Tag Archives: Wedding Suppliers

Local Business Spotlight – Daisy Bakes

 

A party without cake is just a meeting.

I haven’t focussed on a local business for a while now, so I thought it was about time. And while Dundee is pushing the boundaries of ‘local’ to me, there is another special reason for spotlighting this business. Everyone, meet my sister-in-law and owner of Daisy Bakes – Audrey Beckett.

Spotlight on Suppliers - Daisy Bakes

Audrey bakes vegan and dairy-free cakes and if like me you thought all vegan food tasted like Citroen 2C exhaust fumes and disappointment prepare to be amazed as I have sampled quite a few of her cakes now and they taste amazing. And I’ve tasted a LOT of cakes in my time!

Here’s what happened when I got down to business and asked her about her passion.

Tell me what does Daisy Bake? (see what I did there!)

Daisy Bakes creates super decadent vegan and dairy-free celebration cakes and cupcakes.

Spotlight on Suppliers - Daisy Bakes

What made you decide on that name for your business?

The name came from my love of gardening and daisies in particular! I get to watch them grow at my window as I’m baking, and they constantly remind me that love, care and effort is the key to making something beautiful.

Spotlight on Suppliers - Daisy Bakes

What was your rationale for specialising in dairy-free and vegan cakes?

I had always baked for friends and family, so I went on a mission to come up with a vegan cake recipe for a few of my vegan friends. It took about a year to really get it right, and when I did, everyone wanted those cakes, not just my vegan friends. So I decided to stick to the vegan recipe, and before I knew it, I was making celebration cakes and cupcakes for everyone!

What’s the most unusual cake you’ve been asked to make?

The most unusual cake I’ve made has to be my Vegas themed cake. A Topsy Turvy Cake with a roulette board, poker chips, and giant stacked dice cakes on top.

Spotlight on Suppliers - Daisy Bakes

What cake did you most enjoy making and why?

I most enjoyed making a shell themed wedding cake and cupcakes. Making hundreds of natural-looking tiny fondant shells to go with a lovely dusky blue and turquoise icing colour scheme. I love adding detail, so I loved every fiddly minute of it!

Spotlight on Suppliers - Daisy Bakes

What would you love to bake that you haven’t yet?

I would love to bake a tiered floral fault line wedding cake, I have some ideas which I think would really look beautiful.

Tell me what a typical Daisy Bakes day looks like?

A typical day in the life of Daisy Bakes involves an early start! I seem to be at my best while watching the rest of the world wake up. A check up on the Facebook page and reply to customer messages. Followed by a clean, prep and review of the day’s tasks and then crack on. Multiple orders mean strict time management and an organised daily planner! So while I’ve got cakes in the oven for one order, I’ll be making fondant flowers for another order and buttercream for another! I work in a small but lovely kitchen so clean as you go is a must. However, I myself am generally iced and decorated by the end of the day. Delivery times and consultations are to suit the customer, so I work my day around them, so every day is different.  The essential admin and concept designs are done elsewhere in the evening with a cup of tea and a biscuit!

Spotlight on Suppliers - Daisy Bakes

Do you have any advice for anyone else wanting to start their own business?

My advice for starting your own baking business. Get to know your market and keep up with the latest trends but be creative and don’t be scared to introduce new ideas to the baking world. Be reliable and get to know your customers. Always give them the best service possible and you will always be their go-to for cakes!

Spotlight on Suppliers - Daisy Bakes

Where do you want Daisy Bakes to be in 5 years time?

For the moment I am fulfilled working in my little happy kitchen making things that make other people happy. At the end of the day that is the greatest reward, the best feeling and why I enjoy baking. A small local vegan cake and coffee shop with a bakery is the dream, so I could connect more with my customers. I would also love a larger kitchen where I could teach vegan baking and decorating classes, along with an endless coffee cup! Whether that happens in the next 5 years is uncertain. However, for the moment I am looking into supplying my vegan cakes and bakes to local coffee shops and restaurants.

More importantly, I am currently aiming to switch to fully recyclable packaging by the end of the year. Also switching out ingredients as more sustainably sourced vegan options are introduced. In 5 years time, I want my cakes to be organic and completely environmentally friendly. From kitchen to cake and packaging.

Spotlight on Suppliers - Daisy Bakes

What areas of Scotland do you cover?

I currently cover Dundee and surrounding areas. However, for larger orders such as wedding cakes or large functions, I deliver to Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow and surrounding areas with an added delivery charge. I am willing to deliver to most places and calculate the delivery charge to the exact location. I deliver personally and provide set up at the venue.

Spotlight on Suppliers - Daisy Bakes

That was amazing Audrey. If someone wants to order a Daisy Bake, what’s the best way to contact you?

The best way to contact me is via the Daisy Bakes Facebook or Instagram page or where you can drop me a message.

Spotlight on Suppliers - Daisy Bakes

Okay, who else is starving right now!

