Tag Archives: Weddings

How to make sure you get the perfect Wedding Cake for you.

Whether a wedding cake is the least of your worries or high on the “must-obsess-over” list, my guide to getting the perfect cake has got you covered. From budgeting to picking out your flavours, I’m going to answer all of your questions—before you even have any! Including, what if I don’t like cake….

1. Don’t choose a cake until you’ve made your major wedding style decisions.

You might want a cake that’s compatible with the look of your venue, the season, your wedding gown, the flower arrangements and the menu. Arrive at your cake consultation prepared—you don’t need to have a complete sketch in hand, but knowledge of basic terms will make it easier on everyone. And if you’re looking for a custom design, bring along inspiration, like a swatch of lace from your dress or the colour of your bridesmaid’s dresses

2. Do have a budget in mind.

Wedding cake is usually priced by how many servings. The cost can vary, but it generally ranges from £200 – £1000 (and beyond). It’s easy to be wooed by blood orange filling and a multi-flavour cake when you’re making decisions with a sugar buzz, but having a handle on your budget—and knowing what will affect it—will allow you to prioritise your choices. For instance, more flavours equals more money; the more complicated the flavour, the bigger the price tag; handmade sugar flowers will add £££s to every slice; and fondant icing is generally more expensive than buttercream. Don’t forget to look at places like Waitrose and M&S too as their wedding cakes to order can be cost-effective.

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Can you believe this gorgeous cake is from M&S?
3. Do match the cake height to your space.

Generally, three tiers will serve 50 to 100, and you’ll likely need five layers for 200 or more guests. Your cake should fit the space too—if your reception is in a grand ballroom, consider increasing the cake’s stature with columns between the tiers or opting for a faux Styrofoam layer (no one will know!) to add height

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4. Don’t choose the flavour based on what everyone else wants.

Besides being a showpiece, your cake should taste amazing too. When you meet with prospective bakers, taste lots of flavours. Don’t be afraid to stray from vanilla and chocolate. And don’t forget to sample fillings too—many bakers are working with complex flavourings, like guava and mango or hazelnut and mocha

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Cupcakes for miles
5. Do get the facts on icing.

Buttercream or fondant? Buttercream is often much more delicious. But if you love the smooth, almost surreal-like look of fondant, consider frosting the cake in buttercream first and then adding a layer of fondant over the entire confection. Whatever type of icing you choose, stick to colours your guests will want to eat. If your wedding hues are blue and green, opt for a white cake with subtle green-frosted accents. Naked cakes are becoming more and more popular too and can look stunning.

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Look away now! This cake is naked!
6. Don’t forget to consider the weather.

If you’re having an outdoor wedding in a hot climate, stay away from whipped cream, meringue and buttercream (they melt). Ask your baker about summer icing options or opt for a fondant-covered cake, which holds up much better against the heat.

7. Do budget for extra details.

When it comes to decoration, adornment costs run the gamut. The most inexpensive option is fresh fruits or flowers that, in some instances, can be applied by your florist for a minimal fee. On the high end are delicate gum-paste or sugar-paste flowers, which are constructed by hand, one petal at a time. But here’s the bottom line: All add-ons—including marzipan fruits, chocolate-moulded flowers and lace points—will raise the rate.

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Hand-painted cake (and yes the tartan is icing!)
8. Don’t forget to top it off.

There are many beautiful and unique ways to top your cake. If you have an heirloom piece—especially a fine porcelain antique—work with your baker to integrate it into the cake’s design. It can double as your “something old.” Other alternatives include a bouquet of sugar flowers, a cascade of icing ribbons or even a sugar block carved to reveal your new monogram. Look to your locale as well. A cluster of coral can look stunning for a beachside celebration, or try a fondant snowflake for a winter wedding. Or don’t use one at all—some designs look great without a topper.
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9. Do have a detailed delivery plan.

Cake delivery takes coordination (and usually a refrigerated van), so give yourself peace of mind and opt to have your cake delivered. Complex cakes may not necessarily arrive in final form, so allow time and space for assembly. And make sure that once the masterpiece is delivered, it has a place at the venue (especially if it requires refrigeration). Bottom line: Discuss all the delivery details with your baker before signing the contract.

10. Do give your cake the spotlight.

Your cake will likely be on display before it’s cut and consumed. You should have a designated, well-lit table that allows the best presentation possible. Make sure you speak to your venue about this.

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11. Don’t let freezer burn happen.

