Wedding in Edinburgh


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Wedding at the Apex International Hotel Edinburgh

Today we went to have a look at the Apex International Hotel in the Grassmarket in Edinburgh.

This hotel is a modern 4* hotel in the centre of the Grassmarket with views of Edinburgh castle.

The Heights restaurant in the hotel is used for the Wedding Breakfast and this is a good sized room with wonderful views through big glass windows on to Edinburgh Castle. This is a restaurant at night so can only be used for a Wedding Breakfast in the afternoon/early evening. The menu selector was one of the most extensive I have seen with lots of choices for the starters, main courses and desserts at very reasonable prices.

The room for the evening reception was a good size, but quite dark with no windows, but you have the alternative of having your evening reception down the stairs in what is normally the Metro Brasserie, with use of the lobby bar.

We also had a quick look at the bedrooms and these were modern and nice enough but nothing special.

Overall we thought this was a very nice venue but I wasn't that keen on the location - right in the middle of the Grassmarket on a Saturday night could be pretty noisy. We didn't like the evening reception venue without the windows as much as other places we'd seen and felt that the alternative of having the evening reception downstairs was nice, but probably too big for our numbers.

So, the favourite so far is still the Radisson.

You can read reviews of the Apex International Hotel Edinburgh here.


Friday, November 24, 2006

The Wedding Diaries by Laura Bloom

I just finished reading a great book called "The Wedding Diaries" by Laura Bloom. This is an excellent book to read if you are just starting to plan a wedding or in the middle of the wedding planning. The author of the book, Laura takes us through her experiences of planning her wedding on a tight budget.

The Wedding Diaries by Laura Bloom

I devoured the book within 2 days and enjoyed Laura's account of her experiences and ups and downs while she tried to stick to a budget, shopped for her wedding dress, chose and decorated her own venue (the Town Hall), arranged the catering and more.

The book even includes a breakdown of the average UK wedding costs. This is really helpful if you have absolutely no clue (like me) of how much things are going to cost.

This isn't a dull wedding guide - it is an interesting and amusing account of someone's real life experience of planning a wedding.

You can buy The Wedding Diaries from Amazon at a discounted price.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Wedding at the Marriot Edinburgh

We had never really considered the Marriott Edinburgh Hotel as a possible wedding venue, as every time I've driven past the hotel it has never really appealed to me with its grey exterior and close proximity to busy roads. However, I thought it was worth a look after speaking to one of the managers of the hotel at the Wedding Fair as the photos of the ceremony and reception room looked nice.

We were actually very pleasantly surprised by this hotel. Despite the not so great location and exterior it was very attractive inside. The public bar/reception area was spacious and tastefully decorated and there was even a nice decked area outside at the back of the hotel. They also had a really good private bar area for the drinks reception. The ceremony rooms were all just standard meeting rooms, but had windows, seemed reasonably modern and the photos of these rooms when they were done out for a ceremony made the room look lovely.

The area for the reception and wedding breakfast was also very nice - more modern and nicer than the function room at the Radisson Hotel.

The bedrooms in the hotel were also well decorated and a good size and the wedding advisor that showed us round that day seemed very professional and experienced.

Overall we liked this hotel, but were put off a little by the location and preferred the Radisson Hotel in the Royal Mile to the Marriott Edinburgh.

You can read reviews from people who have stayed at the Marriott Edinburgh here.


Monday, November 13, 2006

A wedding fair in Edinburgh

Last month I had the experience of my first wedding fair, which was at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh.

If you are planning a wedding and have never been to a wedding fair before then I highly recommend it.

To see a list of all the upcoming wedding fairs in Edinburgh and the Lothians have a look at my list of Wedding fairs in Edinburgh.

Going to a wedding fair gives you a chance to meet lots of different suppliers including people representing wedding venues, catering firms, photographers, videographers, cake makers, florists, stationery suppliers, wedding dress shops etc. It's also a good excuse to have a glass of champagne and sample a few nibbles from the catering firms or some nice wedding cake.

The wedding fair at the Corn exchange was very enjoyable. I ruined my diet by scoffing various different kinds of wedding cakes, dipping fudge and other things into a chocolate fountain and washing all that down with a glass of champers - lovely :-)

My Mum & I ended up coming home with two bags stuffed full of brochures, flyers, vouchers and booklets. A very productive Saturday afternoon!

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Wedding at the Radisson SAS Edinburgh

Our second wedding show round was at the Radisson SAS Hotel in the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. This hotel was formerly the Scandic Crown Hotel and is on the Royal Mile just opposite the Tron and near to South Bridge.