All photographs supplied by Daisy Bakes

Leonardo Murrayfield Hotel – Kirsty & John’s Wedding

Steve Wright’s Sunday Love Songs

As I was bombing along the M9 on my way to shoot the bridal prep of my second wedding in three days I was happily singing along to the Love Songs Show on Radio 2 (yes Radio 2 sorry, not sorry). The perfect radio station choice for a wedding day 🙂

Swipe Right for Love

Whilst my choice of radio station might not be very modern, the way Kirsty and John met was. They met on that well known dating app and met up for drinks on a Thursday night in 2016. By the Friday night Kirsty had practically moved into John’s house and on the Saturday John met Kirsty’s parents! (Sounds a bit like a Craig David Song – showing my age again!!). Kirsty’s Dad discovered that he already knew John from the drinking establishment they both frequented so that was one seal of approval gained.

When you know, you know and soon they discovered they were going to be parents and their son Leighton arrived 🙂 Shortly after he was born the couple were shopping in the Gyle and John said, ‘lets look at rings’, and that was that! Let the wedding planning commence!

All systems go

When I arrived at the Leonardo Hotel at 10am Helen and Angie from City Brides Edinburgh had already set up their chairs and supplies at the hotel room window and were ready for hair and make up action. I can honestly say I have never seen so many eyeshadow pallets lined up on one windowsill! The girls worked their magic on a four (nearly five) year old flower girl, two bridesmaids, the mother of the bride and of course the bride as well as finding time to chat to us all, sing along to songs and offer advice to the mother of the bride’s sister! They were amazing.

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

When there is so much going on in a hotel room I like to turn the pictures into black and white to keep them simple. I love how Kirsty looks like a Film Noir star in this picture.

Easy like Sunday mornings

Meanwhile the Groom, John and his Best Man Pete were having a far more relaxed time of it. Having got ready at home, John and Pete were enjoying a nice relaxing pint at the bar when I barged in and hassled them outside for some photos.

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

They had scrubbed up well in their kilts from Eight Yards kilt hire.

Leighton had a matching kilt and was his Daddy’s mini me.

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

Talk about stealing the show.

Vow Wow

Kirsty walked down the aisle on the arm of her very proud dad George. They were piped down the aisle to the beautiful sound of Highland Cathedral.  Kirsty and John had opted for a Humanist ceremony and had written their own vows which was a sweet and tender touch to the proceedings.

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

Leighton was sat with Granny Linda, who was resplendent in her pink and grey Mother of the Bride outfit from Catwalk in Falkirk.

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

But he wanted in on whatever Mummy and Daddy were doing! I think it’s lovely that one day he is going to be able to look back at the pictures and know that he was there to share in his parents special day.

Against the clock

I like to not keep my brides and grooms away from their guests too long for the formal pictures. After all it is their day I am capturing, not a portfolio building exercise for me. That said, throw in a 21 month old who is ready for a nap and those time scales get even shorter!

We had planned to go into the meadows across the road from the hotel for some dreamy shots amongst the long grasses. But… after heavy rain the day before, Kirsty’s heels were not  up for it and I didn’t want her beautiful dress to ruin. So we ended up at the side of the road….

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

But I don’t think you can tell from this picture, can you? I think it still looks like the beautiful long grass shot I envisaged.

Capturing Kirsty, John and Leighton as naturally as possible was the aim of the game and I love the shots I got of them walking with Leighton.

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

Be still my heart! What a gorgeous little family.

The Bridal Party

It’s not a wedding without photos of the bridal party and this group didn’t disappoint.

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

I loved the bridesmaids and flower girls navy dresses.

Perfect

After the speeches and a three course meal it was time for the evening guests to start arriving.

The cake was cut and Kirsty and John took to the dance floor to dance to Ed Sheeran’s Perfect as their first dance as husband and wife.

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

It was a great song choice as these two are perfect for each other and it was the perfect day.

Congratulations Mr and Mrs McRitchie xoxo

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

 

 

St. James Church, St. Andrews & The Cow Shed, Crail – Kerrie & Dom’s Wedding

The Cow Shed – Bucket List Location

I’m sure I’m not the only photographer that has a bucket list of locations they are desperate to photograph weddings at? Culzean Castle was one of my bucket list locations and I was lucky enough to shoot there last year. The Cow Shed at Crail is another. I love the fact that the barn is a blank canvas so each couple stamps their own individual look on it. As you can imagine I was delighted when Kerrie and Dominic got in touch last year looking for a photographer to capture their June 2019 wedding at the Cow Shed. Mini fist pumps all round!!!

Seven year itch?

Kerrie and Dom met seven years ago whilst out on the town in Manchester where they both  live. Six months later Dom moves in with Kerrie and the rest, as they say, is history. And how about this for a proposal? Dom proposed to Kerrie on Bonfire night at Niagra Falls!