Even if you take the most painstaking packaging measures, eating the top tier of your cake on your first anniversary sounds far better than it tastes. Think about indulging on your two-week or one-month anniversary, and treat yourself to a fresh cake in the same flavour when you’ve hit the one-year mark. If you must adhere to tradition, tightly wrap the cake in plastic wrap, then place it in an airtight container.

12. Don’t forget to eat your cake (seriously!).

Couples often don’t get a chance to eat their own wedding cake on the day. Ask your caterer/venue to save some extra for you. Share it with your new spouse post-wedding for a late-night snack or the next day for brekkie!

13. What about allergies?

If you or your spouse are dairy intolerant, gluten-free or vegan then treat your guests to a cake from a baker that specialise in that type of cake. Chances are they won’t even be able to tell.

 

Spotlight on Suppliers - Daisy Bakes
Vegan and Dairy-free by Daisy Bakes,  Dundee
14. What if we don’t like cake?

Well, it’s your day so don’t have a cake to please everyone else! How about a dessert table instead? Or if you don’t have a  sweet tooth at all why not consider a Pork Pie ‘cake’ or ‘cake’ made from wheels of cheese…the possibilities are endless!

Dessert Table – not my image
Cheese wedding ‘cake’ – not my image
Pork pie wedding ‘cake’ – not my image

I don’t know about you, but all this talk of cake has made me peckish. I’m off to raid the fridge!

Writing your own Wedding Vows

Rather than sticking to the traditional wedding script, many couples are choosing their own wedding vows, or even writing new vows from scratch. If you’re looking for something meaningful to say during the most significant part of your wedding ceremony, here are some suggestions to get you started. You can always check your choice with your registrar to be sure they are suitable.

Before you begin, there are a few rules to take into consideration. Legally, a civil ceremony cannot contain vows, readings or music that have any religious references. You’ll also need to include the statutory declarations. That is to:

“…Solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impediment why I, (name), may not be joined in matrimony to (name)”

Edinburgh Wedding Photographer - JB Moments Photography

A few tips
  • Be sincere but not overly gushing or intimate – you don’t want your guests to feel uncomfortable. If you want to say something deeply personal, you could always send your partner a private love letter on the morning of your wedding as well.
  • Make sure you always check any readings or vows with your registrar in advance. Ideally, give them a typed copy of your vows/readings and a list of your chosen music a fortnight before the big day.
  • If you’re struggling to find the right words, use a thesaurus. It’ll help you to avoid repeating yourself. Words such as ‘love’ and ‘honour’ are naturally popular, but there are plenty of other terms you can include as well.
  • If you get stuck for ideas, write one another a letter saying what you love about one another. Think about why you can’t wait to be married. The best lines are often the ones that come straight from the heart.
  • If you have children, you could include them as part of your vows. For example, “We exchange our vows today for our future as a couple and a family.”
Still struggling?

Here are some examples that could help get you started and make your own.

 

I promise to love and respect you and to put energy into keeping our love alive. I will be there for you in good times and bad. I will help you when you need help and make space for you to be yourself. I will try to bring you happiness.

I will dedicate myself to you wholeheartedly. I will make time for you and support you in everything you do. I will help you to raise our children to become loving people, and support you in the fundamental role of parent.

I pledge my life to you. I will love, honour and respect you in happy and sad times. I promise to be faithful to only you as long as we both live.

I __, promise to love and cherish you__, for the rest of your life. I will try to bring laughter to your life, and make you happy, I will consider you in the decisions I have to make and value your opinions. Today I vow to be your husband/wife for the rest of our lives.

I will seek to always be loving unto you. I will share your joys and your sorrows and will be devoted unto you until the ultimate parting.

__, I __, take you to be my husband/wife. To have, to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish till death us do part, and this is my solemn vow.

__, today I promise to respect you always. I will share the good times and bad times with you, be a support and guide. Above all, I will love you from now until our days end.

I, ___ ___, promise to be to you, __ __, a true and loving companion. I promise to be the best husband/wife and parent that I can be and to commit myself forever to our relationship together.

Today I promise to be your husband/wife. I will be faithful and honest, loving and trustworthy. I will seek to bring you stability and order in a chaotic world. I will be your partner and friend for life.

___, in this beautiful garden I dedicate myself to you. Although our lives may change like the seasons, I will love you. As our love grows like a seed to a beautiful flower, I will love you. When the winds of doubt blow through, I will love you. We will stand together, strong, nurtured by each other’s love until the end.