The hotel has been refurbished since it was the Scandic Crown and had a really nice modern lobby area with lots of sofas and tables. We met the wedding co-ordinator Dawn who was very nice, knowlegeable and professional.

There's also a trendy little bar in the hotel called Itchycoo. You can have your wedding reception drinks in the lobby/lounge area and the guests can also use the Itchycoo bar.

The first room we saw was the "Great Scot Hall" which was the room for the ceremony. This room was lovely and traditional Scottish style. It was nice and spacious but not too big, with windows overlooking the Royal Mile and a turret in the corner. There was also a nice big fireplace with a fire which could be turned on during the ceremony. This room would definitely be hard to beat for a hotel ceremony room.

We then had a look at the function room for the reception. This room was much more spacious than the both the function room and the Marquee that we had seen at the Glasshouse Hotel. The room was a little dated and obviously hadn't been refurnished at the same time as the rest of the hotel, but I am sure it would look nice once it had been set for a wedding.

We also had a look at a couple of bedrooms - a standard room and a turret suite. The turret suite was fantastic with windows overlooking the Royal Mile, a spacious lounge area and bedroom area and a turret in the corner with a dining table.

Afterwards we went to the Itchycoo bar for a quick glass of vino. The prices were above average, but not as expensive as in some hotels in the centre of Edinburgh.

Our only concern was that there wasn't really any great areas for photographs, especially outside. One thing that was suggested was that we could have our photos taken either in the grounds of Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood or Holyrood park. This seemed like a great idea since both are only a short taxi ride away.

All in all the Radisson SAS seems like a great place to have a wedding. This one is on our short list as a definite possibility and our favourite so far.

You can read reviews of the Radisson SAS Edinburgh here.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Wedding at the Glasshouse Hotel Edinburgh

The first place we went for a "wedding show round" (as they call them) was the
Glasshouse Hotel in Edinburgh.

This hotel is right in the centre of Edinburgh between the Playhouse and the Omnicentre and just a few minutes walk from Princes street.

It's quite a new hotel, with a listed building front, which is quite small, so the size of the hotel is deceiving and it is actually much bigger than you think it is.

The reception area was very modern and clean, although I can imagine that in a few years time it will look a bit dated.

The hotel has a big roof garden with views of Calton hill and it's possible to actually have your wedding ceremony outside (if the Scottish weather holds up).

Roof Garden in the Glasshouse Hotel Edinburgh

The room that they use for the ceremony and the reception only holds around 60 or so people and personally I found it pretty small and holding a reception for 60 people would be quite claustrophobic in my opinion. There is also a Marquee which holds over 100 people, but I didn't really like this, especially as they were charging 1500 for the pleasure of using it.

The hotel rooms and suites were very nice. Half of them overlook the city and the other half overlook the roof garden.

In my opinion this is a great hotel for a weekend break in Edinburgh, but not for a wedding. However, if you want to get married outside, or have a reception inside for a smaller number of people then it may suit you.

You can read reviews of the Glasshouse Hotel Edinburgh here.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Questions to ask your Wedding Venue

One of the first things that you have to do when organising a wedding is to sort out the venue. I quite enjoyed this part of the planning - having a look around lots of different hotels in Edinburgh to see what each had on offer was good fun (especially if like me you are a bit nosy).

If you are being shown round a possible venue then you will usually be shown the various function suites for the ceremony (if applicable), the drinks reception, wedding breakfast and evening reception. If you are looking at a hotel you should also be shown one or more hotel bedrooms.

It makes sense to visit the venue's website and/or order a wedding brochure before you go for your show round. This way you will be prepared and have a good idea of the cost of the reception and the different possibilities for meal packages and drinks packages.

It's good to make a list of questions to ask while you are being shown around the venue, especially when you are just starting out.

Here are a few questions to get you started:

(1) What are the minimum & maximum numbers for each of the function rooms?
(2) Is there a function room hire charge?
(3) Are there any good places in the venue or ground to take photographs?
(4) Is it possible to vary the meal/drinks packages?
(5) Is there a sample tasting included?
(6) Do you have children's menus?
(7) Can I provide my own reception decorations/caterers/drinks etc?
(8) When is the deposit and payments due?
(9) Is there space for the bride/groom/bridesmaids to get changed?
(10) Will there be a wedding co-ordinator there on the day?
(11) Will there be a master of ceremonies included?
(12) Is there a place for guests to park?
(13) Do you offer discounted room rates for guests?
(14) Can I see a standard bedroom and a duluxe/suite?
(15) What time can the band/disco play until?


Wedding In Edinburgh