Although the couple and their two dogs live in Manchester, Kerrie is originally from St. Andrews. The East Neuk of Fife has become a special place for them so that is where they planned their wedding 🙂

An irregular choice

Kerrie, her five bridesmaids and her mum and stepdad all got ready at Kilconquhar Castle Estate. I love it when I get to capture the bridal prep as it is just like getting ready for a night  out with your girlfriends – but with prettier dresses!

Three of Kerrie’s maids were cousins, two of which had traveled over from Canada for the event. One was her soon to be sister-in-law and her maid of honour was her best friend. When I arrived at 10am Kerry from Pretty You hair and make up had been on the case since 8am. You could feel the love and support in the room and Kerrie’s Stepdad Ron was keeping us all entertained with his tall tales.

Kerrie’s dress was a dreamy confection of lace and tulle from Morilee 

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Normally I have to get creative in a hotel room and hand the wedding dress on curtain poles or headboards but the sun was out on the estate and there were trees just outside the lodge they were all in. There were bunnies playing on that lawn behind the dress but they ran away when I started shooting!

But it was Kerrie’s shoes from Irregular Choice that stole the show for me.

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Aren’t they just amazing? I love the fact that she chose somthing so original and fun.

Once everybody was ready we had time for some pictures before I headed off to the church to find the groom. Don’t they look stunning? I loved the bouquets filled with peonies and roses as well as wildflowers.

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Get me to the church on time

St Andrews in the June sunshine is busy, St Andrews on graduation day is mobbed! But the air was full of jubilation and celebration and you couldn’t help getting swept up in it all.

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

St. James Church is a small Roman Catholic church on the seashore.

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

The inside providing a cool, reflective and calm space from the June sunshine.

As the guests started arriving to the sounds of the piper I tracked down the groom and his crew for some photos.

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

The bride was bang on time and affter a short but beautiful service the guests piled onto the coaches Kerrie & Dom had provided leaving us some time alone for formal photos in the churches gorgeous gardens.

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Like a lot of couples they weren’t keen on having their pictures taken so I kept it nice and relaxed and got them doing lots of stuff to take their minds off the fact that I was shooting them. It was great for them to have some time alone before the reception as well. If you ignore the giant third wheel in their face with a camera that is!

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Off to the farm

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

After a couple of wrong turns in my trusty mini I made it to the Cow Shed and the smell of the BBQ they were having as the wedding breakfast wafted to greet me (yum).

Kerrie and Dom had decorated the barn so beautifully it was like every barn wedding you ever imagined on Pinterest and more!

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

I set about capturing all the details but not before I’d captured the group shots and the bridal party.

Fore!

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Apart from the bride and groom (obvs.) and his sister and brother-in-law all of the other bridesmaids and groomsmen were coupled up with other people outside the bridal party but I didn’t let that get in the way of a great photo opportunity and made them all pair up and stare into each others eyes!

Kerrie and Dom had organised mini golf out on the lawn. When they told me about that at their pre-wedding consultation I just knew I had to use that for some of the bridal party shots.

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Luckily they humoured me 🙂

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

The meal was excellent and the speeches both touching and entertaining where the guests learned that one of the bridal party had once spent the night in police custody! Luckily there was no criminal record!!

As the guests enjoyed the early evening sunshine and the vista across to the North Sea the main barn was trasnformed so they could dance the night away.

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

The couple took to the floor to dance their first dance to Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Deep Blue Something. Pretty soon the guests started filling the dance floor to join the happy couple.

Congratulations Mr & Mrs Parker xoxo

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

 

 

Inchcolm Abbey – Hazel & John’s Wedding

Cutting it fine

When I met Hazel and John for their wedding photography consultation it was less than a month to go and they still didn’t have their wedding venue confirmed! Through no fault of their own, I hasten to add. They had their heart set on Inchcolm Abbey on Inchcolm Island, one of Scotland’s best-kept secrets. But, renovations to its pier were taking longer than expected and it was going to be touch and go if it would be ready in time for their mid-May wedding. Historic Scotland was doing everything they could including reserving a plan B at the beautiful Aberdour Castle.

Finally with less than a week to go Hazel got the call that it would be ready. Their dream venue was a go!

Hazels and John met about 5 years ago at work John proposed to Hazel at her birthday meal, or so they told me…according to the registrar he proposed from the back of his works van! I think I’m going to stick to my version of events as it’s more romantic.

What could possibly go wrong now?

The day of their wedding the sun was in full force and all seemed to be going well until I arrived at Hawes Pier in South Queensferry to find it jam-packed full of fire engines. What the heck? Turned out to be nothing to worry about but a routine exercise for one of the big oil tankers. Phew! I think the bride had the same panic as me when she turned up and saw all the commotion.

Then the captain of the Maid of the Forth ferry that was taking us all the island advised that there had been a gas leak at the island in the early hours of the morning and staff had been frantically setting up Aberdour Castle just in case but luckily it was all fixed in time!

Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

The ferry looked beautiful complete with white ribbons on the front and the bride was hidden away in the captain’s office before all the rest of the guests boarded.

And relax

Once the ferry got the all clear to start the 30-minute journey to Inchcolm island I could see the bride visibly relax. Finally, it was all coming together 🙂

Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Hazel looked stunning in an elegant fit and flare dress and with a hand-tied bouquet.

 Sea Legs

Once my sea legs were working there were only so many pictures I could take of the guests before they got fed up with me so I set about getting creative with the rings and the ‘nautical’ version of ‘tying the knot’.

Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Then Incholm Island came into view and wow! Stunning in the May sunshine.

Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Family Affair

It was a very intimate ceremony held in the atmospheric Chapter House room. Hazel’s daughter Isla was her bridesmaid and they said their vows in front of close family and friends.

Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

The natural light flooding into the room was a dream come true for any photographer 🙂

Show Stealer

Zac the couples young son had a very important role as Ring Security.

Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

In his mini-me version of Dad John’s kilt, he looked totally adorable. His ring briefcase came in very handy for storing his toy cars in too, once he has dispensed with the rings!

Photo opportunities galore

Before the ferry returned to take us all back to the mainland there was ample opportunity to capture some memories.

The Abbey, the gardens and even the small beach made for excellent photographs.

Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Although I think the Forth was a wee bit cold judging by Isla’s face when she tried paddling!

Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Seal of Approval

All too soon it was time to head back to the mainland. On the journey back we were treated to sunbathing seals.

Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Then it was time to disembark and for the new Mr and Mrs Bell to enjoy a lovely meal with their guests at The Hawes Inn.

Wedding photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Réspondez S’il Vous Plaît – Tips to encourage guests to RSVP on time

Ask any couple planning a wedding or married for ages what their biggest bugbear is/was most will say without hesitation, getting people to RSVP to the wedding invite!

Getting wedding guests to RSVP on time, and tracking them down when they don’t, can be an incredibly frustrating process. Couples often find that a third of their invitees haven’t replied to their invitation. This isn’t just an inconvenience, it can be costly if you have to change catering numbers at the last minute, or if you have to order extra favours just in case they all decide to come.

In this blog, I am focussing on tips that will help increase your response rate.

Give them Time

Etiquette says that invitations should be sent eight weeks before the wedding. That gives four to five weeks to respond, so you can make your RSVP date three to four weeks before the wedding. The timing is crucial—if you give guests more time than that, it’s likely the invitation will get put aside in the “things to deal with later” pile. If it doesn’t seem urgent that they RSVP, they won’t. But less time than that won’t give you time to track down the delinquent guests, or time to give a final number to your caterer by their deadline.

The advice is slightly different for a destination wedding. Send a save-the-date about nine months earlier, allowing people to start clearing holiday time from work and looking for travel deals. Send your wedding invitations about four and a half months before your destination wedding, and ask for a response two months before the wedding. That allows guests to look for travel deals during the window that experts say is best—two to four months before a trip. If you’re paying for guests’ hotel and/or airfare, you’ll need to send out a destination wedding save-the-date so you can get their travel information.

S-P-E-L-L it out

Believe it or not, some guests may not know what RSVP means and they may not know what is required when they read “RSVP by May 6.” Instead, you could use one of these sentences:

    “The favour of a reply is requested by May 6”

“Please respond by May 6.”

Make the RSVP DATE the most Prominent

Some guests believe they only need to reply if they’re going to attend, or they don’t realise that the reply date is serious. Make the reply date really stand out on your invitation and response card (if using).

Give lots of Options

Some etiquette experts say that weddings are too important to use online RSVPs, but it’s now the 21st century. If it allows more people the ability to respond, so be it. You could use a wedding website like Getting Married, an email address, or even a telephone number for texts and audio messages for an informal wedding. Of course, you won’t have the joy of receiving the RSVPs in the mail (and really it can be one of the most fun parts of wedding planning). But, you might get just as loving notes by emails or online forms.

Offer guests an off-line option just in case some don’t have regular online access. If you can afford it, send response cards along with a self-addressed stamped envelope, and at the bottom write something like.

“You may also RSVP by email to mmouse@gmail. com or at our wedding website www.jackandduncanwedding.co. uk.”

If you prefer to save money and paper, you can instead write at the bottom of your invitations.

“RSVP at our wedding website www.JaneandJohnwedding.co. uk or to the bride’s mother at 0123456789. Kindly respond by May 14th.”

Stay Organised

As the RSVPs hopefully start to roll in, make sure they are captured in one place so that you know both who has and who has not RSVPed, as well what the responses are.

If you are sending paper RSVP cards in your invitations, number each one lightly on the back in pencil. Mark down what number card goes with what guest or household on your spreadsheet/RSVP list. You’d be amazed at the number of cards that are returned without a name on them, and this will make things so much easier to track!