If you feel that traditional wedding vows are a bit stuffy for you, why not go for a funnier, yet equally sentimental approach? For example:

I, ___, take you ___, to be my husband/wife and my Netflix partner in crime for as long as we both shall live – I even promise to watch Pretty Little Liars with you even though it’s the worst show ever made. I promise to love you even when you won’t let me play Call Of Duty and cherish you even when we can’t agree on what takeaway to get.

I promise to always leave the loo seat up. I promise to make you breakfast in bed every weekend. I promise to create a life for us of unexpected and strange adventures. I promise that I will love you forever.

I promise to care for you in sickness and in health unless it is self‐inflicted or two o’ clock in the morning: not to kick you when you are snoring, and to care for your prize collection of comic books.

I promise that I will always let you win arguments (even if I know I am right!), to always let you, to buy you flowers once a week (even if I have nothing to apologise for), and to agree to disagree on which cake is better. It’s lemon drizzle obviously, not fruit cake.

I promise not to Whatsapp my girlfriends after 8 pm, to buy only one pair of shoes a month and to accept all your bad habits because they make you as loveable as you are.

Or how about vows that are likely to make everyone reach for their hankies?

___, you are my best friend and today I take you as my life partner. I promise to laugh with you and cry with you and grow with you. I hope to make you as happy as you have made me, and to love you a little more every day. May we have many adventures and grow old together.

I, ___, promise you, ___, my soulmate, to love you for as long as I live. What I possess in this world, I give to you. I will keep you and hold you, comfort and tend you, protect you and shelter you, for all the days of my life.

___ you know me better than anyone else in this world and yet still you manage to love me. You are my best friend and one true love. There is still a part of me today that cannot believe that I’m the one who gets to marry you.”

You are my light, and you’ve shown me more love than I’ve ever known. I promise to never take our love for granted and to show you every day how much you mean to me. I vow to have the patience that love demands, to speak when words are needed and to share in the silence when they are not.

I hope these suggestions help you with your wedding vow writing. If you would like more wedding hints, tips and advice delivered directly to your inbox once a month sign up here and get a free photo checklist guide for your trouble!

Larbert East Church – Emma & Robert’s Wedding

You had me at Pivot Tables!

Emma and Robert met at work around five years ago when they started working on the same project. As soon as I met them at their pre-wedding consultation. I knew they were going to be the perfect couple to photograph. Laid back, chilled and more than a hint of fun is how I’d describe these two. It turns out the proposal itself was pretty similar. They were in the middle of decorating their kitchen/family room and had a wee chat about getting married on the sofa pulled out in the middle of the sofa and that was that!

Rain on your Wedding Day

Despite it being July and despite the weather being glorious in the run up to the wedding the weather on the big day was changing by the minute on all the weather apps. When I arrived at Larbert East Church is was absolutely bucketing it down.

A few minutes later and it was all blue sky and sunshine so I dashed outside to get some pictures of the churches beautiful exterior.

Wedding photographer in Falkirk - JB Moments Photography

And took the opportunity to capture the groom as well.

Wedding photographer in Falkirk - JB Moments Photography

Robert looked very smart in his own ‘Hunting Kerr’ tartan.

All the luck

Then it started raining again. I went outside armed with my bridal brollies to wait for the bride to arrive. Nobody wants a soggy bride, do they? But, luck was on Emma’s side because as she arrived with her dad and her son Josh the rain disappeared and the sun put his hat on again!

Besides, it’s considered lucky if it rains on your wedding day 🙂

Wedding photographer in Falkirk - JB Moments Photography

Emma was absolutely glowing with happiness. Josh looked very smart and unbelievably tall for his 13 years! He had the very important job of walking his mum down the aisle.

Giving his mum away!

Wedding photographer in Falkirk - JB Moments Photography

He took his job very seriously and did it with a maturity well beyond his tender years.

Wedding photographer in Falkirk - JB Moments Photography

The first look

I’m a sucker for when the groom sees his bride for the first time and Robert didn’t let me down.

Wedding photographer in Falkirk - JB Moments Photography

Excuse me whilst I go all gooey for a moment 🙂

Scout’s honour

It was a lovely service filled with love and laughter and some sage words of advice from their minister.

Emma had managed to hold it together throughout the ceremony but as she got to the church doors and saw her scouts standing in the rain to give their Leader a salute of honour the tears started flowing.

