long nails before. This is going to take some getting used to!

I have managed to finish all my work and I am now taking the opportunity to chill out and relax for a few days before the wedding.

Today, in true lady of leisure style I went to the gym in the morning and then spent the late afternoon and early evening in the beauty salon (Zen, Teviot Place) for some pre wedding treatments. I had some waxing (ouch), followed by a fantastic back treatment of exfoliation, massage and parrafin wax treatment, with foot massage, then 2 hours of gel nail tips with french polish. So I am now feeling ready for the big day. Still no blemishes or blotches on my skin, so I am hoping that this will last for the next few days.

All I really need to do now is tidy up the house and prepare everything to take to the hotel on Friday. I'm not quite sure about the tidying up part as I feel that I shouldn't be doing anything to spoil the nails!

I am pretty much done with the wedding planning now - everything is organised and paid for. Yesterday I made up favours for all the kids and my order of services arrived through the post, so I have nothing much left to do - hooray!

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

My Final Wedding Dress Fitting

On Thursday I had another of these days where I was rushing around like a headless chicken. I worked all morning, went to a personal training session at the gym at lunch time, took the car into town and down to Armchair theatre in Abbeyhill to hand in my final cheque for the payment of the wedding DVD along with a CD with some music on it for them to use, grabbed a sandwich for lunch, went up the town, met my Mum for a quick coffee in the Dome, picked up my engagement ring from Lime Blue (looks very sparkly now after its polish!), tried to find some nice wedding stockings/holdups in Debenhams with no success, then went to Berketex and met Jenny and Kirsteen for our dress fittings.

I tried the dress on again and everything still fits and I still like it, thank goodness. Jenny was also having her final fitting and Kirsteen her first fitting and they both looked lovely in their dresses.

I spent a good amount of time prancing around in my dress and felt quite happy in it. Hopefully on the day with the hair and the makeup all done I will look the part!

If you are budgeting for your wedding remember to add in the cost of dress alterations. I forgot about this and have no idea what the average price is, but to give you an idea for your budgeting, the alterations to my wedding dress (hem taken up + something done to the bustle) was 60. The alterations to the bridesmaid's dresses were also 60 each (hem taken up and dresses taken in a bit). This was through an independent fitter who comes into Berketex. My sister Karen, on the other hand lives in Dublin and the same sort of alterations to her dress are costing around 50 Euro.

It is Saturday today and it is exactly a week to go until the wedding. My skin looks good today without a blemish in sight, so I am hoping that it will be like that on the big day! I am also starting to feel a little nervous as well. Hopefully everything will go smoothly.

I have pretty much finished all my wedding planning now. Last night I made the wedding favours for the ladies at the wedding - little cream boxes tied with burgandy satin ribbon, with really nice chocolates inside. So nice in fact, that I ate about 5 of them while I was doing it, so I am off the the gym now to do a good hard workout (for the 5th time this week!).

My makeup crisis has also been resolved. My personal trainer Carole is also a makeup artist and she is going to come to the hotel on Saturday to do my makeup. I have a trial with her on Sunday, so hopefully that one will go much better than the previous one :-)

I am going over to Kirsteen's tonight to meet up with her and my other friends Michelle and Ailsa for a few glasses of cava, then the plan is to work hard all weekend on my business and take the rest of the week off, relaxing and having the occassional beauty treatment!

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The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Weddings

I thought this little book was worth a mention - The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Weddings - a good little pressie to get someone who is going to get married.

The book is full of solutions to all the typical problems that you may worry about, plus a whole load of things that probably didn't even cross your mind!

Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Weddings
Examples of worst case scenarios described in the book include:
  • How to conceal wedding day blemishes
  • How to survive if the wedding dress gets lost
  • How to make emergency cufflinks
  • How to survive if the flowers don't arrive
  • How to treat a panic attack
  • How to avoid a nervous breakdown before the wedding
  • How to find the groom (!)
  • How to deal with a drunk bridesmaid
  • How to maintain composure during the ceremony (stop crying, laughing, hiccups etc!)
  • How to deal with lost rings
  • What to do if someone objects
  • How to survive if the band doesn't show up
  • How to survive a bad toast

and so the list goes on and on...

I better get reading!!


Friday, October 19, 2007

Wedding at Craighouse, Napier University, Edinburgh

Last Saturday Stuart and I went to a wedding at Craighouse, which is part of Napier University in Edinburgh. The wedding was between Nicky (a friend of Stuart's) and Lynsey. I thought it was worth a mention, because it is a venue that we never visited when we were planning our wedding.

The venue was really lovely. It was a Victorian building, originally built in 1894 as a hospital and extensively refurbished in 1994 to become one of Napier's campuses. Craighouse is set on a hill and the views of Edinburgh are fantastic, so it is a great place for wedding photos overlooking Edinburgh with really nice grounds.

The civil ceremony was held in a room with nice big windows (the Castle room, I think) and was a lovely setting for a ceremony. This was actually the first time that I have been to a civil wedding ceremony in Edinburgh. I wasn't too keen on the registrar as she kept cracking terrible jokes and coerced the best men (there were 3 of them!) and also the bridesmaids to say something during the ceremony because she was disappointed that there were no readings. Stuart and I both hope that we don't get her for our wedding (argh!).

After the ceremony there was a drinks reception outside on the stairs and balcony over looking a great view of Edinburgh. It was a bit chilly, but the setting was great.

The reception was held in an impressive hall called the Turmeau Hall (below).

Turmeau Hall, Napier, Edinburgh

We had a really nice buffet dinner, followed by dancing in the evening and the bride, Lynsey looked lovely in a pale blue desinger wedding gown.

All in all a very nice venue. The only downside is the distance from the city centre - you would need to take a bus or drive there.


Wedding In Edinburgh