Follow Up

Your guests are interesting, fun people—but this means they are busy too. Although you are thinking about your wedding day and night, they are not, and there is nothing wrong with that. Many of your guests will need a gentle reminder that the RSVP deadline is coming up. Email is a great way to reach out to them.

There’s no shame in casually asking guests if they got the invitation. You can even say, “I hope you’re coming. We can’t wait to get your RSVP card back”. Sometimes close friends weirdly think that they don’t have to reply because you’ll know they’ll be there. Just mentioning it can help get you those responses. Sometimes even very close friends have conflicts and won’t be there. Don’t count your guests until they’ve RSVP’d.

Divide and Conquer

Don’t feel like you and your partner have to do all the heavy lifting. Ask your bridal party to help with some of the gentle follow up. You shoud definitely ask your parents to help chase up extended family members or people that they have invited.

Plan Ahead

Don’t wait until three days before your catering numbers are due to start calling everyone in a panic. Add some calendar invites to remind yourself when to send the first gentle reminder and when to start picking up the phone and dialling. Another sanity-saver is to build in some buffer for the unexpected yay or nay. Expect one or two guests to drop out at the last minute and one or two others to call at last minute and ask whether they can still come. If you are mentally and logistically prepared for this to happen, it will be less stressful when it does!

If in doubt – be Funny

Maybe if your guests are eager to show you how funny they are in response, it might motivate them to send it in. But don’t make it too elaborate or confusing—being intimidating rarely elicits the right response.

I’ve seen cool RSVP cards that have asked for a dance song choice for example that can be fun (and makes sure the dance floor stays busy).

This also made me laugh…

 

In the end, you probably still won’t have all of your wedding guests RSVP on time. But hopefully, using these tips will increase the percentage so you’ll have less work tracking down the dawdlers.

 

JB Moments Photography is not paid for any endorsements or affiliated to any of the companies/services suggested. She has just seen them work in real life. All views are her own.

What to do if it rains on your Wedding Day

How to Prepare for a Rainy Wedding Day

Living in Scotland we are used to seeing all four seasons in one day, whatever month of the year! But whether a drizzle or a downpour, rain is no reason to give up hope on your wedding day. Stormy weather is nobody’s ideal wedding forecast, but unfortunately, it’s the only real part of the day you can’t control. Prepping for a rainy wedding day in advance will save you a headache in the future.

Any couple having an outdoor wedding ceremony should confirm a weather backup plan in their venue contract—whether it’s an indoor room, a covered outdoor area or a last-minute tent setup. That way, if the forecast spontaneously calls for rain on your wedding day, you’ll have something to fall back on—and no reason to panic. However, if you forgot to make a plan B from the start, here’s how to pull off a fabulous affair no matter what.

Talk to Your Venue and Suppliers

You planned an outdoor wedding, but your only weather prep was crossing your fingers and praying to the rain gods—now it’s supposed to rain on your wedding day. Call your venue coordinator and find out your options. Do they have another protected space on-site where you could relocate? If you were planning an outdoor ceremony and an indoor reception, can they help transform the indoor space for both the ceremony and reception? (If you go with this plan, ask them how long it’ll take to flip the room. A good team should get the job done in about an hour while you and your guests enjoy drinks and hors-d’oeuvres at another spot at the venue.)

Another option, if your budget and venue allow, is to rent a tent last minute. The site manager might even be able to refer you to a rental company they’ve worked with before. Speak to your photographer and make sure they have a plan B for indoor group shots and/or bridal portraits in the rain.

Embrace It

Get ready to roll with the punches and welcome the weather—rain on your wedding day is actually considered good luck! If the rain brings wind and chilly temperatures too, arrange for heat lamps, offer blankets and make sure there’s plenty of hot coffee, tea, cider or cocoa. Provide enough umbrellas and rain boots for your guests—or, at the very least, for your wedding party. Plan a playful rainy photo session with your wedding party holding cute umbrellas and wearing colourful rain boots. Or sneak away with your soon-to-be spouse for a  romantic kiss under a shared umbrella. First, find out if any of your vendors can supply these sorts of props. For example, I bring 4/5 wedding umbrellas with me to every wedding – just in case. No luck? You can get super cheap fleece blankets or towels from Ikea and umbrellas from Amazon or eBay.

You’re Allowed to Be Upset (for a Little Bit)

Rain or shine, this is true of all weddings: No matter how beautiful your floral arrangements, elaborate your reception amenities or terrible your weather luck is, your guests will feed off your mood. If the forecast makes you flustered, upset and anxious, you’re allowed to let your frustration out (I know, it sucks), but don’t let it weigh you down for the whole celebration. Your guests can sense all your tense and negative energy, so the sooner you can get past it and be your own source of sunshine, the more fun both you and your guests will have—I promise.

Think you’re the only one whose nuptials got caught in the rain? Search for Rainy Day Wedding Photos on Pinterest—they’ll convince you everything will be okay.