Wedding photographer in Falkirk - JB Moments Photography

Sun shine and smiles

The poor scouts might have been waiting in the rain but the sun came back out right when I needed it for the group photos and pictures of Emma and Robert in the charming church gardens.

Wedding photographer in Falkirk - JB Moments Photography
The Paparazzi have arrived!

All the guests were keen to get their pictures of the  happy couple as well so I turned the camera on them as I love getting shots of the ‘paps’ as well!

Time for cake

Emma and Robert decided a laid back reception back at their house was in keeping with their personalities and style.

Wedding photographer in Falkirk - JB Moments Photography

Emma made the tasty looking wedding cake and vanilla and chocolate cupcakes herself. The Secret Chefs  did their catering for them. It smelt and looked delicious as it was being put out.A perfect solution to ensure you are not stuck in the kitchen on your wedding day…

Domestic/Wedded Bliss

Because Emma and Robert were having their reception at home I was keen to have a bit of fun and knew they would be up for it. I had this vision of an image of them doing something really mundane and domestic whilst in their fancy wedding gear! The guests all looked a bit alarmed when I started asking Emma where the rubber gloves were!!! They quickly headed outside to the marquee!

Wedding photographer in Falkirk - JB Moments Photography

I LOVE the resulting images we captured with this one being my favourite. They were such good sports 🙂

Congratulations again Mr and Mrs Kerr. It was a real honour to capture your big day for you.

Wedding photographer in Falkirk - JB Moments Photography

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.

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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.

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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

How to make your own wedding hashtag

There’s absolutely no doubt that social media has changed everything about weddings. From using Facebook to plan your wedding to pinning the latest wedding trend on Pinterest, you definitely know what I’m talking about, right!?

Even if you are opting for an unplugged wedding on the actual day, wedding hashtags are a great way to collect up everybody’s memories and photographs from your day in one easily searchable place on Instagram.

Crafting your wedding hashtags can be one of the most fun things to do when planning your wedding. Obviously, you would like your guests to share their photos online and use your hashtag. However, for that to happen you have to make sure your wedding hashtag is memorable.

This post is all about tips to achieve just that.

JB Moments PhotographyKeep it Simple

Your wedding hashtags don’t have to be complicated, the more simple it is, the better. A simple hashtag that’s functional and to the point will make it easy to remember. Here are some examples of top wedding hashtags.

  • #MeetTheJohnsons
  • #HappilyEverAllen
  • #PamAndJimGetHitched
  • #MrAndMrsCooper
  • #CheersToTheWilsons
Be creative with words

We’ve all seen some creative and funny hashtags as well. So, if you want to go for something more creative, here are some ideas that combine something about the couple and something funny, inside joke or a reference.

  • #FinallyJones
  • #OhHillYeah
  • #ForeverMiller
  • #ITheeWebb
  • #EverybodyLovesRemond
You are not alone

Hashtags can be used by multiple people at once. Be sure you’re picking something unique that won’t get lost in the middle of an active discussion.

Check it out

You should check your preferred hashtag on Instagram to see how many posts are using the hashtag and if they’re recent.

Sharing at your event

You need to share your hashtag in a fun and visible fashion. Chalkboard, posters and table cards are all good options. You can also add to invites if you’re organised enough!

3 Tips for Creating Your Own Wedding Hashtag.
(1) Use your names.

Start with the basic. You definitely could use your first and last name to make the hashtag personal to your wedding. Heck, use your nickname if you want something more unique. Remember that nickname your friends gave you two when you first started dating in college? Well, this is the perfect time to embrace it.

(2) Get punny

There are a few things at your wedding you can really have fun with, but this is the perfect opportunity to play with some words. Look for rhymes, synonyms and puns that is some way unique and personal to you two.

(3) Avoid easy misspellings

Double check your wedding if there’s any way it could be misspelt by your guests. Move words around if there are two of the same letters in different words next to each other.

BONUS TIP: #UseTitleCaseToMakeItEasyToRead.

(See what I did there?)

BONUS TIP: If you are really stuck there are loads of free wedding hashtag generators online. I like the eWedding one.

So there you have it! I hope these tips help you choose your wedding hashtag or even motivate you to start brainstorming for your unique hashtag.

Remember, you hashtag doesn’t have to be complicated at all. Take your time to think what is the most simple yet memorable and fun hashtag you can come up with and start writing them down. Be creative, move things around, and incorporate words that makes it feel personal to you two.

Happy Planning!

JB Moments Photography

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!