Wedding Photographer Stirling - JB Moments Photography
Two minutes later the heavens opened – but look at that cool sky!

Remember a Wedding is a Party, not a Performance. If at the end of the day you are married to the one you love, then everything went perfectly.

Happy Planning!
Jenny @ JB Moments Photography

Key Questions To Ask Your Wedding Venue

Wedding Photographer in Glasgow - JB Moments Photography
Key Questions to ask your Venue

Obviously, the first question is – Is your venue available on the required date?

But when you are trying to select a venue for your wedding, forgetting to ask an important question could mean you end up selecting a venue that is missing a key element or costs you more than you first thought.

Below I have listed lots of relevant questions. I suggest you try and ask as many of them as possible to cover all possibilities. Your circumstances may change and questions that seem not important now may prove to be extremely important once your big day comes around.

Is your venue easy to find for guests?
 

Is your venue licensed to carry out civil weddings?
 

Will ours be the only wedding at your venue on our wedding day?
 

How many people can you accommodate?
 

How many car parking spaces are available?
 

Do you allow confetti to be thrown at the venue?
 

Do you allow candles to be lit in the reception room?

Wedding Photographer in Edinburgh
 

Do you have a noise limiter fitted or can we turn the music all the way up?
 

Are there any bedrooms over the dance floor?
 

Do you allow professional firework displays at your venue?

Do you offer the option of a marquee?
Are there separate rooms provided for the wedding, reception, meal, evening reception, etc?
 

Is there a room provided for the use of “wedding couple” for the day?
 

Is there a dressing room that the bride and bridesmaids can use prior to the ceremony?
 

When can we have access to begin setting up the room in terms of decorating it with balloons, flowers, banners, etc? (Morning of wedding, day before, etc?)

Wedding Photographer in Edinburgh
 

If the evening reception is being held in a room that is being used for something else earlier in the day, do you require the DJ/Band to set-up their equipment beforehand?
 

Is there an area that could be used as a crèche if needed?
 

Is there a quieter area for older guests to get away from the noise of a band/DJ?
 

If rooms are available for overnight accommodation, how many?
 

What are the costs for overnight accommodation? Is there a special rate for wedding guests?
 

Is breakfast included?
 

What is the checkout time the following day?
 

Do you have a room where you are able to store wedding presents until you are able to collect them and are you insured for any loss or damage to these presents?
 

Do you insist on doing all the catering?
 

Can you supply examples of suggested menus along with prices?
 

Do you include a cake stand and knife if required?
 

Do you have a preferred order of service (when and where do we cut the cake)?
 

What time do you offer an alcohol license until?
 

What time do you insist the reception finishes by?
 

Do you insist on supplying the wine and champagne?
 

If we are able to supply the wine, what do you charge for corkage?
 

Can we offer alcohol as favours? (some venues don’t allow miniatures which are popular favours)

Wedding Photographer in Edinburgh
 

Can you recommend preferred suppliers e.g. flowers, djs, photography, etc? Do you have promotional discounts with them?

I hope you can use this list to secure the venue of your dreams and that it helps inspire other questions you might want to ask.
Happy Planning!

How to spot Wedding Scammers

JB Moments Photography - Scottish Wedding PhotographerHow to spot scam wedding photographers

It saddens me that I’m even writing this. However, ever since I have been business I see at least one post a month (sometimes more) from couples on wedding social media sites that have been let down by their wedding ‘photographer’. Scamming couples planning for their big day has become so prevalent there are even Facebook groups that are dedicated to stopping these criminals such as Scottish Wedding Scammers and Wedding Scammers Don’t Let Them Win. Both good places to start if not sure about a supplier but be warned, reading about people’s wedding plans being shattered doesn’t make for pleasant viewing.

A wedding is such a memorable and important moment for brides, grooms, their families, friends and relatives. The organisation of such an event requires elaborate planning and preparation, as well as interviewing, hiring and coordinating several suppliers to make it a success. The most common complaint from scam victims, according to the reports in the media, is for vendors who look like legitimate businesses and service providers but either, never deliver the service or do not deliver it in a way that is consistent with expectations. While the latter could be subjective and due to multiple reasons, the former is a pure form of scam.

Today I will be sharing some ideas that, with a bit of homework, might help you spot a scammer.

1. Consistency

Every photographer has a pretty unique photography style which not only defines him or her as an artist but which also differentiates them from other photographers. You should be able to see consistency in the work of a photographer either in person or on their website. Try to browse through the photographs of at least three to five weddings by a certain photographer to truly get a grasp of their style. Make sure they’re all similar. If you see inconsistency, then it may be cause for concern that the images themselves have been taken by other photographers and placed on a website to simply populate it.

2. Websites

While many businesses do not have websites alarm bells might trigger if you only see a photographer’s work solely through Facebook.

Photography is a visual art, and photographs are meant to be shared and displayed. A legitimate business is expected to have an online presence, especially one marketing photography services. Being unable to visit the website of the business you are considering is a red flag. (note they may not be a scammer but could be a newly-started, and not-yet-established business – if in doubt ask).

If you are able to locate and visit the website; look for contact info. Legitimate businesses want people to find them online and contact them in order to establish a professional relationship with them. While you browse through the website, pay attention to broken URL links or incomplete web pages. It could be a sign of website design made up on the fly, or one where not much attention was paid to detail. Any business owner who cares about the user experience and its own online presence would maintain and keep its website functional and updated.

Again, make sure it is all consistent with everything else you see the photographer display on other media sites and that all the details match up.

3. Business Details

While as a sole trader you are not necessarily required to be listed under Companies House, if the company claims to be a Limited company, go onto the Companies House website and check them out.

Again, while not mandatory, most professional photographers will belong to a governing body, mine, for example, is the SWPP (Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers). This information is clearly stated on my website, please feel free to contact them to find out more about me. Again, they will list the given address of my business; make sure all these details match up to who the photographer claims to be.

The second biggest element in this section I believe, would be business insurance. I for one am insured through Aaduki Multimedia Insurance for Photographers. Believe it or not, some wedding venues ask suppliers such as myself to show insurance details before they allowing you on the premises. It is always a good idea to ask to see your photographers fall back plans and insurance certificates.

For example:

On the day, I will have my camera which has two memory card slots backing up photographs straight away. If there is an issue with my first camera, I have a second camera ready and waiting. Once home, the images are placed onto separate hard drives so again everything is backed up. Everything is then,  sent to the cloud to be backed up again in case my house gets set on fire, floods, etc (you get the picture!)… I would rather prevent any issues than create them, or destroy your day.

4. Contracts

First of all, make sure you are offered one! A contract should be in place to protect you both. It should also provide a recorded note of what you have both agreed to. Please always read contracts/terms and conditions fully, and query anything you’re not sure about.

5. Location Location Location

Most wedding photographers work with local clients and shoot on locations close to their homes. For example, I’m based in Central Scotland and if all you could see in my portfolio were white sandy beaches from Florida or the Bahamas and no local landscape or venues. You would have to ask the question: “why have no local couples ever hired this photographer?”

You should at least expect to see some local landmarks or venues in your area if you are looking to hire a local wedding photographer. There might be legitimate reasons as to why there are no portfolio images from your area. So, when in doubt, ask questions. Legitimate business owners would not see a problem in providing you with a reasonable explanation.

6. Venue Information

If the wedding photographer you are looking at has photographed at as many weddings as claimed on their website. He or she should not have a problem naming a few of the most recent venues he or she worked on. Most photographers spend between 4 – 10 hours on location, so would be difficult to forget it. You could even go ask your chosen venue (if it is one the photographer has been to) for an impartial opinion.

Having done your homework

Most scammers are looking for a quick “hit and run” before they are detected and shut down by authorities. They don’t usually spend years laying down their scam. In many cases, they are often sloppy and can be easily spotted if you know what to look for.

Finally, please, please, please take out wedding insurance!  Considering how much we all pay for one day this is a simple and cheap way to protect yourself. Use comparison websites to find the best deal for you with policies starting from as little as £20. Then even if you have done all your homework and have been let down for whatever reason, you will at least have something to help you through this time as you change plans and work around the situation. For example, think of all the dress shops that have gone bankrupt recently.

As my gran always used to say if it feels too good to be true than it probably is. Let’s be honest most of us are good people and just want to do the best we can. It’s a shame the 0.0001% of people wreck it for others. Never ever feel pushed into a decision and always ask questions. All legitimate businesses will be more than happy to answer your queries.

Happy Planning!
Jenny @ JB Moments Photography

JB Moments Photography - Scottish Wedding Photographer

Top Table Seating Plans

Top Table Seating Plan

URGHHHHHH!
Everyone seems to have an opinion on this. Who you should and should not have at the top table, the correct order, etc etc.

I say…..STUFF EM!

That’s right you heard me. It is your day, so do it your way. By that, I mean whatever feels right for you, your partner and those closest to you.

In this blog I am offering up suggestions and alternatives that you may not have thought of.

Traditional UK etiquette

If you want to do it the completely traditional way then follow the diagram below

Or any combination of this that works for you and your situation e.g. stepparents, children, grooms mum and dad wanting to sit together, etc.

On the plus side, this is usually a blend of family and friends so the best of both worlds and these people are usually the ‘speech givers’ so they don’t have to shuffle too far to get the mic.

The Family Table

You could make it a family affair and just have parents, siblings and in-laws at the table. Also good if you have kids.

The Wedding Party Table

If you’d rather be surrounded by your friends for dinner, this is the best wedding top table seating plan for you. Instead of your family, you’ll reserve seats for your entire wedding party and (usually) their dates. This is great for those who want to start the party early – your Chief Bridesmaid and Best Man are bound to get the drinks flowing earlier than your mum and dad would 😉

The Sweetheart Table

I saw this recently at a wedding in Budapest and it’s popular in other countries too. If you can’t decide who you’d like to sit with or just want a little one-on-one time with your partner, go with a sweetheart table. This option accommodates two guests and two guests only, so you can have a mini date amidst all the mixing, mingling and wedding chaos. Keep in mind you’ll want to make your rounds after dessert finishes – being antisocial newlyweds is a no-no.

Go Flexible

Can’t settle on one group you want to sit with at your wedding reception? Well, good news, you can sit with all of them! Add two extra chairs to a few of the tables around your venue and spend the evening moving from place to place. You’ll want to divvy up your time evenly, so spend a courses length at each spot (i.e. starters at one table, main dish at another and dessert at a third). Remember, if you can’t squeeze every single table in, it’s not a problem, you can always talk to your other guests after dinner has wrapped.

Have a Buffet

Having a Buffet has its perks! It’s definitely the least formal of the bunch, but going for this option means that won’t have to stick to (or even make) a wedding top table seating plan. You can spend the evening playing musical chairs and moving from group to group while your munch on crudites and vol-au-vents. Bonus: it’s also the least expensive choice when it comes to catering, so you’ll be able to save a few £££s, too! And if it’s good enough for Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding….!

Each wedding is unique. The above is intended as some suggestions, but don’t feel like you’re doing it wrong if you want to deviate – it’s your day after all!

Happy Planning!

The Vu, Bathgate – Christine & James’ Wedding

“And all along I believed I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more”

Christina Perri – A Thousand Years

It wasn’t quite a thousand years Christine and James waited to get married but seventeen years and two children later can feel like a really long time!

They met seventeen years ago at the gym and about seven years later James asked Christine to marry him. They started planning a wedding but six months later discovered they were pregnant with their daughter Neive. So the wedding got put on the back burner and then life got in the way.

Christine was looking at the venue The Vu on social media earlier this year when a last minute date popped up as a cancellation. As it was James’ birthday she sent it to him as a joke thinking he’d never go for it. But he did! By the time they phoned up another couple had already booked it so they thought that was that. Twelve hours later the venue called them back. The other couple had pulled out as they felt it was too short notice – did they want it? Christine and James rose to the challenge. IT WAS ON!!!

A Family Affair

In the intervening years, Christine and James also had a son, Jude and he looked super smart in his matching kilt.

Wedding Photographer near Edinburgh - JB Moments Photography

Neive meanwhile looked beautiful as one of her mum’s bridesmaids.

Wedding Photographer near Edinburgh - JB Moments Photography

Christine looked absolutely stunning in a fit and flare dress with a plunging back set off with a long sparkly veil and pastel roses bouquet.

I now pronounce you man and wife

It was a short but memorable service. At one point Neive got emotionally as her parents finally tied the knot and as I gave her my emergency hanky I noticed all the other bridesmaids getting a shot of it. Quite a lot of glassy eyes in the building.

Wedding Photographer near Edinburgh - JB Moments Photography

Baby, it’s cold outside

Christine and James were very fortunate with the weather for a late October wedding. It was beautiful blue skies and little puffy white clouds. It was also only about three degrees and bitterly cold.

Undeterred the happy couple braved the weather for some formal photos on The Vu’s famous jetty.

Wedding Photographer near Edinburgh - JB Moments Photography

It was my first time shooting at this venue and having checked it out beforehand I had such plans for pictures of Christine and James and their kids walking by the reservoir and the bridal party in the pagoda. Ahhhh such plans! The Baltic weather stopped us in our tracks, well if I’m honest the bride (what a trouper) and myself were up for it but the kids point-blank refused to stay outside any longer than absolutely necessary!

The pictures of the new Mr & Mrs on the jetty were worth the cold weather though!

Wedding Photographer near Edinburgh - JB Moments Photography
Hold me – for warmth!
A Sensible Plan B

Being a premier wedding venue there was a plan B and Hannah the wedding coordinator suggested the slate wall back inside the room we had the service. Coordinators like Hannah are worth their weight in gold. She was so helpful all day 🙂

Wedding Photographer near Edinburgh - JB Moments Photography

The wall was the perfect backdrop for this stunning couple.

Wedding Photographer near Edinburgh - JB Moments Photography

A Sparkling Evening

After the speeches and the meal, we braved the weather again armed with some sparklers.

Wedding Photographer near Edinburgh - JB Moments Photography
Baby, you’re a firework!

Then all too soon it was time for the cake cutting and first dance and time for me to take my leave. You would never have known this wedding had been organised so quickly and as my last wedding of the year, it certainly didn’t disappoint.

Wedding Photographer near Edinburgh - JB Moments Photography

Congratulations Mr and Mrs Welsh and to all the other wonderful couples I’ve shot this year.

Bring on the 2019 weddings!